Marriage: and the family first
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“Marriage: and the family first,” New Era, June 1971, 43

Marriage: and the family first

“The Spoken Word” from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System March, 28, 1971. © 1971 by Richard L. Evans.

“There is a kind of beauty … that increases and does not diminish with the years,” wrote Margaret Weymouth Jackson; a beauty “that lies within, and shines out. … It is the thing called character that comes with maturity and self-discipline. … And it means so much to the person one lives with. … No one could be so foolish as to deny the charm of youth and beauty,” but they are “so fleeting … that … we must get on a sounder … basis. … With a stranger … one can assume a virtue … but one can assume no virtue for the every day, year-in, year-out … [living together in life]. One must possess that virtue, body and soul, for its own sake. … And so we come back to fundamentals; that … to make a success in marriage” character is required—character in money matters, character in morality, in faithfulness, character to consider the family first, character that includes cleanliness, honesty, and self-respect and a bit of pardonable pride—not “the kind of pride … that [indulges in petty quarreling, or] is forever taking offense at trifles … [not] pride that can never forgive or forget. … There must be much forgiving on both sides.”1 But always remember that in a marriage the family is foremost, for if a marriage is broken, children pay a price; children who are torn between those they love; children who have to choose, or have others choose for them. Solomon himself could not make this kind of decision to the blessing and satisfaction of all concerned. People can change. They can find respect, even if romantic love has partly left. There should be kindly frankness; confiding; no furtive secrets and no “brooding about the might-have-beens,”2 but going on from here, wherever you are; partners working on a common problem—“conquering instead of running away. Making and keeping a happy home takes character and constancy, as does everything else worthwhile. But what else ever yields such rich rewards?”2


  1. Margaret W. Jackson, “Marriage As it Ought to Be,” Good Housekeeping, June 1933.

  2. Selected phrases from Dr. Hubert S. Howe, “Can’t I Save My Marriage?” Good Housekeeping, January 1935.