You Asked—They Answered: Marriage and Family
    Footnotes
    Theme

    “You Asked—They Answered: Marriage and Family,” New Era, August 2016, 2–5

    The Message

    You Asked—They Answered: Marriage and Family

    Adapted from Face to Face events on January 20, 2016, and March 8, 2016, and from a meeting with youth in Argentina held on February 23, 2016.

    In recent Face-to-Face (see facetoface.lds.org) and other events, Church leaders answered young people’s questions about marriage and family.

    Family life

    Is it really possible to have a happy marriage?—Courtney from Louisiana, USA

    Holland, Jeffrey R.

    Let me declare unequivocally, absolutely, and adamantly that not only is there such a thing as a happy marriage, but happy marriages are the rule, not the exception.

    Sister Holland and I are living proof that you can not just be happy but that you can be ecstatically happy. You can be just movingly happy in all the right ways, for all the right reasons. So I want everybody to dismiss the idea that somehow this is a mountain that can’t be climbed, it’s a river that can’t be crossed, that there are too many difficulties to address marriage in this day or any day. That is simply not true.

    You have to work at a marriage. Every good thing that I know of in this world you have to work at.

    God will help you. Of all the things in this world that He will help you with, He will help you with your marriages and your families, because it matters to Him at least as much as it matters to you.

    —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    How can I strengthen my family since I’m so young?—Nancy from Paraguay

    Studying
    Bednar, David A.

    There can be no greater strengthening power in a home than members of a family who are striving to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. It changes the feeling in the home. Even if you’re the only member in your family, as you have the Holy Ghost as your companion, that is a powerful influence for good in your home. And it influences all of the members of your family. Keep the commandments and live worthily. Then you bring the power of the Spirit into your home. And it will bless and strengthen everyone in the home.

    —Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    Besides prayer, scripture study, and fasting, what can we do to best prepare for marriage?—Jack from the Dominican Republic

    Hallstrom, Donald L.

    Stay worthy. We live in a world that is confusing because the societal norms have changed significantly over not that many years.

    If you start with what has been revealed by the Lord and through His apostles and prophets, you’ll be on safe ground. Go to For the Strength of Youth; just look at the definition of the law of chastity there, and there’s no fooling ourselves. It’s clear; it’s concise.

    —Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy

    Stephens, Carole M.

    Study the life of the Savior; try to be more like Him. If you can develop those Christlike attributes in your life and seek to be more like the Savior, then you will be better prepared to be a husband or a wife.

    —Sister Carole M. Stephens, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency

    Family life

    How can I help less-active members of my family come to church and let them know that they are loved?—Ivan from Argentina

    Rasband, Ronald A.

    Love precedes everything. You think of Jesus Christ, you think of love. So when you have these somewhat difficult challenges in your family or in your school or with your friends, always remember—before you make a comment, before you draw a conclusion, before you become judgmental—how first you can love them. Once you have that foundation of love, you’ll be amazed at how you’re inspired to take the next step.

    —Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    Oscarson, Bonnie Lee Green

    We can love family members. We can set a good example for them. We can influence them by serving them and being patient and loving with them.

    Above and beyond that, people have their agency. But I think love overcomes a lot of things. And we’re promised that as we exercise love like Jesus Christ had for others, that it will have an impact on them. I can’t think of a better way to invite someone to come than just to love them and to set a good example yourself.

    —Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President

    Oscarson, Bonnie Lee Green

    Never give up. Just don’t ever give up. And love them. I think it’s so important that we remember we’re a family and have an eternal perspective. If you just have an eternal perspective and understand that families go forever, it gives that desire to really want to reach out. And be patient. Have the long view. Don’t be so shortsighted on things. It goes on for eternity.

    —Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President

    How can I establish a family based on faith in Jesus Christ and not be so fearful of the future and about raising a family?—Flor from Argentina

    Bednar, David A.

    It’s precisely because you have faith in Christ that you can establish a family in a wicked world. There’s only one place you can find joy that will last: in the gospel of Jesus Christ. People in the world often are fearful as they see events in the world. The gospel of Jesus Christ helps us see more than just this life, this mortal existence. We know that we are children of God and that we lived with Him before we were born. We know why we are here on the earth and we know what happens to us when we die. So in a world that grows increasingly dark, the only thing that will provide light is the gospel of Christ.

    —Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    What can I do to help my family let go of contention and be happier around each other?—Natalie from Utah, USA

    Oscarson, Bonnie Lee Green

    When you find yourself in a situation that’s full of contention, if you could think of yourself as a peaceable follower, it calms things. And it calms those around you. We can’t change how others act, but we can change how we react to situations and how we act.

    —Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President

    Oscarson, Bonnie Lee Green

    The Savior is our greatest example. If we really want to get rid of contention, then we act like Christ. We learn of Him, who He is, and then we begin to walk. We have to listen to His words, and then we do as He had done.

    —Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President

    What can I do to ensure I have a successful marriage for all eternity?—Jane from West Virginia, USA

    Temple work
    Oscarson, Bonnie Lee Green

    If eternal life is the greatest blessing, we ought to make sure that what we’re doing in our lives is working towards that goal, working towards a temple experience and a temple sealing.

    You can do that now by doing baptisms for the dead. You can do that as families. You can do that as youth groups. And you can go and get the feeling of the temple and being worthy to go to the temple right now. That way you don’t have to just look to the temple in the future; you can experience it now.

    Don’t wait for some future day. Engage now and develop your love for the temple.

    —Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    How can I, as a young woman today, prepare to be a mother?—Janessa from Utah, USA

    Grandmothers
    Oscarson, Bonnie Lee Green

    Look to Jesus Christ. He’s the perfect example for both men and women. Look at the attributes that Christ had and exemplified; those are the attributes a mother needs too.

    We also have great role models around us. Look to your own mother and see what qualities she has that have helped you become the good person you are. Look to your grandmothers.

    And then look to your Young Women leaders. Look to your bishop’s wife. There are some great role models around you in the Church who can teach you how to be a good mother someday. At the basis of it all is Christlike behavior.

    —Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President