Historically, all nations that have trampled underfoot God’s laws regarding marriage have all ended up on the garbage heap — self destructing from within. Is America on that same slippery slope leading to self destruction since it began substituting the secular philosophies of man, often sprinkled with scriptures, for God’s laws to define marriage in today’s society? I think it is!
So why is traditional marriage one of God’s divine laws and a laboratory to perfect mankind? Because traditional marriage is the primary institution where man and woman, if they are to find true happiness, can learn to overcome self by serving others — their marriage partner and their children. It is the only institution where the role of each member of the family is clearly defined simply by the physical makeup of each family member.
Joan and I have hanging on our bedroom wall a document titled “The Family — A Proclamation to the World.” It is a reminder to us of whom we are and of what our role in mortality is, and of our responsibility to our Creator, to one another, and to family and to the world in which we are all common citizens. This proclamation proclaims in part: “that marriage is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” It continues with: “All Human Beings — male and female — are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”
It then proclaims: “that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.” Then it states: “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”
The physical attraction of man to woman, and woman to man, is a natural law, built in by the Creator, and leads to a traditional marriage by most. Children normally follow, fulfilling the commandment to “replenish and multiply.” Marriage is hard work and is trying, especially if the couple is not one in purpose. Remember “No success can compensate for failure in the home.”
Traditional marriage is truly God’s laboratory to perfect mankind. It is where man and woman learn to overcome the negative traits of human nature: vanity, pride, selfishness, hate, jealousy, etc., and where they can learn to develop the positive traits of mankind: unconditional love, unselfishness, leadership skills, empathy, fidelity and to become one in purpose to create a marriage that will last beyond mortality bringing eternal happiness to all members of the family — husband, wife and children. It is in the family where husband and wife establish rules to prepare their children for life, where children should be taught “the ordinances and laws [of God] … and the way wherein they must walk, and the work they must do” (Ex 18:20). It is where children are taught how to climb the rungs of Peter’s “ladder of life:” faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity – charity being the pure love of Christ
Life is not easy, but it is easier when one has a marriage companion to share the challenges and joys of life with. And then, after 60 or 70 years of overcoming marriage’s challenges, one is prepared to cross that bridge leading from mortality to immortality and be welcomed with: “well done thou good and faithful servant — enter into thy rest.”
Traditional marriage is the foundation of all civilized societies — where lasting joy and happiness is found.
Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.