Friday, June 28, 2013

MMM Sermons: Marriage and Divorce



by Saint Mark (bio)

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints call them "talks," but most (non)Christians call them sermons. This is a series of sermons that many Latter-day Saints love and believe. I hope these sermons promote and perfect your faith as they do mine. Read or watch the full sermon here.

In 1976, President Spencer W. Kimball foresaw the increase of divorce and the break-up of families. Here, in this talk, President Kimball lays out one of the greatest ills to a healthy marriage: selfishness.

Having gone through the pains of divorce, I can attest to President Kimball's inspired assessment. The childish chant of "me, me, me" never sustains "family, marriage, or us."

Here are some pearls of wisdom from President Kimball:

"Two individuals approaching the marriage altar must realize that to attain the happy marriage which they hope for, they must know that marriage is not a legal coverall; but it means sacrifice, sharing, and even a reduction of some personal liberties. lt means long, hard economizing. It means children who bring with them financial burdens, service burdens, care and worry burdens; but also it means the deepest and sweetest emotions of all."

"Financial, social, political, and other situations may seem to have a bearing; but the marriage depends first and always on the two spouses who can always make their marriage successful and happy if they are determined, unselfish, and righteous.

The formula is simple; the ingredients are few, though there are many amplifications of each.

First, there must be the proper approach toward marriage, which contemplates the selection of a spouse who reaches as nearly as possible the pinnacle of perfection in all the matters which are of importance to the individuals. And then those two parties must come to the altar in the temple realizing that they must work hard toward this successful joint living.

Second, there must be a great unselfishness, forgetting self and directing all of the family life and all pertaining thereunto to the good of the family, subjugating self.

Third, there must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing.

Fourth, there must be a complete living of the commandments of the Lord as defined in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

With these ingredients properly mixed and continually kept functioning, it is quite impossible for unhappiness to come, misunderstandings to continue, or breaks to occur. Divorce attorneys would need to transfer to other fields and divorce courts would be padlocked."


As an attorney, I am not offended by that last line particularly because I'm not a divorce lawyer. President Kimball's talk reminds me of the days right after 9/11. As husbands and wives faced the trauma of 9/11, divorces did decrease and many marriages that were broken were mended. It seemed that the worry and concern of selfish interests were trumped by the importance of togetherness, unity, and selflessness. How would it be if all of us approached our marriages as those each day was September 12, 2001?

If you have a successful or unsuccessful marriage, what advice would you add to President Kimball's words?

To learn more about President Kimball, check out these videos from the 70's: Part 1 and Part 2

Other MMM Posts

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