After experiencing my own parent's divorce, and being married now almost 31 years, - I can attest to the fact, that MARRIAGE was never meant to be easy! For members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who make eternal covenants in Holy Temples, the pressure to succeed in marriage is even greater. But, as many of you know, regardless of the desire to have a successful marriage -- DIVORCE happens.

As a child of divorce, myself - I know all too well, the pain and fallout of such a history; from a child's perspective. Not good. I've had to make a very conscience choice in my own adult life, to work through the many challenges and difficulties that marriage inevitably presents. Through the years, I have learned that there are some very important elements that every successful marriage must include -- and LOVE is NOT one of them.

Loving someone, is a product of committing ourselves to a common goal. In LDS MARRIAGE, that "goal" is to create and maintain our earthly family unit. In order to have that ultimate eternal family in the future, it requires work here, and now. And, a lot of it! Oh sure, there are the few marriages out there, where never a voice is ever raised, nor an argument had -- but mine, is not one of them.

Let me just say, that I am married to a nearly perfect man. There have been times, that I have tried to convince myself otherwise, when circumstances in our marriage were particularly challenging. It is always so much easier, when we can point the finger toward our spouse, for the problems we are having as a partnership.

Time and experience have taught me, that as individuals, we can be pretty great people -- even "nearly" perfect. However, throw the two of them into a marriage, and boy do the weaknesses expose themselves! And you know what? That's exactly one of the very important PURPOSES OF MARRIAGE!

is meant to help us as individuals become something better. Marriage is intended to stretch us, beyond our comfort zone. Marriage, when committed to - can become a revelation of who we are, and what we are destined to BECOME!

“Faithfulness to the marriage covenant brings the fullest joy here and glorious rewards hereafter” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 533–34)

COMMITMENT IS LOVE, of the very deepest kind. If you have ever taken a FALL, it was most likely not intended. We don't go out and mean to "fall" in love. We just DO. Because this kind of love, just happens. It's a natural part of life. So, we fall in love, and decide then to get married. Sigh.

That which is of great worth, NEVER comes easy. It is not possible for us to feel deeply committed to something, IF it does not require a challenge. Marriage is meant to challenge us as individuals.

In order for a marriage to be successful, the atonement of Jesus Christ, must be a central part of that relationship. It is only through the process of personal repentance and forgiveness, that two people can truly BECOME ONE.

"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:21-26


In our marriages, as challenging as they may be -- as we apply the principles of the ATONEMENT, we literally witness the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and Glorify God!

When all is said and done, that's a pretty good way to live our lives...

Kathryn Skaggs


The Three Pillars For A Successful Marriage - And Love, Is Not One Of Them!
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