The topic I selected to discuss this morning was motivated by a research report I read last summer. A study of young women attending colleges and universities across the United States reported that dating has disappeared from campus, and young women have been left to wander in a social wilderness in their search for Mr. In addition, a majority indicated they hoped to find Mr. Right while attending college. They lamented that dating has been replaced by hanging out with acquaintances and then hooking up with young men.
Brethren and sisters, I know of nothing worthwhile in life that comes easy. However, nothing in life is as valuable as a strong marriage and a secure family. I am speaking to all who want their future marriages to succeed. My comments are not for anyone looking for simple ideas or anyone who would be satisfied merely to tolerate an uncomfortable arrangement.
Every strong marriage is severely tested. Husbands and wives who encounter and surmount suffering, pain, misunderstanding, and temptation can enjoy marriages that are beautiful and eternal. There is a principle that needs to be understood, and let me take just a moment to explain it to you. Many marriage experts who write articles are failures in their own marriages or have never married. Unfortunately, many of the books on how to have a successful marriage are less than helpful to Latter-day Saints.
Our marriages and families are built upon heavenly concepts and principles, not upon worldly ideas or solutions. I pray that I may be in the Spirit this evening as I communicate with you about marriage. First of all, consider the concepts that we have that the world does not understand.
One is the principle of eternal marriage itself, where we are able to look beyond the problems of today and this evening and tomorrow into a life beyond death, where as a family we will dwell forever together.
Relationships are to be never ending, but the world does not comprehend this great truth. Second, the world does not understand spirituality or the fact that we can receive personal revelations that will assist us in any of the challenges that will come our way.
We must bring, brothers and sisters, the Savior and his teachings into our homes and hearts, and when we do, he will guide us. To really succeed, your eternal marriage must be Christ centered. Let me tell you an experience I had several years ago. I was sitting in my office. I heard a commotion out in the reception area. My secretary picked up the telephone and buzzed me. Her face was tearstained. I took the triple combination and turned quickly to section of the Doctrine and Covenants.
That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
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At that time, that good sister smiled briefly. Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. Well, he was listening now.
And we talked for the next few minutes about the importance of meekness and patience and love unfeigned.
As they left, they walked out arm in arm, apparently after having learned a great lesson in life. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the priesthood that so many of us in this room bear can only be maintained and handled upon the principles of righteousness.
Just as a building must have a strong foundation, a family needs the sure foundation of the Savior and his teachings. We are a spiritual people, believing in spiritual principles: that first and foremost we are to use the Spirit in solving problems and receiving revelations that will guide our feet. Obviously this means to live righteous lives, to pray often, and to be kind one to another.
Third, do not feel that an intense disagreement in your dating procedure or eventually in your marriage indicates that it cannot succeed. If we are to really communicate, we must be honest when we disagree. We must express hurts and let our feelings show. We can do this without becoming angry or inconsiderate.
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People who keep things bottled up inside are candidates for a variety of illnesses, but even more serious, that approach does not solve problems. A serious disagreement between partners does not mean the two are becoming allergic to one another or that the situation is hopeless. It merely means that they are human and not yet perfect individuals. If we can just acknowledge our differences in mature ways, then we will realize that our dating procedure is okay or our marriages eventually will be all right.
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Often what happens is that we have simply failed to communicate. And differences can be worked out without jeopardizing a relationship. As we communicate, brothers and sisters-may I say this quickly-let us first communicate about feelings, those throbbings from within, and then we can be concerned with the historical cts of communication, where we have been and what we have seen.
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But let us communicate our feelings first. Fourth, never make your date or mate the object of jokes, either in private or in public. Partners who poke fun at one another may think of it as good-natured humor. It is not.
It is degrading and dangerous. To make a joke about private things a husband or wife or a boyfriend or girlfriend does is a form of ridicule and a way of putting him or her down. Too often the laughter conceals a spirit of malice or anger that causes hurt feelings and fractures in that delicate substance we define as spirit.
Couples who respect each other do not resort to such procedures. Fifth, both during the dating period and after marriage, do not smother one another with excessive restrictions. Remember a kind and loving Father-and I guess it was a hundred years ago today that we were sitting around talking about that council in heaven and all those things that had happened thousands of years before, and we were getting ready to come here.
As we looked to Father, we could see the trust in his eyes. And we knew that we would be operational here upon the earth in a great environment of freedom. Then why do we sometimes try to take that freedom away from those we love so much? A loving wife of many years shared with me one of the secrets of her beautiful marriage. As you know, he is a busy businessman, a bishop, and a father. In turn, he helps me reach my potential.
She later served as a counselor in two auxiliary presidencies.
She had a little place in their home where she could sew and where she painted lovely paintings and wrote beautiful poetry.
He felt comfortable in going fishing, lowering his golf score, doing some painting himself, and growing in ways that interested him. Neither of these marriage partners was being smothered by a selfish mate. And as you think about that eventual responsibility that you will have of raising children, keep that concept in mind. If you will give them gobs of freedom, almost beyond logic sometimes, they will grow in precious ways that will give them the confidence to do what needs to be done.
They are interested in one another, and yet they set each other free to grow and mature-never free to flirt, but free to take on new challenges and to pursue new interests. Jealousy is a subtle form of bondage and is the most smothering of human passions.
We must allow each other plenty of room for personal growth and expression. When both partners are able to develop their talents and interests, the marriage is less likely to suffer from boredom and narrowness. Sixth, compliment each other sincerely and often, just as you do or will do during the dating period. He gets so much attention from others that he needs to be brought down a peg or two. He gets too big for his britches.
Every husband needs a wife who will build him up, and every wife needs a husband to honor and to respect her. Building each other with sincere compliments is never a sign of weakness. It is the right thing to do.
Anyone who can contemplate kneeling at an altar, participating in an eternal ordinance-or those who have-can certainly find lovely things to say about a partner. How I wish he or she would come back.
The loneliness is unbearable. I neglected to tell him or her so many things.
Aug 14, When dating, remember that a healthy, Christlike relationship is an equal partnership between two people who are willing to make sacrifices for each other and God. Real love is more than mutual attraction; love that forms a lasting relationship is built on a well-established foundation of respect, forgiveness, and hard work. May 07, Let me compare the desire to marry among college women across the nation to both women and men attending BYU. As mentioned earlier, marriage is a very important goal to 83 percent of the national sample of women college students. Happily, marriage is very important to nearly all BYU students-both men (95 percent) and women (97 percent). Ten Keys to Successful Dating and Marriage Relationships. Hugh W. Pinnock. of the Seventy. May 3, Your browser does not support the audio element. Audio. Dedication to Successful Marriage. Belief in Eternal Marriage. Spirituality. Communication.
Oh, if only I had let her or him know how good she or he was in so many ways. What a fool I was! I could never learn to compliment and to build. I was always pointing out her or his mistakes. I want to tell them to quit their sarcasm and instead to encourage each other.
We all tend to become the persons described in the compliments that our spouses and friends pay us. We will do almost anything to live up to the compliments and encouragements of a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a proud wife or husband. Let me tell you a story about a man who received his PhD from this institution. We had known this person for a number of years.
He married later than many, and as we watched him relate with a young woman, we wondered if she could keep up; we wondered if she had the capacity to understand life as he had learned it because he was more than several years older.
Then, as we observed that couple at social functions and elsewhere, we saw that he would take time to carefully instruct her. As he returned from classwork, he would bring home books for her to read and to study. As they took long walks, they were constantly teaching each other. What a beautiful marriage and what a lovely family they now have because they have taken the time to compliment and to build each other!
They are serving now in the mission field together, there because of his sensitivity and because of her sensitivity, there because they desire to build one another. As a seventh recommendation, in dating or in marriage, never resort to the silent treatment. Always be open and straightforward with each other. Too often we may respond to tensions by clamming up or by taking a walk.
A young wife in the southwest corner of Salt Lake County asked me to talk with her husband. He just walks out the door. He can go on for days or even a week or two without saying a word. The topic I selected to discuss this morning was motivated by a research report I read last summer.
A study of young women attending colleges and universities across the United States reported that dating has disappeared from campus, and young women have been left to wander in a social wilderness in their search for Mr. In addition, a majority indicated they hoped to find Mr. Right while attending college. They lamented that dating has been replaced by hanging out with acquaintances and then hooking up with young men. Hooking up generally involves drinking alcohol and some degree of sexual activity.
These young women, more often than not, felt frustrated and lonely, and most reported they had not found Mr. Heavenly Father loves you and desires you to be happy, and thus He has given you righteous procedures to follow in your pursuit of an eternal marriage. In response to this study, my friend and colleague Brent Top-a member of the Religious Education faculty-and I decided to examine the dating culture among LDS youth, particularly those young adults at BYU.
Let me compare the desire to marry among college women across the nation to both women and men attending BYU. As mentioned earlier, marriage is a very important goal to 83 percent of the national sample of women college students.
Happily, marriage is very important to nearly all BYU students-both men 95 percent and women 97 percent. It appears almost all of you have the appropriate goal; it seems that it is the implementation that falls a little short.
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I am confident that each of you has a copy of the proclamation on the family. This is pure doctrine straight from the Lord through His prophet and apostles. There have been only four proclamations in this dispensation, and each teaches important eternal truths. Please take the time to read, ponder, and pray about this counsel from the Lord concerning the eternal significance of the family.
One of his most cunning strategies is to turn away the sons and daughters of God from eternal relationships sealed in holy temples. Satan is giving special attention to you, my young friends-both single and married-to create doubt in your minds about marriage and your being ready to marry, increase your fear of failure to find the right one and your fear of divorce, and heighten your concern about having children. He is providing alluring sexual temptations.
All are designed to hinder your embracing and keeping sacred covenants with your companion. Today I want to share with those of you who are single some of the appropriate ways to establish an eternal relationship.
For those of you who are married, these suggestions will assist you in nurturing a strong marriage. One of the joys of teaching at BYU is the opportunity to mingle scripture with the philosophy of men in a righteous fashion.
I appreciate teaching sociology within a gospel context by linking intellect with inspiration. This morning I will mingle a little social science with the scriptures-revelation with the best research and sound reason. I have five suggestions that I want to share with you today to assist in establishing and strengthening a celestial marriage. There is a very dangerous misperception embedded in this Cinderella and glass slipper syndrome.
It is the focus on finding the perfect person to marry with whom you will live happily ever after. I admit there may be rare cases where two people covenanted in the premortal existence to find each other and marry in this life.
They see each other across the Marriott Center parking lot, and it is love at first sight. Occasionally students ask if I knew my wife in the premortal existence.
“As I Have Loved You”: Agency-Based Love in Dating and Marriage - Jason S. Carroll
What can I say? Of course I did. But then I add that I knew all of my sisters in the premortal existence, and no matter who I married, she would be an acquaintance. You pick one you like who is worthy, and I will give you my blessing.
Instead, be a little more proactive and seek someone you like, someone who is worthy, and someone who inspires you to be a better person. Good marriages are created after you get up from your knees at the altar of the temple. Strong marriages emerge out of helping each other obtain your education, struggling financially, dealing with sickness, and coping with the shock produced by the birth of your first child.
Life changes and moves ahead in many unanticipated ways. Changing jobs, moving to a different city, raising teenagers, caring for an aged parent, retirement, and similar activities and events are what produce eternal marriages.
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Overcoming these problems as a team-helping and supporting each other along the way-are what produce a happy marriage. I loved my dear wife when we married 40 years ago this summer, but the love I felt for her then is insignificant to my love for her after these many years of trials and triumphs. There is no antidivorce insurance. Occasionally a spouse changes in ways that make maintaining a marriage impossible.
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But I fear that the Cinderella complex encourages people to give up on a relationship too quickly and to start another search for the perfect spouse. The best marriage guarantee you can have is the one you sign in the presence of your bishop-and it has to be renewed once a year. Using this recommend in the companionship of your husband or wife is the best antidivorce guarantee available-not just because you have entered the temple but also because of what temple worthiness represents.
This guarantee requires supporting each other in Church callings, working out the payment of tithing, praying together, studying the scriptures together, and giving service together. In rejecting the Cinderella complex, I am not suggesting that you marry just anyone. But I am suggesting that some of us may have raised the bar a little too high. The traits and characteristics we are looking for in a spouse will emerge out of the years of experience together.
My advice is to look for the potential in a spouse and then help each other achieve your desires. In other words, good marriages are earned by experience, not found with glass slippers.
It is scary to marry! It is scary to stay married during troubled times! It is scary to be responsible for children!
Some people are afraid of marriage and parenthood. Perhaps their parents or close friends divorced and they fear the same happening to them. Have faith in God your Father and in His Son. They will guide and strengthen us because we are on Their errand of creating eternal families and raising children in righteousness. Let me share a scriptural example that I think is applicable to those considering marriage or parenthood.
They eventually wandered up the east side of the Jordan River. They were camped on Mount Nebo, looking across at the promised land. Moses was instructed to pass the prophetic mantle to Joshua. Jehovah was ready to perform a miracle to impress upon the children of Israel that Joshua was the new prophet and also to test their courage one last time.
In this day that would mean to wash your clothes, turn off trashy television, catch up on your tithing, read the scriptures for an hour, and say your prayers.
These activities would encourage the Spirit to dwell with you. In the morning the children of Israel were not left as spectators high on the riverbanks when it was time to part the waters. Then, as the Lord explained:. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
It took faith and courage for those 12 men and the children of Israel who followed to step off the bank into the swirling waters of the spring runoff. As the water covered the soles of their feet, the miracle then happened, and the waters were stopped.
So it may be with you in your quest for an eternal partner or for an eternal relationship. We cannot sit in our apartments, we cannot spend long hours at work, we cannot endlessly play video games and wait for the Lord to bring a spouse to the altar for us.
We cannot wait for the Lord to create a special love between our spouse and us. He does not magically cause the perfect family to appear when there has been little, if any, effort on our part. Waving at a group of girls or guys across the cultural hall, driving your spouse to the grocery store once a week, or just knowing the names of your children is not resting the soles of your feet in the waters of marriage and family life.
Social scientists in general applauded this emerging social custom and argued that cohabiting would increase marital satisfaction and reduce divorce. They reasoned that cohabiting is an opportunity to confirm real compatibility and that a marriage that followed would be happier and more stable. The truth of the matter is that 30 years of research has made it clear that couples who cohabit and then wed are less happy and are more likely to divorce! Because cohabiting couple are not willing to exercise the faith to make a lifelong commitment, and their commitment does not increase much when they marry.
In defense of the social sciences, they are starting to figure this marriage thing out a little better. It is good for both the body and soul. I realize that not all will have the opportunity to marry in this life, but, with faith and courage, most will.
Devotionals offer the entire BYU-Idaho community an opportunity to rest from the cares of everyday life. When we gather together-whether on campus or online-we may receive significant spiritual blessings. Elder David A. Bednar shared this explanation while visiting campus in October © BYU Devotionals. Apr 02, Plus, one of my most memorable experiences with a BYU devotional happened many years ago when Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke during Valentine's Day week about understanding the true nature of love in dating and marriage relationships .
And eventually all righteous men and women will share these blessings. It is estimated that 95 percent of all Americans have been married at least once by age Social research reveals that marrying in the 20s somewhat increases marital happiness and reduces the likelihood of divorce. I promise you that if you pursue marriage and family life with sincere intent that the Father will bless you to eventually achieve this blessed state.
It is pure doctrine that lovingly explains how chastity is a necessary condition for eternal life. As I mentioned in my introduction, hooking up and dating among non-LDS almost always involve sexual activity. Such must not be the case for Latter-day Saints. But at times it seems like we members of the Church get caught up in the ways of the world and end up adopting them to a degree. We may not be going as fast as the world, but, unfortunately, we sometimes are headed in the same direction.
Let me illustrate this worldly marching attitude with an example. A friend of mine was serving as the bishop of a BYU ward. He was teasing the elders quorum president about not being married. What was this young man saying? He was joking, I hope. But it sounds like he was willing to keep the strict letter of the law but wanted to push as close to the edge of serious sin as he could get.
It is highly unlikely that the Spirit will be companion to anyone holding such an attitude.
I am not suggesting that you never kiss someone until you kneel across the altar, but I am suggesting that you keep physical intimacy within the bounds set by the Lord. I do want to say a word or two about a different consequence of inappropriate intimacy. Young people sometimes justify inappropriate intimacy on the grounds that it is an expression of their special love and that it strengthens their relationship.
I am convinced that more often than not such activity actually destroys a potential eternal relationship. Let me illustrate with a scriptural example.