One of the fruits of the restoration of the gospel, and especially of the efforts being made lately, should be the strengthening of marriages. I know that statement will sting some friends but it is true nonetheless. We are blessed with an increase of love for others as we strive ever harder to live according to the principles taught by the Savior, reiterated by Joseph and by others today.
A result of that increase in love is a willingness to sacrifice for others, particularly for one’s spouse. Please consider this principle with me in all seriousness, We should employ Joseph’s advice to use deep, ponderous and solemn thought. It may hurt. It may sting. You may discover you have been or are wrong in conclusions, actions, or inactions, especially when it comes to your marriage.
If there is anything the Lord seeks when he looks into our hearts, it is the warmth and peace that are felt when one has brought happiness into the life of another, especially dear family members. What family member should be closer to our hearts and more qualified to witness to the Lord of our behavior, our actions and how we have treated them? Marriage is fruit harvested by the Lord.
Providing For Our Families
A few months ago I found myself faced with a difficult moral dilemma. I feel strongly about my employment. I give my all in the service I provide, especially since my job is specifically to help others resolve frustrating operational issues with the tools they use every day in their productive work – computers. For thirty-eight years I have been happy sacrificing as required in my work.
The sacrifice I perform may seem inconsequential to others – a long commute common among those in the Southern California workforce. For some reason, I have always found it difficult to drive the many hours required to get to and from my workplace each day. Some days the time consumed reaches two hours – one way. But this I would tolerate as part of my responsibilities.
In particular, I keenly feel the responsibility to provide the income required to live where we do. We always talked about moving closer to the airport where I work, but could never find anything that saved enough money to make it worthwhile. In answer to prayer, the Lord provided tenants whose rental income would offset just enough of the expense to make it worth the cost of living.
One of Life’s Little Surprises
Early this year, we received a surprise. The owner of the privately-held firm that employed me had successfully grown the company to the point of being able to sell it for a substantial profit. In fact, one of my major challenges at work was keeping up with the surprise announcements of new employees beginning within a day or two and the need to get their new equipment ready.
The sale of the company caused the culture to change from that of a family-oriented facility to a publicly-held, “bottom line is the most important” atmosphere. Overnight I went from being a department manager of a company of four hundred people I knew, to a lowly peon in a company of over 100,000 people spread all over the globe, engaged in highly diverse activities and jobs.
The conglomerate that tops the pyramid of our new organization is well known as one of the largest manufacturers of armaments and weapons delivery systems in the world. I did not realize how strongly opposed I was to earning my income from a company that profits from the killing of others in war, especially when weapons are sold to both sides (Look deep. It can be proved).
Decisions that Affect Spouses
After several months of pondering and prayer, I made my decision. I would give up employment at this company that paid substantially more than the average for the type of work I perform. I took it to the Lord many times. Each time, the feeling was confirmed that He would support me but NO details were offered as to what I would do or how I would go about the work search.
It was not an easy task to share the news with Carol. There were many requests to make efforts to reverse the decision, but I knew I could not do so. Like I say, some people have no problem with such a dilemma. For example, working the blackjack tables in Las Vegas while serving as a temple worker. I have no desire to contribute to the success of a company that destroys in war.
I gave the company over six months’ notice, hoping the generous bonus of the previous year would be repeated, but such was not the case. I am now about two months away from my last day of employment with this new company. Some may consider it foolish, especially to resign without having arranged for gainful employment to replace the higher than average income.
Security Does Not Come From Money
I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to convince Carol the Lord will provide. Yes, I know I have much work ahead of me. I have been laid off twice before and resigned probably a dozen positions in my career. I am familiar with the job search skills needed in my profession. Money does not equal security, especially if projected economic catastrophes come to pass.
Personally, I feel good about our prospects. We’re willing to move anywhere in the world. I have current technical skills and many years of experience. I’m a hard worker – it must be from that Mormon work ethic – and the economy in general seems to be picking up, as confirmed by friends who have their own consulting business. Of course there is also insurance to consider.
I don’t want to use my blog to search for a job. But I feel the need to let people know I will not be at the Doctrine of Christ Conference in Southern Utah March 18-20 2017. I don’t believe the speakers have been announced publically, but many emails have been exchanged on the subject. My highest priority, confirmed in prayer, is to return that sense of security to Carol she deserves.
One Purpose of Marriage is Service
Everybody’s marital situation is different but we have many things in common. One of those commonalities is to obey the commandment of the Lord to live in harmony and peace. I wrote earlier about sacrifice. There is nothing I would rather do than to spend my days studying the gospel, developing skills the Lord has given me and being more involved in this conference.
One of the greatest blessings in my life is the growth that comes from serving my wife. There is so much more I can and should do, but providing for our needs is a commandment the Lord has shared with us in the scriptures. Stop and ask yourself and the Lord to help you understand what sacrifice He requires of you. I promise you it will be clear, at least it always has been when I ask.
Perhaps as a replacement for my contribution at the conference I can recommend a re-reading of “Unequally Yoked,” which we received last year at the Cedaredge conference. Editing a portion of the work before it was published was a blessing in my life. It is available on Amazon, published by Bret and Samantha Corbridge, the organizers of that first conference last year.
Revelation is Between You and the Lord
I am saddened by emails, phone calls and personal conversations with those whose marriages have either been destroyed or made seriously less enjoyable because one of the spouses took the time and made the effort to study with prayer and efforts the words of a certain modern-day teacher sent among us. The same effect was evident in marriages in the time of Joseph Smith.
I call on each of us who have received a witness of the work of the Lord being conducted through the efforts of this teacher to be tolerant, kind, patient and do all within our power to keep our marriages intact, filled with love, service and mutual respect. I especially promise the Lord’s blessing of help beyond our own ability as we make the effort to sacrifice in our marriages.
One last item: Don’t take offense if, in your discussions with your spouse, you are told “Yes, I prayed about it and was told to stay away from the teachings of that man,” or words to similar effect. Don’t ever doubt the Lord’s whisperings to you. They can and often will be different from the direction given to another you love dearly. Accept it, go on, and the Lord will bless you.
God Bless Each of us in This Work
Feel free to comment or email on anything I wrote in this day-after-Christmas post. I love you all.