Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happiness in Family Life by Julie White

"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.” ~ The Family: A Proclamation to the World ~

I recently taught a lesson at church to the women. It was to the women's class called Relief Society. The lesson was on ETERNAL MARRIAGE. When I initially started the lesson I was overwhelmed with the faces in that room. Some were very happy and excited about the topic. Some were sad and truly heart broken at the topic. All I could think about was how marriage is not meant to be a life sentence of DOOM, but a life reward of HAPPINESS!

So let's back up, I love being married. I grew up in the church. I intently listened in Young Women's about the important choice of marriage. I looked forward to making that choice. I had a good Bishop before I left for my mission who said, life didn't really start until you were married. I resisted that truth before I was married, but how true it was! (Julie and David, Atlanta Temple, Georgia 1999)

My husband and I went into marriage with our eyes wide open. Both of us wanted to succeed. We were in love but knew that life could get in the way of that love.

In our early marriage, we took great Family and Marriage classes. We established good habits like "companion prayer, companion planning, companion scripture sharing". More than anything we developed a strong friendship that was harnessed in love. Life does happen, though. Stresses of education and training started entering our life. Stresses of no sleep with children being born started to make a snowball effect. Life just happens.

All the great classes and time we had in the past really started to be relied on. A good instructor in Institute in Provo held up a great sign. It read H--hungry? A--angry? L--lonely T--tired? "If you feel those things, keep in mind that frustration that may be felt was probably due to those circumstances, not because of your relationship. " My husband and I came to realize that it seemed like every day, one of us was feeling one of those things! The solutions to HALT is individual, but it is a good reminder to keep your venting and frustration in check. So life would tell us that once were married the doom and gloom sets in.

I love that the ~ The Family: A Proclamation to the World ~ says otherwise.

The Proclamation tells us that a marriage and family WILL succeed if it centered on Jesus Christ. 

Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said,
"The development of faith in the Lord is an individual matter. Repentance is also an individual matter. Salvation is an individual matter."

A couple who individually has faith in Jesus Christ can withstand the blows that life will throw their way. A couple who individually can go to Heavenly Father and truly seek to utilize The Atonement WILL succeed.

Elder Nelson also says that: "Individual progression is fostered in the family, which is “central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. The home is to be God’s laboratory of love and service. There a husband is to love his wife, a wife is to love her husband, and parents and children are to love one another."

I am not naive. I am not blind. Life is hard. Within the walls of a home, tears are shed. Loneliness is felt. There can be sadness. There can be discontent. Even couples who individually seek the Lord have times when the blows of life get in the way. Needless to say, I have experienced this first hand.

In addition to publications by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my husband and I have found two very helpful books, and I would like to recommend them to you:
The Love Dare Book and The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to Heal Hearts and Homes [James L. Ferrell]

The Love Dare is phenomenal. Marriage happened because two people fell in love. The Love Dare takes that love to a whole other demension. I feel it is a very Christian-based book. My husband and I have gone through the book seperately. It strenghtens our love. It strengthens our marriage.

The Peacegiver helps to see relationships how the Lord sees relationships. In addition to the above mentioned, I've learned that praying daily as a couple is powerful. How can a selfLESS marriage occur without it?

Notice that I've repeated that "Life is Hard". I haven't said that MARRIAGE is hard. Marriage isn't to blame. Marriage that is centered on Jesus Christ is a vehicle to get through Life. (You've played the game Life right? Go back and rename your vehicle next time. Call it MARRIAGE. Call the big white houses at the end of the game HEAVEN!)

We have a Heavenly Father that has created this amazing plan for us to get back to Him. This mortality that we call LIFE is filled with hardship and trial. Couldn't we all go on and on about the hardship and trial? The story SHOULD be about how we got through the hardship HAPPYILY married and as a family.

(David, Julie and kids. Just got off the bumper boats at the beach.)

On an end note, I will say our kids should know our love story. We enjoy getting out photo albums of when we dated and of our engagement. When they see the white wedding album coming out, it is prized. Our kids get a kick knowing where we first kissed and some of our favorite dates. We giggle. Their eyes get big and round. Their faces turn red. In the end they know why their family began. It was because their mommy and daddy fell in love AND STILL ARE IN LOVE.

Julie White is a wife and mother of five children.  She is a knock-out at every task she undertakes and is a very conscientious teacher of children.  In Primary, she inspires reverence, and among her friends she just inspires.  I'm honored to call her friend!

Please remember to read the rest of today's Family Proclamation Posts at: 

Now for today's giveaways:


KikiComin is giving away a 5 pack of Go Notes (one of every set) to two different winners! So what is GO NOTES? It's a quick little way to say "I love you" in six different ways. Hide one in their lunch bag, put one in their backpack, set one on his pillow where they will lay their head down at night...etc. The possibilities are endless! Everyone enjoys a little surprise now and then. And because they are small (business card sized) can tuck them in the smallest place and get the biggest smiles!

Visit KikiComin for more funky, colorful and fun posters and prints!


  1. Thanks for a great post on temple marriage. 24 years ago this month I married my Love in the Idaho Falls Temple and am so glad I made that choice! :)

  2. This is a good reminder.. I like the mention of telling our kids about our love story.

  3. what a sweet testimony of marriage and family!

  4. I loved the peacegiver, it was a wonderful book. I tell people (and lend them my copy) to read it all the time.

    Great post, thank you for sharing.

  5. What a great post! I'm definitely going to have to get the wedding album out for the kids now. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Love this blog. Thanks. great thoughts.

  7. Great post! I've heard wonderful things about The Peacegiver... I'll have to check it out.

  8. Great post. My kids love hearing stories about our childhoods, but I'm not sure we've ever really shared much about our dating/engagement. Thanks for the idea! :)

  9. Our children definitely know how my husband and I met and fell in love. It is such a fun story for us to tell! And it really does help children feel safe and secure when they hear mom and dad retelling how they first met, got married, and started the family.

  10. aww that's awesome. I love gettin gmy wedding album out with my daughters!

  11. Hi Julie! Long time no see :) Glad you're still doing great, in spite of the bumps that occur in life. I love your thought that it's life that's hard, not marriage. Marriage is definitely wonderful, and I'm so thankful Heavenly Father made it part of his plan. And I'm even more grateful for the principle of eternal marriage. Have a beautiful day!

  12. Great post and a great reminder to all!

  13. totally love this one, those are two of my favorite books too!!

  14. I think you've just inspired a new family tradition! My husband and I normally watch our wedding video or look through our pictures on our anniversary, but we always do it after the kids have gone to bed, I think we'll start doing it with them instead. Thanks for the great idea!

  15. Thank you for your insights. Especially HALT. I've heard that term used in parenting but never thought about using it in terms of my marriage. I know I'm more likely to be harder to get along with when I'm any of those things.

    I second the Peacegiver. Fantastic book!

  16. These are such awesome talks given. I feel when I read them, I will be able to contribute them to my life and learn from them! Thank you!!

  17. What a fantastic post! Thank you for sharing your insights. I loved it where you said, "Notice that I've repeated that "Life is Hard". I haven't said that MARRIAGE is hard." I love that because it is so true! I forget that at times and am so happy to have such a great reminder. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts...I loved it and truly needed to read this!

  18. Loved this post, especially because LIFE is hard.

    I always think marriage is hard because of the fall, we're mortal and that just makes it hard, it's no one's fault, that's just the way it is.

  19. so true. I think I will reserve both of those books from the library :)

  20. What a great line: The home is to be God’s laboratory of love and service.

    I hope I don't flunk this like I did biology! Thanks so much for the inspiring words.

  21. So much fun to read about these families in relationship to the proclamation. Thanks!


  22. I found your blog through The Red headed hostess! Love your blog!!