The Importance of Charity in Marriage

We all have dreams. We all have certain desires that we want to see unfold in our lives. Sometimes in a marriage, the couple has the same dreams and desires, sometimes they don’t. Jose and I both have the same dream to have a Christ-centered home. I have a dream to have a musical family. He has a dream to have a hardworking family. All of our dreams, when based on righteous principles are good. The key is to be able to help each realize those dreams in a marriage and family. Most of the time this comes with compromise. We must talk about our dreams and be humble and open so that both in the partnership feel fulfilled. At times we may not be able or even willing to express what is driving a dream. When this happens is creates conflict in our marriage.

The best way to overcome conflict in a marriage is charity. What is charity? We are told that charity is the pure love of Christ, but what does that actually entail? There are 3 aspects of charity that we must remember: Love FOR Christ, love FROM Christ, and love LIKE Christ. Each of these has different actions tied to it. As we grow our love for Christ, we study about Him and get to know Him and His Atonement more. As we get to know Him and have our love for Him strengthened, we realize how much He loves us. This is not only seeing His love for our own selves, but for those around us. This realization opens our eyes and helps us to love like Christ. We are able to see others as Christ sees them. Are attitude and actions towards others change and become softer and more understanding. When we learn to love like Christ, instead of getting upset with our husband that he came home and went straight to the TV rather than saying hello or helping with dinner, we think “he must have had a stressful day and needs to destress”. We could bring him a drink of water, sit with him, and ask him how his day went. We look for the strengths in our spouses rather than always digging and focusing on the weaknesses (which we all have might I add). I don’t like when my husband focuses on my weaknesses, so maybe I should stop worrying about his weaknesses.

Wendy Watson stated, “the best-kept secret in many marriages is the strengths spouses see in each other…An interesting fact about commending your spouse is that the more you do it, the more you see in him or her to commend.” In response to this quote, Brother Goddard states in his book Drawing Heaven into Your Marriage, “What a wise design! Rather than re-working our partners to our liking, we are invited to cover their weaknesses with our charity! God is serious about cultivating our charity”.

How often do we hear women (and sometimes men) say that they changed their husbands or trained their husbands? Men are not dogs to be trained. A healthy relationship is a communion between two people willing to set aside their own desires and differences. Marriage is consecration at its best. A marriage is not just between two, however. A healthy relationship includes a 3rd party. This 3rd party comes from above. The following diagram shows a visual of how the couple comes closer together in their marriage as each of them humble themselves and turn towards Christ. I love the Spanish word for marriage: Matrimoni. It says it right in the word that marriage is between three people: MaTRImoni.

Marriage is not simple or easy by any means, but the formula is simple. Have charity and look towards Christ. I know that as we each apply those principles in our marriages, any marriage can work.


Consecration in Marriage

“Consecration in marriage is not simply about receiving our entrance card to the Celestial Kingdom. It’s also about becoming qualified for the life we will presumably be living there. “

                                                -H. Wallace Goddard


Just like the natural man is an enemy to God, “the natural spouse is an enemy to marriage”1. In Mosiah 3:19, it talks about how we can let go of the natural man and come unto God. The biggest thing that sticks out to me in that scripture is that we must be submissive and become like a little child. This applies to our lives but can apply more specifically to our marriages. Becoming submissive in our marriage leads us to living the Law of Consecration. President Benson taught that

            “We covenant to live the law of consecration. This law is that we consecrate our time, talents, strength, property, and money for the up-building of the kingdom of God on this earth and the establishment of Zion.”

How can we apply that statement to our own marriages? Let’s change the wording just a little bit.

We covenant to live the law of consecration. This law is that we consecrate our time, talents, strength, property, and money for the up-building of Celestial marriages.

As we look at this statement in regard to marriage, we are able to see just how important marriage is. Marriage between a man and a woman is central to the plan of God. This is a serious commitment that we make as we covenant with the Lord and our spouse for eternity.

Brother Goddard stated in his book Drawing Heaven into Your Marriage, “It took decades for me to realize the significance of the covenant that I made with God and Nancy. On that January day more than 30 years ago, I promised God that I would always look for the good in Nancy. I promised that my attitude would always be redemptive-that no sacrifice would be too great. I promised God that I would be His partner in protecting, blessing, comforting, and saving Nancy’s precious soul. After all, there is nothing in God’s work I will ever do that will be more important than blessing my covenant partner. “ (Goddard 2009)

I love his words so much. It really made me think about the commitment that I made with God and Jose. I am here to be his biggest cheerleader. I am here to support and love my husband. Now, that doesn’t mean that I am to be a doormat, while he lives his wildest dreams. We are a team. We must help each other in this game of life. When I was praying to know if Jose was the one that I was to be with for eternity, I received the answer loud and clear: “It is your choice”. I am often reminded of the saying “Choose your love and love your choice”. I know that while it was my choice, God definitely led me to meet Jose. I have no doubt about that. I was reminded of that once again while reading this statement from Brother Goddard “Are you willing to exercise full-fledged faith in God-faith that He led you to this relationship and will bless and refine you in it?”

To apply consecration in our own marriages, I extend a challenge given by Brother Goddard to you. I will also be doing this experiment. For 30 days are you willing to show nothing but kindness and appreciation to your partner? Are you willing to set aside complaints and disappointments and see the good intentions and best efforts in your partner? Let’s try this together and see how living this way can change our marriages for the better.

Be Not Weary in Well-Doing

Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”

                                                Doctrine and Covenants 64:33

What are your goals and values for your marriage? What do you hope to get out of it? Does your spouse share these desires? Does she/he respect them? Turn toward each other. Allow each other to be an individual, but work together to reach the goals. I have a goal of having a marriage like the general authorities. But their marriage didn’t start out that way. They worked at it. They worked together. They turned toward one another and allowed their partner’s influence into their lives. Their marriage is a reflection of true intimacy. What is intimacy? The world would have us believe that the word intimacy only describes sex, but the true definition is much deeper and more full of emotion. Intimacy is connection with one’s soul.

How do we obtain this intimate connection? This is a daily effort that must be made. One of the ways that Jose and try to maintain our intimate connection is through lunch time phone calls. Even if it is only 5 minutes long, we stop what we are doing and talk on the phone. For us, it is the simple things. I have noticed that something that helps Jose to feel open and comfortable about sharing things with me is when I listen to the little things that he wants to tell me. When we talk about the small things in our life, the big things are easier to overcome. I feel like as the years go by in a marriage, the harder it gets. There are new seasons of life and trials that you are passing through. These are uncharted territories for us, but there is always someone that we can turn to for guidance and direction. The more that we turn towards the Lord, the more that we can learn from these new experiences. He is the Grand Master and will lead us through. As we seek for this guidance our hearts and minds will be opened, especially as we do this as a couple. We must remain faithful together during the hard times. This will deepen the connection with your partner.

Not every day has a trial, but everyday we can do something to strengthen our marriages. We can build little rituals and traditions with our spouse. The greater the friendship in a marriage, the better the marriage. It may seem mundane and unexciting, but that is how you build something great: step by step or brick by brick. The more strings of companionship and friendship that you weave into the rope of marriage, the harder it is for Satan and his forces to break.

Being Submissive in Marriage

“And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit…”

          -3 Nephi 9:20


In marriage, we should follow the example of our first parents. God has taught us how to strengthen our own marriages through Adam and Eve’s example. When they were cast out of the garden, they may have been sorrowful, but what was the first thing that they did? They offered sacrifice and called upon God for guidance. “The only remedy for our loneliness is to call upon God. When we feel hopeless, lost, and desperate, we should call upon the Father. In return, we, like Adam and Eve, will be shown the path for our journey Home.” (Goddard)

In our day, we no longer offer animal sacrifices, but we are asked to offer a “broken heart and a contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:20). What is a broken heart and a contrite spirit? How can we obtain this? To obtain this we must be humble and submissive to the will of the Lord. We must be meek and willing to repent. As we apply this to marriage, we will be able to see the benefits of sacrifice. The cure for a troubled marriage is submission. Not the kind where the wife just listens to everything that the husband says, but submission to the Lord. A broken heart and contrite spirit is required to heal the broken marriage. Or even a working, healthy marriage. Some examples of doing this would be going to God for counsel as a couple and separately in prayer, accepting and repenting of mistakes, accepting the will of the Father, following the prophet, and using Christ’s Atonement for the power to forgive. No marriage is perfect. Arguments and differences surely arise, but humility and forgiveness allow for progression and healing. A perfect example of being submissive and sacrificing in a marriage is the allegory of a “man who had two friends in the manufactured -home business. When he wanted a new house, he asked each friend to send him half a house. He gave no plans. He provided no specifications on size or style. He left them to design as they would. So, each friend sent a lovely half-house. When the two halves arrived at the site, they were jarringly different. Rooms did not line up. Utilities did not match up. Roofs and walls between the two halves did not connect. This is a pretty good symbol for marriage. Each of us is created in a different “factory” or family. Two people come together assuming that they will readily connect. But we soon find that our traditions, expectations, assumptions, and ways of life do not line up. The more time that passes, the more clear the differences.” (Goddard, “Drawing Heaven into Your Marriage”) So what do we do with this uneven, mismatched home/marriage? We must draw near unto the Lord. He will guide us and mold us into a more unified couple as we have a broken heart and contrite spirit.



Choosing a Covenant Marriage


I remember being single and wishing so hard to be married. I just wanted someone to choose me. I remember the feelings of rejection and sadness when things wouldn’t work out, but now that I’ve found Jose, I’m very grateful for those experiences. I’m grateful that the Lord put Jose in my path. When I was pondering and praying to know if this was the one that I was to marry, I heard specifically, “It is your choice”. I was a little annoyed. I wanted God to just tell me a straight up yes or no. Ultimately, I made the choice of continuing on with Jose and here we are three years into eternity. I knew that it would be a long road with immigration. I knew it would mean living in Mexico. I knew that it would mean having limited money and resources. I knew that it would mean moving away from my family and learning a new language. I also knew that it was important for me to do all of those things in order to start my own eternal family. I knew that Jose was a good man. Even now, when the times get tough, and lately that is VERY often, I have to remind myself that I chose this life. I chose Jose and I chose Mexico.

The thing that made me want to marry Jose the most was the fact that God was his number one priority and he wanted to raise his family with that mentality. Being a righteous mother has always been my greatest desire so to have the opportunity to have a husband with such a great desire to have a spirit filled home for our children was something I yearned for. Our marriage isn’t perfect and I am not perfect. I often forget that I chose this life and that I have been given a great opportunity to help build the kingdom of God. Not only that, but I have been given a great learning opportunity. Through this journey, I have been and will continue to be strengthened. I will be able to be a stronger mother to my children because of these experiences. Jose and I will have a stronger marriage as we stay close to the Lord through these experiences. We must strive to have a covenant marriage, rather than a contractual marriage. Elder Bruce C. Hafen said “Marriage by nature is a covenant, not just a private contract on may cancel at will.” We must also remember that a covenant is a sacred promise made with God. Elder Hafen goes on to say “When troubles come, the parties to a contractual marriage seek happiness by walking away. They marry to obtain benefits and will stay only as long as they’re receiving what they bargained for. But when troubles come to a covenant marriage, the husband and wife work them through. They marry to give and to grow, bound by covenants to each other, to the community, and to God. Contract companions each give 50 percent; covenant companions each give 100 percent.” As we follow the blueprint that He has given us in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”, we can keep our part of the covenant. We must be active in being righteous and moving closer together and towards our Heavenly Father. Marriage is often described using a triangle where the two partners grow closer together as they grow closer to God. It is no accident that a triangle is the shape used for description, for it is the strongest shape. Elder Bednar has said “The Lord Jesus Christ is the focal point in a covenant marriage relationship. Please notice how the Savior is positioned at the apex of this triangle, with a woman at the base of one corner and a man at the base of the other corner. Now consider what happens in the relationship between the man and the woman as they individually and steadily “come unto Christ” and strive to be “perfected in Him” (Moro. 10:32). Because of and through the Redeemer, the man and the woman come closer together.”

There are many things in this world that may hold us down or try to rip our marriage apart. If the marriage was just a contract, it would be easy to give up. But because of the sacred covenant, we must fight. We must fight in this war against marriage. We must put forth 100% in a marriage partnership. We must choose to win.



The wrong way to pass a law

How is a law passed? In the beginning days of the United States, representatives from each state got together to discuss the foundation and principles of the country. Each man was strong and opinionated. Each man had desire to serve his own state. Each man had a differing view from the others. Yet, they were able to compromise and the Constitution of the Unites States of America was born. With this Constitution, the power of the country was distributed between 3 different groups. There was power given to the President. There was certain power given to Congress. There was power given to the court system. This democracy was built and inspired to make sure that not one group would have the say over everything. There were checks and balances put into place. Long story short, laws needed to go through all 3 parties in order to get passed. This has been the case since the birth of the Constitution, until June 26, 2015.

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court overruled and bypassed the law-making standards and legalized gay marriage in the whole country. They passed the law even though most states and voters voted that marriage was defined as a union between a man and a woman. Gay marriage would not only affect the children of gay couples, but also families in general. A few judges changed the law, even though the majority voted against it.

The problem with the passing of this law is not gay couples. The problem is the few judges in the court system overruling what had already passed by the voters of the country. True democracy was demolished in that decision. With this type of logic, any branch of the government can just pass laws without debate, discussion, and compromise. What was the point of The Great Compromise that came from our founding fathers? What is the point of a Constitution if the leaders in our country do not follow it? We truly are at war, but not with foreign parties. We are at war within ourselves. There is no order and no respect for concrete laws.

Should “Divorce School” be mandatory for families that are separating?

A few weeks ago, Jose and I had our 3-year anniversary. We were able to go to Zacatecas, Mexico to celebrate and spend some much needed time away from our regular lives. This immigration thing has just taken a major toll on us. I never would have through that the process would be this long and frustrating. So, when the chance to get away came, we jumped on it to hit the refresh button. It’s amazing how much strength can come from a simple change of scenery. I’m a part of a support group on Facebook for families going through the waiver part of the immigration process. It has given us so much great information and has helped me realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, however today I wanted to talk about something that I have seen happen much too often in the group. At first there were minor comments that people would just make and fling away. They were so light, that I never noticed them. That is until about a week after we returned from Zacatecas. Maybe this hit me harder because I was still in the bliss stage from our beautiful weekend. A woman in the group stated that her marriage was over because of immigration. She stated that it had ruined her marriage and had torn her and her husband apart. The hardship had just become too hard to bare. She then went on to say that her husband had been approved, gotten his interview, and WAS AT HIS INTERVIEW. He was at the gate. He was almost home. So close, yet so ready to give up. He was coming home. Those interviews after you get approved are just basically to give you your Visa. The hard part is over, yet she had just let everyone know that she was filing for divorce because it was just too much. I was dumbfounded. How could a marriage end when he was literally days away from being free and able to cross the border to go home to his family. Now, obviously there is more to the story on their part, but that’s not the point. I understand there must have been other issues they were dealing with to have made just a big decision during such a hopeful time. But because it hit me so hard, I decided to look to see how many other families this had happened to. So, I did a search in the group for key words, and found several other families that had been pulled apart and divorced during the immigration process. As I was looking at these posts, I noticed that each of these families had children involved. So not only were they far away from their parent, but then there was a divorce that was the end for their little family. That’s when I knew that something had to be done.

I know that divorce is very common these days and anyone who is reading this blog post may be part of a divorced family. I do not wish to offend. The part that I really wanted to talk about was how it effects children. I recently learned about something that can really help kids as they are going through the transition. No matter the couple’s situation, divorce is hard and painful. And they are adults that are able to handle hard things and have the maturity to cope. Children on the other hand are often left confused and disoriented. I have seen how members of my own family have been open and honest with their children about certain things regarding the divorce with the children. I think this is so important. Children need to be able to talk about what they are going through. While studying in my marriage class, I was introduced to a video about a program called “Divorce School”. This idea touched my heart. My heart broke as I heard the children talk about their experiences, but I was quickly able to see the benefits. The kids learned big court words, they did therapeutic activities that helped them express and come to terms with what their new family dynamic would be like. In the long run, the kids came out with more positive outcomes than those who hadn’t had the chance to go through. I think that that type of school should be court-ordered for each family going through divorce with children. Divorce is a major life change. It is hard for adults, imagine how hard it is for children who are not developed completely. Their perspective and understanding is at a different level than that of adults. While divorce is hard for adults, it can be traumatic for children. Divorce school is a very good option for these children to go through a workshop where they learn to talk freely about what they are going through. At first, they may not want to go. There will be tears, but in the long run, the benefits outweigh the negatives. If a couple is going through divorce because of abuse, alcoholism, or adultery, Divorce school could be a way to produce more “Transitional Characters”. A Transitional Character is someone who breaks the mold. Often times abuse, alcoholism, and other negative characteristics are passed down through generations. If a child who has been exposed to those things goes through Divorce School, they will be more aware of the effects and outcomes. There could also be follow up classes or workshops that help children in those types of homes deal with their own emotions that come up. These follow up workshops would teach healthy coping mechanisms so that they truly can break the mold. Some types of coping skills that children would learn are meditation, communication, journaling, Dialectical therapy or emotional regulation, sports, music, creativity. There are so many different outlets that can be used to channel emotion rather than going to alcohol, drugs, sex, or abuse. The more we focus on the children in divorced homes, perhaps we can break the cycle of unneeded divorce in the future.

(This post is for FAML 300: 05. While I am writing this post for this class, I am in no way speaking for BYU-Idaho as an institution.)

Is this the year?

Happy New Year!! 2018…I hope you bring happy immigration news. If not, I really hope that God grants me with patience. During 2016 and 2017, I moved back to the states during the waiver process for Jose. We were apart for a year and a half. It was tough, but I was able to work with a great company and spend some time with my family. In August of 2017, I moved back to Mexico to be with Jose. The day after I got here, his waiver was approved! We were ecstatic! Finally the long wait for Jose’s residency would be over. We still don’t have his interview yet. The US consulate in Mexico keeps saying it’ll be any day now. It has been 4 months. We call each week, but immigration is not one to get things done quickly. In the mean time, we have been busy with school online through Brigham Young University-Idaho, work, and helping the little branch here in Calvillo. Jose has been called as the Branch President for here and keeps busy trying to help strengthen the members here. I can’t help but think that one of the reasons that we are still here is so that Jose can be an instrument in God’s hands and help these wonderful people.

This coming year we hope to be in the states. The goal for 2018 is to be in Houston, Texas by April so that Jose can begin his summer job. He will be doing summer sales for my brother’s company. I will continue going to school full-time and working very part-time teaching English online. After the summer we will return to Mexico so that both Jose and I can go to school full time and we can live on my salary from part time teaching. Thank you Mexico, for being so inexpensive. We hope and pray that this is the year that the Lord blesses us with a Niño (or Niña), but I know that all happens in God’s time. I’ll be honest, I don’t always like that, but I really need to get used to it. Control freak Ashlee needs to learn how to calm down.

So thank you 2017 for the approval that you brought. 2018, please bring the interview.


I am so excited for this new year.
This has always been my favorite holiday.  I love new beginnings and goal setting. 

It is always so interesting to me that we set a MOUNTAIN of goals beginning of the year.  No wonder why they are never obtained! That is so overwhelming and makes me feel like I can do nothing.

So… This year

In order to take the stress off of my perfectly capable self, I resolve to not make a load of new years resolutions. I resolve to make monthly, weekly, and daily goals that will help me be the kind of person I want to be.  I resolve to include the Lord in each of these planning sessions so I can know just what to do to be the woman He knows I can be.

Happy New Year my dears!
And may you resolve to make the ongoing changes!

Pioneer Living


I feel like a Pioneer. Not in the way where they were super faithful and walked across the country for they faith. But the way of cleaning without a washing machine or a sink. We recently moved to the bigger city of Aguascalientes due to more work opportunities. Jose has started his own company called “Home Running Repair”. He does construction and I am so proud of him! He has been able to stay VERY busy.

Aguas has been very beneficial for my business as well. While living in Calvillo I didn’t feel right about asking women to buy mascara that cost the same about of money as our monthly rent. Others were MUCH worse off financially than we were. It just didn’t seem right to ask that off someone. Here in Aguascalientes the economy is much better. It is very similar to the states here, so good quality mascara is not a problem to purchase. But enough on mascara…

I want to talk about the purpose for this post.

We have no kitchen

We purchased a small camping gas stove with two burners so that I can cook food. We have a small table which I prepare the food on, cook the food, and then we eat. Washing dishes has become an interesting task. We have WONDERFUL neighbors down our street. Hermana Michaus has offered to let us clean our dishes in her sink. We did that for the first few weeks, however, I will be honest…I feel bad for imposing on them every day to clean dishes.

So we bought two big bowls that look like those pans you use to pan for gold, but plastic. I fill them up with water from the small sink in the bathroom and take them outside. One is for washing, the other is for rinsing. IMG_6310


The 3rd bin is for drying.


Here’s the whole system!!


The leftover rinse water goes to water all those flowers I have. This little table is actually a dog house for our landlords’ dog, Canela. She is a very protective dog and barks at every car that passes. I love it so much, especially when she barks during sleeping hours.


Our home is on the roof of the house and has two small rooms and a small bathroom. We don’t have much space, but right now we don’t need much. Washing clothes is also quite the adventure. Our landlords do not want us to use very much water since they are paying the bill so we can’t use our laundry machine. Mario (the man) gave us the suggestion to wear our clothes in the shower like he does to wash them. Yeah that’s not going to happen. Today I washed a load by hand in a bucket with laundry soap, then set the soapy clothes aside and filled the bucket up again, but with rinse water. Afterwards I hung the clothes to dry in the sun. This last step I am used to, however, since no one here has a dryer. We all hang dry our clothes.


Such a tiny load, but honestly, that’s all I want to try washing by hand. I am NOT a fan. So grateful for laundry machines. AND SO GRATEFUL FOR HERMANA MICHAUS. She has our laundry machine at her house so we can use it when needed. It is much easier to wash clothes at the neighbors than to wash dishes.

All in all I really like our new home. I’m not sure how long we will last here, but it is so nice to be next to friends in a new city!