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.