“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.