Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 10: Nurturing the Eternal Partnership of Marriage reminds us of the great example President and Sister Hinckley were for us. They were definitely a great couple to watch and learn from. One of the biggest lessons we might learn is their willingness to accept each other as they were and allow them to grow in their own ways.
Sister Hinckley says, "Early on I realized it would be better if we worked harder at getting accustomed to one another than constantly trying to change each other—which I discovered was impossible. … There must be a little give and take, and a great deal of flexibility, to make a happy home." Excellent words of wisdom that I'm still striving to put into practice.
Questions to Ponder
Some of these questions are from the manual, others are ones that I thought of- use them in your preparation, lesson, or to help you think of your own.
- How can understanding that marriage was designed between a man and woman "for the happiness and security of His children" influence relationships between husbands and wives?
- How can husbands and wives keep their marriages pure?
- What are the blessings of eternal marriage in this life? in eternity?
- What experiences have given you greater appreciation for eternal relationships?
- How can you teach children the importance of eternal marriage?
- Why does marriage need to be a partnership of equals?
- What can learn from the story in section 3?
- How can a husband and wife cultivate strength in their marriage?
- How can President Hinckley's promises and counsel in section 4 help people who are not married?
- How do the teachings in section 4 apply to all people?
- Why is it important to use your talents and skills to serve others?
- What are some ways husbands and wives can nurture and cultivate their marriages?
- What have you learned about how a husband and wife can overcome challenges and find greater happiness together? What examples have you seen?
- How can husband and wives help each other fly?
- In what ways can you be more flexible at home?
- What role does marriage play in the Plan of Salvation?
- How can you nurture your marriage or potential marriage this week?
- What virtues do you and your spouse have?
Here are some articles to study as you continue to prepare for your lesson. They should NOT replace the manual but rather help answer questions and strengthen your own testimony so that it is easy to teach with confidence and answer questions that arise during your lesson.
"Why Marriage, Why Family" by Elder D. Todd Christofferson
"Nurturing Marriage" by President Russell M. Nelson
"The Eternal Blessings of Marriage" by Elder Richard G. Scott
"Celestial Marriage" by President Russell M. Nelson
"Divorce" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks
"Marriage: Watch and Learn" by Elder L. Whitney Clayton
There are also several great marriage books found on Deseret Bookshelf PLUS such as "Covenant Hearts" by Bruce C. Hafen.
If you have been looking for a way to really work on your marriage, check out Reclaim Your Marriage from The Dating Divas. It's a program that helps you dive deep into the 10 most crucial marriage topics and helps you tackle and overcome the areas that plague your marriage. Try it out for 7 days free to see if it's the right fit for you.
"Man and Woman" (about 1 minute)- clip from President Hinckley
"Renaissance of marriage" (about 2 1/2 minutes)- President Eyring
"Dating and Marriage Are the Gateway" (about 20 seconds)- Veme
"Enduring Love- Showing Love & Giving Service to Build Strong Marriages" (about 4 minutes)- An example of pure love
"Expressions of Love" (about 3 1/2 minutes)- Spouses answering questions about love.
"Marriage & Divorce" (about 3 minutes)- Words from Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Find several more videos about marriage on the Mormon Channel.
These are my ideas. My hope is that reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- Begin your lesson by discussing the Plan of Salvation. What are the ordinances that are necessary for us to receive in order to return to our Heavenly Father's presence? Marriage should be a part of this list. This is also a good place to tie in the section about those who are not currently married. However, marriage is the ideal so that is why we learn about it every year.
- You could also start your lesson by focusing on the creation, specifically Adam and Eve in the first few chapters of Moses. Marriage was part of the plan from the beginning.
- In section 1, it lists several scriptures so go old school and have a scripture chase or make a scripture chain.
- When you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. I love the lesson Elder F. Burton Howard taught in his talk, "Eternal Marriage" with the story of the silverware. You can use his example then ask your class what things they treat differently because they want it to last forever OR how they treat their marriage differently because it should last forever.
- Several times in this chapter, President and Sister Hinckley talk about getting along in marriage and allowing for differences. Do we put down our spouse or lift them up? How have we learned to accept the differences instead of fighting against them? Do we criticize more than we show appreciation? You could do a self-awareness survey where you ask several of these questions and your class answers silently.
- I believe section 4 is a great one to go over for all- many feel lonely in their marriage or are on their own due to their spouse's working arrangement.
- When discussing section 4, use the Can Can List mentioned in Sister Linda K. Burton's last General Conference talk. Focus on what you Can Do.
- In section 5, President Hinckley states, "Nurture and cultivate your marriage." Use the garden example in your lesson. How does your garden grow? What daily care do you need for a garden, how does that relate to marriage? You can bring in props or draw the items on the board. You can come up with the comparison beforehand or just come with a general idea and allow your class draw the comparisons instead.
- Discuss mottos and rules within a marriage. Do you have a marriage motto? Something that helps you know where you both want to end up and what's more important than anything else. Do you have rules and guidelines that you both have agreed to? Why might those things be beneficial?
- Often times in our marriages we tend to focus on all the things that DON'T happen instead of realizing all the good that is around. Take time to talk about the good- how do you know your spouse loves you? It's often the little things. As you let your class share, someone may start to understand the great love their spouse really has for them but they have failed to notice. If you need ideas to get your list started, read 10 Ways to Tell If Your Husband Still Loves You OR focus on the ways you show your love to your spouse. This really applies to all the relationships we have.
- Use these love notes to encourage the cultivation of this important relationship. The words are inspired from Chapter 10. Please note, these include cards that can be used by individuals as well as couples. Give everyone 5 minutes to write a note on one these cards- to their spouse or anyone else they feel prompted to write. Keep it going in your life with this Love Letter of the Month Kit.
- Give a few people in your class the challenge of doing one intentionally nice thing a day for their spouse or someone that may need them (like write a kind note with the above printables). How did this change their relationships? Give them a chance to share in class then issue the challenge to everyone.
- Do a pre-board activity. Write "What I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Was Married" or "What I'd Like to Know Before Marrying Someone" on the board. Give each person a sticky note to write their answer and post it on the board before class starts then discuss some of the answers. You can plant a few sticky notes that have counsel from President Hinckley on them as well.