Saturday, December 10, 2011


This week in class our focus was on divorce. Some predictors that would influences the likely hood of divorce are as follows; non-religious, less education, parents divorced, age - very young, dual earner household, culture, and race. Those who marry young are more likely to divorce as they have received less education than someone who gets married latter on. We talked about the sex stations of divorce from Paul Bohannan. They are: emotional divorce, the loss of trust, respect, and affection of each other. Legal divorce is when a court officially brings the marriage to an end. Economic divorce is settlement of the property. Co-parental divorce is dealing with those who have children. Community divorce in which parents leave one community of friends and relations and enters another. The last one is psychic divorce, which is the central separation that occurs in which an individual must accept the disruption of the relationship and regain a sense of being an individual rather than a part of an intimate couple.
Some quick facts:
  • Catholics have the lowest divorce rate among Christians
  • Childless couples are more prone to divorce
  • Women who are sexually active before marriage have a considerably higher rate of divorce than those who don't
  • Females adjust to divorce better than men
  • Divorced people have higher rates of suicide, accidents, physical and mental health problems and alcoholism
  • It takes anywhere from 2-4 years to work through a divorce
  • 70% after 2 years regret divorce
  • Divorce are harder on boys than girl children.
Something to consider in all of this would be the mindset as well as the emotional state of both husband and wife who go through a divorce. If there are issues in either ones personality that needs to be worked on and changed and those are not eliminated or are at least acknowledged, those same issues will carry over into another relationship and could very well be detrimental to any new relationship. 

Friday, December 2, 2011


        What is the purpose of parenting? It is to protect and prepare our children to survive, but to also thrive in our society. In class we have discussed what qualities parents should teach their children. These four qualities include : 1-Respect, 2-Cooperation (the ability to work with another person),
3- Responsibility (the ability to respond to challenges and opportunities) Responsibility=choice+consequences. 4- Courage (doing something that is taking a risk for an outcome) If we can teach these qualities to our children, they will continue to follow them throughout their lives.
         What kind of parent are you? Autocratic (authoritarian) – these parents are direct, put lots of pressure on their children, not much teaching taking place, giving them very few choices, its the parents way of the highway. These children usually are rebellious, dependent,and having no responsibilities. Permissive parents are more of a friend figure, they let the child do just about anything. These children are attention seeking from other people as they did not get that from home. The last type of parenting is active or (authoritative) which these parents are able to negotiate and talk with their child, they have a balance of control and choices for their children. Children are usually stable and well adjusted. These parents listen to their children and give them plenty of choices as well as giving them consequences and disciple when needed. They are loving to their children and yet still maintain control and respect.
         A parenting approach that we discussed was the “I” message. You can use this way of communication not just as a parent but in any situation or relationship you are in. This message has four parts:
  1. “When you ( discuss the action)___________________,
  2. “I Feel” (what are you feeling, discuss emotions) ___________________,
  3. “becasue” (why is it making you feel that way) ___________________,
  4. “I would like” (what can they do) ________________________.

         Parenting is a sacred responsibility that we should never take for granted or lightly!

"Parents should work to create loving, eternal connections with their children. Reproof or correction will sometimes be required. But it must be done sensitively, persuasively, with an increase of love thereafter lest the child esteem the parent to be an enemy (see D&C 121:43)." -M.Russell Ballard

Monday, November 21, 2011

Manage Your Money, Before it Manages You!

Elder Marvin J. Ashton has a pamphletcalled "One for the Money” that has been distributed by the church.  He explains several ways in which we can we can handle our money.

The principle Elder Ashton teaches are:
1. Pay an honest tithing
2. Learn to manage money before it manages you
3. Learn self-discipline and self-restraint in money matters
4. Use a budget
5. Teach family members early the importance of working and earning
6. Teach children to make money decisions in keeping with their capacities to comprehend
7. Teach each family member to contribute to the total family welfare
8. Make education a continuing process
9. Work toward home ownership
10. Appropriately involve yourself in an insurance program
11. Understand the influence of external forces on family finances and investments
12. Appropriately involve yourself in a food storage and emergency preparedness program

How can the principles that Elder Ashton taught be incorporated and make an influence in the family unit? In class we focused mainly on the aspect of paying and honest tithe. When we pay a full tithe we will receive endless blessings, both spiritual and temporal. As husband and wife pay a full tithe they are putting the Lord first in their lives. As they do so they themselves will gain an individual relationship with the Savior, as well as strengthen their own relationship as husband and wife. Something that was discussed that I had never thought of was that siblings draw closer together as they encourage and remind each other to pay their tithing. We need to teach our children how important paying a full tithe is but we must first gain our own testimony of it in order to be an example and teacher for our children. As husband and wife we need to work together on being clear with our budgets. Keeping a budget takes much effort and communication but that is all essential in keeping a strong marriage and family. Often we have our money manage us but we need to manage our money!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Communication is Key!

This week in class we discussed the importance of communication along with different types of problem solving strategies within the family. No matter what we do, we are communicating with others, whether it be verbal or nonverbal. It is interesting how we use certain communication skills within our families. These forms of communication within our family can have different meanings or contexts for different people we associate with. We could have a certain standard for something and when others don't live up to that we think they should be, we feel they are disrespecting us when in reality, their forms of communication are simply different. Sarcasm is the most dangerous form of communication. It is not authentic or clear. Sarcasm is not expressing the truth or love for others, rather is defiling them. We can work on our forms of communication by trying to understand what others are saying by role playing in which we repeat back what we heard the person say and ask them if that is what they meant.

We also discussed the council method that the auxiliary uses which can be incorporated into our family councils. President Ballard said, “Ideally, all members of any Church or any family council should share their concerns and should suggest solutions based on gospel principles.” The most important council of the church is the family. If we are wanting to become more like the Savior, we need to become one in purpose. Being married helps us become like Christ as we establish Christ-like attributes. Our communication should be open, direct, civil discourse, and in order. If we are angry, we are not being open or direct because we are forcing the spirit out of our council. The spirit is the main teacher. Something we can consider while we are counseling within our families would be what the Lord's will would be. What would He approve of? It is important that everyone has a voice. Everyone should be heard. We need to begin each council session with a prayer as well as ending with a prayer. Express love for each other before you start the council. Its important that the parents council by themselves before they council with their children all together. Councils help us move the work of the Lord forward much faster and farther because they were created and inspired of God, the Master Organizer as President Ballard teaches.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Crunch the Crisis!

         When you think of a crisis what do you think of? Usually we view a crisis as having some element of danger, no matter what the circumstances are. Have you ever thought of a crisis as being an opportunity? When a crisis does happen, it is up to each person involved as to how they will handle the crisis. Hopefully we can work to turn the crisis or the danger into an opportunity. We talked about the ABCX model which is designed to differential success in coping. A represents the actual stressor or event. B represents how we can cope with the stressor or crisis. C represents the cognitions or the definition of the event. A, B, and C interact to produce X, the crisis.
         There are several ways in which we can exhibit effective coping when a crisis happens. The first is we can take responsibility for yourself and your family. Taking responsibility means not denying, avoiding the problem, or blaming others, and that you will not play the victim in the game. The next way of effective coping is to affirm the value of your family's worth. In a crisis, you may have to remind yourself that you and your family are people with strengths and the capacity to cope effectively. The next step is to balance self-concern with other's concern. Researchers have found that families that handled crisis best were those in which the individual family members were aware of the grieving of other members and made efforts to empathize and support them. The next step is reframing which includes re-defining the meaning of something, a way of changing your perspective of a situation. The situation doesn't change but the way you look at it changes. The last step to effective coping is to use available resources. You are never alone in a crisis because you have numerous internal and external resources which you can turn to in a time of crisis.
         We have been told that we might have joy in this life as well that there is opposition in all things. It is from these oppositions in all things that we find joy because we can humble our selves and rely on the Lord. Brother Donald L. Hallstrom taught a very powerful truth: "Turn to the Lord. Exercise all of the faith you have in Him. Let Him share your burden. Allow His grace to lighten your load." May we always remember that when crisis come to us, to rely on the Lord. He will help us get through. He is the only person that takes away our pains and sorrows. It is through his Atonement that we can receive comfort and strength. Reach out for Him and he will give you the strength to make it through.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Sacred Bonds of Marriage

         This week in class we have discussed the importance of fidelity in marriage.  The Proclamation to the Family states, “God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife.” It goes on to explain that a husband and wife should “honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”  There is a misconception in the world today that infidelity involves solely the commission of sexual acts outside of marriage. However, being faithful to our spouse requires much more.
         There are four types of affairs, these include, fantasy, visual, romantic and sexual.  Fantasy or emotion is having an emotional affair with someone who has no knowledge about what is taking place.  Pornography is a type of visual affair and the most common type of infidelity.  A romantic affair is when an individual has a second life as a way to escape current situations. Sexual affairs occur when a person engages in sexual acts outside the bonds of marriage. A quote from from President Kimball explained this very well by saying
There are those married people who permit their eyes to wander and their hearts to become vagrant, who thinks it is not improper to flirt a little, to share their hearts, and have desire for someone other than the wife or the husband. Many acknowledge the vice of physical adultery, but still rationalize that anything short of that heinous sin may not be condemned too harshly; however, the Lord has said many times: ‘Ye have heard that it was said by them of old times, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28.).
Satan attacks us with subtle means. He gets us to change our purpose of that of missionary work, friendship or helpfulness. He takes that was is good and begins to twist it. We are taught that intimate acts are forbidden by the Lord outside the mounds of marriage because they counteract His plan and purpose. It is vital that we have an eye single to our spouse and our thoughts will never wander or stray from what we have created within our marriage. May we always remember and keep those sacred covenants that we made in the temple with our spouse.  We must work hard every day to keep these covenants.  Just because we are married in the temple doesn’t mean infidelity won’t occur in our marriage, because it can. Take hold of the Proclamation to the Family and read of its teachings and promises.  It is an inspired document that speaks truth to each of us.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Avoiding the baby blues

This week in class we have discussed the transition into marriage. I truly enjoyed today's discussion about avoiding the baby blues. Our focus was geared towards the fathers and how we as wives can make them feel a part of our pregnancy. It is extremely important that we establish a strong relationship as husband and wife before we bring children into our family unit. No matter how many children you have together its vital to keep nourishing your relationship with your husband as you continue to strengthen the eternal unit. Is our focus to build a celestial marriage or just a relationship?
Somethings we can help our husbands with during pregnancy is to invite them to our doctors appointments. We should schedule our doctors appointments around our husbands schedule in order for him to be able to attend. Do all you can to make him feel a part. When the baby kicks, take your husband's hand and place it on your stomach so that he can feel the kicking. Talk to your husband about what you are experiencing and what are you feeling. Ask him what and how he is feeling. It is important that the father is in the delivery room while the baby is being born. The father can have the amazing experience of cutting the umbilical cord. Also, it is extremely vital that the father and mother have a one on one time with each other after delivery with their new baby. This is such a sacred experience and should be cherished with great respect. When you have a baby shower you should have your husband come as he is an important factor in your baby's life. You are both parents to this baby. After the baby is born, let your husband change diapers and help feed the baby as well. Don't be critical of how he does things. He might not do things like you do or what you think is perfect by he needs to help with the baby. To help nourish your relationship, it is important that you continue to go on dates after the child is born. Building a strong unit takes a great deal of time and effort. Husband and wives need to continue to work on their relationship over the coming years. On a lasting thought by President David O. McKay directed towards fathers he states: “The best gift you can give your child is to love their mother”.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I love my dog, I love my shoes, and oh, I love you!

     I am sure finding your perfect match has been on every ones mind sometime or another. What does love mean to you? Isn't it interesting how the word “love” is used so much within our culture with just about everything we do?  We hear the word love all the time. “I love that team”, “I love Chinese food”, while at the same time we tell those we care about that we “love” them. Something that is so sacred within relationships such as love is being used with just about everything we do, everyday.
      Within the Greek language love has many different meanings. Storge is the kind of love that is found in the affection between parents and their children. We love our children no matter what they look like, what they might do. We love them no matter what they do because we love them unconditionally. Sometimes children and adults will do things that we might not agree with but we still love that person, just not their actions at times. The next meaning for love Philia, which is love between friends. This refers to a warm and close relationships that has characteristics of intimacy such as sharing, affection, and commitment. The next is Eros, which is the love between men and women. This is a sexual love; where they long to be in each others presence. The last is agape, which is a love that is independent of ones feelings for another. I was fascinated to learn the different meanings of love. Wouldn't our marriages or relationships be enriched if we could implement each of these aspects of love? I believe that if we could use each of these we would have much richer relationships.
      Another topic we discussed was temple marriage. There are many temple marriages that take place, but unfortunately, there are very few that are celestial marriages.  Sadly, the purpose of the sealing is often lost as years pass. The power of the sealing is being over looked too frequently. There are too many couples who are not understanding the meaning behind the sealing. When times get tough, often too many don't cling to the power that comes with the covenant of the sealing. The more we understand about the importance and significance of the sealing power, we will cherish our mates and our marriages even more.
Elder Robert D. Hales taught the importance of our sacred covenant within the temple:
        "The temple endowment blessings are as essential for each of us as was our baptism. For this reason we are to prepare ourselves that we may be clean to enter the temple of God. The opportunity to enter the temple and to take upon ourselves the sacred covenants therein is one of    the greatest blessings available to us in mortality. After we take upon us those sacred covenants, our obedience in living those covenants on a daily basis stands as a demonstration of our faith, love, devotion, and spiritual commitment to honor our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Our obedience also prepares us to live with Them in the eternities. The temple’s saving ordinances are essential to—and even the central focus of—the eternal plan of happiness."
       Getting married in the temple is something that should not be taken lightly. This is one of the most important ordinances that we have the opportunity to achieve here in this mortal life. Wouldn't we want to do all we can to understand just how important our convents are and the responsibilities that come with them? Just because we get married in the temple doesn't me we automatically reach celestial glory, rather it is daily striving to live up to our covenants and to keep them sacred.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our Divine Nature

      This week in class we discussed gender roles and the different roles that we fill within the family.  In the course of the class I recognized how the world is working and trying to dilute our divine roles within the family unit. It is interesting to me as I reflect upon my Grandparents and the roles they planed within my family. They both worked very hard on every aspect of their lives together.  Both fulfilled their divine roles. When one started to fall behind, the other would step in and lend support.  One was not inferior to the other nor thought that was 'just women's work,' or vice versa. I am of the strong opinion that this is exactly what we need today. We are living in a society where the roles of both women and men are becoming so limited to what we can and cannot do. I believe that as husband and wife we can work together on all aspects of the spectrum. We can pick up the slack where our spouse needs added help. I feel the father can and should be a nurturer to his wife as well as his children. The mother can also fill the role of the protector or provider when necessary. We are truly blessed to have the Family Proclamation. This document was inspired and must be read and referred to often, especially in this day and age. The Proclamation teaches that a man and woman are to work together as one unit and should cleave unto each other and no one else. A mans role is to preside, provide, and protect. The mothers solemn responsibility is to be a nurturer.
       Elder Maxwell gave us great advise about the proclamation. He explains; "If we will hold fast to the Church's proclamation on the family, we will see that we hold the jewels, as it were, that can enrich so many other things. Let the world go its own way on the family. It appears to be determined to do that. But we do not have that option. Our doctrines and teachings on the family are very, very powerful, and they are full of implications for all the people on this planet."
       If we know and understand the proclamation and its truths, we can share these truths with those who are not of our faith as well as strengthening those of our faith.  When we speak the truth, others will find it a comfort and draw comfort from our teachings. We should never be ashamed or afraid to share with others what we believe as it can only make a difference in the long run.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sifting through cultural clutter

This week in class we have focused on social class and cultural diversity. The family not only affects those directly associated within the family, rather it influences society or groups to which we belong. There are many social groups in our society that try to persuade us to conform to their status. Learning about the different social classes was an eye opener. I realized how Satan strives to persuade us to think that we are suppose to be apart of these classes and to look upon the worlds standards to make us feel accepted. What a false teaching this is! We are all unique individuals to our Savior. He made us 
individually and loves us all no matter what or who we are.
President Uchtdorf taught us at the past General Relief society meeting just how important each of us are to our loving Father in Heaven:
Sisters, where ever you are, whatever your circumstances by be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love. Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time! He who crated and knows the stars knows you and your name- you are the daughters of His kingdom.
May we always remember these significant words! We do not need to look for outside sources for comfort and acceptance because we mean the world to our Savior.
There are so many aspects that make up culture. An aspect of Culture that I never gave much thought to, is that we each have our own family culture. Even though we might all have similarities such as religion, places we live, or belonging to a certain race. We all can have similar standards and beliefs but we might have different ideas or customs that we can each contribute to society as a whole. This is important to remember when we are married because we both have different backgrounds and customs that we each bring into the marriage. Sometimes we will have to come to an alliance on a certain situation, or tradition. It is so great that we have some many aspects of culture that we can learn from. It is important that we are respectful of what others customs are. We should not judge or take offense in anyway because we are all here to teach and learn from each other.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

One Unit....One Family

Have you ever heard of the Family Systems Theory? I hadn't until this past week in my Family Relations Class. The Family Systems Theory states the family unit consists of one unit. Within that unit are subsets and boundaries between each individual. In my family, my mom and dad are a subset and are the head of the family. They act like the oil that keeps the family running. Since I am an only child, I have a subset with both my mom as well as my dad. I have a close relationship with my mom. Her and I are very similar in many ways, which has only made our bond grow stronger over the years. My relationship with my dad is on a different plane. I have had to work very hard at growing close to him.  When I left for college and was away from our family home, my dad recognized and realized how important our relationship was. Since I have been away at school, the bond between my dad and I has been strengthened. Family is a very important unit and is central to Heavenly Father's plan. By having families, we are fulfilling God's plan. Each person within the family plays a significant role within the entire family unit. We each have a divine nature and eternal purpose to fulfill. As Elder Ballard said;"In these last days it is essential—even critical—that parents and children listen to and learn from one another." We should never feel that we don't have a significant place in our family because each of us are part of a unit – the eternal family!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Family Dinner... Anyone?

     I was fascinated by the recent study surrounding the importance of family dinner and how it is linked with the fact that teens are less likely to be involved in risky behavior later on. After talking about this study in class I decided to read the article.
     I found it very interesting that time spent with family can have a greater positive effect on each individual family member than we may truly understand. I remember learning in my child nutrition class how important it is for children to have interaction with their parents and siblings during meal times. Being able to express questions and concerns while sitting around the dinner table can only strengthen our relationships. The family is usually a safe place where we feel comfortable sharing feelings and thoughts with each other. I can personally testify of the importance of family meals from my experiences with my own family. Over the years, family dinners have been some of the best times for productive communication between myself and my parents. Sitting around the kitchen table and eating a meal together has provided countless opportunities for me to get to know my parents better as we talked about experiences from their childhood, events that have happened during that day, along with their views on certain situations and current events.
     I continue to learn how essential and vital the family is to the Lord's plan. I also recognize that Satan does not want families to stay together and sustain one another. He is doing all he can to break up the family. It is usually by small and simple acts that he does so. It is vital that we learn and understand the importance of the family and hold fast to the eternal bond of families that were created by the Lord.