Tristi Pinkston is a best-selling LDS fiction author with five published novels. She is a stay-at-home mom, homeschooler, and media reviewer. I stumbled on a book review that she did in which she briefly mentioned what the Family Proclamation taught her. I wanted to know more, so I asked her to elaborate for us today! Here's Tristi!
It’s said that we can find the answers to all our difficult questions by turning to the gospel, and that’s absolutely true. A perfect example of this is found in my experience with The Family: A Proclamation to the World, given to us by the prophet in 1995.
My parents’ marriage was rocky right from the start, and they divorced when I was a teenager. I had a pretty clear-cut idea of what I wanted from my own marriage—essentially, I wanted a relationship that was completely different from what I’d seen modeled in my nuclear home—and when I met Matt, I was determined to create our family unit independent of my upbringing. The problem was, I had no idea how to go about it.
Matt’s family situation was also unusual. His father and mother had divorced when he was four, and he was adopted by his stepfather. He never had a strong model for a proper marriage, either—his mother and stepfather had their rough patches, and he came away wondering just what marriage was for. It certainly didn’t bring happiness and joy, from what he’d seen.
The Proclamation to the World was released just one month after our marriage, and I consider it a huge blessing. Here we were, newlyweds, wanting something different for our lives and yet feeling totally clueless. How can you form a strong family unit when you don’t know what one looks like? The Proclamation walked us through God’s plan, step by step, and we made it our own personal creed. It became our beacon along the pathway toward creating a strong marriage and a successful family.
As we sat down together and read through the Proclamation, we were deeply touched by the reminder that the husband and wife are to work together, in unity, to create a nurturing atmosphere in the home. This type of partnership was something we’d not seen for ourselves, but we knew instinctively that this is how it should be. The husband isn’t there to bully the wife, and the wife isn’t there to nag the husband. Instead, they are to come together as loving partners, focused on the good of the family.
We were also moved by the reminder of just how crucial marriage is to Heavenly Father’s plan. The family was not thrown together in some random, haphazard way—instead, it was divinely created by a loving God who knows what we need and how best to help us attain it. How miserable would we be without the built-in support system that comes from having a family! Marriage provides the foundation for that family. A man and a woman, working together toward common goals, using the Holy Ghost as their compass, cannot fail. Their daily tasks might not always go as hoped, and they may even see children use their free agency to choose darkness, but they will achieve success far above and beyond anything they could ever attain on their own.
Marriage is hard. When you first fall in love, and you’ve got stars and daisies in your eyes and you are convinced your beloved can do no wrong, you can’t imagine having days when you’d just as soon lock the front door and not let him come home. But those days do come. Life throws curve balls and we can’t always predict how we’re going to react to them. But by carefully studying the Proclamation, and by understanding that we each have a responsibility to do our part, to work hard and to forgive, we can overcome those challenges and use them to draw nearer together and to the Lord.
Thank you, Tristi!
Thank you, Tristi!
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