One morning last week I woke up at 4:30 am, wide awake. When I realized I wasn't going back to sleep anytime soon, I pulled out my phone, glanced at my e-mail quick, then remembered a talk I've been wanting to reread -- Sister Linda Burton's talk on "The Power, Joy, and Love of Covenant Keeping."
But I really didn't get very far into it before my mind turned specifically to the marriage covenant, and I went searching on my Gospel Library app for a talk on that instead. I found one called "Eternal Marriage" by F. Burton Howard that I dove into. It's a good one, and I was reading and highlighting away till almost the end, when I hit what I was woken up at 4:30 am to be taught.
Elder Howard led into it with a story about their silverware, and how over the years his wife carefully cared for it, to the point that he was thinking she was a little over the top over this silverware. But then he realized,
If you want something to last forever,
you treat it differently.
My eyes stopped there, the Spirit teaching me. I thought first and the most about my marriage, and eventually about my children. Words came to mind like a list from the Family Proclamation - love, respect, compassion, forgiveness, trust.
And accompanying that, the desire to be better.
I finally pushed myself to continue in the talk. "If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by."
In our homeschool group we've been memorizing Doctrine and Covenants 6:33, and that came to mind. "Fear not to do good . . . for whatsoever ye sew, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sew good ye shall also reap good for your reward." That first word, fear, is sadly powerful in the wrong way. Sad that the desire to do good can so easily be derailed, even within a family. Laying there in bed I made some immediate commitments to myself with some specific ways to be better.