Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Neither is The Man Without the Woman, Neither the Woman Without the Man, In the Lord

This semester we are studying "The Eternal Family" and looking more closely at "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." I am grateful for the counsel we are given by righteous men and women of God who encourage, support, and defend marriage and families.

One of the talks I've read for class is David A. Bednar's "Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan" (Ensign, June 2006, 82-87). I love how he emphasizes the distinct differences between the sexes and how they are made to complement and complete each other. This is in stark contrast to the worldly view that men and women are basically the same and should be treated alike. I prefer to honor the God-given female traits that I have, and try to understand, honor, and appreciate those that my husband has. It's often not easy to appreciate differences of thinking, opinions, and ways of doing things, but I know that when I look for the ways that those differences bless me and my family, I see God's wisdom in wanting men and women to work together in marriage.

Here are my favorite parts of Elder Bednar's talk:

“Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” [The Family: A Proclamation] and in large measure defines who we are, why we are here upon the earth, and what we are to do and become. For divine purposes, male and female spirits are different, distinctive, and complementary. After the earth was created, Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden. Importantly, however, God said it was “not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18; Moses3:18), and Eve became Adam’s companion and helpmeet. The unique combination of spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional capacities of both males and females were needed to implement the plan of happiness. Alone, neither the man nor the woman could fulfill the purposes of his or her creation.

By divine design, men and women are intended to progress together toward perfection and a fullness of glory. Because of their distinctive temperaments and capacities, males and females each bring to a marriage relationship unique perspectives and experiences. The man and the woman contribute differently but equally to a oneness and a unity that can be achieved in no other way. The man completes and perfects the woman and the woman completes and perfects the man as they learn from and mutually strengthen and bless each other. “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:11).

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