Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness

Today, much is being done to ensure equality among all races, creeds, genders, and economic status. The progress made even in the last fifty years is astounding. We certainly live in an exciting, empowering time.

However, in mankind's quest for equality, we lose some of the more precious parts of who we are and why we came to this earth. In October 1996, Elder Richard G. Scott spoke about our Father in Heaven's Great Plan of Happiness. His talk, entitled, "The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness," is one of my favorite articles that we've discussed thus far. The whole article is full of wonderful truths that are continually being lost in the attack against the traditional family.

Our Heavenly Father does, indeed, have a plan for us. In this talk, Elder Richard G. Scott taught that:

Our Heavenly Father endowed His sons and daughters with unique traits especially fitted for their individual responsibilities as they fulfill His plan. To follow His plan requires that you do those things He expects of you as a son or daughter, husband or wife. Those roles are different but entirely compatible. In the Lord’s plan, it takes two—a man and a woman—to form a whole. Indeed, a husband and wife are not two identical halves, but a wondrous, divinely determined combination of complementary capacities and characteristics.

The differences between men and women do not make one gender weaker or stronger. On the contrary, both are weak without the other and both will never be stronger than when they are united together in marriage. Elder Scott continues:

Marriage allows these different characteristics to come together in oneness—in unity—to bless a husband and wife, their children and grandchildren. For the greatest happiness and productivity in life, both husband and wife are needed. Their efforts interlock and are complementary. Each has individual traits that best fit the role the Lord has defined for happiness as a man or woman. When used as the Lord intends, those capacities allow a married couple to think, act, and rejoice as one—to face challenges together and overcome them as one, to grow in love and understanding, and through temple ordinances to be bound together as one whole, eternally. That is the plan.

The world would have the woman think that if she acts according to her motherly, loving, nurturing instincts, and does not do everything that the man traditionally does, that she is weaker and somehow less of a person. This is simply not the case. Again from Elder Scott:

Beware of the subtle ways Satan employs to take you from the plan of God and true happiness. One of Satan’s most effective approaches is to demean the role of wife and mother in the home. This is an attack at the very heart of God’s plan to foster love between husband and wife and to nurture children in an atmosphere of understanding, peace, appreciation, and support. Much of the violence that is rampant in the world today is the harvest of weakened homes. Government and social plans will not effectively correct that, nor can the best efforts of schools and churches fully compensate for the absence of the tender care of a compassionate mother and wife in the home.
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Of course, as a woman you can do exceptionally well in the workplace, but is that the best use of your divinely appointed talents and feminine traits? Your presence [in the home] will strengthen the self-confidence of your children and decrease the chance of emotional challenges. Moreover, as you teach truth by word and example, those children will come to understand who they are and what they can obtain as divine children of Father in Heaven.

I will conclude lest I quote the entire article. I do echo the testimony of Elder Scott, for I have seen the blessings of such a lifestyle in my life and my family. The principles taught by the Lord's prophets and apostles do help us attain a fulness of happiness. There is only one way and that is the Lord's divinely appointed way. I know, along with Elder Scott, that:

Obedience to the plan is a requisite for full happiness in this life and a continuation of eternal joy beyond the veil. . . . Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. The family is ordained of God.

Jeremy