“The center core of the Church is not the stake; it is not the chapel,” Elder Boyd K. Packer emphasized in 1982. “The most sacred place on earth may not be the temple, necessarily. The chapel, the stake, and the temple are sacred as they contribute to the building of the most sacred institution in the Church - the home - and to the blessing of the most sacred relationships in the Church, the family.” (“That All May Be Edified” , 234–35).
Elder Packer’s, and the Church’s, continuing priority on family and home was the catalyst for a recent multi-stake event in southwestern Ontario. The stakes’ leaders emphasized the “mission statement” of God the Father: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)
“Often we also use our beliefs as powerful motivators for daily progression and change...We do this by working towards building and strengthening eternal families,” the stakes’ invitation said. More than a hundred married couples responded, plus more who were dating or unattached replied. Steve and Marilyn Zsiros were among them.
“I learned that men need love, honesty, trust, and respect. It was uplifting and strengthening. It definitely gave me things that helped me understand my husband better, and I felt hopeful that we can do ever better than we are,” Sister Zsiros said.
The Zsiros family and other conference-goers were immersed in topics such as:
What are the actions that build love and unity into our marriages?
How can we choose the right to keep sacred covenants and contribute to our eternal companionship?
Others attending from the Hamilton, Kitchener and London Stakes drove several hours to the event to learn how to better demonstrate their commitment to one another as well as to their sacred covenants. In addition to stake leaders’ presentations, Latter-day Saint marriage and relationship experts offered topics including communication, intimacy, financial well-being, mental health, equality, missionary service, homemaking, and parenting.
The events were not all heavy, speaker-driven, presentations. “I liked the presentation “What Women Want,” recalls Brother Zsiros. It was not only presented well, it was light instead of a serious presentation. It made fun of some things we (men) do.
“When they showed some video clips about couple communications, it demonstrated what men hear and what women are really saying. Men need to be aware that we interpret differently. Of the eight tactics, I especially remember ‘listening to her, talking to her, and caring for her.’ I tend to take things more seriously than what she is actually saying.”
Stake leaders noted that “It is remarkable we can be members of a Church led by Jesus Christ Himself and receive instruction from the Holy Spirit directly to sustain us in our callings as eternal companions, parents and leaders.”
“There is a lot here to improve my relationship with my husband and my family,” says Sister Zsiros. “It was great to have that resource come to us because we can’t get to those resources.
“The main thing was to be more listening and listen to the feelings that are behind what’s being said.”
For more information, visit the http://spotlightonmarriage.com.