The Lord’s Will in Marriage

Sister Wendy Nelson

Sister Wendy Nelson has many titles — doctor, gerontologist, and marriage and family therapist being just a few. But one she didn't expect was being the wife of President Russell M. Nelson.

In a Church News video, Sister Nelson described the early stages of getting to know her husband, who was then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

'In my own mind, I had wrestled with it and was quite certain there was no possible way that could be right,' she said.

Seeking personal revelation on the matter in a mountain retreat, Sister Nelson fasted and prayed to have the 'heavens open' so she could be guided by the Lord to know what to do. After communing with both nature and the Lord, Sister Nelson said she found her answer.

'I knew in three different ways that the Lord's will was for this potential relationship with Elder Russell M. Nelson,' she stated.

Being the wife of the now prophet of the Church hasn't always been easy, Sister Nelson continued. And yet, she and President Nelson have had many experiences that have made them thankful the Lord brought them together.

President and Sister Nelson

'I'm astonished, amazed, thrilled, excited every day to know that the Lord is as eager to give revelation to me as he is to give revelation to His prophet,' she said. 'Well, that applies to all of us.'

Gospel Topics: What Is Marriage?

In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles proclaim that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” When a man and woman are married in the temple, their family can be together forever. This is a common goal of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Life’s greatest joys are found in the family. Strong family relationships require effort, but such effort brings great happiness in this life and throughout eternity. In our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness, a man and a woman can be sealed to one another for time and all eternity. Those who are sealed in the temple have the assurance that their relationship will continue forever if they are true to their covenants. They know that nothing, not even death, can permanently separate them.

The covenant of eternal marriage is necessary for exaltation. The Lord revealed through Joseph Smith: “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; and in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; and if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase” (Doctrine and Covenants 131:1–4).

Sacred Ordinances and Covenants Are Available in Holy Temples

Salt Lake Temple

After receiving the sealing ordinance and making sacred covenants in the temple, a couple must continue in faithfulness in order to receive the blessings of eternal marriage and exaltation. The Lord said:

“If a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; … and if [they] abide in my covenant, … it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:19).

Those who are married should consider their union as their most cherished earthly relationship. A spouse is the only person other than the Lord whom we have been commanded to love with all our heart (see Doctrine and Covenants 42:22).

Working Together as Equal Partners

Family on beach

Marriage, in its truest sense, is a partnership of equals, with neither person exercising dominion over the other, but with each encouraging, comforting, and helping the other.

Because marriage is such an important relationship in life, it needs and deserves time over less-important commitments. Couples can strengthen their marriage as they take time to talk together and to listen to one another, to be thoughtful and respectful, and to express tender feelings and affection often.


Marriage partners must be loyal to one another and faithful in their marriage covenants in thought, word, and deed. The Lord has said, “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” (Doctrine and Covenants 42:22). The phrase “none else” teaches that no person, activity, or possession should ever take precedence over the marriage relationship.

Founding Marriage on the Teachings of the of the Lord Jesus Christ

Married couples should stay away from anything that could lead to unfaithfulness in any way. Pornography, unwholesome fantasies, and flirtations will erode character and strike at the foundation of marriage. (Learn how the gospel protects and heals families from the effects of pornography.)


Couples should work together to manage their finances and cooperate in establishing and following a budget. Wise money management and freedom from debt contribute to peace in the home.

Finally, couples must center their lives in the gospel of Jesus Christ. As couples help one another keep the covenants they have made, attend church and the temple together, study the scriptures together, and kneel together in prayer, God will guide them. Their companionship will sweeten through the years; their love will strengthen. Their appreciation for one another will grow.