Counseling young adults regarding marriage and family, Elder Earl C. Tingey spoke during a Church Educational System fireside of 10 simple truths of heaven and the Lord's pattern. (Please see list on this page.)
When the earth was organized, Heavenly Father established a pattern for the organization of the family and it continues today, Elder Tingey said. He stated, "It is a pattern you should desire to participate in. The outstanding feature of this pattern and plan is that you may experience eternal joy."
The fireside originated Sunday evening, Jan. 13, from the Marriott Center on the BYU campus and was broadcast via satellite to locations around the world. It was translated into 32 languages.
Elder Tingey said it is not good for man or woman to be alone.
He noted that Eve was Adam's helpmeet meaning an absolute equal partner for eternity. "This was not a casual relationship. This was a covenant relationship." Then he advised his youthful listeners, "As you contemplate your helpmeet, plan for eternity."
He encouraged young single adults to seek out a companion according to the Lord's pattern. He said the Church's institutes of religion "are marvelous facilities where you may gather and meet one another and exercise leadership qualities and talents so that you might see those about you who may complement you as a helpmeet."
A man and woman should leave father and mother and cleave unto each other as husband and wife, he said.
"Understanding this simple truth will eliminate all confusion with respect to issues sometimes inappropriately called 'alternative lifestyles,"' Elder Tingey said. "Such alternative lifestyle issues are the workings of Satan."
Cleaving, he noted, means husbands and wives "cling faithfully to one another spiritually, emotionally, and physically."
He encouraged the men to lead out in social interaction: "I would counsel all young men, yes, all men, within the sound of my voice that you do have the responsibility to initiate these opportunities. Do not delay this matter. There is a difference between a 'lost opportunity' and a 'wasted opportunity."'
In the search for a companion, personal appearance is important, Elder Tingey said. "Be willing to sit down with a trusted friend and ask this question: What would you recommend I do to improve my physical appearance? Listen to what he or she says. Do not be offended, but take to heart his or her counsel. If necessary, joyfully and happily improve yourself, whether it involves having a smile on your face, losing weight, or changing your hairstyle, grooming, clothing, mannerisms, personal hygiene, or anything else."
Along with seeking a companion, Elder Tingey counseled, "Please lock firmly in your heart and mind your desire to be a parent in due time. Acquire now the attributes necessary to be a loving father or mother to the children who will eventually grace your home. Seek to acquire the patience and skill you will need to teach and rear children in the knowledge of the Lord."
Elder Tingey pointed out that a family does not have to be delayed until material possessions are obtained. He said he and his wife, Joanne, had few of life's necessities and no luxuries when they started having children. "Looking back on it," he said, "we realize it didn't matter. We were in love, we wanted to start a family, and we simply trusted in the Lord and had faith that all would work out."
It is important, when marrying and starting a family, to "remember who you are in relation to your Heavenly Father," Elder Tingey continued. He added, "Offer sacrifices of your time and talents to Him. Be faithful in the Church. Serve your fellowman," and then recognize "the blessings that come as a result of your sacrifice."
By participating in the simple truths of heaven he shared and by following the Lord's pattern, Elder Tingey told the young adults, they will "enjoy the full blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ, including all temple blessings."
In conclusion, Elder Tingey told them not to delay marriage. "Do not seek for perfection in a companion," he said. "Generally, perfection does not exist. ... Instead, seek for a husband or wife who will grow with you to perfection."
For those searching for a companion and worried about making the right choice, he assured that a spiritual witness will confirm the decision when it is right. "It will come, and you will know," he said.
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