Simple formula for a happy marriage

Thomas S. Monson and Frances Johnson were married in the Salt Lake Temple on Oct. 7, 1948, with Benjamin Bowring performing the ceremony.

President Monson related: "Brother Bowring said to us: 'May I offer you newlyweds a formula which will ensure that any disagreement you may have will last no longer than one day? Every night kneel by the side of your bed. One night, Brother Monson, you offer the prayer, aloud, on bended knee. The next night you, Sister Monson, offer the prayer, aloud, on bended knee. I can then assure you that any misunderstanding that develops during the day will vanish as you pray. You simply can't pray together and retain any but the best of feelings toward one another."

During the 45 years that he has served as a General Authority, President Monson has performed many temple marriage ceremonies and often shares that counsel he and his bride were given, adding testimony to the power of prayer in a successful marriage.

Asked to list some elements of a happy and successful marriage, President Monson said:

• Pray together.

• Be mindful of each other. He said it's often the "little things" that matter. "When I'm away, I always call her. I don't leave her wondering how I am, or where I am," he said.

• Be considerate. "I have the philosophy that you should never embarrass your wife in front of others," he said. "If you can't say something complimentary, don't say anything. The old divine law comes into effect: treat others like you like to be treated. Don't make fun of your spouse. He or she may laugh, but deep down it hurts. We've never had any of what you'd call put-downs."

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