A few weeks ago, I (Joy) wrote an article for a website telling the “25 reasons why I know my hubby loves me”. This website, FamilyShare.com, is for all faiths, so the articles cannot lean toward the LDS religion. Writing for them can be challenging because so much of what Gary and I believe has to do with the Church. At times it feels like writing while wearing handcuffs. Nonetheless, we do value the opportunity to write for them because their focus is on helping marriages and families stay strong.
One of the reasons we enjoy writing for Meridian Magazine is because we are free to express our beliefs without being misunderstood by non-LDS readers, even though we know many people of other faiths read the magazine. It’s just that they understand and are interested in our views.
Here’s the surprising thing about the “25 reasons why . . .” article that I wrote for FamilyShare.com – it has had more than 56,000 views! And 1,700+ shares on facebook. This is encouraging to us because it shows the interest people have in wanting to enrich their marriages. To read the article click here
Because I could not express LDS related reasons why I know my husband loves me in that article, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few specific ones with you here. Thank you, Meridian Magazine for providing this venue. I think you’ll relate to these reasons because they matter to all Latter-day Saints couples.
5 LDS reasons why I know my hubby loves me, along with a little commentary to clarify.
1. He wanted to marry me for all eternity. He would settle for nothing less than a temple marriage. Nor would I. So 58 years ago we sealed the deal in the Salt Lake Temple. You know what that means-he wanted me forever! And I felt the same about him. Still do.
We were young BYU college students when we met and couldn’t wait to spend our life together. I remember our wedding day well. I was scared. This was a huge step in my life. That morning I cried on my mother’s shoulder and sobbed out the words, “Am I making a mistake?” She hugged me and said, “No. You’re making the right decision.”
When I saw my husband-to-be in the Celestial room, all doubts faded and I knew with all my heart I was making the best decision of my life. We held hands and spoke of our life together as we waited for our turn in the sealing room. When our names were announced, he took me by the hand and we entered that sacred room.
Kneeling at that holy altar with my sweetheart was pure happiness. I held back the tears until I looked at my dad and saw tears running down his cheeks. That did it. I couldn’t stop mine. I was so happy to think we were now starting our own family and would be together forever. Yes, I know he loves me because he married me for eternity.
2. He was willing to learn how to use the priesthood in our home. I am so grateful that he lives his life in a way to be worthy to do this. I remember back many years ago when he gave me his first blessing. We had been married about seven months when it happened. We were at a family reunion of my family. My parents and all my siblings were there. I was so happy to be with them since most of them lived long distances away.
The reunion activities had just gotten under way when I became suddenly very ill. I was so sick I could not join in. I had so looked forward to this event and was sad to think I might miss out on it. But I remembered I could have a blessing and be well. I knew it because my father was there and he had blessed me all my life. I had seen miracles under his hands. So I told him I wanted a blessing. He gathered my husband and older brothers around me for the blessing.
Daddy looked at me and said, “Who would you like to give you the blessing?” My heart cried out “You, Daddy. You.” But my lips didn’t say it. At that moment I heard a voice in my head that said, “Your father will not be there when your children cry in the night. Your husband will be.” Then I knew I needed to ask my husband to give me the blessing. I had never had a blessing from him before.
I looked at Gary and said, “I want you to give me the blessing.” He turned sheet white. He had never given a blessing, nor had his father ever given him a blessing. And there he was, surrounded by my father and brothers who all knew how to do it. He had heard me tell the stories of the many blessings my father had given, and how miracles had happened. He told me later, he felt like a spiritual pigmy among giants. Still he gave me the blessing. It was an inexperienced one, but he did it. Because he loves me. And I didn’t die. In fact, after awhile I started to feel better. I was really proud of him for doing it.
Now here’s the best part. Later he took my father aside and said, “I can see that Joy is going to ask me to use the priesthood in our home, and I don’t know how. Would you teach me?” My father lovingly taught my husband how to use this sacred power. And, oh, the many times he has blessed our children when they’ve cried in the night. And, oh the many times he has blessed me during far greater times of illness and sorrow. Just another one of the reasons why I know he loves me.
3. He blessed me through the power of the priesthood he holds when we faced the greatest disappointment of our life. After suffering an ectopic pregnancy with serious complications we found out I could not give birth to our children. This was tragic news. He laid gentle hands on my head and blessed me. And he prayed for me. He assured me that Heavenly Father would guide us to the children that would have been born to us if I could have given them birth.
We had been promised in our patriarchal blessings that we would have children. Now we would unite our faith and trust in the Lord to guide us to the very children He planned for us to have. Patriarchal blessings are a great comfort. Sharing our testimonies of the power in these promises helped us.
Together we would experience the fulfillment of these blessings, just not quite the way we had planned.
Gary was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force when these realities hit us. Soon after my surgery and heartbreaking news, he was sent to Germany on a three-year tour of duty. I would join him after three months. We were confident we would come home with three German babies-adopting one each year. And we did. Then a few years later God guided us again to two more beautiful babies. Our blessings were being realized.
4. He was by my side in the temple as each of these children were sealed to us. He lived his life worthy for these sacred ordinances to take place. It meant as much to him as it did to me. We worked toward that goal together. When we heard the words, at each child’s sealing, stating that this child was ours as though he or she had been born to us, we rejoiced together. His desire to live worthy of this great blessing let me know how much he loves me. And how much he loves our children.
Through the years there have been so many things I could share, but I’ll skip to this last one, and you can imagine the rest. I’m sure your own lives are filled with equally loving actions for your spouse.
5. He has been diligent in accepting callings and serving the Lord and supporting me when I do the same. It thrills me that serving the Lord means as much to him as it does to me. Some callings we have shared, some have been individual. When he was a bishop, I tried my best to be a support to him. When I was Relief Society president he was always there, helping whenever I needed it. His willingness let me know how much he loves me. And how much he loves the Lord.
A few years ago as we served a part-time (nearly full time) church service mission together for five years, we constantly relied on each other. Being his companion and feeling his love was the best part of the mission.
Now he serves with me as an ordinance worker in the Provo Temple. This is a dream come true for me to have this opportunity. He enjoys it as much as I do. When I see him in his white temple suit in a session, he takes my breath away. His white hair shines and he looks so handsome. Sometimes when we share the duty in an endowment session, he winks at me. I don’t think anyone else sees it, but I do. It always makes me smile. We find a great deal of happiness during these later years of our lives serving in this holy place.
These are just a few of the reasons, added to the 25 others I wrote in that other article, that let me know my husband loves me. I could write more. But now it’s your turn.
I would encourage every wife reading this to make a list of the many things your husband does for you that helps you know how much he loves you. As you begin to notice even the littlest things, you will be filled with even more love for him. The list will grow. When I wrote that first article I started with 5 things, then it grew to 10, then it ended up at 25. I knew I had to stop there because there is a word limit on how long the articles can be. But you have no word limit. Make the list as long as you want.
And you husbands, do the same thing with your wife. Make a list of reasons why you know you know your wife loves you. When you do this, find a quiet time and share your lists with each other. When I shared mine with Gary it was a really sweet and fun time. Multiple kisses followed. Now make your list. It will surprise you how fun it will be. Gary informed me that he is making his list. I can hardly wait for him to share it with me.
To encourage you to do this, I’ll conclude with the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley: “If husbands and wives would only give greater emphasis to the virtues that are found in one another and less to the faults, there would be fewer broken hearts, fewer tears, fewer divorces, and much more happiness in the homes of our people.” (Teachings of GBH p. 322)
Do this and receive his promise of “much more happiness” in your home.
[For information on improving marriage relationships visit the Lundbergs’ website ]