Now, about THE KISS

There are many types of kisses. There are the innocent kiss of the child who expresses their love to their parent, the friendship cheek kiss, the movie on screen kiss, the passionate kiss, the French kiss and the kiss of love between a man and a woman.

President Kimball condemned the French kiss as “An abomination that stirs passions to the eventual loss of virtue. Even if timely courtship justifies the kiss it should be a clean, decent, sexless one.” Also, “Kissing has been prostituted and has degenerated to develop and express lust instead of affection, honor, and admiration. To kiss in casual dating is asking for trouble. What do kisses mean when given out like pretzels and robbed of sacredness?”

To me, the kiss is the expression of the soul. Therefore, I do my best to be careful as to who I share that with. If a kiss becomes deeper than just a gentle kiss, then somehow, hands begin to move into areas that they should not be. That is where we become burned by crossing lines that we should be careful of.

Think about this: If you kiss someone and your mind goes blank and all you are focused on is the kiss and the next one and the next one, and the feelings that they are bringing to light, how can you stop? I admit, I know this well. Yes, there are times that my mind goes blank and all that I have done my best to do-to stay good-begins to fly out the window. I have trusted the other person who is participating in the kiss to stay sane enough to stop. This is where, for all of us, hearts are open and trust is being challenged.

Instant physical gratification becomes a drive. We need to decide who is driving? Are our souls important enough to put on the breaks? Are we strong enough in ourselves to be able to kindly help our companion put on their breaks as well?

I heard of a couple who cherished the kiss so much that they did not kiss until they were across the altar in the Temple being sealed together. I have a friend who cherished the kiss enough to wait 40 years before she allowed a kiss on her lips. Yes, she dated before that time. She even was kissed, but she would always turn her head so that the kiss she received was on her cheek.

Ok, I will admit that I was not been strong enough to be like either the couple or my friend, but I find that I can forgive myself for my weakness and each day try to be a little bit better, a little bit stronger.

I am now able to be with someone who will share with me the gentle kiss of love and I wish that you may have the same desire and opportunity.

Advertisements

Friendship before love

This is an interesting concept, but very true. Take the time to become friends before getting married. Get to know each other, laugh together, work out problems together.

If the only thing that is making the relationship happen is the excitement of what will happen in the bedroom, what will happen when the activity decreases? What will we have to talk about with each other? Will we care? Will we go out and have interests that are the same? Will he be focused on sports and I will be focused on hobbies? What about agreeing on what color to paint our home? Can we agree on that? Will we be able to agree on where we want to go on vacation? Will he want to go skiing and I want to go to a beach? Will we be able to compromise?

President Spencer W. Kimball said, “While one is young and well and strong and beautiful or handsome and attractive, he or she can (for the moment) almost name the price and write the ticket; but the time comes when these temporary things have had their day; when wrinkles come and aching joints; when hair is thin and bodies bulge; when nerves are frayed and tempers are taut; when wealth is dissipated…”

There comes a time when those who flattered us and those who’s wit and charm deceived us may leave us to our fate. Those are times when we want friends, good friends, and common friends, loved ones, tied with immortal bonds-people who will nurse our illnesses, tolerate our eccentricities, and love us with pure, undefiled affection.

Then we need an unspoiled companion who will not count our wrinkles, remember our stupidities nor remember our weaknesses; then is when we need a loving companion with whom we have suffered and wept and prayed and worshipped; one with whom we have suffered sorrow and disappointments, one who loves us for what we are or intend to be rather than what we appear to be in our gilded shell.”

Right now, our world is focused on physical attraction. If we look good, our companion will love us. This may be why there are so many programs and ways to keep us looking young. We can have our bodies cut to look smaller, we can replace hair in the right places, remove hair from the wrong places, and we can dye our hair, remove wrinkles and plump ourselves in places that may begin to droop.

I am not saying that we should not be physically attractive; I believe that we should do that for ourselves and not for someone else. It is acceptable to be physically attracted and attractive to our companion, but remember, there is so much more than that to make a marriage last. When we are looking for a companion, looking inside the heart is just as important as looking at the appearance of that person.

Yes, I admit, I know what it is that I am attracted to. I even have another friend who told me what he is attracted to-he is drawn to the “Miss America” types because that is what was typical in his family. No, I am not one of those, but we find that we still can be friends, we laugh together, and we dance together. We share hopes with each other because we are friends. We encourage each other and I am finding that our friendship has lasted longer than a couple of his relationships. No, we know we are not to be together and we are fine with that.

It is good to have a friend. I have a female friend who has watched me through my last 2 marriages. She has stood by me through both of them and we still take time out to talk and to support each other. Now, I found a guy who will be my friend and be my companion and want to be with me for eternity… Oh yes, is that not what we are trying to do? Finding our eternal friends and companions?

We have been married to each other now for 2.5 years and it still feels like we are eternal companions. We have taken the time to become friends before we married. He has supported me through the tough times as well as being there for the good. We have goals from daily to eternal. We never look for the negative about each other and we try to encourage each other in our desires.

My hope is that when we are dating, we take the time to become friends before we step into a deeper relationship.

“Where there is honesty, other virtues will follow.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley stated, “Where there is honesty, other virtues will follow.”

Honesty shows through the eyes. Especially can be seen in the eyes of the one that we love. When they become dishonest, there is darkness in their eyes mixed with hurt. Because we love them, we begin to hurt with them, not knowing how to help them heal.

Understanding this, if we become dishonest, it can be seen by the ones who love us and they want to help us to stop, but they do not know how.

President David O. McKay said, “Honesty and sincerity are the basic virtues of a noble character. Honesty… is the first virtue mentioned in the 13th Article of Faith. It is founded on the first principles of human society and is the foundation principle of moral manhood. It is impossible to associate manhood with dishonesty. To be just with one’s self and to others, one must be honest with himself and with others. This means honesty in speech as well as in actions. It means to avoid telling half truths as well as untruths.”

 

What is “Totally Honest”? Does this mean that people accept being partially dishonest? That partly honest is a good thing?

No, we need to be honest in everything.Yes, it is a hard thing to be. It is a hard thing to do. Being honest can hurt. Remember, though, that with being honest, we can be kind. We can speak and act with love. That is one of the things that we are here to learn and to be. Watch what happens when we are honest. If you can see your whole life without feeling guilty about anything, then you are a truly honest person. Life improves, people trust us with all of their hearts, and we become strong.

Other virtues, such as consideration, excellence, faithfulness, generosity, hope, goodness, righteousness, purity and incorruptibility become easier to attain when we are honest with ourselves and others around us.

Trust Heavenly Father to guide us in our endeavors to being honest.

It is much easier to make changes in yourself before marriage than after marriage.

1. The motivation to change after marriage is not as strong because the couple is involved in everyday matters and will not take the time to make the changes.

2. A couple is trying to impress each other, so they are on their best behavior at all times until the wedding day. After that, they are able to let their hair down and show their true selves. Also, when this happens, they are able to take each other for granted.

3. After marriage we can be hurt more easily. We give our trust to the person we thought that we married and now, they see us when we are more vulnerable and they have a chance to criticize instead of encourage.

This leads to the word “Pride” which halts all progression.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from President David O. McKay, “During courtship keep your eyes wide open, but after marriage keep them half shut!”I was married to my first husband over 25 years ago. I felt very old because of looking back and finding that instead of encouraging changes within myself during that marriage and to encourage it within him; we did fail through each of the 3 steps listed. In doing so, instead of finding the good in each other and encouraging each other, we sharpened #3.

Pride was a downfall. Pain is all I can remember of the last part of our marriage before I had to stand up and make the change in our lives. I found that after our divorce, I had to re-create myself and to allow myself to grow.

Now, I encourage the best in each person that I know and meet. I weep for the pain in my friends. I shout for joy when life is good. I have changed who I was to who I am now.

I believe that each day we have the opportunity to make changes within ourselves. Not only before marriage, but after. When I am sad, I know that I have friends who share my sadness, but also want me to feel happy. They are there for me and I appreciate all of them. When I change who I am, I try to be better.

I have a saying that I started a while ago that gives me hope. “I am as perfect as I can be today.”

Each day I wake up and I find that I have a clean slate. I am to decide what I am going to do with that day. If I make a mistake, I try to address it immediately so that I can say that quote in the evening. There are many times that I have not been able to say it, but then I have another day to work on it.

When we are in a relationship, I hope that each of us realizes that we are connected with someone who is also trying their best to be perfect. Encourage each other, find the good in each other, and shout for joy when your partner achieves what they are trying to do.

We all need a sense of Humor!!!!

We all need a sense of humor!!!!! We need to be able to laugh. We need to see joy around us.

President David O. McKay counseled, “It is our duty to seek to acquire the art of being cheerful. It will hold in check the demons of despair and stifle the power of discouragement and hopelessness.”

When we discuss humor, it is not the kind that puts anyone down or to hurt others.

There are many who take teasing personally and so to avoid this, just do not tease. Or, at least tease with kindness. Personally, I can take a little teasing, but if it is too much, I find that I begin to find myself hurt and the fun is gone. I have learned to say stop just before that happens.

What we really want to do is to see joy all around us. When I have a bad experience, I find that I begin to listen to bouncy, happy music.  I find that hope is the bedrock of humor. I feel safe when I have hope in my heart. I can see good things when I have it around me.

To have my granddaughter with me reminded me that I can laugh at almost anything. A tickle, the way a word is spoken, a simple gift, running up the stairs, all can be funny. I hope that each of us continue to remember how to laugh and to smile. To be able to share that feeling with those around us would be a wonderful gift!

Self Control

Self-Control. This is a big one for many including myself. I admit, sometimes I lose control when I should be using restraint (usually with books, music, movies, eating out…).

Think about this, if we use self-control, we are able to show signs of maturity which will help us in becoming a better friend or marriage partner.

I do admit that my weaknesses do not need to cost a lot-which is very true. For example, instead of going to a library for my books, I purchase them second hand. I find that through my lifetime, I have owned the equivalency of 4 libraries. When I look at what I have been collecting, I donate the books and start over. I find that it would have been wiser to keep the best books-only a few, and check out the rest with the ability to return them.

Do you have an issue like this? Is it a favorite food that is indulged in too often? Is it a reaction to how someone speaks to you? This one I personally found a way to fix through my children. I am very glad that they did this because I then learned to become a better person.

Elder Milton R. Hunter stated, “I believe the lack of self-control is one of the most common contributing factors of unhappiness and discord.”

Amen to that!

Ezra Taft Benson said, “Restraint and self-control must be ruling principles in the marriage relationship.” This gives us the opportunity to discuss differences of opinion in a calm manner instead of hurting each other. This helps to strengthen the relationship instead of tearing it apart.

So, how do we improve our self-control? We know that we need to do many things, but if we are only told to do it without the how, nothing gets done.

So, here is a way on the “How”. Fasting is a wonderful way to learn how strong our self-control is. If we are able to fast, we are able to accept patience and restraint in ourselves. We are able to wait for that piece of chocolate cake or apple pie until we are finished. We are able to stand up to the world of self-gratification.

When we see wonderful pieces of art that are very intricate, we appreciate the fact that the person who created it took a large amount of time to make it. Well, we are an intricate piece of art that Heavenly Father created, therefore, we need to take the time to appreciate what we do have and what we are. Remember to not only stop and smell the flowers, but to really look at the colors that they are and appreciate the gift that Heavenly Father has given us in his creating them in the first place. For we are a gift unto each other.

To have the self-control that we need to become more mature would enhance that gift.

In the Temple

Learning Christlike love in a relationship can be done in the Temple. For many of us, we have been to the Temple. Many of us have been sealed. When we are there, we make promises to each other and to Heavenly Father. These covenants, if actually taken to heart (meaning we actually do them, not just talk about them), give us an opportunity to open ourselves to give and receive love on a much larger scale than if we did not go. In many marriage relationship classes that I have been to, there is one concept that I have tried my hardest to incorporate into my life.

Marriage takes 3 people. Myself, my husband and Heavenly Father. It is like a 3 legged stool. One can be shorter(weaker) than the others, but the other 2 keep the stool steady. The key is to keep all 3 legs to make the stool work. With Heavenly Father as a participant in our relationship, we are able to open our hearts and discuss things with kindness and love instead of accusations and self-interest.

Bruce R. McConkie said, “I am firmly convinced that it is possible for a man or a woman to love his or her companion abundantly more in this thing which is called the new and everlasting covenant of marriage than it is ever possible to love such an individual outside this order of marriage, because we are entitled to have, and we do have all of the normal and wholesome affection that does and should exist between the sexes and then in addition to that, we can have in our family the sanctifying influence of the love of Christ. We can have a love which is abiding and eternal and which never ceases and never ends but will grow and increase until the perfect day is attained.”

This is the pure love that we are working for. We have the ability to stand up for each other and to be there for when the trials come.  Elder Parley P. Pratt said this of Joseph Smith, “It was Joseph Smith who taught me how to prize the endearing relationships of father and mother, husband, wife; of brother and sister, son and daughter.

It was from him that I learned that the wife of my bosom might be secured to me for time and all eternity; and that the refined sympathies and affections which endeared us to each other emanated from the fountain of divine eternal love… I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved-with a pureness- an intensity of elevated exalted feeling.”

What a wonderful thought! Can we ever feel this way? The answer is Yes! Let us prepare ourselves to go to the Temple and learn how to love and to become a better person. Let us go to the Temple and encourage each other to do so. Many of us do not have recommends or have let them expire without using them. Some may have a recommend and have forgotten when they went last. Let us try to make an effort to go to the Temple. Why deny ourselves the blessings that we are entitled to?

A flower girl

My parents were always giving everything that we had to give to other people. They even took in foster children to help those children have a better chance at life.

We had a girl that lived with us for a short time. I believe her name was Sylvia She was about 18 when I met her and I worshiped her because she was so in control of herself. She had a series of books that I loved to look at, and she gave me one to treasure.

We did not have a church building at that time, it was still being built, so we met in the upstairs and back of a department store in the town.

When Sylvia was married, we held the wedding in the department store.  I was her flower girl. I was dressed in a little white lacy dress and had a little dark-red velvet muff to put my hands in. There were flowers pinned to the top of the muff to make it look right.

We were to go down the staircase slowly and I remember waiting for my cue, but did not hear it, someone pushed me and I almost fell down the staircase.

When we were all lined up in front of the branch president, I did not like the man that Sylvia was marrying, so I would stand between them trying to keep them apart. The people behind us were laughing, but they were trying to not let it upset the ceremony.

I know that I made the wedding difficult for Sylvia, but I am sure that it was all about a 4 year old little girl who for a short time, had a big sister and all of a sudden, that big sister was leaving.  I had always hoped that Sylvia would remember me with fond thoughts.

“Law of Attraction”

Ok, so I am sure that many have heard about “The Secret” and the “Law of Attraction”. When I watched the movie and did some studies concerning the subject, I realized that I already have most of what was true that they were talking about (Ok, so there are some parts that do not ring true in my heart about what they teach). The gospel-when in action-teaches manhy of these concepts.

There was one part that I had not connected in all of the years of my growing up that should be in my heart. It was the actual part of allowing things to happen. I found that I had such a tight grip on controlling the things around me, that I was not letting Heavenly Father just give me the blessings that were waiting for me. It has been a hard thing for me to do-to let go and let things just flow.

I even did it with my dating. I would go to Heavenly Father and ask “What is the type of relationship I am to have with this person?” I would know where it was to go before even being with the person for longer than a few hours.

During one summer, I received an answer that has really changed me deeply. It was “Sit back and enjoy the ride”. This told me to stop focusing on the large picture/the long-term and to just relax.

Yes, I am still working on this in all aspects of my life…No, I am not perfect. I have many flaws and weaknesses, but I am willing to change and am always hoping that the person that I am married to is willing to overlook my flaws and weaknesses.

Physical Appearance

Today we are going to touch on the issue of Physical Appearance. As we know, we should be eating right, exercising right, sleeping right…I remember going on a vacation for a week in the Caribbean. I met up with a group of people who were going with me. I took with me a light carry-on as my luggage. Yes, I got everything I needed in one small suitcase! I did meet someone who had 7 suitcases. I could not believe it! She brought a suitcase for her shoes, one for her makeup, and one for extra blankets-just in case. She also packed a suitcase inside of another one for items she was purchasing to take home with her. What does this have to do with the physical appearance? Well… I admit that I am not perfect at the issue of the body but I do find that seeing all of that makeup in a medium sized suitcase shocked me. We stayed overnight at a hotel so that we could get a chance to rest before we went to the ship. It only takes me 20 minutes from pajamas in bed to showered, dressed and ready to go. The person in question took so long getting ready we were almost late for embarking. I admit, she looked good, at least until we went out into the heat and all of the makeup melted off of her face. She worked so hard to look amazing and the thing was, she already looked very good straight from the shower.

Which of us do you think was more ready for the trip? Who was focused on having more fun? I personally believe that I enjoyed myself more because I was not worried about my appearance as much as she was. I was focused on experiences and meeting good people. Now, this is because I believe that I look fine without makeup. I can add a touch-but do not want to add much more.Yes, we should be working on being healthy for ourselves, but also remember many people are attracted to healthy people. I am a bit over-curvy myself, but am quite strong, so I decided not to worry about trying to lose weight as much as focusing on being healthy and strong. Not only that, but I do know that many men prefer to have a little something to hold onto when they are cuddling up with their companion. Not all men prefer the 100 pound or less models.

Guys, being healthy is also important to us. I remember taking a “What is your preferred body-type” questionnaire and found that I like guys who played sports in high school, but let some padding move on top of those 6-packs. It is ok to not be the perfect guy model also. Sometimes we like to cuddle up to something softer than rock-hard abs. We need to be getting enough sleep so that we are clear in our minds when we need to make decisions-all decisions.

If we are staying up past midnight each night and need to be getting to work by 6am the next day, after a while, our bodies tell us that we need to stop! I have personally experienced long-term sleep deprivation. You cannot remember anything; you are so tired that you want to throw up. You cannot remember what you ate or if you did. If you are taking medications, then did you take them or need to take them??? It has been documented many times that 8 hours of good sleep is very necessary. Also, if you are rested, you can hear when Heavenly Father is trying to tell you something a lot better than if you are too tired to focus.

It is best to be happy with ourselves. I am happy with myself-most of the time. Sometimes it surprises me that I squeeze into chairs a little more than I used to(yes, to me, my backside is a little larger than I like), but I find that if I keep moving, that is not an issue I focus on. Every time that I see myself in a mirror, it surprises me. I do not see myself as heavy as the mirror shows me. I see myself in my mind – smaller. I act and move as if I am lighter. I do not use weight as a handicap in meeting other people or even keeping me from doing things I like best.

I beg that you do not measure the person by the way they look. Or the way you may look to them. Remember to look within their hearts. Find out what they love or are concerned with. Look beyond their face and into their souls. You may be surprised at what you find.