We have often heard that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Much more interesting to me was what Spencer W. Kimball taught our branch in Newfoundland when he stopped there around 1962, when the world, and the church, were both much smaller.

I’m not sure how he ended up at the United States Air Force Base. As for the base, they were more interested in getting the protocol straight than anything else. But he met individually with branch members who wanted counsel. The advice he gave, that the Church existed to support families, families did not exist to support the church, made the strongest impact on my dad of all the advice Elder Kimball gave.

We had two different members who wanted Elder Kimball’s help at that time as to how they could force their spouses to do the right thing, repent and return to the Church. As an apostle he told both to instead focus instead on patiently loving their spouse. They were told to put family first and the love between them before everything else, even if it meant not attending meetings. They were told to put love first over pushing their spouses to improve.

The advice made a big impression on my dad who was in the branch presidency and who had expected something very different. What really struck my dad was that Elder Kimball gave the same advice, taking time and patience to lay it out, to both people who asked for his help, inspiration and blessing on that point.
unconditional love (6)As for the couples that Elder Kimball had advised, years later my dad encountered both, one of the couples in the temple. Both the couples had been completely transformed by unconditional love.

Obviously I do not expect that sort of thing to happen for everyone, or for even most people. But if families are forever, I think that what we should do with those we love is focus on loving and supporting each other, in patience and kindness. And if the Church really exists to help us and our families, rather than our families existing to fuel the Church, it only makes sense that the apostle who at the time was seen as the most hardline of the general authorities would minister with that message.

Worth thinking about in this day and age.

 

Questions:

What do you think of Elder Kimball’s advice?

Have you heard of Church leader’s recently offering different or contrary advice.

Do you think this advice is still the church’s approach? Why or why not?

Do you see people taking this approach?

Does this differ from “waiting out” your spouse or trying to convince them or trying to be an example to them?

Is unconditional love even possible for humans to accomplish?

What gets in our way to prevent unconditional love?

Do you think of Elder Kimball’s advice was right for the time he gave it?

Right as a general rule or just for specific cases?