Monday, November 29, 2010

How to "cleave unto" your spouse

I am taking a class on the Doctrine and Covenants this semester. My teacher requires that we read, from the student manual, the articles that go along with the sections or verses we are assigned for each class period. Doing so has blessed my life, because almost every time, I find quotes like this gem (the rest is straight from the manual, which can be accessed by the link above):
“Marriage Presupposes Total Allegiance and Fidelity”
D&C 42:22–23

Only two commandments in all the scriptures require us to love with all our heart. We are commanded to love God with all our heart (see Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37), and we are commanded to love our spouse with all our heart. Elder Spencer W. Kimball explained the all-encompassing nature of this commandment:

“When the Lord says all thy heart, it allows for no sharing nor dividing nor depriving. And, to the woman it is paraphrased: ‘Thou shalt love thy husband with all thy heart and shalt cleave unto him and none else.’

“The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife, and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse. We sometimes find women who absorb and hover over the children at the expense of the husband, sometimes even estranging them from him.

“The Lord says to them: ‘Thou shalt cleave unto him and none else.’

Marriage presupposes total allegiance and total fidelity. Each spouse takes the partner with the understanding that he or she gives totally to the spouse all the heart, strength, loyalty, honor, and affection, with all dignity. Any divergence is sin; any sharing of the heart is transgression. As we should have ‘an eye single to the glory of God,’ so should we have an eye, an ear, a heart single to the marriage and the spouse and family.” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, pp. 142–43.)


  1. I'm so glad it's a commandment to love my spouse with all my heart-cause I sure do!!! Made me think of this talk:

    and another excellent talk that I can't think of right now-all those one's I've been reading for YW...

  2. There needs to be more written on Thecla and Paul marriage and the break up her betrothal to another man. That resulted in the seven letters of Paul and his going to prison for marrying her. The original vows written by St Paul and in the Prayer Book of Edwards which states three reasons man and woman should get married to procreat children in wedlock and not out of wedlock, to satisfy mans carnal lust for a woman as better in the bonds of Holy Matrimony than to sin, and to provide comfort to each other. At no time are they to defile the member of the body of Christ. Why there needs to be childrens story books written on the subject of a Catholic marriage, Christian marriage, or Jewish marriage in public libraries and religious bookstores so that adult understands if written for kindergarten to third grade level.

  3. I have to admit, I am not that familiar with the story of Thecla and Paul, from the apocryphal book the Acts of Paul and Thecla...

    But I definitely agree that children should be taught about marriage. I think one of the best ways for children to learn about marriage is by seeing successful marriages. If their parents are happily and committedly married, and stable marriages exist among other adults around them, children can see that marriage is good, but that it takes work, sacrifice, and commitment. Books are another great way to teach children about marriage, especially if they emphasize these values.

    I believe marriage is ordained of God, and that men's reasons for or against marriage do not change this fact. Marriage allows for significant growth that is not possible for those who remain single; it requires a significant amount of commitment and willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of a spouse. I believe that sexual intimacy should be reserved for married couples - one man and one woman - only. Marriage is also the ideal arrangement for bearing and raising children. Children who live with both biological parents, who are married to each other, are significantly better off than children living with only one parent, or even with cohabiting parents.