Always Keep an Eternal Perspective
in Your Marriage


Gaining and keeping an eternal perspective is essential to enduring to the end in living the gospel successfully during our mortal experience.   The Lord said: "
Treasure these things in your hearts, and let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your minds." (D&C 43:34) He also taught we should always be "considering the end of [our] salvation" in all that we do (D&C 56:7).

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917-2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the importance of an eternal perspective in focusing on what is matters the most:

Right now, this very moment, is part of our eternal progression towards returning with our families to the presence of our Father in Heaven. President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “We are here [in this life] with a marvelous inheritance, a divine endowment. How different this world would be if every person realized that all of his actions have eternal consequences. How much more satisfying our years may be if … we recognize that we form each day the stuff of which eternity is made.” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 174)
That understanding helps us to make wise decisions in the many choices of our daily lives. Seeing life from an eternal perspective helps us focus our limited mortal energies on the things that matter most. We can avoid wasting our lives laying “up for [ourselves] treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt.” (Matt. 6:19) We can lay up treasures in heaven and not trade our eternal spiritual birthright. (
“The Time to Prepare,” Ensign, May 1998, p. 14)

President James E. Faust (1920-2007) of the First Presidency taught that by keeping "an eternal perspective" one "will have the wisdom to make good decisions and also make the right ones" ("Your Light--A Standard to All Nations," Ensign, May 2006, p. 112). 

Of this,
President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) added:

If we live in such a way that the considerations of eternity press upon us, we will make better decisions. Perhaps this is why President Brigham Young once said that if he could do but one thing to bless the Saints, he believed it would be to give them “eyes with which to see things as they are.(Journal of Discourses, 3:221; italics added.) It is interesting to note how those last words reflect the words of the scripture in which truth is described as “knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.” (D&C 93:24.) Jacob reminds us also that “the Spirit speaketh the truth … of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be.” (Jacob 4:13.)

The more clearly we see eternity, the more obvious it becomes that the Lord’s work in which we are engaged is one vast and grand work with striking similarities on each side of the veil.  (“The Things of Eternity—Stand We in Jeopardy?” Ensign, Jan. 1977, p. 3)

Elder Russell M. Neslon of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles affirmed that "
An eternal perspective helps us maintain complete fidelity to the covenants we make." ("Preparing For the Blessings of the Temple, Ensign, Oct. 2010) 

On another occasion, Elder Nelson taught of need of understanding the plan to keep an eternal perspective in these words:

Our mortal probation has been likened to the second act of a three-act play. When the curtain comes down on act two, the play is not over. Without the vision gained from acts one and three, the second act could seem either too short, too long, too hard, or too confusing. When we know about all three acts, the second act acquires greater significance. Thus the need for an eternal perspective. ("How Firm Our Foundation," Ensign, May 2002, p. 75)

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles adds this insight:

If we are determined to live by Heavenly Father’s plan, we will use our God-given moral agency to make decisions for our lives based on revealed truth, not on the opinions of others or on the current thinking of the world. (“Filling the World with Goodness and Truth,” Ensign, July 1996, p. 14)

An eternal perspective is gained by coming to understand the full "plan of salvation" (Jarom 1:2; Alma 12:14; 42:5) or "plan of happiness" (Alma 42:8, 16) or "plan of redemption" (Alma 11:32).  Indeed, the Lord's commandments--including marriage and childbearing--can only be fully understood within the plan.  We are told that "God gave unto [men] commandments" only "after having made known unto them the plan of redemption" (Alma 11:32).

Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy taught:

When we understand the great plan of happiness, we are gaining an eternal perspective, and the commandments, ordinances, covenants, and the experiences, trials, and tribulations can be seen in their true and eternal light.  ("Keep an Eternal Perspective," Ensign, May 2000, p. 27)

A central purpose of temple worship is to help members of the Church to understand the divine plan of salvation and happiness -- thus giving an eternal perspective to all of life.  President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles exclaimed:  "It is in the temple that we may begin to see into the eternities."  Through "the temple experience" we can observe and participate in "the broad, sweeping panorama of God's purposes relating to this earth.  Once we have been through the temple (and we can return and refresh our memories) the events of life fit into the scheme of things.  We can see in perspective where we are, and we can quickly see when we are off course." (The Holy Temple [1980], p. 45, 47)
  Elder Wirthlin has noted:  "As valuable and beneficial as temple work is [for the dead], it is equally valuable to us. The House of the Lord is a place where we can escape from the mundane and see our lives in an eternal perspective. We can ponder instructions and covenants that help us understand more clearly the plan of salvation and the infinite love of our Heavenly Father for his children." (“Seeking the Good,” Ensign, May 1992, p. 88)

Therefore, it shouldn't surprise us that God, who ordained marriage -- "the culminating gospel ordinance" (James E. Faust, “The Gift of the Holy Ghost—A Sure Compass,” Ensign, Apr. 1996, pp. 5–6) --
"declared that this eternal relationship may be created only by the ordinances which are administered in the holy temples of the Lord" (First Presidency, Conference Report, Oct. 1942, p. 12)  The marriage covenant is entered into after having seen the role is plays in the eternal plan.  Continued temple worship helps clarify and provide perspective that is necessary for that marriage to succeed.  Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles confirmed this in these words:

The eternal nature and importance of marriage can be fully understood only within the overarching context of the Father’s plan for His children.  ("Marraige Is Essential to His Eternal Plan," Ensign, June 2006, pp. 82-87; emphasis added)


The following is a talk that deals with the general concept of keeping an eternal perspective:

The following talks deal with the eternal perspective of marriage and parenthood: