I read something in one of my classes this week that really hit home to me. I have long known, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that it is within marriage and family we learn and practice the tools we need for life in the Celestial kingdom. It is within family and marriage we learn to love and sacrifice and we learn what grace and mercy really are. Our greatest joys and our deepest sorrows happen in marriage and family. Marriage is that uniquely and divinely created laboratory where each of us can experience for ourselves the trials and test of mortality that will teach and prepare us to return to Father.
Let’s look first at the definition of a laboratory.
A lab: a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific, technological research, experiments and measurements may be performed.
It stands to reason that Heavenly Father would establish here on earth a condition whereby his children can, in a controlled environment, experiment on his word.
Moses 1:39: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
God’s work is to exalt us. To perfect and to restore us to who we have always been. His family. It makes perfect sense that a marriage and family environment here in mortality would make the perfect laboratory for this work.
Here is the article I read in my class:
Our Clinical Material
“Your lives, your friendships, your marriages, your families, your neighbors and coworkers currently constitute the sample of humanity which God has given you. We are each other’s clinical material, and we make a mistake when we disregard that sober fact. No wonder, therefore, we feel stress at times. The wise and insightful President Brigham Young said this: “There are no two faces alike, no two persons tempered alike; … we are tried with each other, and large drafts are made upon our patience, forbearance, charity, and good will, in short, upon all the higher and Godlike qualities of our nature” (in Deseret News, 6 July 1862, 9).
Now, you are going to have days when people make a large draft on your patience, when they lay claim to your long-suffering that you may feel they don’t quite deserve. This is part of the chemistry that goes on in discipleship if we are serious about it, as we constitute each other’s clinical material.
It is within these circles of influence that you can strive to carry out all the dimensions of the second great commandment, including giving praise, commendation, and occasional correction. It is good for us to develop further our relevant skills.”
— Neal A. Maxwell, Jesus, the Perfect Mentor, Ensign, Feb. 2001, 8.
So what is going on in your lab?
How are you experimenting on the word and on God’s work? Are you seeing to the tender care of your marriage? Does your companion come first? Do you nurture and care for this precious relationship above all others?
Do you want to see where you really are? Try this love map questionnaire and see for yourself.