Improving Your Family by Improving Yourself

"Happy marriages are meant to last forever!" - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Photo by LDS Media Library

Happy marriages and families don’t happen overnight. They’re built through personal daily acts of compassion, selflessness, and love.

Marriage isn’t easy, and families aren’t perfect, no matter how much we wish they were. Although we like to believe that family life will always be blissful, that’s not how life—or marriage—works. Difficulties inevitably arise. In the address “In Praise of Those Who Save,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks of the immense joy we receive from our family relationships and how we can maintain them.

President Uchtdorf reminds us that “strong marriage and family relationships . . . require constant, intentional work.” He acknowledges that relationships with family members may not always be positive, but he maintains that we have the choice to save or condemn our families.

Rather than complaining of another’s actions, we can work to improve our own behaviors. He states, “If we look for imperfections in our spouse or irritations in our marriage, we will certainly find them, because everyone has some. On the other hand, if we look for the good, we will surely find it, because everyone has many good qualities too.”

Just before I first read this talk, I had argued with my husband. President Uchtdorf’s words softened my heart. How many times had I taken for granted my husband’s strengths and focused on his weaknesses, judging his inadequacies rather than improving my own? How many times had I done that with other family members?

I resolved to remember that “happy marriages are meant to last forever.” Doing so has changed both my marriage and me. Day by day, we can all constantly work to improve ourselves and thus improve our marriages and families. We can find joy and remember love while strengthening our eternal families.

For more of President Uchtdorf’s advice on maintaining happy relationships with family members, read or watch “In Praise of Those Who Save.”

Source: LDS General Conference

Nicole Meyers, Mormon Insights

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Find more insights

To learn more about the blessings of strengthening your family, read or watch “Eternal Families,” by President Henry B. Eyring.

For advice on repairing relationships with family members, check out Sister Neill F. Marriott’s address “Abiding in God and Repairing the Breach.”

Watch the Mormon Message video “What Is the Purpose of Family?

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