Today I’m feeling rather sober-minded and would like to share my thoughts with you. This is a message primarily for women, but that doesn’t mean you men can’t read it.
When our Heavenly Father created us, He created boys and girls, men and women, and we are all His children and He loves all of us, regardless of gender, with His whole heart. Can you just think of it for a minute and feel the power of it – the all-mighty God, powerful beyond our comprehension, and we are His favorite? Can you feel how incredible that is, and how incredible your own worth must be to know that God Himself delights to look upon you?
Because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does have a patriarchal order and men do hold the principle positions of leadership, sometimes women in the church get the false idea that they are somehow less than the men. Shame on the men who, in any way, reinforce that belief. There is no doctrine, scripture, or revelation which states that men are better than women and that women should be subservient. Our modern prophets, President Hinckley in particular, have repeatedly spoken of the worth of women and how very precious they are. Brothers and sisters, it is my firm belief and my firm testimony that in God’s eyes, men and women stand shoulder to shoulder, not one in front of the other. The fact that men hold the Priesthood and we do not only means that our jobs are different. There have been times when I have had no access to a Priesthood blessing and my fervent prayers were answered just as they would if I’d sought the Lord in a blessing. He will not and does not leave us helpless just because we do not hold the Priesthood. He listens to our prayers and will answer them.
I have on many occasions observed women who feel that their relationship with their Heavenly Father hinges on their husband. If their husband doesn’t go to church, neither do they. I know of one woman who thought her endowment and her marriage covenant were the same thing, and so after her divorce, she thought she couldn’t go to the temple any more. I know of women who are afraid to ask for the Priesthood to bless their lives because they were hurt by a Priesthood holder. To that, I say, if a Priesthood holder hurts you, they are no Priesthood holder. They may be going through the motions, but God does not honor them.
Sisters, I sincerely want to explain to you that your relationship with God is independent from your husband. You do not have to stop attending the temple if you get a divorce (unless your Bishop tells you so) Your endowment is separate from your sealing. Just because your sealing is no longer in effect, that does not mean that your endowment is over. You have every right to continue to go to the temple unless you have committed a sin which would keep you from entering. A divorce does not mean that you have to give up the blessings of temple attendance.
Our Heavenly Father reaches out to us constantly. He wants to know that we are happy, that we are doing well. He wants to speak with us through prayer. We are His daughters, His chief joy. When we are having problems with our husbands and feel that we can’t go to the Lord about that, He feels so much sorrow. Your relationship with your Father in Heaven began far before you ever met your husband and will continue no matter what ends up happening with your husband. Please do not let a bad marriage keep you from seeking the blessings the Lord has for you. Yes, He would prefer that we come before him as a united couple, but He understands that’s not always possible. If for some reason we aren’t able to do that, we should come before Him on our own. He will strengthen us. He will help us move forward. He takes the wounded heart and heals it. It breaks my heart to hear a woman say that her husband is the link between herself and Heavenly Father and since she is at odds with her husband, she can’t speak to her Heavenly Father. Ladies, nothing is further from the truth. We always have a direct line to our Father. He will always listen to us. We don’t need a liaison between Him and us; we can go to Him directly. That is part of the blessing that was given to us in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus Christ is our advocate with the Father. Through Him, we can approach. Our husbands are not that key. Only Christ is that key. I do not speak of the keys of the Celestial Kingdom; that is another matter entirely and too sacred to go into on the Internet, but I speak of the keys of communication with our Heavenly Father.
A unified, committed marriage is a wonderful thing, and it’s what we all should strive for. But if that is not happening for you at this time, that is not the end of your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Remember, your relationship with Him is independent of your husband. He is always there for us, and He can give us the strength, the wisdom, the patience and courage and faith we need to see through whatever our problems are. He is the Master Healer.