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Heber J. Grant: Building Foundations for Everlasting Love

Summary

“Example sheds a genial ray

Of light, which men are apt to borrow;

So first improve yourself today,

And then improve your friends tomorrow.

This verse from a hymn, which President Grant often quotes, expresses briefly the attitude of mind which has been responsible for his long and vigorous leadership in Zion; and in speaking of temple service and temple marriage, President Grant does so as one who has established an example worthy to be patterned after by all Latter-day Saints, young and old. As a leader, he believes in saying “Come” rather than “Go.” For many years, when he has been in Salt Lake, he has made a point of going to the temple at least one night a week — sometimes many more. When he married as a young man, he traveled far to a house of the Lord to begin life with his bride in an eternal partnership. President Grant, Editor of “The Improvement Era,” here offers wise counsel gleaned from the rich experience of his own life, directed to all who contemplate “Beginning Life Together.”

Editor’s Note

This talk is part of The Forgotten Talks series. As we search for the sources of the quotes we use in our newsletter and on our website, we often stumble across popular quotes that are difficult to locate the source of. When this is the case, we will spend the necessary time to uncover the source, if possible. We have discovered that many of these quotes are locked away in talks and books that haven’t been digitized or are behind a paywall. We make the effort to secure these pearls of great price and share them on our website under the public domain or Creative Commons license. If we are in any way violating any copyright laws, we ask that you notify us.

Notable Quotes

The everlasting covenant is a constant reminder of virtue and chastity and godliness.

I believe that no worthy young Latter-day Saint man or woman should spare any reasonable effort to come to a house of the Lord to begin life together. The marriage vows taken in these hallowed places and the sacred covenants entered into for time and all eternity are proof against many of the temptations of life that tend to break homes and destroy happiness.

We know that on an average the percentage of divorces among those who are married in the temple is less, because the sacredness of the covenant causes us to overlook little weaknesses in each other and put up with shortcomings, and because the everlasting covenant is a constant reminder of virtue and chastity and godliness.

Source

Article Images

At the of bottom of this page are images of The Improvement Era where the article of President Grant is found.


The following is an article by President Grant published in 1936 in the Improvement Era


Beginning Life Together

Heber J. Grant

I shall always be grateful, to the day of my death, that I did not listen to some of my friends when, as a young man not quite twenty-one years of age, I took the trouble to travel all the way from Utah County to St. George to be married in the St. George Temple. That was before the railroad went south of Utah County, and we had to travel the rest of the way by team. It was a long and difficult trip in those times, over unimproved and uncertain roads, and the journey each way required several days.

Many advised me not to make the effort — not to go all the way down to St. George to be married. They reasoned that I could have the president of the stake or my bishop marry me, and then when the Salt Lake Temple was completed, I could go there with my wife and children and be sealed to her and have our children sealed to us for eternity. Why did I not listen to them? Because I wanted to be married for time and eternity — because I wanted to start life right. Later I had cause to rejoice greatly because of my determination to be married in the temple at that time rather than to have waited until some later and seemingly more convenient time.

Some years ago the General Board members of the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association were traveling throughout the stakes of Zion speaking on the subject of marriage. They urged the young people to start their lives together in the right way by being married right, in the temples of the Lord.

I was out in one of the stakes attending a conference, and one of my daughters, who was the representative of the Young Women’s General Board at the conference, said: “I am very grateful to the Lord that I was properly born, born under the covenant, born of parents that had been properly married and sealed in the temple of the Lord.”

Tears came into my eyes, because her mother died before the Salt Lake Temple was completed, and I was grateful that I had not listened to the remarks of my friends who had tried to persuade me not to go to the St. George Temple to be married. I was very grateful for the inspiration and determination I had to start life right.

Why did it come to me? It came to me because my mother believed in the Gospel, believed in the ordinances of the temple, taught me the value of them, gave me a desire to get all of the benefits of starting life right and of doing things according to the teachings of the Gospel.

I believe that no worthy young Latter-day Saint man or woman should spare any reasonable effort to come to a house of the Lord to begin life together. The marriage vows taken in these hallowed places and the sacred covenants entered into for time and all eternity are proof against many of the temptations of life that tend to break homes and destroy happiness.

We know that on an average the percentage of divorces among those who are married in the temple is less, because the sacredness of the covenant causes us to overlook little weaknesses in each other and put up with shortcomings, and because the everlasting covenant is a constant reminder of virtue and chastity and godliness.

It has not been at all times and in all places that the Lord has seen fit to bless men and women with temples sacred to Him in which they could begin life together under the everlasting covenant. During many centuries of recorded time, no sanctified temples were available. In most lands, this is true even today after a century of temple building. But the fact that many have not been and are not now privileged to enter the marriage covenant for time and eternity in a temple of the Lord will by no means serve as an acceptable excuse for those who could have done so, but who, for some cause or other, have neglected their opportunities. The blessings and promises that come from beginning life together, for time and eternity, in a temple of the Lord, cannot be obtained in any other way and worthy young Latter-day Saint men and women who so begin life together find that their eternal partnership under the everlasting covenant becomes the foundation upon which are built peace, happiness, virtue, love, and all of the other eternal verities of life, here and hereafter.


The Improvement Era Images

An image of President Grant's talk found in the 1936 Improvement Era.


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