Sunday, January 5, 2014

Divorce and Family

I love learning about motherhood and the family, and my testimony of eternal families and the importance and benefit of a strong nuclear family unit is one of the reasons divorce was such a hard decision for me.

In October 2013
General Conference, Elder D Todd Christofferson (quickly becoming one of my favorite general authorities - if having favorites is allowed) said,
A woman's moral influence is nowhere more powerfully felt or more beneficially employed than in the home. There is no better setting for rearing the rising generation than the traditional family, where a father and a mother work in harmony to provide for, teach, and nurture their children.

This would have been lemon juice in a paper cut if it wasn't for the next statement:

Where this ideal does not exist, people strive to duplicate it's benefits as best they can in their particular circumstances.

Yes! I can strive to duplicate the benefits of a traditional family! However, in order to do that, I need to know what the benefits are, and how to duplicate them. So that is my quest as a mother of a blended family - to create the benefits of a traditional family for my non-traditional family.

The most influential doctrine that will make this quest possible is the atonement of Jesus Christ. His eternal and universal atonement can and will cover all the gaps between what should be, and what is.

Isn't that what we expect the atonement to do in our personal lives? Then why not in the lives of our children? Can the atonement help my children experience the benefits of a traditional family, even though the family they are a part of now doesn't meet that ideal?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. But you do have a traditional family: a man married to a woman with children. That's as traditional as it gets!! And you are not so weird in the church culture. There has always been death to necessitate a second marriage and blended families. To a lesser extent that has been divorce too. My great-grandmother was divorced in the 1880's. I have faith that you will be successful in your goal. I know the Lord blesses ALL who strive for a Christ-centered home where the gospel is taught and covenants are kept. May this new year bring much joy to you and yours.

  2. Oh sweet Becca!!! What a year you have had! I just caught up on the last blog post, and commented here. I am sad and happy for you all at the same time. Is that allowed?? I cannot believe the stresses and strains you have been under. Yea for the gospel! Yea for repentance, renewal and new birth! Yea for Spring in the December's of our lives! Hooray for you and your family and the beautiful children!!

    OK here is my two cents, as a child of divorce. Do what you can to make your current family life as beautiful and functional and as close to the ideal as possible. Love you new children, don't forget you originals (how could you?), and just know that as the children grow they will have questions and need comfort and assurance. Sometimes it will be about you, sometimes about your husband, sometimes about their other birth parents and why things are different that they may think they should be. Stay close to the Spirit. Pray about the needs of all of the children and your new spouse. As you do your best, the promptings will come (you know this already) and as you act on them, everyone will grow. Sometimes that will be painful and stressful (as you know). But since you have had confirmation from the Spirit about the directions your life has taken, you can rest assured, when the struggles come, they will bring you the growth and development the Lord desires, just stay faithful and give your very best. That is what the Lord requires, and the promise is that He will make up the difference!

    I wish I was there with you and could just hug you and tell you how much we love you! I am glad that Heather could be there for you!
    Love you!

  3. I know a lot about the subject of blended families, I have one. It sounds like you've set your goals, that foundation is huge the fact that you and your husband are on the same page. The kids will follow their bio parent so its good that you are both coming from the same place. Slowly they will follow their non bio parent, I don't like to use the word "step parent" or "step child" I feel it is demeaning. I will share this with you, a little piece of my testimony, there is a reason why you all ended up together and the Lord is there for you. If you haven't already experienced this you will, something clicks, almost like a switch is flipped inside or something and you will not be able to think of your non bio kids as not your own. You will love and see them all the same. Maybe it already happened for you I don't know but in case it hasn't it will this I can promise. Blended families are awesome and if you look back throughout history it is so much more common than not, so in the sense of a "traditional" family you do have one.

  4. Your children do have a mother AND a father. And, Becca, do you and your new husband "work in harmony to provide for, teach, and nurture" your children? I don't know if anyone does it perfectly, but if you are striving for this, then you DO have a traditional family! Your children may have more than two parents, but they DO have BOTH a father AND a mother WHO WORK IN HARMONY TO PROVIDE FOR, TEACH AND NURTURE them! Don't ever let Satan convince you that you can't meet the needs of your children or that they are somehow in a less ideal circumstance than they should be! Where two people love and serve the lord and strive to follow the teachings of their Savior Jesus Christ (I know you do, and I know you would be attracted to and marry a man who also does) - children are being raised in as ideal a situation as it gets in this world! The lord KNEW your children (all of them) would end up in a blended family, and he sent them anyhow, on purpose. He knows what each person needs to experience. I think you will one day look at your life and see it through His eyes, and know how blessed you and each and every person in your family, truly are! :) Hugs to you and all of your incredibly big and beautiful family! YOU ARE SO BLESSED! :D
    Corine :D

  5. I remember being a newly divorced mother in the Church. I never wanted my children to grow up in a "broken home" and I worried about them becoming statistics... Thank you Carin for your words as a child of divorce. I have always tried to follow the Spirit in what to do- but I felt no matter what- I would fall short because my children didn't have a father in their lives. As I sat in Stake Conference one day, the speaker mentioned doing some spring cleaning and how his children were all grown and gone now. He found the box of scriptures they used for family scripture study. He thought to himself, "How can I get rid of these? These scriptures raised my family." In that moment I had an overwhelming feeling- "Your children have a Father and can be raised by Him." I knew if I taught my children the Gospel and kept them close to their Heavenly Father- all would turn out okay. Years later, I still have faith that it is true.


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