February 6, 2018
Writer: Matthew Christensen
Brother Scott Gardner addressed the topic of marriage in his devotional address, specifically the ways in which Satan, the father of lies, subtly twists, distorts, or hinders marriage. Gardner is the dean of Teacher Preparation at BYU-Idaho. Above all, he emphasized how a successful marriage is possible in Heavenly Father's plan, and invited everyone to think of examples of successful and happy marriages.
He began his devotional address by inviting the student body to write down their impressions from the devotional and share them with a friend. He also alluded to last week's devotional speaker, Brother Ross Baron, who spoke on the connection between the Lord's authorized messengers and the gift of the Holy Ghost, emphasizing how the Holy Ghost is the guide in having a happy and successful marriage.
"I love this idea of marriage being a faith-based work...something that God will help you in!" Gardner said. "And why would he not? Your marriage is his work and his glory!"
Gardner pointed out several subtle ways in which the adversary hinders and distorts righteous marriage. In one of the examples, Gardner referenced an image (which can be found even on T-shirts) of a couple at the altar with a ball-and-chain, captioned with the words "Game Over." He pointed out that marriage is not the end of a game, but the beginning of eternal glory.
"Marriage is essential to God's eternal plan," Gardner said. "Before we came to earth, I can imagine us looking at our Heavenly Parents in awe and longing to have everything they had: a physical body, (how cool was that) an eternal marriage with love and unity beyond compare. They were glorious to behold! They were exalted! How eager must have been for the day that we could be married like them."
To reinforce this righteous view of marriage, Gardner quoted Parley P. Pratt when he learned from the prophet Joseph Smith the nature of eternal marriage in the Lord's plan of happiness: "I felt that the wife of my bosom was an immortal, eternal companion; a kind angel, given to me as a comfort, and a crown of glory for ever and ever." (from the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 1979, 297-98).
Gardner focused his devotional address not only on single students, but married couples and parents with children as well. You can listen to the full devotional address below.
To listen to an interview with Brother Scott Gardner about his devotional address, follow this link: