I was reading in the Pearl of Great Price and I came across a passage of scripture from the book of Moses chapter 3 verses 23-24
One flesh. Simple in its statement yet is so full of meaning it can be near impossible to truly articulate what that truly means for us as individuals, husbands and wives. What does one flesh really mean and do we fully understand the implications of such a statement. One flesh is something I wonder if can truly obtain in this life. I imagine one flesh is much like the relationship between God our father and our heavenly mother. Wholly and fully united in all things. Having a perfect understanding of each other. Never arguing or disagreeing with each other. Is this possible in our mortal lives. Can we truly become one flesh in this mortal existence.
This is a question that many I am sure have asked. What does it mean to be one flesh. Within out relationships we have many trials and struggles. We have disagreements and stressors that can make or break our marriage for better or worse.
Getting married is truly the best decision I have ever made. It has been a journey through my life that I would never go back on. My marriage has been a blessing in my life greater than anything else you could possibly imagine. Has my marriage been a union of one flesh. That I don’t know if I can honestly answer yes. While we have a love in our relationship that transcends time. We have grown as a couple in many ways. Countless ways really. Our children have brought a new layer to our relationship I did not imagine is possible. Are we of one flesh? I don’t think we are quite in perfect harmony yet. We have our disagreements and frustrations with each other, as every couple does at times. Our journey together is not meant to be perfect but challenging which is essential to our journey to being one flesh.
The idea of one flesh to me at least means being in perfect harmony with each other. Never disagreeing and having a perfect vision for the future and eternity as a couple. The Scriptures say that we are to cleave to our spouse for the cause of becoming one flesh. This is a life long journey that cannot be accomplished simply by proclaiming your vows of eternal love to each other. This becoming one flesh with our spouse is a key component and essential to our eternal journey. Without this kind of commitment we cannot hope to inherit our eternal salvation in the kingdom of God.
This Idea of one flesh can go beyond just a marriage relationship. This idea applies to our families as well in more than one sense. When our genetic codes merge to create a child you have taken what was 2 flesh or 2 persons and created one flesh the child as a result of the merger of your 2 identities to created a new identity in perfect harmony with the 2 of you. In This same sense we must take our 2 identities as man and woman and through our love merge those 2 identities to become one in harmony with all aspects of our lives.
N Elden Tanner has said “It is important for us to understand, as we can learn from the scriptures, that God is eternal, that his creations are eternal, and that his truths are eternal. Therefore, when he gave Eve to Adam in marriage, that union would be eternal. Marriage as ordained of God and performed in his holy temples is eternal—not just until death. ”
Becoming one flesh with our spouses is not just for life on the earth in mortality but an eternal principle of action. We are to turn our hearts and flesh together for our eternal progression and our passions are to be forever focused on our spouses.
Proverbs 5:18-19 says
18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
The sentiment expressed in this proverb is fundamental to a loving relationship that is meant to express the importance of becoming one flesh. There is truly no greater relationship than the one between husbands and wives who are truly committed to each other. It is a love that transcends time and survives into the eternities. Our work and glory, to paraphrase from Moses, is in becoming one flesh before God and the world. In so doing we will be able to survive all the that devil may through our way.
Our journey to becoming one flesh will not cease at the end of our mortal existence but will continue into the eternities. This is why it is so vital to workout our own natural inclinations and selfish desires. It is in doing so that we serve, love and become one flesh with our wives, or husbands for the women out there. If we want to become one flesh in the eternities then we need to work and live for that every day in our mortal existence.
I would never claim to be in perfect harmony with my wife. It is something I strive to live for and accomplish. This is a life long pursuit, an eternal pursuit really. It is however something that we strive for day in and day out. We work together to overcome our disagreements for the betterment of our family. We strive to have in our home and relationship loving compassion. Anything less than this is not a marriage of one flesh as the Lord would have us work for.
Your marriage is or will be the most important relationship you will ever engage and it must be the priority in you life. That is what one flesh truly means. As David O McKay once said “no success can compensate for failure in the home.” We fail in our homes when we do not have a marriage of one flesh. This is relationship that takes 2 and by committing to such principles our love will flourish.