We’ve often heard the scripture from Moses 7:18 that talks about how the Lord called his people Zion because they were of one heart and one mind. We think of Zion as a people, but as I often do when I’m studying my scriptures, I thought of my podcast listeners and clients as I read these words. What if we look at wanting Zion in our marriages? How do we do that? Listen to this episode and be more intentional about being of one heart and one mind. But I will tell you, it does take work.
This is your friendly reminder that Valentine’s Day is in 3 days. If you haven’t made plans, do so now! Last year, for Valentine’s Day, my husband was on the ball. He made reservations back in December for this great little restaurant we’d been wanting to try and we were both excited. Well, I spent the weekend of Valentine’s Day admitted to the hospital, so our romantic dinner did NOT happen. So, we are going to try again this year and we are crossing our fingers that nothing gets in the way of it.
When it comes to good food, my husband and I are definitely of one mind. We both love good food. We love to find unique little restaurants wherever we go that have really great food. We are definitely not big chain restaurant people. It just doesn’t suit us. And I love that about us. I love finding little ways (like good food) that we think and feel alike. Which is a great transition into what I want to talk about today.
In Moses 7:18 it says “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.”
Now typically we think about building a Zion people when we think of this scripture. But, as I said a couple of weeks ago on the podcast, when I am learning these principles in this year’s Come, Follow Me course I think about you, my podcast listeners, and my clients so much, and how I can apply these concepts in the work that I do.
So my question to you is “What are you doing in your marriage and sexual relationship to create Zion – being of one heart and one mind with your spouse?”
When the Lord calls something a name, I don’t think he does so on a whim. I think He is very intentional about everything that he does. So when he calls something or someone a name it is with the intent, that by calling it such, it will become that thing. He will help to build it, nurture it, and it has the potential to grow into it.
If we want to create Zion in our marriage and sexual relationship, in order for us to grow into that “one heart, one mind” we need to be intentional too. We need to build it and nurture it so that it can grow into what we want it to be. It’s not going to happen on it’s own. It only happens with great intention.
Zion also wasn’t created in a moment, it was a process that took time. Just as Zion was a work in process, so are we and our marriage. Our marriage isn’t going to be Zion (or we could even say Celestial) here on earth in a matter of days or maybe even years. It’s going to take time for us to grow into this beautiful way of being and living with our spouse.
Sometimes our marriage is what life in Canaan felt like – divided, barren, and unfruitful. But it can be like the city of Enoch, blessed, flourishing, and of one heart and mind, with some work. So how do we do this? How do we create Zion in our marriage and sexual relationship? I think we need to pattern ourselves after the people of Enoch.
1 Blessed – Moses 7:17 says “The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.”
Are you allowing the Lord to bless your marriage and sexual relationship? Are you including Him? Are you creating an environment in which spirituality and sexuality can coexist? Are you behaving in a way that He can bless you and bless your marriage?
2 Flourish – the last part of that scripture said that they flourished. What does flourish mean? I looked it up and this is what Google dictionary said – “to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.” It also said “performing or developing in an impressively successful way.”
When I think about a marriage developing in a healthy way, a successful way, and creating a favorable environment, that sounds like a great marriage and sexual relationship to me. I think all of us really want our marriage and sexual relationship to flourish, but that takes intention. Intentionally creating a favorable environment where each person is able to grow and be successful. A favorable environment is not one where someone’s ideas and desires are being shut down. A favorable environment is not one where one is made to feel less than for their desires or lack of desire. It is about making space for both. But it’s also about learning and growing and developing yourself so that it is a great environment for both to be in.
3 One Heart & One Mind – In verse 18 it talks about being of one heart and one mind. If you are of one heart and one mind with your spouse, your marriage is full of unity.
If you are of one heart with your spouse it means you both feel loved and accepted for who you are. That your heart is for each other and no one else. That you work to have understanding and respect between the two of you.
Being of one mind means that you will counsel together and work to come to an understanding with each other, even if you don’t agree.
Stephen Covey said “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
I pulled a few quotes about unity and of being of one heart and one mind from past church magazines.
Sister Barbara Winder
“I couldn’t help thinking of the words of Paul as he admonished the Church to serve in unity and purpose, and as he taught that all parts must function for the good of the whole. So it is in a marriage and in a family that we must function together” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1984, 79; or Ensign, May 1984, 59).
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
“I believe we must constantly nourish the seeds of love, harmony, and unity in our homes and families. Husbands and wives are to love each other with a pure love that transcends selfishness” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 8; or Ensign, May 1989, 8).
Elder James E Faust
“It is far more difficult to be of one heart and mind than to be physically one. This unity of heart and mind is manifest in sincere expressions of ‘I appreciate you’ and ‘I am proud of you.’ Such domestic harmony results from forgiving and forgetting, essential elements of a maturing marriage relationship.(in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 46; or Ensign, May 1993, 36).
And I would add to that, that it is much harder to be physically one when you’re not already of one heart and one mind.
I think in the context of the sexual relationship we need to seek to understand what both partners want in that relationship. We may not always agree, but if we can work to understand where our partner is coming from, drop the judgements and expectations, and love them for who they are, then we can more easily work together to find solutions.
Change always starts first within. It is much easier to look to the other person for how they need to change for us to feel better, but that doesn’t work. We end up judging, creating unrealistic expectations, and create greater disconnection in our marriage instead of connection. When we can first look within and create Zion within our own heart and mind, it’s going to be much easier to create it with our spouse by seeking to understand their heart and mind, and then our family, and continue to expand that outwards to our neighborhoods, wards, stakes, and beyond.
If you are looking for ways to create Zion within yourself, I would like to encourage you to join me in my very last group coaching program. I’ve been saying for a while that it was going to be my last group for a while, and I’ve decided that it is going to be my very last group ever. So if you’ve been putting off joining group coaching, don’t wait any longer. I only have a few spots left. Go to AmandaLouder.com/groups to learn more and sign up.
Don’t freak out, I’m not going anywhere. I have some other things on the horizon that are definitely exciting so stay tuned.