Written by Julie Leavitt and Vivian Campos
Married students at BYU-Idaho had the opportunity to attend a date night with hosted by President and Sister Gilbert featuring Elder and Sister Bednar Jan. 26 in the John W. Hart Building.
President and Sister Gilbert took turns asking Elder and Sister Bednar questions about their experiences in marriage and about their advice to young married couples at BYU-I.
One of the first things Elder Bednar brought up was the fact that sometimes when Latter-day Saint young adults see the marriages of families around them crumble, they lack confidence in the idea of marriage working out for them.
This is something that Nancy Raices, a convert to the Church and a senior studying social work, and her husband, Danny Raices, a junior studying healthcare administration, were able to relate to due to their own experiences in their families growing up.
“I had lost faith in marriage and the institution of marriage,” Nancy Raices said. “So coming to church, I had to kind of gain that testimony that it could happen.”
Nancy Raices said she appreciated Elder Bednar’s advice to students to focus more on creating the kind of marriage they want to have rather than on finding the perfect person.
“We’ve only been married 17 months, and so we’re still kind of getting to know each other and figuring out what marriage is and whatnot,” Nancy Raices said. “So I think that is so crucial, to just realize that it’s not about finding the perfect person; it’s about working together towards perfection.”
Elder Bednar said students should have fun in their marriages.
“Most of you are so good and so conscientious that your conscientiousness gets in the way,” he said. “You gotta’ be able to laugh, you gotta’ be able to laugh at yourself, you gotta’ be able to laugh at the stupid things you will do, and you’ll learn from some of the stupid things that you’ll do.”
Elder Bednar said it is fun to learn together, according to the Lord’s plan.
“This is serious business, but don’t be so serious that it’s just all business,” he said.
Bergquist said he could relate with that counsel and agreed with it.
“Just have fun and laugh,” he said. “Don’t worry about the things you can’t control.”
Elder Bednar talked about the importance of parents having a close relationship with their children.
“If your teenage child does something that will require the assistance of the priesthood keys of the bishop to repent, the relationship between you and that child will be of such a nature that they will first come to you, than you go together to the bishop,” he said.
He said it is not the bishop’s job to correct everything in the life of your children.
“Which means you have to know about, which means you have to talk to him, you have to work with him, you have to play with him so you know him that well,” Elder Bednar said.
Kevin Bergquist, a senior studying automotive technology, said kids should have that comfort level with their parents.
“Because of the things you talked about and taught them, they should have that trust level with you,” he said. “To gain that trust level you have to have done the little things through the years and get to the teenage years so you can have that trust.”
Emily Bell, a senior studying healthcare administration and mother of a four-month-old infant, said she appreciated Sister Bednar’s experiences of being a new mother and relying on the Atonement.
She said it has been a challenge for her to adjust to life as a mother while taking a full-credit load of online classes.
“It’s tiring, it’s time-consuming, but I love it,” she said. “It’s an adjustment.”
Bell said she relies on her husband’s help to accomplish the things she needs to do.
Elder Bednar told students that while they need to make their children a priority in their life, they need to put the comfort and needs of their spouse first.
“Make sure that your wife knows that you love her first, foremost and always,” he said.
He said that a woman cannot do what she was spiritually born to do without the assurance of her husband’s love for her.
“One day we want to have kids,” Danny Raices said. “But I love Elder Bednar’s counsel saying that, ‘You make sure that you put her first. Make sure that she’s loved. Make sure that she’s number one, not the baby.’”
At the close of the event, Elder Bednar told students to do their best, laugh, be loving and forgiving, and he promised that if they would seek assistance from the Holy Ghost, they would receive inspiration for creating the marriages they hope to have.
“You will create it,” he said. “You have that capacity. You have every gift you need.”