When I lived in Oregon, a member of my ward suggested a state-of-the-marriage litmus test for couples who had been married in the temple. The purpose of this test is to provide an early warning signal of trouble in the marriage. Although these sorts of tests are inevitably simplistic, this one intrigued me: if you have lost your desire to attend the temple, your marriage is in trouble.
Over the years, I have observed circumstances in which this test seemed to forecast trouble, so I mentioned it yesterday in the priesthood class in hopes of prompting a discussion. Later in the day, I received this email from another member of the ward:
The thought you conveyed from a member of your former ward in Oregon concerning not desiring to go to the temple and one’s marriage being in jeopardy because of that has stuck with me all afternoon, and I think I know why. It is because the marriage covenant involves three people (the couple and the Lord), and if one is not desiring to be in the Lord’s presence, then their covenant is in jeopardy, regardless of how well they might think they love their spouse. They can love their spouse with what they believe is an eternal, undying love, yet that love can only continue in unity in the Lord’s presence. If that presence is shunned, then so is the marriage covenant necessarily shunned because at least one spouse does not truly have the desire to live in the only environment (kingdom of glory) in which the marriage covenant can endure beyond mortality.
I think he might be onto something, but I would be interested to hear other thoughts.