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Dear Gramps,

My question is complex…When you re-marry and have children and elderly all bunched together…are husband and wife still the high priority in the relationship? Not that the others aren’t but what order is the priority?





Dear Karen,

Indeed that is a tough question. One brings into a new marriage relationship apparently long established relationships with one’s children. Personal relationships are to be established with a new spouse, and possibly with the new spouse’s children. This often must be done by both parties in the new relationship. As you say, this is a complex situation, and it is extremely important that the pre-marital association has been established long enough for loving relations to have been generated between both parents and both sets of children. If these accepting, loving relationships have not been established before the married, that marriage is headed for trouble. That does not mean that it is doomed, but specific work must be done to eliminate prejudice, jealousy and favoritism.

To talk about priorities, the relationship between parents and children, in one sense, is a temporary one. Children grow up and leave home. Bonds of love of course continue, but when children move from the home and establish their own adult lives, personal contacts diminish markedly, and the children, as adults, are responsible for their own decisions. Perhaps this is why the Lord has counseled in Genesis 2:24

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

That counsel, directed to children, also applies to parents–they shall be one flesh. The ideal relationship between parents, if they are sealed together in the holy temple in the Mormon Church, is designed to continue throughout the eternities. But in that realm there will be perfect joy, peace and happiness. That blessed state is not granted as a reward for compliance to commandments, but is developed between partners as they grow together in a loving relationship, thinking more of their partner than they do of themselves and living in accordance with the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace.






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