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>Who Will You Marry?

>This is he first part of three about marriage. Don is a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while Julia is Catholic. We are friends living in America and France. We have tried, at least in the first part of this essay, to be neutral — to give marriage advice impartially, without regard to which church one belongs to or favors.

We hope you will enjoy reading all three parts of this article and that you will actively participate by commenting below. If you are not married — or even if you are — we’re sure you will have questions and we will try to answer them. We are writers, but we have both lived complete and full lives. From us you will be getting advice earned from a combined 174 years of marriage experience — great times and of course hard knocks, trial and error, and wonderful experiences that only the institution of marriage can offer. We heartedly recommend it.

By Sant Julia de Loria and Don White

Marriage Is an Important Covenant 

   Before you even think about marrying your friend or lover, answer the following questions. Find out who you are first. If you and your significant other are not compatible in most of these potential deal breakers, forget that relationship—it might explode in your face.
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If you are far enough along in your relationship, discuss the following together:
1)     Do you insist on making all family decisions yourself?
2)     Do you believe women should decide when, how often, and how to have sex?
3)     Do you want to continue working? Would you like the other marriage partner to work and you take care of the children in the home.
4)     If you are a man, are you okay with the idea that your wife is smarter than you and makes more money? And if you are a woman, the same question.
5)     Do you know of any family diseases? How and when would you communicate this to your prospective spouse?
6)     Are you a stickler on having only boys, or only girls?
7)     If you’re a man, do you think the wife should stay in the home and do all of the chores, including after you arrive to your home from work?
8)     How neat and tidy are you? Some young men don’t even know how to make a bed.
9)     Are you willing to take a back seat to him/her, or do you always have to dominate every discussion, even in front of friends or guests?

10)    Do you like to compliment others? Do you always have positive thoughts about your prospective spouse, or sometimes are you irritated by him/her and at odds with what is said?

11)    Does your friend ever become violent? Does he or she have a temper? What is being done to eliminate that?
12)    Do you fight with others over things?
13)    If there’s not much money, where will your money go first? And does he/she agree with those priorities?
14)    If you went to college, would you provide your children – and even your wife or husband – with that same opportunity, if possible?
15)    What are your political and religious orientations?
16)    What is your position on hard work, morals and ethics, and on setting goals and obtaining them?
17)    If you and your friend are not of the same religious faith, would you be willing to change to maintain family unity and love.
18)    Is there anything you wouldn’t do to protect your spouse and children?
Family Home Evening Courtesy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

19)    Would you as a woman like to rule the roost or would you rather be married to a man who ruled over you and provided the security a woman needs? There is a third alternative. In most successful marriages, husband and wife become a team. Together, they decide the big issues. They utilize what is called a family council. Family councils must not be interrupted, so many families now dedicate one day of the week to being with their family, discussing important issues, studying religion, and having fun, including playing games and singing songs. Latter-day Saints call it “Family Home Evening.” They turn off the telephones, let their friends and business associates know they are preoccupied and will not return the call until late that night or the following day. Nothing takes precedence over Family Home Evening except flat-out emergencies. The evening is not complete without refreshments. This is a fine pattern for parents to set because after children come, this time can be used to help educate them. The poet was right: All work and no play makes Jack and Jill dull kids.

 Do you have a testimony of God the eternal Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ as the Savior of mankind? You may call your God something else, such as Alla, the Great White Father, deity, or divinity. If you are Hindu there are a hundred different words meaning God, such as Ananda–Supreme Bliss, Satya–Supreme Truth, Mahesha–the Great Lord, Tat–That, Tattva–Absolute Truth, or Eka–the One. Indeed Sanskrit has hundreds of such words to describe God.
20)     If you are not Jewish, Christian, Islamic, or Hindu, what religious and moral views do you have? It could be that both of you have no religion. You may even be atheists. That may work in marriage so long as both believe in the same principles and are willing to raise their children with these values.
People today don’t value religion as in days before. That is unfortunate, but if neither party is religious, if entering a marriage relationship you know that, it should not be an impediment for marriage and a long, happy relationship.

If marriage partners are of the same faith, this is one more pillar or stake tying the couple together. If your friend is a staunch Muslim and you a staunch Christian, sooner or later your love for each other may dwindle and fade because these religions’ teachings are not compatible. 

One of you should convert over to provide proper unity and harmony in the home or forget about this relationship. It is fraught with cracks and other signs of collapse to begin with. The soundest advice we could give is that people should refrain from marrying into a new religion unless she/he has thoroughly studied and lived that religion for some time. Statistics show that inter-religious marriages often end in divorce. Settle the religion issue before, not after marriage.

  

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>Love On Valentine’s Day And Forever

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A Love Poem To Carolyn, My Eternal Companion

A Heartfelt Valentine Expression

On this Valentine’s day I express my love for you, my wife of 43 years.

But expressing love on Valentine’s Day is not love, only one of its many manifestations. But as banal as it may seem and be, I express my love and say, “be my Valentine another 43.

My love for you never ceases – it has a far greater meaning than mere card or kiss, though first kindled in a passing moment, a glance, a gleeful glimpse, then a fateful double take and the throbbing of a young man’s heart.

In Sunday School, I saw your face from afar. But I saw more — the clarity, and dignity of your character in that face. You were magnetic, pulling me to you, and it was thrilling for me to gaze on your countenance, and to imagine a possible scenario, you and me . . .Us. I had fasted and prayed that day for you to come my way.

Here we are, 43 years later, still traveling the same road of life, stumbling, yes, but moving conjointly, elegantly toward a larger goal, life forever together which we call eternal life made possible by eternal love.

When you feel bad, I feel bad. When you feel ecstatic, I’m exalted because of your glow. The light of your eyes fills my soul with your sweetness, dignity, grandeur, cheerfulness, love, kindness, charity and endless possibility.

Why? Not because we are joined at the hip and feel one another’s pain and joy through the same gray matter, nervous system, blood stream, muscle, heart and soul, though it seems so at times. I know that you are daughter of a king with great attributes and I am his son with my own unique attributes.

In the Manti Temple we were made one, yet remain separate beings. How can one be far greater than two? That defies mathematics, but then love always does. Our oneness holds the capacity to do anything, especially when we add an incomparable third dimension, our God to whom we owe everything – the air we breathe, this good earth, our miracle bodies.

Everything — for he is the creator of the universe and all suns, moons, planets and mountains, valleys, and verdant streams therein obey his voice. There is nothing not made by our creator, and we are in his likeness, a thought that completely blows my mind until I think of you.

I have to believe that somewhere . . . somewhere in this wide galaxy eons of light years away is someone else just as wonderful as God. There must be a Mother in Heaven who cares for our God like you care for me and I care for you. She, too, is ever watchful of you and I, and especially of us. She supports every Godly decision just as you support me and every resolve we make together, after much thought, prayer and contemplation.

So this Valentine’s Day I salute you my dear, Carolyn, the same person who recovered from an auto accidentjust three years ago – a terrible, bonecrushing, debilitating accident that broke ribs and cracked your pelvis in five places

It punctured a lung so that for the longest time, despites blessings and prayers, we wondered if you would make it. But your heart and faith are so strong! And your courage unparalleled, rendering defeat a non-issue, a non sequitur.

I suffered with you – though of course not on the same intensity plane — that fateful day and for years to come. At times, I could feel your hurt as you grimaced, torturing yourself while, because of allergies, you steadfastly refused pain medication. Few are as courageous or constant. None as valiant.

Your desire to keep any harmful thing out of your beautiful body exemplifies strength of character. Far lesser a person am I, whose eyes fill with tears under the damnable dentist drill, while he mines an apple mouth with melon hands that probe, pull, poke, scrape and drill in a near-drowning mouth whose teeth are alive with ache and throb.

You defeated pain long before this accident, in bearing four obedient children, in living a purposeful, faithful life, and following the accident, your bones and tissues healed, but now we are older and our gait slower,

But my love for you has not diminished, only grown as I have watched your remarkable recovery and service to us and realized the driving force behind your ruddy cheeks and hearty laughter was your love of family, God, the prophets, and America.

So I salute you, Carolyn, with a love borne of trust, occasional tumult, of trials and troubles overcome. Despite inane humor, you laughed at my jokes and accepted me with a smile that warms me still. You continued to embrace me, though at times wondered why we ever met and married. Was it to birth our children and satisfy God’s command to cleave together, replenish the earth, and find joy?

And through it all, jubilation returned, following 24/7 sickness of child bearing and often pain and grief of their rearing, and working until you could work no longer as an insurance and real estate agent or at the hospital.

Through the joy and fun of raising three boys, and one beautiful girl, you enjoyed life, endured my homilies, even my humorless, untimely lines, and ensured that when everything else seemed lost, we never lost our bearings.


You never tumbled from that exalted pedestal on which I placed you, continuing always as my treasure, my revere and prize – the registered nurse who always knew what to do. When we fell sick, you lovingly rubbed our feet, fingers, and foreheads and, ironically, eschewed hospitals and doctors.

Upon first meeting, we were travelers on different roads, but credit providence that my design and purpose found clarity when he sent you to me. Your road became mine, your politics looked fairer, and your wants and desires gathered in my heart, creating my fondest hopes.

And, likewise, you, Carolyn – with boundless energy and desire for “us”, for our future and that of our magnificent family.
I salute you, I love you my dear eternal partner. May I ever merit your companionship and trust throughout the eons of time that we know we will live together in perfect harmony — sharing God’s light and His love with others always.

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The latest from Blogger Buzz

Your blog, your data

December 10, 2008permalink
Today’s release features a brand new graduate from the Blogger in Draft testing ground: Import and Export for Blogger blogs.

The import/export feature opens up a whole new range of portability for your blogs, as well as allows for a few new options in the blog creation process. To get you started, we’ve rounded up a handful of ideas that can be done with importing and exporting:

You can access Import and Export from the Blog Tools section on the Settings | Basic tab.
We have also added new importing options to the blog creation process:
For some more detailed info on all of the things you can do with Import and Export, please check out our accompanying help article.

A couple caveats

— JJ from the Data Liberation Front

iLike: Add a soundtrack to your blog

December 5, 2008permalink
Sometimes we stumble across gadgets that are just too cool to keep to ourselves. And such is the case with the slick iLike gadget, which should be a real treat for all of you Blogger audiophiles out there.

iLike brings music to your blog by letting you embed and share playlists that you make yourself. Using their simple interface, you can organize and arrange your tunes, then seamlessly integrate them into your blog’s sidebar.


To get started, head on over to the playlist editor and build up your list of tunes from the iLike database. When you are finished, simply click the orange ‘Done!’ button at the bottom of the page, and you will be taken to a preview of what your playlist will look like on Blogger.

If everything looks good, click the orange ‘Add to Blogger’ button to go to Blogger’s Import Page Element Page (if not already signed in you will be prompted to do so.) Then choose the blog which you want to have the playlist, and click ‘Add Widget.’

The iLike gadget will now show up in your blog’s page elements editor for you to arrange as you wish. Pretty cool, eh?

Keep in mind though that playlist editor feature of iLike is still technically in beta, so the usual caveats apply. However, if you are feeling extra entrepreneurial you could help out the iLike dev team by answering their quick survey.

— Brett

Reactions: easily engage your readers

November 6, 2008permalink
One of our goals at Blogger is to make it easy for authors to get feedback on their content; we believe that authors are driven in part by the reactions and criticisms offered by their readers, and that these interactions enhance the quality of blog content. In support of this effort, we’re launching Reactions, simple annotations chosen by authors and given by readers.
With Reactions, readers can easily respond with one click, increasing feedback on posts.
Photo by Kevin Steele

To enable Reactions, log in to your dashboard, go to Layout > Page Elements and click the Edit link in the Blog Posts element to open the blog post configuration tool. Then, check the box next to Reactions, edit your reactions as a comma-separated list, and click Save.

Reactions works with Layouts templates, though if your template is heavily customized, you may have to reset your widget templates for Reactions to appear. If you have a Classic template you will need to switch to Layouts to use Reactions.

Of course, Reactions isn’t the only way to gather great feedback from readers; we also recently launched the Embedded Comment Form. With both Reactions and better commenting, we aim to make it easier for you to get the response and adoration you deserve.

Try Reactions now! We hope your reaction is

— taj
Get more news from the Blogger team at the Blogger Buzz blog

The latest from Blogger in Draft

New feature: Geotagging

December 10, 2008permalink
We’ve just added geotagging to the new post editor on Blogger in draft. With geotagging, you can add a location to your each of your blog posts. Just as time stamps help readers find posts from a certain date or time, geotags give your readers a way to browse posts near a specific location.

Adding a geotag to your post is easy. Log into draft.blogger.com, open the post editor, and click the add location link below the main text field.

Use the location editor to search, drag, click and zoom on a map to choose and save a location. We’ll try to label the location you choose using our reverse geocoder, which looks up a name for a point on the map. You can also edit the location name by clicking the blue location name text below the search field.

When you publish your post, the geotag is displayed below your blog post as a link, which will open up Google Maps.

We also include each post’s location in your blog’s RSS and Atom feeds using GeoRSS, a standard for geotagging. This means that feed readers, map applications and search engines can associate your posts with their locations.

We’re still working on other ways to show geotag information on your blog. Brian, the Google engineer who created this feature in his 20% time, has written a gadget that will display your posts on a map. To add it to your blog, click “Add Your Own” on the “Add a Gadget” page and paste in this URL: http://blogmap-gadget.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/blogmap.xml

Geotagging has a few known issues. We’ll be addressing them shortly, but here are some suggested workarounds for the near-term:

What types of posts are you adding a location to? What other functionality would you like to see in this feature? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!
— Brian
Learn more about upcoming features at Blogger in Draft

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>You’ll Love Don’s New Book Review

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>Prelude to the Kama Sutra

>The Kama Sutra (Sanskrit: कामसूत्र), (alternative spellings: Kamasutram or simply Kamasutra), is an ancient Indian text widely considered to be the standard work on love in Sanskrit literature written by the Indian intellectual Vatsayana. A portion of the work deals with human sexual behavior.

The Kama Sutra is mostly notable of a group of texts known generically as Kama Shastra (Sanskrit: Kāma Śhāstra). Traditionally, the first transmission of Kama Shastra or “Discipline of Kama” is attributed to Nandi the sacred bull, Shiva’s doorkeeper, who was moved to sacred utterance by overhearing the lovemaking of the god and his wife Parvati and later recorded his utterances for the benefit of mankind.

Historian John Keay says that the Kama Sutra is a compendium that was collected into its present form in the second century CE. Regarding how the composition became known to the Western world, Burton’s translation says the following in its introduction:

It may be interesting to some persons to learn how it came about that Vatsyayana was first brought to light and translated into the English language. It happened thus. While translating with the pundits the `Anunga Runga, or the stage of love’, reference was frequently found to be made to one Vatsya. The sage Vatsya was of this opinion, or of that opinion. The sage Vatsya said this, and so on. Naturally questions were asked who the sage was, and the pundits replied that Vatsya was the author of the standard work on love in Sanskrit literature, that no Sanscrit library was complete without his work, and that it was most difficult now to obtain in its entire state. The copy of the manuscript obtained in Bombay was defective, and so the pundits wrote to Benares, Calcutta and Jaipur for copies of the manuscript from Sanskrit libraries in those places. Copies having been obtained, they were then compared with each other, and with the aid of a Commentary called `Jayamangla’ a revised copy of the entire manuscript was prepared, and from this copy the English translation was made. The following is the certificate of the chief pundit:

`The manuscript to follow in a separate blog was corrected by the chief pundit after comparing four different copies of the work. “I had the assistance of a Commentary called “Jayamangla” for correcting the portion in the first five parts, but found great difficulty in correcting the remaining portion, because, with the exception of one copy thereof which was tolerably correct, all the other copies I had were far too incorrect. However, I took that portion as correct in which the majority of the copies agreed with each other.”