Mar 31, 2016

One Plus One Equals Three (or More)

By Kari Diane Pike

A couple of weeks ago our oldest son shared a conversation he had with one of his professors. Kenny has a Bachelor and Masters degree in philosophy, and a Juris Doctorate.  He recently returned to school to obtain a doctorate in philosophy. This semester he is taking nine credits and since he is married and the father of four children he teaches four college classes (12 credits) and works twenty hours per week as a research associate. This particular professor, while reviewing our son's schedule and work load, proclaimed that it was not possible for Kenny to accomplish all of those things. It simply couldn't be done. What made him think he could do all that?

Kenny's professor is not alone in this line of thinking. Another son of ours walked away from a six-figure scholarship to a university in Dallas, Texas when he read in their "terms and conditions" that if he got married before he graduated he would be removed from the program because a married student couldn't possibly keep up with the work load.

I don't remember Kenny's response to his professor. What I do remember is what he wanted to say, but couldn't without offending. Kenny knows he can accomplish his work because he has a loving and supportive spouse. While this single (unmarried) professor goes to work every day and returns home to cook, clean, do laundry, etc., Kenny and Aprilynne share their duties and responsibilities. Kenny can focus on school and work to support his family while Aprilynne takes care of things at home. This arrangement works the same way for Aprilynne. When she has work deadlines, Kenny is right there to care for the children and the home. They are team, and as such, they work together to accomplish their goals - far more than they could do if they lived alone.

A few days later, a friend told me about an experience he had while serving a mission in Nauvoo. He attended a demonstration of working draft horses. The handler gave some facts about the size of the horses and the amount of weight they could pull and under what conditions. He explained that one draft horse could pull about ten times their weight for a very short distance or about one tenth their weight for about eight hours, if the ground was level. He asked the audience how much they thought a pair of those fine animals could pull. Almost everyone agreed that two horses would pull twice the weight as one. The handler then demonstrated how a pair of working draft horses can pull not just double, but three and sometimes even four times the weight that a single horse can pull. He told the audience that the horses that had been raised and trained together could pull the most weight.

I've been thinking a great deal about how this concept of unity applies to my life and my relationship with the Savior.   The Family: A Proclamation to the World states:

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. 

If my spouse and I are unified in purpose and action (living gospel centered lives) we can face challenges and grow together in love and understanding. This unity applies to all the relationships we have with other people - at home, at work, at church, and in our communities. What we create together can be far greater than the sum of what we can do on our own. As we fully rely on the Savior and His redeeming Atonement, there is nothing we can't accomplish.

Life is magnificent!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words and taking the time to stop by! hugs~

  2. As a single never married and no children I can assure you this is correct. When you are responsible for every single thing like laundry, food, bills, etc, that's when the couple has the edge.


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