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Reclaiming Equal Partnership
We have in our community:
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“When we speak of marriage as a partnership, let us speak of marriage as a full partnership. We do not want our LDS women to be silent partners or limited partners in that eternal assignment! Please be a contributing and full partner.” (Ensign, Nov. 1978, p. 106.)
Barbara Smith, former general president of the Relief Society, draws an interesting parallel between some marriages and some small companies in which one partner owns the controlling stock and thus acts as the chief decision maker. In some cases, the unhappy result has been dissolution of the company.
Sister Smith points out that “too many marriages use this model and do not utilize the strengths of either the husband or the wife. These marriages often end in unhappiness, a disaster for the entire family that was started with happiness and hope.
“I suppose what I would like to see is my son and daughter-in-law as equal partners in their marriage relationship. Both would bring their assets and liabilities, their teachings, testimonies, educational and professional background, their healthy vibrant spirits, good bodies and minds, their evaluative understanding to help them recognize truth so they would ‘reason together’ and make the most of what each has to offer.
“In that way they can learn to function as equal partners, both helping to make decisions with a clear, healthy vision of what each thinks and why, so they can come to a consensus of opinion cooperatively together. … They would then be prepared to fulfill their individual roles and function well together in their joint roles. .... She will also feel free to express an opinion or make a commitment for both of them .... they will be able to work together as one.” (The Love That Never Faileth, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1984, p. 109.)