Elder Russel M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke to many East Coast Stakes via satellite at the beginning of this year (February 2008). He spoke on the eight “ates” that men of the world can work on to help out in families and support our wives. The eight “ates” are 1) anticipate, 2) appreciate, 3) celebrate, 4) cooperate 5) elevate 6) motivate 7) radiate 8 ) supplicate. I unfortunately did not take notes because of antsy children I was trying to keep quiet. So later, I tried to find scriptures and jotted down my thoughts about how I can incorporate these eight “ates” into my life.
1) anticipate: I’m supposed to look and think ahead, to do what my wife will need help with before she asks. D&C 58: 26-27 We must anxiously be engaged in doing good for our spouse. We must want to do helpful things of our own free will.
2) appreciate: I need to appreciate the things my wife does, and tell her of my appreciation. Some of the things I appreciate are (in no way in order of importance):
- she keeps the house clean
- is striving to improve herself and our family
- has strong morals and is unbending in her desire to do what is right
- has a strong testimony of God, Jesus, the restored church, etc.
- she’s intelligent and teaches our children to be smart, too
* I should have a goal to tell her one thing I appreciate about her every day.
3) celebrate: I need to help us celebrate more often, or at least more better. Annual dates of importance should be celebrated. I need to take time and make an effort to celebrate these times properly. Weekly dates are a way to celebrate each other and our marriage.
* I will do better in planning and making those evenings special.
4) cooperate: I need to cooperate with my wife. We are in this thing called life as a team now. In order for either of us to succeed at anything, we need to work together. As is taught by Jesus in the great intercessory prayer (John 17: 21), we must be one and can be one. Just as God and Jesus are one, we can be one with them. My wife and I need to become one with each other. Mosiah describes how members of God’s Church should be united in harmony. Spouses should be even more so. Having, as Mosiah describes, “their hearts knit together in unity” (Mosiah 18: 21). More importantly, on an eternal timeline, is that we are united with Christ. Fortunately, both processes are coexistent, and indeed, are interdependent.
D&C 38: 27 states that if we are not one, we are not God’s. The way to become a disciple of Christ is through being united with our spouse. The best way to become united with our spouse is to become a disciple of Christ. They build upon one another. Moses’ description of Zion provides one last example, here. They were called Zion, the people of God, because the were of one heart and one mind and dwelt in righteousness (Moses 1: 39). Spouses should put their hearts and minds in sync with one another. It’s like this triangle. If we want to become closer as a couple, then focus on our distance with Christ. As we move along the line towards Christ, then we also move closer together. Once we are one with Christ, we are one with each other.
This translates, in practice, to compromises where there is not immediate agreement, to support of the others decisions, to lots of communication about plans, desires and thoughts, to providing feedback and feelings, to positive and wholesome interaction.
5) elevate: This has a lot to do with giving good intentions to your spouse. Do only those things that lift, inspire and elevate.
6) motivate: Motivate each other to do good. 2 Nephi 2: 16 says we can’t act for ourselves unless we are enticed one way or the other. I should entice my wife to do good. Mosiah 7: 13 says that everything that invites and entices to do good is of God. Are my motivations of God? Are they good?
7) radiate: What radiates? Light radiates. D&C 50: 24 – I must help her be filled with light which is God and receive more light that grows brighter.
8 ) supplicate: It means to beg or apply for something earnestly or humbly. How do I supplicate my wife? Perhaps, not to her, but for her, on her behalf. I supplicate to God for the welfare of my wife. Supplicate, in the scriptures, means much the same, or is used the same as, earnest prayer. Some supplicate scriptures: Enos 1: 4; Alma 7: 3; 3 Nephi 4: 10; Moroni 6: 9; D&C 136: 29.
Enos shows how to supplicate in prayer. It is to be earnest, take the time, make the effort to show God that you really want to talk to Him. When you are humble and sincere, you will pray for the correct things.