A few years ago, I gave a presentation on intimacy in marriage to our ward. After the presentation, we gave a copy of the book And They Were Not Ashamed to every adult couple or single adult in the ward. This book, one of the best I have found on the subject of intimacy from an LDS perspective, was written by Laura Brotherson.
Some people thought I was crazy for doing this. Others were taken aback that I would suggest that one of the keys to happiness in marriage is getting intimacy right. But something I said then was that if you heal the couple, you heal the family. I still of course believe this.
A few would have nothing to do with the book. I think it brought up a lot of fear for them, and it was easier to just set it aside and bury it along with their feelings. Still others complained, as one visitor who asked a ward member, “Is that all your bishop talks about?”
To me, the negative responses didn’t matter. I knew I had been clearly prompted to step out of my comfort zone—way out!—and present this book to the ward. I have learned this lesson the hard way: When the Lord inspires you to do something, ACT and act quickly or you will regret it. I have never for a moment regretted sharing this book.
(By the way, I have never received any compensation for promoting this book, and there are no affiliate links in this post.)
For most of those who were there that day, the book answered a keen need. Many ward members, especially women, expressed gratitude to me for sharing the book. It created a touchstone that had been missing. It helped couples talk about tender subjects. One husband told me that his wife went home after Church and read the entire book that day and then wanted to talk to him about it when she was done, at about 10 o’clock that night!
As a bishop, I never counseled anyone directly about their intimate relationships, only to seek the help that they needed from a qualified counselor or other worthy resources. However, one bit of general advice that I have shared with many people is that it is good to talk openly with your spouse about your personal feelings about everything, especially intimacy. It is sad to me that some couples don’t feel comfortable talking about this subject. That is understandable, but it a barrier that needs to be crossed if you want to truly be one with your spouse as God intended you to be.
I admire the way Laura straightforwardly addresses a delicate topic and I love the way she documents what she has written with quotes from the scriptures, Church leaders and other Christian authors. If you are married and you don’t have this book, I encourage you to get it (or the CDs—we have both). The book is both enlightening and encouraging. If you are looking for answers about your intimate relations, this book has answers. I endorse it without reservation.