Monday, October 17, 2011

To Sisters with Less Active Husbands

I recently received an email from Sister Sumsion asking what she can do to help reactivate her husband who no longer has any interest or belief in the Church.  This was my response:

Dear Sister Sumsion,

My heart bleeds when I think of your predicament.  There are many good Sisters in the same situation as you and it is promised unto you that no blessing will be withheld from you insofar as you are doing all that you can to live the gospel and obey your priesthood leaders.

You mentioned that your husband doesn't feel comfortable at church anymore.  I would refer you to a wonderful ensign *article by a sister in a similar situation as yours who took to heart the counsel of apostle Boyd K. Packer who said “If your husband doesn’t feel at home going to church, then do everything you can to make him feel at church while he’s at home.”

The sister in the article said "This was a terrific concept to me, and it was my guiding theme for many years before my husband returned to full activity in the Church."  Please make this your guiding theme Sister Sumsion.

So how does one do everything to make ones husband feel like he's at church when he is in fact within the walls of his own home?  Here are some ideas:

1.    Last time I was in your home Sister Sumsion I noticed several pictures of flowers, trees, animals and other things to do with nature.  Please consider replacing these with pictures of the First Presidency, temples, the President of the Twelve (Boyd K. Packer), the proclamation on the family and the picture of the stake presidency that was handed out to each family at stake conference.

2.    This idea from the ensign article is very important; at bedtime have your two tiny tots learn to recognize pictures of the General Authorities.  This will be very touching to your husband and without realizing it he too may learn to recognize and gain a testimony of them.

3.    Even if he doesn't want to participate be sure to hold family home evenings and assign your husband a task. This is what the sister in the article did and she explained that "Sometimes it seemed like there was a quarrel between Kelly (her husband) and me every Monday night. Satan was doing his best to keep any spirituality from entering our home. He didn’t want my husband to get used to feeling the Spirit and become comfortable with the gospel.”

These were difficult years for this good sister but she learned much and explained "I learned that blessings result from following the counsel to hold family home evening and diligently striving to include every member of the family, even those who might be hostile to the gospel or disinterested."

Sister Sumsion I know that as you diligently do everything you can to make your husband feel like he's at church while he’s at home he will eventually conclude as did the husband in the article, that he might as well just go to church.

Your loving Stake President,

Bill Paternoster



Anonymous said...

You might have told Sister Sumsion to withhold marital bliss until he was inspired with the proper spirit.

Ibowedmyheadandsaidyes said...

What an awesome idea! Although, I truly believe that this situation simply does not occur in the church. A man is supposed to be the spiritualyl superior being in the home. There is no way a wife would need or be able to reactivate her husband. I mean, if anybody in the home fell away to inactivity it would be the wife right? Cuz she doesn't hold the priesthood and could in now way be more spiritual than her husband.

Ibowedmyheadandsaidyes said...

In the name of Christmas Eve,


I couldn't add my closing cuz my spiritually superior wife walked in the room, and I didn't want her to see what I was doing...

Chris S said...


As terrible as divorce is, wouldn't a sister be better off if she simply gave her wayward husband an ultimatum: honor his priesthood or get a divorce? By staying married to a less-active husband, she is harming herself and her children by limiting their access to priesthood blessings, allowing Satan to have a significant influence in the home (via the husband), and probably putting herself and her children at greater risk for abuse (as the vast majority of domestic abuse is caused by non-LDS men).

Sometimes a man can't truly change until he hits 'rock bottom.' Perhaps the threat of divorce and losing custody of the children will allow the husband to hit 'rock bottom' and commit to living the gospel.

Anonymous said...

Yea, let's not bother to find out WHY the brother has an issue with the church, or what is holding him back, let's just keep pushing and manipulating...... That should work, right?

kolobian said...

What an inspirational and enlightening post, dear President!

As a child growing up in this situation I must share my testimony that making the home as sterile and uncomfortable as possible is truly the way to steer wayward priesthood holders back to full activity in the church.

It was truly impossible for my father to watch the Dallas Cowboys play football on sundays while my mother was playing "We thank thee, oh God, for a prophet", "Praise to the Man", and "If you could hie to Kolob" on my father's custom stereo system full blast.

Also, I've since learned that my mother shared the example of our savior Jesus Christ by withdrawing from any "physical activities" with my father until he went back to church. After all, what kind of message would it send to my inactive father if he received blessings while disobeying the prophet's counsel?

I'm sure my father's infidelity and subsequent ex-communication was the result of viewing pornography and not the feeling of betrayal he claims he felt when my mother was more faithful to her church than to him.

The fact that they are now divorced is probably a blessing in disguise. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Bjorge Queen said...

I am currently reading a book called Fascinating Womanhood. I really like most of the book- how it tells women the kinds of things that should make us happy (having an adoring and successful husband, happy children, a happy home, etc.) and the types of characteristics a man is looking for in a wife (angelic, playful, childlike demeanor, etc.) but I was shocked when I read the following passage the other night entitled "Accept Him".

A woman who was devoted to her religion tried to persuade her husband to investigate her church. He resisted. She kept after him night and day, but each effort failed. One evening she secretly arranged for the missionaries of her church to drop by at dinnertime, thinking her husband would feel obligated to invite them to dinner and be friendly. She also arranged for them to bring books, tapes, a film, and other materials from which they could preach to him after the meal. Everything went as planned. Just as the family was sitting down to the table, the missionaries rang the doorbell. After an enjoyable meal, the wife said, "Wouldn't it be nice if these two gentlemen explained a little about the church." Due to moral pressure and courtesy, the man agreed. As the missionaries were assembling their materials, flannel board, books, and pictures, the husband felt trapped. He excused himself to go to the bathroom, climbed out the bathroom window, and disappeared. The desperate wife turned to her church for help. Several men came to her rescue and began looking for her husband. After three days of extensive search, he was found. He had no intention of returning home, but due to kindly persuasion and his wife's promise that she would never mention religion again, he returned home. The wife kept her promise, and the man began to relax in peace. The impressive part of the story is the following: The husband became acquainted with the man who found him and confessed, "I have wanted to know more about your church, but not from my wife." Secretly he learned about his wife's religion, converted, and became a member. One Sunday morning the minister announced the new member of his congregation and asked him to come to the rostrum. When her husband arose, the wife was so surprised and overjoyed she burst into tears.

I was happy to read the the husband finally did the right thing in letting go of his stiff neckedness and joining his wife's church. (Even though the author used the term "minister", I truly hope she was referring to a bishop because it would be a shame otherwise.) But I was disappointed to learn that the wife gave in so easily. I agree that a fascinating woman should be submissive in most areas, but not when it comes to the important task of guiding her man back into the loving fold of the one true gospel. Imagine my further shock to learn that the author who advocated such irresponsible wifely behavior as unconditional acceptance of habits such as church inactivity and alcoholism was a Latter Day Saint!
It just goes to show that we must be very careful in accepting advice even from latter day saints. It's best to go to the lord's anointed PRIESTHOOD HOLDERS when seeking counsel on such matters. Women can be fascinating and it's nice to hear one speak sweetly and tenderly in conference now and then. After reading the first few chapters to Fascinating Womanhood, I went to bed and had nightmares all night. Now I know why. How grateful my heart is that you were able to clarify on this matter today. I feel that it was an answer to prayer.

Brother Mobegone said...


Been a while since I posted here. Two months ago I humbly accepted the calling of second counselor to the bishop, and I have been very busy!

One way I am trying to magnify my calling is by having bi-weekly worthiness interviews with each of the young men in our ward - once on Sunday, and then again on activity nights.

I've noticed that young men with inactive fathers have higher rates of masturbation and sinful thoughts. I can also see how the devil is at work, as some of these fathers now forbid me to talk with their sons, making it even more likely that their sons will become teenage fathers.

As serious as this is, I would encourage the sisters to do what they must to reactivate their husbands. Home cooked meals, sex, and even affection can be powerful reconversion tools when withheld. I should know.... it worked for me ten years ago!!

Yours truly,
Brother Mobegone

fproy2222 said...

Stake Pres.
You still act like a fake.

There are very easy ways to prove you are for real, yet you choose not to use them.


kolobian said...


When I read the words of President Paternoster my bosom burns with the witness of the spirit.

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh for a sign. If you would only follow the admonition of the prophet Moroni you too could know of a surety that the President is truly one of the Lord's anointed in these Latter Days!

I suppose you waste your time looking for DNA evidence of the lamanites, as well. When the lord wants the lamanite DNA to be discovered, he will make it so. In the meantime, trust the spirit, brother!

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Molly Smith said...

Yet another wonderful post!

While it's not the same as the inspired content of the Ensign, which we're often encouraged to look upon as scripture, I would like to be so bold as to share the rather inspired advice of my sweet Mother in Law.

When we were first married, my husband had developed a bit of a problem common to young men his age...and then, being overwhelmed between classes at the Y and his job, began to avoid our bishop, even staying home! My MIL, who had held many heart-wrenching conversations with him over the years, urging him to greater valiance, suggested that I use, "the tool that only a wife can use", to remind him of his obligations.

It took a few months, unfortunately, due to occasional regressions, but he is on the right path today, and well on his way to rising within leadership in our little local ward! Never forget how much power you hold as the spiritual heart of your families, sisters...and don't be afraid to gently use it if need be.

Emma Snyde said...

Oh, President, I have quite a dilemma.

About a year ago, my husband said that he was an atheist! I tried to make our home like unto a temple. I played and sang hymns constantly, I put up pictures of the general authorities in every room, and a very large picture of the stake presidency on the ceiling above our bed. This had no effect.

Then, I began to withhold marital relations from him until he stopped saying he was an atheist and promised to go to church. This worked very well. Then, I started promising him various...acts to get him to speak in church, hold callings and go to the temple. Now he is in the bishopric! I am so elated!

My dilemma is that these...acts may be of the ungodly type, yet I hate to stop performing the...acts because my husband is progressing so well spiritually. Also, now that he is in the bishopric, I find myself becoming exhausted with all of our nightly activities needed to get him to magnify his calling.

What should I do? I suppose that a full and detailed description of the...acts would be necessary in order for my priesthood leaders to make a decision. I'll have to make an appointment.

Bjorge Queen said...

In the words of the late great Spencer W. Kimball: If you have to ask, I think you already know the answer.

Ibowedmyheadandsaidyes: You're making me reconsider my world view with your thought provoking point about women being spiritual giants compared to their husbands.
It makes me think about the birth rate and the practice of polygamy. If the birth rate is 50/50 and men can marry multiple wives, we are to assume that women are more righteous and valiant than men by quite a bit since so many more women will make it to the celestial kindgom to practice eternal polygamy (though I should be clear that Mormons denounce polygamy and don't practice it anymore). The first time I thought about this, it troubled me. But after that, I learned to hum a little hymn and put it out of my mind.

Bjorge Queen said...

To be more exact:
If a person is engaged in a practice which troubles him enough to ask about it, he should discontinue it."
- Official Declaration of the First Presidency of the Church, January 5th, 1982

However, I think the late President Kimball might be willing to make an exception for an urgent case where a priesthood holder is at risk for apostasy. I shall consult my copy of "The Miracle of Forgiveness" to see if there is any other instruction on the subject.

fproy2222 said...

kolobian (A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh for a sign.)

I am not looking for a sign, I am just looking for the normal, straight forward reply any real stake presedent would freely give.


Brother Heber said...

I believe that the best way to get a man to feel the spirit is through his loins.
I would recommend that Sister Sumision insist that she keep on her holy garments during any marital relations.
Nothing can bring a man closer to the spirit than to stare into the signs of the holy priesthood during intercourse.

Joseph K. Packer said...

Thank you President for such an insired message. I too went astray from the path of the Lord even our savior Jesus The Christ. My beloved wife suffered much, but then one day she was compelled by the spirit to make a deal with me: She started giving me "Highway Delights" while driving of course, and that changed my perspective of the eternity. Those mouth hugs really changed my life and that is why I am back labouring in the vyne of the Lord. I say these things in the name of Jesuschrist Amen

Alger's Fannie said...

Inspiring president, as always.

My dearest mother employs similar tactics in her home to help remind my wayward siblings of the gospel. When we visit the house for family gatherings, primary music is softly playing throughout the house. Ensigns magazines are thoughtfully placed, and Church news articles are highlighted for the family to peruse. Indeed, it is impossible to be in any room within the house without being reminded of the church. I am especially fond of the large framed poster of Jesus that hangs above their bed.

Keep the faith President, and continue to spread you warm message. It helps me to gird my loins daily with righteousness.

kolobian said...


As you very well know, either President Paternoster is an agent of the Lord, or he is an agent of the Devil. You cannot serve two masters.

Would an agent of the Devil ever encourage his followers to seek the counsel of the Lord's anointed? Would a minion of Satan ever bear testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the very savior of the world? Would the holy spirit bear witness of President Paternoster's words if he were not on the Lord's side?

I bear my testimony that I know President Paternoster is a set apart Stake President in the one true church of god. I know President Paternoster's words are true. I know President Paternoster's grammar is impeccable. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Anonymous said...

I know this is just satire, but Christ, this is taking it a bit too far.

fproy2222 said...

kolobian --(I bear my testimony that I know President Paternoster is a set apart Stake President in the one true church of god.)

And how do we know you are who you say you are.

You see, those who really have athoriy to be a Stake President in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints freely and openly display the athority given to them from God through the Church.

So far, "stake pres" refuses to show that which he should have. It must mean he is a fake.


kolobian said...


How can you know that I am who I say I am?

Because I bear testimony that Jesus lives, that Joseph Smith was his prophet, that through the atonement of the saviour you can become exalted, that the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth, that Brigham Young was Joseph Smith's rightful successor, and that although he was never actually ordained as President of the church he passed on the keys of the kingdom through an unbroken chain even down to Thomas S Monson who is Elohim's mouthpiece on the earth. I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, even the saviour. Amen.

I, like the President, cannot serve two masters. Your diabolical agenda has been revealed and I rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ. Get behind me, Satan!

Bill Smith said...

fproy2222 -- after you accused President Paternoster of being some kind of fake I was in a kind of spiritual torment. Like kolobian, I've been edified and uplifted by this man's words, and yet I'm ashamed to admit you made me wonder about the President.
As I've learned to do since I was in primary, I knelt down and poured out my soul to my heavenly father. I know He heard my words offered up with the loving patience of a true father, because in the next moment I was seized with a powerful witness that President Paternoster is, in fact, a Stake President in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which is the only true church on the face of the earth.
Soon after, the Lord gave me another witness which I feel I have been prompted to share with this blog now: fproy2222 is an excommunicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Because his life has been consumed with anger and resentment at the Church, he made a false account to spread rumors and lies on this blog of the Lord's anointed.
I bear my testimony that the Church is true. God does speak to men in these latter days, and it is through prayer and the Holy Ghost that we can know the truth of all things.
And I say these things in the name of the Savior, even Jesus Christ the Lord, amen.

Chris S said...

I happen to believe that President Paternoster is who he claims to be (although he uses a psuedonym on this blog to protect the identity of his flock). But even if he weren't a Stake President, aren't his teachings supported by modern revelation and therefore true? Some readers of this blog remind me of anti-Mormons who try to find fault with Joseph Smith because they don't want to accept his message.

The wicked take the truth to be hard. If President's posts (with citations to official sources) offend you, then maybe you should see what changes need to be made in your own life before attempting to discredit a man of faith. I'm not accusing anyone here of anything, but in my opinion, pornography/masturbation and homoerotic yearnings are often the cause of these feelings of anger towards those who preach the pure doctrine of Christ.

Thank you, President, for standing up for the faith.

Mahonri Kimball said...


I have studied it out in my mind, and approached the Lord in prayer. God has confirmed to me the truthfulness of my conclusions. I have received a sure witness from God that you are filled with a disbelieving spirit and are on the road to apostasy.

The usual cause of inability to discern truth though the promptings of the Holy Ghost, is failure to obey the commandments. I suggest that you examine your life and repent, so that you too will be worthy to have the Spirit testify to you of the truthfulness of President Paternoster's calling. "Whatever things that persuadeth men to do good, and believe in Christ are of God"

If you truly felt good about making accusations, you would not feel the need to hide behind your anonymous moniker.

Cindy said...

I am so grateful that you wrote about this topic and shared that story from the ensign. It is important to remember that it is only through the spirit that we can be converted. Having opportunities to feel the spirit is essential in both maintaining and building a testimony of the Lord our Saviour.
The statement " everything you can to make him feel at church while he's at home" refers to the opportunities we can provide for others and ourselves to feel the spirit in our homes. When hymns are played and families gather for Family Home evening and Family prayer or when the words of prophet, seers and regulators are discussed and emulated the spirit will testify to us that this is his Church and where we belong.

I pray that all who struggle with family members who have been lead astray will have the courage to endure and one day find peace and joy again.

Anonymous said...

The best way to inspire an inactive or non-member husband to righteousness or repentance, is to have & show 'unconditional true love' for him.

Serve his every wish & want. (but not evil wishes) Put his needs, desires, welfare & happiness before your own, all day long.

This will cause you to fall madly in love with him, no matter if he ever does it for you or not.

Continue to do this all the days of your life, even if he never joins the Church or activates. He will for sure join in the next life (as everyone must) & your marriage will be guaranteed eternal if you have had true love for him. For only 'true love' (by even just one spouse) can save & exalt a marriage & make it eternal. Without true love no marriage will ever be eternal.

It only takes 'one' spouse with true love to save any marriage & make it eternal, no matter what the other spouse does or is like.

Even if your spouse abandons & divorces you & remarries 20 times, even in the temple (cause it's not valid if you still love & want them) they will have to one day repent (in Spirit Prison if not here) & they will return to you with immense gratitude & love & be the perfect husband or wife to you for all eternity.

God does not allow spouses to divorce their good but imperfect spouse if that spouse still wants the marriage to continue. Any remarriage even in the temple would be invalid.

As you love & serve your husband (or wife) all day long everyday, he will usually start to feel like serving your wishes & needs too.

You should even ask small favors & requests of him, to help him learn how to serve you too, so he can fall more in love with you. But make sure your requests don't upset him. And always give huge gratitude for every little thing he does do & it will make him want to do more. But don't have any expectations, just love & serve him even if he never does it for you. That's true love.

Joseph Smith said it is a sin for a wife to leave her unbelieving husband, (or visa versa) unless he is dangerous etc. Then a woman should get to safety if she can. She can continue to love & serve him from a safe distance & keep her vows while helping to encourage him to repent.

But Joseph said leaders should never encourage women to leave their non-member husbands.

We promise to have Christ's 'true love' at the altar but few are willing to really give it when the going gets rough.

Watch the movie 'Fireproof' for a good example of how to do this.

Serving our spouse makes us fall more & more in love with them & thus we can enjoy those feelings of ecstasy whether they ever come around & do the same for us or not.

We must be the example of Christlike true love before we can ever expect our spouse to do the same.

Hyrum Hinckley Kimball, JR said...

I would also add that a subtle use of duct tape or hand cuffs to bind your husband and drag him to church would be a very kind way to bring him back. Squeeze his nuts ever so gently as well. Let him know the church loves him and WANTS him to be on the cleaning schedule and receive those blessings.

I say these things in the name of Dr. Pepper, Amen.