BYU Women’s Conference: Nurturing Marriage through Daily Kindness

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Jeffrey and Kerri Johnson, a couple from Spanish Fork, Utah, addressed women about strengthening marriage through daily kindness during a Friday morning session of Women’s Conference.

Women wait for the Johnson couple to begin the presentation. Over 700 women listened to the Johnson’s presentation Friday morning. (Paesha Tuttle)

To help everyone understand the reason why they came, Jeffrey Johnson started the meeting by playing an audio clip from the movie, The Princess Bride, which stated: “Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today.” 

In no time at all the women of the audience were roaring with laughter, which set the tone for the remainder of the presentation.

The Johnson couple have been married for 16 years and are the parents of four children. They firmly believe in, and live by, a quote by Elder M. Russell Ballard: “What matters most is what last longest.”

“We get married not for just time, but for time and eternity,” Jeffrey Johnson said. “So it is something we should really focus on.”

Using references from “We’ll Ascend Together” by Linda K. Burton and “Nurturing Marriage” by Russell M. Nelson, the Johnson couple explained that daily kindness in a marriage is of the utmost importance.

“If we want our marriages to not just be eternal, but to be happy and eternal, there’s little daily things we can do,” Jeffrey Johnson said,

Kerri Johnson added, “Who wants their marriage to be rusty? No one. That sounds horrible. It’s the little things we do that truly matter.”

Kerri Johnson joyfully hugs a stranger in the audience. (Paesha Tuttle)

In order to build a more successful and happy marriage, the Johnson couple spoke of four actions one can do with their spouse.

“To help you all remember, we made an acronym! K.I.N.D.,” said Kerri Johnson.

The “K” represents kneel. The Johnsons shared how prayer has brought the two of them closer together.

“Make sure you are praying together every single day, and not just together. Make sure you are praying for each other throughout the entire day” said Jeffrey Johnson.

Sister Johnson then explained that “I” represents interact. She shared an experience about a friend who was an extremely busy wife and mom.

After realizing that her husband seemed sad, this busy wife asked him what she could do to make him feel more loved and appreciated. The husband replied by asking his wife to look him in the face when he gets home from work.

“Sometimes we forget to give the best to those we love the most. We need to constantly interact with each other,” said Kerri Johnson.

Jeffrey Johnson explained that the “N” stands for nurture. He said,

“There is something in marriage that brings a happiness you can’t find anywhere else. If you aren’t happy in your marriage, it’s probably because you haven’t nourished it,” he said.

“‘D’ represents deity,” said Kerri Johnson, “if we want our marriage to last, we need help from our Savior.”

She continued by saying, “We need to take time to go to the temple, pray, and study the scriptures together and individually. I really believe we need the Spirit in our home to make our marriage work.”

Jeffrey Johnson and Kerri Johnson present together. Both emphasize how daily acts of kindness have strengthened their marriage. (Paesha Tuttle)

The Johnsons both testified that as they have committed to be kind to each other everyday, their marriage has become stronger and happier.

“Man and woman—we were meant for each other! We can’t become like Heavenly Father or Heavenly Mother without each other,” Jeffery Johnson said.

Looking into his wife’s eyes, Jeffrey Johnson concluded, “I know I can’t make it to the Celestial Kingdom without her. I know I can’t become like God without her.”

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