On the topic of divorce, no one has ever given a clearer talk to the members of the church as this one. Divorce is one of the most damaging events a person could go through. It is not caused by incompatibility. It is caused by selfishness.
Dallin Oaks is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This talk was given on the Sunday morning session of General Conference in April 2007. You can find the talk here and I highly recommend watching it.
The transcript of this talk is found on the LDS.org website.
Interesting points that I got out of this talk are as follows:
1. Because of the hardness of our hearts, the Lord does not currently enforce the consequences of the Celestial Standard found in the higher law. He permits divorced persons who have not committed serious transgressions to become eligible for a temple recommend.
2. There are many good members of the church who have been divorced and many of them are innocent victims–members whose former spouses persistently betrayed sacred covenants or abandoned or refused to perform marriage responsibilities for an extended period. Members who have experienced such abuse have firsthand knowledge of circumstances worse than divorce.
3. We know that some look back on their divorces with regret at their own partial or predominant fault in the breakup. All who have been through divorce know the pain and need the healing power and hope that come from the Atonement. That healing power and that hope are there for them and also for their children.
4. I strongly urge you and those who advise you to face up to the reality that for most marriage problems, the remedy is not divorce but repentance. Often the cause is not incompatibility but selfishness. The first step is not separation but reformation. Divorce is not an all-purpose solution, and it often creates long-term heartache.
5. A couple with serious marriage problems should see their bishop. As the Lord’s judge, he will give counsel and perhaps even discipline that will lead toward healing. Bishops do not counsel members to divorce, but they can help members with the consequences of their decisions. Under the law of the Lord, a marriage, like a human life, is a precious, living thing. If our bodies are sick, we seek to heal them. We do not give up. While there is any prospect of life, we seek healing again and again. The same should be true of our marriages, and if we seek Him, the Lord will help us and heal us.
6. Even those who think their spouse is entirely to blame should not act hastily. One study found “no evidence that divorce or separation typically made adults happier than staying in an unhappy marriage. Two out of three unhappily married adults who avoided divorce reported being happily married five years later.”