The testimony of the eight witnesses are the words of men other than the three witnesses bearing record that they saw the golden plates. This was of great relief to Joseph Smith. No longer did he have to be the only one to say that his experiences were true. He now had the companionship and testimony, in writing that he was not delusional, but a prophet called of God.
I felt impressed that in my marriage and in raising children that we stand together. I think it would be hard to be a single parent and my heart goes out to the many single parents who are trying their best to both provide for their children and teach them what is right. I feel encouraged and supported by my wife to pursue a career that I can be passionate about. We have been fortunate enough to have my wife stay at home with the children, but that in no way excuses me from also taking part in the care of our children whenever I can. All marriages are slightly different in their family roles, but I think whatever those roles shake out to be, we need to be "witnesses" of each other. Whether it be in our roles, parenting, or just being involved in the community, we need to be together in our decisions and support. This often first takes honest and open discussion to determine what is best for both of us, and a desire to understand each other. When our children see our cooperative efforts I hope it motivates them to find a spouse that they can share life with. That includes parenting, careers, little league baseball, theater, yard work, finances, everything. We can do it together! I am reminded of a talk from this past general conference by Elder L. Whitney Clayton entitled "Marriage: Watch and Learn". One paragraph in particular puts it better than I can articulate
"Husbands and wives in great marriages make decisions unanimously, with
each of them acting as a full participant and entitled to an equal voice
and vote.5 They focus first on the home and on helping each other with their shared responsibilities.6
Their marriages are based on cooperation, not negotiation. Their dinner
hour and the family time that follows become the center of their day
and the object of their best efforts. They turn off electronics and
forgo personal entertainment in order to help with household duties. To
the extent possible, they read with their children every night and both
participate in putting the little ones to bed. They retire to their bed
together. As their duties and circumstances permit, husbands and wives
work side by side in doing the most important work there is—the work we
do in our own homes."
I hope to be a better "witness" to my spouse.