Dating and Marriage Series
John H. Groberg:
Several months after I regained my strength [after starvation following a hurricane], we were caught in another violent storm, only this time at sea. The waves became so big they flipped our small boat over, throwing the three of us into the raging, churning ocean. When I found myself in the middle of a tumultuous sea, I was surprised, scared, and a little upset. “Why has this happened?” I thought. “I’m a missionary. Where is my protection? Missionaries aren’t supposed to swim.”
But swim I must if I wished to stay alive. Every time I complained I found myself underwater, so it didn’t take long to quit complaining. Things are how they are, and complaining doesn’t help. I needed every ounce of energy to keep my head above water and make it to shore. Having earned my Eagle Scout Award, I was a pretty confident swimmer, but over time the wind and the waves began to sap my strength. I never quit trying, but there came a time when my muscles simply would move no more.
I had a prayer in my heart, but still I began to sink. As I was going down for what could have been the last time, the Lord infused into my mind and heart a deep feeling of love for a very special person. It was as though I could see and hear her. Even though she was 8,000 miles away, the power of that love came rushing across those miles and, penetrating time and space, reached down and pulled me up—lifted me from the depths of darkness, despair, and death and brought me up to light and life and hope. With a sudden burst of energy I made it to shore, where I found my shipmates. Never underestimate the power of true love, for it knows no barriers.
John H. Groberg, “The Power of God’s Love,” Ensign, Nov. 2004, 9
Jeffrey R. Holland:
Husbands, you have been entrusted with the most sacred gift God can give you—a wife, a daughter of God, the mother of your children who has voluntarily given herself to you for love and joyful companionship. Think of the kind things you said when you were courting, think of the blessings you have given with hands placed lovingly upon her head, think of yourself and of her as the god and goddess you both inherently are
JRH, Ensign May 2007
Marvin J. Ashton:
After a night of intense pain and suffering, one morning a husband stricken with a terminal illness said to his wife with great feeling, “I am so thankful today.” “For what?” she asked, knowing well his difficult and trying situation. He replied, “For God giving me the privilege of one more day with you.”
Marvin J. Ashton, “A Voice of Gladness,” Ensign, May 1991, 18
L Tom Perry:
There is no other way to start an eternal family unit than to be married in the proper place, at the proper time, by the proper authority, receiving the proper instructions that will lay the proper foundation. President David O. McKay said in his infinite wisdom:
“The exalted view of marriage as held by this Church is given expressly in five words found in the 49th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, ‘Marriage is ordained of God.’ …
“It is said that the best and noblest lives are those which are set toward high ideals. Truly no higher ideal regarding marriage can be cherished by young people than to look upon it as a divine institution. In the minds of the young such a standard is a protection to them in courtship, an ever-present influence inducing them to refrain from doing anything which may prevent their going to the temple to have their love [sealed] in an enduring and eternal union. It will lead them to seek divine guidance in the selecting of their companions, upon the wise choice of whom their life’s happiness here and hereafter is largely dependent. ‘Our home joys … are the most delightful earth affords, and the joy of parents in their children is the most holy joy of humanity. It makes their hearts pure and good; it lifts them up to their Father in heaven.’ Such joys are within the reach of most men and women if high ideals of marriage and home be properly fostered and cherished.” (Gospel Ideals, Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953, p. 462.)
L Tom Perry, “‘Born of Goodly Parents’,” Ensign, May 1985, 21
Robert D. Hales:
I want to thank my sweetheart and companion for her love. I was once told by the chairman of an organization, “Your greatest asset is your wife.” That is a true statement.
Robert D. Hales, “Lessons from the Atonement That Help Us to Endure to the End,” Ensign, Nov 1985, 18
Gordon B. Hinckley:
Brigham Young once said that if young people really understood the blessings of temple marriage, they would walk all the way to England if that were necessary (see Journal of Discourses, 11:118). We hope they will not have to go anywhere near that far..
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Of Missions, Temples, and Stewardship,” Ensign, Nov 1995, 51
Russell M. Nelson:
“…when your wife is sealed to you, her power and potential will increase yours.”
Russell M. Nelson, “Personal Priesthood Responsibility,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 44
Henry B. Eyring:
A man and his wife learn to be one by using their similarities to understand each other and their differences to complement each other in serving one another and those around them. In the same way, we can unite with those who do not accept our doctrine but share our desire to bless the children of our Heavenly Father.
Henry B. Eyring, “That We May Be One,” Ensign, May 1998, 66
Russell M. Nelson:
As we Brethren travel about the world, sometimes we see worrisome scenes. On a recent flight, I sat behind a husband and wife. She obviously loved her husband. As she stroked the back of his neck I could see her wedding ring. She would nestle close to him and rest her head upon his shoulder, seeking his companionship.
In contrast, he seemed totally oblivious to her presence. He was focused solely upon an electronic game player. During the entire flight, his attention was riveted upon that device. Not once did he look at her, speak to her, or acknowledge her yearning for affection.
His inattention made me feel like shouting: “Open your eyes, man! Can’t you see? Pay attention! Your wife loves you! She needs you!”
I don’t know more about them. I haven’t seen them since. Perhaps I was alarmed unduly. And very possibly, if this man knew of my concern for them, he might feel sorry for me in not knowing how to use such an exciting toy.
But these things I do know: I know “that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” 1 I know that the earth was created and that the Lord’s Church was restored so that families could be sealed and exalted as eternal entities. 2 And I know that one of Satan’s cunning methods of undermining the work of the Lord is to attack the sacred institutions of marriage and the family.
Marriage brings greater possibilities for happiness than does any other human relationship. Yet some married couples fall short of their full potential. They let their romance become rusty, take each other for granted, allow other interests or clouds of neglect to obscure the vision of what their marriage really could be. Marriages would be happier if nurtured more carefully.
Russell M. Nelson, “Nurturing Marriage,” Ensign, May 2006, 36
Written by Laura Jeanne Allen
My Grandfather and Grandmother were married for over half a century, and played their own special game from the time they had met each other. The goal of their game was to write the word “shmily” in a surprise place for the other to find. They took turns leaving “shmily” around the house, and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hide it once more.
They dragged “shmily” with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where they always had warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring.
“Shmily” was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath. At one point, my Grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave “shmily” on the very last sheet.
There was no end to the places “shmily” would pop up. Little notes with “shmily” scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows.
“Shmily” was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace. This mysterious word was as much a part of their house as the furniture.
It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents’ game. Skepticism had kept some of them from believing in true love-one that is pure and enduring. However, I never doubted my grandparents’ relationship. They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life. Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection which not everyone is lucky to experience.
Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other’s sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble.
My Grandmother whispered to one of her friends about how cute my Grandfather was, how handsome and old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew “how to pick ’em.” Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune, and each other.
But there was a dark cloud in the couples’ life: my Grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years earlier. As always, my Grandfather was with her every step of the way. He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside.
Now the cancer was again attacking her body. With the help of a cane and my Grandfather’s steady hand, they went to church every morning. But my Grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore. For a while, my Grandfather would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over my Grandmother.
Then one day, what everyone dreaded finally happened. My Grandmother was gone.
“Shmily.” It was scrawled in yellow on the pink ribbons of my Grandmother’s funeral bouquet. As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time.
My Grandfather stepped up to my Grandmother’s casket and, taking a shaky breath, he began to sing to her. Through his tears and grief, the song came, a deep and throaty lullaby.
Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment. I knew that, although I couldn’t begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty.
See How Much I Love You.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Chas Hathaway is the author of the books Scripture Study Made Awesome, Marriage is Ordained of God, but WHO Came Up with Dating? and Giraffe Tracks. Learn more at chashathaway.com. Please participate in the conversation by adding comments and sharing with friends on the web!
Gospel Living Made Awesome is not an official work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If Chas says something stupid, it's his own fault.