For the first 18 years of my life, I thought I had a soulmate. I believed that I had to find the person I covenanted to marry in the premortal existence. My soulmate, per se. When I learned this was NOT the case, I was startled. I found myself asking, “What do you mean there is no ONE right person for me? How on earth am I going to get married now?” After prayer and scripture study, I found comfort in the story of the brother of Jared, or Mahonri Moriancumer.
Ether Chapters 2 & 3
In Ether Chapter 2, we find the brother of Jared had been commanded by the Lord to build boats (You know… the ones that were tight like unto a dish?). Once they were complete, Mahonri quickly found that the people could not see in these boats because there was no source of light. So he returned to the Lord and asked in verse 22, “O Lord, behold I have done even as thou hast commanded me; and I have prepared the vessels for my people, and behold there is no light in them. Behold, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?”
The Lord responds to the brother of Jared in a very unique way. Rather than giving Mahonri a straightforward answer, the Lord asks, “What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?” PAUSE. The Lord has just given the brother of Jared the opportunity to use his agency while fulfilling the Lord’s commandment. When we were sent to earth, we were instructed to get married. While we follow this commandment, the Lord allows us to use our agency to select who we will fulfill this covenant with!
After pondering for some time and searching for the perfect solution, the brother of Jared returns to the mount in Ether Chapter 3 to converse with the Lord. He brings with him sixteen stones that he believes will be a good solution to the Lord’s question. With the Lord’s help and blessing, the stones provided the much-needed light.
If you are like me, when I first read that Mahonri brought stones to the Lord, I was a tad confused. After more research, I found that this may not have been the first time glowing stones were mentioned in the scriptures. In Genesis 6:16, we learn about Noah building his ark. The verse reads: “A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.”
There is a footnote on the word window, which tells us that the word has been mistranslated. The footnote reads, “HEB tsohar; some rabbis believed it was a precious stone that shone in the ark (Ether 2:23).”
The Hebrew word tsohar means “bright” or “glittering” and was known as a luminous stone in esoteric Jewish tradition. The brother of Jared may have thought that if this had worked for Noah, it could work for him as well.
Bringing Stones to the Lord
When Mahonri hiked the mountain with the stones in hand, he was fearful of what the Lord would say. That being said, I am sure the Lord saw the stones and thought, “Hmmm interesting choice, Mahonri. Stones?” But because the stones were brought with faith, the Lord blessed them to fulfill the commandment which was given.
As we are dating, it may feel like we are trying to answer the Lord’s question, “What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?” We may look around us, trying to find what the Lord wants for us to light our boats with and see metaphorical sticks, dirt, and stones.
After studying the scriptures, praying, and fasting, we can find that we prefer a particular stone to others. When we want to know if we should move forward in a relationship, it is like us bringing that stone to the Lord. The Lord may look at our choice in stone and think, “Hmm interesting choice (your name here). Stones?” But because we are faithful in keeping the Lord’s commandment, He will touch and bless that relationship. The Lord has the power to see the stone’s full potential—that it has the power to light your boat.
The Lord Trusts You
Isn’t it beautiful that the Lord trusts us to make that important decision? There is no predestined soulmate waiting for you to stumble upon them. Only YOU have the power to make that decision (Well you, the Lord, and the other person).
Don’t get me wrong—the Lord will not always provide a “yes” answer when we ask about marrying someone, but it is important to remember and to find comfort in the fact that we each have the agency to select what we will light our own boats with. So go out and find your stone, not your soulmate!