Families are important in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of the most important ordinances performed in the Church is the temple sealing, where families can be sealed for time and all eternity. This means that marriages and families have the opportunity to remain intact even after death.
Because of this belief, Latter-day Saints rank high in marriage rates. But the anxiety to find “the one” can sometimes seem overwhelming to those of a marriageable age.
But, is there such a thing as “the one?” Is there someone out there who is your soul mate whom you were foreordained to marry? These are the questions I hope to answer.
Do “Soul Mates” Exist?
The short answer is no—and yes. I know that doesn’t make sense, but let me explain. President Spencer W. Kimball said the following on soul mates:
“Soul mates” are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price.
So no, there is no such thing as a soul mate before marriage. In other words, you’ll never find someone who fits you like a glove, who was made to be your perfect eternal companion. So, if you’re looking for someone like that in your future eternal companion, you’re bound to be disappointed. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and, no matter how compatible you feel your partner is, there are things about your lives that are bound to clash.
But What about Happily Ever After?
My mother always taught me that whom I married would be the most important decision I’d ever make. I used to think that I’d find someone to marry and it would be a walk in the park after that—kind of like the Disney fairytales when the princess and the prince can finally be together and live happily ever after. I knew that there would still be difficulties, but I felt that once I was married, the curtains would fall and life would be mostly bliss.
But marriage doesn’t work like that. Life isn’t a fairytale—it’s so much harder and so much better.
Growing Together Through Hardships
lds.org states, “the true bond between a man and woman comes only after they’ve committed to marry one another and decided to work at it.”
Marriage takes work and effort. Marriage can be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done.
I heard a speaker say these words at a stake conference: “The most important decision we make is not whom we marry, but the decision to stay married.” Since then, I’ve thought about the implications of that statement. It implies that what you do after marriage is just as important, if not more, than what you do before marriage.
When I married Mary, I began to see the many rough edges I never knew I had. Mary helps refine me, and I hope I also help her become a better person. But me becoming a refined, better person for her is something that takes a lot of work and humility.
Because of the things Mary and I have been through, I realize that there is a depth to our love that wasn’t there at first. As we work through challenges together, we become more united. We are building our eternal marriage brick by brick.
Making Your Spouse “The One”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “once you commit to being married, your spouse becomes your soul mate, and it is your duty and responsibility to work every day to keep it that way.” So, “soul mates” can exist after marriage if you choose to commit whole-heartedly to your spouse. Thus, the decision to stay committed in your marriage becomes just as important, if not more important, than deciding whom you should marry.
Don’t get me wrong, whom you marry is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, and you should treat it as such. But I believe the decision to stay married is equally as important because it is what ultimately leads to a celestial marriage. It is a decision that requires an eternal commitment. If both you and your spouse have this commitment, it will guide you through not only the blissful moments but through the difficult challenges.
Of course, some marriages are beyond repair, and the best option can be divorce. But if a marriage is salvageable, do your best to save it. It might be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done, but if it eventually leads to an eternal marriage it will be worth it.
President Thomas S. Monson said, “Choose your love; love your choice.” The beauty of God’s plan is you can choose. You can choose with whom you marry, and once you have chosen someone, you can make that person “the one.”
Do you agree? Are we foreordained to marry a specific person? What experiences do you have with choosing a spouse?