In Love, but Afraid to Marry

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“In Love, but Afraid to Marry,” Ensign, Oct. 1997, 62

In Love, but Afraid to Marry

As I stared into the large cardboard box in front of me, a sudden fear crept into my heart. The box contained necessary items for my upcoming wedding: napkins, note cards, and invitations. At the sight of them, I felt a surge of anxiety. Suddenly marriage seemed very real.

I sat down in the middle of the kitchen floor, my mind drifting back two and one-half years to when I met Larry. My daughter Jessica was just one year old then, and I had been a widow for nearly 18 months. I’m not sure if Larry fell in love with me or with Jessica first, because there seemed to be an instant friendship between them. I had a more difficult time committing myself to a second marriage, but I had finally made the decision to marry this fine man and had felt a strong confirming witness of the Spirit.

Yet here I was, afraid and doubting.

The shrill sound of the telephone interrupted my reverie, and I answered, trying to disguise my emotions. “Hello?”

“Diane, is something wrong?” I could hear the concern in my sister’s voice. “Something told me I should call you.”

I explained what I’d been feeling, then listened as my sister gave me some good advice. “Your Father in Heaven loves you,” she said. Her words pierced my heart. “Look to the scriptures, and remember that God knows your feelings.”

Later, as I hung up the phone, I felt grateful for her call. Nevertheless, my fears did not go away. That evening I struggled through dinner with Larry, but he quickly sensed something was wrong. Soon I was pouring out my heart to him. He wisely suggested to take whatever time I needed to think and pray about our decision to marry.

The following day, Sunday, I put Jessica down for a nap and turned to the scriptures. Truly in need of help and comfort from the Lord, I knew the scriptures could provide it. With a prayer in my heart, I opened the Doctrine and Covenants. It was not long before several verses caught my eye:

“Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth. …

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

“Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?”(D&C 6:15, 22–23).

I sat motionless, my heart beating loudly. I pulled out my journal and reread some of the experiences I’d had while struggling with this decision. As I read, I relived each one again: sitting in the temple seeking guidance, watching Larry administer the sacrament, praying long into the night searching for an answer. As I contemplated each of those experiences again, I felt the same sweet spirit of confirmation as before. Gratefully, I knelt to thank my Father in Heaven for this experience.

Two months later, the long-awaited evening arrived. I entered the temple and felt the Spirit warm my heart. I knew I was where I needed to be.