In February 2013, I met a young man named Kurt at a dinner party. He was scruffy, unshaven, and hungover. I didn’t give him much thought. Four months later, I saw a handsome young man who instantly took my breath away. Our paths crossed for all of five minutes, but in that time, I realized that it was Kurt—the same scruffy guy I had met before. I wondered about the change in his appearance.
Two weeks later, I was surprised to receive a text message from Kurt to join his friends to watch a movie. I debated in my head whether I should go. How did he even get my number? I barely knew this guy, my first impressions of him were not the greatest, and it didn’t seem like we had much in common. Reluctantly I made my mind up to go anyway.
After the movie, Kurt invited me to dinner, and I only said yes because I was starving, but that dinner changed everything. My first impression of him changed as I found out he was someone who genuinely made me smile and laugh. He was so easy to talk with, and we became instant friends.
As time passed, our friendship grew and so did our feelings. Before a romantic relationship could develop, I had this internal battle; he wasn’t a member of the Church. I knew that I wanted to be married in the temple and raise my children in the gospel. I wanted an eternal family. So what was I doing developing a relationship with him?
I knew I needed to do something. One evening we were driving back to my house, and I asked, “What are we doing?” I told him that we needed to take a step back and not let our friendship develop into something more. I said that I didn’t want to break my heart or his heart if we got into a relationship only to have to part ways because I wanted a temple marriage. I told him that life isn’t just about me, or us, but about our futures and future children. I admitted that I knew this was crazy and that I was jumping ahead but that I was just trying to be realistic and spare us future heartache.
He listened and then, to my surprise, replied, “I will take you to the temple.” I doubted him—how could he promise that? He reassured me by promising to take me and asking me to trust him.
I didn’t really know what to do, but it was probably the first time in my life that I had been praying with so much real intent. As I was fasting and praying throughout the whole journey, I always had a reassuring feeling that it was right and to keep going along this path. My previous relationships had felt good, but being with Kurt, for the first time in my life, things felt right—not just good but right, and I felt at home.
With that reassurance from the Spirit, I agreed to trust Kurt and continue our relationship. I knew that things still might not work out, but I also knew that I would stick to my commitment to a temple marriage.
Kurt started meeting with the missionaries. During the lessons, I found out that he had been investigating the Church for over a year before we met. I also discovered that he had purposely not been asking me any religious questions because he wanted to find out the truth for himself and not allow his feelings for me to sway him.
He was baptized, and we were married and sealed in the Hamilton New Zealand Temple a year later. He kept his promise to me to take me to the temple, and he still holds his covenants close to his heart. Six and a half years of marriage later, and we still have an amazing thing going. We have a son whom we cherish, and we strive every day to teach him the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I’m glad that I didn’t let my first impressions of Kurt become my last. He’s not the same person I first met. I’m glad that I trusted him and the Spirit’s guidance in our relationship. And I’m grateful that I stood up for what I believed in, for myself and my future family. I knew I wanted to be sealed in the temple, not just because it’s the “right thing to do,” but because the covenants we make, especially in the temple, put us on a path that allows our family to grow, progress, and become eternal. As President Russell M. Nelson stated so eloquently, “Salvation is an individual matter; exaltation is a family matter” (“Salvation and Exaltation,” Ensign, May 2008, 10).