Man of My Dreams
February 2002

“Man of My Dreams,” Liahona, Feb. 2002, 46

Man of My Dreams

He was perfect—except for his bad habits and attitudes. And I just knew I could change him—if he would only give me a chance.

Steve was tall, handsome, age 17, and a senior in high school. I was two years younger and thought I was madly in love with him. He liked me too, and I thought that was great. We didn’t date because I wasn’t old enough; we didn’t go to the same school either. But he did call me on the phone, and I did get to see him at stake dances twice a month. I envisioned a romance that would last forever.

Steve wasn’t the most active churchgoer around, but I just knew I could help him change. I prayed that Heavenly Father would inspire me about how to help Steve become active in the Church. But most of all, I prayed for things to work out between us.

I imagined him going on a mission while I finished high school. I dreamed we would write faithfully, and everything would be so romantic. I imagined him returning home, surprising me with flowers. We would be so in love. He would be ready to go to college and excel. We would be married in the temple. Life would be bliss. I wanted it more than anything.

Then, after three months of this fantasy romance, Steve showed up at a dance with alcohol on his breath. This development didn’t fit my dream. He told me I didn’t understand him at all. The phone calls stopped.

All I could do was cry and pray. I did a lot of both. For months I prayed that Heavenly Father would inspire Steve to give me another chance. I will be more tolerant, I thought. I will be more understanding. With me he will change.

No one is perfect, I told myself. He just needs more time to grow up. My prayers were pleading and demanding. I didn’t even come close to listening to the Spirit to understand the will of my Heavenly Father.

Fortunately, Steve never did show an interest in me again. Later, while I was still in high school, I heard that Steve’s girlfriend was pregnant. They got married, but now they are divorced. I’m sorry for Steve, but I’m also thankful my prayers at age 15 weren’t answered the way I wanted them to be. I’m grateful my life has gone the way it has—without him.

Since then I have served a mission and graduated from college. I was married in the temple to a returned missionary who is 100 times more wonderful than any man I ever imagined in my teenage dreams. And unlike Steve or some of the other young men I dated, my husband didn’t need to change the way he was living to make me happy. He was just right the way he was.

Today, I thank my Heavenly Father for what I thought were unanswered prayers. At age 15 I thought I was asking for a good thing—now I know better. I’m so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who knew better and did not answer those prayers the way I wanted, even though I felt hurt at the time. He made my dreams come true in a much grander way than I ever imagined.

  • Lara Bangerter is a member of the Garden First Ward, Pleasant Grove Utah Garden Stake.

Illustration by Roger Motzkus