“What kind of a person do you think would make an ideal husband for your daughter?” New Era, Oct. 1972, 38–39
Answer/Stella H. Oaks
Most women, especially mothers, are matchmakers at heart, differing only in the finesse with which they examine a young Mormon man as they look for both practical and eternal values.
I will look for one who is comfortable with the family when he calls for our daughter, who communicates his plans for the evening so we know when they will return, who will let us know by a call if there is an unavoidable change; in short, one who has sincere awareness of others’ feelings.
I will look for one who is at ease with himself and his manhood—his masculinity—neat in dress and appearance, who is kind and gentle, having warmth and interest. Without these qualities, femininity cannot fulfill itself. Woman was created to be a helpmate at man’s side—but he evokes this devotion by his loving concern.
I would like him to be “dashing”—fulfilling a girl’s yearning for colorful romance. Shakespeare put it concisely, “All the world loves a lover.” He will have an inclination for some of the fine arts—music, literature, dance, and drama—which will become part of his personal refinement.
I will look for potential, not perfection, in the young Mormon man, and will delight in seeing potential skills and abilities unfold, for he will have been born of goodly parents who have set an example and have been models for him to follow.
He will be one who honors his priesthood and has a growing faith that he is a son of God, that he can become head of a household and part of the eternal family chain. He will be in the right places on the Sabbath, at ease with spiritual things and at ease with others in spiritual work.
He must have ambition and initiative, be capable of hard work, and be making progress toward earning a living. The scriptures make plain a man’s duty:
“But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim. 5:8.)
Preparing to earn a living in a competitive world calls for courage and early habits of responsibility. A young man who is content to do nothing more original than watch television will find it difficult to build confidence in the watchful mother.
He will love children and welcome the responsibility of guiding them in the ways of the Lord. Every mother yearns in time to be a grand mother.
He will be unafraid of the future for he is prayerful and believes in the guidance and whisperings of the Spirit. He will follow spiritual promptings and in due time bear testimony, sharing the strength of his manhood with his community.