“I think I have found the right person to marry. How can I be sure?” New Era, Jan. 1973, 35
Answer/Lindsay R. Curtis, M.D.
May I answer this in two parts:
1. You may recall that Oliver Cowdery desired to translate just as Joseph Smith had been doing. The Lord gave him permission to do so. Imagine Oliver’s disappointment when he discovered, after receiving “permission” to translate, he was unable to do so.
The Lord’s answer to him is found in the ninth section of the Doctrine and Covenants. “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
“But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you, therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” (D&C 9:7–8. Italics added.)
Too many individuals expect the Lord to give them the answers to their problems simply because they ask. The Lord expects us to give the matter some thought and a little mental research. It is more likely that we will then reach the conclusion by ourselves, after which the Lord causes our bosom to burn within us if that conclusion is right. The same principle applies whether we are seeking a mate or making any other decision.
2. Some have told me: “Yes, I prayed and received my answer that this was the right companion for me, but now it hasn’t worked out. Our marriage has failed. Why?” Perhaps it is because we take it for granted that the right partner in marriage is all that is needed, and we put forth no further effort to make that marriage succeed.
I asked one disillusioned man if he ever told his wife that he loved her. He said, “Yes.”
I then asked, “When was the last time you told her?”
“When I married her. She knows that I love her.”
“Perhaps she does, but she may wonder about it if you don’t tell her so many times every day.”
Possibly the most abused phrase is: “Then they were married and lived happily ever after.” Far more correct is this: “Then they were married, and they settled down to the job of making their marriage work, and they were happy.”
Give the Lord a chance. Instead of asking the Lord to tell you if he or she is the right mate for you, ask Him to help you make the decision. Then study your mate, comparing his/her likes, dislikes, attributes, strong points, and weak points with yours. Take time to stand back and see if you think you can live together, work together, go through sorrow as well as happiness together.
Decide if he is the type of father you can be proud of. Can your children also be proud of him? Will he truly stand as the priesthood head of the family, pointing the way and leading your children and you to the celestial kingdom?
Will she be both a mother and wife, supporting you in your righteous efforts to be the priesthood head of the family?
Remember that marriage merely unlocks the gate that leads up the never-ending stairs of life together. But you’ll find as you progress up the stairs together, you become stronger and the stairs become easier to climb, because your increasing love for each other gives you unbelievable strength.