I have one problem with this question: “The One.” Is there really one other person out there just for you? The person who’s the yang to your ying? The one guy that will make you perfectly, supremely happy, while all other guys will make you miserable? The guy that heaven has decreed will be your husband?
Nope. There’s no such thing as “the one.” Sorry to burst your bubble.
I mean, think about it: what if the guy who’s “The One” for you is killed in battle? Or born in North Korea and can’t get to you? Or makes a mistake and marries another girl who wasn’t destined for him? Then your entire future is lost. Your one true soul mate isn’t there, and you’ll be the single cat-lady forever.
No, instead I’d like to introduce you to this great maxim–words to date by, if you will: “Choose your love; love your choice.”
This would imply that we can choose whomever we want to love. Whoa. Suddenly the whole wide dating world has opened up! You and I can choose the person we love. I know sometimes it seems that we have little choice in the matter; you’re either attracted to a guy or you’re not attracted, and there’s not a whole lot you can do to change that.
But the point is that you’re not going to be forced into loving the guy who’s “The One.” “The One” is whoever you choose.
So how do I choose “The One”?
Choosing “The One” can sometimes seem more difficult than finding “The One.” Suddenly you’re accountable–if you choose the wrong one, there’s no blaming God for setting you up with the wrong soul mate because you chose him.
I mean, choosing the guy you’re going to marry is a big deal. It’s an even bigger deal if you’re like me and don’t believe in divorce, and that marriage is supposed to last forever. And by “forever,” I mean forever. Through this life and beyond, into eternity.
Again, no pressure.
After a really long time and a lot of effort, I finally succeeded in choosing my love. I used these six steps:
1. Spend a lot of time with him. I don’t mean spending lots of time watching movies or kissing—I mean quality time, with real conversations. We spent lots of time together, even before we really started dating. You can’t decide to marry a person without really knowing him. While it can be pretty easy to give a guy the “thumbs down” after only a couple of dates, it’s more difficult to give the “thumbs up” after only a couple of dates.
2. Fast and pray about it. God, your Heavenly Father, cares about you. I know it’s sometimes hard to believe, but it’s true. Once I realized that Heavenly Father cared about my life, it was easy to pray for guidance and direction. I prayed for many months before finally receiving an answer about my relationship, so don’t give up after just one prayer.
3. Read your patriarchal blessing. Patriarchal blessings are really important for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Usually, young Latter-day Saints receive their blessing when they’re teens or young adults. A Latter-day Saint only receives one Patriarchal Blessing in a lifetime, and it contains promises and guidance from God delivered by revelation through a Patriarch in the Church. The blessing is written down, and we can reread it. Patriarchal blessings have guidance and promises specific for you. Rereading my patriarchal blessing helped me know what qualities to look for in a husband. To learn more about patriarchal blessings, click here.
4. Go to the temple. The temple is God’s house. Going to the Latter-day Saint temple regularly helped me keep my life in perspective, especially when I was dating. It was easier to feel the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, in the temple, and to know what I should do. If nothing else, the temple provided a quiet, contemplative place for me to think. Even visiting the grounds, or other peaceful places, can be helpful.
5. Remember other big decisions you’ve made. We’ve all made other big decisions: what to major in, where to live, where to go to college. Remember the process you went through to make those decisions. Remember the feelings you had from the Holy Ghost, or the Holy Spirit. Chances are the process and feelings will be the same again as you make decisions about dating.
6. Follow the prophet. There are several talks from living prophets that really helped me choose my love. These messages explained how to receive guidance from God and use my God-given agency. They also helped me understand true love and the importance of chastity. Some of these messages are linked at the bottom of this article. Advice or counsel from other leaders you respect will also be helpful.
Choosing “The One” for me
Ultimately, I had to realize that this was my decision. I could ask my parents, friends, and family members for advice, but I was the one getting married, not them. Modern revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants emphasizes this point:
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. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought.
Heavenly Father gave us agency so we could choose and act for ourselves. In my decision-making about marriage, I needed to “study it out” in my mind and make a choice, and then ask Heavenly Father if it was right. Even then, the answer to my fervent prayers wasn’t big and grand. Instead, it came in small pieces, so soft I sometimes barely even noticed that the Holy Ghost was there.
After a long time, all the pieces of the answer were in place. As I reflected, I realized that I had received the guidance from the Holy Ghost I had asked for.
Another passage from Doctrine and Covenants describes how I felt: “Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:23). I had chosen “The One” for me; now on to the business of loving my choice.
“Agency or Inspiration” by Elder Bruce R. McConkie
“To Acquire Spiritual Guidance” by Elder Richard G. Scott
“Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer” by Elder Richard G. Scott
“Place No More for the Enemy of my Soul” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
“We Believe in Being Chaste” by Elder David A Bednar
Megan is a graduate of BYU-Idaho and recently married member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is a writer and avid reader, and loves music, hiking, and her family.