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Dear Gramps,

I’m 17 years old and know who I’m going to marry. He’s 17 also and my boyfriend now. I love him with all my heart but people attack us saying that high school relationships never last. But I know he’s the one. I’ve prayed multiple times about it and every time it’s a strong yes. I don’t doubt that it will happen but how do we keep going when people don’t understand? It’s really hard having this knowledge and having to wait for about four years until we can marry. I feel like those four years will be idle. Of course I will finish high school and learn what I can in college but dating won’t be the same since I already know who I’m going to marry. It will also be hard when he’s on his mission which is two of the four years. Sometimes we question why we know because at times it makes it harder than normal. Do you have any advice or help for us to be patient? I wish that we lived back when getting married at my age would be totally appropriate. Thanks for listening.

Emily

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Emily,

What you are feeling may well be exactly what you both think it is. I will gladly assume so for my answer. There are several things I want to discuss, so I’ll try to be as clear as I can.

First of all, the surety you have that the two of you will marry needs to be discussed. Again, assuming that what you are feeling is the real thing and not just teenage years doing what they do (And I assure you I know what both of them feel like) I also have an idea of what you are feeling. The truth is only you and he will know for sure besides God himself, and it sounds like He’s given His answer. The first step is to be content with the knowledge, which leads me to my next point.

When I say be content with the knowledge, I mean that if you truly accept that God has told you it is right, there’s no need to keep asking him, though he may just keep on confirming it as he has been. What you need to do with this knowledge is something both of you must work on immediately. On to my next point.

You’ve both had the foresight to see potential difficulties ahead, and that’s a great thing. Don’t brush them off, but together decide now how you will handle them. holding hands mormonOne of the difficulties you must address is the very real chance that one or the other of you will take a liking to someone else at some point. I’m not saying you must act as though you’re engaged, but rather the opposite. The standards of the church must be maintained and that includes your behavior together. So, that means no solo dates, no alone time in private situations, and no hasty decisions towards the other without discussing it. Being together in public is fine. Group dates, and spending time with your families is best. You’re at a crucial age for both of you and the last thing either of you should want to do is to derail the future you see for yourselves. That means physically as well as spiritually.

Finally, I want to talk a little about personal revelation in general. Sometimes when God speaks truth to our hearts, it is something intended for us alone. When we receive witnesses from the Holy Ghost, it’s not always something we should immediately turn around and share with the world. Let me cite an example from Jesus’ ministry.

Matthew 17:1-8 tells of Jesus’ transfiguration on the mount with Peter James and John as witnesses to it. What I wanted to discuss with you happened after the vision was concluded, and is in verse 9;

9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

Now, several times Jesus was known to say this to people whom he healed, but it wasn’t often he said the same thing to his apostles. The question is, why would he say it? To answer, Jesus said this for the same reason at all times. He wanted people to believe in him because of the witness of the Holy Ghost, not because of the wonders he performed, or was party to, as in the vision. We get this answer from one chapter earlier, Matthew 16:13-17, 20.

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

So, what does this mean to you? It means that there’s no need to share what you have received from Heavenly Father with those not involved. To be certain, your parents may have questions now and then, but for the most part this seems to be something you can keep in your heart, as Mary did when she was told she would give birth to the long-awaited Messiah. She didn’t run to tell the world, but she did go to her cousin for support.

I wish God’s blessings on you both and pray that you will always seek his guidance and know of his love for you.

Gramps

 

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