I am ‘twenty-something ‘and single. Currently there are two men who seem to be very interested in pursuing a serious relationship with me. I feel hesitant because neither of them seems to be centered in the Gospel. They attend meetings from time to time, but don’t seem very committed. Neither of them served a mission. How important is a mission considered, in the plan? – Forgive me for using you as “Dear Abby…” I just feel uncomfortable talking with people about this. Please don’t feel you have to print this! I would just appreciate your answer. Thank you!
I think that your feeling of hesitancy is very well taken. These are times of momentous decisions. You could be married by a civil authority, with its standard built-in divorce , “till death do you part,” or you could be sealed in the holy temple to a worthy companion for time and all eternity. The two types of marriages have nothing in common. NOTHING! The same words are used to describe different aspects of the two relationships, but the definitions are different. Let’s look at a couple.
The husband presides in the home. What does the word “preside” mean in a civil marriage?–the right to dictate, demand, impose, direct, take charge, etc. In a celestial marriage the husband presides by virtue of the priesthood that he holds, and we understand that “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge” (D&C 121:41-42). Which of those two types of relationships would you desire in your marriage?
The equality of the partnership in a civil marriage is probably seldom achieved; and if so, it is often the result of an adversarial relationship. Equality in a celestial marriage is part of the plan from the beginning. To the mother goes the responsibility for the physical birth and for the training and upbringing of the children; to the father goes the responsibility for the spiritual birth and for the training that upbringing of the children–equal but different.
Those who are married in the temple and who live according the marriage covenant subscribed to therein will inherit “all that the Father has;” they will be “heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.” They will “rule and reign in the House of Israel forever.” They will receive the highest blessings that God has prepared for his children. In my mind, to jeopardize the qualification for those blessings is unthinkable! In fact, I strongly urge young people not even to date anyone who is not temple worthy. Dating relationships quickly become highly emotional, and rational judgement becomes seriously impaired. The stakes are simply far too high to gamble with the possibility of not qualifying for the unspeakable blessings associated with the covenants of eternal marriage.