In Young Womens when I was around 14, we wrote down all the attributes and characteristics we wanted in our future spouse. Then, we sealed our lists up in an envelop and weren’t to open it until our 18th birthday. I remember when I read back over what my young self had desired, and I was somewhat proud of myself. Kind, good with children, funny, priesthood holder. And then there were also moments where I just had to smile and roll my eyes. Must be a baseball or a football player. Plays piano. Likes to watch soccer with me. I had obviously thought this optimal spouse thing through way too thoroughly.
Everyone has their list of must-haves as they date. I did; it wasn’t my 14-year old list, but I knew I was looking for someone who did pass certain expectations. However, after I had returned from my mission, the Lord taught me what I should look for. My list was shortened down to one attribute.
I was finishing an initiatory session in the temple when a thought distinctly touched my mind: I needed to find a man whose counsel I could trust as he harkened to the Lord. The temple teaches much about marriage and roles and commitments and in this moment, Heavenly Father taught me the seriousness of what I was covenanting to do and the importance of finding someone who I could honor this covenant with.
Previously in my dating life, I had felt wiser than those I dated. They were good guys with good hearts, but in honesty, I trusted myself more than I trusted them.
So the new search began. And I met Andrew. We didn’t go on a date until after we had known one another about 9 months. So during the wait time when I was begging and pleading for him to ask me out with no avail, I had plenty of time to observe and listen to Andrew from a non-involved perspective.
I quickly noticed that he had one of the most tangible relationships with God of anyone I had ever met. And as I would talk with him or listen to his comments at church activities or have other people talk to me about what Andrew taught them, I knew that He took the Lord seriously and treasured all that the Lord taught and was. I had a best friend like that. An old woman I had met on my mission was like that. General Authorities were like that. But I had never met a common man that was like that. Andrew was amazing to me.
Months later, I was again in the temple when the thought distinctly came that I needed to try Andrew’s counsel in order to know if I could trust it. The thought was weird, simply because Andrew and I weren’t dating, and Andrew and I didn’t really talk all the time, and I certainly didn’t ask Andrew for advice. No, my relationship with Andrew at that point was one of a smitten, crushing-so-hard, trying-to-play-it-cool-that-I-was-maybe-interested-sometimes, afraid-to-talk-to-him-because-he-made-me-nervous, but-I-totally-go-out-of-my-way-to-see-him-so-maybe-he’ll-talk-to-me kind of relationship. You know??
In passing one day, Andrew mentioned that he followed the counsel of President Eyring to write in his journal how he had seen the hand of God in his life each day. And I thought, ah! Instead of looking for an opportunity to ask for his advice, I’ll make the effort to follow his example. His example is as much counsel as his words would be anyways. So I did. I began writing daily in my journal. And my relationship with God grew stronger. Andrew taught often with scriptures. I increased how I treasured the words of God in the scriptures and my relationship with God grew stronger. Andrew put people first, even when he had a lot of work to do, and even when he wouldn’t be able to get it all done. I made more of an effort to take the time to talk with people instead of concentrating on studying or doing homework when I was with them, and my relationship with God grew stronger. He told me of his goal to become the best disciple of Christ. I elevated my own spiritual expectations for myself and my relationship with God grew stronger than ever before.
And the more I tried to follow Andrew’s silent counsel, the more I felt that if he didn’t ask me out soon, I was going to explode. And implode. All at the same time.
As we know, he did eventually ask me out (which, for the record, the long wait was because he was trying to be a good friend and honor the bro-code) (stupid bro-code), and it didn’t take long for us to get married. The best part is that I truly have found someone that I can trust 100%, even more than I trust myself, and who truly brings me closer to Christ and Heavenly Father. And on top of that, God spoiled me in that Andrew really possesses everything on my 14-year old list (but instead being a wrester and rugby player) and everything else I never let myself dream of. It’s crazy how alike he and I are when it comes to perspectives, priorities, goals, and opinions (other than food). Everything that is foundational to a marriage, we’re right on board with one another, I guess because he and I are honestly built upon the same principles of Christ. I really feel that because I sought to meet my high spiritual requirements first and not compromise in them, everything else just fell into place. Putting the things of God first in any and every decision really is the principle of happiness. And it’s always worth the wait.