Take Time to Develop a Good Friendship
Our initial meeting and the conversation that ensued seemed like that of three longtime friends. Elder Oaks told me that he had often taken walks with his wife, June, who had died two years earlier. I asked him to tell me about her. From the beginning, we felt calm and relaxed with each other. Sharmon shared much about their family and her mother. We laughed and talked, and our courtship began.
Because Elder Oaks felt that in our dating we should not attend public events together, we began from that day to visit family members, eat with them, take walks, go on picnics, and have ice cream on backyard patios. These activities provided an in-depth opportunity to really learn about each other. It was very sweet, romantic, and low-key. I suggest that if you desire to really get to know someone, spend a good many dates in the company of that person’s siblings, parents, or children.
What distinguished my courtship with Elder Oaks was the total peace and assurance I felt that all would be well, whether we married or not. We developed a wonderful friendship, and I came to love his family. Now, much to my delight, they are my family as well.
Looking back on my single years, I am so very thankful for the time I had to learn the gospel, to live the gospel, and to make Heavenly Father my best friend. Time is a dear friend also—it mellows us and matures us. My wish for other singles is that they enjoy each and every day of their life. Now that I am married, I do not feel that I have graduated to a higher plane. I do know that I feel more complete. I know that all we do in life contributes to our future happiness. When I look back on my single life, my only regrets are that I spent too much time worrying about my future and too little time in the kitchen. I would do anything to be able to make better dinner rolls.
Do Your Homework
When you meet someone at church, you can usually assume that you share similar values. I can directly attribute my marriage to my Church service. We had been dating and were enjoying each other’s company, but before he allowed his feelings for me to develop any further, he wanted to know more about me. Unknown to me, he prayed to meet someone he knew and trusted who had also known me for a long time and who could tell him more about me.
One Sunday when he came to dinner, I asked him if we could visit an elderly couple who had missed my Sunday school class. They were dear friends of mine, and I had heard they were ill. He walked to their door with me, which was extremely unusual because until that time we had made every effort to keep our dating private. When the door opened, Elder Oaks immediately greeted the elderly gentleman with a smile and a big hug. He was well acquainted with him, having earlier attempted to hire him as a professor at BYU.
My elderly friend had been a partner in one of the most prestigious accounting firms in America and was renowned for his good judgment and honesty. I had no idea. I only knew him and his wife as dear friends who had retired to my condominium complex. We entered their home and visited, and the time flew. I looked at my watch and asked if I could excuse myself to finish cooking dinner.
In the conversation that ensued after I left, this gentleman told Elder Oaks of their long years of friendship (nearly twenty) with me. He said that he and his wife had often commented on my singleness and expressed the opinion that I must be being saved for someone very special. For Elder Oaks, who implicitly trusted and respected this man’s opinion, that comment meant he would continue to court me. As for me, I was taken totally by surprise by my friend’s comments when Elder Oaks later shared them with me. The elderly gentleman had seen me serve in the ward in many capacities for many years, and the Spirit directed Elder Oaks to him as a witness of my character. I can testify from this experience that service in the Church makes a great difference in our lives and that the still, small voice can direct us to great blessings.