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Steve Young shares the marriage advice he received from Elder Richard G. Scott

Facebook screenshot.

Steve Young published a new book all about the law of love which he defines as, “loving as God loves, seeking another’s healing, expecting nothing in return.” Young recently did a question-and-answer session with readers via Facebook live to discuss the principles of his book. We’ve pulled some highlights from that discussion below. You can find the full video with Young on Deseret Book’s Facebook page.

Responses have been edited for clarity.

In your book, you mentioned some advice from Elder Richard G. Scott, where he said, “Your marriage is a covenant without transaction. It will ask all of you all of the time. If you ever try to make a deal, it will inevitably falter.” I’ve searched all over without success for any reference for that quote. Was that a personal comment from him to you?

Truman Madsen and Ann Madsen became very good friends of mine, and as an older single adult in the Church, I ended up in the temple many times with [them and] their friend, Elder Scott—as friends. It wasn’t like, “Oh, here’s an Apostle, and here’s Truman Madsen, and here’s Steve Young.” As a friendship circle, we would end up [in the temple]. I was about to get married, and [Elder Scott] pulled me aside and taught me this concept. So that quote is a direct quote from him to me. And it has been an important part of my marriage and the success of my marriage. I’m very grateful for it. And it really is the foundation of the law of love.

What is the best way to see that love is growing in your marriage?

Of all the places that we cannot be transactional, it’s in our relationships.

Covenant relationships are 100 percent. 50/50 relationships will rot over time—guaranteed. But if I give all that I have in a covenant relationship—and that doesn’t mean that I put up with abuse— … I expect nothing. I love as God loves. I see the full measure of my spouse; I don’t see them in the day when they’ve screwed up or they’ve done something terrible or something else.

The law of love does not steal from accountability. It does not steal from any other law. What it does is provide an opportunity to see somebody in their more eternal state. And in that scene, it solves a lot of difficulties and creates all kinds of opportunities for healing … .

[So] how do you see that love is growing in your marriage? How selfless are you? … Which way do I face as I wake up in the day? I face towards selfless healing of every relationship that I have.

What was your motivation to write the Law of Love?

Life can get very complex, and mine certainly did. And as you try to deal with very complex issues … what are the things that … give you the answers that really resonate? And as I asked those questions for myself, what came forward was the supreme law of love. That is the highest law in heaven and the one that is everlasting.

It won’t rot like most things rot over time, especially in this world. The law of love became very obvious to me … [I taught] gospel doctrine, and it was like every week we ended up on a lesson on the law of love. I didn’t mean to it just, that’s just how it happened [for] 15 years. … I wanted to write it down for my family, and for myself, and then it ended up being a book.

How do you overcome perfectionism?

A lot of people asked this, and I think this [question] allows me to give you foundations for how to think about the law of love. ...

If you think about a transactional relationship with heaven … if every time I’m asked to do something, I want to do it better, and I want to do it better. I want to be more perfect and more perfect. That’s where perfectionism can end up rotting. … I always say that transactional questions get transactional answers. …

And so how do you overcome perfection? In my mind, [this is] why the law of love is such a wonderful gift. To understand that it is actually is a call to a higher spiritual plane. And you don’t ask those questions anymore, and then you don’t get those answers anymore.

I always say when you [start to focus on] gentle persuasion, meekness, love unfeigned, you start to be these qualities. In the effort to see other human beings selflessly, as you seek their healing, you engage in that process. Those are non-transactional questions, they get non-transactional answers, and you won’t be bogged down by perfectionism.

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How can the law of love not only help strengthen our relationships but also help us thrive emotionally during stressful times?

The miracle of the highest law in heaven is that as you lose yourself, as Christ encourages us to do, think about what you do: You leave behind all of that stress, all that perfectionism … All the things that are weighty, the regret, and the mistakes and the pain. If you can leave that behind in some ways, as you see the person next to you, to see them in their pain … the miracle that happens is as you see them, and lose yourself in the needs that they have, it’s a miraculous feeling.

I think that is what Christ’s promises in the losing: you actually find the full measure of who you are through this selflessness, through the seeking other people’s healing. …

I was talking to young people the other day, and they said, “Steve, you’re super famous, and you have trophies, and [you’re in] the Hall of Fame—your life is like your legacy is set. And I’m 23 years old, and … I’m worried that my life is not going to be remarkable, and that I’m going to have no legacy”.

And I said … “My legacy is the remnants of the law of love that I’ve shared with those around me, that will be my legacy.” I said to this 23-year-old man, “If you spent your life seeking that … it provides all of the legacy you’d ever want.” And I really believe that.

Law of Love

The law of love—loving as God loves, seeking another’s healing, expecting nothing in return—is a simple principle with profound, life-changing implications. How can we live the law of love? Steve Young shares insights from his own multifaceted life as well as from others who are scientists, fellow Latter-day Saints, Anglican, atheist, Baptist, Catholic, Confucian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and secular people of wisdom, as well as from the scriptures. This practical book may shift your mindset to a more expansive worldview that just might change everything. Whether in football, work, church, or family, the law of love is undefeated. Available at Deseret Book and

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