Frances Beverly Johnson Monson,
in the words of her husband, Thomas S. Monson
Frances Monson in 1964. Photo from Deseret News.
“The first day I saw Frances, I knew I’d found the right one.”
-Thomas S. Monson first saw his wife, Frances, at dance at the U of U. She danced away before he could talk to her, but a few months later he saw her again and determined within himself to take the courage to go meet her.
-They have three children together.
I thank my Father in Heaven for my sweet companion, Frances. This October she and I will celebrate 60 wonderful years of marriage. Although my Church service began at an early age, she has never once complained when I’ve left home to attend meetings or to fulfill an assignment. For many years my assignments as a member of the Twelve took me away from Salt Lake City often—sometimes for five weeks at a time—leaving her alone to care for our small children and our home. Beginning when I was called as a bishop at the age of 22, we have seldom had the luxury of sitting together during a Church service. I could not have asked for a more loyal, loving, and understanding companion.
President and Sister Monson share a tender moment. Photo from OsMormons.com.
From “Abundantly Blessed”
My sweet Frances had a terrible fall a few years ago. She went to the hospital. She lay in a coma for about 18 days. I sat by her side. She never moved a muscle. The children cried, the grandchildren cried, and I wept. Not a movement.
And then one day, she opened her eyes. I set a speed record in getting to her side. I gave her a kiss and a hug, and I said, “You’re back. I love you.” And she said, “I love you, too, Tom, but we’re in serious trouble.” I thought, What do you know about trouble, Frances? She said, “I forgot to mail in our fourth-quarter income tax payment.”
I said to her, “Frances, if you had said that before you extended a kiss to me and told me you love me, I might have left you here!”
Brethren, let’s treat our wives with dignity and with respect. They’re our eternal companions.
I have never known Frances to complain once of my Church responsibilities. I have been gone many days and many nights, and I have rarely been able to sit with her in the congregation. But there is no one like her—absolutely no one. She is in every way supportive and is a woman of quiet and profoundly powerful faith.
Kathleen Johnson Eyring,
in the words of her husband, Henry B. Eyring
Kathleen Johnson and Henry B. Eyring at their wedding. Photo from LDS.org.
“[She is] a person who has always made me want to be the very best that I can be.” (From "President Henry B. Eyring")
-Kathleen Johnson was attending summer school at Harvard when she met Henry B. Eyring, who was in his late 20s. Their oldest son described their courtship as “very romantic”—they played tennis together (she was captain of her high school tennis team), sailed on the cape, and enjoyed summer together after they met.
-When her boys (the oldest children) would fight, she would break out into singing hymns. Her boys would roll their eyes, but they would also stop.
-Her daughter remembers being surprised once by her mother with a drawer full of Skittles—they share an inherited sweet tooth.
On meeting his wife for the first time (from “Elder Henry B. Eyring: Molded by 'Defining Influences’”)
After that sunrise service, he saw a young woman coming out of a grove of trees. Not only was he struck by her beauty, but at that moment the words of President David O. McKay came to his mind: “If you meet a girl in whose presence you feel a desire … to do your best, … such a young woman is worthy of your love” (Gospel Ideals, Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953, p. 459). “That was exactly how I felt as I saw Kathleen for the first time,” says Elder Eyring.
President and Sister Eyring after a session of conference. Photo from LDS.org.
On his wife’s influence (from “Elder Henry B. Eyring: Molded by 'Defining Influences’”)
Kathy was to prove to be more than a good wife and mother. She was to be another of those defining influences in the life of Henry B. Eyring. The best example of that happened when Hal had been teaching at Stanford for about nine years. It was a richly satisfying time in their lives. He was given considerable freedom to design the classes he taught at Stanford. He returned for one year to Boston as the Sloan Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He had also entered the business world now, serving as an officer and director for Finnigan Instrument Corporation and becoming a founder and director of System Industries Incorporated, a computer manufacturing company. In the Church, he had taught early-morning seminary, served for a time in the bishopric of his own ward, and then was called as the bishop of the Stanford First Ward, a campus ward.
But that was all to change. “One night,” Elder Eyring reports, “Kathy nudged me and asked, ‘Are you sure you are doing the right thing with your life?’” He stops for a moment and then explains, “I was surprised. Now remember my situation. I have tenure at Stanford. I am the bishop of the Stanford ward. We are living next to her parents. I love what I’m doing. It’s like the Garden of Eden, all right? And then she asks me that question.”
“Couldn’t you do studies for Neal Maxwell?” she went on. Elder Eyring stops again. “You have to understand something. Neal A. Maxwell was the commissioner of education at that time. Kathy didn’t even know him. I didn’t know him.”
When asked about that night, Kathy is not sure what it was that brought forth that question. “We were very happy there,” she agrees, “but somehow I just felt like there was something more important that he should be doing. I knew that his teaching at Stanford was wonderful, but I felt there was something he could teach that could truly change lives.” She knew about the Church Educational System (CES) and somehow remembered that Neal A. Maxwell was the commissioner. Thus her comment.
It was enough. Hal determined he would pray about it. At first he got no answer, or so he thought. But it wasn’t long after that when the phone rang and Commissioner Maxwell, who apparently knew of Hal Eyring, was on the line asking if Hal could come to Salt Lake City. He went.
“I was at my parents’ house,” Elder Eyring recalls, “so Elder Maxwell came over there. The first words out of his mouth were, ‘Hal, I’d like to ask you to be the president of Ricks College.’”
Harriet Reich Uchtdorf,
in the words of her husband, Dieter F. Uchtdorf
A rare photo of Dieter and Harriet Uchtdorf early in their marriage. Photo from LDS Living.
“I [am] married to the woman I [have] loved ever since I first saw her.”
“She is the sunshine of my life.”
-While trying to win over Harriet’s heart, Dieter F. Uchtdorf would frequently ride his bike to her house, hoping to give her a ride to a church function. She was usually unavailable, but Harriet’s mother would take the ride instead. “Actually, looking back,” he says, “I recognize that it doesn’t hurt at all to be on good terms with the mother of the girl of your dreams.”
-President Uchtdorf frequently shares interactions he’s had with his wife in his talks. Always he depicts his wife with brightness and humor. From his talk on pride, "Pride and the Priesthood," "When I told my wife that this would be the topic of my talk, she smiled and said, 'It is so good that you talk about things you know so much about.'"
One Sunday the missionaries brought a new family to our meetings whom I hadn’t seen before. It was a mother with two beautiful daughters. I thought that these missionaries were doing a very, very good job.
I particularly took notice of the one daughter with gorgeous dark hair and large brown eyes. Her name was Harriet, and I think I fell in love with her from the first moment I saw her. Unfortunately, this beautiful young woman didn’t seem to feel the same about me. She had many young men who wanted to make her acquaintance, and I began to wonder if she would ever see me as anything but a friend. But I didn’t let that deter me. I figured out ways to be where she was. When I passed the sacrament, I made sure I was in the right position so that I would be the one to pass the sacrament to her. . . .
Years later, after I had finished my training as a fighter pilot in the air force, I experienced a modern miracle in Harriet’s response to my continued courting. One day she said, “Dieter, you have matured much over these past years.”
I moved quickly after that, and within a few months I was married to the woman I had loved ever since I first saw her. The process hadn’t been easy—there were moments of suffering and despair—but finally my happiness was full, and it still is, even more so.
President Uchtdorf kisses his wife's hand prior to a fireside. Photo from Deseret News.
Interaction between them (from “Dieter F. Uchtdorf: On to New Horizons”)
“She is the sunshine of my life,” Elder Uchtdorf says with a smile.
“Yes, and on occasion his thunderstorm too,” Harriet laughs. They are so conspicuously in love with each other that it is a joy to be in their presence.
When Harriet prepares a meal, it’s a masterpiece. Her cuisine is as wide-ranging as the world, and she frequently prepares dishes from countries we have visited. The presentation of the food is awe inspiring. In fact, it often looks so beautiful that it seems a crime to eat it. It’s as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the sense of taste.
But sure enough, no matter how perfect everything is, looks, and tastes, Harriet will apologize for something she thinks is imperfect. “I’m afraid I used a touch too much ginger,” she will say, or, “Next time, I think it would be better if I used a little more curry and one additional bay leaf.”
Let me contrast that with the way I cook. For the purpose of this talk, I asked Harriet to tell me what I cook best.
Her answer: fried eggs.
President and Sister Uchtdorf outside the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple. Photo from News.LDS.org.
Dantzel White Nelson (1945-2005),
in the words of her husband, Russell M. Nelson
Dantzel and Russell M. Nelson sharing a smile. Photo from LDS.org.
“Because of her, I know all the blessings that can come to a husband, father, and grandfather.”
-Dantzel and young Russell Nelson met as cast members in a Broadway-bound musical called Hayfoot, Strawfoot. They dated for three years before being married in the Salt Lake Temple.
-She used to sell her blood in order to help put Elder Nelson through medical school.
-Dantzel was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 20 years.
From “Call to the Holy Apostleship,” Elder Nelson’s first general conference address:
To my dear Dantzel, I acknowledge my debt, as well as my eternal love. She is the fountain from whom flows the nourishing love in our home. Her sacrifices to bring our ten wonderful children into this world, teaching and training them, while always supporting me without a murmur through my responsibilities in the Church and in my profession, are monumental.
The power of love between a man and a woman is special. The love shared with my beloved companion, Dantzel, has increased the power of love for both of us. That love brought us to the altar in the temple of the Lord. Her love for me motivated her to teach school during the early years of our marriage. When things were tight, she held a second job at night. Once when things were exceptionally tight, she even sold her blood in between her two jobs to keep us solvent. (Her dear parents may have wondered what kind of a son-in-law they had on that occasion!) I thought of that many years later when she needed a transfusion urgently and her blood couldn’t be matched readily with donor blood from the blood bank. What a privilege it was for me to donate mine directly to her.
Elder and Sister Nelson visiting Poland in 2003. Photo from Meridian Magazine.
My dear brethren and sisters, since our last general conference, my sweetheart—my beloved wife for 59 years—passed away. . . . My closest friend, angel mother of our 10 children, grandmother of our 56 grandchildren, [has] been taken from us.
Dantzel was not only a loved and loving companion. She was a teacher: by her noble example, she taught faith, virtue, obedience, and mercy. She taught me how to listen and to love. Because of her, I know all the blessings that can come to a husband, father, and grandfather. . . .
Sister Nelson prepared throughout her life for the time when she would return to God. She lived each day as though it were her last. She cherished every hour, knowing that time on earth is precious.
Wendy Watson Nelson (2006-present),
in the words of her husband, Russell M. Nelson
Elder and Sister Nelson leaving conference in April 2011. Photo from LDS.org.
I also know what it is to be blessed again by my Heavenly Father in marrying a second time, also to a woman of compassion and generosity of spirit, who has once again completed my family circle. Nothing, absolutely nothing, compares with the companionship between a husband and a wife (From "Elder Russell M. Nelson: The Family: The Hope for the Future of Nations").
-Wendy was a marriage and family therapist and professor at BYU before her marriage to Elder Nelson in 2006.
-Elder Nelson frequently relates events the two of them have done together and how those events provided for spiritual inspiration. (For example, here and here.)
From “Elder Nelson Completes Trip to Africa in Kenya”
In describing individual worth, Elder Nelson talked about his wife, Wendy Watson Nelson, whom he married in April 2006, and her preparation for marriage over many years.
“She never waited for a husband,” Elder Nelson said. “She was preparing for a husband. She was always preparing for that as an individual.”
One of the ways she prepared was through education.
“Education is one of your prime objectives,” Elder Nelson said. “The glory of God is intelligence (see D&C 93:36), so fill your mind with truth. . . . Expose yourself to good books and to good thoughts and to good music.”
Elder and Sister Nelson with a young child during their trip to Africa. Photo from LDS.org.
June Dixon Oaks (1952-1998),
in the words of her husband, Dallin H. Oaks
June Oaks and Elder Dallin H. Oaks on their wedding day. Photo from LDS.org.
“She just brought out the best in me. . . . June has kept me from getting pompous and self-important (From "Elder Dallin H. Oaks: It Begins By Following the Other Apostles").
-June was in high school when she met Dallin Oaks, a freshman in college who was announcing the basketball games. She said she “stood around until I was introduced.”
Observation from their daughter Sharmon in “It Begins by Following the Other Apostles”:
“One thing we appreciated was that our father and mother loved each other. Just walking into the kitchen and catching my father kissing my mother—that’s one of my favorite memories.”
“A disagreement with June just wipes me out. Since I know I can’t work until I get it resolved, and since I’m usually wrong anyway …” (his smile flashes), “I just apologize as soon as I can.” June’s version is a little different: “He’s like his mother in that he never, never criticizes anyone. I’ve never heard him say anything unkind about anyone, and we’ve been married almost thirty years.”
This doesn’t mean that an unnatural aura of sweetness and light surrounds the Oaks household.
“Our children can’t claim that they’ve never heard us disagree,” says Brother Oaks almost gleefully. “June and I have had some marvelous disagreements, but we’ve always worked them out.”
. . .
“I did not perform at a consistently high level until June came into my life. I owe so much to her.”
Kristen Meredith McMain Oaks (2000-present),
in the words of her husband, Dallin H. Oaks
Elder and Sister Kristen Oaks visit Japan following the anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami. Photo from News.LDS.org.
-Kristen was an educational advisor and visiting professor of curriculum at BYU prior to her marriage to Elder Oaks. She also served a full-time mission to Sendai, Japan, which brought added meaning in their recent visit there after the one-year anniversary of the tsunami.
-Elder and Sister Oaks have presented and written together for Church audiences.
From BYU Speech “Timing”:
Faith and trust in the Lord give us the strength to accept and persist, whatever happens in our lives. I did not know why I received a "no" answer to my prayers for the recovery of my wife of many years, but the Lord gave me a witness that this was His will, and He gave me the strength to accept it. Two years after her death, I met this wonderful woman who is now my wife for eternity. And I know that this also was the will of the Lord.
Photo from Mormon Newsroom
Barbara Bowen Ballard,
in the words of her husband, M. Russell Ballard
The Ballards on their wedding day in 1951. Photo from LDS.org.
“Getting her to agree to marry me was the greatest sales job I ever did.”
-Barbara Bowen met Russell Ballard at a University of Utah dance (they were both “well-known” students, according to a newspaper at the time). A mutual friend thought they should meet, and they danced for about 30 seconds. Thereafter they began dating.
“I married the right woman. Without the help and direction of Barbara, our family relationships would not have happened as well as they did. It was hard to be the bishop, the owner of my own business, and at the same time father of these children that came along, but somehow it worked out. I give credit to Barbara and her good judgment.”
From “M. Russell Ballard”:
“I knew from the beginning that I wanted to marry her, but she didn’t share the same feelings. It was a little hard convincing her. I kid her now that getting her to agree to marry me was the greatest sales job I ever did.”
From “Daughters of God”:
As a young father, I learned the demanding role of motherhood. I served as a counselor and then as bishop for a period of 10 years. During that time we were blessed with six of our seven children. Barbara was often worn-out by the time I got home Sunday evening. She tried to explain what it was like to sit on the back row in sacrament meeting with our young family. Then the day came that I was released. After sitting on the stand for 10 years, I was now sitting with my family on the back row.
The ward’s singing mothers’ chorus was providing the music, and I found myself sitting alone with our six children. I have never been so busy in my whole life. I had the hand puppets going on both hands, and that wasn’t working too well. The Cheerios got away from me, and that was embarrassing. The coloring books didn’t seem to entertain as well as they should.
As I struggled with the children through the meeting, I looked up at Barbara, and she was watching me and smiling. I learned for myself to more fully appreciate what all of you dear mothers do so well and so faithfully!
Photo from LDS.org
Mary Crandall Hales,
in the words of her husband, Robert D. Hales
Elder and Sister Hales laugh together at conference. Photo from LDS Living
“Mary has never held me back. We follow the Quaker proverb ‘Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we will ascend together.’”
-Elder and Sister Hales met at a church in Queens, New York, just after Mary had moved there from California with her family and when Elder Hales was visiting home for the summer.
-The Hales family moved all over the world as part of Elder Hales’s work. Each time, Mary “always made it work,” he says. One time he dropped her and two boys off in Frankfurt, Germany, and left them for a temporary assignment. She got the boys in school, figured out her way around, and eventually learned to speak German.
-In his addresses, Elder Hales frequently refers to Mary as “my dear companion, Mary.”
From “Robert D. Hales”:
After I met her, I never went out with anyone else. We were together every evening after work for the first two months sharing family activities. She’d help me wash my car, and I’d help her babysit her brothers; it was as though we were never going to be apart.
From “Return with Honor”:
Mary and Robert’s teamwork has been an example to many, including their daughter-in-law Susan. “They are a total partnership,” she says. “Any couple could pattern their marriage after them. Their relationship is 100 percent equal; one does not dominate the other. Each opinion is valued.”
This willingness to serve the Lord as a team, which Robert and Mary committed to early in their marriage, is one of the things that has made it possible for them to maintain a balance throughout their lives between important positions in the international business world and their desire to live the principles of the gospel.
“Once, when I received a promotion, my boss told me that I wouldn’t be where I was without my wife,” says Elder Hales. “He said, ‘Mary is your greatest asset, and don’t you forget it.’ And I never have.
“Mary has never held me back. We follow the Quaker proverb ‘Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we will ascend together.’ A lot of what we have done would not have happened without a team relationship. We always have been a team and always will be. I think listening to my wife, next to listening to the Holy Ghost, has been the most important influence in my life.”
Photo from LDS.org.
I was in the air force, and we had missed Christmas together. I was on assignment overseas. When I got home, I saw a beautiful dress in a store window and suggested to my wife that if she liked it, we would buy it. Mary went into the dressing room of the store. After a moment the salesclerk came out, brushed by me, and returned the dress to its place in the store window. As we left the store, I asked, “What happened?” She replied, “It was a beautiful dress, but we can’t afford it!” Those words went straight to my heart. I have learned that the three most loving words are “I love you,” and the four most caring words for those we love are “We can’t afford it.”
The second lesson was learned several years later when we were more financially secure. Our wedding anniversary was approaching, and I wanted to buy Mary a fancy coat to show my love and appreciation for our many happy years together. When I asked what she thought of the coat I had in mind, she replied with words that again penetrated my heart and mind. “Where would I wear it?” she asked. (At the time she was a ward Relief Society president helping to minister to needy families.)
Then she taught me an unforgettable lesson. She looked me in the eyes and sweetly asked, “Are you buying this for me or for you?” In other words, she was asking, “Is the purpose of this gift to show your love for me or to show me that you are a good provider or to prove something to the world?” I pondered her question and realized I was thinking less about her and our family and more about me.
Patricia Terry Holland,
in the words of her husband, Jeffrey R. Holland
Characteristic personality from Sister and Elder Holland. Photo from Mormon Newsroom.
“[She] is an extremely charitable person. She has given and given and given—of her time and of her love—all her life” (from "Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles").
-Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife, Patricia, were high school sweethearts. She was a cheerleader; he lettered in football, basketball, track, and baseball.
-While Elder Holland was president of BYU, he and his wife would jointly introduce devotionals. Students affectionately called it “The Pat and Jeff Show.”
From “Miracles of the Restoration” (his first talk in general conference):
I wish to thank my beloved wife, Pat, and our heaven-sent children for their prayers and their love, not only through these recent weeks, but always. My wife has the purest faith and deepest spirituality I know. Never in her entire life has she sought her own reward or pursued a selfish motive. Paraphrasing what Mark Twain’s Adam said of his Eve, I say of her, Wherever she was, there was paradise.
From “The Other Prodigal”:
I believe God is with us the way my precious wife, Pat, is with my singing. She is a gifted musician, something of a musical genius, but I couldn’t capture a musical note with Velcro. And yet I know she loves me in a very special way when I try to sing. I know that because I can see it in her eyes. They are the eyes of love.
From “Are You True?,” their very first devotional together at BYU:
She does not know I’m going to do this, but I need my wife, Pat, to come up here with me. (I told the freshman young men on Friday that if they studied really, really hard, this is what they got at BYU.) I’d like her to share with you a few of her thoughts this morning, if you would.
Sister Patricia T. Holland
He promised me he would never do this to me, and he may be the first president to start his new administration with a black eye.
I told the new freshmen a couple of days ago that a little less than a hundred years ago, I was a new student here, facing all of the challenges, trying to find the right buildings, and wondering if I’d succeed. Now, for some reason, I’m feeling all those feelings again. I guess the only thing that’s redeeming about my experience this time is that I do feel we were called by a prophet and thus by our Heavenly Father to serve you in this capacity. . . .
President Jeffrey R. Holland
Thank you sweetheart. You’re going to see a lot of her, for we want to approach this task together. We believe that says something about what this Church believes in and what this school stands for, and I’m grateful to have her at my side.
Photo from Mormon Newsroom
Susan Kae Robinson Bednar,
in the words of her husband, David A. Bednar
Sister and Elder Bednar at BYU Women's Conference. Photo from BYUtv.org
"Purity and goodness are evident in her countenance."
-They met at BYU when their two FHE groups met to play football. David Bednar threw a long pass (he had been a quarterback in high school), and Susan was on the receiving end. He was impressed at her catch. But he didn’t know it was the only one she could ever remember catching.
-The Bednars have three sons.
-Sister Bednar has spoken on her own to church audiences; to read her remarks and learn more about her from her own telling, read “By Small and Simple Things.”
From “In the Strength of the Lord,” his first conference talk as an Apostle:
My wife, Susan, is a virtuous woman and a righteous mother. You will quickly see that purity and goodness are evident in her countenance. I love her and appreciate her more than words can express. I thank her for the woman she is, for the lessons she has taught me, and for the love we share.
Many years ago, Sister Bednar and I were busy trying to meet the countless competing demands of a young and energetic family—and of Church, career, and community responsibilities. One evening after the children were asleep, we talked at length about how effectively we were attending to all of our important priorities. We realized that we would not receive the promised blessings in eternity if we did not honor more fully the covenant we had made in mortality. We resolved together to do and to be better as a husband and a wife. That lesson learned so many years ago has made a tremendous difference in our marriage.
Mary Gaddie Cook,
In the words of her husband, Quentin L. Cook
Photo: Sister and Elder Cook at a general conference. Photo from lds.org.
“It would be hard to find anybody in the whole world who is as good and righteous and bright as she is. . . . Marrying her was the best decision I have ever made.”
-Quentin L. Cook and Mary Gaddie were high school sweethearts. They served in student body positions together and debated together; in fact, in junior high, he was student body president and she was vice president. They have three children.
-In conference, when talking about various church assignments, Elder Cook says “we served,” indicating his unity with his wife.
My wife, Mary, has been the joy of my life. Her spiritual strength, righteous example, sense of humor, and loving support have blessed me throughout my life.
“It would be hard to find anybody in the whole world who is as good and righteous and bright as she is. She has a wonderful sense of humor.” . . .
Elder Cook first became acquainted with Mary at a seventh-grade talent assembly. He remembers, “This little towheaded girl gets up and sings ‘On the Sunny Side of the Street.’ Even in junior high school she had a remarkably mature, deep voice. I was absolutely amazed. And that song could have been the theme for the rest of her life. She has a wonderfully bright, sunny disposition.” . . .
“We were friends long before we were anything else,” Elder Cook recalls. “I admired her before I fell in love with her, and marrying her was the best decision I have ever made.”
[Adds their daughter, Kathryn: “Dad was a perfect father,” she says. “I adore everything about him. But my mother is a saint.”]
Photo fromMormon Channel
Katherine (Kathy) Jacob Christofferson,
in the words of her husband, D. Todd Christofferson
The Christoffersons and their children learn history by reenacting it. Photo from LDS.org.
"Those who know my Kathy have observed that I married much above myself, a conclusion I heartily agree with."
-Kathy met D. Todd Christofferson while they were studying at BYU. They met at the BYU stadium while they were both with other people; she enjoyed him, but was sad because she thought nothing would ever happen. He, however, looked her up in the student yearbook as soon as it came out. He arranged to take her on a date through a mutual friend—even though she wasn’t initially keen on a blind date.
-Sister Christofferson has been an aerobic dance instructor and instructor trainer, and also a volunteer art teacher to schools. Her daughter describes her as creative, real, and simply fun.
I knew Kathy was good and wonderful when we were first married. I just didn’t know how deep her character and qualities and wisdom and goodness really were. I’ve been happily surprised as time has gone by how much better she is than I realized even then.
We have a wonderful relationship. . . . I remember when I served on active duty in the army we had only been married about a year. I was the only one married in my group. One of them said to me “weren't you afraid to get married?” I asked what's there to be afraid of? It never occurred to me to be afraid of it. To be with a companion such as I have that's so supportive and so wise, it's made all the difference for me. I'll give her tribute for making something of me.
From “Born Again”:
[Acknowledging his blessings.] At the pinnacle is my wife, Kathy, the maker of our home, the light of my life, a steady and wise companion, filled with spiritual intuition, good humor, goodwill, and charity. I love her beyond expression and hope to show it more convincingly in the days and years ahead.
Photo from LDS.org
Kathy Sue Williams Andersen,
in the words of her husband, Neil L. Andersen
Neil L. Andersen and Kathy Williams on their wedding day in 1975. Photo from LDS.org
"She makes goodness look easy."
-Kathy met Neil L. Andersen while he was campaigning for student body office. She “thought he was the most remarkable man I had ever met, and that holds true to this day and forever.” Their first date was on her birthday. They have six children.
-Elder Andersen has called Kathy the “light of my life.”
From “Neil L. Andersen”
Once I married her, the standards in my life went way up—being totally consistent in prayer and scripture study, keeping the commandments with precision. She has a pure and disciplined faith. . . .
Her influence upon me and our children is phenomenal. Kathy is absolute and uncompromising in her loyalty to the Lord and to me and the family.
From “Come Unto Him”
The Lord has blessed me in ways I could never repay. He allowed me to marry one of His angels here on earth. My wife, Kathy, is my light and example, a precious daughter of God, full of purity and innocence. I would be nothing without her. For much of my life, I have been trying to become what she thought I already was.
Melanie Twitchell Rasband,
in the words of her husband, Ronald A. Rasband
Ronald A. Rasband and Melanie Twitchell on their wedding day in 1973 from LDS.org
"My wife has taken me like potter’s clay and molded me into something that really matters."
(from "Ronald A. Rasband")
-Melanie met Ronald A. Rasband at a Delta Phi Kappa fraternity event while at the University of Utah. Over time, their relationship blossomed from friendship to what Melanie called a “storybook, fairy-tale romance.” The two were married in the Salt Lake City temple on September 4, 1973. They have five children and 24 grandchildren.
In large measure it’s her spiritual influence that has led to not only this beautiful and special calling but to everything that I’ve done spiritually. She’s kept me spiritually grounded.
Lesa Jean Higley Stevenson,
in the words of her husband, Gary E. Stevenson
Gary E. Steveson and his wife Lesa in Salt Lake City. Photo from Church News
"She is the sunshine in and of my life and a remarkable daughter of God."
(from "Plain and Precious Truths")
-Lesa met Gary E. Steveson at an Old Testament course at Utah State University. "He was a lot of fun," she says. "He made me smile, he made me laugh. He was very kind, honest, a hard worker, and he had a strong testimony of the gospel." They were married in the Idaho Falls temple in April 1979. The couple has four sons.
Hers is a life punctuated by selfless service and unconditional love of all. I will strive to remain worthy of the blessing of our eternal union.
Ruth Lybbert Renlund,
in the words of her husband, Dale G. Renlund
Dale G. Renlund and his wife Ruth in Salt Lake City. Picture from LDS.org
"She’s my hero."
(from Dale G. Renlund)
-Ruth met Dale G. Renlund at their Valley View 1st Ward in Salt Lake City. Elder Renlund called himself a "horrible dater" and his attempt to ask Ruth to a date was met with a "no." But a few months later, Renlund asked again and the two began dating. The two were married in the Salt Lake City Temple on June 16, 1977. They have one daughter.
She was all in. When I called her, her life changed too.