Find someone who makes you want to be better.
Receiving direct marriage and dating advice from a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn’t happen everyday. But this past Sunday—ward conference—was special. The bishop and stake president gave great talks, and the ward choir sang a beautiful hymn. Sunday school was incredibly crowded; practically the whole ward was there. President Dallin D. Oaks, who is a counselor in my stake’s presidency and who also happens to be the son of President Dallin H. Oaks from the First Presidency, was teaching the lesson. And it was great. Then he turned the remaining time over to his father. That’s when I realized President Oaks senior was sitting two rows behind me!
President Dallin H. Oaks rose. I was surprised to see that he’s shorter than I expected—he’s always seemed so tall on TV. After introducing his wife, who stood with him, he gave all the singles in the ward some marital advice: men, choose someone who makes you want to be better; women, choose someone you don’t have to drag along. Everyone chuckled a bit at that last part, but he spoke with the sincerity and bluntness of someone who knew what he was talking about. As I’ve pondered his advice, I’ve realized the wisdom of what he said. We know that everyone is constantly growing and changing—even in marital relationships—but a constant should be that whomever we marry is someone we can not only love but also respect and work with as an equal partner.
President Oaks’s advice is applicable to all of us. We all have our down days, but striving our best to be equally yoked to our current or future partner throughout life is crucial to success and happiness as a couple. The best way to learn how to be equally yoked with our current or future spouse is to be yoked to the Savior. Trying to be more like him each day will improve all our relationships. I’m by no means perfect; I struggle each day to remember Christ. But I know that small, simple efforts matter. And I have hope that one day I’ll be closely yoked to my spouse and my Savior.
—Lauren Buchanan, Mormon Insights
feature image by timo stern
Find more insights
Watch President Henry B. Eyring’s general conference address “To My Grandchildren” for advice on how to establish a loving relationship with your spouse.
Read the Ensign article “Equal Partnership in Marriage,” by Valerie M. Hudson and Richard B. Miller, for insight on how a husband and wife can play equally important and powerful roles in their marriage.