Bride and groom's hands

Breaking News: There Is No “One and Only”

Deciding whom to marry isn’t easy. But part of what makes it special is that both spouses use agency to choose their one and only companion.

After three weeks of dating, he knew. After three months, he told me he wanted to marry me. But I wasn’t sure.

Couple walking on beach


I’d been doing all I could to stay close to the Spirit, and I felt that I deserved a clear answer about whether I should marry him. But I wasn’t getting it. I prayed, fasted, and went to the temple. I even googled how people knew their spouse was the right one.

What helped me the most was a short and sweet article called “Choosing Whom to Marry” by psychology professor Scott R. Braithwaite, who clarifies that there is no one and only. God doesn’t select one person to be someone’s soulmate. Professor Braithwaite says, “Agency is so critical to our Heavenly Father’s plan; He does not remove it when it comes to choosing a spouse.” In fact, part of what makes a marriage wonderful is the fact that, with all of the options, both people choose each other. 

Any good man and any good woman can have a successful marriage if they’re doing good things and willing to put in some effort. But consistent effort is key. Each spouse needs to choose the other, not just at the altar but every single day. Professor Braithwaite says, “It is much more meaningful to say to the one you love, ‘No, you weren’t chosen by someone else; I chose you. And I will continue to choose you every day of our life for eternity.’” Choosing to love someone every day is what makes that person the right one.

Yes, personal spiritual revelation is key to confirm that this important choice is good. But God won’t let someone miss out on eternal blessings because they didn’t find a certain one and only out of billions of options. Choosing is what makes marriage romantic and meaningful.

Read more about how to choose an eternal companion by reading Professor Scott R. Braithwaite’s “Choosing Whom to Marry.” 

Source: Ensign 

—Stacey Clark, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Take a look at Elder Richard G. Scott’s general conference address “Receive the Temple Blessings” for more guidance on what to look for in an eternal companion.

Also check out Chapter 18 of Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball for advice on how to have a marriage that is both happy and successful.

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