“Choose your love and love your choice.” When Thomas S. Monson made that statement, I thought I understood what he was saying.
I still think that I get the second part—love your choice. To me, that means being committed.
But what does that first part mean? How do we choose our love?
We often get so lost in trying to understand what it means to choose our love, that we never gain what we want (or at least want to want): marriage. Or better-put, a great marriage.
For years I was convinced that I was doing my part to get married, until I realized recently that there was a three-word formula. It is a formula for helping us all to choose our love—not just waiting around for him or her to appear.
See, not long ago, I met this girl. She was pretty, smart, and motivated, but we weren’t really one another’s type. I thought she was a little too high-strung, and I could tell she thought I was immature (turns out one of us was right–her). I never asked her out, but we became good friends. Then one day, I thought to put the “choose your love” counsel from President Monson to the test and see if I could really like her. So I decided I would make myself vulnerable and not even care if she didn’t like me back. Every time I saw her, I would give her a compliment, try to make her day a little better, and be more eager to help her out. Basically, I served her. Not in a creepy way, but in a way to help her day be a little bit better.
Over time, something happened.
Week 1: I did not feel much of a change.
Week 2: I started to notice myself glancing at her more often.
Week 3: I caught myself thinking about her randomly.
Week 4: I noticed butterflies.
Week 6: I was looking forward to seeing her.
Week 7: I really liked her . . . a lot.
I realized this was the same lesson I learned on my mission with difficult companionships, but I didn’t think it would translate into romantic relationships as well. But why shouldn’t it?
Gordon B. Hinckley said, “If every husband and every wife,” (and I don’t think he is excluding singles,) “would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his or her companion, there would be very little, if any, divorce” (“The Women in Our Lives,” General Conference, Oct. 2004).
To read the conclusion of this post and my epiphany on how this relates to the Atonement, continue reading at LDSLIVING.com <–click that!