I can still remember the feelings that came to me when my then-boyfriend, Jared, shared his feelings about our relationship. Although a very big fan of love stories and marriage, I was just 22 and I only knew him for 6 months. I still had big dreams for my future which primarily involved me becoming a returned missionary, a lawyer, manager, book author, and an owner of my company. Could I, a competitive girl, give up my personal career goals and people’s expectations of me and get married at a young age of 22?
Ever since I was young, I always dreamed about being married to a wonderful returned missionary who would adore me and love me. Through my father’s example, it was instilled to me at a young age what qualities and attributes I should search for in a young man and an eventual eternal companion. As early as the age of 13, I couldn’t wait till I can finally go out on a date.
However, the dating years were not that generous to me. Although I went out with amazing young men who became great examples, none of them took it to the next level. Slowly becoming frustrated of my dating status, I decided to talk to Heavenly Father and laid out my plans to Him. I can still recall me saying “Father, this is my plan. If no one is interested with me, I’d like to develop myself. I wish to lock my heart now so I can focus on my goals.”
Exactly one month after my prayer, Jared came. He had the attributes that I have long since hoped to see in my future companion. He was kind, he was industrious, he was a returned missionary, and of course, he was very cute.
After 4 months of getting to know each other, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Marriage became a serious topic in the relationship and though I know getting married was the right thing, I had so many concerns in mind.
How about my dreams for myself?
What will other people say?
What will my parents say?
I’m just 22 and I haven’t travelled and enjoyed single life pa. Am I ready to give those things up?
How about my plans of serving a mission? Despite our wedding plans, my desire to serve was still strong.
Then one day, Jared called me to drop a news that affected our decision more. “Honey,” he said, “my contract in the MTC will be ending on Dec 31, 2014.” Thinking he would delay our planned June wedding for him to have more time to look for a job, Jared surprised me even more by saying “No, I think we should get married on February.”
With all of these matters overwhelming our minds, Jared and I decided to inquire of the Lord. I remember how much I fasted and prayed to receive inspiration from the Lord. I needed to know from Him.
After much fasting and prayer, I went to our dormitory’s rooftop and spent some time in solitude, eager to receive an answer from the Lord. I poured out my heart’s desires and fears and plans, and after doing so, I received an impression to write down the advantages and disadvantages of choosing to get married. I was surprised how I almost occupied the whole page of my paper writing down the blessings that come with marriage; on the other side of the table, I only listed but a few. Sensing that it was the answer to my inquiry, I prayed and told Heavenly Father, “I will choose marriage, Father, if this is Thy will.” In that moment, a sweet feeling of peace and assurance enveloped me and I heard a still small voice whisper “I am proud of you, my daughter.” Receiving the Lord’s approval was all that mattered in that crucial moment of decision making.The months before our wedding were not easy; a lot of people would share their opinions about me giving up so many things by getting married. A lot of them encouraged me to reconsider my decision and try to delay marriage. Whenever I feel getting drowned with all these opinions, I just held on to the sweet assurance I received in the rooftop of my dormitory. It was the Lord giving approval to our decision. It was all I needed. He was the Only Person I needed to please, the Father I need to listen to.
On February 26, 2014, both jobless at the age of 22, Jared and I were sealed for time and all eternity in the Philippines Cebu Temple.
The days that followed were never the same. My dear husband, jobless at first but very faithful and talented, was an instrument of the Lord in building my faith. Though our marriage came with a plethora of trials and challenges, the miracles that followed after the trial of our faith were worth the tears and endless prayers. Through the Lord’s blessings, improvement came. Yes, I agree with Elder Hales, we marry potential and not perfection.Every day of my life I wake up with the person whose love for me is overflowing. He did not make me give up my dream; he made me realize it more. He may not be rich but his integrity and passion is unequaled. I may not have travelled a lot during my single years but marriage continues to take me to places and experiences I would not trade for the world.
Throughout my decision making, there is one quote from Elder Neal A. Maxwell that I have came to love: “God, who knows the beginning from the end, knows, therefore, all that is in between.” If there is Someone whose approval you should get, it is the Lord’s because He is the only One who can see your future. Wouldn’t you trust the Father who only desires what is best for you? Shouldn’t He be the one we should listen to? The One we always strive to please with our decisions?
Marriage is a beautiful thing. I am grateful to be given the opportunity to marry at 22. I am grateful for the knowledge that I am Heavenly Father’s daughter and He wants the best for me. When people ask me how we still gave marriage a go even though we were both jobless that time, I just tell them I just followed the Lord’s advice and answer to my inquiries. It was a sacred experience for me, the very thing that gave me the faith and courage, despite the sacrifices, despite the hardships, despite the opposing opinions, to marry at 22.
You might also be interested in these articles about marriage:
- My Marriage Decision as a Mormon in the Philippines
- 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Married
- 6 Tips for Newlyweds on Surviving the First Year of Marriage
Would you like to learn more about what Mormons, or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believe? Contact us!
I can totally relate! Thank you for a very inspiring story sister. Keep the Faith!
Thank you for your comment Russel. It’s good to hear that the article was personally meaningful to you. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it.
Wow this is a great example. I was married at the age of 25 and my wife were 24. I believe the earlier the better. 🙂
I love reading your story, its realky inspiring. I found myself taking almost the same path that you had but I have no regrets in marrying early as long as it’s the “Right person, right place and right time”, just like what Prophet Thomas S. Moneon counseled us to do.. :)))
A very inspiring story!Sobrang naka relate ako sa story.
Thank you so much for this, Sister!! Such a very inspiring story. I’m having a hard time now to decide whether to serve a mission or be married at the Temple with the man I love. I know all will be well. I need to inquire Him on things He wants me to do. 🙂
I was very inspired by your story… it made me realize a meaningful decision that I should take… though I am already turning 27 but I know it’s not to late yet… keep the faith sister… like you when I was 12 years old I was dreaming and set a goals and one that eternal goal is to get married in the temple! That goal motivates a lot now to be more worthy and faithful daughter of God… Thank you for giving me courage to do my part as well and to keep that burning desire.
A very inspiring story.. Thanks for sharing..
Hi, I’m 19. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story Sister. It gave me more strength and inspiration to go on with my decision to follow the Lord’s counsel. I know that it wouldn’t be easy but as long as He’s with me, it’ll all be okay. 🙂
That’s Gospel Tradition.
Thank you for this wonderful and inspiring story and testimony. I actually struggling with it. And because of this, I was inspired. 🙂
We are very happy to hear this Sister Abby. We all struggle. Challenges are ways of the Lord to say He loves us and wants us to grow and be like Him someday. Hang in there! Things will all work out. Like what Elder Wirthlin once said, “Come what may and love it.”
My wife and I got married 49 days after I got released as a full time missionary, it takes more courage than we thought. Now God provide us more than we can we expected. It takes not only courage but also a lot of faith.
this is exactly what i needed. after praying, i feel more strengthened to pursue our plans with my special someone to be together forever this year. salamat sa pag share ng light niyo, this has really calmed my tears.