Monday, July 18, 2005

A Lesson Well Learned

In Relief Society today we had a very interesting talk. The lesson was given by Sister Kristen Speranza and was on the importance of temple marriage. Most of the women in the class are single adults, so it was especially important to us.

To begin the lesson, Sister Speranza had us make up a list of traits and attributes a child of God should acquire. The list included humility, peacefulness, love, mercy, strength, integrity, capability, trustworthiness, trust, courage, faith, eternal perspective, virtuous, kindness, et cetera, et cetera. (Basically, Christ-like.)

During the lesson the Relief Society president, Sister Patty Riggs said, "Given that so many of the women in this class are not married, I would kind of like to know how you deal with not being able to find men that are up to this standard we have posted up here."

Now, I know I'm the youngest woman in the class, but I felt inspired to speak. I also feel like I had been prepared to answer the question because I had thought a lot about it over the last couple of weeks and I can promise you that the Spirit has spoken to me about this particular subject. Here's what I said (I've added quite a bit of stuff that makes it a little longer, because there's kind of a story behind the point that I decided to leave out of the Relief Society lesson.) :

Shortly before leaving Saipan I had an interview with the branch president, Del Benson. We talked a little bit about dating people out from under the eye of my parents. He said to me, 'You know Mal, I'm sure you have an idea in your head of the kind of man you would like to marry some day. I just want you to be prepared to marry someone that may not meet everything you have dreamed. Don't marry someone out of your standard, but just remember to be merciful on us men.' I had thought about that for a little while. I did have expectations for Husband to live up to... but until the last couple of weeks, I wasn't quite sure what they were.

Being out here, I met someone I liked very much, and it was very apparent that he liked me. He was not a member so I certainly wasn't going to let it go very far. We hung out a lot together, and the more I got to know him the more I learned two things: (a) he was a very good person, and (b) he was fine being the way that he was.

I thought about that a lot. Fine being the way he was. It seemed like no matter how much we talked he simply accepted the idea that this was his only life and he was going to live it the way he wanted, even if it wasn't the best way he knew. That's when I figured out what exactly I want in Husband. I want him to be a good person that understands his capabilities and limits and strives to overcome the limits. The scripture Timothy 3:5 kept going through my head. "Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof."

Husband needs to be a man who accepts and is striving to increase the power thereof.

For those of you that know here, Sister Speranza's mother, Sister Philips has suffered from a stroke and is in the hospital. If you would pray for her, it would be very much appreciated, I'm sure.


ML said...

You're incredible Mal. We love you. Stop hanging out with that guy so much.

Dan Knickerbocker said...


When Karen and I met she had previously made a long list of qualities that she wanted in her prospective husband. As we corresponded over the phone and dated, she would consult her list and check off the qualities she felt I had shown. She told me later about her list and that I had measured up to every item.

I had a good idea of what I wanted in a wife without making a list. Karen was and is attractive, has a strong desire to serve God, loves children, reads the scriptures daily, prays daily, and treats me with dignity and respect (even though sometimes I really don't think I deserve it). I wanted a woman who acted the way she claimed to believe and I observed that in Karen. She is still that way today and I love her with all my heart.

Remember, what you observe will be far more important than what you hear!

Anonymous said...

lol, mum, stop worrying. i'm fine and i don't hang out with him as much as you may think!

wow bro. knickerbocker, it's awesome to hear from you! thanks for commenting on my blog. that's cool!

laura lonsdale said...

Hey Mallory!

Finally got the opportunity to check out your website today after a busy month. thanks for the email congratulations on my mission call, i'm so excited! finding clothes is tough and i feel like there are not enough hours in the day to read and prepare the way i want to :) i'm currently working at a daycare during the day with a little girl with cerebral palsy and then doing respite care in the evening for a family who has two boys with behavioural disorders; both a handful but i love it!

i'm glad to hear all's well with you! i loved what you wrote about your RS lesson. those are my feelings exactly. i had a relationship going in the direction of marriage in the fall of last year. after it ended i tried so hard to figure out why i wasn't happy with him and what it was that i could do differently next time. it came down to exactly what you said; he had very little desire to progress, and any desire or 'divine restlessness' that he experienced every once in a while was never acted on. i'm so glad you articulated your feelings on the subject so well, it gave me the words i lacked :)

again, so good to hear from you, mallory! i look forward to keeping up to date with you :)

ave said...

Mal you little minx (just kidding), I love you and want you to write to that missionary from Dover who just went home. He is a nice boy and thought you were cute. If you can come up to the lake this weekend.