Lloyd Newell on Music and Spoken Word summed it up recently when he said, “Think about what you want people to say about you at the end of your life, then live backwards. Be that person now” (December 31, 2006).
The Second Key
The second key is this: Open wide the playing field in order to allow the Lord to answer your prayers without restrictions.
In talking with our young friend, we found that he had indeed limited the Lord. He wanted to marry an American Caucasian woman, even though he was from another culture. In his mind he had made this decision, which greatly limited his possibilities of finding a woman who would be most compatible for him. This is not to say that he won’t marry an American Caucasian woman, because he may, but his chances for marrying someone who is right for him are much greater if he opens the door to other possibilities.
Sometimes those who are seeking a mate seem to think there is that one and only person, a soul mate, created just for them, and the vision of finding that one person seems to rule. President Spencer W. Kimball clarified that idea when he said, “‘Soul mates’ are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price...” (‘Oneness in Marriage,” Ensign, Mar. 1977, 3).
It’s also wise to open the playing field by allowing friends and family to set you up with someone they think would be a good mate. People sometimes resist this arrangement, and in so doing may miss out on a prize.
A relative of ours, who had had several unsuccessful “blind dates,” had decided to never have another one. A friend prevailed upon him and he finally decided that he would give it one more try. It worked and he found his wife. They have been happily married for several years. Keep the playing field open and you have a greater chance of finding your eternal companion.
We strongly suggest that people give that blind date more than one chance. You can’t accomplished a whole lot of falling on love on just one date — usually. So don’t’ give up too readily. A dear friend of ours is happily married to a man she just simply didn’t like at first. He persisted, and she is so glad. They have a very happy marriage and five adorable children.
We urge you to give the ones who possess your main qualities a chance. In dating don’t jump ship and leave the treasure behind before you’ve have a chance to discover its full value.
The Application to Those Already Married
So how does the second key work in marriage? The playing field you open is different than when you’re seeking a mate. You’ve made your choice and you no longer look at anyone else with romantic intentions. That field is closed.
What you now do is open a playing field where you both have room to grow and help your marriage become the best it can be. An open playing field for married couples means having fun together, focusing on what each other enjoys, and making that happen — being open to new ideas, new opportunities, new places to live, new friends, new Church callings, new talents to be developed. The list goes on. It’s all about making the playing field an open one where you grow together as you share life’s joys and sorrows.
Don’t be focused on what isn’t working quite the way you planned and be willing to move on to Plan B. Remember the words of President Kimball, “It is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price.” Be willing to pay the price. It will be more than worth it.
These two keys can be a valuable guide in finding and keeping a mate. Whether married or looking for a mate it would be well to keep in mind these additional words of President Kimball:
We hope our young friend and all couples will experience these “deepest and sweetest emotions of all.”
[To strengthen and help your marriage be better than ever, Gary and Joy Lundberg invite you to join them at their fun-filled Valentine Marriage Retreat. For more information http://lundbergcompany.com/blog/seminars/marriage-retreat/ Or call 1/800/224-1606.]