By Mallory W.
Whether we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not, we often see friends and family members marry seemingly happily, only to have that marriage end in sadness, heartache, and often times bitterness. When there is so much at stake to potentially lose, what do we gain by getting married?
My decision to get married on December 22, 2006 was the second best decision I have ever made. The best decision I have ever made was to get a divorce on March 29, 2011. While it was necessary for me to divorce, I am forever grateful I chose to marry. We all take the same risk when we marry someone, as each of us has our own ability to choose and therefore make bad decisions. Marriage is a leap of faith. I took the same risk marrying my ex-husband as my grandparents who stayed married their entire lives did. Even though my marriage ended, it was not a failure. I married my best friend. I learned to invest in another person’s happiness above my own. I learned when to stop talking. I had someone who cared that I went to Target or that I ate yogurt that day. I worried that he was safe and that his exams were going well. I had a companion to share all experiences with, to sleep next to at night, and to wake up to every morning.
More than this, I chose to be sealed to him for eternity in the temple, and that provided me the comfort of knowing we were both working for the same goal: to live together forever with God. While some of the perks found in marriage can be found in friendships, boyfriends, or girlfriends, what sets marriage apart is that it is the ultimate physical and spiritual commitment to love and cherish another person in the way God intends.
God illustrates this point beautifully with the creation of his earth, specifically with Adam and Eve. God has given us his many creations to care for. As soon as he placed Adam on the earth, he gave him a wife. From the beginning God has shown us that he has given us a beautiful earth, meant to enjoy, but not to enjoy alone. These creations were given to us in love by God, and the ultimate happiness comes from sharing these creations and Earth with someone we love. One of our missions here is to take care of each other, show charity, and find a way to balance our hectic lives—careers, worries, hardships—with our ability to love. If we cannot master that and recognize that it is often not convenient, or may be easier to just not find that companion or love, we are completely missing the point of our time here.
This ideal was not reached in my marriage because my husband chose to opt out of caring for me and honoring our covenant. My motivation to marry again and what gives me hope with every new challenge with dating, comes from the words of Elder Busche, who said, “when you are compelled to give up something, or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now. But know also, that as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better.”
God does not show us gold and expect us to settle for silver. He wants me, and all of us, to be happy. I have experienced a taste of that ideal happiness in my marriage, and know that it is worth fighting for again.