When first getting to know someone and as you begin dating, assessing the other person’s level of spirituality is important. Why? Because the greater the mismatch spiritually between the both of you, the greater the challenges tend to be in the relationship. How does that make sense? If the other person is much stronger spiritually than you, shouldn’t that be a plus? For them personally, yes. But not necessarily for you both in the relationship.
A highly spiritual person tends to be very devoted and strict with their habits. If that is very different than your habits, these differences can and probably will lead to conflict and resentment with you “not being spiritual enough for them” and you probably not improving soon enough and well enough for them. Conversely, if the other person is notably at a lower level than you with their spiritual devotion and commitment, you will be more likely to have conflict and resentment towards them for “not being spiritual enough”. And you could also get upset when they don’t change and improve in these ways well enough and soon enough.
(A final point here as well: couples have a better chance for success when they have more similarities than differences in general, both spirituality and with many other issues).
You can assess the other person’s level of spirituality and gospel devotion by considering the following factors (as well as your own):
*Prayers: do they pray at least once a day? Are they willing to pray in front of you and with you? Do they pray before every meal? In their prayers, are they brief, general, and vague, or do they assess specific, particular areas? Do they have some notable things to say? Do they both give thanks in their prayers as well as ask for help? Do them seem like they have true gratitude and humility in their prayers—or do they seem to just be going through the motions?
*Scripture Study/Use of Spiritual Materials: How often to they read or listen to the scriptures? Daily? Do they talk about and reference scriptures in your conversations? Also, do they read or listen to other church related books or magazines? How are they with the Come Follow Me program? Do they enjoy watching church videos? Do they regularly read/listen to/watch conference talks? Are they willing to review these materials with you together? How do your conversations go about this information?
*Church Attendance: do they regularly attend both hours of church? Do they also attend other meetings like stake conference, family home evenings ward, or other ward, stake, or regional activities? What is their attitude about church attendance? Is it positive or negative? If they choose not to attend, what are their reasons? And how often does that happen?
*Callings: do they have callings and what are they? Do they regularly and faithfully serve in their callings and fulfill them? How much effort do they put into their callings? What is their attitude about their calling: positive or complaining? And how do they act with their ministering? Do they do that as well and what is their attitude towards it?
*Temple Worthiness: are they a current temple recommend carrier? Are they basically worthy to hold a temple recommend, according to the formal questions? If they hold a recommend, do they attend the temple? What is their attitude about the temple and temple attendance? Do they talk about the temple and their experiences there? What are their future goals related to the temple, temple worthiness, temple attendance, and temple marriage?
*Other Church Related Issues/Subjects: Do they try to basically observe the sabbath? How are they with tithing? Do they basically get along with others or do they struggle with contention and conflict? Do they bear their testimony both at and away from church? How about Family Home Evening? Do they have it on a regular basis? Do they support the bishop and other church leaders, or complain about them or put them down? Are they interested in and willing to participate in opportunities for service? What is their attitude towards helping others in need (financially or otherwise)? Do they have a giving nature? What is their attitude towards others who are less active/inactive, non-members, or members of other faiths? Are they interested in engaging in missionary work or with reactivation work with members? What is their general level of gospel knowledge? Did they serve a mission? What is their attitude about possibly serving a mission as a senior missionary someday?
The point of this article is to promote assessing and matching yourself up with someone spiritually. This will give you the best chance for the spiritual area of your lives together being a positive, enjoyable thing versus an area of contention and resentment. Finally, if you are not happy with where you are at spiritually and you hope to be a higher spiritual match with another someday, the time is now to work on, improve, and strengthen your spirituality each day. That way when you do meet someone, you will both be a spiritual match and at a higher level. This is an important area to assess, consider, and work on both individually and as a couple. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to email@example.com).