In our lives as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we have often been told that we need to “keep an eternal perspective on things”. But what does “keeping an eternal perspective” mean? It means thinking of and approaching every notable circumstance/decision in this life with a consideration of how our approach to it will matter one way or the other both now and in the next life. In the eternities. After the days of our mortal existence have ended. The idea and hope is that when we make decisions with a constant awareness of how such choices will affect ourselves and others in the big, eternal picture, we are far more likely to make the best decision possible.
One of the biggest decisions we can make in this life involves who we choose to marry, where, and when. In fact, a famous quote from Elder Bruce R. McConkie states the following: “The most important things that any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ever does in this world are: 1. To marry the right person, in the right place, by the right authority; and 2. To keep the covenant made in connection with this holy and perfect order of matrimony—thus assuring the obedient persons of an inheritance of exaltation in the celestial kingdom.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 118.)” In short, choices involving marriage is very important. So, to make such an important decision with an eternal perspective is a very wise approach.
Taking An Eternal Perspective when Considering a Potential Spouse:
1) What is their relationship with God like? What is their testimony like? Do they freely and enthusiastically attend church, pray, and read scriptures? Do they freely and regularly share their testimony? What is their attitude and approach to the words of the modern prophets? Do you actually feel the Spirit when you talk to them and are around them? Hopefully a potential spouse is decently strong in all of these areas. However, it is important that a potential spouse is not too much stronger than you spiritually or there will be a mismatch, which will likely lead to future frustrations, arguments, and resentments. Therefore, if you desire to be with a spiritually strong individual—a positive, healthy goal—it is important to first get yourself stronger spiritually in these ways to help you best match up well with such an individual. Sometimes this is called “being equally yoked” spiritually.
2) How do they treat others? What is their relationship like with their parents, kids, siblings, and extended family? How do they treat their friends? Do they even have and maintain friendships? How do they talk about and get along with coworkers, neighbors, and fellow ward members? Do they look for and bring out the best in others, or does there often seem to be a conflict and have resentments, contentions, or other difficulties? How do they treat strangers? Are they friendly, respectful, and social? Or are there problems?
How we all treat others is a strong representation of one’s level of spirituality, second only to a person’s personal relationship with God. As Christ shared in the parable of the sheep and the goats, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). Furthermore, when Christ was asked which was the most important commandment in the law of Moses, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). In other words, our relationship with God and other people together constitutes overall spirituality.
3) Consider this person eternally. Given points 1 and 2 above, how would you picture and imagine a life with this person here in mortality, as well in the eternities? Do you usually interact together with kindness, consideration, and love? If so, could you imagine the prospect of being together forever with confidence, security, and peace? If so, that is a very positive sign that this is a good person for this life and the next. If not, there may be some notable issues to talk out, work through, and make a decision with. In short, if you can’t imagine dealing with a prospective spouse eternally, it is probably not a good idea to commit to and marry such an individual in this life.
The main idea of this article is to help you consider potential spouses that you date and may marry in an eternal way. To keep that mentality every step along the way. And when you can successfully do this and feel strong and confident spiritually together, you prospects for relational and marital success multiply greatly. Conversely, when you cannot successfully imagine spending eternity with a prospective spouse and partner, it is my opinion and suggestion that you move on and continue your search elsewhere. However, this is the plan of salvation and agency is a big part of that. Please choose carefully and always keep that eternal perspective every step along the way. And remember, “…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.
|2021-04-25||Randy Gilchrist||Dating, Spirituality|
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).