Partners

Washington DC Temple at dusk, 2011, by Joe Ravi (CC-BY-SA 3.0 )

Decades ago now a young man of my acquaintance told me he’d been prompted to ask me to marry him. A few days later we agreed to meet at the temple so the question could formally be asked and answered.

After the endowment session, the question was asked and answered. We parted to change for an activity later that evening. After I was ready I waited. After a while, I went downstairs, suspecting that there had been a miscommunication about where we were to meet. But my young man wasn’t there either.

Eventually my young man emerged from the dressing room, and we went out to a bench on the hill near the temple, where for many years couples have sat together to talk of things. It was there where my young man presented to me the delightful note he’d written to me in the changing room:

To my partner in the body,
Whose gaze fills me with love,
In whose arms I am blessed with peace;

To my partner in the heart,
With whom I share the delights in life,
With whom my voice and feelings sing;

To my partner in the mind,
Who can understand, share, and
spur on my ponderings;

To my partner in the spirit,
In whom my own spirit rejoices,
To find a soul with whom I may
Love and serve our God:

I now pledge to be your partner,
Until death and throughout eternity.
I look forward to having you
as a partner through the dance of life,
growing, teaching, learning,
mourning, celebrating, rejoicing,
mind and body,
heart and spirit,

Until we meet with our loved ones
at our Father’s and our Saviour’s feet.

This past weekend I was reminded of those days when I was young and he was young and we had our entire future ahead of us. In the sturm und drang of modern life, we sometimes forget to dwell on the sweetness and unity we envisioned in those halcyon days.

One of our children asked, “have you written down all these things?” And I had to admit that we’ve allowed these stories of our courtship to remain in memory and story rather than a form that would be accessible to our children and their children beyond them.

If you have been blessed to experience the joy of unity in any of its many forms, I hope you will capture that joy in a form that can be a strength and pattern in days of need.

As President Spencer Kimball wrote in 1975:

What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved?

Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.

Get a notebook, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity.

President Spencer W. Kimball, October 1975 New Era.
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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

3 thoughts on “Partners

  1. Great thoughts. I sat down about 8 years ago and did a fairly thorough personal history, separate history of the courtship between my wife and I, and then another relating to my joining the church. Took a while to complete but worth the effort.

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