Before you start thinking that you don’t need to read this since you are going on a mission let me just tell you. If you already do not know, the mission is a great time that you will learn about yourself but you will always have a companion with you. And while at the time of missionary service your companion is the same gender, the time will come when you will get to pick your companion. There will be things that you like and things that you don’t like about your mission companions. Store that information away for after your mission. It will be helpful to you. Because Remember! We need to be like the people that we want to marry. And you will marry someone similar to you. Because if there is someone out there who is perfect…They probably will not choose you. Lets be honest here. Now on to the good stuff….
There is no ONE correct way of righteous living as long as you are following the example of Jesus Christ and just like that there is also no one person that is qualified to be your eternal companion. In other words, there could be several people who qualify as possible soulmates. The idea of a soulmate isn’t real. Relationships take time and experiences but you have to be searching for your eternal companion. Take note of the things that are great from those you date. Richard G. Scott of the quorum of the twelve apostles said,
“There is more to a foundation of eternal marriage than a pretty face or an attractive figure. There is more to consider than popularity or charisma. As you seek an eternal companion, look for someone who is developing the essential attributes that bring happiness: a deep love of the Lord and of His commandments, a determination to live them, one that is kindly understanding, forgiving of others, and willing to give of self, with the desire to have a family crowned with beautiful children and a commitment to teach them the principles of truth in the home.”[i]
In the end, we all need to strive to be like our Heavenly Father, who is complete and perfect with all righteous attributes and characteristics. “…You should strive to be the person you want to be with.”[ii] I believe that there are essential attributes to obtain in order to be an eternal companion. The key to it is to look, as Elder Scott mentioned, for “someone who is developing.”[iii] No one of us is perfect, but we should be reaching for Christ.
Attribute 1: Seeker of Righteousness
A seeker of righteousness is a person who strives to follow the Savior and obey His word. They are spiritually minded people who are “doers of the word, and not hearers only.”[iv] They put God first in their life. A seeker has faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Their goal is to live with their Father. We are counseled in Matthew, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”[v] In other words, put God first in your life and everything will work out. When God is first then a relationship can last for eternity. There is a relationship triangle between God and a married couple. As the man and the women arise up and grow closer to God individually, they will grow closer to each other.A person who is a seeker is “constantly striving. [Striving] to better themselves, striving to closer to God, and the holy spirit, going to the temple, reading scriptures, and praying—I didn’t say saying prayers. Praying is a very different thing— striving to improve their spiritual life.”[vi] Therefore, an essential attribute of an eternal companion is to be a seeker of righteousness.
Attribute 2: Charitable and Loving
The second attribute is having love and being charitable. When couples can love each other then they can live together for eternity because charity “is everlasting love”[vii]. In today’s world lust is often portrayed as love. I believe that charity for your spouse means having a deep love for them always. Countless opportunities to serve each other while living together creates a bond of love. Loving each other means looking past flaws and working together for the common goal of eternal life. Spencer W. Kimball has said,
“Love is far more than physical attraction. It is deep, inclusive, and comprehensive. Physical attraction is only one of the many elements; there must be faith and confidence and understanding and partnership. There must be common ideals and standards. There must be great devotion and companionship. Love is cleanliness and progress and sacrifice and selflessness. This kind of love never tires or wanes, but lives through sickness and sorrow, poverty and privation, accomplishment and disappointment, time and eternity.”[viii]
Someone stated that charity “…encompasses a lot. If [my spouse] loves me with patience longsuffering…. if I have charity then we are going to want what is best for each other… [and we will] focus on meeting [each other’s] needs.”[ix] Someone else said, “the charitable part has to include kindness… if they are ragging on you, you won’t want to be with them for eternity.”[x] Loving one another means building each other up.
Attribute 3: Trustworthy
Trust in a relationship, especially marriage, creates open communication. It allows the love to flow and true feelings to be expressed. No one is perfect but the last problem that a married couple needs is lacking the ability to be vulnerable with each other. Life is stressful and brings with it uncertainty and problems. It is essential that the home of a married couple is full of trust, and a safe haven. James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once said that “complete trust in each other is one of the greatest enriching factors in marriage.”[xi]
In a message in the May 1989 issue of the Liahona, author Christie H. Frandsen adds that
“Trust is as central to a happy marriage as faith is to a testimony. It is the very foundation upon which the relationship is built. If trust is strong and secure, the marriage can grow and flourish despite difficulties and crises. But if trust is weak or inconsistent, then the marriage will suffer under the pressures of daily life.”[xii]
Someone explained the importance of being a trustworthy spouse in a marriage. When describing her own marriage, she said where there is trust “there is honesty in all things but I trust that [my husband] will be completely honest in all things. Marriage built on trust and fidelity will be a secure and healthy relationship. [Having a marriage that is] safe and secure, nothing threatens.”[xiii]
Attribute 4: Happy
We want to all be happy. A relationship means that two people are working together. If something isn’t building and strengthening the relationship than it is tearing it apart. This is true with happiness. The husband and the wife need to be happy people. It is often seen that those whom are unhappy kind of “rub off” on those who are happy. Relationships that lack happiness find it harder to love and find satisfaction in having other essential needs met. In fact, Prophet Thomas S. Monson has said: “To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego.”[xiv] President Russell M. Nelson, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, states that
“harmony in marriage comes only when one esteems the welfare of his or her spouse among the highest of priorities. When that really happens, a celestial marriage becomes a reality, bringing great joy in this life and in the life to come.”
Even when you are married there will be trials and challenges that will try to disrupt happiness. “Spouses need to enjoy being together, [be] content with the blessings they have… and laughing together is important in keeping a relationship healthy: Being happy, [having a] sense of humor, [being] content whether during blessings or [in times of] trials.”[xv]
“Men are that they might have Joy”[xvi] and what better way to be happy and joyful than with a spouse that is happy too!
Attribute 5: Valiant
A spouse needs to be valiant. Valiant to do what is right, but also valiant in life. Life is not easy and brings many challenges. We all have times that we feel down. A relationship that is perfect does not exist, but it is key that each spouse do their part and does not grow weary of the work of maintaining a healthy relationship. It requires work. President Spencer W. Kimball said that soulmates don’t exist but what he said absolutely applies to the need to be valiant in a marriage. He stated, “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.”[xvii] There is a price that needs to be paid in order to have the blessings of an eternal marriage. Someone exclaimed, “Diligent in all things. Never give up. It doesn’t do any good to do these things for a year. You have to endure to the end.”[xviii] An eternal companion has to be valiant in doing everything that Christ has asked. They have to be diligent in keeping the commandments of God which also includes civil duties and taking care of the physical care of a family, but more importantly the duties that come with raising a family in a gospel centered home.
In order to have a successful marriage, each spouse has to work at it. In order to have a successful Eternal marriage, there are essential characteristics and attributes that are required of each spouse. Being spiritually minded seekers, charitable people who are full of love, trustworthy friends, happy people who find joy in the journey, and valiant people despite challenges are attributes that create such eternal companions. And while we need to be looking for someone who is striving to attain these attributes, we must remember that we too need to be striving to be people who have developed these attributes.
[i] Elder Richard G. Scott, “Life’s Obligations,” February 1999; https://www.lds.org/ensign/1999/02/lifes-obligations?lang=eng
[ii] Interview, 28 March 2017.
[iii] Elder Richard G. Scott, “Life’s Obligations,”
[iv] James 1:22
[vi] Interview, 28 March 2017.
[vii] Moroni 7:17
[viii] Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972, pp. 157–58.
[ix] Interview, 29 March 2017.
[x] Interview, 28 March 2017.
[xi] James E. Faust, “The Enriching of Marriage,” October 1977; https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1977/10/the-enriching-of-marriage?lang=eng
[xii] Christie H. Frandsen, “Trust in Your Marriage,” Liahona, May 1989; https://www.lds.org/liahona/1989/05/trust-in-your-marriage?lang=eng#pop_001-03871_000_009
[xiii] Interview, 29 March 2017.
[xiv] “Messages of Inspiration from President Monson,” Church News, July 5, 2008, 2.
[xv] Interview, 29 March 2017.
[xvi] 2 Nephi 2:25
[xvii] President Spencer W. Kimball, “Oneness in Marriage,” Ensign, October 2002; https://www.lds.org/ensign/2002/10/oneness-in-marriage?lang=eng
[xviii] Interview, 28 March 2017.