by Shawnette Nielson
What is love? Is it a magnetic draw to another individual, as portrayed by so many movies? Is it an overwhelming physical connection that you almost can’t control (even when you don’t like the person), as written in so many books these days? Is it direction given by God, as is portrayed in many religious novels? Is it a chemical connection? Emotional connection? How do you know you are in love? And when the excitement of a new relationship starts to fizzle, does it mean that you are no longer in love?
Love is confusing when you look at the examples given to us by the world. I think it would be easy to flit from one relationship to another, looking for something that fit the mold shown to us in so many books, movies, and TV programs, all the while missing the true blessings that can come from a meaningful relationship. When dating my husband, I had to stop and figure out what love was so that I could tell if I was in it or not. In the process of contemplating these questions I began to look at the Lord’s example of love … ‘greater love hath no man than this … ‘
I believe that true love can be explosive at times, true love is guided by the hand of God, and sometimes you are drawn to someone even when parts of you can’t stand them! But there is more to it than that. There is sacrifice. Forgiveness. Understanding. There is the soft comfort of long term commitment that comes when two people dedicate themselves to the success of a relationship, no matter how hard it gets at times. It is the growing knowledge of another individual’s personality, and quirks, likes, and dislikes. There is the success that comes from working at a relationship and slowly seeing it grow stronger.
It boggles my mind at times (particularly when in a fight with my husband), that the Lord would make two individuals who are essentially so different from each other, and require them to marry and mesh their lives in every aspect. There is nothing harder in the world, I think, than creating a successful relationship with someone of the opposite sex. I also think there is nothing more rewarding, though.
So on this Valentine’s weekend I dedicate my blog entry to this heart wrenching, tear jerking, frustrating yet rewarding, and fulfilling thing called love. Of course things aren’t ever black and white, and President Lorenzo Snow gives comforting council to faithful brothers and sisters who don’t get the opportunity of love in this life. “There is no Latter-day Saint who dies after having lived a faithful life who will lose anything because of having failed to do certain things when opportunities were not furnished him or her. In other words, if a young man or a young woman has no opportunity of getting married, and they live faithful lives up to the time of their death, they will have all the blessings, exaltation, and glory that any man or woman will have who had this opportunity and improved it. That is sure and positive.”
Here's to Valentine's Day!