Welcome to part one of my Soul Mate series.
In case you weren’t aware, we are living in an epidemic of lies.
This doesn’t surprise me in the least, because Satan is the father of lies. That’s all he does. He’s been a liar from the beginning, and his whole goal is to convince us to separate ourselves from God in any way possible –and he does it through deceit.
There are myriads of lies, but today I want to focus on one in particular: The lie of the Soul Mate.
How many of you have heard the following ideas?
♥- Just make sure that you marry your soul mate. Anything less than that isn’t worth it. You deserve to be with someone who understands you completely.
♥- If s/he loved me, she would know what I want. S/he must not be my soul mate.
♥- I don’t know my love language. I don’t know his love language, either. Does it really matter? If we are supposed to be together, shouldn’t we just realize this information?
♥- I will never settle. If s/he can’t match up to what I need and want, then it’s not worth my time and effort.
A friend shared with me, recently, a dream she had –a horrible dream — where she died, and then her husband remarried a woman that he ended up loving more than he loved her. She said it was just awful –all of her flaws and insecurities came to the surface as she recalled how much her husband adored this new wife. She said he adored the new wife in all the ways he doesn’t adore my friend right now.
She knew it was a dream. It wasn’t real! But she couldn’t shake the feelings of inadequacy. We lamented together on some of the same inadequacies we feel in our individual marriages, and then our talk turned to polygamy. She said, “Oh, how hard polygamy would have been!”
And I paused for a moment. And clarity came to me rather quickly: Marriage and the romantic love relationship of our time is a big lie.
Now, stick with me here. I’m not going to praise polygamy (it’s just a small part of this), nor am I going to claim that romantic love isn’t real. But our society has been so influenced by Satan, and it’s hard to see his lies surrounding the romance novels and dating websites.
I told my friend that our society has created this warped idea about love and relationships. Back in pioneer times (ahem, polygamy times), men and women weren’t nearly as concerned about finding their one true soul mate and if their passion could last a lifetime –they were trying to survive.
They looked for love and companionship, yes, but they also didn’t freak out when their love languages were inconsistent (what were those??). They weren’t looking at Myers-Briggs personality tests, color codes, or Facebook pages.
They wanted respect, honesty, love, children, food, and a home. For a lot of women in polygamy, their husbands gave them this, regardless if they gave it to more than one woman. I’m sure some women were jealous, I’m sure some men struggled, but the point is that they weren’t facing all of these pressures to find their “one true love”.
And they weren’t thinking that finding their one true love would be the end to all of their problems!
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf once gave a talk called, “The Reflection in the Water” (November 1, 2009, CES Fireside), and he had a lot to say about soul mates (and the myth, thereof):
I know this may be a disappointment for some of you, but I don’t believe there’s only one right person for you. I think I fell in love with my wife, Harriet, who is here with me tonight the first moment I saw her.
Nevertheless, had she decided to marry someone else, I believe I would have met and fallen in love with someone else. I’m eternally grateful that this didn’t happen. But I don’t believe she was my one chance of happiness, in this life, nor was I hers.
President Kimball said the same thing:
“Soulmates” are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet 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. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 305)
As did Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
I’m always doubtful when I hear that someone’s waiting for the person that was predestined for them in heaven. There may be such cases. But I think most of us are looking for someone we love, whom we can stand together with and go forward with, who has same ideals and the same principles to make an eternal family.
I think the idea that you’re waiting until something hits you on the head as if to say “this is it” just postpones marriage and sometimes prevents it altogether. (Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting: Building Up a Righteous Posterity, February 9, 2008)
And Boyd K. Packer!
Righteous love comes so naturally and so beautifully that it is apparent that there is a special providence about it. “They were meant for each other,” we say.
While I am sure some young couples have some special guidance in getting together, I do not believe in predestined love. If you desire the inspiration of the Lord in this crucial decision, you must live the standards of the Church, and you must pray constantly for the wisdom to recognize those qualities upon which a successful union may be based.
You must do the choosing, rather than to seek for some one-and-only so-called soul mate, chosen for you by someone else and waiting for you. You are to do the choosing. You must be wise beyond your years and humbly prayerful unless you choose amiss. (Eternal Love, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973)
I think Satan is having a lot of fun with this! If he can’t get LDS people to break the law of chastity or divorce, he will prevent them from getting married in the first place. He tells us that there is only one person out there for us —and it’s simply not true! But our young people are buying it. Constantly.
From what I’ve seen of teenagers and young adults, our society currently has non-dating (why go on a date when you can hang out or just text?), cyber-stalking (why get to know someone when you can secretly find out things about them?), group texts instead of get-togethers (planning parties is way too hard), romantic novels (isn’t this what true love is like?) and T.V. shows (aren’t all relationships like this?). And movies!
Lots of movies. Lots and lots of movies.
And everything they read and watch is telling them that there is a soul mate out there for them. And this soul mate will be perfect. And this soul mate will be their path to happiness. And this soul mate will bring untold bliss, passion, and comfort for the rest of their days. So, they ignore the nice people around them.
They ignore the possibilities for dating and for a chance to get to know good people a bit better. They make long lists of what they want and expect and turn down dates with people who don’t match every item. Or they break up with a potential relationship because it’s not perfect. Then they wait for something they will never find.
Please join me next week when we discuss how searching for your Soul Mate can actually hurt your marriage.
Cheryl S. Savage
Cheryl S. Savage has one incredible husband and seven sensational kids. Since earning her bachelor's degree in marriage and family studies at BYU many years ago, she spends her time raising the kids, teaching piano lessons, voraciously reading, traveling, romanticizing, writing, and learning. She and her husband have moved their family from coast to coast, but currently reside in Kansas.