Yesterday a young couple about to be married came to our church because the bride had grown up there until she moved away as a teenager. The groom stood up and talked about how much his impending marriage means to him, and how much he looks forward to spending his future with his wife-to-be. I would not say I "remember" what that was like, because I think I still know what that is like. I am thankful every day for my wife and the time we spend together, and I miss her any time we're apart. The difference between that couple and us is simply time and experience. We have been through a lot as a couple, and we have come out stronger in the end. My wife also stood up and talked about the stage we appear to be in right now. She described it as running hand in hand, one child in each arm, toward a cliff to jump off. We don't know what we will find once we leave the solid ground of where we are, but our faith tells us we will be safe. I had started the meeting by talking about how much I have recently learned about the principle that obedience to commandments brings prosperity, but there is still a lot of opportunity to grow our faith through continued obedience to what I feel I must do with my future.
So I write now to consider the different stages of marriage I observed yesterday. I saw a couple about to become married, and the faith they have in each other and in God that they are meant to be together forever. I saw our situation, where we are making a big leap of faith into an unknown future. I even saw other couples who talked about their situations - retirement, grandchildren, married children who are facing trials - and I saw so many different stages of marriage around me. And it was beautiful. The love in our little church is potent - something the young groom-to-be commented on despite having never set foot there before - and deep. I have grown to love the people there, and we will miss them, but we will also remember the example they each gave us of how beautiful a union can be when it is nourished with faith and prayer.