Is God in the mating game buisness? You bet He is! If young people put their lives in the hands of God to choose a companion, they will be guided to that special one that will make them the most happy and fulfilled. God has a plan for His youth. He wants couples dedicated to His work. It takes two in a marriage to accomplish that.
There was such a young man who came to our door with his college friends. We loved these young people. Shortly after we got acquainted, before I knew the relationship between them, he asked me to pray about his companion. He said he was dating a girl and they were praying about marriage. I didnt want to do so, but at his insistence I lay the matter before the Lord, supported by their prayers. I had a dream that the girl he was presently interested in was wrong for him and that God had chosen another very spiritually gifted young woman that he hadnt met yet. I saw her spirit and it was beautiful. I told him that Id received light and asked them to pray for three days before coming to our home to receive the counsel.
They did so, and when we gathered, I reluctantly told him the negative about the first young lady. Then I read him the message. He readily accepted it, and to my disappointment, the young lady to whom he was presently engaged was sitting among them in the room that day, and I loved her very much. But Gods wisdom is beyond question.
That day they separated, and in the following months, he moved to another state taking a teaching job. There, he met, fell in love with, and soon married this beautiful lady Id seen. Their photographs are with the article, Melissa Learns About Life After Death. Apostle Griffiths did just about the same thing.
The Life of Apostle
Gomer T. Griffiths
by V. E. Bryant
His Wife Was His Teacher
Gomer T. Griffiths spent much of his boyhood in Syracuse, Ohio, a mining community with many immigrants from Wales who spoke only the Welsh language. The Griffiths family joined the church of Jesus Christ in Wales in 1844, the year Joseph Smith Jr. was killed. Eleven years later they came to this country with a group of Saints from Wales, having Utah as their destination because the elders assured them that now Zion was to be built there. Upon arriving in Philadelphia they learned of the practice of polygamy in Utah, and while a few of their numbers continued to their planned destination most of them migrated westward only as far as Ohio to work in the mines where conditions were similar to those of their native land.
Gomer Griffiths went to school for a while in Ohio, but he could speak only Welsh, and he was punished because he could not understand English. He did not learn to read, write, or speak English as a boy. At the age of nine or ten, he went to work in the mines. Brother Griffiths, in his later years, laughingly explained that he started out in the mines as an M.D., but the M.D. meant not Doctor of Medicine but mule driver.
After the church had been reorganized the elders called upon his community, and the Griffiths family and others joined the Reorganization. Many long hours were spent in prayer and testimony by the Saints. Gomer went to sleep on his knees at one of those meetings. It was almost morning when his folks found him still asleep on his knees.
Gomer was not baptized when the rest of the family joined the church. When he was nearly eleven years old the prophet, Young Joseph, visited his town and preached at his church. How excited Gomer was to think that a prophet was there, and he sat in the front seat and listened carefully. While he was a bit disappointed to find that a prophet looked like any other man, he liked the smiling brown eyes of Young Joseph and was much attracted to him. He decided to be baptized. He went to Jeremiah Jeremiah, the superintendent of the mines, who was also an elder, and said, I want you to baptize me right now. So Elder Jeremiah baptized the lad all alone, without even telling his parents.
When Gomer was sixteen his father was very ill, and he called Gomer and a nephew of about the same age to him and said, I am going to die. I have been given to know by the Spirit of God that I will come forth in the resurrection of the just, and you boys must stick to your belief in Jesus Christ and the gospel, or it would be better that you had never been born.
Gomer was not well. He had been stricken with malaria and other diseases and was weak. Many thought he had not long to live. He smoked a pipe and drank much strong coffee. His mother kept a large pot of coffee on the back of the range at all times, and he drank it often between meals. Gomer had become careless about his church and his mother was worried. One morning he was sitting in the dining room on one side of the heating stove while his stepfather sat on the other side. A voice spoke to him saying:
QUIT TOBACCO, TEA, COFFEE, AND ALL INTOXICANTS.
Gomer turned around quickly and said, Who said that? But no one was there. Then he recognized it as the voice of the Lord, and he picked up his pouch of tobacco and his pipe and raised the lid of the stove to drop them in. Then Gomer called to his mother who was preparing breakfast in the kitchen, I dont want any coffee this morning. His surprised mother replied, Then you wont be able to eat breakfast, to which he replied, I know it. And Gomer didnt eat that morning. Instead he went to his room and prayed that God would help him to learn to speak English and to read and write so he might be able to do the work the Lord had for him to do. That evening he surprised his mother by going to prayer meeting with her. During the meeting he was spoken to in prophecy, You asked me this morning to allow you to read and write. Gomer thought, Now how do you know that? If you follow what you did this morning, the admonition continued, you shall read My word and preach My gospel all over the world. You will baptize many hundreds into My church. You will live to be a very old man and have health of body and mind.
Because Gomer had been ill for two years and was very weak, few believed these words. One old man really believed and encouraged him. When Gomer quit tobacco, coffee, and tea, he grew stronger and was finally completely well.
Shortly after this experience at the prayer meeting, Gomer was called and ordained to the office of priest. He traveled with some of the ministers, acting as their helper. This was excellent training and he was learning to speak English. It was not long until he was preaching also. These men helped him, correcting his mistakes and encouraging him. At the age of about twenty, he was ordained an elder.
Gomer prayed earnestly for a wife who was a schoolteacher so that he might learn to read and write, and to speak English well, for he said, How can I preach when I cannot read or write and when I can hardly speak the United States?
Gomer met and fell in love with a lovely young girl. Her father said he would either send him through school and college or would teach him his business, whichever he preferred. This seemed like an answer to his prayers, but one night while he was trying to make up his mind, Gomer had a dream. He saw himself preaching in a different language and saw clearly the woman who was to be his wife. It was not the girl with whom he was in love. The next morning he refused the offers of the father and bid good-by to the girl he loved, saying, I am going home.
Later Gomer was attending a conference of the church and in the choir he saw the woman of his dream and knew this was to be his future wife. But she was with another man and it took a great deal of courage to ask her for a date. He told her of his dream, and she related that she too, had seen him in a dream and knew he was to be her husband. They were married at the conference. She was a schoolteacher from Boston.
Every day when he was not on a mission, Gomer went to school to his wife. He labored diligently over his books. He learned to read and write. His wife taught him to speak the English language fluently. He studied from a book of synonyms so that he knew many words that had the same meaning. It was not necessary for him to repeat the same word over and over in a sermon. He could use many words to express his thoughts. All this was not learned quickly. He spent years in studying under his wife, always trying to improve his speech and knowledge. There was one phrase, however, that Gomer persisted in using, much to the distress of his wife. That was aint it, for it seemed to him that no other phrase so clearly expressed that thought. One night as he lay in bed pondering his sermon for the next day, he kept saying over and over, Spuspuspu-. Finally his wife could not stand it any longer. She sat up in bed saying, What in the world are you spuing at? He then told her he was trying to find the word that meant counterfeit, as he was going to use an illustration in his sermon explaining that just as you cannot have a counterfeit coin unless you have a genuine one, so you can not have false prophets unless you have true ones. But he wanted to use the word that began spu. His wife supplied the word spurious and they both dropped off to sleep.
At the age of thirty Gomer T. Griffiths was called to be an apostle. He served in that office for thirty-five years, nine of which were spent as president of the Twelve. At the age of sixty-five he was called to be a patriarch. He wrote three books, the best known, perhaps, is The Instructor. He traveled all over the world, to the Society Islands and Australia, and went five times to England and Europe. He preached in every state in the United States and baptized many hundreds of people into the church. In his travels he felt that he was guided by the Holy Spirit.
God Provides A
And A Nurse For His Apostle
In reminiscing one day Brother Griffiths said, The Lord has provided for me very well. When I needed to learn he gave me a schoolteacher for a wife. After she died and in the later years when I spent much time in writing, the Lord provided me with another wife who was a stenographer. In my old age, when I was again left alone, God provided me with another wife to care for me, and I married a nurse. Truly the Lord has been good to me.
Brother Griffiths lived to be a very old man, was strong in body and mind, and had he lived ten days longer he would have been ninety-four years old1.
You Light Up My Life
Marriage: This letter was sent to me and I felt it had value for the youth. The names are omitted for the sake of privacy.
"The following admonition was given to a mother in response to many prayers on her daughters behalf. The daughter had been involved in a relationship with a boy of a different faith from hers, and there had been many discussions about religion. The daughter, a staunch believer in Christs fullness of the gospel, thought that differences could be resolved. A proposal of marriage by the young man had been rejected until further consideration could be given, but the daughter had hopes that things would work out between them.
The mother awoke early Sunday morning around 3 a.m. The power of the Holy Spirit came over her and the message printed began flowing through her mind. From a previous similar experience, she knew she needed to write down the words coming to her. The message finished around 3:45 a.m., but she was not enlightened as to whom the message was to be given.
Then Sunday afternoon, the daughter called, obviously upset, wanting to talk to her father who was not in the house at the time. The mother said, Ill get him but, first, would you let me read to you this message I received last night! Yes was the response. Upon reading the first line, the daughter started crying and said, I know this is meant for me. Can you guess what I was doing at 3 a.m. this morning? The mothers thoughts scattered but recomposed and she responded, What? The daughter said that she and her boyfriend had been up very late discussing their relationship and where it was going, and the subject of their religious beliefs. The young man had said he would never, under any circumstances, go to her church. The short of it was they had reached an impasse on the spiritual issues. Their discussion had ended somewhere around 3:30 a.m."
Counsel Of The
Spirit To The Young
March 19, 1995
"If you come together spiritually first, you will come together physically naturally. If you come together physically first, you will not necessarily or naturally come together spiritually. That is one reason marriages fail. When you come together physically before marriage, you disobey God. Thats not a very good way to start a marriage. A physical relationship first gives a false sense of well-being in your relationshipanother reason marriages fail. If you are in tune and meshed together spiritually first, you will do the will of the Heavenly Father and a good, even a superior, physical relationship will follow.
God always confirms with the Holy Spirit. If you dont have the confirmation of the Holy Spirit, it is not true. The Holy Spirit leads you into all truth. Feelings and emotions, without spirit, can lead you into falsehood. It is a falsehood promoted by our society that sex before marriage is all right. Its another lie that Satan promotes. He trips up a lot of people this way. Satan always entices one to disobey God. He does this by making something feel right or feel good.
(The words to the song You Light Up My Life were brought to mind here particularly the line that says, It cant be wrong when it feels so right...) Thats the keyFEELING. Feeling is an emotion triggered by many things but the Holy Spirit is different. It comes from God. It definitely causes a person to be lifted up and always to be enlightened. Feelings and emotions DO NOT! You can be deceived by feelings if there is not a confirmation of the Holy Spirit. Emotions are not the Holy Spirit. Feelings are not the Holy Spirit.
Falsehoods can resemble truth except they always take away light and lead to darkness. The Holy Spirit always leads to light. Falsehood causes the mind to become deluded. One of the primary delusions is that sin can seem right at the time."
UPDATE March 12, 1996
The young virgin took the counsel lightly, became physically involved, pregnant, and called off the wedding a week before it was scheduled because of their problems unrelated to religion. The young man and woman are still at odds on the subject of religion and are living apart. And a baby has come into the world to face the confusion.
Debra Diane Harrington
"And they lived happily ever" after is one of the biggest myths Hollywood ever perpetrated on our society. Our young girls get the idea that marriage is a fairy tale, and Prince Charming will have no faults. The saddest part is when the bride wakes up. Probably the groom never went to sleep in the first place. Only women are so controlled by emotions they see pink clouds at some point in their life, and then discover those clouds can quickly boil into thunderheads before you get far into your wedded bliss. If you dont have a spiritual raincoat, you can get pretty soaked before the storm stops and the sun comes out again. But it will if you both hold the umbrella of God's grace--His love and protection.
We need the letter of the law, but Jesus said we also need to understand the spirit of it to properly discern right from wrong. One day during this period of trials, I shared with our daughter a portion of a sermon Id recently heard at a sacrament service. She had divorced by the direction of the Spirit and was struggling. Speaking on repentance and the loving forgiveness of God, the minister suggested we place ourselves in the position of caring for, and loving a little child who had gotten in the mud and his clothes were a mess. He asked us how we would react.
"Would you say to the child, 'Oh, I see you have gotten yourself all muddy. Well, I guess youll just have to stay dirty the rest of your life.' Would you leave the little child muddy, or would you give him a bath and put clean clothes on him? Common sense tells us the answer. God is like that, he said. Each time we get muddy from our sinning, when we come to Him for help, He cleans us up again because He loves us.
We were challenged to repent and bring our muddy garments for Jesus to throw in the washer. Thats the power of the Atonement.
Her Guardian Angel Told Her To Remarry
This story of divorce, and the question of what heaven thinks of remarriage is found in China Cry. Its the story of Nora Lam, a most incredible lady, who, with Gods direction, is converting many to Christianity in Asia.
Her Prince Charming suffered emotionally under the conditions in which he was raised. (His father was wealthy and had numerous concubines. He said he didnt know how many half-brothers and sisters he had.3 He was very melancholy in temperament and eventually turned to alcohol and wife abusing.) She said: The Alcoholics Anonymous people call what I tried to do for Cheng Shen a geographical cure, and they are right in saying it never works. For Cheng Shen brought all his problems to the United States with him. He continued abusing and threatening to kill me.
A lawyer advised me that if I did not leave my husband at once, my children would soon be without a mother. And when I prayed, I was given confirmation that it was right to escape. 4
Although she didnt believe in divorce, the day came when she did. She didnt believe in remarriage either because of her upbringing and interpretation of the Scriptures. However, after her divorce, she met a man who helped her very much in the ministry. They fell in love and she petitioned the Lord what to do. Mrs. Lam says:
Yet, if I married, I knew I would be criticized by many people. But it wasnt mans approval I sought, it was Gods. What would He want me to do? So on December 2, 1971, I began to fast and pray seeking guidance. Days and weeks went by and I ate very little.
Mother, your dress is hanging so loose on you, Im worried, my daughter, Ruth, approached me in concern, for in a period of only weeks I had lost thirty pounds. Even the Christmas holidays could not affect my fast. For I found that, as Jesus taught, it is only through serious fasting and praying one can best discern Gods leading. The more I fasted, the more I felt God wanted me to marry this special man. Yet, I prayed for some sign so I could be absolutely certain.
Any doubts were resolved one evening when I was alone in my bedroom. I had been deep in prayer and something caused me to look up. I gasped in surprise. It was the old man of my childhood, the very same white-bearded one who had visited me in my deep loneliness at my step-grandmothers house.
He wore the same long blue servants overshirt, and his seamed face glowed with love. He smiled and nodded. . .and let me know it was definitely Gods will. And so in January, 1972, I became Nora Lam Sung to the glory of God. 5
So from the courts of glory comes Mrs. Lams guardian angel with counsel to associate with those of kindred spirit, whose goals are spiritual. What business has light with darkness? Jesus asked. If the spiritual goals arent the same, its a rocky road to travel, and may lead to an inky abyss from which there is no return.
A Word to the Wise
It does make a difference whom you marry. Your children are a product of that uniona combination of what you both think and are. When Debbie was struggling with her divorce and torn emotionally, God showed her in a dream that the child she and her first husband would produce (if they stayed together) would be spiritually malnourished. This child was very much unlike the two beautiful children she'd seen in a previous dream, children she wanted, fathered by a God-chosen companion. Whether this was prophecy, or a possibility IF she made the right decisions, only living her life could reveal.
However, the Lord promised us Hed protect Debbie and bring her true companion so they could do the work assigned to them. God is faithful and always keeps His promises. His ways seem slow, but they are sure.
If you see your child or a loved one about to make a matrimonial disasterpray with everything you have, get knowledge of Gods will, and believe it, no matter what happens. If necessary, pray that God will put a hedge of thorns around your child to protect him or her. Anyone who touches those thorns will get pricked and will cause disharmony. If its like our family, you will see your child in tears when people react to those thorns, but those tears will turn to joy when your little one finds the path God chooses for him or her, like ours have. Your child will rise up and bless you for those prayer thorns.
Remember, God will honor your faith, and fulfill the promise He makes to you. He didnt part the Red Sea until the Israelites were boxed in on both sides by mountains, with the army to their back, and the sea to their front. Then, when all seemed lost and they wanted to kill Moses, God opened the way for them to march forward.
The photo is the beach where the Israelites were "stuck" as the Egyptian army came toward them. The foreground black is the edge of the sea.
It is far better, and less painful to pray for God to send the right companion--one that will fit into His plans for your life--then be obediently quiet until the time appointed, than to try to fill the void man's way--which is the way of misery, and sometimes even to the death of the soul.
Corrie ten Boom, author of several books, among them, The Hiding Place, learned in a Nazi concentration camp that only Jesus Christ mattered in her life. She shares wise counsel with the young in her article, Secure in Jesus.
1. Stories of the Restoration, by V.E. Bryant, pp. 201-207
2. Luke 11:26-27; D&C 81:2
3. China Cry, p. 107, by Nora Lam, Thomas Nelson Pub.
4. Ibid. p. 195
5. Ibid. pp. 208-209
Photo of Debbie Harrington and her husband's hands