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By: Alexander Hicken, Moroni Channel
United States of America
My last article stated that I would tell you a secret ingredient that I sought in those that I were dating. I want you to feel my testimony in this wise that God knows your desires and grants them; although, you may not be explicitly praying for them. It is a communion with the spirit of God when we unite our desires with God's will. In an institute class of mine, the students were asked what is on your list of hopes in your future spouse. The girls liked to have a very long list, but I did not have a list. When I revealed what I am looking for in my wife, I said that all that I want is unity.
When I was dating my wife, I always tested her philosophy if it is united with mine. I did not care about the race of girls that I dated. I served my mission in Jamaica. I am half Thai, and I am from California; therefore, I felt a connection with all races black, Asian, white, and Hispanic. All I sought for in unity. My roommate told me once in my frustration with dating. "All you need to do is find someone like yourself." Wouldn't that be wonderful? Find your twin from another family. I think that most people have observed that a lot of people have married people that look just like them. There is a common unity sought in dating even down to looks. Unity comes in family background, belief, philosophy, habits, culture, and more. I will address each of these types of unity in the following paragraphs and conclude with my final thoughts.
I believe that a focus of the last generation was to seek diversity in courtship. This might be because both my wife and I come from parents that have married a person of another nationality. I have seen the clash that comes between two married people coming from different nations. This may be the reason why I seek unity. My wife has a similar family background, socioeconomic class, and upbringing that brings understanding between each other. The different family background of people has shaped the individual. The habits and perspectives of an individual that come from family backgrounds can make personalities hard to find compatible for dating. The following quotes come from discourses of Spencer W. Kimball: “We recommend that people marry those who are of … somewhat the same economic and social and educational background (some of those are not an absolute necessity, but preferred).” (“Marriage and Divorce,” 142–44).
Unity in beliefs is important too. President Kimball said "I have warned the youth against the many hazards of interfaith marriage, and with all the power I possessed, I warned young people to avoid the sorrows and disillusionments which come from marrying out of the Church and the unhappy situations which almost invariably result when a believer marries an unbelieving spouse. I have pointed out the demands of the Church upon its members in time, energy, and funds; the deepness of the spiritual ties which tighten after marriage and as the family comes; the antagonisms that naturally follow such mismating; the fact that these and many other reasons argue eloquently for marriage within the Church, where husband and wife have common backgrounds, common ideals and standards, common beliefs, hopes, and objectives, and, above all, where marriage may be eternalized through righteous entry into the holy temple."
The different philosophies of the Gospel in the church can be wide, and I checked my wife's philosophy for consistency with mine. Hard questions were asked in casual and comfortable settings. I found that we were united in our philosophy of health and fitness; Gospel understanding and application; and work and ethics. Unity doesn't come without effort. It takes tact and communication skills. Don't trust that unity will happen without testing the philosophy of your date. Some people just live in lala land during courtship; then, when they have to get serious things done, they realize that they barely know each other.
When I met my wife's aunts and uncles for the first time, an aunt asked my father-in-law not to raise his voice in conversation. According to him, he was speaking normally. Americans are very sensitive to tone of voice. This brings up the unity of habits. As I witnessed the above mentioned conversation, I do not think that my father-in-law was raising his voice either. My mother is Thai, and my wife's mother is from Colombia. I have seen both of them speaking loudly, but it is not in an overbearing way. They spoke this way by habit. I am use to this, but habits of someone can mess with your mind. Everyone has different habits, and they should not divide us. People's differences should be embraced, understood, and tolerated. A courting relationship should have a meshing nature with habits. My next article is going to be about the natural cause of division. Be careful of spending habits, hygiene habits, cleanliness habits, and more.
Culture is huge. The uniting to people from two different nations is difficult. People are usually proud of their nationality. I have known people from different nations, and their cultures are ingrained in their perspective. I interviewed a Japanese man, when I practiced journalism, and I learned that the Japanese are very conservative, making big deals over unconventional, risky, and different actions. I have gotten to know that Filipino people take the actions of family members as their honor, and the repercussions of false actions are enforced in dramatic manner, invoking fear. The expression and reception of love and affection is different among cultures. Latin cultures are very physical, and Asian are usually not.
The subjects that I am addressing seem to be going deeper into the soul. Family backgrounds and traditions are picked and chosen from in the establishment of a courtship. The philosophy of people change often, but it usually stays consistent for individuals. Habits are harder to break, and culture is their perspective on life. There are probably other things that I can address about unity.
My desire for unity in marriage has been given to me because God grants according to his children's desires. Unity and harmony brings the long sought after peace to man. Next week I will write more on unity, peace, and happiness in family relationships. Please recognize that God loves you, and he will answer your prayers if you have real intent to follow through with the revelation.
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