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CHOOSING A COMPANION
(from True to the Faith, from the Sermons and Discourses of David O. McKay, Compiled by Llewelyn R. McKay)
In choosing a companion, it is necessary to study the disposition, the inheritance and training of the one with whom you are contemplating making life’s journey. You see how necessary it is to look for the characteristics of honesty, of loyalty, of chastity, and of reverence. But after having found them how then, you ask, may you tell whether or not there is any consanguinity, that something which will make you at least congenial in each other’s company? Is there, you ask, some guide? Though love is not always a true guide, especially if that love be not reciprocated, or is bestowed upon a surly creature or a brute, yet certainly there is no happiness without love. “Well,” you may ask, “how may I know when I am in love?”
That is a very important question. A fellow student and I considered that query one night as we walked together. As boys of that age frequently do, we were talking about girls. Neither he nor I knew whether we were in love or not. Of course I had not then met my present sweetheart. In answer to my question, “How may we know when we are in love?” he replied: “My mother once said that if you meet a girl in whose presence you feel a desire to achieve, who inspires you to do your best, and to make the most of yourself, such a young woman is worthy of your love and is awakening love in your heart.”
I submit that, young men, as a true guide. In the presence of the girl you truly love you do not feel to grovel; in her presence you do not attempt to take advantage of her; in her presence you feel that you would like to be everything that a Master Man should become, for she will inspire you to that ideal. And I ask you young women to cherish that same guide. What does he inspire in you—to feel as Portia did when she loved? She was wealthy; she was beautiful; but for Bassanio she wished she were a thousand times more beautiful, ten thousand times more rich--that is what true love does. When a young man accompanies you after a meeting, or after a dance, and he shows an inclination to use you as a convenience, or as a means of gratification, then you may put it down that he is not prompted by love.
Under such circumstances, no matter how fascinated you may be, young woman, no matter how confident you may feel that you love him, let your judgment rule and you be master of your feelings. It may grieve you not to follow the inclination of your heart, but you had better be pained a little in your youth than to suffer pangs of torture later.