How do I know if it’s True Love?
“For many years I saw a strong man carry his tiny, emaciated, arthritic wife… wherever she could go.
There could be no sexual expression … I think that is pure love.
I saw a kindly woman wait on her husband for many years as he deteriorated with muscular dystrophy. She waited on him hand and foot, night and day when all he could do was blink his eyes in thanks. I believe that was love.
I knew a woman who carried her little unfortunate child until the body was too heavy to carry, and then she pushed her in a wheelchair for the following years until her death. The deprived child could never express appreciation. It seems to me that might be love.
Another mother visited regularly her son who was in the penitentiary. She could receive nothing from him. She gave much, all she had . . . If this beautiful body . . . suddenly became deformed or paralyzed, would my reactions be the same?
If this lovely face were scarred by flames … would I be such an ardent lover?
If senility or any of its approaches suddenly fell upon my sweetheart, what would my attitude be?
The answer to these questions might test one to see if he/she is really in love or if it is only physical attraction . . .”
Elder Spencer W. Kimball, “Love vs. Lust,” Devotional Young Adults Central Utah Stakes, Manti, Utah, July 10, 1974.
In conclusion, when you are in a relationship where you desire the other person’s happiness AND eternal well-being more than your own – regardless of their circumstance, physical attraction, or financial situations – you might be on your way to true love!
Some good quotes are:
“True love blooms when we care more about another person than we care about ourselves. That is Christ’s great atoning example for us, and it ought to be more evident in the kindness we show, the respect we give, and the selfishness and courtesy we employ in our personal relationships.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “How Do I Love Thee,” BYU Speeches of The Year, February 15, 2000
“If we love anything more than we love God, our love and commitment for the Lord will slacken. This will affect our love in a courtship or marriage relationship. Without a strong commitment to the Lord, an individual is more prone to have a low level of commitment to a spouse”
Elder Russell M. Nelson
“… True love and happiness in courtship and marriage are based upon honesty, self-respect, and sacrifice.”
Elder Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, May 1981, 23
“Christ was perfect because he kept one commandment perfectly, the commandment to love. In doing so he kept all the other commandments as a matter of course.”
Scott A. Loveless, This People, Volume 15, Number 4, 40-51
“Very little love can come from one who is not at peace with himself or herself and God. . . . Only when we love God above all others, as the Savior taught (Matt. 22-34-40), will we be capable of offering pure, Christ-like love to our companions for all eternity.”
Elder Marlin K. Jensen
Similarly, “Even if the ‘good’ things we do, done grudgingly, or virtues we seek, if we seek them for our own benefit, are fundamentally flawed. True love can have no glimmer of self-concern. True mercy contains no trace of self-interest. True forgiveness withholds nothing for self-defense. Real love imposes no conditions for self-benefit.” Scott A. Loveless, This People, Volume 15, Number 4, 40-51.
“… most problems in love and marriage ultimately start with selfishness.
… There are many qualities you will want to look for in a friend or a serious date—to say nothing of a spouse and eternal companion—but surely among the very first and most basic of those qualities will be those of care and sensitivity toward others, a minimum of self-centeredness that allows compassion and courtesy to be evident.
‘That best portion of a good man’s life [is] his … kindness,’ said Mr. William Wordsworth (Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey , lines 33-35.). There are lots of limitations in all of us that we hope our sweethearts will overlook. I suppose no one is as handsome or as beautiful as he or she wishes, or as brilliant in school or as witty in speech or as wealthy as we would like, but in a world of varied talents and fortunes that we can’t always command.
I think that makes even more attractive the qualities we can command—such qualities as thoughtfulness, patience, a kind word, and true delight in the accomplishment of another.
These cost us nothing, and they can mean everything to the one who receives them. . . . True love blooms when we care more about another person than we care about ourselves. That is Christ’s great atoning example for us, and it ought to be more evident in the kindness we show, the respect we give, and the selfishness and courtesy we employ in our personal relationships. . . .
In a dating and courtship relationship, I would not have you spend five minutes with someone who belittles you, who is constantly critical of you, who is cruel at your expense and may even call it humor. Life is tough enough without having the person who is supposed to love you leading the assault on your self-esteem, your sense of dignity, your confidence, and your joy. In this person’s care you deserve to feel physically safe and emotionally secure. . . .
If you are just going for pizza or to play a set of tennis, go with anyone who will provide good, clean fun. . . . But if you are serious, or planning to be serious, please find someone who brings out the best in you and is not envious of your success. Find someone who suffers when you suffer and who finds his or her happiness on your own.” (“How Do I Love Thee?” Elder Jeffrey R Holland, BYU Speeches 3/11/00).
Charity is the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ. It is never used to denote alms or deeds of benevolence, although it may be a prompting motive. (I Cor 8:1; 13:1-4; 8; 13; 14:1. CR Moro 7:47).
Again, “Stated simply, charity means subordinating our interests and needs to those of others, as the Savior has done for all of us. The Apostle Paul wrote that of faith, hope, and charity, ‘the greatest of these is charity’ (I Cor 13:13), and Moroni wrote that ‘except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God’ (Moroni 10:21). I believe that selfless service is a distinctive part of the gospel.” (Ensign, Nov 1991, Elder Joseph B Wirthlin).
Finally, “There was a time when I was happy,” said Browning’s Paracelsus. “And when was that?” asked his friend Festus. “The time I vowed myself to man,” replied Paracelsus. “Great God, they judgments are inscrutable,” said the Festus. The Paracelsus continued, “There is a natural longing of the heart for fullness and I found it. It is to live in all things outside yourself in love. This is the life of God. In Him, it is accomplished and perfect, but in all created things it is a lesson learned slowly and with much difficulty.”
The Paracelsus, a poem by Robert Browning (1909, p. 222-223).