Valentines Day was so special. It was simple, but very thoughtful. Josh made me a yummy breakfast of stuffed french toast before I went to work and gave me my valentine gift. He is so kind. We were so full from breakfast we skipped lunch, which was fine because Josh made a beautiful, filling, and delicious dinner of lobster and steak. See below, it’s okay to drool. It was so yummy and I was in lobster heaven and Josh was in steak heaven :). Afterwards, he went on a treasure hunt for him for his presents and we just relaxed in the evening. It was a wonderful day and I’m grateful I was able to spend it with my special Valentine, Joshy!
On Valentines Day I always love to read this message called “And the Greatest of These is Love” from Gordon B. Hinckley which he gave at Brigham Young University in 1978, this is my favorite part of the talk, but I will share the link as well because it such a special message. Happy loving!
“On this day, when I was a little boy, we traded paper hearts at school, and at night we dropped them at the doors of our friends, stamping on the porch and then running in the dark to hide. Sometimes we would tie a fishing line to a valentine, and when the would-be receiver would go to pick it up we would pull the string. That happens in life with some of us.
Almost without exception these valentines had printed on their face the words, “I love you.” I have since come to know that love is more than a paper heart. It is the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. But it is not at the end of a rainbow; it is at the beginning, and from it springs the beauty that arches across the sky on a stormy day. It is the security for which children weep, the meat and drink of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How impoverished are those who lack it, and how rich those who have it!
For most of you here today, it is one of the reasons for your presence on campus. You are here because of the love of your parents, whose interest is your present and future happiness. You say you are here to gain an education, and I hope that is true. But in your hearts you know you are also here to find a companion, that someone with whom you hope you can fall in love, later marry, and then live happily with forever after. This is not an idle, idyllic dream. It happens. I know it happens; I have experienced it. And you know it happens and you hope and pray it will happen to you.
I am one who believes that love, like faith, is a gift of God. I agree with Pearl Buck, who said: “Love cannot be forced, love cannot be coaxed and teased. It comes out of heaven, unasked and unsought” (The Treasure Chest, p. 165).
Some of you have taken classes to prepare you the better for that hoped-for time. They may help qualify you, and each of us needs all the help he can get. But I am inclined to agree with Sydney Harris, the columnist, who wrote:
One of the grand errors we tend to make when we are young is supposing that a person is a bundle of qualities, and we add up the individual’s good and bad qualities, like a bookkeeper working on debits and credits.
If the balance is favorable, we may decide to take the jump [into marriage]. . . . The world is full of unhappy men and women who married their mates because . . . it seemed to be a good investment.
Love, however, is not an investment; it is an adventure. And when the marriage turns out to be as dull and comfortable as a sound investment, the disgruntled party soon turns elsewhere for adventure, . . .
Ignorant people are always saying, “I wonder what he sees in her,” not realizing that what he sees in her (and what no one else can see in her) is the secret essence of love.
Entering a marriage calmly and rationally is like dancing a bacchanal calmly and rationally; it is a contradiction in terms. It takes into account everything except what is important—the spirit. [“Love and Marriage,” Deseret News, 18 October 1977]
I had a friend who decided that his would be a scientific marriage—one built on the qualities of his wife, rather than his feelings for her. He lived in California in a large ward and a large stake where there were many attractive girls his own age. In the pursuit of his quest he made a chart. At the top of each column he set down some worthwhile quality such as beauty, education, ambition, a wealthy father, and so forth. Then down the side of his chart he wrote the names of all the girls he knew. He then graded each, and rated them in numerical order—1, 2, 3, 4, and so on. He proceeded to make his conquest.
Expectantly, he called Number 1; she refused to go out with him. Number 2 also had an excuse. Number 3 gambled on one date, the last; and he ended up marrying Number 4. A year later someone sent me a copy of the local paper in which my friend gave notice that he no longer would be responsible for debts incurred by his wife. Divorce followed shortly after that. Forty years have passed and my once-burned and loveless friend has never remarried.
I think of two other friends of about the same vintage, a boy and a girl. I knew them in the years of high school and university. He was a boy from a country town, plain in appearance, without money or apparent promise. He had grown up on a farm, and if he had any quality that was attractive it was the capacity to work. He carried bologna sandwiches in a brown paper bag for his lunch and swept the school floors to pay his tuition. But with all of his rustic appearance, he had a smile and a personality that seemed to sing of goodness. She was a city girl who had come out of a comfortable home, but she would never have qualified for a beauty contest. Her face was freckled, but she made the most of what she had in the quiet but attractive manner of her dressing and in the way she fixed her hair.
Something of magic took place between them. They fell in love. No one could understand why. There were far more promising boys for her and far more beautiful girls who might have interested him. But these two laughed and danced and studied together through those years. They married when people wondered how they could ever earn enough to stay alive. He struggled through his professional school and came out near the top of his class. She scrimped and saved and worked and prayed. She encouraged and sustained and when things were really tough she said quietly, “Somehow we’ll make it.” Buoyed by her faith in him, he kept going through those difficult years. Their children came, and together they loved them and nourished them and gave them the security that came of their own example of love for and loyalty to one another. Now forty-five years and more have passed. Their children are grown and are a credit to them, to the Church, and to the communities in which they live.
Recently, while riding a plane from New York, I walked down the aisle in the semi-darkness of the cabin and saw a woman, white-haired, her head on her husband’s shoulder as she dozed and his hand clasped warmly about hers. He was awake and recognized me. She awakened when we began to talk. They, too, were returning from New York, where he had delivered a paper before one of the great learned societies of the nation. He said little about it, but she proudly spoke of the honors accorded him. Forty-five years ago people without understanding had asked what he saw in her and what she saw in him.
I thought of that as I returned to my seat on the plane. And I said to myself, their friends of those days saw only a farm boy from the country and a smiling girl with freckles on her nose. But these two saw in each other love, loyalty, peace, faith, and the future. Call it chemistry if you will; maybe there was a little of that, but there was much more. There was rather a flowering of something divine, planted there by that Father who is our God. In their school days they had lived worthy of that flowering. They had lived with virtue and faith, with appreciation and respect for self and one another. In the years of their difficult professional and economic struggles, they had found their greatest earthly strength in their companionship. Now in age they were finding their peace, their quiet satisfaction together. And beyond that they were assured of an eternity of joyful association under covenants long since made and promises long since given in the house of the Lord.”