Building dating from the beginning of
As well suited to each other as the couple had felt they were, they felt overwhelmed by the stresses of married life, and their relationship began to deteriorate.
Part of Scott and Pamela’s problem was that they had not properly built an enduring friendship marriage, even in the midst of challenges. Kimball wrote: “The successful marriage depends in large measure upon the preparation made in approaching it. One cannot pick the ripe, rich, luscious fruit from a tree that was never planted, nurtured, nor pruned” ( Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969, p. Before entering the temple to be sealed, a man and a woman must build an inspired foundation of friendship and compatibility.
Perhaps other individuals who are approaching—or already in the middle of—a marriage-oriented relationship could consider these ideas as well.
Because courtship should continue throughout marriage, spouses too can benefit by seeking to strengthen and renew their friendships with their partners.
Dating can help build this foundation; but unless participated in wisely, dating can also prove disastrous.
While each couple’s courtship will be different, here are several areas of building a friendship that Judy and I considered while we were preparing for our marriage.
How did the Bensons develop their strong relationship? President Benson’s biographer tells us that during this time, they “talked for hours, exploring their feelings about a future together. The more they talked, the more comfortable they felt with each other.” The prophet himself describes it this way: “‘There was so much to tell and we seemed to enjoy each other so very much. It was a perfect courtship during which I discovered in Flora a great character and a rare combination of virtues’” (Sheri L. On the other hand, Scott and Pamela met a few months after Scott returned from his mission. After a whirlwind courtship, they married in a beautiful temple ceremony.
A well-known maxim recommends longer courtships followed by shorter engagements. Brown concurs: “Infatuation may be romantic, glamorous, thrilling, and even urgent, but genuine love should not be in a hurry. Time should be taken for serious thought, and opportunity given for [each partner to gain] physical, mental, and spiritual maturity.
Longer acquaintances will enable both to evaluate themselves and their proposed companions, to know each other’s likes and dislikes, habits and dispositions, aptitudes and aspirations” ( Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960, pp. Building a strong premarital friendship requires spending sufficient time with each other and finding opportunities for interaction.