Spiritual Messages and Teachings for LDS Youth and Youth Leaders

Is There Life Before Sixteen? On Your Mark, Get Ready, Get Set, Date PART 1

By: Michael W. Allred

From the book: Serving With Strength Throughout the World

After returning from my mission, I began looking up old friends that I had not seen for two years. I went to the house of a friend who was already married and met his wife. I also learned that his wife’s younger sister was staying with them. She was just my age and was gorgeous. I remember thinking that she might be “the one.” In fact, I went home that night and actually prayed: “Please, Heavenly Father, bless her to be the one.” But even as I was saying the prayer, I felt uncomfortable. Something was not right.

Perhaps you believe, as I used to, that there is one person out there that we are meant to be with. But President Spencer W. Kimball said the notion of “soul mates” is an illusion. He taught that “while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price” (“Oneness in Marriage,” Ensign, Mar. 1977, p. 4). Elder Boyd K. Packer made a similar statement when he said, “You must do the choosing, rather than to seek for some one-and-only so-called soul mate, chosen for you by someone else and waiting for you. You are to do the choosing. You must be wise beyond your years and humbly prayerful unless you choose amiss” (Eternal Love [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973], p. 11).

That means that within the next ten years, most of you teenaged readers will be making one of the biggest decisions of not only your mortal life, but of eternity. The decision has not already been made. We are not in a giant game of hide-and-go-seek, trying to locate the soul that we made promises to in our premortal life. Instead, we are to prepare ourselves to be compatible with the one we will choose in this life, one we will agree to share eternity with. In the scriptures the Lord teaches us how to make good choices (see Moroni 7:10-17). He has given us the ability to choose good from evil. Because we each are free to choose, we need to decide very clearly what we are looking for.

This being the case, is there life before age sixteen? You bet there is! Now that we understand that we are in the process of making the choice, we need to begin preparing to be “wise beyond our years.”

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