Charles knew Gloris was the one from the moment he first saw her getting off the bus in high school.
"I remember exactly when we met each other," Charles Goff said. "I looked at her as she got off the bus and I said, ‘That's my wife. That's the girl I want to go with.’ And that's the end of the story."
But it was only the beginning. Now, nearly 80 years later, Charles and Gloris Goff, 92 and 93, sat side by side in their home in Corinne, Utah, after recently celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary on July 15.
The Goffs have lived a life full of service, beginning with Charles Goff's service in World War II and continuing with the couple's service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They have had their share of adventure, traveling around the world and dabbling in different professions. And most of all, they are committed to loving each other forever.
"I think anybody could enjoy the diamond anniversary if they just decided that's what they were going to do," Charles Goff said. "The only thing that would ever stop us from doing that would be ill health."
The Goffs, both natives of Idaho, said they never doubted that their marriage would last, both through this life and for eternity.
“It’s always been kind of natural, hasn’t it, Gloris?” Charles Goff said, turning to his wife. “I don’t think there’s anything outstanding. We’ve always been able to understand each other.”
Goff remembers the day he proposed to his wife after they had dated for a few years. He said it was nothing elaborate.
"I didn't get on my knees," he said. "I think we were riding in the car, and (I) just decided that we knew each other well enough, we ought to get married."
But their life as newlyweds wasn’t just young, blissful love.
A couple of years after they had their first child, Goff decided to enlist to fight in World War II, even though his wife and baby exempted him from the draft.
"My friend and I decided that we ought to do something to help the war effort out,” he said. “We decided that someday we were going to have to tell our kids what we did during the war."
"I wasn't too happy," Gloris Goff said. She said it was hard, but she supported her husband's decision and got a job to take care of herself and her baby.
Charles Goff was with the U.S. Coast Guard for about four years, spending most of the time as a gunman aboard a Landing Ship, Tank (LST) vessel in the Pacific, often in the middle of combat.
His later careers took him through many different business ventures, from financial planning to weapon manufacturing to building log homes. The Goffs' son, Charles Goff Jr., said his mother was usually right by his father's side, working and helping with the family business.
Charles Goff said travel was also a big part of his life, noting that he has been to 60 nations in his lifetime, most of them with his wife. He said many of their closest experiences have been while they were traveling together in a foreign country.
"We've done a lot of things," he said. "As long as we've lived, we've done almost everything there is to do."
But most of all, the couple's lives have been characterized by service in their family and in the LDS Church.
"(Dad) would get back (from work) late Saturday and get up at 4 or 5 a.m. to be to his high council meeting or wherever he needed to be," the younger Goff said. "Unbelievable dedication. (Mom) worked quite a bit, but I never felt neglected. She really put family first."
When it comes to raising children, the Goffs have had their share of difficulties. But they abide by the doctrine of love.
“Just love them,” Charles Goff said. “Love them with all your heart.”
Charles Goff has been an LDS bishop and bishopric member and was a sealer in the Mesa, Arizona, and St. George, Utah, temples for 10 years. Gloris Goff has served as Relief Society and Primary president.
Charles Goff emphasized church activity and faithfully fulfilling church callings as two important aspects of a successful marriage.
“Being a member of the church is everything,” he said. “We’ve always had responsible positions in the wards and stakes, and we’ve tried to do our duty. And we’ve sure been blessed.”
After the Goffs returned to Utah from Arizona, family members stepped in to help out around their house and to repay some of the service they have been giving throughout their lives.
Charles Goff Jr. described his father as a leader and "get-up-and-go kind of guy," and his mom as kind and compassionate and a phenomenal cook. He has seen how their strength in the gospel has carried over to their marriage.
“The love of the gospel has allowed them to have a really strong relationship together,” he said. “I think they have always been best friends, from the time they were very young.”
"They have always been just two peas in a pod," said the Goff's granddaughter, Stephanie Morris. "Very inseparable and very interdependent. They just fit together. They have always been excellent examples for me."
The elder Goff said one piece of advice he used to give to new couples who were about to be sealed together is to be considerate of each other.
“There is some general advice that everyone should understand, and that's kindness and consideration for other people,” he said. “Remember, marriage is a 50-50 proposition. Be nice to your wife. That's most important because she sure is nice to me.”
He said jokingly, "If we have any disagreements, we decide to do it the way she wants to." His wife laughed, and he admitted that he doesn't actually remember ever having a disagreement with her.
Charles Goff also advised young men to “marry a sweet wife who wants companionship and to be a partner forever," something that he has treasured in his own life.
After 75 years of marriage, the couple are still very much in love. When asked about their favorite things about each other, Gloris Goff said, “Oh, he’s just a nice guy. And we get along real well, that’s the nice part.”
Her husband said, “I just love her all over.”
Erica Palmer is a writer for the Mormon Times and Features department. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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