Ask Angela: Marriage: I think no, he thinks yes — now what?

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  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 3, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    Captain Green gives me some more thoughts on this prayer subject,
    you may benefit from it if you wish to. Take it easy and learn from the scriptures.

    No, I do not agree having received no answer for your prayers would indicate the Lord wanting you to use your free agency. Not at all.

    1. marriage is not an experiment to test our free agency, the responsibilty having children or living in the presense of Heavenly Father some day is huge.

    2. prior to dating one should have had plenty of experience in receiving answers to prayers, they need to be discerned, that is our problem, until we know better

    3. We cannot enter heaven, unless we acknowledge that he keeps none else their, but the Redeemer himself. Marriage is another door of so many to pass through to get closer to Jesus Christ, meaning both of you need to know for sure . No playing games here with free agency. If you fail, then fail in dating, but not in marriage.

    But worse if you fail in love, that greatest gift god can give.
    If you miss on that "broken heart" and persue your mind, never mind.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 2, 2013 8:55 p.m.

    What a topic, this is not a one person experience, it happens all the time.

    1. I do disagree to most of the above, as I like to take some precautions.

    2. Prayer yes or no, remember when Adam was giving his famous words of gratitude for having received a wife of the Lord, did he pray then, or we know anything about it ?
    He was just full of joy. Something the world can judge better on seeing it in people, than members do. Why ?

    3. Prayers are always good, but special answers to them are a very different story. Members cannot deduct the value of prayers for others, they ought to be personal.I would never trust a girl or guy(if I be a girl) to any answers to prayers concerning our future family.Why ?

    4. Because both need to pray often, and in time the answer will come for both, agreeable to both. You cannot receive an answer for another person.

    5. to protect yourself, prayer is good, but to know whom to marry is often a long way, requires much study of present, past and future (remember Kids coming into a new home !)

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    Sept. 1, 2013 5:42 p.m.

    Anyone contemplating marriage should decide on someone who receives the same answer they do on the question. As a BYU Bishop for several years, I counseled young people that the "No" answer seems to come fairly clearly, because the Lord is blessing you not to make a painful mistake. The "Yes" answer is often more vague... probably because the Lord is telling you to decide for yourself, using your wonderful agency. If everything "were written in the stars," we would miss out on potential growth that comes from properly exercising our moral agency.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    my wife was less enthusiastic about marriage than I was. I essentially had to tell her something similar to the guy in this question, that when she was ready to let me know, but that I thought she was the one for me. (I never told her she was praying wrong... that's just stupid.) After a while, and a little divine intervention, my sweetheart eventually ran out of excuses and she eventually said yes.

    I figure she needed that time to work out her feelings and it was a good thing for her to have that. I think any man should respect the inspiration God gives his precious daughters, as he respects his own answers from God. Often I find when there's a conflict, it just means that we need to find a third way to make both of us at ease.

    Concensus building is an important skill in marriage.

  • FMags au, 00
    July 31, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    Please review the Sunday school lesson lesson 6 about revelation. In the additional teaching ideas, The following caution from Elder John H. Groberg of the Seventy explains an important principle of seeking divine guidance about whom to marry:
    “I would … caution you that you cannot receive a one-sided revelation from God in regards to an eternal marriage. Only as both parties feel the same way can you have the assurance that it is from the Lord. Those who try to force another’s free will into their supposed-revelation mold are doing a great disservice to themselves and to their friends” (“What Are You Doing Here?” New Era, Jan. 1987, 37–38).

    You are entitled to receive your own revelation on the matter, but I suggest that you follow the steps suggested in this lesson in receiving whisperings from the holy ghost.

  • LiveNLetLive Bakersfield, CA
    July 31, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    You will have to make your own decision.

    If it is, no, sever the relationship and quite responding after that. Even a negative response can encourage dependent individuals to keep pursuing a relationship.

    Clearly say this relationship has no future. I do not want any more contact with you. Then quite responding to him.

  • dknight68 Ogden, ut
    July 29, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    I was in this same situation but on the other side, after returning home from a mission I became engaged within a month. I knew it was right and this was the person I wanted to spend eternity with. After a few months of engagement she told me she felt it was not right and felt as though she should serve a mission, it was the most difficult time of my life. My answer was definitly yes and hers, not so much. She left on a mission to the Philippines and I tried to concentrate on school, work and other things. A few months later I recieved a call from my stake President asking if I was still inertested in marrying this girl because she had told her mission president she felt she should return home and get married. Now 23 know years and 4 children later we are still very happily married. I thank the lord often that she followed the spirit and when she knew and was preparded to commit she did with no regrets. In other words it might be right it just might not be the right time. Do what you know to be right.

  • ladybuglover MONITOR, WA
    July 29, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    Good advice to change boyfriends i think! I didn't get the feeling the guy was being lazy in his prayers as someone implied, but if she is getting a negative answer that's what she needs to go with!!

  • rinman Kabul, Afghanistan, 00
    July 29, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    Girl, you want to know if you should marry this dude? Then find out about him and his family, and make a decision. Use your brain and heart and make a decision. It shouldn't take a committee to make this decision for you. If you love the dude and want to marry him, which it sounds like you want to do, then do it. But since you are satisfied that the Lord gave you a solid no, you'll always doubt if you do marry him, and at the first sign of trouble you'll be at the courthouse filing for a divorce, saying you should have followed your prompting. If you're satisfied that the Lord told you no, then act on it, and don't ask anyone's permission. Sounds like you really want to marry this guy, so you're willing to disregard your answer. Don't marry the wrong man just to be married. But don't wait for the heavens to open and tell you "This is the man!" either.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    July 28, 2013 9:03 p.m.

    For a different perspective, I never asked a god or a pixie or any other supernatural (fictitious) creature whether or not I should ask, or marry, the LDS woman who became my wife.

    I decided myself, and she agreed.

    We celebrate our 30th anniversary this year. 30 years of very happy, fulfilling life together.

    And No advice, permission, or consultation with god was ever needed... ever.

    July 28, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    As a faithful Latter-day Saint, I am often surprised that we often take the approach that all I need do is ask "What should I do?" and the Lord will answer. Particularly in an issue as important as marriage, the question should be, "This is my choice, is this acceptable?" The Lord expects us to prepare, and to and to think, and to ponder, and to make decisions on our own. He does not expect us to sit back and wait for the angelic choirs tell us everything we need to know giving no thought for the preparation we need to make to receive that answer.

  • NDM Vienna, Austria
    July 28, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    I could not agree more with joe5. Very wise words. That was precisely the impression I received. I asked "Should I marry this young lady?" And the clear answer was "Wrong question. It presumes upon her agency." Suitably humbled, I asked instead, "Should I ask her to marry me?" And the answer was "Yes. But not yet." As we dated, she dated other people as well.

    Despite my certainty that I had found the last person I ever wanted to date, so did I. I said not a single word to her about the inspiration I felt I'd received. This went on for another year. Finally the time was right, and I asked. In retrospect, the wait was perfect for her. I didn't realize it at the time because she seemed so glamorous and popular, but she was a late bloomer. All the male attention that made me feel so nervous and inadequate was a radically new experience for her. She needed that year of dating to come into her own and feel that she knew what she wanted in a husband.

    We just celebrated our 31st anniversary, still very passionately in love.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    July 28, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    Good people give good gifts. The ultamet gift is your presents. you become immortal by how long your presents is appreciated after you've left. The difference between mortals and immortals, is reason. The reason is, is because you mater. You mater, that's the Spirit of things. The name of the Spirit is Jesus who was a gift from God because He so loved the world. Love gives ya wings cause you never know where will take you, it's more than an emotion, it's the ability to get into the Spirit of things. So, up until now. The past is determined. The future is uncertain the present is what you have.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    July 28, 2013 6:37 a.m.

    Why would a man continue to want to marry a woman whose gut instinct, or answered prayer, was 'No'? And the 'I'm the priesthood holder' response would have me heading for the hills, were I a woman.

    I detect issues. Run, girl, run.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 28, 2013 6:04 a.m.

    To ask for wisdom in evaluating the pros and cons is one thing, but to ask for an answer is unreasonable.

    Decisions should be made after careful evaluation of all the available information.

    Would you want a religious president asking for an answer (yes or no) in a critical situation with huge ramifications?

    Is that how you would want a CEO to make decisions?

    That is not the leader that I would want.

    Ask for guidance and wisdom. Don't ask for an answer.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    July 27, 2013 11:02 p.m.

    During my dating years, I had gone with this one young lady quite seriously for a time. One evening while taking her home from a date she asked if I had 'prayed about us?' I told her I had. She asked what my answer was --- I told her it was none of her business.

    She was quite shocked by that and asked me why. I told her that she needed to have her own answer. I felt it was good, but I had enough wisdom at that moment in time to explain to her that I wouldn't be responsible for our life together. What I mean is, if it didn't work out, it might be considered to be all my fault -- because it was my answer to prayer. No. She had to make her own decision without me influencing her.

    Any guy -- or gal, for that matter, who tries to make their decision the only one --- I'd steer clear of them.

  • ryansaltlake SLC, UT
    July 27, 2013 10:57 p.m.

    Painful dating/relationship experiences remind us of an important life lesson: agency is a great gift, and we must respect the way others use this gift. This can be a hard lesson to learn (it has been for me). This young man will have much better relationships once he learns this lesson. That being said, I don't think we should assume this young man is a "chauvinistic jerk" who will abuse his future wife. We can all say stupid things when strong emotions are involved.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    July 27, 2013 5:57 p.m.

    When I was a teen I baptized my girlfriend. I figured I'd go on a mission, come home and marry her. I was praying about the plan to one day marry her and got a resounding "no." It hurt. I loved her.

    But I learned an important lesson: "You can love someone and NOT marry them."

    I served a mission came home and after a long courtship, married. We've been together thirty years now and have six wonderful children. We get along well. We have rarely disagreed with each other. When we have, we've worked it out kindly.

    It was good when we married and it has gotten better year after year. I hope this gives you some hope. I have found that heeding answers to prayer leads to good things.

    Good luck.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    July 27, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    Think those commenting on this article have hit on some great points in backing Angela on this one. However I take exception to idea that 1)God doesn't care; 2)won't answer this for honest seekers; and 3)(since someone actually wrote this) doesn't know our best interest here.

    A slightly different observation: There are and will certainly be times when one or more people are involved in a decision about which they are praying for guidance. In light of this particular decision, this absolutely occurs once one is married as well as with being parents. And no, you don't both/all get the same answer. Does that indicate unworthiness on one party's part? Perhaps; but, not likely. Does this indicate divine indifference? No. It is an ongoing exercise in refinement.

    So sure, if the guy here totally disrespects her ability to pray and get answers -- RUN! But if he respects that and simply encourages her to keep praying -- they should both continue to pray and leave this an open matter until they both get the same answer.

    She used the word "definite" NO, trust that conviction and don't be asking Angela what God already told you.

    July 27, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    Well, at least the guy didn't use the old "we promised each other in the premortal existence" line. Tell him you hope he'll be very happy when he finds the girl that gets the same answer he does.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    July 27, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    His question to the Lord should be: "Should I ask this woman to marry me?" Any other questions such as "Should I marry her?" is an indication that he does not value your agency. It's not solely up to him whether he marries you.

    Assuming the correct prayer is said, the Lord might respond, "She is worthy and compatible. Yes, ask her."

    After he asks, she prays, "Should I accept his invitation to marry?" She has every opportunity, indeed a duty, to receive her own inspiration and exercise her own agency. In this case, the Lord apparently said no. I won't conjecture why he said no. Perhaps he is not worthy. Perhaps he is not compatible. Perhaps there is something better for her that the Lord wants her to have. Whatever the reason, she now has to act on that revelation and choose to either marry or not marry.

    If you were my daughter, I'd recommend that you sever your relationship with this young man and learn what the Lord has in store for you. Maybe he can't give it to you while you are still in this relationship.

  • Mom of ten SANBORNTON, NH
    July 27, 2013 2:51 p.m.

    Many years ago (1981), I heard a talk given by the President of my BYU ward. He told of a similar situation. Two BYU students of his congregation came to him for advice. They both had prayed whether they shoud marry each other. She had recieved a no answer, he a yes. They came to him to ask which one of them was wrong. He advised them that neither was wrong. For one, the marriage would work; for the other it would not. We all have different temperments and abilities. It is possible for many right answers. That is why we get individual and personalized revelation. Heavenly Father loves us all and knows of our needs. He will lead us to that which will bring us in the right direction. I have never forgotten that talk. It has helped me refrain from judgements.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    July 27, 2013 2:02 p.m.

    Beaver Native wrote:

    "The question is...'Does the Lord approve of my choice and is this a good choice for me".

    And if god is smart, his (or her) answer will always be: "Don't ask me, you are the one who will be married to them, not me!"

  • donn layton, UT
    July 27, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    RE: Christians=(Tri-une God) should never marry Non-Christians.

    (2Cor 6:14-16) Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. …

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    July 27, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    Unfortunately, there are far too many cheuvenistic, "I'm the priesthood holder" arrogant men in the Church.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 27, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    “You must be praying wrong, keep praying and let me know when you get the right answer.”

    Isn't this just like the concept about Mormonism in general?

    If you don't get the "correct" answer, you were certainly doing something wrong. Either not with a "sincere heart" or "real intent"

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    July 27, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    Brother Benjamin Franklin, the actual story in the letter and the response given by Angela don't portray the man the way you are saying. Do you have a chip on your shoulder? Maybe some of the responses by the women regarding their experiences, which are certainly valid, are making you feel that men are attacked. Angela just told the girl to trust in what the Lord tells her which is the right thing to do. Neither the letter writer nor Angela is portraying this guy as a lazy little boy who needs to be looked after. And the women who wrote in about their experiences have valid points based on what happened to them. The topic was, after all, about this guy pressuring a girl who got a different answer. People are smart enough to know this doesn't lump men into the same category on every issue.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 27, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    By the way, I'm not saying to marry, I'm saying that you should make the choice based on what you think is right, not what you think God wants you to do.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 27, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    This is why you don't use answers you think come from God to make major life choices...

  • caf Bountiful, UT
    July 27, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    We all do our best to understand promptings. However, if we feel that we have received direct revelation, we should act on that fact immediately. If we ignore revelation, we chance closing ourselves from further help. Why is this girl still dating a man whom she knows isn't best for her?! Angela, you have given great advice again!

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    July 27, 2013 12:00 p.m.


    "Maybe there isn't only one right person every time."

    Right on. The idea that everyone has a "soul mate" is a fallacy. The question is not about who's the "one and only", but rather "Does the Lord approve of my choice and is this a good choice for me".

  • Philippine Bonita Sammamish, WA
    July 27, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    I was engaged once to someone (a returned missionary)who told me (also a retuned missionary) that when we disagreed on something important that we should just go with what HE thought because he was "my priesthood leader". Thank heaven (literally) that as a returned missionary I was well aquatinted with personal revelation and how the Holy Ghost operates. That line might have worked on me "pre-mission" because I was so gaga in love. Well, the Holy Ghost (and a good friend) told me I did not need to marry this chauvinistic jerk. I broke it off and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. His mom LOVED me. She had introduced me to her son and she told me she was sad that she would not be my mother-in-law, but knew that I was inspired and that I was doing the right thing.
    Run for the HILLS, girl and don't promise to "give it more time", or continue to date until something changes. Don't prolong the pain. the best thing for both of you is to move on separately. He needs to mature spiritually. You're light years ahead of him.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 27, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    I do not think enough consideration is being given to both responses. The man is being made to look like he put no effort into getting his answer, while the woman is portrayed as the opposite.

    Why don't we get people that write in with more detailed stories? I am fed up with men being portrayed in society as lazy little boys who need a woman to look after them because they can't take care of themselves. Most men are not like this, and this woman should stop and think about perhaps seeking help from other resources than a newspaper column just so all her girlfriends can feel sorry for her.

  • rinman Kabul, Afghanistan, 00
    July 27, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    Good answer, Angela. She must trust her instinct, and he should not denigrate her ability to receive an answer. I would add only one caveat, a hypothetical. She might want a "no" as much as he wants a "yes" so that is what each gets. I'm not 100% sure the Lord always answers this question, so people might "find" their own answers. Why might the Lord not respond? Because if He says yes, and he turns out to be bum or an adulterer or a child molester or an axe murderer, she might blame the Lord for leading her down the wrong path (or he might blame the Lord if she doesn't work out). Sometimes two people need to make a decision and act on it (but trusting their instincts). I'm not sure that the Lord will answer the "is he the right one for me" question. Maybe there isn't only one right person every time.

  • Bomar Roberts, ID
    July 27, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    Many years ago I went through this exact experience and Angela is spot on. Sometimes we want something so bad we let our feelings override the spirit. We are less than honest in our prayers, seeking what we want, not what the Lord knows is in our best interests.

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    July 27, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    I remember hearing a General Authority saying, probably in a conference broadcast or devotional, that it is possible for the man to get an answer that the marriage is right for him, and the woman to get an answer that the marriage is wrong for her, and both be right. He has no authority to receive an answer for you. If he is trying to pressure you into accepting a proposal by saying he has received an answer for you, he is exercising unrighteous dominion. You do not want a husband like that.

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    July 27, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    Angela hon, I do not recall ever feeling differently, than you, on these issues you give advice on. Wow ,hon, you are one wise young woman!!

  • NDM Vienna, Austria
    July 27, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Angela's advice is right on. The issue is no longer who is praying "right" and who is praying "wrong." Forget everything else. His response to your response tells you that your inspiration is right. Think about it. He is saying "I don't care what you think you have experienced. I am right; you are wrong." It's blatant disrespect. Worse, it smacks of control. A genuinely worthy priesthood holder understands that his inspiration is only half the equation. If she doesn't get a "yes" answer, he knows to quietly and respectfully back off, no matter how certain he is of his inspiration. Negating agency is Lucifer's plan. Do you want a marriage based on that? Repeat after me: "When you disrespect my ability to receive and interpret my own personal revelation, it confirms beyond all doubt that I got the right answer." That's all you need to say to him.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    July 27, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    No. Trust your instincts.

  • Mimifran Gymea, NSW
    July 27, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    This exact thing happened to me. I was a new convert and believed him when he said I wasn't praying right. Total truth - he began hitting me in the first week after the wedding. If Heavenly Father is saying no then listen and obey - otherwise, why ask him? All the best.