This article was based on Elder Holland’s BYU devotional, “How Do I Love Thee?”. I recommend it to everyone. 🙂
My new friend, Elder Holland
1. Dating should not be separated from discipleship.
Believe that your faith has everything to do with your romance, because it does. You separate dating from discipleship at your peril. Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, is the only lamp by which you can successfully see the path of love and happiness.
Too often, we allow ourselves to take a different approach to dating than we do the rest of our lives. We allow emotions, lusts, and other things to silence the Spirit, and we believe we have a certain right to be dishonest, or even sometimes mean. While dating is certainly a minefield to navigate, and it’s not always easy to do so without hurting feelings, we should do our very best to maintain integrity and Christ-like love for others in all our dating endeavors.
2. Love comes from God, so you’ll need to seek Him to find it.
“Wherefore, . . . pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons [and daughters] of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; . . . that we may be purified even as he is pure.” – Moroni 7:47–48
If your love doesn’t bring you closer to God, it’s not love. If it doesn’t yield the fruits of the spirit – peace, joy, charity, and all those other good things, it’s not love. I believe love is the greatest gift God has given us, and we can’t possess it without Him. Not the kind that lasts, anyway.
3. Love is a verb – an action word – and isn’t just a rush of feelings.
It doesn’t come without effort and it doesn’t come without patience, but, like salvation itself, in the end it is a gift, given by God to the “true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ.” The solutions to life’s problems are always gospel solutions.
True love blooms when we care more about another person than we care about ourselves.
It’s for this reason that I don’t believe in “love at first sight”, or getting engaged after three weeks. Love requires time. It involves regularly and constantly putting someone else’s wellbeing before your own, and being willing to make sacrifices for the happiness of another person. It’s very different from infatuation, which typically involves a rush of feelings and a twitterpated obsession with someone
Read the rest at Millennial Mormons