True, a couple who instantly falls in love with each other and pledges to marry one another is a little ridiculous in reality. Sure, dating before engagement is famously brief at BYU. But I think most couples at least know each other's names before they get engaged. (I could be wrong.)
But setting that aside, is Ferdinand compounding the insanity by doing all this senseless work for the one he loves?
I don't think so.
I've been happily married for over two years. And I don't hesitate to say that I would have stacked a thousand logs or a million logs if that's what it took to marry Erin.
A big question on BYU campus is, "Is he/she the 'one'? How do I know?" It's the most important decision of our lives,* and it can be a hard one. But I think one way to know if he/she is "the one" is by how much you are willing to sacrifice. To have a successful marriage, you have to be able to sacrifice everything.
I was lucky to not have to sacrifice too much in order to marry Erin. But being in love with her did affect many decisions I made. She was one of the reasons I changed my career path and decided not to keep trying to get into the BYU animation program. I probably would have switched to communications anyway, but I would have been more willing to take low-pay, high-hours jobs at little newspapers all over the country to work my way up the career ladder. Now, I want to skip all that and go to law school, which I hope will lead to less transitory work. I also had dreams of doing all kinds of travel, like every college student who wants to backpack through Europe or South America. I was lucky enough to travel to Mexico for my honeymoon with Erin, and go to New York City with her and our daughter for my summer internship. But much more exotic travel than that would be way too impractical and expensive now.
|Erin and me at Chichen Itza pyramids in Mexico|
|Erin and me on top of the Empire State Building|
I also gave up R-rated movies. I hadn't really made my mind up about whether I was against watching R-rated movies, but after meeting with Erin I decided not to watch any more from that point on.
Erin was telling me about a conversation she had with some friends who talked about how much time their husbands spent playing video games. In one case, a woman said while she was dating her future husband, if she had told him "You have to stop playing so many video games," it would have been a deal-breaker.
That's just sad to me. I just can't imagine liking video games, or anything, that much that it would prevent me from marrying Erin. Just thinking of the words, "Sorry, but I have to have my video games," and saying them out loud, I would listen to myself and realize how dumb it all sounds.
I know our culture often portrays marriage as a drag, and a wife as a ball and chain brandishing a whip. But really, it's like what Neal A. Maxwell said about the kingdom of God: "If you have not chosen the kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead." I think the same holds true for marriage. If you don't choose marriage, and to be totally devoted to it, then it won't matter if you chose convenience or idleness instead.
*The relevant quote is in the last paragraph of Gordon B. Hinckley's talk.