65th Ask Josh – The one on The One

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2008 at 2:17 am

by your most ardent follower


Dearest wise Josh,

How do you know if someone is “the one”?



Dear Most Ardent Follower,


In the movie The Matrix, Trinity says to Neo, “The Oracle told me I would fall in love, and that man, the man that I loved, would be The One.”


I guess that’s the most obvious one.


In Disney’s Enchanted, one of the songs goes like this, “Well does he take you out dancing just so he can hold you close? Dedicate a song with words meant just for you? He’ll find his own way to tell you with the little things he’ll do. That’s how you know. That’s how you know he’s your love.”


In Meet Joe Black, Brad Pitt as Death asked Quince the same question, “How do you know?”


Quince answered, “Because she knows the worst thing about me and it’s okay.  … There’s nothing [we] don’t know about each other, and it’s okay.”


In Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams’ character asks Matt Damon if he has a soul-mate.  Matt asks him what a soul-mate is. Robin Williams replies:


Someone who challenges you in every way. Who takes you places, opens things up for you. A soul-mate.”

 Elder Richard G. Scott said, “I suggest that you not ignore many possible candidates who are still developing these attributes, seeking the one who is perfected in them. You will likely not find that perfect person, and if you did, there would certainly be no interest in you. These attributes are best polished together as husband and wife.” [“Receive the Temple Blessings,” Ensign, May 1999, 26 (italics added)]


Janet Lee, widow of former BYU President Rex Lee, said this of finding her “one.”


“When Rex and I were dating at BYU, he surprised me one night by indicating that he felt our relationship was getting serious. But I had just begun to come to terms with my own feelings, and he was way ahead of me. All of my logic told me Rex had everything I could ever want in a husband, yet I needed that bolt of lightning to strike me and say, ‘This is the one!’ Well, it came in a very unexpected way. For one entire week my concern was that he was getting too serious. Then one evening he suggested that we should date other people again. I was stunned, but I agreed and said good night. I was not prepared for the emotion I was about to feel. As the door closed behind me, the fear of losing him was more than I could bear. I stood frozen in the dark, leaning against the door for support. The world seemed to have stopped, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted it to start again without Rex there with me. I cried as though my heart would break. How clearly now I could see the priceless gem that was almost mine, but it seemed to be slipping away from my grasp.” [“Overcoming Discouragement” BYU Speeches of the Year. 13 Sept. 1994]


In any case, I’ve given up on looking for The One.  I’m not looking for her.  I’m just going on dates all helter skelter (well, not helter skelter in the Bugliosi sense, I mean it in more of the willy nilly sort of context).  I am not so much concerned with finding The One as I am with finding AnyOne.


In all seriousness though, I don’t know. If you haven’t figured it out yet, then lucky you, but if you’re like most of us, you will have your heart broken and you will likely break some hearts along the way as you go about trying to answer this question. Someone may be the one for you, but you may not be the one for them, or vice versa.  Elphaba’s lament in the play Wicked in the song “I’m Not That Girl” comes to mind. 


The most relevant quotation I find for your question would be from Elder Bruce R. McConkie:


“How do you choose a wife? I’ve heard a lot of young people from Brigham Young University and elsewhere say, ‘I’ve got to get a feeling of inspiration. I’ve got to get some revelation. I’ve got to fast and pray and get the Lord to manifest to me whom I should marry.’ Well, maybe it will be a little shock to you, but never in my life did I ever ask the Lord whom I ought to marry. It never occurred to me to ask him. I went out and found the girl I wanted; she suited me; I evaluated and weighed the proposition, and it just seemed a hundred percent to me as though this ought to be. Now, if I’d done things perfectly, I’d have done some counseling with the Lord, which I didn’t do; but all I did was pray to the Lord and ask for some guidance and direction in connection with the decision that I’d reached. A more perfect thing to have done would have been to counsel with him relative to the decision and get a spiritual confirmation that the conclusion, which I by my agency and faculties had arrived at, was the right one. … Well, do you want a wife? Do you want anything that’s right and proper? You go to work and you use the agency and power and ability that God has given you. You use every faculty, you get all the judgment that you can centered on the problem, you make up your own mind, and then, to be sure that you don’t err, you counsel with the Lord. You talk it over. You say, ‘This is what I think; what do you think?’ And if you get the calm, sweet surety that comes only from the Holy Spirit, you know you’ve reached the right conclusion; but if there’s anxiety and uncertainty in your heart, then you’d better start over, because the Lord’s hand is not in it, and you’re not getting the ratifying seal that, as a member of the Church who has the gift of the Holy Ghost, you are entitled to receive.” [“Agency or Inspiration—Which?” BYU Speeches of the Year 1973]


Happy hunting.


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