Do you remember the scripture that teaches that blessings come after trials? That scripture fits our success story. Our story really starts in 2016 for Mallory (Mal) when she got home from her mission. Mal returned from her mission to a much different family landscape than she had left. We will avoid the details, but Mal felt like she had landed a different world where she was very alone. During this time, she was introduced to a confident young man by her cousin. During a storm of desperation and confusion, Mal and this young man were married and sealed within a few months’ time. Their dating was rough and broken from the start. As Mal walked into the sealing room the Spirit warned her to not go through with it, but it was too late. Their broken relationship led to a broken marriage from the start. Marriage counselling ensued immediately. Again, we will avoid the details, but within a years’ time the marriage counselor advised that they end their relationship. With faith in Christ, she decided to get a divorce and end their marriage. Now, Mal felt all she had were ashes to show for her family efforts over the last two years since she had returned from her mission.
I’ll take a turn here to introduce myself (Dallin.) I also returned from my mission in 2016 like Mal. Unlike Mal though, I did not find myself any immediate prospects. I filled my life with as many good things as I could. I started on a finance degree, did volunteer work, worked in the temple, and jumped into multiple student involvment organizations. I was very busy. I had been told to “lose myself in the work” as a missionary. This did not work as well for me after my mission as I had hoped. Despite being so “busy” I felt very lonely. Years of this past without any success in dating. After almost three years without any successful prospects, I was feeling low. Until I finally ended up in a relationship! (not with Mal though.) That relationship ended just after a couple months. That individual told me she would not want to have my kids because she would not want her children to have anxiety like I do. At this same time, family issues had peaked for me, my car stopped working, I had become very sick, and I failed an important test for a financial license needed for my work. I felt my whole life had just crashed around me. All areas of my health had come to a standstill and I saw no way to move forward.
I will just continue to narrate from my perspective. I had downloaded mutual after my breakup just to fill a gap when I needed a break from studying at work. I just wanted to go on dates for fun. I was convinced at this point nothing was going to work out anyways. I swiped up on Mal in February and we matched! Elder Ballard had taught that if we call our dates in stead of text them, it might surprise them so much they might say yes! After a very short conversation on mutual I called her and she said yes to a dinner date. Now, I think it a very rare thing that two people meet and everything works perfectly. Our first date was so fun that we added a movie onto the dinner. I don’t usually advocate for kissing on the first date, but it worked for us!
After a grueling twenty days she agreed to be my girlfriend. Then, after an even more difficult seven months we were FINALLY married. Dating Mal possibly the best time of my entire life. We never had a single fight while we dated. Mal just loved me for who I was. She loved all of my funny quirks from the beginning. She loved me in spite of my flaws like my previously mentioned anxiety. She wanted all of the same things I wanted. We constantly wanted to just be around each other. There was no drama. We had both decided we were perfect for each other and the Spirit confirmed to each of us that decision.
I could not have cared less about her having been divorced before. I know divorced individuals can worry about ever finding a “good guy” (or girl) that would want to date them again after their divorce. Some of these fears are founded on mean comments that thoughtless individuals make at church or in church centered groups. To me, everything that Mal has been through makes her who she is. She learned through her divorce how to rely on the Savior when she could not on anyone else. I do not think of her divorce as a blackmark on her “quality of being card” that some make up for themselves. I love Mal for what she has gone through and what she has become for it. If I were to offer advice to anyone that has been divorced or to anyone dating a divorced individual, it would be that it does not really matter and to just move forward. Have faith in Christ and it the love your significant other has for you. Remember that perfect love casts out all fear.
To just close, Mal and I have been married for about two years now. We still have not had a single fight up to this time. Sure, we have disagreements, but we see through those. We prioritize the Savior in our home and his restored gospel. Almost a year ago exactly our first son came into the world and we love our little red head. He has such a little attitude and is spoiled as could be. That is what he gets for being the first grand baby on BOTH sides of the family. We received beauty for ashes and all things have worked out for us as we have put Christ first.