Something I heard a few weeks ago opened my eyes. Since then, I have been thinking about marriage as one long, continuous conversation between two people. It started for us when I was 17 and my future wife was 15. We met at seminary, but the first time I ever really talked to Cristi was at a Halloween party put on by the seminary teacher, Brother Price. I thought this girl was darling and so funny and pretty—an absolute knock out. The conversation soon developed into a letter writing campaign because we lived 70 miles apart. Email was not an option then. It was so fun to go out to the mailbox (on the ranch, that was almost a mile from our house) and find a letter from this adorable girl who liked me.
In the first letter I got from Cristi, she included some verses from the hymn ''More Holiness Give Me." Our early conversations were usually very uplifting. We talked about the Church, the scriptures, my mission, the future. Soon enough, we started tiptoeing over the topic of romantic love. Before my mission, we even held hands a few times while we walked and talked about the possibilities of a long-term relationship.
During my mission, hundreds of letters traveled between Oregon and Ohio. On several occasions, something strange happened: The phone would ring at our humble missionary apartment. I'd pick it up and say, "Hello. This is Elder Fitzgerald." Then I would hear the laughter of a half-dozen college co-eds and the phone would hang up on the other end. I learned after my mission that it was Cristi and her roommates calling on a dare. Not a long conversation, but an interesting one nevertheless.
Our conversation continued after my mission. Starry-eyed talk of love, commitment, temples, and how many children we would have was soon replaced by who would do the dishes, how much money we could spend at McDonalds ("But I'm still hungry!"), and whether or not the lid to the liquid dish soap remained open at all times or not, intermixed with dreams and schemes of graduating college, owning a home, and generally acting like grown ups. We figured out our lives, together.
Then our conversation matured into a thousand questions. Who would get up with the baby this time? When are you coming home from work? Where did all the money go? When will she get home from her date? Do you still love me even though I...? Will she live to see her grandchildren?
The conversation continues. And it gets better and better by the day. I love my Church calling and my job, but I can't wait to be home with my wife so we can talk and be together. I call her several times a day when I'm away. We chat online when I am at work. I want to know all about
her day and she wants to know about mine. I can't think of anything sweeter than continuing this conversation into eternity. It's the best conversation I have ever had.