10 of Elder Holland's Best Quotes about Dating and Marriage

Faith has everything do do with romance
“Believe that your faith has everything to do with your romance, because it does. You separate dating from discipleship at your peril. Or, to phrase that more positively, Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, is the only lamp by which you can successfully see the path of love and happiness for you and for your sweetheart.”
"How Do I Love Thee?" BYU Devotional, February 15, 2000

Love is what you go through together
I still think the best definition of marital love is James Thurber’s, who said simply that love is what you go through together. I will be eternally grateful for what Pat was willing to go through with me—that she did not feel I had to have my degree and a car and a home and a career all in hand before we could marry.”
"Be Not Afraid, Only Believe" CES Devotional, February 6, 2015

Beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing
“I would like to have a dollar for every person in a courtship who knew he or she had felt the guidance of the Lord in that relationship, had prayed about the experience enough to know it was the will of the Lord, knew they loved each other and enjoyed each other’s company, and saw a lifetime of wonderful compatibility ahead—only to panic, to get a brain cramp, to have total catatonic fear sweep over them. They ‘draw back,’ as Paul said, if not into perdition at least into marital paralysis. I am not saying you shouldn’t be very careful about something as significant and serious as marriage…Yes, there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts.”
"Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence" BYU Devotional, March 2, 1999

Good marriages require a lot of work
“No one would wish a bad marriage on anyone. But where do we think ‘good marriages’ come from? They don't spring full-blown from the head of Zeus any more than does a good education, or good home teaching, or a good symphony. Why should a marriage require fewer tears and less toil and shabbier commitment than your job or your clothes or your car? Yet some of you will spend less time on the quality and substance and purpose of your marriage—the highest, holiest, culminating covenant you make in this world—than you will in maintaining your [car]. ‘You must not give half-hearted compliance to a marriage,’ said President Kimball. ‘It requires all our consecration.’”
"However Long and Hard the Road" BYU Devotional, January 18, 1983

We must fully invest in our marriages
To give ourselves so totally to another person is the most trusting and perhaps the most fateful step we take in life. It seems such a risk and such an act of faith. None of us walking toward the altar would seem to have the confidence to reveal everything that we are—all our hopes, all our fears, all our dreams, all our weaknesses—to another person. Safety and good sense and this world's experience suggest that we hang back a little, that we not wear our heart on our sleeve where it can so easily be hurt by one who knows so much about us. We fear, as Zechariah prophesied of Christ, that we will be "wounded in the house of [our] friends" (Zechariah 13:6). But no marriage is really worth the name, at least not in the sense that God expects us to be married, if we do not fully invest all that we have and all that we are in this other person who has been bound to us through the power of the holy priesthood.”
"Some Things We Have Learned Together" BYU Devotional, January 15, 1985

Marriage and family should mean everything to us
“We have our work cut out for us to preserve and perpetuate both the holiness and the happiness of marriage. You can begin by showing the blessing, the reward, and the reality of a happy marriage in your own lives. That doesn’t mean you should be Pollyannaish about marriage; every marriage takes work, and yours will too. But, as always, your first and most penetrating lessons to your students will be the lessons of your own life. You show them in word and deed that your marriage and your family mean everything to you because they should—they must.”
"Be Not Afraid, Only Believe" CES Devotional, February 6, 2015

Do not date someone who is constantly critical of you
“In a dating and courtship relationship, I would not have you spend five minutes with someone who belittles you, who is constantly critical of you, who is cruel at your expense and may even call it humor. Life is tough enough without having the person who is supposed to love you leading the assault on your self-esteem, your sense of dignity, your confidence, and your joy. In this person’s care you deserve to feel physically safe and emotionally secure.”
"How Do I Love Thee?" BYU Devotional, February 15, 2000

Physical intimacy must wait until marriage
In matters of human intimacy, you must wait! You must wait until you can give everything, and you cannot give everything until you are legally and lawfully married. To give illicitly that which is not yours to give (remember, ‘you are not your own’) and to give only part of that which cannot be followed with the gift of your whole self is emotional Russian roulette. If you persist in pursuing physical satisfaction without the sanction of heaven, you run the terrible risk of such spiritual, psychic damage that you may undermine both your longing for physical intimacy and your ability to give wholehearted devotion to a later, truer love.”
"Personal Purity" October 1998 General Conference

Paying tithes and offerings will bless your marriage
“Your religion should protect you against immorality and violence and any number of other family tragedies which strike at marriages throughout the land. And if you will let it, your religion will protect you against financial despair as well. Pay your tithes and offerings first. No greater financial protection can be offered you. Then simply budget what is left the rest of that month. Make do with what you have. Do without. Say no. Your head can be held high even if your clothing is not the most stylish nor your home the most regal. It can be held high for the simple reason that it is not bent or bowed with the relentless burden of debt.”
"Some Things We Have Learned Together" BYU Devotional, January 15, 1985

Your membership in a marriage is eternally significant
“I believe that second only to your membership in the Church, your ‘membership in a marriage’ is the most important association you will have in time and eternity—and to the faithful what doesn’t come in time will come in eternity.”
"How Do I Love Thee?" BYU Devotional, February 15, 2000

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 23, 1994. At the time of this call, Elder Holland was serving as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, to which he had been called on April 1, 1989. From 1980 until his call as a General Authority in 1989, Jeffrey R. Holland served as the ninth president of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He is a former Church commissioner of education and dean of the College of Religious Education at BYU. Elder Holland was born December 3, 1940, to Frank D. and Alice Bentley Holland. In 1963, he married Patricia Terry. They are the parents of three children, Matthew S. Holland, Mary H. McCann and David F. Holland.


  1. This is excellent advice and perfect for my upcoming lesson on marriage.

  2. I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much. The quote under "Beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing" is fantastic!