Legendary LDS Love Stories to Inspire Mormons and Others

LDS Church Leaders' Love For Their Wives is Illustrated in Both Word and Deed

Since our top church leaders serve for life, their personal lives are often visible to us. We can learn from both their guidance and their examples.

Their love stories can help build our faith in, and our desire for, eternal marriages. What follows is just a sampling of some of the touching stories of church leaders and their wives.

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The Choice of My Heart

Portrait of Joseph Smith
Portrait of Joseph Smith. Photo courtesy of © 2008 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Joseph Smith, the first prophet of this dispensation made the following reference concerning his wife Emma:

...my beloved Emma—she that was my wife, even the wife of my youth, and the choice of my heart.

Joseph certainly loved Emma. The most famous quote regarding their relationship reputedly came from Brigham Young. Our only source is the report of David W. Evans from an address Young gave in 1874. It is contained in the Journal of Discourses (JD 17:154):

Joseph used to say that he would have her hereafter, if he had to go to hell for her, and he will have to go to hell for her as sure as he ever gets her.

(The Journal of Discourses is a questionable source, as the Church makes clear.)

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She Did Not Recognize Him

President Howard W. Hunter
Howard W. Hunter, 14th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Photo courtesy of © 2011 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Former Church President Howard W. Hunter had an especially tender relationship with his wife Clare, even though her chronic and debilitating illness finally required her to be in a skilled nursing facility. Their son describes how President Hunter treated her:

In 1970 my mother was diagnosed with a chronic illness that was shutting down the arteries that fed her brain...[O]ver the next 13 years, her condition declined....Dad stepped in to become her primary caregiver. At first he made small sacrifices to make her comfortable and cheerful. He prepared her meals, sang her songs, and held her hand...For the last 13 months of my mother’s life, Dad visited her in the nursing facility every day that he was not away on a Church assignment. She didn’t recognize him, but that made no difference to him. He spoke with her as though everything was all right. I would see him return from visiting a stake conference in some far-off place. He would be exhausted. But the first thing he would do when he arrived was go see Mother, to bring what cheer he could....My father could not have taken better care of my mother.

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The Girl of My Dreams

Gordon B. Hinckley
Gordon B. Hinckley, 15th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Photo courtesy of © 2011 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

In a touching address entitled The Women in Our Lives, former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley paid this tribute to his wife, Marjorie, soon after she died:

As I held her hand and saw mortal life drain from her fingers, I confess I was overcome. Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams, to use the words of a song then popular. She was my dear companion for more than two-thirds of a century, my equal before the Lord, really my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams.

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I Didn't Lose Her

Richard G. Scott
Elder Richard G. Scott, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Photo courtesy of © 2011 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Former Apostle, Elder Richard G. Scott responded to a question by a radio commentator after the death of his wife by correcting an impression:

First of all, . . . I didn’t lose her. She’s on the other side of the veil. We’ve been sealed in that holy ordinance of the temple, and we’ll be together forever.... [W]hen you get it right the first time, you don’t want to mess it up with a second time. We are so close and love each other so very much that I don’t have any feeling of need to remarry. I recognize that for some men there’s a very strong support they require from a wife, and so they remarry, and I don’t question that for them. Jeanene and I prepared each other in all the ways we could think of for being able to survive well when one of us passed through the veil, and I wish she hadn’t been the first one, but that’s the way it worked out.

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Beloved Companion and Dearest Friend

Church president Thomas S. Monson
Church President Thomas S. Monson. Photo courtesy of © 2012 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

In the October, 2013General Conference immediately following his wife's death, President Thomas S. Monson paid tribute to his wife, Frances, twice in two different talks.

In his talk entitled, We Never Walk Alone, during the General Relief Society meeting he said:

She was a faithful daughter of our Heavenly Father, my beloved companion, and my dearest friend. I miss her more than words can express.

On week later, in his talk entitled, I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee he remarked:

Her loss has been profound. She and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple on October 7, 1948. Tomorrow would have been our 65th wedding anniversary. She was the love of my life, my trusted confidant, and my closest friend. To say that I miss her does not begin to convey the depth of my feelings.