It’s almost Valentine’s Day! To celebrate, we’ve found some of the most heartwarming stories from LDS couples exemplifying marriage, love, and fidelity.
Sarah Franks and George Padley
Sarah Franks and George Padley were sweethearts living in London when they made the decision to emigrate to the United States with the hopes of traveling to Salt Lake City. Though engaged, and though many other couples had married before the trek west, Sarah and George were determined to be sealed together and decided to wait to marry until they reached the Salt Lake Valley. Unfortunately, George died of exposure at Martin’s Cove after he “overexerted himself in trying to help other members of the handcart company. He had gotten wet and chilled from the winter wind.”
Devastated from losing her fiance and the thought of his body being ravaged by wolves, Sarah directed the brethren to place his body in a tree, wrapped in her shawl. Later accounts tell us that when others returned to Martin’s Cove, Sarah’s shawl was still in the tree, completely undisturbed, but the body had gone. It was said that the Lord had honored Sarah’s cries for protection of her beloved and taken his body up until the resurrection.
In 1997, James E. Faust, who called their experience on the plains one of the “greatest love stories of the western migration,” had the couple posthumously sealed together in the temple. Sarah and George’s relationship was featured prominently in the film 17 Miracles.
Agnes Erdös and Gustav Palm
Agnes Erdös, though Roman Catholic, was a native Jew and sent to Auschwitz during World War II.
Gustav Palm joined the Nationalist Socialist Party when Germany invaded Norway, thinking he had a job as a traffic policeman. However, his first assignment had him acting as a guard for the Berg concentration camp.
Both survived the atrocities of war while standing up for their beliefs and convictions in any way they knew how. This included Gustav handing himself over as a POW, where he would meet Agnes, who worked in a factory cafeteria after her liberation. In spite of everything, they fell in love and were married on March 2, 1947. Though living happily for many years, they still felt something was missing. When a neighbor housed two LDS missionaries from America, they received a copy of the Book of Mormon. Ten months later, they were baptized. In their 90s, they are still in love today and sharing their story. You can read it in detail here.
John and Jean Groberg
While attending BYU, Julie Groberg and Marilyn Sabin got to talking about their younger siblings. They quickly discovered that neither John or Jean, who were in their freshman year, had gotten the chance to go on a date. Immediately, they cooked up plans for a blind date.
Jean said, “I didn’t like the idea of a blind date, but our other roommate knew the Groberg family. She gave enthusiastic counsel that I shouldn’t turn down this great opportunity. So on the good faith of my sister and our roommate, I mustered up the courage.”
Five years later, John and Jean would marry. But first, John had to serve a mission in the Pacific Islands, a powerful journey now immortalized in the movie The Other Side of Heaven.
“His letters would come from so far away and would be written sometimes months ahead of the time he would finally find a boat to take them out. There would be times I would have a particular concern, and it seemed that I would get a letter from him just at the right time telling of an experience he had had or a lesson he had learned that held the very answer I needed. Often the letter had been written before the concern even existed, but it just seemed the timing was what it needed to be,” Jean said of their time apart and what she learned about herself and John in that time.
“I think I’ve always known since I knew what John was like that he would give his whole life and self to the gospel and the Church.” Then she added with a tone of deep sincerity, “And that’s what you really want.”
Taken from Perennial Radiance: Jean Sabin Groberg by Ardeth G. Kapp.
Richard G. Scott and Jeanene Watkins Scott
It was hard to choose just one general authority from the Church’s leadership, but of all the great examples of marriage and fidelity, Elder Richard G. Scott’s enduring love is especially sweet. While dating, Jeanene insisted she was only going to marry a returned missionary, prompting Elder Scott to apply for missionary service. After leaving, Jeanene also went to serve as a missionary. After they both completed their missions, the Scotts married in the Manti Temple. Sadly, Jeanene died in 1995, but has been the source of inspiration for numerous addresses given by Elder Scott. Most notably, Elder Scott discussed his marriage in the talk, The Eternal Blessings of Marriage.
“Please pardon me for speaking of my precious wife, Jeanene, but we are an eternal family. She was always joyously happy, and much of it came from service to others. Even while very ill, in her morning prayer she would ask her Father in Heaven to lead her to someone she could help. That sincere supplication was answered time and again. The burdens of many were eased; their lives were brightened. She was blessed continually for being an instrument directed by the Lord.
I know what it is to love a daughter of Father in Heaven who with grace and devotion lived the full feminine splendor of her righteous womanhood. I am confident that when, in our future, I see her again beyond the veil, we will recognize that we have become even more deeply in love. We will appreciate each other even more, having spent this time separated by the veil.”
Elder Scott’s passing in 2015 also prompted many people to rejoice in their reunion, including: Elder Scott Made Me Want to Be Someone’s Jeanene
Stephanie and Christian Nielson
Stephanie Nielson, affectionately called NieNie, is a popular LDS blogger known for her story of hope and perseverance in the face of a devastating airplane crash that left her burned on over 80% of her body. Her husband, Christian, also experienced serious burns and injuries. Together, the two have continued to recover, raise their family, blog, and provide inspiration for readers around the world. In a blog post from July 11, 2014, Stephanie related the following experience:
Is there a couple you know that inspires you? Or maybe you have that with your partner? Share the love this Valentine’s Day and let us know what you think makes a great love story.
(Post artwork by Jillian Does Art)
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.