James E. Faust (First Presidency):
We must wait for the proper season in life to use some sacred gifts; we must prepare for that season. I did not kiss my wife until we were engaged to be married. I have tried to make up for it since! (CES Fireside for Young Adults, 8 Sept. 2002)
Interesting, he says he didn’t kiss until he was engaged to be married. Let’s just take a little peek deeper:
He attended Granite High School in Salt Lake City… he served as missionary for the LDS Church in southern Brazil from 1939 to 1942… served during World War II in the United States Army Air Corps where he was a First Lieutenant at the time of discharge.
She met her husband-to-be while they were students at Granite High, but the two did not date until President Faust returned from his mission in Brazil and after he was called into military service in 1942.
So they knew each other for, let’s see… 3 years, plus high school… let’s say 3 more. 6 years. Not your typical engagement already.
The former classmates finally reunited when Sister Faust was working for her husband-to-be’s uncle at the time in the fingerprint bureau at the state Capitol.
“Uncle Jim, I am sure, influenced his nephew, Jim, to pay him a visit at the office in order for him to become better acquainted with me and to see if he wanted to ask me for a date,” she said.
“I must have passed the test because I was invited to the Faust home for Sunday dinner for some of Father Faust’s famous dutch oven chicken.”
On April 22, 1943, Faust married Ruth Wright, whom he had met at Granite High School. The wedding took place during a short leave during his military service, and they were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.
So, let’s see, he’s home on shore leave, goes to his Uncle’s office, meets a girl he knew in high school, they have Sunday dinner and then they get married. How long could that engagement have been?
Sister Faust graduated from Granite High School in Salt Lake and attended the University of Utah. While attending school, she worked as a secretary and modeled clothing for a local department store. In 1942 she worked for the State of Utah where she became reacquainted with James E. Faust, a former Granite High School classmate.
So it was during 1942 that she worked for the State of Utah; they married in April 1943. That means it’s somewhere between 1 year and 4 months, and 4 months. Can you guess which end we’re going to end up on? Here is a hint, shore leave is typically not 1 year long.
He served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, discharged as a first lieutenant. He married his wife during “a short leave period in 1943.” How short was the leave?
on a ten-day furlough from officers’ training school in Florida. http://rsc.byu.edu/archived/prophets-and-apostles-last-dispensation/6-second-counselors-first-presidency/6x-james-esdra
So what it sounds like to me is that he had a 1 week to 10 day furlough. He came into his uncle’s company, met the girl he knew in high school (he was a senior when she was a sophomore by my calculations), showed up to dinner on Sunday, and there she was again. Then, he left back for the military. They probably corresponded, and he asked her to marry him. Maybe there was time for one more furlough before they got married, depending on the date of the “Sunday Dinner,” which I cannot find.
So yes, while it is true that he did not kiss his wife until he was engaged to her, it is not terribly fair to suggest that kids, not in the military, not at war time, who may not know their future spouses for years before they start dating follow a similar pattern.
It would have been far more honest to say: “I did not kiss my wife until I was engaged to her. There was a war on, and we got to know each other primarily through written communication, similar to you meeting and writing each other on the internet.”
Instead of a plea for modesty and not kissing, it is a great marketing message for our digital age, that getting to know each other via communication can make a lasting marriage.
Obviously his courtship wasn’t what he implied to his audience. But then, I’ve seen Mormon courtships that went so quickly to engagements that the couple barely had time to shake hands.
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