Dear 100 Hour Board,
If you were quite possibly dying of a rare kind of cancer and you were seriously dating a boy you had known for most of your life, would you let him marry you or tell him to wait until a miracle possibly occurred?
- Thinking of him
To start with, I'm not sure what "quite possibly" means in this situation. Have you been diagnosed already? I assume so, since you said you are waiting for a miracle.
I know this is a heavy decision, but the heaviest decision is whether or not you want to spend eternity with this guy (assuming you are LDS/Temple Worthy). And, since you said "let him marry you" I assume he has already asked you.
First of all, what do you want? I don't think the possibility that you will die someday should seriously enter into this equation. Everybody walks out their front door with the underlying knowledge that they may die that day. You have just been given a little extra notice on how you expect to pass away from this life. So, I really don't think that should affect your decision of whether or not you want to marry him.
Once you have decided whether or not you want to marry him, have you prayed about it? Decide what you want to do then pray about it. We believe that God knows all, including your potential future. He will answer your prayers and guide you along the way. Now, you do need to be living worthy enough to be able to hear his answers... but he will answer you.
Finally, and this doesn't mean you do this step last, you need to TALK TO HIM. Sit down and explain your concerns to your boyfriend. He has known you for your entire life, and I assume you know each other well. I also assume that he knows you have cancer (because... um... if you've been lying about that, your relationship has bigger issues). Sit down with him and talk about your concerns. Of all people, he should understand.
I would guess that he has already decided in his mind that he wants to marry you (once again, assuming that he already asked you). That means that he has thought about your cancer (depending on how much you have told him) and has weighed the risks in his mind.
Regardless, sit down and talk with him. Be honest about how you feel about him and about your cancer. Talk about finances, prognosis, your potential future together, schooling... everything that you're worried about when you say "thinking of him."
When you're both on the same page, make a decision and pray about it again. Your loving Heavenly Father will answer your prayers and tell you whether or not to go forward with your decision.
Overall, we believe in eternity. The covenants of the temple are not bound or broken by silly things like death. When you kneel across the altar and make that covenant with your spouse and with your Heavenly Father... it is ETERNAL... SEALED... and it will last FOREVER, depending upon your faithfulness. That is the crowning point of the Lord's plan of salvation--plan of HAPPINESS.
But, that covenant depends upon you both. Until you have sat down and talked with him about all the implications of your cancer, you are making this decision as a martyr, not as a loving partner. Don't be a martyr... be a partner. Martyrdom is selfish. And marriage must be anything BUT selfish.
And, of course, we believe in miracles. But, maybe the greatest miracle you can hope for is to spend the few years you have left on this earth happile married to a man who loves you for eternity. And, when I say a "few years"... that means anything from 1-80 years... because our life on this earth is short anyway.
So, decide what you want... and don't be selfish. Find out what he wants, and allow him to make an informed decision. Pray about it... then go forward with faith.
Life is too short and love is too precious to worry about the "quite possibly." Build your relationship based on what you have and what you know... then be faithful... and it will last for eternity.
That is all.
Horatio the Love Doctor
Dear Thinking of him-
Does he know the gravity of the situation? Many years ago, a friend of mine decided not to date a certain girl largely because she had a major health problem, and was unlikely to live to thirty. I don't think he was yet emotionally capable of dealing with such circumstances, and I understand that. However, this particular young woman is a fabulous individual, and it actually surprises me that she's currently single.
If you have a considerably shorter life expectancy than he does, are you troubled by the idea of him remarrying? Guys, especially within the Church, are likely to remarry if widowed at a relatively young age. If this doesn't bother you--which I hope it doesn't--then what are you afraid of? He wants to be with you. He knows that it is almost certain he will face one of the most devastating events possible, yet he believes that the happiness you can have together is worth that price.
If he's marrying you because he feels sorry for you, don't do it. If you both have the love, compatibility, and commitment that other couples should have when they wed, then do it, and be thankful for God's blessings in your life.