Yesterday was our anniversary. Susan and I have been married for 42 wonderful years! I love her more deeply with every passing year. Yes, the initial headiness of the honeymoon is long past, but not the intensity, depth or ardor of my love for her.
As I was thinking about this milestone in our marriage, I was reminded that Susan and I also recently passed the first anniversary of my presidency. Some people have said to us, “Well, I guess the honeymoon is over.” And I suppose it is. My days as president are now as full of worry as of wonder. And my nights are as punctuated by anxious concerns that keep me awake as by reassuring visions of BYU–Hawaii that lull me to sleep.
But none of this has abated or diminished my love for the university. Just as the high of the honeymoon yields to love that is deeper, quieter, sturdier, and strengthened by having faced life’s storms together, so, too, my love for the university and for Laie has not faded since the honeymoon but has grown even stronger and deeper. I love BYU–Hawaii! And I love Laie and the larger community! It is a blessing to be bound together in the bonds of love.
Like a young married couple after the honeymoon, we may see each other’s flaws and limitations a bit more clearly now than we did during the honeymoon. But this can make us more tender and tolerant as we recognize that each partner is in the process of perfection. The marriage is still strong and still focused on building something wonderful, beautiful and enduring together here. Like a good husband, I am committed to treasure and enhance the gift I have received with such joy and gratitude.
Yes, a year after coming here one could say that the honeymoon is over. But the marriage is just beginning.