“I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go…” -Songs of Solomon 3:4
Many people avoid the topic of soul mates because it can be problematic. What happens if one’s “soulmate” isn’t the individual we marry? What if our “soulmate” rejects us? Looking at soulmates like this debases the true definition of the term.
As mortals, we are attracted to one another on different levels. We are not meant to be alone in this world. Humans reach out, seeking one another to make lasting unions. We do this regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identification. This is how God designed things because it is a finite perspective of an eternal principle. People need people.
Types of Attraction
There are different types of attraction based on both the stages of our lives and types of relationships we build with others. As children, we love based on desire and need. We love our mothers and our fathers because of the warmth, love, care, and food they provide. We have physical intimacy with them as we are held in loving arms. We share all our joys and fears with our parents. This isn’t always true of all families, but it is the ideal.
As we grow older, our bodies change. Our needs change. We desire varying degrees of intimacy from people outside our biological family units. If we become obsessed with this new type of attraction, particularly, but definitely not limited to, sexual attraction, we can and will be left feeling alone. This is because our never satisfied Egos cannot be filled—our spiritual needs are not being met.
The Five Souls
The soulmate must be one that meets more than our selfish needs. And in tern, we must do the same for them. Our soulmate(s) must be one(s) that create relationships of both give and take. This is because alone we are only part of a soul. A fractured soul.
The soul has three parts:
- Nefesh (נפש): the base, or “worldly” part linked to instincts and bodily cravings provided at birth, tied to Assiyah, the world of Creation
- Ruach (רוח): the spirit, our pre-mortal being that contains our moral virtues, the ability to know good from evil having the light of Christ, tied to Yetzirah, the world of formation
- Neshamah (נשמה): the breath of life given us by God when we are born again, allowing us to enjoy and benefit from the next life (afterlife), tied to Beriah, the world of creation
- Chayah (חָיָה): the soul transcending the body, tied to Atzilut, the world of emanation
- Yechidah (יְחִידָה): in this life, having the calling and election made sure; the resurrection of spirit, body, and soul, tied to En Sof, the Infinite
Relationships built on Egoism take place in the first and possibly second degrees. To be soulmates, we must move beyond our own needs, being born again as one. When we meet another person or persons we become one with them on varying levels, the soulmate on the highest of levels. Not merely merging in the flesh, but loving in a way that unifies us as one living soul (1 Samuel 18:1-3). Our true soulmate(s) is (are) one (those) that merges or unifies with us on all of these levels.
The Five Stages of Mankind
Eternal progression isn’t about becoming, but being our true selves; the “us” we’ve eternally been with God from before the beginning. The list above shows our growth in Christ as we progress through an past mortality to become that which we’ve always been. This list corresponds to what we learn in the Book of Melchizedek:
“Thus are the five stages of mankind: Intelligence, Spirit, Flesh, Soul, and Resurrected Being; the final being all stages in one, a Morning Star—forever complete.” -4:9
What does this have to do with our soulmate(s)? Everything! Because we cannot grow alone. We are, after all, only part of the soul. Mankind was not meant to be alone (Genesis 2:18). This is why we “leave our mother and father,” the pre-mortal world, to be “one flesh” with our spouses (Genesis 2:24). This doesn’t mean we become the literal same person or two souls in the same physical body. It means that together we are working towards in Christ together, working towards oneness in chayah and ultimately yechidah. Why yechidah? Because yechidah is the true soulmate. this word is Hebrew for “unity.”
Some may still be wondering about the romantic idea of the soul mate. To these I offer the counsel of Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a Brighamite Apostle from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Brighamites):
“I don’t believe there is only one right person for you. I think I fell in love with my wife, Harriet, from the first moment I saw her. Nevertheless… I don’t believe she was my one chance at happiness in this life, nor was I hers… Once you commit to being married, your spouse becomes your soul mate, and it is your duty and responsibility to work every day to keep it that way.” –Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2009 CES fireside
This fits with the reality that people change over time based on their lives, circumstances and environments. We are also influenced by other people we meet, both changing them and changing with them. So the idea that we are all here to find that one needle in a haystack seems impossible. Yet with God All things are possible. There is no such thing as a perfect and only match. Yet in Kabbalah we learn that two or more people can become true soulmates over time. We don’t need to seek out our “one and only,” but seek out love, giving altruistically, and God will provide those we will grow together with.
When Latter Day Saints are married or sealed for time and all eternity, it means their marriage will continue for ever and ever. In the temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Brighamites), they even have mirrors set up so couples may see themselves reflected on forever. But for this to work, there must be a mirror behind them. This would imply that the couple has always been together forever, destined to meet and fall in love.
What a beautiful concept! And this is the part our finite minds cannot logically comprehend because we only understand time as moving forward. We have been told,
“Behold, here is wisdom… in the resurrection all things shall be restored… for in the resurrection all shall be as one, as it was before the world was… at the end of the final resurrection, they that shall rise in righteousness shall all be sealed as one, to restore that which was taken in the flesh to its purest form.” -Revelations of David 9:8-12
While we do not fully understand this concept yet, it is clear that we are moving forward by bringing the heaven to the earth to complete the creation. When we find our soulmate they grow into one with us moving both forward and backward in time, being eternally one in Christ.
“Therefore His paths are straight, and His course is one eternal round.” -Avahr 12:8
David, I don’t always understand all of this religious mumbo jumbo (just kidding), but if I may describe my experience with my wife:
1) Enabling her to experience peace and joy; creating a relationship of freedom to be joyful, is a driving motivation in my life.
2) The idea that I might have somehow made her feel badly, or discouraged her from freely communicating her thoughts and feelings is anathema to me.
3) For her to be sick, or in pain, or suffering physically, emotionally, or spiritually is worse than if I were the one suffering.
4) On the other hand, I rejoice when I see her smile, or her eyes shine, or when she shares a dream, or an accomplishment, or a discovery that is joyful to her.
While there was a very fertile seed of this when we first met, it grew continually as we have both nurtured that growth for the past 23 years. I don’t know for sure how things work beyond this mortal existence, but I AM convinced that these thoughts and feelings, even their manifestations, are eternal, forever affecting the ongoing creation in a positive, harmonious way – adding to the infinite store of love that is a defining characteristic of that creation.
Yes, I like to say “many are called but few are chosen.” No one has to be soul mates, yet people can grow to become so.