J. Scott Peters

Love & Marriage

My True Story

In the Beginning...

There might be no “the one” in my life or in anybody’s life but there is a plan, called destiny. God’s plan includes when and who we should marry. That plan, destiny is based on the choices we make and each choice we make determines who we can become in this life. God made this plan to give us the best chance of returning to live with him again but we still have choices that ultimately determine who and what we become so we still maintain our agency. We decide our fate not destiny, Heavenly Father’s plan. It just gives us a fair chance, the best chance really to solidify who we decide to become and get us as far as possible based on our choices.

God told me to begin my search for the handmaiden of the Lord who is right for me when I returned from my mission. I completed my mission and returned home in early 2000. God directed me to move to Vancouver, Washington. At a church institute class within a week of moving there, the teacher asked all return missionaries to raise their hand. As I raised my hand, I saw a beautiful girl raising her hand. I felt something I had never felt before. It was like I knew her but had no memory of her. She was like a close friend but I didn’t even know her name. As I looked her way, God told me to “pursue her”. At a dance later that week, I introduced myself to her and started to get to know her. Afterwards, Jacquellyn told her roommates that she thought she had met the man she would marry. As we started dating, we jumped aboard an emotional rollercoaster that almost destroyed me emotionally.

Every week she would end our courtship only to start it up again together shortly thereafter. I welcomed the ordeal for I was fulfilling doing God’s work. I attended the Six B’s talk by Gordon B. Hinckley on November 12, 2000 with great anticipation of seeing her. When I saw her, I longed to sit with her but God advised me against it. Upon arriving home, I received a call from her. Because she didn’t see me there, she didn’t break up with me like she was considering. She liked me more because I didn’t sit with her.

The day after Thanksgiving, she requested a visit to discuss her apprehension and reluctance to continue a relationship with me. I suggested that we visit the temple together so we could obtain spiritual guidance from the Lord there on this matter. I scheduled with her  to pick her up at noon the next day to attend a session at the temple. She wasn’t home the next day at noon so I went alone to attend an endowment session. Afterwards, I got some food in the temple cafeteria. After I concluded eating, God told me not to depart yet because she would be there soon. I waited in the temple lobby and sure enough within a minute she arrived. I asked her why she wasn’t home at the time scheduled. She claimed the scheduled time was three, not noon and she wasn’t going to go with me anyway but somehow was still hurt when I didn’t come at three. At four, the Spirit told her to go to the temple. On the way there, he told her that I would be there waiting. She told me that this didn’t mean anything. I suggested that we do a session just to make sure.

After a session, we talked quietly in the celestial room. A thought entered my mind, “Ask her to marry you.” With all the trouble that I had already been through, I for one wasn’t even sure I wanted to marry that mess of a girl so I ignored that thought but it kept returning. I discerned after it kept returning that God was speaking to me through his Spirit. I replied in my mind saying, “God, I’ll show you, I’ll ask her to marry me and she will say no.” I turned to her and requested her hand in marriage. Without hesitation she agreed, which was to my utter surprise. During the session, God advised her to accept my proposal for marriage when I asked. And like that she called it all off the next morning and a couple weeks later broke up with me. I should have known that this girl would be trouble.

When she wanted to resume our relationship after the Christmas break, I informed her that if our relationship ended ever again, it would be permanent. After a few more months, we got engaged. Engagement was so scary for her so instead of ending it when she got scared, she got a blessing from a member of the bishopric to bring her comfort. That blessing told her that we were best friends in the preexistence. We asked God to be married in this life. He agreed and had us promise that. I understood all I felt when I first saw her. I did actually know her well a long time ago but those memories were veiled when I entered this life.

All that I learned in marriage

We married in the Portland Temple on June 19, 2001 and our traumatic journey began. One Saturday, Jacquelyn got upset with me and was chewing me out something nasty and I stood up to her. I had to draw more boundaries which I hadn’t done before beyond telling her it would be permanent if she broke up with me again. Now that we were married, she couldn’t accept any more boundaries so she slapped me. I did the wrong thing. I should have remained calm and left her alone but instead, I slapped her back. That enraged her and I ran off to escape her heated wrath. Expectedly, she pursued me and I took cover from her obvious incoming attack by crouching down and covering myself with my arms. She repeatedly hit me, one punch right after another until she could calm down and retreat back into the bedroom. While I was trying to clean up the barrage of damage caused by the fit that she threw, there was a knock at the door. It was a bunch of police officers and I bade them enter. After their inquiry, I informed them of the incident. I directed the female office to our bedroom where Jacquelyn was and allowed them to inspect my body to see the damage Jacquelyn had done. After regrouping and giving an account of what was found to their leader, he advised me that he wanted to arrest my wife. For fear of losing her, someone that I worked so hard to get, I begged him not to do so and he relented. This was just the first of many events like this.

She was not only abusive physically but she would do other things to mentally hurt and manipulate me. I recognize now as I am writing this that when she would break up with me, it was a tactic caused by fear and driven to manipulate me. She would still emotionally break up with me sometimes just emotionally and sometimes actually leave me. Sometimes I would return home to find out she had left with just a note explaining that only to return a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks later. At times, she would throw tantrums like a little child, picking up all that she could and slamming it to the ground destructively, making a mess of all that was nearby.

God knew that I would act immediately without any doubt or assessment when he asked me to do something with urgency. Even the first time that God told me where Jacquelyn was and that she was trying to kill herself, I acted without much thought. Over the many times she attempted suicide, I recall removing pills from her mouth, disarming her of knives she was holding to her wrist, and once, unplugging the bathtub so the water would drain and unplugging the hairdryer. God knows what will happen and how to help but we must listen and obey. I needed these experiences to become someone that would trust and follow God in all things.

That was the last time I saw her not long before our first anniversary when she left the last time never to return. I had gotten so used to her the points of her manic cycling, I knew which days she would call. Sure enough, on those days she would call, yell at me for a few minutes then hang up violently by audibly slamming the phone against the wired receiver. Roughly four or five months after she left, I received divorce papers. I planned to be with her for eternity but that couldn’t happen without her willingness to change besides our marriage would need to become celestial first. That change could not happen through force so I signed the papers returned them to her by mail giving her freedom to choose for herself. She thought I was going to oppose her decision to divorce so when she received the signed papers she was aghast and called me to talk. We talked for the first time since she left and we talked for a good amount of time. The next day she called again unsure of what she should do. I advised her to submit the divorce papers and thereafter she would have a few weeks to decide if the divorce is what she wanted. She agreed but needed to detach herself from me so she could make that decision without me. I didn’t hear from her again until the court from her home state called me allowing me to be present by audio.

In the end or so I thought

On December 26, 2002, we were officially divorced. In July, she called. She told me how much she had changed, trying to pass a notion that she wasn’t the same person and wouldn’t do what she had done before. Because she had learned so much, essentially, she was indicating that she thought she was ready to get back together. She pushed it even further by asking to be friends. I declined that request because I knew I wouldn’t be able to move on and marry another while in contact with her in a “friendship”. If a girl hunts a guy and says, “Let’s be friends”, she desires more than just friendship. When the boy is the pursuer and the girl says, “Let’s be friends”, she wants zilch. She just doesn’t want to be a mean girl. It was obvious what she wanted and I wanted none of it. I was done.

About two years later, she emailed me requesting a letter. She had a desire to get married again in the temple to her fiance. Her sealing to me required cancellation so she could be sealed to him. She needed a letter to give my side of the story so the first presidency could decide to allow it. I found out maybe a year later that she had done to her fiance what she had done to me. She put him through it too. She broke up and got back together with him again constantly. She was going to get married this time and use my letter for the application to get a cancellation of sealing. In a short period of time, I learned from my local leaders that they were successful and were married and sealed in the temple. I still pray at times that she is staying true to her husband. We aren’t in contact and she has blocked me on Facebook but I am still very happy for her and her family.

He healed me

Though that was the hardest thing for me to go through, I am a much better man now because of it. I wondered though without realizing it if God was just playing games with me until God healed me and made me whole and unbroken again. This is the story. 

I met a Korean girl when she started attending my church branch. She was so pretty so I liked her and she liked me. We had a few fun dates together. She saw me do something and she chose to judge me for it. No, it wasn’t that I ordered root beer that she thought was alcohol. It was something else. She chose fear over faith, a common experience in our lives and she stopped agreeing to my date requests. Once again God told me to “pursue her.” It felt like I was being put through the same experience and that maybe God was laughing at me like it was a joke he was playing on me. After talking to friends, I realized that I was broken because of my experience with Jacquelyn. I needed to be made whole again not because of sin but because doing the right thing sometimes causes injury. I was really broken and I had no idea how to fix it. I recognized that maybe only God could fix me so I got down on my knees to pray. I prayed, telling God that I would do whatever he commanded me and I prayed that I would find healing. Instantaneously, just like that, I was healed. I went from being broken and after asking in faith having given myself completely to God, I was made whole again just like that. Jinsuk changed a bit after returning after the summer break. She didn’t avoid me anymore but I still wasn’t successful when requesting a date but a week after making that request, she would ask me for a date. She would still reject my requests but a week later I’d get a date with her. I never got anywhere so I decided to discontinue that unrelenting path. That wasn’t the last time God told me to pursue a Korean girl. God used it to get me to Utah where I’d meet the right girl for me.

The handmaiden of the Lord who is right for me

I had been a resident of Utah for over a year when I moved to Springville and I was too old for the YSA wards. I wondered how I would meet a girl in a family ward but I did know that God had wisdom in all things including this. I was called to teach the oldest youth class that covered ages 15-18. One of the young women, Charity, kept staying after to talk to me while I was picking up my stuff after I finished teaching. It was obvious that she liked me but I felt it was inappropriate for me to develop any romantic relationship with any “young woman” despite how beautiful she was. At the ward’s party for Halloween, Charity was manning the station for face painting and called out to me so she could paint my face. I agreed because nothing could happen in front of the rest of the ward at church. While painting my face, she claimed that her parents allowed her to date older men like me because she was almost 18 and her father is 10 years older than her mother and her mother was about her age when they met.

After pondering all the claims she made, I felt I needed direction from the Lord. With inspiration from God, I decided to get to know her. I spoke to her father just to make sure he was fine if I did so and he approved of it. I was determined to be fully straightforward and honest with her so I told her about my divorce. 

Of the following some I learned from God, some are my perspective, and some she or one of her family members told me. 

After I told her of my divorce, she claimed to be too busy because of school for a week so she couldn’t communicate with me. The truth was she was really just taking time to pray about me because learning of my divorce had really scared her but still liked me so much. As she prayed about me, God told her to date and marry me. That didn’t fill her with any comfort as she thought it would. Her fear was overwhelming, though she wanted to be obedient. In an effort to act in faith, on Saturday, she called me to invite me to her winter formal. With excitement, I agreed until she withdrew that invitation and quickly got off the phone with me. Until God told me, I did not know what happened. I just knew that she was avoiding me like a scared cat.

All she desired was obedience, obedience to God’s commands but her fear was too strong. In hopes of gaining faith, she discussed all of this with her father, telling him the whole story. Then he gave her a blessing, saying the things he wanted to be true, not what he was given to say by the Spirit. He taught his family that the words uttered in a priesthood blessing were always the words of God. After giving the blessing, he taught her that God doesn’t ever tell people who to marry. “If God did, that would mean destiny is real and it would destroy our agency.”, he explained.  She thought that made sense but it didn’t. It just justified her fear. Destiny is in fact real. Destiny is not however determinism. Read my posts on destiny to learn more.

The day after she invited me to her dance and then withdrew that invitation, my friend gave me a blessing. In the blessing, I was counseled to read an article in a recent Ensign. While reading it, the Spirit told me that the only girl referenced by my patriarchal blessing was Charity, something I had never considered seriously. He then prophesied to me that Charity and I will marry.

God’s will not mine be done

On Leap Day of 2012, I was in an accident where I sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and I was in a coma for a few weeks. After waking, I couldn’t remember much at first except that Charity was important but I couldn’t recall why besides she never visited me in the hospital and that made me wonder. Even after leaving the hospital, I struggled with many complications associated with the TBI. God unrelentingly told me take actions to persuade her to do his will. I did not want her and the more I worked to follow God’s commands the more I learned about her unrighteousness. I realize now as I am writing this that she needs me much more maybe than I need her. I always assumed wrongly that I needed her to fulfill God’s plan for me. As I did God’s will, I discovered that honesty was difficult for her. When telling the truth wouldn’t solve difficulties and especially when it make it harder, she would defer to deceitful words and actions. I found that I couldn’t assume truth in anything she said during the short courtship we had before I told her candidly about my divorce. I explored all the reasons why I would want to date a girl like that and I only found one valid reason. God had asked it of me and even though I don’t understand why, he is my Lord from whom I know I can find healing and resolve. I want a girl who follows God resolutely and so does God want that for me. This is how he is helping her become that girl. I knew that God does everything because of his love for us and his immense wisdom as to why so I have decided to do his will in all things. During that time, I struggled with killer headaches with a knowledge that I would find cures to end them and by loving Charity as God loves me, I turned toward the better path to continue this journey.

Bothering Charity this often was tortuous especially when she threatened to send the authorities, the police after me. Suddenly, God stopped asking any action of me. I found out that an officer of the law would have arrested me if I continued but I didn’t know. I just knew that God had thankfully ceased asking me to do something about her. God didn’t want me to go to jail even though I was prepared to do so for him not Charity. God inspired me to write this story for a grand reason. I am writing this in preparation to inspire certain men. Seek the Spirit if you are called by God to participate in calling me.

God’s plan of wisdom

God told me in 2014 that I would be called as a stake president. I assumed that meant that Charity and I would soon marry because stake presidents are married when called. Then in 2015, God told me that I would be called as stake president while I am single. As time progressed, I considered how that could and would happen. God inspired me little by little, bit by bit to understand how it would happen. President Nelson would need to speak with me. He would ask me why I wasn’t yet married. I would tell him the story contained here. In learning of my story, he would gain assurance by the Spirit that I am right for the calling. President Nelson would then ask what he could do to help me win Charity’s heart. I would tell him that I wanted to speak to her in general conference, a public forum for which she couldn’t expect government authorities to arrest me. 

After learning this, I started writing my talk. I wrote version after version and none of them were right. I prayed for help. After that prayer, suddenly I was inspired how to write it and what to say without any imperfections. God told me so many new things that I didn’t know previously while writing that talk. Now I need to move to Castle Rock. I don’t know where in Castle Rock God needs me but I know that is where he needs me. That must be where I will become a stake president.

I will be using this story to explain all that God has taught in my future posts. I will also write about other things I have experienced to be used to teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ.