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To eternity and beyond


After 10 hours, Dr. Ronald Miller, associate professor of psychology, said he and his wife, Patricia, knew they wanted to be married. After 20 years and nine children, Miller said they still feel the same way.Raised as a devout atheist, Miller said he avoided the concept of religion until he met the missionaries in Washington, D.C. He had an experience with the Book of Mormon where he said he gained his own witness of God, Christ and the truthfulness of the LDS Church. He was baptized one week after the experience on Dec. 16, 1990. In December of 1991, in Washington, D.C., Miller accompanied his friend to a renaissance society party where he met Patricia. “When I first saw her, I thought she was married. She was in a silver ball gown, and I was dressed as a prince with a black cape.” After exchanging information, she agreed to go on a date starting at the D.C. Temple. Being a nonmember, she referred to the Temple as “Camelot.” Ronald was 21 and Patricia was 20.They met at 2 p.m., but Miller said, “It was such a great date, we kept on extending it.” They went to the Lincoln Memorial, a fancy restaurant, and danced in the National Gallery of Art. Said Miller, “If you take off your shoes, and you’re just in your socks, you can slide 30 feet. As long as you didn’t come near any of the paintings, the police wouldn’t do anything.”After a full day, they went to the temple and watched temple marriage videos. Patricia told Ronald as a teenager, she prayed asking Heavenly Father if she would ever meet her husband. After her prayer, she realized she would be able to know what she would feel like around her husband. To Miller on that first date she said, “I feel around you like I felt in that dream. I feel as if you’re my husband.” Miller asked, “So what does that mean?” She responded that it meant they should get married. The Millers were engaged on their first date. Miller explained, “When I sat in the car with her going down to D.C., within 15 minutes I started to feel the same Spirit that I felt that converted me to the church. I didn’t know who this woman was, or her last name, but I knew she was going to be my wife.”Miller recounted, “I didn’t tell her I was a member of the church. She went back to Northwestern University in Chicago, took the discussions, and called me saying she was going to get baptized. I told her ‘I’m a member of that church.’ She said it’s so good that you didn’t tell me because I probably would have been baptized because of you, but now I know it’s my own conversion.” Instead of getting married right away, the Millers each decided to serve missions. “As converts, we felt we wanted to be sealed, but also serve missions. My patriarchal blessing, particularly, indicated that I would serve a mission before marriage, while my wife’s said it was her choice to serve.”Ronald was called to serve a mission in Puerto Rico. He said he would write Patricia on preparation day and give recommendations on things to do in D.C. Patricia was called to Rome, Italy.After Ronald and Patricia returned from their missions, they both had a prompting to get married sooner, rather than later. Two weeks after Patricia came home, on Feb. 4, 1995, they eloped to the Dallas Texas Temple. They married jobless, homeless, and with the threat of their families disowning them. After changing the opinion of his angry grandmother (by explaining that she would be a great grandmother), she helped them find a place to live in Texas. They lived there until heading to BYU. Ronald was 24 and Patricia was 23.After recently celebrating their 20-year anniversary on Feb. 4, Ronald shared his insights about marriage. He said, “The most important thing you can do is marry your best friend. When you get married, what you really want is someone who will listen to you, someone who will love to hear your opinions, and spend time with you, and with whom you want to do the same.” He discussed why some people marry for looks and the consequences of such a reason. “If you marry for beauty, you’re buying into something that with every year you will be more disappointed with. If you latch onto things that don’t last, you’re happiness won’t last. If you latch onto things that are eternal, and that person has a testimony, then you have latched onto something that improves every year and you will feel as though your choice to marry him or her is so much better as time goes by.”Uploaded Feb. 19, 2015.
Writer: Mackenzie McLeod