My Darling Bar

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September 26th is Love Note Day! In celebration over the next week we are going to be featuring some of our favorite love notes, and love note projects… because love notes are awesome! If you share your enthusiasm for love notes, you should participate in our Last Love Letter Project. Help us spread the love.


Today's letter from George H. W. Bush to his wife Barbara while he was serving in the ward. She lost all of the letters he sent her... all except for this gem. They've now been married for 68 years:

My darling Bar,

This should be a very easy letter to write — words should come easily and in short it should be simple for me to tell you how desperately happy I was to open the paper and see the announcement of our engagement, but somehow I can't possibly say all in a letter I should like to.

I love you, precious, with all my heart and to know that you love me means my life. How often I have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours some day. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you —

As the days go by the time of our departure draws nearer. For a long time I had anxiously looked forward to the day when we would go aboard and set to sea. It seemed that obtaining that goal would be all I could desire for some time, but, Bar, you have changed all that. I cannot say that I do not want to go — for that would be a lie. We have been working for a long time with a single purpose in mind, to be so equipped that we could meet and defeat our enemy. I do want to go because it is my part, but now leaving presents itself not as an adventure but as a job which I hope will be over before long. Even now, with a good while between us and the sea, I am thinking of getting back. This may sound melodramatic, but if it does it is only my inadequacy to say what I mean. Bar, you have made my life full of everything I could ever dream of — my complete happiness should be a token of my love for you.

Wednesday is definitely the commissioning and I do hope you'll be there. I'll call Mum tomorrow about my plan. A lot of fellows put down their parents or wives and they aren't going so you could pass as a Mrs. — Just say you lost the invite and give your name. They'll check the list and you'll be in. How proud I'll be if you can come.

I'll tell you all about the latest flying developments later. We have so much to do and so little time to do it in. It is frightening at times. The seriousness of this thing is beginning to strike home. I have been made asst. gunnery officer and when Lt. Houle leaves I will be gunnery officer. I'm afraid I know very little about it but I am excited at having such a job. I'll tell you all about this later too.

The wind of late has been blowing like mad and our flying has been cut to a minimum. My plane, #2 now, is up at Quonset, having a camera installed. It is Bar #2 but purely in spirit since the Atlantic fleet won't let us have names on our planes.

Goodnite, my beautiful. Everytime I say beautiful you about kill me but you'll have to accept it — I hope I get Thursday off — there's still a chance. All my love darling.


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Science Religion & Love

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Last weekend I went to a huge BBQ full of people I'd never met. I love parties like this, because I absolutely relish the looks of shock and confusion I receive when I answer the third of the typical first three default getting-to-know-you questions. When I meet someone new, the conversation almost always goes like this:

Stranger: "Hi, what's your name?" Me: "Oh, I'm Nate. Nice to meet you." Stranger: "Are you from around here?" Me: "I'm from Salt Lake City." Stranger: "Oh, that's cool... so, what do you do?" Me: "I interview couples who are madly in love with each other." Stranger: "Wait... you what?"

I love the reactions I get when I tell them I devote my time to something so completely unexpected.

Typically The Loveumentary leads to some really great, meaningful, and exciting conversations culminating with the other person asking me with hope in their eyes, "So... what have you learned from this so far? Have you reached any awesome conclusions?"

It was exactly at this point in one such conversation with a girl that I'd just met that this guy who had been listening in to our conversation interjected.

"Don't you already know all the answers? I mean, we learned it all in church growing up. Just read your scriptures, say your prayers, put God first, and your relationship will survive."

It's not often that I'm left speechless... but this guy took me completely off guard. It too me a few seconds to formulate a response.

"You realize," I said, directing my attention to him, "that True Love is not exclusive to people who are religious, right? You don't have to pray to fall head over heals for someone, or attend church every Sunday to experience the joy that comes with loving and lasting commitment."

"Oh... yeah. I guess that makes sense," he said.

This guy rattled my senses a little bit. I had forgotten the huge role religion often plays in relationships. I was reminded that many of these deeply religious types believe they have a monopoly on happiness...

Which brings us to Carl Sagan, one of the most important and influential scientists of our generation. Sagan was also a very vocal Agnostic who believed that it was too difficult to prove or disprove whether or not God exists given the information we currently possess.

I recently stumbled on an incredibly moving and beautiful short film [embedded below] featuring Sagan's relationship with his wife Ann Druyan. It was truly fascinating to see and hear where the roots of their profound love for each other originated if they couldn't attribute it to God.

Carl and I knew we were the beneficiaries of chance, that pure chance could be so kind that we could find one another in the vastness of space and the immensity of time. We knew that every moment should be cherished as the precious and unlikely coincidence that it was.” -Annie Druyan

It is fascinating to see how similarly grateful and amazed the God-fearing saints and the "godless heathens" are when given the opportunity to experience true love.

Love is something that every person - gay or straight, tall or short, old or young, religious or not - desires and deserves. It's our universal common bond. It's what gives our essentially short lives meaning and purpose in this vast universe.

So, next time you meet someone who appears to be so fundamentally different from you, remember, you have at least one thing in common... and it's your capacity for love.