Convention of Statesmen

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Best Husband Finalist: David Cross

David Cross: Nominated by Ali Cross

The first time I met my husband he did not make a stellar impression. He was serving a mission in the same area I was investigating the Church. He was very quiet and had a long face and his companion was bright and shiny and much more attractive. I saw Elder Cross occasionally at Church and at Church events, but again, didn't think much of him. Until one day when something very strange happened.

I had attended a young single adult activity where the missionaries, including Elder Cross, were in attendance. The event was over and I was getting ready to leave when I found myself face to face with Elder Cross. For some inexplicable reason I was speechless. He just smiled softly at me while I stammered some nonsensical something at him and hurried away. I went away shaking my head wondering what had come over me, it was just Elder Cross, after all.

Soon afterwards Elder Cross was transferred out of our area and I fell away from the Church. I had a boyfriend at the time who convinced me that the Church was a cult and it took me several long and painful months to finally choose to come back to the Church and it's teachings. I went to a Regional Conference in a large city and there I ran into Elder Cross again. We only smiled and said “hi” to each other as he was surrounded by young girls as many missionaries often are. Even so, this brief encounter made a big impression on me.

It must have made an impression on Elder Cross too because within the week I received a letter from him. He told me how happy it made him to see me at the conference and to activity in the Church. He said that seeing me was like seeing a long-lost member of his family. I felt the same way too.

Elder Cross and I began to exchange letters then and he encouraged me to serve a mission. That was my plan and eight months later I had my papers ready to be submitted. My Bishop, however, had a different plan. At our final interview he announced that he felt strongly that the Lord had a different mission in mind for me: marriage. I laughed out loud at this suggestion. I felt I had dated all the eligible boys in our area and there were no prospects. Nevertheless I agreed to the Bishops terms: give the Lord one month and if in that time I didn't have any viable offers of marriage, he would sign my papers.

What was one month, really? I reluctantly agreed to the Bishops terms, confident that in one month he'd be signing those papers for me.

Two weeks later I went with a group of girls to the airport to say goodbye to the missionaries who had completed their missions and were heading home. One of those missionaries was Elder Cross. We talked awkwardly for a few minutes, and then shook hands in farewell.

We stood, face to face. He was tall and shy and awkward, me, short, tiny and feeling even smaller with embarrassment. His mission president’s wife, Sister Wood, stood in between us, as if supervising our farewell handshake. And maybe she was our witness, because perhaps without her we might have chosen to ignore what happened next.

We reached out our hands and clasped them warmly. This was not the first time we had shaken hands, but never before had it been like this. A warm tingling encased my hand and reached all the way to my heart. In an instant I saw my life with this man, not Elder Cross, but the man, David. David felt something too, as he quickly pulled his hand away just like I did. And then Sister Wood exclaimed, “Oh my goodness! You two are going to get married!”

I don't remember what happened next, but I know that later that evening I knelt by my bed and prayed fervently to know if what Sister Wood said was the truth. And without a doubt, it was. Elder Cross, David Cross, was to be my husband.

I waited impatiently for him to call, and two weeks later on July 12th, David Cross called me. “I love you,” he said. “And I want you to be my wife.” My quick reply of “Yes!” began a five month long distance engagement that quickly proved to be one full of love.

The first indication I had of the depth of David's love for me came when I felt it necessary to tell him just what he was getting when he took me to be his wife. I was a convert to the church, having joined when I was twenty one years old. I needed David to know I was not a virgin and for him to understand the dark paths I had walked.

He listened quietly and carefully during my long confession, and when I finished speaking I held my breath and waited. I was sure he couldn't love me any more because I knew he deserved so much better than me. Instead he said “I love you, and none of that matters. You are not that person any more.”

That's how it has always been with David. He sees in me the woman I was created to be not the person I am. He sees my potential and believes in me, always.

On December 18th, 1991 I boarded an airplane with my wedding dress in hand, and flew five thousand miles to meet my fiancé, almost for the first time, and to get married. We married in the Logan Temple on December 27th, 1991, and it has been wedded bliss ever since.

Yes, I know that sounds unlikely, but it's true and I attribute it all to God's wonderful match-making skills and my amazingly good husband. I never would have chosen David for myself, but he is the best man for me. I count myself lucky every single day, because David is as good a man as they come.

David and I decided to try for children soon after our marriage. It wasn't convenient, with both of us still in school and with a long coast-to-coast drive planned for after my graduation as we moved from my school to his school. However, we wanted to be obedient and felt strongly that having children was what Heavenly Father wanted us to do.

The day before leaving for Rexburg, Idaho from Wolfville, Nova Scotia we learned we were expecting our first baby. We were ecstatic to say the least. In equal measurement was our devastation when I began bleeding heavily the day we drove into Rexburg. A visit to the doctor confirmed that I had lost the baby.

The next two years brought three more miscarriages until we learned that we were again pregnant and also that I had a blood disorder that could not only cause another miscarriage but also my death. I received treatment for the disorder during that fourth pregnancy and David and I both felt strongly that we would be successful in carrying this baby. At seventeen weeks when I began to feel something was wrong with the baby, David believed me and called the doctor to seek his help. We discovered this baby also, had died.

The loss was devastating to me and I'm not sure how I would have made it through but for David being by my side, holding me up, pulling me along. David was never one of those guys who thought baby-making was woman's work. It broke his heart to lose our babies, but mostly, I think, to see me breaking. He longed only to lift me up, to cheer me.

We went on to have a few more miscarriages, and then to adopt a troubled boy. All the while, David was my friend and my light.

When we did the physical exams necessary to adopt our son, Sam, the doctor discovered David had a heart murmur. He referred David for more tests which revealed that David had a serious heart condition and would likely need a heart valve replacement or possibly even a heart replacement very soon or he would die.

The next few years were tumultuous but David's goodness made it all okay. Even while his health was failing miserably and we feared we might lose him, he worried about me, about Sam, about the boys we finally had, and how we would be if he didn't make it. Because of his great love for us he withstood so much pain and fatigue that the doctors were amazed. He beat the odds for me.

Three years ago David finally underwent surgery on his heart to replace his aorta valve and his descending and ascending aorta. He nearly died because his condition was so advanced and complicated. Despite everything he faced at that time, Davids' thoughts were for me and his children. He was sure to prepare for our care in case he didn't make it, sure to leave us sweet love notes so that we would always know how much he loved us.

I can't express how grateful I was that David made it through his surgery with flying colors. It's so much more than that I'm glad my husband didn't die. This man is my best friend, my true friend. He is the greatest blessing I have ever received after receiving the Gospel of the restored Church. He is by far the better part of me, and by virtue of his companionship the rest of me is made pretty great too.

David is the best judge of character I have ever known mainly because he sees the best in everyone. If I am leaning toward thinking badly of someone, David will show me how the situation could be seen from a different view. He is kind and thoughtful and good. He loves Heavenly Father and strives daily to do those things He would have him do.

I realize I've written for three pages and perhaps still haven't told you why David is the best husband in the world. Maybe it's not possible for me to adequately describe why I know it is true. I guess I think David is the best husband in the world because God knew he would be the best husband for me and He put us together. He is perfect for me in every way. In every possible way he sees to my needs before his own, to my happiness before my own. God knew I needed a man like David and He loved me enough to bless me with him. I don't need any more proof than that to know ... David truly is, the best husband in the world!

Best Husband Finalist: David Cross Best Husband Finalist: David Cross Reviewed by Candace Salima on Monday, December 10, 2007 Rating: 5