Bud and Shirley Anderson have known each other since they were first graders in a small Oregon town, but lost touch in their teenage years. More than 70 years passed before they reconnected after both had been widowed.
Shirley told LDS Living she hadn’t been out with a man for 10 years when Bud asked her on a date. Though she declined the date because he lived in Arkansas and she was in Oregon, the two ended up talking on the phone every night. The two eventually started pursuing a more serious relationship, even though it meant Shirley had to leave her family in Oregon behind.
“I really have to admit that there was something God had to do with it all because there was a force, and he felt it and I felt it, that was just pushing us together. We’d back off and then pretty soon, it’d be back again,” Shirley told LDS Living.
After years of inactivity, Bud started returning to the Church and missionaries started visiting his home. At the time, Shirley didn’t have any intention of joining the Church, but she couldn’t deny the Spirit she felt from learning about the gospel.
She was baptized at age 89 on October 11, 2017, five days after Bud and Shirley were married.
“I just feel that by being baptized, I have been forgiven and I feel free again. I feel it was something that washed away all of those other things that had been troubling me. I don’t worry about them. I don’t think about them anymore. I am happy,” Shirley said.
The Andersons were sealed in the Dallas Texas Temple in March of this year.
“Everything in my life has led me to this point — to join this Church and to go to the temple,” Shirley said.
Bud and Shirley Anderson haven’t slowed down in the gospel, and Gretchen Gregson, who served as their temple preparation teacher, said they are great examples of constant progression.
“I just am so impressed that you can never stop learning," Gregson said. "It’s just neat to see life being lived to the fullest.”