Loads the target if needed and returns it.
This method is abstract in the sense that it relies on find_target, which is expected to be provided by descendants.
If the target is already loaded it is just returned. Thus, you can call load_target unconditionally to get the target.
# File activerecord/lib/active_record/associations/association.rb, line 146 def load_target @target = find_target if (@stale_state && stale_target?) || find_target? loaded! unless loaded? target rescue ActiveRecord::RecordNotFound reset end