Latter-day Saint Parents, Please Stop Apologizing for Your Child’s Wedding

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Emily B. grew up in New Hampshire but currently lives in Maryland, where she spends most of her time writing and teaching writing classes. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from BYU and just finished a PhD in English at the University of Georgia. She and her husband have no children but two very spoiled cats.

Last summer while attending a conference for work, I met a woman from Utah, Trudy (not her real name). It was one of those contexts where we quickly figured out that we were both members of the Church and started chatting, just making small talk. Trudy asked if I had attended this conference before, and I explained that I had meant to attend the previous year but that my sister’s wedding plans had changed, preventing me from going. She then told me all about her adult children and her son’s upcoming wedding.

“Congratulations!” I said. “That’s exciting!”
“Well…” Trudy said, grimacing a little. She sighed.

Instantly, I knew what she was about to say. It’s a sigh and grimace I’ve seen on many occasions when a Latter-day Saint parent, or perhaps even a sibling, mentions an upcoming wedding.

“His fiancee isn’t a member,” Trudy said, confirming my hunch. She then gave a complicated explanation about how her son’s first marriage had been a temple wedding that had ended through no fault of his own and how the divorce had shaken his faith in the Church. “His fiancee is good for him,” Trudy continued, “so we just cross our fingers she’ll join.”

All I could think about, though, was the betrayal her son would likely have felt if he’d known his mother was telling strangers about his wedding in this apologetic way. Worse yet, imagine how the fiancee would have felt! It certainly wouldn’t have made her feel welcome.

So why do family members of brides and grooms feel compelled to discuss their weddings like this? Trudy seemed like a nice woman, but she revealed that her son was entering into a mixed-faith marriage almost like a confession, as if it would be dishonest to just let others assume it was happening in the temple.

The conversation reminded me of a couple experiences from when I was in high school. At a sleepover with the other young women in my ward, we were all up late talking about boys, and somehow the conversation shifted to the importance of marrying in the temple. I said that I thought it was best to marry in the faith but that some people might actually be better off marrying someone from outside the church.  When another girl was shocked, I said, “The Holy Ghost could tell someone it’s the right choice.” Horrified, she replied, “That’s like saying the Holy Ghost might tell you not to pay your tithing.”

She wasn’t exactly comforted when I shrugged and said, “I don’t know – the Holy Ghost might say that in extenuating circumstances.” For the record, I stand by that statement years later. If you won’t have enough to feed your kids after paying tithing, but you have a local bishop who won’t give you a food order just out of spite, for instance, I could see the Holy Ghost giving unorthodox advice – but that’s a whole different conversation.

The second experience from my high school years: I was in the youth Sunday School class, and the topic of prom came up. Someone said something about only wanting to go to prom with another member of the church, which was extremely unrealistic in an area where we made up less than 1% of the population. I said I was going to prom with a Catholic guy, and the Sunday School teacher gave me a worried look. The kind of look that most people would give if they heard a teen say they were thinking about trying meth.

“It’s one thing to go to prom, just once, as friends,” she said. “But anything more than that is a very, very bad idea.”

Not surprisingly, she had grown up in an area where there were far more church members to date. And she had married young, too early to experience the shift in numbers that leave single Mormon women with impossible dating odds.

I understand that for many families, watching a child marry outside the temple is frightening. There are so many reasons for that fear that I can only brush the surface: fear that their grandchildren won’t be connected to them through temple sealings, that they’ll be raised in a different faith or no faith at all. Fear that they’ve failed as a parent if their children don’t all marry in the temple. Fear that marrying outside the faith will lead their child away from the Church and ultimately away from their family in the Celestial Kingdom. And President Nelson’s recent talk about his daughter’s death has stirred up those fears for many.

At the same time, doctrinally, marrying outside the temple isn’t considered a sin. (The Church’s stance on same-sex marriage is a significant and painful exception that I can’t do justice to in this post, which is why I’m focusing on the way parents talk about their kids’ hetero mixed-faith marriages). Even extremely orthodox blogs like Ask Gramps  tend to acknowledge that there are exceptions to the rule.

For Mormon women in particular, refusing to marry outside the faith will result in many never marrying at all in this lifetime, despite yearning for a husband and children. By the time I reached my late twenties and found myself in a tiny student branch with only about four eligible bachelors close to my age, I started to seriously consider dating outside the Church. And I’m not talking about “flirt to convert” plans – if it was a choice between never dating again or dating and marrying outside the faith, I was happy to forgo a temple sealing and just trust that God would work things out in the Eternities.
As it so happened, my husband moved into that tiny student branch a year later, and we instantly clicked. But that’s not what most single women in that branch experienced, especially single women who were in grad school – a group more likely to be in their late twenties or older and thus a tad more urgent to settle down. When I first visited that branch, the women in PhD programs told me to expect no dating life and just take amusement in watching the undergrads and their romantic drama.  

So, even if it feels painful to you when you see a family member marry outside the faith, maybe ask yourself this question: if you knew for a fact that they’d either be single for the rest of their lives or have a family with a loving spouse but not be sealed in the temple, which would you rather they choose? Would you rather they have no children or children who aren’t raised in the Church?

What if you shook a crystal ball and learned that a member would come around in a few years whom they could marry, but then that spouse would have an affair, or be abusive, leading to a painful divorce? Or that a member spouse would be loving and faithful but eventually leave the church?

My point is that we can’t predict the future, so it’s unfair to set up a false binary where everyone’s choice is either a loving, faithful, lasting marriage in the temple or a marriage outside the temple. For some of us, the patience pays off – it did for me. But the numbers make it clear that many single Mormon women are going to face a different choice. When I think of my single friends who are in their thirties, the last thing I would want is for someone to make them feel bad about whatever choice they make. You and I don’t have the right to receive personal revelation on their behalf, and we shouldn’t assume we know what God is telling them to do.

So please, Latter-day Saint parents, for the love of your family relationships, stop confessing and apologizing that your child is marrying outside the faith. Stop apologizing to friends, acquaintances, relatives – strangers, even! – about their upcoming nuptials. It’s causing pain you may not be aware of. Even if your child forgives you, their new spouse may struggle to trust you for years. Joining a family is always toughest on the new daughter- or son-in-law (it’s one against many, after all), and the pain of being rejected by the family early on can lay cracks in the foundation of those relationships that take decades to heal.

A wedding for a couple who love each other is something to celebrate. No qualifiers.

*Photo by Natalie Thornley on Unsplash

Comments

  1. If it’s any consolation, I think most Latter-day Saints who choose to marry someone they’re head-over-heels-in-love-with “outside the faith” — like me — are fully aware that family members will act like this and have made their peace with shrugging it off. That doesn’t stop it from stinging, though — especially for the “non-member” spouse.

  2. The no a**hole policy is more strictly enforced in my workplace than in my ward.

  3. A wedding for a couple who love each other is something to celebrate. No qualifiers.

    Exactly. Neither before nor after the ceremony.

  4. In general, I feel no need to apologize for someone else’s choices because they are not mine. It’s so much easier to be kind and recognize that everyone deserves to be happy. (To that end, I’m pretty happy that I got to be raised in the church in NH as well because we had such a wide variety of friends in and out of the church.)
    Thank you for your writing.

  5. Though in Relief Society (more than once), I have heard married sisters try to “comfort” the single women in attendance by reassuring them that after they die they’d definitely have husbands :) Judging by the blank looks in response, not a comfort and extremely condescending.

  6. Marriage is something to celebrate!

    Three comments:
    1. You are arguing for changes in culture. That may be the highest hill around. Including finding anyone to listen.
    2. It would help if the temples got out of the “marriage” business completely—as is required in some countries already—and focused on sealings. If “married in the temple” could be excised from the vocabulary, replaced by “married” . . . and then sealed, or not, as a separate activity.
    3. I can’t not add in that I have argued strongly for civil marriage parity, in these pages (April 12, 2019).

  7. nobody, really says:

    I once heard the following conversation at work.

    “So, which temple are you getting married in?”

    “Provo.”

    “Oh, that’s too bad….”

    Turned out the bride’s grandfather was a sealer in Provo, so it was not just her first choice, it was her only choice. But yes, the snobbery is real.

  8. I always feel to ponder in situations like this, Do we really believe Families are ordained of God? It says so in the proclamation on the family- but very often we do not behave as though we do. In actuality, we act as though we only believe specific families, and specific circumstances in which they are formed, are ordained of God. I think God rejoices in the formation of families. Period.

  9. There is a single 30-something woman in my ward who has been serving faithfully in the YW for the last year. She is fun and vivacious and popular with the girls. She recently announced that she is engaged to be married, and it’s not in the temple. I think there are some grumblings among the ward leadership about what kind of example she is setting for the girls, but I think it is great for them to see a beloved leader follow her own path for happiness.

  10. From President Eyring’s talk, Saturday morning two weeks ago:

    Some have tried with full heart for that blessing, yet it has not been granted. My promise to you is one that a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once made to me. I had said to him that because of choices some in our extended family had made, I doubted that we could be together in the world to come. He said, as well as I can remember, “You are worrying about the wrong problem. You just live worthy of the celestial kingdom, and the family arrangements will be more wonderful than you can imagine.”

    I believe that he would extend that happy hope to any of us in mortality who have done all we can to qualify ourselves and our family members for eternal life. I know that Heavenly Father’s plan is a plan of happiness. I testify that His plan makes it possible for each of us who has done the best we can to be sealed in a family forever.

  11. Amen!

  12. I am 100% in favor of joyfully celebrating marriages.

    But I push back against the subtext riddling this post that the worst possible life path is living as a single adult. It’s no different from anti-vaxxers saying that they would rather their little children suffer excruciatingly before needlessly dying of some vaccine-preventable disease, rather than face the [thoroughly disproven] risk of developing autism from a vaccine.

  13. If we want these conversations to change you will need to ask President and Sister Oaks to change the message they are giving at YSA conferences and firesides, all across this great nation. My daughter has now sat through 2 of them. Both of them were direct hits against marrying out of the church. Every meeting has had girls walking out of the meeting in tears or grimacing.

    I am with you on the message but the messengers aren’t helping at all.

  14. This is such a good and extremely important and valuable post. We are our own worst enemies, truly, in the culture we’ve created for ourselves. Thankfully, the Gospel is so much bigger, so much more expansive, and so much greater than the narrow, hollow “Mormon” culture that has sadly developed and, in some cases, has very nearly completely eclipsed Gospel living.

  15. From D. Michael Quinn, J. Reuben Clark, The Church Years p. 156: “President Clark also took frequent opportunity to give counsel about marriage. When a woman Church member asked if she would be sinning by marrying a non-Mormon, he replied, ‘There is no sin in honorable marriage.’ He reminded her that the basis of a happy marriage should be mutual love, but he added that converting her intended husband to the Church would also contribute to their happiness.” In other words, it would be nice if he joined, and sharing the same religion could be a positive factor, but in President Clark’s view it was not absolutely necessary, and there was no sin in proceeding.

    Elder Bednar’s mother chose to marry outside our faith as did the mother of President Howard W. Hunter. It would be hard for me to believe that either Elder Bednar or President Hunter regret the decisions of their mothers to do so.

  16. I’ve left the church, but this post resonates with me because I tend to throw up my hands when contemplating the idea of ever getting married without it being an incredibly depressing experience. I’m met with visions of either guilt at excluding family members from a civil ceremony or watching members of my immediate family shuffle around my wedding taciturn and red-eyed because of this extra nail in the coffin of my faithlessness. Which is to say, you’ve definitely nailed a problem.

    I do think Ardis also makes a great point, in that single life is not itself a tragedy; wanting companionship and having arbitrary limitations prevent it is.

  17. Great post (though I also appreciate Ardis’s pushback). I think what motivates this bad tendency is (1) a sincere belief that a temple marriage carries with it real spiritual power and blessings, (2) genuine sadness at the prospect that the person’s son or daughter or whoever might never have those blessings, and (3) a concern that celebrating a non-temple wedding would somehow encourage people to “settle” for a non-temple wedding.

    But (1) The fact that a temple marriage has real spiritual blessings doesn’t mean that the non-temple wedding doesn’t has real spiritual power and blessings that are worth celebrating. (2) Nobody gets every blessing, and we can be happy, fulfilled, and righteous as unmarried people, as married people, and as married and sealed people, and as the OP points out, even a temple wedding is not always a guarantee of those blessings, nor is a marriage outside the temple a final death knell on receiving them. (3) There’s plenty of cultural pressure to get married in the temple already, we don’t need to reinforce it.

  18. Dog Spirit says:

    I ran into a lady from the ward at the grocery store last week. After admiring my baby for a minute, she happily announced that she was about to become a grandmother for the first time. But then, as if she felt compelled to confess it to me, so said in a heavy voice that her daughter and her boyfriend aren’t married. I felt bad for her since this was clearly weighing on her mind, as she felt the need to tell it to me, nearly a complete stranger (I don’t even know this lady’s name and hadn’t been to church in months). There does seem to be some kind of cultural pressure not only to not enjoy happy life events too much if they’re not completely by the books, but that you have to make sure other people around you, even strangers, know you aren’t enjoying it too much. I can see how the former happens–it’s hard when things don’t turn it the way you imagined. But why the latter?

  19. Kevin Barney says:

    When I was a teen my dad used to make a little speech to me: “We have some of the finest universities in the world right here in Illinois. But I’m sending you to BYU so you can get married in the temple.” I absolutely loathed that speech, but in a weird way it came to pass: I ended up dating and marrying a woman at BYU who was a convert to the faith from my home town some 1500 miles away from Provo. (And yes, we married in the Provo Temple. She wasn’t raised LDS so she didn’t have a favorite temple, and I really didn’t care, and Provo just happened to be the most convenient location at the time.)

    If I were single living where I do in the Chicago area, I would definitely be open to dating (and marrying) a non-LDS woman. It’s true that as a man the demographic odds are in my favor, but that is really only meaningful in places with a large LDS population, such as the Wasatch Front. Yes, there are more single LDS women than men in my area, but the absolute numbers are so small as to scarcely make a difference. Out here the only realistic way to pursue a marriage is to be open to marrying outside the faith.

  20. Families are ordained of God. God is happy when a marriage is between a man and a women, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. And if we claim to believe in the proclamation, we will also be happy. Not all families will be eternal families. It is a choice.

  21. Just another thought on being single- I like what Camille Fronk Olsen observed after listening to many of her married friends- “It takes a really good man to beat no man at all.” I totally agree after being married and divorced.

  22. Jared Cook @9:26am: I think your three “motives” are legitimate and meangful, so I’m not really disagreeing. But judging from relatively self-aware things my mother said, she was motivated by a model of the ideal family which included everyone happily married and sealed, forward and back through all generations. (Yes, that speaks to the never married issue as well—not part of her model.) It was deeply embedded—born of her LDS culture, Church teachings, desire (knowing elements of her family that did not match up), and social pressure. With respect to the last, she acknowledged that this model was what her sisters and friends talked about and wanted and worked toward.

    If you had asked my mother to analyze her feelings, to explain in a doctrinal voice, she probably would have come to much the same three motives. But models and desires and social pressures are real and powerful, and she was honest enough that she would have said “but in the end it’s so I can tell my sisters we made it.”

  23. I think ultimately the concern is with the consequences that a non-temple marriage pose for the afterlife.

    Of course we’d rather not have someone be alone in this life, but what if a relationship out of the covenant (heterosexual to homosexual) jeopardizes eternal exaltation?

  24. On a related note, I’m starting to get sick of the assumption by church members that I’m waiting for my (non-religious) partner to “come around.” The members of my ward have generally expressed support that I’m with him, but many talk to me in these terms like “I’m sure his heart will be ready one day.” It’s frustrating to only get to discuss my relationship in terms of its Mormonness, and honestly the relationship wouldn’t work at all (for either of us) if that burden were on me or him to constantly have a future conversion hanging over our heads as proof of a truly good match. He’s never going to join the church, period, and this doesn’t bother me. But that feels like a scandalous thing to say to other Mormons, so I often find myself changing the topic or briefly feigning an interest in their version of my future.

  25. This message needs to be conveyed at chapel weddings as well. Every wedding I’ve attended at LDS chapels has had the same feel: don’t acknowledge what a joyous event it is, rush through the ceremony, and focus on delivering a message of hope that someday they will be sealed in the temple. Makes me so sad. Why is it so hard to simply be happy about choices people make that bring them love, happiness, family, commitment?

  26. I agree with the sentiments in this post, but note that this isn’t a particularly Mormon thing. I know a kid who comes from two highly educated parents who stressed college from early on. He knew by the end of high school that he wanted to be a machinist and went to a technical college instead of a university. He’s making decent money and seems happy in his new career, but every time his parents talk about his job, it’s with the hushed tones and apologies described in the OP. It isn’t what they wanted, it isn’t what they set him up for, and they need people to know that.

    I’ll tell another from a non-member side. A little while back, an 18-year old got baptized into our ward. Everything you’d want in a convert–super serious, studied the gospel for a long time, asked all the right questions, has a good understanding of what he’s getting into, etc. His mom came to the baptism and cried from start to finish. I looked at her Facebook page, and she had made several posts that day about how she raised him to be better than this.

    My point is that it’s hard as hell to watch your kids make decisions you wouldn’t make, regardless of religious persuasion.

  27. On a related note, can members please stop apologizing for their children’s live choices as the first point of conversation when said children come up? I’ve worked with the youth for decades. Often I’ll run into a parent and ask how their kid is doing. They could mention any of a dozen great things, but for some reason feel compelled to bring up a short coming. A typical response is: “Well … he’s living with a girlfriend and doesn’t come to church much, but he’s also about to graduate college and has an internship he’s really excited about.”

  28. I thought the post was going to be about apologizing that they’ll be getting married where no non-members can attend.

  29. One of these days I will delete my social media accounts – I’m tired of the mission call and temple marriage posts and (immaturely) I wonder what these parents would do or say under different circumstances. I have a daughter on a unique journey which has included drug rehab and a son with no interest in serving a mission. Most days I’m just damn glad they are alive.

  30. Just wondering says:

    My niece was married last fall. She was 36 years old, well-educated, and a faithful member of the church. Her desire had always been to find an LDS companion but that eluded her for many years. It turned out that she hit it off with a non-member who was quite a few years older than she. As a twenty-something, she certainly wouldn’t have expected this outcome, but she was genuinely happy. There are a lot of cousins in this family, and all who were married had married in the temple. This niece was the first to marry a non-member. She invited extended family to a destination wedding, and I was thrilled with the support of aunts and uncles and cousins who traveled to celebrate this event with her. I didn’t hear conversations of dismay or regret or apology. I was quite impressed with the outpouring of love and support from a fairly conservative and orthodox family.

  31. Maybe sort of off topic? The nice thing about a member marrying a non member outside the temple? Everyone gets to attend and celebrate.

  32. Jimbob, you bring out a very good point. Your thoughts lead me to the play “Fiddler on the Roof”. Most parents want the best for their children including the traditions they hold sacred. It shows Latter-day Saint parents to be quite normal.

  33. My daughter married a better man than I could ever have hoped would love her. She planned one of the nicest weddings I could imagine. A glass chapel in the woods in the spring time in the South. Great food, professional music, classy but not pretentious. Some of our orthodox relatives came. I imaged, as they started playing the well-worn tapes in their minds about how unfortunate for them to not be marrying in the temple, the cognitive dissonance had to be enormous. Look at what is happening! Better by far than any temple wedding in memory! Not just the setting but the relationships and expression of love and life. Because two families rejoice at the love their beloved children have found and the bounteous blessings of life.

    Apologize? For what? All this? Open your eyes. Pull your heads out.

    Within half a year his father died a gruesome death with aggressive pancreatic cancer. The wedding was about his last best day of his life. Might have been the best day of my life. The newlyweds are doing very well, survived building a house from scratch the first year of marriage. Life is not easy. Why make what could be the best day of your life unpleasant with unnecessary religious chains?

    Who is it that tells us we all have to get married when marriage really isn’t right for many people? Who is it that hammers into our heads as youth to serve missions boys, and marry a RM girls? Knowing darn well that about 1/3 of the boys serve missions while about 2/3 of the girls remain active. I can see the young couples active in my ward; most of the women marry down, way down in some cases. Even more don’t come at all.

    The change needs to be in the message we tell our children, and especially our adolescents. (We can’t expect our church leaders to do it since they seem satisfied with the situation). The message: You don’t have to marry! Its nice for two stalwarts to marry in the temple if they desire. Statistically those 2 girls-for-every-boy have a similar number of brothers. You can find happiness marrying a good but “less active” Mormon boy. You can marry outside the church to a member of another faith or to one of the growing number of unaffiliated.

    My experience, being married in the temple to a woman now for over 1/3 a century, who became an evangelical Christian the third year of our marriage, is that my Mormon ward is a horrible place for a mixed faith family. Only true church, my donkey. I would be delighted with decent.

    When it comes to marriage, we need to pay more attention to character and compatibility and integrity. Less attention to GROUP IDENTITY!

    Ironic that the use of the name by which this our group is known amongst most of the children of our Heavenly Father across the land, even the name Mormon (shutter), is being extinguished. Yahoo! But even tighter connectedness to the group is expected

  34. I grew up with a Catholic father and inactive LDS mother and would not want to live in such a home again. There are costs faced by the children with mixed faith marriages that I would not want to impose on my children. My father was an excellent man, but the difference in religion caused problems for my parents as their children grew up. I choose the LDS faith, but my siblings did not. My sibling’s children can only be classified as either religiously illiterate or rabidly atheist. In two generations, all religious feeling and commitment has been lost.
    In a mixed faith marriage, people tend to avoid discussion of faith in order not to rock the boat. I cannot imagine living happily with someone with whom I could not share my most meaningful experiences and dreams.
    I realize people can be happy in mixed faith marriages, but there are cultural differences in LDS families, such as teaching your children about opportunities to serve God as a missionary preaching the Gospel, genealogy and temple service for those we love who have died, the meaning of temple garments, and seminary to name just a few. My parents both discovered that, while they were okay with allowing their spouse to believe differently, they wanted to share their religion with their children. And as a child, I found that I had to conceal my new found joy in Gospel teachings from my father, not conducive to a close relationship.
    Make whatever decision suits you, but do so with eyes wide open. Your children may not thank you.

  35. @Emma
    This is sad. And to me, speaks volumes (not necessarily good) about the church.

  36. I love my non-member daughter-in-law and can’t imagine our family without her. Before their wedding I was wondering if it would seem like a letdown to me because it didn’t take place in the temple. On the contrary, it was one of the most touching weddings I’ve ever attended.

    “At the same time, doctrinally, marrying outside the temple isn’t considered a sin”

    Sadly, my son was “counseled” by a local leader that he was going to ruin his life if he married his non-member fiancé. That did great damage to my son’s relationship with the church. I don’t expect he will ever engage with the church again.

  37. A sealing is a choice. Even if a person is sealed to his parents they don’t have to be. Everything is a choice. On the other hand the endowment and sealing bind us to God’s Eternal family. If one wants Eternal Life with family it is only through temple ordinances and covenants that it can happen. The doctrine stated in the Proclamation on the Family reads: “Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to
    return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.”
    It is through the ordinances and covenants that we become members of God’s Eternal Family. Any family members who choose to belong to God’s Eternal family can be united with members of their earthly family.

  38. From Elder Neil L Anderson’s “The Eye of Faith” talk April 2019 conference: “There are so many…who are loyal and true to the gospel of Jesus Christ, even though their current experience doesn’t fit neatly inside the (family) proclamation.” That’s all that matters. Be “loyal and true,” and “all things will shall work together for your good.” Even if you choose to marry someone of a different faith. “Things will work out. If you keep trying and praying and working, things will work out. They always do.”

  39. Fun Fact: due to gender imbalences in LDS membership, it is literally impossible for every LDS woman to get a temple marriage.

    http://time.com/dateonomics/

  40. “Fun Fact: due to gender imbalences in LDS membership, it is literally impossible for every LDS woman to get a temple marriage.”

    Get ready for a return to polygamy!

  41. My wife used to say, polygamy would be great. Except at bedtime.

  42. As a late-20s grad student in Utah, my dating life was not existent and my marriage prospects seemed increasingly dismal. I found it curious that God would think it better for me to remain single than to fulfill what I then believed was my earthly purpose: to become a wife and mother.

    Years later, I’m happy to report I trusted my gut sense that something was off with the church – and not with me. The lack of full-hearted support stings, I’m not going to lie – but life outside of the church and with my non Mormon partner and child is worth all the apologizing, shame, and disappointment of my Mormon loved ones.

  43. Kristen, it does not speak volumes about the Church. It speaks volumes about religious differences within a marriage. They can damage. That is also a truth that needs to be considered when making choices. Marriage is hard. Differences must be negotiated. Value differences are hard to compromise. That is why President Kimball counseled us to try to find people similar to ourselves when choosing a partner. Yes, people of two different faiths can have a successful marriage. But their children might be the ones who pay for it as the parents seek to avoid conflict.
    Obtaining a real testimony, not just following the pattern of life presented by your parents, takes sacrifice. And once you have that testimony, you realize that what you want is someone who also made that sacrifice and is on the same path you are traveling. Someone who understands why you pay tithing, why you wear garments, why you follow when you do not yet know all the answers. Being married to someone who does not share this with you can be very draining over a lifetime. And lonely. Why choose that if you have another choice? I would rather remain single.

  44. I grew up in a mixed faith home. Cannot recommend it for the kids. Big mistake.

  45. Denise says:

    I’m fairly certain my mother in law cringed when my now husband brought me home to meet his family. Tank top wearing, cigarette smoke smelling (from my parents), non LDS girl that I was. All was lost for their son…. who was supposed to go to BYU to marry a safe choice.
    She was very mistaken about me, as my husband and I are the only fully “active” of her 6 children (6 in-laws too).

    Another thought- if I’d had been sealed when we got married, I would have likely ended up so disillusioned in my marriage (and the church) that I may have walked away from both. As it was, we weren’t sealed for 7 years, 3 kids born “out of the covenant”. I didn’t initiate the temple ordinance until I knew that it wasn’t a magic pill that would protect me and us from hard times. And it hasn’t. However, I think I would have been extremely naive and been shattered if we had started out in the temple then went through the dark roads that we had to walk.
    I don’t regret the way we did it at all.