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How Long Should You Wait for a Temple Marriage?

I just reread a nine year old post from an LDS woman contemplating marriage to an inactive LDS man. Aside from his loss of conviction (or rather, testimony) that the gospel was true, she described their relationship as very good. According to her, he treated her very well and his values were in line with a Mormon lifestyle. She loved him and he loved her. She wanted to know if she should marry him.

The response she got was an overwhelming NO. Which would have been my response, hands down, ten, twenty, thirty, forty years ago.

I’m on the backside of 50 now. I’ve seen more. Specifically, what I’ve seen more of lately, and I mean a whole lot more of, are beautiful, intelligent, spiritually sound, temple-recommend-carrying women in the church, of 30 years of age and older, who are not married, have never been married, and are actively seeking a suitable companion — with not so great results.

And that doesn’t even take into account the newly divorced, previously married to returned missionaries in the temple, population of women, that seems to be growing.

There was a time I would not have contemplated, for my life or the life of any other LDS women, marriage outside the temple. But now…it appears that good men are a decreasing commodity. And marriage and children are a blessing I would not want to forgo — even if only for this life. And I really don’t think there is anywhere stated in scripture, or mandated by commandment, or conference talk, that women would be better off single their whole lives, than to be married to a good, loving and supportive, non-lds man.

Those of you with teenage daughters right now are probably cringing and covering your daughters ears. Believe me, I would be too — ten years ago. But wait till your daughter is 30, and her heart aches to begin a family, and…nothing. O.K., now she’s 35 and more than anything she wants a child of her own. Still nothing. Now she’s 40? Is it O.K. now?

If you’ve ever read anything about or by Sherri Dew, you are aware that just waiting doesn’t always get you what you want. Even praying and having your whole family pray and fast multiple times won’t necessarily get you the temple marriage, in this life, that you so strongly desire.

To the point, I believe pretty strongly that nearly everyone will convert one day, this life or next. And like the parable of the workers in the marketplace, they will receive the same reward, whether they were fortunate enough to understand and be converted early or late. Including those good, non-lds, men willing to support our LDS lifestyle. (Yes, I’m sure they are a dwindling commodity as well, but…)

My own thought, If I were 30 and single, and had found a man who loved me and was willing to support my activity in the church, would I marry him? With prayer, and a conviction that this person was who I wanted to be with forever, yes, I probably would. If I felt Heavenly Father supported me in my decision and would stand by me through the rough times, a resounding, yes.

How long would you be willing to be single and without the blessings of children or companionship of a spouse? Your whole mortal life?

Can we teach that in Laurel class. Certainly not! And I’m not being sarcastic. Absolutely, I wouldn’t. But should we teach it in the singles wards? It just might promote a greater sense of urgency in the slow to date and marry generation of males we’ve raised in the church.

{ 68 comments… add one }
  • Sandy Grant March 12, 2011, 10:46 pm

    I think that the key lies in the words “If I felt Heavenly Father supported me in my decision.” I think the same is true for every decision in life. A friend was pregnant out of wedlock and everyone told her that the RIGHT thing to do was put it up for adoption. Some of her family criticized her strongly for not doing so. The thing was SHE had prayed about it and SHE got the answer to keep the baby. Turns out within a year she was able to marry a great guy (not the father), in the temple, He adopted her daughter(they were sealed together) and you would never know by looking at their family that she wasn’t his. The lord knows the answers better that any handbook, general recommendation or advice from concerned loved ones.

  • Jettboy March 13, 2011, 10:55 am

    With the LDS Church and Mormonism having the view that marriage is so important as part of salvation, I have contemplated the idea arranged marriages should be adopted. When you hit a certain age, like 30, then your family or Bishop should look around to find a faithful Mormon man and woman who aren’t married yet and declare they should get married as a calling.

  • Darcee Yates March 13, 2011, 10:57 am

    Sandy- Thank you for your comment and I think you are right, each decision is an individual one. Especially now. We are taught from an early age to seek God’s plan for us, but if that plan deviates from the norm in any way, criticism often follows. I’ve thought a lot about this recently as I went back and re-read the earlier link.

    Two more thoughts.
    One, a woman whom I know, senior to me, married a non-member, while living in a tight knit Utah small town. They raised all their children-and then at age 65- her husband was finally baptized and took her to the temple. But even if he hadn’t in this life, I believe her children would have had them sealed later. Is the result not the same?

    I used to think that it must take a lot of persuasion to convert after death because we are told to wait a year before performing ordinances for the deceased. However, my husband pointed out to me the disparity in time between earth’s accounting and the eternities. So, it’s more like a mere seconds or at best minutes and they are willing to except the gospel.

    Second story–and yes, it actually argues against what I said earlier becuase I really don’t think there is one right answer for everyone, because everyone’s story is different.

    My daughter recently met a diabetic, 52 year old woman on her plane who was in need of assistance and whom she had the opportunity to help for the day.

    The women was only recently married for the FIRST time at age 52. No, she wasn’t a member of the Church, she was actually studying to be a Zen Preist(ess?) . All her life she warded off personal questions of why she’d never married with, “I don’t know, I’m just lucky I guess.” She met her soon to be husband at a Zen (conference? commune? workshop? activity). He had also never been married. When she asked why, he said, “I don’t know. I’m just lucky I guess.”

    They have “Just lucky, I guess.” inscribed on their wedding bands.

  • Proud Daughter of Eve March 13, 2011, 12:18 pm

    What you have to ask yourself, as a person contemplating non-temple marriage, is not just “is he willing to support my LDS lifestyle?” but “will he support me raising our children with the gospel standards?” Also, “do I have any family or friends who will do the work for us if, God forbid, we’re in an accident and we die?”

    I’m married to a considerate, supportive Catholic. We have a beautiful daughter who was just born last summer. I am still hautned by the thought of what will happen if anything happens to me. We love each other and we have a good family but hoping for him to convert some day or to outlive him so I can do the work for us… it’s a pretty thin chance to be counting on. The fact is I could lose her forever. I try not to think about it.

    If the time of this life is so short and “just like seconds” so why not marry someone who will be converted in the afterlife anyway, then why not wait until then to marry? I completely understand the desire for a family and the pain and frustration of waiting – I thought I’d have three or four kids by now, not just my precious one – but I’m not sure how I stack it up to the fear that any accident could leave my child forever unsealed to me.

  • MB March 13, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Proud daughter,

    It is true that not being sealed leaves one with a sense of loss, just as does every wonderful thing in anyone’s life that “might be some day” but isn’t now. It is NOT true that any unexpected accident could leave your daughter forever unsealed to you.

    God doesn’t work that way. He’s more powerful than random accidents. And he wants you to have those sealing blessings. They are real. And he has an eternity to work with. Deadlines are time constricted concepts. Heaven and eternity are timeless, though that’s hard to wrap our minds around.

    Trust God’s ability to work miracles and stay in touch with him to facilitate those when the time comes. He’s more powerful and loving and personal and patient and wise than we give him credit for.

    And I agree with Sandy, it’s not a matter of how long will you wait or what’s your deadline. It’s a matter of both knowing what is eternally possible and also being in touch with God as you make those major decisions. Marriage, period, is ordained of God. Understanding what he knows about your marriage decision is deeply personal. There’s no magic formula of years or options.

  • Darcee Yates March 13, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Eve’s Daughter, I appreciate your comments, especially since you have first hand experience in making this decision. And I totally agree with you that there are even more questions one would want to ask oneself before marrying someone not of your faith than when marrying someone of the same religious convictions. And most of those questions would involve your future children.

    I don’t, however, agree you should assume that if you died, there would be no one to seal you as a family. You are a part of a larger family. We all are. I think that’s what the future 1000 year millennium will be for. I think there will be a whole lot of joining families together. I for one have done plenty of sideways genealogy. Sons and daughters and in-laws of direct line ancestors that ended with no posterity. Who else would do their work? I don’t think Heavenly Father will leave any of us out on a limb unsupported if we are trying to live our covenants.

    Speaking of which, when I was growing up, a woman taking our her own endowment, unless she was preparing for a mission, or it was just prior to her marriage, was discouraged. Now it is the norm. The temple blessings are there for you regardless.

    And the point in marrying and having a family now, rather than waiting for the millennium, is there is a huge lonely factor going on and a desire for a family of ones’ own. Why should a woman stay alone day after day and night after night when she could be enjoying the blessings of family companionship.

  • Angie March 13, 2011, 6:30 pm

    Proud Daughter, you bring up some excellent points. These are important questions that need to be resolved during the dating process. I wonder as well if women considering marriage to a supportive non-LDS man consider not only what would happen if they both died, but what would happen with the children should YOU die. Will your spouse continue to raise your children in the gospel without you there? Is that important to you? Could you smile down from heaven if the day after your funeral your spouse discontinues the Sacrament meeting, church activities, family home evening, etc. that they have become accustomed to? For some, that answer might be yes, they are okay with that and for others absolutely not. Then again, there are no guarantees even in an active family that both spouses are going to remain faithful always – in fact, more and more I’m seeing families who “did all the right things” in their preparations for marriage, married in the temple, and then fell away.

    I completely agree with Sandy that this is a decision that is best left to an individual to decide through prayer and inspiration. As a leader in the young women, I think it’s important with youth at that age to teach to the ideal and handle the exceptions as they come – in other words, I teach my own daughters and the girls I work with that the easiest way to marry a worthy LDS man is to only date worthy LDS men. However, I didn’t find one for a long time (I married at nearly 27, ancient by LDS standards 15 years ago) and along the way did meet some men who I might not have intended to get involved with but found a connection there. I can certainly see how it happens and don’t judge the women who choose to enter into those relationships. Finding a good man is hard. Period. Finding a good LDS man is becoming more and more difficult all the time – not only find someone that is LDS but finding an LDS man who is also faithful and worthy.

    In the end, I suppose my opinion is to encourage all those things we teach our youth while allowing that not all of us are going to fall into a perfect “college co-ed finds worthy returned missionary and is off to the temple to live happily ever after” scenario. There are challenges in any marriage, I think being of different faiths is definitely one of them – an extra thing to deal with in a sea of things you need to deal with. What you have to decide is if the person you are marrying is someone who will not only support you in what YOU do but also support what you are teaching in your home.

    Darcee, would love to hear more about the everyone being converted. I’m not sure I agree with that completely. I do think there will be an acknowledgment of Christ as the Savior – I am not sure if the LDS doctrine will necessarily be accepted as readily.

  • Darcee Yates March 13, 2011, 6:58 pm

    – ” It is NOT true that any unexpected accident could leave your daughter forever unsealed to you. God doesn’t work that way. He’s more powerful than random accidents.”

    You said this so much better than I did and I just wanted to repeat it.


  • Darcee Yates March 13, 2011, 7:45 pm

    Jett Boy- If I thought you were in the least bit serious. I’d address your suggestion.

  • jennycherie March 13, 2011, 8:01 pm

    great article – very thought provoking!

    “there are no guarantees even in an active family that both spouses are going to remain faithful always”

    That is so true! I think we should not assume that just because we marry a faithful, active member does not mean we will agree on how to live the gospel (even if both spouses remain active).
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  • Alison Moore Smith March 13, 2011, 7:13 pm

    Proud Daughter of Eve, I don’t have lots of time to comment on this thread right now, but just wanted to say that I so appreciate your response. Bless your heart. 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…30 Off Phillips Wake-up LightMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 13, 2011, 9:26 pm

    I’ve wanted to sit back a bit and let others respond. There are a couple of things that don’t sit right with me in this conversation. Here they are, maybe some of you have thoughts.

    (1) Darcee “If I felt Heavenly Father supported me in my decision…”

    I’m uncomfortable playing this trump card on a general discussion.

    Sure, if God condones it, it’s right. You can even cut off a guy’s head or sacrifice your child — if God wants you to. So certainly God could want you to marry a non-member.

    But, as with the “paring off before of marriageable age” discussion many months ago, I think it’s really rare for God to make exceptions to his general rules. In fact, I do not think I have ever, once, been an exception in my entire life. I’ve thought I was and wished I was and reasoned that I was, but when completely honest, I don’t think I ever really was. I just didn’t want to deal with the given counsel.

    So, while I’d rarely tell someone who pulled out the “God condoned it” card on a particular, personal issue, I will say that I really doubt that he really justifies as many who claim it.

    (2) Darcee “If you’ve ever read anything about or by Sherri Dew, you are aware that just waiting doesn’t always get you what you want.”

    Is “getting what we want” the appropriate goal? Also, given that Sheri Dew has not married, is she advising others to marry outside the temple?

    (3) “But even if he hadn’t in this life, I believe her children would have had them sealed later. Is the result not the same?”

    No, because proxy sealings are not the same as individual sealings. If I choose to marry in the temple, and choose to covenant, it’s not remotely the same as someone else performing an ordinance on my behalf that I may or may not accept.

    Honestly, I think it’s almost bizarre how we can have family members who want nothing to do with the gospel though out their lives and that as soon as they are cold in the ground we run to the temple — and then think everything is hunky dory.

    (4) Darcee “So, it’s more like a mere seconds or at best minutes and they are willing to except the gospel.”

    Proud Daughter of Eve asks a great question; it the time is so short, why not just wait? That aside, I think it’s erroneous to state that they will accept the gospel. As we know, many, many good people won’t. That’s what the terrestrial kingdom is all about.

    (5) PDOE “I am still haunted by the thought of what will happen if anything happens to me.”

    Proud Daughter of Eve’s fears are reasonable. It’s not just unlikely, but almost unheard of for a person alone to raise his/her children in the faith of a deceased spouse — a faith they don’t share.

    More in a minute…
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Mormon WeddingMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 13, 2011, 9:39 pm

    MB, welcome to Mormon Momma. Glad to have you here. I have some questions about your comment as well:

    It is NOT true that any unexpected accident could leave your daughter forever unsealed to you. God doesn’t work that way. He’s more powerful than random accidents. And he wants you to have those sealing blessings.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. Of course God wants us to have all that he has. He has said this many times. But he doesn’t remove our agency in order to give them to us. He tells us the path and let’s us choose. It’s hard for me to reconcile how he has very specifically defined how to marry, but that it doesn’t really matter because he’ll fix it all up anyway — no matter what we CHOOSE.


    Then again, there are no guarantees even in an active family that both spouses are going to remain faithful always

    But you don’t need that kind of guarantee. Your salvation is not dependent upon your spouse’s behavior, but your own. If you have chosen to follow God’s counsel, receive your endowments, marry in the temple as God defined, and keep your covenants, then you have been “true and faithful.” You have done what was asked of you.

    If you spouse becomes an axe murderer, it will be a terrible situation (understatement), but not something you will be held to account for. And all the promised blessings will be yours.

    On the other hand, I have a very hard time reconciling church doctrine with the idea that our choices don’t really matter in the long run. We can choose to accept or reject counsel and commandment, and it will all be the same eventually. It doesn’t make sense to me that God specifically tells us to marry in the temple, but doing otherwise is somehow, really, just the same anyway. That we’ll all convert, we’ll all be sealed, it will all be good — even if we CHOSE otherwise.

    Your turn. 🙂
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  • jennycherie March 14, 2011, 6:02 am

    One of the things I love about this type of forum is how it helps me to see all sides of an issue! Great thoughts all around. I have no answers, just thoughts. 😉
    jennycherie recently posted…Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words to Each OtherMy Profile

  • Angie March 14, 2011, 7:21 am

    Alison, I agree with you. I am thinking more along the practical lines of raising children with a non-member spouse; point being that if I had a non-member spouse it would be a big concern of mine that if something happened to me my children would not be raised in the gospel even if he had been supportive of my activity – but that could happen in a temple marriage as well. While I wouldn’t be accountable for it, it would still concern me.

    We can’t take agency out of the equation here. Some things we are taught (such as only dating members) are there for our protection as we make choices that will affect our future. Is it possible to marry a nonmember and have a happy marriage AND faithful LDS service? Absolutely and I’ve seen several people do it (and some spouses eventually join the church, although you certainly can’t count on that). I do think we need to acknowledge that this will bring with it complications that may or may not be worth dealing with.

    When I was a 24-year-old RM I had a relationship with a man who was a recent convert. He joined the church mainly for social reasons (by his own admission) and was not committed to living an LDS lifestyle. While I cared for him greatly and he would have supported me in my activity (other than the chastity before marriage part…story for another time) ultimately I had to make the decision if I wanted to raise my children in a family with a father who was not living up to his covenants. My choice was to leave the relationship, knowing that the decision threw me back into a pool of men who were…interesting choices. A few good ones in there but a lot with issues – whether they were commitment issues, worthiness issues…whatever. Still, I made the choice to take my chances with single life again, knowing that meant I might never marry or have children. It was my choice, and ultimately I absolutely made the right decision (I married a few years later, a faithful RM…). If I’d never married, I still would have been okay with it because I knew I made the right decision for me.

    “But, as with the “paring off before of marriageable age” discussion many months ago, I think it’s really rare for God to make exceptions to his general rules. In fact, I do not think I have ever, once, been an exception in my entire life. I’ve thought I was and wished I was and reasoned that I was, but when completely honest, I don’t think I ever really was. I just didn’t want to deal with the given counsel.

    So, while I’d rarely tell someone who pulled out the “God condoned it” card on a particular, personal issue, I will say that I really doubt that he really justifies as many who claim it.”

    I SO agree with this. I see a lot of justification for going against counsel. The exceptions to counsel are rare…that’s why we call them rare exceptions.

  • Darcee Yates March 14, 2011, 7:51 am

    The biggest question in all of this to me is- Would I be willing to spend my whole life single if a temple marriage- in this life- were not available.

    For me the answer is no.

    And I don’t see that as an reflection on a lack of testimony or dedication to the gospel. Marriage outside the temple is not living in sin. It’s marriage. It doesn’t have the sealing ordinances applied as yet. But speaking as one who has performed sealings for a whole lot of people who didn’t have it done in this life, I feel confident that it can and will be done. And I never once thought, nor do I now think, nor have I found it written anywhere or spoken or hinted by any authority that the sealings done posthumously are any less valid or worthy or eternal than one performed for the living.

    I’m not advocating that all single women in the church start looking for men who won’t or can’t take them to the temple in this life. Just bringing up a ‘what if’.

    Women traditionally live longer than men and the thought has already crossed my mind that although I have instructed my husband that he MUST live as long as me, the matter may be out of his control. I may have to life twenty or even thirty years alone. I don’t look forward to it, and my heart goes out to the single sisters I know who are living up to the covenants made in the temple and can’t seem to find a decent male in the church.

    The mores of our society have changed so much in the past twenty years that it seems only those who disobey the laws of chastity first are the ones finally getting hitched and having children. (sadly this is increasingly true both in and out of the church) Though I’m not discrediting their ability to repent later, it does leave those single women in the church that are more righteous to begin with, kind of high and dry.

  • Angie March 14, 2011, 8:40 am

    I think your “for me the answer is no” is key here, because not all single LDS women look at it as drudgery. It’s a very personal thing and specific to the individual. In fact, I can sincerely say that I have seen many situations where there were far worse things than being single (being unhappily married for one). Many single LDS women live fulfilling lives and while they might enjoy that companionship, and especially motherhood, they have found fulfillment, love, and nurturing of others in many different avenues. A single life does not necessarily mean an empty life. For some, it might, and those women need to make a very personal choice I suppose as to whether to seek options outside of their faith. For me, I tried (while he was technically a member he certainly wasn’t what I considered faithful) and made the choice for myself that I would rather live as a single person than deal with all that drama.

    Regarding sealings. While I do consider a posthumous sealing to be just as valid as any other, I also believe that there is still agency involved. There will be many who the work is done for who simply won’t accept it. My grandfather for example, to his dying day we tried to convince him to accept the gospel, and he specifically said he was making a choice not to accept it and he didn’t want his temple work done. Well, we did it anyway of course realizing that while he likely wouldn’t change his mind, he needed it to be done so that he had the choice to accept it or not. I love him dearly but knowing him and his personality I doubt it’s something he’ll ever choose. In other words, I don’t think a non-LDS man who has lived with a faithful LDS women for years and not accepted it in this life will necessarily suddenly have a change of heart and accept it after death. Some will accept it and of course that is why we do their work for them. My personal feeling is that someone who has been that close to it for so long and didn’t accept it in life won’t accept it in death either.

    Also just pointing out the obvious here but a sealing is not a one-time thing and when it’s done it’s done. It’s a covenant that is only in effect when the covenant is lived up to. This goes for those with temple marriages on earth as well as posthumous sealings.

  • SilverRain March 14, 2011, 9:04 am

    For a quick fill-in on my background, I was married in the temple and am now divorced with two children.

    I would never marry outside of the temple, nor suggest that as an option to anyone. After having gone through the strain of someone who decided he no longer wished to be active in the Church, I would never go into a relationship with that issue already there. The only possibility for such a choice would be if I were to go in with NO expectation of him supporting my religion or EVER converting. It isn’t a good idea to marry someone hoping they will change. It is unrealistic to marry someone expecting that they won’t, that they will always support my faith.

    And I, for one, would rather be single than marry without a heart free of fear.

    Chances are good that I will not marry again, at least in this life. Knowing this, I still will not come even close to bending on the issue of faith. For someone who feels the way I feel about the Gospel, it would be buying trouble for a very high price.

  • MB March 14, 2011, 9:57 am

    I don’t believe that God fixes up things nicely in spite of what we choose. I do believe that there are consequences to actions, but I think my understanding of what those are, and your understanding of what those are may be different. And I also do not believe that one choice in this life permanently trumps all others down the road. That would negate the second principle of the gospel, repentance, and Jesus’ greatest gift to us, his atonement for our sins.

    I believe that
    1) God holds you responsible for your actions based upon what you know and that knowing is not just “having been told”, it’s KNOWING. And only God knows who KNOWS what. (Which is why we can’t judge each other.) And he does not hold his children responsible for what they don’t KNOW, though he does not shelter them from the natural consequences in this life of their resultant unwise choices.
    2) God wants you to do the best you can with what you do KNOW.
    3) God has the power to heal all sorrows.
    4) Repentance (changing your ways, changing your mind and changing what you love –see Elder Nelson’s talk on repentance) is the natural, long-term result in the life of every person who loves goodness and that as each good-hearted person increases what he or she KNOWS in this life and what he or she further comes to KNOW in the spirit world, their repentance increases.
    5) Though children suffer in this life due to the sins of their parents, God does not visit, eternally and forever, the sins of the fathers upon their children.
    6) God is both just and merciful. Just as he does not allow mercy to rob justice, he does not allow justice to rob mercy.
    7) The consequences of an unwise choice are not just doled out after the final judgement, you reap them in this life as well. For many, that is the catalyst for learning and repentance and a coming to KNOW that is sufficient in the eyes of God. There is no need for prolonging the consequences unnecessarily in the next life if the needed process has been effectively gone through in this one.
    8) True repentance makes the sin as though it had not happened in the mind of God. Though you remember it so that you may continue to remember what you learned, God remembers it no more as he interacts with you.
    9) Temple sealing blessings performed after your physical demise cannot change what your earthlife experience was like, but they are equal in power and effectiveness in your post mortal existence. The next time you do proxy sealings in the temple, particularly of children to parents, listen to the exact wording.
    10) The final judgment is not an “everybody all at once” experience. Each of us will face it. And each of us will face it at the time when God deems it best and wisest for us. We are not all sent to earth at the same time. We do not die all at the same time. We are not resurrected all at the same time. We are not all judged at the same time. In the most important transitions of our lives God is intimately aware of every detail of us as individuals and interacts with us individually and at at time that is the most good for us.
    11) Our life in heaven is not a merit based system. It is a glorified system based on glory, love (for God is the perfect embodiment of love) and grace, with an infinitely and gloriously remarkable balance of justice and mercy. The amount of light you rise with is not based on punishment and reward, but on the light which you ultimately choose and are capable of and fitted for in your connection to God. And God, who knows all, knows the time at which you will finally know, deep in your soul (whether you want to admit it or not) what that is in your case, and will give you every opportunity for as long as it takes to reach that. He knows what is possible and though he does not look upon sin with any allowance and is definitely not patient with egregious, violent sin, his patience, when necessary for your progress, is infinite.
    12) The servant who understands and joins in the work at the 11th hour (Matthew chapter 20) is paid the same penny that the worker who understood and joined the work early in the morning is paid, in spite of the protests of the early morning worker.

    So that is what is behind my comment. I can give you all the scripture references that have taught me these things if you need them, but you probably are familiar with your scriptures enough that you don’t. And that answer was probably longer than you wanted to wade through.

  • MB March 14, 2011, 9:58 am

    Huh. How did my “8)” turn into a smiley face?

  • Darcee Yates March 14, 2011, 11:14 am

    I promise, I’m almost ready to shut up. Well, maybe, I have a four hour sit in Salt Lake before I start work.

    I just want to thank everyone who responded. Differences are fine as long as we all respect each other. And I really do respect all of your stands/thoughts and opinions.

    My way of viewing the gospel still aligns more with MB- although that has changed from how I felt when I was younger. I was much more ‘anxious’ about how everything would work out, for my self, for my siblings, for my children. I’ve become less anxious. I don’t think I’m less careful. I just trust in the atonement more. I do all I can do, and the Atonement covers the rest.

    MB- I felt two of your comments(all really) but two especially bear repeating.

    “And I also do not believe that one choice in this life permanently trumps all others down the road. That would negate the second principle of the gospel, repentance, and Jesus’ greatest gift to us, his atonement for our sins.”

    “The servant who understands and joins in the work at the 11th hour (Matthew chapter 20) is paid the same penny that the worker who understood and joined the work early in the morning is paid, in spite of the protests of the early morning worker.”

  • Alison Moore Smith March 14, 2011, 10:20 am

    And I never once thought, nor do I now think, nor have I found it written anywhere or spoken or hinted by any authority that the sealings done posthumously are any less valid or worthy or eternal than one performed for the living.

    As I mentioned earlier, proxy sealings are not binding until/unless the person accepts them. That is a huge, vital difference. They are entirely INvalid unless the person (often a person who wanted nothing to do with sealings while alive) wants it. That’s entirely unknown to us.
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  • Alison Moore Smith March 14, 2011, 10:24 am

    Silver, thanks so much for your input. Good to see you here. 🙂

    You bring up a number of good points. I agree and will even say that it’s not just unrealistic, but unfair to marry someone hoping they will change! Marriage is a choice and, I believe, an acceptance of the person where they stand. It’s asking for constant contention to hope they will be different from the person you CHOSE.

    So good to hear from you, Silver. 🙂
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  • Alison Moore Smith March 14, 2011, 10:35 am

    MB, I agree that we are judged on what we know, but I’d say that within this discussion what is known about the counsel to marry only in the temple is pretty generally distributed.

    You say that my understanding about consequences differs from yours — I don’t know that is the case, given that I don’t have a firm idea of how that works. But I think the pronouncement you made that “God doesn’t work that way” and it’s follow up presumes way more than we actually do know.

    Trust me, I know about sealings. 🙂 I’ve stated my position already and that point is pretty irrefutable, that the proxy sealing isn’t in itself active.

    Like Angie, I tend to think that folks who were close to the gospel and didn’t want any part of it (like my Grandpa Empey) aren’t incredibly likely to become entirely different beings the day after they die.

    There seems to be this general idea among Mormons that the minute people die they are going to say, “Oh, my goodness! The Mormons were right! Sign me up!”

    I just don’t think that’s the case for multiple reasons.

    Example: every single day I read a post or hear someone complain about their terrible jobs and their crummy bosses. Blah blah blah. But when I suggest they start their own businesses so they can BE the boss, they sincerely act like I’m being ludicrous and blowing smoke.

    Having been self-employed for almost 24 years and having run a payroll for well over a decade, of course I know it can be done — and that you can “make your own rules.” But, as much as people complain, MOST people do not WANT to be the owner. They want the PERKS, but not the responsibilities or risk.

    I honestly think “heaven” will be much the same. Lots and lots of people totally content in particular spheres with particular rights/responsibility levels.
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  • Alison Moore Smith March 14, 2011, 10:36 am

    WordPress converts the code to an image. 🙂
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  • Angie March 14, 2011, 12:04 pm

    Doctrinal issues of sealings/accepting the gospel after death aside, I think we really need to consider the practical issues here as well. (SilverRain’s comments fit well here.) Marriage is hard, and raising children is hard. It’s hard when you are completely on the same page with your spouse as far as religion goes. I’m not saying the difficulty of it negates it’s worth, because it certainly doesn’t. But I guess my philosophy is why make something more difficult than it has to be? If you are prepared to fight battles with your spouse over how to raise the children religiously (even if he/she said at the time they would support your religion), accepting of the fact that if you pass away they will most likely not continue to raise your children in the gospel, etc. then by all means marry whomever you want, just be prepared for those aspects of it.

    I think we are also presupposing that there are not enough worthy LDS men out there for all the worthy LDS women. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Sometimes we need a little help in finding one another (my mother-in-law is pretty much responsible for having her son ask me out, for example) but there are good matches out there that don’t require one to lower their standards or expectation of what they want in a spouse. Again, I’m not saying that’s easy, as I certainly had plenty of frustration in the LDS dating world. And there are good men and women out there who are not LDS and shouldn’t be discounted just for that reason. But I certainly would never marry just to marry.

    Someone close to me recently went through a divorce. She didn’t date much before she met her husband, and during their dating there were some serious warning signs about what the future might be with him. But being in her mid-20’s and experiencing her first real relationship, she made the comment that if she didn’t take this chance she would probably never marry or have children. A mutual friend said to her “There are worse things than being single. Like being married to a jerk.”

    During the divorce, which followed 15 years of pure hell and no children, this friend made the comment to me that she wishes she would have listened to that advice. She’s now in her early 40’s, single, will probably never have children. Had she not married the guy would she have had another opportunity with someone more worthy of her? Maybe, and maybe not. But I am absolutely convinced that she would have had a happier life without him than she did with him. All she got for those 15 years were a lot of hard knocks education and a financial disaster (this from an RM/temple marriage but that’s beside the point.)

  • LilyTiger March 14, 2011, 1:57 pm

    Regardless of whether we would personally condone a single sister marrying in the temple, it is critical that sisters who have made that choice are accepted in their wards. We do not know, nor do we need to know, whether they were exceptions to the rule. But exceptions do in fact exist. LDS women I know do not take this decision lightly.

    Dallin H. Oaks said this at a CES fireside on dating (May 2005)
    “As a General Authority, it is my responsibility to preach general principles. When I do, I don’t try to define all the exceptions. There are exceptions to some rules. . . . I only teach the general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility. You must work that out individually between you and the Lord.”

  • Janiel Miller March 14, 2011, 3:23 pm

    And I really don’t think there is anywhere stated in scripture, or mandated by commandment, or conference talk, that women would be better off single their whole lives, than to be married to a good, loving and supportive, non-lds man.

    Actually, I would disagree with this. The only thing our General Authorities have ever said about marriage is that it should be in the temple. Period. We hear it over and over again in every program and pamphlet and talk directed at our youth. Marry in the temple. That implies that you marry in the temple, period. Even if it means being single your whole life. Otherwise they are basically telling the youth that it is important that you marry in the temple–until you reach a certain age. Then it doesn’t matter. And I believe it does matter.

    Now, that said, is it a different thing if you’ve been married and then widowed? If you are still sealed to your deceased spouse then you might feel that it doesn’t matter if you remarry outside the Church. Especially if the new spouse professes to support you and not care what you religion is. But for me, I there would be so many problems with this. 1) As a grandparent, what example have I just set for my grandchildren by marrying outside of the Church? Also, my stepfather has given me and my children blessings before–for which I have been very grateful. I would want my husband to be able to do that. 2) It would be a very big deal to me not to be able to have gospel discussions with my husband. I value his opinions and male perspective. I would deeply miss that and find a pretty major hole in our relationship. 3) This should be number one – but if I am married I want my husband to be able to administer to me should I need it. That is a BIG deal to me. 4) I would miss his priesthood influence in our home. It left when my parents divorced and I seriously missed it. 5) I know people whose spouses started out supporting their religious beliefs and then ended up changing their minds.

    I can’t address what it is like to be single your entire life. I feel that God, as he does in so many other situations, blesses these individuals with what they need, in other ways. Perhaps there is someone out there qualified to address this.

    In short, if the only thing the brethren ever say is that we should marry in the temple, or if we are remarrying, at least to an LDS individual, then I think we can assume that they mean that is what we should do–in every circumstance. That is where the gospel blessings are found.

    In the end, if we are praying about it and are truly willing to do whatever he asks us to do, we’ll be fine.
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  • Angie March 14, 2011, 3:26 pm

    Agree with that, absolutely. And for the most part that support is exactly what I’ve seen.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 14, 2011, 3:04 pm

    Absolutely, LilyTiger. There’s a big difference with discussing general counsel and issues and directing that toward a person’s decisions.

  • Waitedinvain March 14, 2011, 7:23 pm

    As far i can tell, the Church still teaches that one should marry in the temple at all costs. The following quote is from the current YW manual (manual 2) lesson 15:

    “President Spencer W. Kimball told the following true story:
    “A few years ago a young couple who lived in northern Utah came to Salt Lake City for their marriage. They did not want to bother with a temple marriage, or perhaps they did not feel worthy. At any rate, they had a civil marriage. After the marriage they got into their automobile and drove north to their home for a wedding reception. On their way home they had an accident, and when the wreckage was cleared, there was a dead man and a dead young woman. They had been married only an hour or two. Their marriage was ended. They thought they loved each other. They wanted to live together forever, but they did not live the commandments that would make that possible. So death came in and closed that career. They may have been good young people; I don’t know. But they will be angels in heaven if they are. They will not be gods and goddesses and priests and priestesses because they did not fulfill the commandments and do the things that were required at their hands.
    “Sometimes we have people who say, ‘Oh, someday I will go to the temple. But I am not quite ready yet. And if I die, somebody can do the work for me in the temple.’ And that should be made very clear to all of us. The temples are for the living and for the dead only when the work could not have been done. Do you think that the Lord will be mocked and give to this young couple who ignored him, give them the blessings? The Lord said, ‘For all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.’ (D&C 132:7)” (in Conference Report, Japan Area Conference 1975, pp. 61–62).
    Thought questions
    Ask the young women to ponder in their minds the following questions:
    • Is temple marriage important to you? Why?

    • How committed are you to marrying in the temple?

    • Will a young woman who has made a commitment to marry in the temple be more selective of the young men she will date?”

  • Darcee Yates March 15, 2011, 1:51 am

    Waited in Vain– Sorry, I couldn’t help but take a double take at your name. Thank you for the input from the manual. I’m not so good at searching lds. org yet. I searched ‘in vain’ today for something, ANYTHING, to say that it would be O.K. for a single women to accept marriage for time, barring other more promising opportunity and came up with nothing.

    BUT-neither could I find anything to say that a woman would be better off living her whole life single and never have children in this life, rather than being married civilly outside the temple.

    WAITEDINVAIN–I feel like the manual is aiming more toward teaching young women to be worthy of going to the temple and not postponing their worthiness, as illustrated by this line:
    “Oh, someday I will go to the temple. But I am not quite ready yet. And if I die, somebody can do the work for me in the temple.”

    In my original post, you’ll note I was lamenting, young women in the church who have ALREADY GONE to the temple for their own endowment, who are faithful, but as yet have not found a suitable companion to be sealed to.

    It may seem like an easy thing from where I’m sitting(got married in the temple at 20 and been married for 32 years), or from where some of you are sitting, with a husband, or some not a husband but at least children( a tremendous boon in this life. Yes a responsibility too, but one in which the joy outweighs the heartaches or difficulties 10 times over)– but I’ve had some interaction with some pretty fantastic temple recommend carrying single women in the church. And the prospects look bleak. That’s not their word, but mine.

    My heart goes out to them. Every one. Times have changed from when I was single.

  • Daniel March 15, 2011, 2:22 am

    I think that Kimball story is very rude. “prehaps they did not feel worthy” “They thought they loved each other” “They may have been good young people, but I don’t know” He’s just setting up a straw man argument using a situation that he knew nothing about. If their parents or friends are temple worthy, they’ll seal them. If not, someone will. They weren’t mocking God, they were making do with what the lives they had. I don’t believe that God will deny people the Celistial kingdom and the blessings of a sealing because of a car accident.

  • Angie March 15, 2011, 7:01 am

    While to you the quote is about preparing for the temple, for me the essence of it is this:

    “…that should be made very clear to all of us. The temples are for the living and for the dead only when the work could not have been done. Do you think that the Lord will be mocked and give to this young couple who ignored him, give them the blessings? The Lord said, ‘For all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.’ (D&C 132:7)”

    Again, I think we may overestimate the drudgery which we assume single LDS women have. I know many single LDS women in their 30’s and 40’s who live quite fulfilling lives and don’t feel sorry for themselves a bit. The only complaint I’ve heard from any of them is that they regret missing an opportunity for motherhood in this life. However, many of them have found ways to mother and nurture children anyway -they are educators, Primary teachers, aunts, friends. Do they have lonely moments? I’m sure they do, but so do I and I’ve been married for 13 years now. When I was 26 and single was I living a horrible unfulfilled life because there was not a man in it? I would have to say no. There were certainly times I felt lonely or that I wanted a man in my life, but when I look back on that it was more for social and cultural reasons than it was because of something inside of me. Actually, right before I met my husband I just decided to forget about it completely and live my life. Go to grad school. Travel. Work in a fulfilling career. Spend time with my family (which at that time included nieces and nephews who were the children of my younger siblings). In other words, I wasn’t a sad person. I had a good life and mostly fun and fulfilling times. Eventually I did meet a worthy LDS man and we’ve been married now for 13 years – and while I do cherish especially my opportunity to be a mother, I still have times when I fill unfulfilled, lonely, or sad. A man doesn’t fix that.

    I will have to talk to my cousin about this. She’s just a few months younger than I am (I just turned 40) and has never married. I haven’t ever specifically asked her about it but judging by her facebook photos and posts I would say that she is extremely happy and certainly not sitting around waiting for Mr. Right.

    Regarding this:

    “BUT-neither could I find anything to say that a woman would be better off living her whole life single and never have children in this life, rather than being married civilly outside the temple. ”

    -I think that’s because the church is going to teach the ideal and not the exception.

    There have been lots of talks in the last few years (from the local level on up) directed towards men, encouraging them to date and to plan and prepare for marriage. I think our larger problem in the church is not necessarily a lack of men, it’s getting those men to seek family life as their goal. I am surprised when I look at my single LDS (female) friends how many LDS men they are associating with, “hanging out” with, etc. But most of those men don’t really seem to be pursuing an eternal marriage. Not sure what’s up with that but it’s unfortunate.

  • MB March 15, 2011, 8:42 am

    Thanks for the welcome. It’s nice to be here.

  • Darcee Yates March 15, 2011, 9:15 am

    Thank you again for responding. In reality- I really am aligned with each of you in gospel principle. As I’ve pointed out before, I was extremely fortunate as my ‘single years’ only lasted till I was twenty. I didn’t have to figure out what ‘else’ to do with my life, barring the one thing I wanted more than anything else in the world, my strongest urge, that of being a mother.

    And 26- pfft! Though you were single longer than myself – 26 is still a piece of cake nowadays compared to 30 and above. I have personally watched heartache of the 30’s and above crowd. And thought they hide it well in public, in private it is heartwrenching. Always, coming to family gatherings alone, being happy and supportive for all their friends marriages and having babies. Listening to others complain of their trials and childrearing, trials they’d love to tackle and overcome. Taking themselves on vacations, all over the world. Yeah, I’m sure that last one sounds great to you as you wipe the sour milk spit up off your blouse this morning, but heaven ain’t really heaven if you are their alone.

    I think the heartache is far more than you know. But it’s not something you wear on your sleeve.

    If I had a young Laurel now or taught in the young women, I too would teach the ideal, most adamantly. The last time I did teach in young women’s, (10 years ago), I remember teaching on this very topic and having to choose my words very dearly as the girls in my class didn’t all come from the ideal family. 1 of the girl’s parents were going through a temple divorce that very year, and 2 other of the girl’s were step-sisters to each other as their parents, both previously married in the temple, divorced, then married someone else, leaving these girls, I’m sure, with issues of just who they were sealed to. THAT, however is a whole ‘nother’ discussion I won’t even touch. God will decide. I think we all stretch for the ideal. But this world is far from it.

    I don’t know the exact numbers- but Amen- to your comment below!
    ” I think our larger problem in the church is not necessarily a lack of men, it’s getting those men to seek family life as their goal”

  • Darcee Yates March 15, 2011, 9:57 am

    We may not be able to come to a complete agreement of how we would deal (or would have dealt) with our own particular circumstance of an ‘extended’ single state. And why should we completely agree, as we are all so different in our individual circumstance? And the gospel is taught thoughout the world now, not just in the U. S. or Happy Valley. Thus far, I think we have been thinking in terms of an american perspective, forgetting how scarce members and thus opportunities for a suitable temple companion are though out some parts of the world.

    If the very least that comes from this discussion is a greater sensitivity, awareness and inclusion of our single, divorced, widowed, separated, married to non-members, childless–‘not of the norm’ sisters , then that will be a good thing.
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  • Darcee Yates March 15, 2011, 9:57 am

    I have no clue how I made the above BLUE?!
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  • Darcee Yates March 15, 2011, 11:33 am

    Daniel. I have to admit that the story cut me to the quick as well. And I had to ask myself, – is that because I’m so far off base? Am I like Lamen and Lemuel saying that ‘ his words are too hard to bear’?

    It especially got to me because Pres. Kimball was the prophet through most of my ‘growing up’ years. I loved/ love him. His vigor, his personal strength, his counsel- amazing.

    But I find myself asking when I read this story- what about repentance? We know that repentance is difficult in the next life but certainly possible. If each of us had our lives cut short the day after a grave error in judgement, – like say, just hours after you reacted harshly to your children, before you were able to ask their forgiveness, does that erase any and all acts we did before that day? Does it erase the ability to progress one step further in the eternities?

    Just questions.

    Like I said, I think this lesson is geared toward putting up a railing on the cliff to keep people from falling rather than placing an ambulance down in the valley. We can not ‘teach’ – Try for a temple marriage- but if you don’t- Don’t worry, God will forgive.

    Yet we do teach– that only the sin against the Holy Ghost is unforgivable.
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  • Alison Moore Smith March 15, 2011, 11:31 am

    Daniel, let’s be clear. Kimball didn’t say they would be denied the blessings because of a car accident. (Talk about a straw man!) He said they would be denied the blessings of a sealing because they chose not to be sealed.
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  • Angie March 15, 2011, 12:40 pm

    Regarding Kimball’s words. I agree that the example he gave sounded harsh. However, I understand the sentiment behind it – what I take from it is that 2 young people had a choice to marry in the temple or not to (in his example I’m assuming both were LDS as he made the distinction that their not going to the temple was a choice.) So, either there was a choice not to marry in the temple for whatever reason, or they were not worthy to do so. The reason doesn’t really matter – the point is when you have the knowledge and understanding to complete your own ordinances you should complete your own ordinances rather than waiting until after you die and hoping someone will do it for you. So using this same example of this young couple, to me it really depends on their reason for not being married in the temple. If it was worthiness, then I think they’ll work that out, obtain the forgiveness they need, and their posthumous sealing which I’m sure was done by their family will be in full effect. However, if it was a choice not to do it for whatever reason (doctrinal, fear of offending someone close to them who couldn’t attend the temple, etc.) those same feelings that guided the decision then will guide the decision hereafter. That’s just my opinion so take it for what it’s worth.

    Now, as for feeling other’s pain. No, I was not exactly an old maid at 26 (well, a month shy of 27…) but I was definitely over the average. I think I did feel that pressure, sadness, lonelinesss, fear of never marrying or being a mom that women in their 30’s do. Like I said, my belief is it was more social and cultural than it was really something inside of me. In other words, I didn’t feel that I was less of a person or that I would be forever unfulfilled if I never married…I just felt that getting married was what I was “supposed” to do , and what was wrong with me that I didn’t really want to commit to anyone at that point in my life (i.e. why can’t I find the “right person”).

    Keep in mind that most of my roommates were also older than your average coed – in fact in my last apartment I was the youngest one. Most of these women have never married and we are still close. They do share with me their frustrations occasionally. Most of the single women I associate with are in their 30’s and 40’s. I know that’s very different than being single in your 20’s, and while I don’t live it , I do feel like I have a pretty good glimpse into it.

    The problem here is we can’t really judge another person’s happiness. Just I can’t judge theirs, they can’t judge mine. My marriage hasn’t always been easy, and while my single friends might look at my marriage and be jealous of my RM, well-educated, bishopric member husband – they don’t know the times I’ve felt more alone than I ever did being single because while there was someone else in the house with me sometimes he felt like a stranger. You know? On the outside all might seen happy but there are a lot of very lonely and difficult marriages too. And there are situations with our children that are heartbreaking at best, as we realize our weaknesses and failures as parents and see that manifested in our children’s behavior and decisions. So while I completely agree with you that I might not know my single friends deepest sorrows and regrets, I don’t think they (or anyone else) know mine either. My point is simply that we shouldn’t just assume all single women are miserable. I don’t think they are. At least not any more than your average Mormon “desperate housewife”. We all have our struggles and loneliness. True, our challenges are very different but does that mean mine are easier because I’m married or theirs are easier because they are not? I think it really varies by individual.

    I completely agree with you that this discussion will hopefully help us be more accepting of each other whatever our circumstance: single and want to be single, single and want to be married, married and want to be married, or married and want to be single…and everything in between.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 15, 2011, 11:51 am

    Having married at 21, you are correct that I haven’t experienced the heartache of being single very long. But gospel principles aren’t founded on emotion. And note that diminishing the pain of being 26 by comparing it to be 30 could be turned back by those older. My dear brother didn’t marry until he was bearing down on 50. (Yes, in the temple.) And not because he was loving bachelor life. I guess everything else is a “piece of cake”?

    Listening to others complain of their trials and childrearing, trials they’d love to tackle and overcome.

    While I think we all need to put our challenges into perspective, this obviously goes both ways. Raising kids is hard. To use this fact to prove some kind of hardship to those who can’t have kids isn’t reasonable. Are you having trouble keeping up on laundry? Well at least you have clothes! Are you having trouble understanding the course text? Well at least you can go to school! Are you sad your spouse died? Well at least you had one! (See the problem?)

    Taking themselves on vacations, all over the world. Yeah, I’m sure that last one sounds great to you as you wipe the sour milk spit up off your blouse this morning, but heaven ain’t really heaven if you are their alone.

    Here you take the absolute reverse position. YES! Traveling around the world is BLESSING! So why are you complaining that it isn’t perfect? If singles can say that the traveling is great, but it would be better with a companion, then certainly parents can say they love their kids, but it’s really hard sometimes. Right?

    If I had a young Laurel now or taught in the young women, I too would teach the ideal, most adamantly.

    So you’re lying to them? That’s a sincere question. You seem to be saying that you think the position is wrong, but you’re going to “go along with it” anyway. IMO, if it’s wrong, you shouldn’t be teaching it.

    The YW manuals are horrendously old and outdated. If something that was taught that I fundamentally thought was wrong, I didn’t go there. To be clear, I didn’t go ELSEWHERE with it, but I taught the OTHER stuff in the lesson that was appropriate. (And example was a quote telling members not to marry those of other races. OK, we didi talk about it — we had a real mix of races — but we talked about why that counsel was sound in the culture of the time it was given, but why it was no longer counseled, due to the change in culture. (Meaning how mixed race children would be treated, etc.))

    The last time I did teach in young women’s, (10 years ago), I remember teaching on this very topic and having to choose my words very dearly as the girls in my class didn’t all come from the ideal family.

    Honestly, I disagree with this approach. I had a very similar situation in Boca, with a huge group of YW with only TWO who lived with two parents they were sealed to. But that is’t the point of the lessons. It DOES “feel bad” when your family isn’t sealed BECAUSE it IS important. It’s not just some “don’t worry, later it will all be fixed” thing. Avoiding the truth in order to save feelings isn’t appropriate, IMO.

    Instead, we did talk about the sadness and discomfort that accompanied those less than ideals. More to the point, we emphasized that these girls had no control over their childhood families, but were still in a position to DECIDE how they formed their ADULT families. Only with the correct info — with the TRUTH, could they make good decisions going forward.

    P.S. I think the blue comments happen when you are LOGGED IN to WordPress AND you are the author of the post itself. If you comment on your post while logged out — or, I think, when you reply to another comment — they are white.
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  • Darcee Yates March 15, 2011, 2:18 pm

    Alison- Sometimes I think you miss what I say entirely. That could be my fault. I try hard to condense my words, and in so doing I may leave myself open to having you make assumptions as to my intent.

    For instance- Your Assuming that I would lie to the young women. If I am called to a position. I will teach what is in the manual. I don’t think that is lieing, that’s simply what I’ve been called to do. And as has been stated earlier here, we need to teach generalities, not the exception. Though I may have differing feelings concerning some things, I try not to teach the gospel according to Darcee. I will teach- thus sayeth the scriptures and thus sayeth the Prophet and I don’t think that makes me a lier. Why? Because I believe the gospel is true. If I haven’t wrapped my head around every word that ever was written in any manual published by the church, doesn’t make me a heretic or a lier. I still believe the gospel is true.

    PFFT- piece of cake — this actually got the reaction I was aiming for- if 26 is hard, waiting and wondering if you will be a married and a mother in this life-then 27 is harder, and 28 harder still, and 29, yep harder still. Every year that goes by, they can feel their biological clock ticking. They question, they wonder, they hurt. And the knowledge of the gospel doesn’t make the pain any less real.

    I can hardly be called a world traveler, though I have visited Ireland (my personal favorite) and a few other countries. I can assure you travel is not a replacement for motherhood. And as a consolation prize it stinks. In fact, in my opinion, ANYTHING offered as a consolation prize for being a mother- stinks.

    “Raising kids is hard. To use this fact to prove some kind of hardship to those who can’t have kids isn’t reasonable.”

    I am well aware that raising kids is hard. And the challenge doesn’t end when they are twenty. Being a mother comes down to the very core of what and who I am. The night I found out my son was addicted to herione, as I lay curled up in a ball in my husbands arms, my mind body and soul wracked with more pain than I ever thought possible, the thought went through my head, ‘if you had known this would happen, would you have refused to be a mother’

    NO, NO, NO. I wouldn’t give up one single day of motherhood, it is that important to me. It’s probably for that very reason that I have no interest in the Priesthood. What would I care for having it?, compared to what I feel for motherhood?

    To put your mind at ease, my son is now 5 years clean from drugs. And the love between is still intense.

    Can we agree, not to agree?
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  • Darcee Yates March 15, 2011, 3:40 pm

    Why can’t I let this freeze over??

    I still don’t believe teaching from the manual constitutes either lying or giving a false impression. When we are called to be Sunday School, Relief Society teacher, ect in the church, we are called to teach what is printed in the manuel. When opinions fly in classes I’ve been in, the instructor will usually brings things back to point by going-“let me read you what is printed in the manual” . I don’t think this discredits him or makes him/her or me a lier by offering the manuel’s words rather than our own interpretation. In fact, I think it would be wrong to do otherwise. Yet, I think each and every person in the class room will take home with them what there own experience and interaction with Heavenly Father has taught them in this life about the point in question, along with the ideas and experiences gleaned from others. Kind of like the Elephant and the blind man. Some things we know by touch, and some things we know just by hearing about what others say they have touched/experienced.

    And you are right, I probably have a severe adverse reaction to the word lier– it ranked right up there with stupid- when I was growing up.

    My point about being 26 or older- is that we(the ones married at an early age) and the ones fanning ourselves with the tail of the elephant are in no position to tell those holding up the trunk how long they a supposed to hold it before their strength gives out and they need a little breeze.
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  • Alison Moore Smith March 15, 2011, 2:44 pm

    The trouble I’m having with this comment is that you seem to be saying that marrying outside the temple is a sin — something to be repented of — yet you’re promoting it.

    If it’s wrong, then do circumstances make it right? (And if so, why the need to repent?)

    Maybe a pertinent question is: How much repenting can we do after death?
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  • Alison Moore Smith March 15, 2011, 3:00 pm

    Darcee, you might be interested in reading this thread about lying. 🙂 I use McKay’s definition of “giving a false impression.”

    If you teach what’s in the lesson, there is a strong implication that you advocate it’s truthfulness. If you don’t really believe it, but allow that impression, you are lying.

    Please understand that I don’t think lying is always bad — so whatever baggage you attach to that word doesn’t necessarily exist for me — but I think it’s important to acknowledge openly what we’re doing in such cases. If you’re going to give the YW a false impression (you can address that idea), then you’ve got to be clear that you are doing so, why you’re doing so, and how you justify it.

    Don’t you see a problem with the idea that “thus saith the scriptures and prophets” is DIFFERENT from “the gospel according to Darcee”?

    If the “piece of cake” comment got the reaction you were going for, I’m unsure how it supports your point. Is less expected of us the older we get? Do principles and standards change? Why?

    You missed my point about travel. I didn’t say it was “consolation prize” for motherhood. I pointed out that you use contradictory arguments in your comment. (Complaints about parenthood vs. complaint about travel alone.)

    Can we agree, not to agree?

    Honestly, I don’t know what that means. Never have unless it means “stop talking about it.” 🙂 And that happens when hell freezes over. 😉
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  • Darcee Yates March 15, 2011, 4:08 pm

    Angie- Thank you for your joining in the discussion, and I sincerely hope you don’t take offense to my phfft. Like yourself I do know a number of singles. When they were 26 they were mostly dating and happy but even at 26, some had begun to look around uneasily from time to time and wonder and yes, worry, noticing their own single state.. …

    Two years later they were absolutely OVER the whole dating thing and just wanted to be done with it and married already. And when their fears overcame them, they would break down with grief at their unmarried condition. They spend half of their energy, it seems, buoying each other up and out of depression and trying to believe in their own worth and looking for ways to distract themselves from the one thing they appear to have no control over. Their grief doesn’t happen just once, because it doesn’t ever completely go away. They wake up every morning alone. But they are counseled to marry so they have to just keep putting themselves in the right place and right time and making themselves available and hoping– and then next year rolls around and they’re still single. Giving up hope would be less emotionally exhaustive. But giving up is wrong so they do hope and every day and month and year that goes by feels more desperate.

    I’m really not trying to be mellow dramatic.

    I agree, there have been times I’ve felt alone, even in my marriage relationship. But I could count those times on one hand. My feeling of being alone doesn’t happen every single morning like theirs. And that’s saying something since I wake up alone in a different city 4 out of 7 mornings every week.
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  • Darcee Yates March 15, 2011, 4:23 pm

    Aha! that’s what I want to know! Do you think it is a sin not to marry in the temple?

    I think it is a personal decision that each most make based on their own opportunities in this life. A decision that Christ will be the judge of as to the intents, purposes and desires of the individual. And as I listen to other people’s interpretation of the gospel and who will be where and punished for what, I always know an immense sense of gratitude that Christ reigns and is Judge and intermediary with the father.

    Do I think Heavenly Father wants an eternal, celestial marriage for all of his children? Absolutely.

    Are conditions on earth today such, or have they ever been in the history of man that this was a possibility for everyone, right now, in the moment? Maybe in the city of Enoch. I can’t think, off hand of any other time.

    In the meantime we must live an earthly existence.
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  • Angie March 15, 2011, 6:19 pm

    I think we just see this differently. The singles I know are generally not miserable people. They have hard moments but most of them I’ve spoken with about this come to a point where they know they most likely won’t marry and resolve to enjoy their life no matter what. They don’t sit and cry and wallow at every birthday knowing that another year has passed without finding true love. Sincerely they don’t.

    I have a really good friend who was my roommate at the time I met my husband – at that time she was 29 and I was 26. We commiserated of course about our sad situations (sometimes…we also had a LOT of fun), I went on to marry the next year and she is still single (which would make her now 43). We are in touch and she tells me she is genuinely happy. She’s the most fabulous educator I know and teaches for DODS overseas. She has fun, helps her friends plan weddings, throws parties, wears pink, and lives her life with joy. I’m sure she, like all of us, have lonely moments…but I would never describe her as depressed or loathing her sorry state of singledom. She is pretty typical of the single ladies I know, some of whom never married and more who are divorced (thus, most of those women did have children at least, which I think is a huge part of the equation here.)

    Anyway, my point is just that there are happy people in every walk of life, and depressed people in every walk of life. I know plenty of depressed LDS married women (including myself at one point) and plenty of happy single ones. I just would not presume to know what is in someone’s heart (unless they told me, of course…and from those who HAVE told me I find single women to be generally happy. If they found someone that met their needs they would certainly like to marry – but they aren’t concerned enough about it to settle – and yes I thinking giving up a temple marriage would be considered settling to most of them.)

    Just thought of another example. My dad has 2 cousins, sisters, who never married. These are women who are now in their 60’s. They were always the life of the party at family gatherings, had successful careers, a wide circle of friends, and a positive outlook on life. They used to joke that their husband’s were killed in the war. Then when someone would say they were sorry they would laugh and say “the war in heaven”. Granted they were not my best friends or anything but I did live with my grandma for a few years and they used to come visit with us a few times a month and we had a blast when we were all single ladies ages 22, 75, and 40-ish. They enjoyed life then and as far as I know they enjoy it now. I really have come to believe that happiness is a choice you make – it has nothing to do with having a man in your life. That’s what I think anyway.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 15, 2011, 8:38 pm

    Darcee, I understand the difference between teaching doctrine and opinion. The problem is when the prophetic counsel contradicts what you seem to believe.

    I can teach, for example, a lesson on the Word of Wisdom without going on about veganism or caffeine or something beyond the WoW that I might believe, without “giving a false impression.”

    It’s much more difficult to teach the same lesson without “lying” if I think, for example, that it’s really just fine to drink alcohol in moderation, but that the “ideal” is there to keep us from getting into trouble with alcoholism or inappropriate behavior while drunk.

    Does that make sense? The position you’re proposing in the OP isn’t an idea that goes beyond what our direct counsel has been, it is contradictory to it. It is mutually exclusive. You can’t follow the counsel to only marry “in the Lord’s way” and also choose to marry a non-member outside the temple.

    That’s why I do think it “gives a false impression” to teach that “ideal” when you don’t really think it is generally applicable.

    We do have counsel (such as mother’s working outside the home) that explicitly allows for exceptions. I don’t know of a time when this counsel has. Same with other saving ordinances.

    I think it’s fallacious to take the position that only those in a particular position can speak to the doctrine and counsel on a given matter. Extend that to it’s logical conclusion. Only murderers can decide whether murdering is appropriate?

    But if it’s true, then you should absolutely be promoting women having the priesthood. For how can any man tell any woman what to do? 🙂
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  • Darcee Yates March 16, 2011, 1:28 am

    I disagree. I’m done.

  • Vivek Parmar March 16, 2011, 9:46 am

    No i do not wait, only i have to find right kind of girl
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  • Angie March 16, 2011, 10:24 am


  • Alison Moore Smith March 16, 2011, 9:54 am

    LOL Well, finding the right girl is good, Vivek! But since your Hindu, this is a different kind of temple all together. 🙂 Here’s hoping you find the perfect girl for you. 😀

  • Janiel Miller March 16, 2011, 4:25 pm

    Awesome end to the whole thing.
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  • valrose81 March 19, 2011, 12:28 am

    yikes!! Thats taking it a bit far.

  • DeAnn March 20, 2011, 4:16 am

    I hope that desperation does not make one disregard the hard truth. Pay attention to Heresies 4 and 5 below. Then end result is that you will run the risk of having a man that knows the truth (after having lived with you for years and learned about it) and never accepts it in THIS LIFE. And then what you do have? Maybe God will allow YOU a second chance at Celestial marriage with another?

    The Seven Deadly Heresies
    Elder Bruce R. McConkie
    June 1, 1980

    (let’s cut to the ones that are relevant, 4 and 5):

    Heresy four: There are those who believe that the doctrine of salvation for the dead offers men a second chance for salvation.

    I knew a man, now deceased, not a member of the Church, who was a degenerate old reprobate who found pleasure, as he supposed, in living after the manner of the world. A cigarette dangled from his lips, alcohol stretched his breath, mind profane and bawdy stories defiled his lips. His moral status left much to be desired.

    His wife was a member of the Church, as faithful as she could be under the circumstances. One day she said to him, “You know the Church is true; why won’t you be baptized?” He replied,

    “Of course I know the Church is true, but I have no intention of changing my habits in order to join it. I prefer to live the way I do. But that doesn’t worry me in the slightest. I know that as soon as I die, you will have someone go to the temple and do the work for me and everything will come out all right in the end anyway.”

    He died and she had the work done in the temple. We do not sit in judgment and deny vicarious ordinances to people. But what will it profit him?

    There is no such thing as a second chance to gain salvation. This life is the time and the day of our probation. After this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. For those who do not have an opportunity to believe and obey the holy word in this life, the first chance to gain salvation will come in the spirit world. If those who hear the word for the first time in the realms ahead are the kind of people who would have accepted the gospel here, had the opportunity been afforded them, they will accept it there. Salvation for the dead is for those whose first chance to gain salvation is in the spirit world. in the revelation recently added to our canon of holy writ these words are found:

    Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; For 1, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts. [D&C 137:7-9]

    There is no other promise of salvation than the one recited in that revelation. Those who reject the gospel in this life and then receive it in the spirit world go not to the celestial, but to the terrestrial kingdom.

    Heresy five: There are those who say that there is progression from one kingdom to another in the eternal worlds or that lower kingdoms eventually progress to where higher kingdoms once were.

    This belief lulls men into a state of carnal security. It causes them to say,

    “God is so merciful; surely he will save us all eventually; if we do not gain the celestial kingdom now, eventually we will; so why worry?”

    It lets people live a life of sin here and now with the hope that they will be saved eventually.

    The true doctrine is that all men will be resurrected, but they will come forth in the resurrection with different kinds of bodies-some celestial, others terrestrial, others telestial, and some with bodies incapable of standing any degree of glory. The body we receive in the resurrection determines the glory we receive in the kingdoms that are prepared.

    Of those in the telestial world it is written:

    “And they shall be servants of the Most High, but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end” (D&C 76:112).

    Of those who had the opportunity to enter into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage in this life and who did not do it the revelation says:.

    Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven; which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.

    For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all etemity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever. [D&C 132:16-17]

    They neither progress from one kingdom to another, nor does a lower kingdom ever get where a higher kingdom once was. Whatever eternal progression there is, it is within a sphere.

  • MB March 20, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Whoa. I am old enough to remember that talk. It was hugely controversial and not in harmony with all the various thoughts on the subject held by the other members of the Quorum of the Twelve at that time.

    May I quote from a recent (May 2007) statement by the church to the national press:

    “Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A…statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official church publications. This doctrine resides in the four ‘standard works’ of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith.”

    So, Elder McConkie may have said it, and you may believe it and that’s all right with me. But it is not church doctrine, it does not fit the criteria of counsel and authority iterated above, and we should not quote any of the things in that talk as binding or an ultimate authoritative statement on the subject any more than we should quote, as authoritative doctrine any of the myriad of other thoughtful, considered devotionals given by apostles at BYU over the years.

    Be careful.

  • Lisa March 21, 2011, 4:32 am

    I think the use of the term “repent” has created an incorrect view of this choice as a “sin”. It may be against counsel, but not all counsel constitutes “sin”. Counsel can be guidance, not necessarily commandments.

    I heard a talk once at a conference that described our individual paths in life as one that we should be constantly progressing and moving toward perfection…never compare yourself to another’s worthiness. As long as you are continually striving to be better than you were the day before, you are on the right track.

    All of our choices have consequences, but to say that this particular choice is a sin, is a little hard to swallow. I personally have a father that was not a member when my parents married, and we went together to be sealed as a family when I was a child. I don’t believe that was a sin my mother had to repent of…she just had to work with my dad to be ready to get to that place where they were personally ready. Not everyone will be ready for the temple when they are ready for marriage.

    And, in response to an earlier tangent about the proxy sealings and such…I do have a more optimistic view of the acceptance of these ordinances by the people they have been done for. I can’t believe that the Lord would create this whole system for such a small return. Also, to that end, while the choices are ours to make, I agree that the Lord also puts people and situations in our path to help us get there. He is a God of love, and mercy, and if we do all we can, He will help us through.

    We can only do good by remembering that while this has been an interesting discussion, it is not ours to judge anyway. I have several sisters in my Relief Society that have varying situations with non-member or inactive husbands, and they are some of the strongest members, raising their children to be missionaries and go through the temple themselves.

  • Silvy March 23, 2011, 1:21 am

    This has been a very thought provoking article and thread. From where I am/have been standing I have been able to have a different perspective.

    As Darcy mentioned the Church is worldwide but the density of menmbers is not. And the consequences are more far reaching than we realise. From the group of Young Women (small in comparison to the States) I am the only one left (still) active in the Church. The fact that there were multiple YW to each YM all through our youth has a lot to do with. And the fact that we were counseled not to marry outside our “culture/nationality” made things even harder

    This has changed with the church instituting cros country programms to help young single adults (too late for our generation)

    The effects I am talking about and the leadership of the church is trying to address is that people either stayed single (no children and continuity) or married outside the church and eventually left (no children and continuity)

    As for me I personally struggle with this as there is a lot of joy while serving in the church but there is a LOT of heartache we choose to ignore. Being single in a couple/family oriented church is tough. You are (unconciously) made to feel you do not fit in (another reason people either leave or hesitate to join)

    Still there is a lot of joy serving the Lord no matter and I am convinced His healing powers make up a whole lot. However just as a single (never married) person cannot know how it feels like to be married and have children. The married person has long forgotten and/or cannot realise the feelings of endlessly trying and/or losing hope, self esteem etc (not that being married just for the sake of it is something to aspire to)

    These are difficult times and as our paths/circumstances are as varied as there are individuals, there is no substitute for personal revelation. There never was, but especially now we need it more then ever. The Lord does know best and there is no substitute for paying the price to have His guidance. That is the most sure way no matter how it looks on the outside

    Keep up the good work


  • Wendy March 24, 2011, 9:08 am

    At 32, having been married in the temple with 3 kids, My sister’s husband left her. Her life was hard but she went to single adult activities and met a lot of strange men who were single for a reason as well as a very nice non member man and his two friends. They went to the singles activities because the women were wholesome and good and they were tired of barroom fare. Eventually she fell in love with this non Mormon man and married him. She continued to pray and have home evening and attend meetings and teach primary. She never “tried” to convert her husband. She just lived the gospel . He would come to church sometimes and was a webelos leader. Finally a home teacher asked him why he wasn’t baptized. He said no one had asked him to get baptized. He took the discussions, was baptized, took my sister to the temple and was sealed to her and their two children one year later. I know this is kind of a Cinderella story but I also believe that by not letting the church become a bone of contention, but just living what you know to be true, made all the difference in his conversion and their family’s eternal prospects.

  • Carlita April 20, 2011, 9:14 pm

    I’ll be honest. Unless I prayed and was told that it was the right thing to do to marry a non-Mormon, I think I would be just fine being single for mortality as long as I’m being faithful to my covenants and keeping the commandments. Heavenly Father will reward obedience and patience. So until I do have children of my own, whether in this life or the next, I can wait and enjoy my nieces and nephews. Mortality is such a short time. I know that Heavenly Father leads people to the church and that He will bless me for being righteous by giving me an active LDS husband, because that is His plan.
    So just be patient, focus on what you can control, cultivate your talents, be righteous, and take advantage of opportunities to date worthy LDS men.
    It’s hard, but it’s never too hard.

  • Christian May 3, 2011, 4:06 pm

    I agree with the Angie’s description about singles and happiness, several times I met singles that didn´t married and live a plenty life (men or women). Other situation is when a girl reject o refuses to get married because she feels too young to get married, pursuit profesional goals or be so exigent about wedding reception, and after some years feels she never will get married or there are nobody worthy.

  • Tracy Keeney May 18, 2011, 6:58 pm

    I’ll be honest– I haven’t read through ALL the responses yet– probably about half of them– but I have to run and want to respond– so excuse me if I repeat something someone has already posted that I’m unware of.
    But so far– through what I’ve read, no one’s mentioned the consequences in THIS life. Yes– a non-member spouse MIGHT eventually join the church, which of course, would be wonderful. And in the hereafter, if the family is sealed, them it’s sealed. The problem is– what happens with the children in the meantime? I’ll be very honest– I can’t think of ANY friends or church acquaintences who married non-members who raised stalwart children with unfailing testimonies. Understand, I’m not saying they don’t exist, I just can’t think of any that I know. And of course, even fully active, temple going parents have children who struggle. But the chances of that happening increase with a non-member or inactive spouse. Yes, IF in the end, the spouse joins and the marriage is sealed, then that’s great. But how much do the children lose in the meantime? THIS LIFE is important, too. THIS is where all the growth and development happens. I also wonder about the example it sets. If it wasn’t THAT important to mom (or dad) — important, but not important ENOUGH, that they chose to forgo the temple wedding and take a chance on the HOPE that it would eventually happen, then why should the parents expect any more from the children?
    Understand, I HAVE seen member/non-member marriages where the spouse DOES join the church and the family was eventually sealed–and they’ve enjoyed happy, successful marriages. But the children DID lose something in the interim.

  • GenBuff2005 May 21, 2011, 7:20 pm


    I’ve read ALL of the discussions. They’re all excellent. I just wanted to say that I’m single, 46 and have been single forever. Not complaining here, but just thought I’d share some thoughts here. There are many of singles who are single not by choice. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I dated every year, but as I got older in my late 30’s, the availability of men was harder to find and super hard at 40’s. I have gone to single wards and tried online LDS dating sites. Please do not take this wrong, but wanted to add that dating can be very exhausting because no matter how hard you want to make it work whether the person is a member or not, it never works out for you. I have come to realize that HF has a plan for me – his plan is not for me to marry in this life. And this is not my choice. I didn’t plan on being single this long. HF has control in our “destiny” – not sure if this is the right word, but it seems that way to me. Please know that many singles both men and women are trying to follow the prophet’s counsel, but many remain single – probably because the Lord has a plan for them and it isn’t the right time yet as is in my case. I know a woman in my former ward who is in her early 60’s and she knows she will not marry in this life because her PB clearly defines her mission is …” help sisters in distress.” I believe I have a mission to fulfill here on earth and this is why I’m single. But we are a choice generation and we need to stand up for what’s right and do your best on Earth.

  • Ryan March 27, 2012, 3:39 pm

    Endure to the end means to the end. We are eternal creatures having a mortal experience. We have been commanded to “be ye perfect even as your father in heaven is perfect” we have to go to the temple to do that. By willingly marrying outside of the temple at any age is a sin that takes two people to repent of. You are quite literally giving your agency and eternal welfare to someone else.

    Is it fair many wonderful men and women dont find an eternal companion in this life. No. Just as it is not fair some have major mental and physical handicaps. These difficulties do not give us the right to pick and choose wich commandements we can keep.
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  • Sister Yearsley May 25, 2016, 2:00 am

    I understand the sense of urgency young adults and older adults feel in relation to marriage and family. We all can relate to that feeling. We have hopes, dreams, and plans and we sincerely wish them to be fulfilled in the best possible way. Our happily ever afters are all alike in that sense no matter the aspiration. Now that I am close to fifty I see things with a bit more objectivity than at twenty but with no less depth or sincerity. In contrast to the youthful anxiety over finding ‘the one’ I think very often of the eternal significance of marriage and particularly of the story of Abraham and Sarah who waited for god to fulfill his promise for hundreds of years. How many of us would be willing to wait that long? I think of the length of the millennium. I conclude from my vantage point that I would be single and wait for a marriage that was ordained rather than accept a commitment that was not what I hoped for. I think life holds much more richness than the bleak picture some paint of a single life in lived in worthiness and good standing. I think most of the anxiety comes from not knowing what eternity holds and thinking we might miss out on something. We won’t. We won’t miss out on anything good and we may miss out on much that is heartbreaking and tragic. A marriage made in heaven and ordained of God is worth waiting for even if it is a thousand years in the making! Children given to that union are born in the covenant are given their blessing and birthright as every mother and father would wish. That is a gift every mother and father can give with the highest duty, obligation, and purest of love toward their children. I think that is quite possibly the greatest reason to wait. If you can bring your children into a perfect world, and raise them in the most gracious environment with an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled who would not wish to wait as long as it takes and to prepare for it as long as necessary? Yes, I would wait for my fiancee to progress in his testimony, or for a proper endowment, if the investment is in an eternal commitment to children.

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