“You’re getting married this April?! How long have you been dating?”
I moved to Boston in September to start a new job. Two days later I met my future husband. Two days after that, he asked me out. Five months later we were engaged. Three months after that we were married. Yeah, it happened pretty quickly. Many of my coworkers and friends have been asking questions about dating, engagement, and marriage for Latter-day Saints since I’m the only Mormon they know. For example; they’ve asked how our parents feel about our short courtship and what Mormon weddings are like. So, I’ll tell you. I can’t speak for all Latter-day Saints, but I can tell you my experiences and perspectives.
First of all, dating. Although I was open to casually dating friends of other faiths, I was most interested in dating other Mormons. Because being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affects so many aspects of life, I wanted to be able to share the same faith and background as my future spouse. When I met my husband, I wasn’t necessarily interested right away. But as I got to know him, I could see we viewed life the same way, valued the same things, and had similar life goals because we shared the same faith. He is from Europe and I was brought up in the United States, but the commonality of our faith gave us a great foundation on which to build.
Next, short courtship. My coworkers have been surprised that it took under eight months from meeting to marriage. I think the reason it happened relativity quickly is because Mormons believe in what we call personal revelation. I pray and read scriptures daily. In prayer, I really feel that I’m talking to God and in scripture study and meditation, I really feel communication from God in response. Over time, I’ve learned how God communicates with me and with practice, I’ve gained confidence to follow that. After only a few dates with my husband, I was reflecting on our relationship on my way to work. I loved spending time with him, and already I could tell we had very compatible backgrounds, attitudes, and goals. I felt peaceful about moving forward and opening up more to him. As we continued to date, things continued to make sense in my mind and I felt peace in my heart as I prayed. After just a couple of months, I knew he was the man I wanted to marry.
Next, short engagement. We were engaged the end of January and married mid-April. Why so quickly? For a number of reasons, primarily, to help us focus more on the marriage and less on the wedding. Marriage is making a commitment to your spouse and to God. Though celebrating is appropriate, it isn’t meant to just be a big, expensive party that overshadows the significance of starting a new family. My husband and I spent more time planning our future together than on planning the color of the napkins and the type of flowers. Actually, I was lucky that my mother did almost all of the planning on the other side of the country so my focus could be elsewhere, on more important things.