My Story

“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.

The actual Mormon wedding ceremony takes place inside a temple. Above is the Boston temple, picture from lds.org.

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.

What are Mormon weddings like? The reception in the evening looked similar to many other weddings–all our family and friends, food, wedding cake, white dress, suits, gifts, first dance, flowers, music, etc. But the actually wedding ceremony that took place that morning was unique. Only our immediate family members were present in a room inside the Jordan River Temple. I have never felt so close to God and so full of light and peace than I did then making sacred promises to my husband before God. “When a man and woman enter one of our holy temples to be married, they covenant (or promise) they will stay together forever—on earth and in heaven after they die, if they are faithful to each other and their promises to the Lord.” We both knew this wasn’t just until we can’t get along or until we get sick of each other, this was forever.

And how did our parents feel about all of this? Both families are active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and both families were supportive and excited. Our parents knew we were making decisions based on personal revelation, and they could trust that. Even though I met my future in-laws only two days before the wedding (since they live in Europe), I immediately felt accepted and loved by them. Despite living on different continents in different cultures, we share the same faith, and that made all the difference.

8 thoughts on “My Story

  1. Emily Roska

    As a fellow believer I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. My husband and I met in June of 2003 and were married in January of 2004. Many people believed that it may have been too fast but I knew very early on that he was my best friend and I couldn’t imagine a life better than being with him forever. More than 7 years later I still feel that every day. I’m thrilled beyond words that MJ (love ya) has found this as well.

    Reply
  2. Emily L.

    MJ, Thanks for sharing your story! I think you’ve done a beautiful job describing both the emotional and rational part of such an important decision.

    Reply
  3. Kandou Erik

    I’m very happy to see people being able to get together and get married. Two marriages happening in our ward — it just gives me hope that we’ll meet someone, especially someone who shares the same faith as us.

    Liz and I miss you guys!

    Reply
  4. Erica Powell

    Thanks for the post MJ. I think I learned or re-learned some things. We ought to talk sometime about life. I miss you.

    Reply
  5. Smita Kothari

    I am from India and not a mormon. Mine was an arranged marriage, that is my husband and I were introduced by our families. Over a cumulative of less than five hours of meeting, we made the leap of faith. We are happily married for the last four years now and I think sharing the same faith and community has definitely made the transition easier. Thanks!

    Reply

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