Note: This question has been adapted from a Mormon young single adult Relief Society dinner discussion to fit the format of this column.
When dating, do you automatically discard the guy who isn't a member or who can't take you to the temple? He loves you, he treats you well, he makes you feel good and he respects your faith. You love him, you feel connected to him and cared for by him but he cannot take you to the temple. So, what now?
SLC YSA Women
Dear SLC YSA Women,
This was a great discussion with strong and lively opinions. A person's journey to the temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a deeply personal and spiritual one, so it can be an emotional topic.
Some women felt that if the temple is your goal, then you would never be happy with a man who couldn’t take you there. Others felt like shared religions and/or standards were just one piece to a “successful marriage” equation, and even others expressed the notion that they don’t want to put pressure on a relationship by always expecting his/her partner to change for them.
Like I said, very lively discussion!
We hear the phrase “choose someone who will take you to the temple,” and I’ve always loved that counsel. It evokes this imagery of a princess being led by the hand to one of the most sacred and beautiful places on the earth and reminds us that we are daughters of a Heavenly Father who wants the best for us.
During this conversation, however, I started to imagine something new. What if the man you love doesn’t know the way to the temple? Doesn’t know why he would even want to go there? And therefore can’t lead you? Do you give up on the “fairy tale”? Or does the story just change a little bit?
When trying to reach any destination, if you’re the one who knows the way, you can speak up and say so, meaning: If he can’t lead you, you lead him. Or if you both aren’t sure, then walk together, side-by-side, learning as you go.
The important thing is, as a couple, having an eternal family as your goal and relying on your Father in Heaven. Maybe your path won’t look the same as everyone else’s, but it will be yours and it will be eternal. I’m sure it will take honesty in the relationship and time, effort and prayer (progression always does), but you don't need to automatically discard someone because they can't currently take you to the temple. You can lead the way, and your leadership will bless him and generations to follow.
This goes for the ladies and the gents.
Readers: This is just one perspective; what's yours? Leave your thoughts in the comments section and interact with other "Ask Angela" readers on our Facebook page. To submit a topic of your own, email [email protected]
Advice columnist Angela Trusty answers questions about a variety of topics, including the Mormon young single adult experience. She is published weekly in the Deseret News and Washington Times. @angelatrusty email: [email protected]