Navigating interfaith marriage is a search for common ground

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  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    "LDS people teach that a temple marriage is necessary to exaltation and if someone does not convert will be many problems"

    They also teach about proxy baptisms for the deceased and the belief that everyone has the chance to accept the truth after death.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    I was married in the Mormon church but 14 years later I became a Christian and left the Mormon church. The struggles of living under two different authorities quickly became apparent.

    Often Christians in this situation will look for a way out of the marriage, convinced that this is the only way to truly bring honor to God. His Word, however, says the contrary. It is very important not only to be content in our situation, but also to look for ways to bring glory to Him out of our challenging circumstances (1 Cor 7:17). The Bible specifically addresses those Christians who are married to unbelievers in 1 Cor 7:12-14: “…If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 4, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    Interfaith marriages that succeed necessarily require the couple to try harder to look past differences of faith to find a solid basis for a good marriage. I suggest that we all could learn something of value from that to help us get along with others in the world with whom we may think we have insurmountable difference.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Aug. 3, 2014 6:11 a.m.

    Sounds like two foundations to me. Not incompatible foundations. It's only a problem if you make it a problem.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 2, 2014 11:53 p.m.


    if you love a person what does it matter if they believe different things then you? Nobody knows for sure what happens when we die. So pick your partner for how they make you feel, not for what they believe

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 8:42 p.m.

    Religions vary in their ability to accept other religions, and this can impact interfaith marriages in a fundamental way. If two people marry who each belong to religions that insist theirs is right and all others are wrong will likely struggle.

    It's hard to imagine a devout Southern Baptist and a devout Mormon being married, as each would be strongly encouraged by their faith to convert each other to what is considered to be the (respective) only true path. It's pretty hard to have two singularly true churches in the same house, let alone the same marriage.

    By contrast, a Hindu can more easily tolerate a Christian, as Hindus believe there is more than one good path back to God. Same for a Buddhist, and many other eastern religions. Unitarians are probably the most tolerant of Christian sects.

  • Paul Elder Chicago, IL
    Aug. 2, 2014 6:31 p.m.

    I have been in an interfaith marriage with an LDS woman who was not active when we married. Now she teaches primary and is very involved. Make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. Unless you are 100% okay with the other religion, you're destined for many years of pain.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    I've been in an "interfaith" marriage to an LDS woman for over thirty years - does her being married to an atheist count as "interfaith"?

    And in order to make it work, she has had to disregard or disagree with a number of opinions and teachings from local as well as general Church authorities that other members take for granted.

    Foremost is the idea that atheists are immoral, "godless" people who have no "eternal perspective" and no values, and therefore cannot be trusted. (These are all things I hear openly stated in Church meetings frequently)

    She has taken out her "endowments", and is as "worthy" and has as much "exaltation" in her future as any other LDS member (quite frankly, she puts 99.99% of Mormons to shame).

    And we don't worry about "common ground" because neither of us believes that sameness is a requirement for good relationships or celestial glory, nor that "common" is necessarily desirable.

    And we're still madly in love after all these years!

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    "'Interfaith issues tend to be more complicated emotionally for people to figure out how to deal with than most issues that walk in my door,' said marriage and family therapist Jonathan Swinton.

    He said religious beliefs are more deeply ingrained in a person than other beliefs, and he said spouses struggle to separate their partner from their partner's beliefs."

    Yes, I can certainly see how having different foundation beliefs could throw a wrench into the relationship works. Sort of like trying to build a building designed with one foundation in mind on top of a different foundation. Be prepared for problems.

  • riverofsun St.George, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    Interfaith marriage and a healthy large family for my husband and I going on 50 years now
    Not advantageous to generalize about this type of marriage, or the diverse and open minded people who are living them, Mr. higv.
    Lots of lively discussions at our house every time the DN runs one of those controversial religion/social pieces.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Aug. 2, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    There are many problems with interfaith marriages and I remember where Spencer w Kimball said being broadminded with the Lords eternal program is like being generous with someone else's money. LDS people teach that a temple marriage is necessary to exaltation and if someone does not convert will be many problems, though some do convert and others generous a lot of problems that way.