Archive for the 'Jon’s change' Category


I’m a Mormon

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
I’m a Mormon, but I don’t always put it out there on social media.

So I’m a Mormon, and my children attend the Mormon church, but are not baptized, or are not formally Mormon. Jon’s name is on the records of the church, but he’s really not a Mormon. Jon is an Atheist. He keeps his name on the records for me.

My life is one confused bag of religion.

Recently during a sacrament meeting, a woman was receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Lilah made a sniffling noise, and I thought it was strange. I think I patted her arm, or gave her a hug after the prayer was complete. Then after the meeting was over, she looked up to me and said, “I want to be baptized.” The words I’ve longed to hear from one of my children, but we both knew it meant telling her dad, and just as it brought joy to my heart, it also brought some sorrow.

On the car ride home I asked her about it. If she wanted to tell her dad right away. Tears flowed from our faces, us both knowing it’s not something her father would really want to hear. I waited a day or so, I had to ask her she wanted to be there when I told her dad, she didn’t. So in the still of one of our nightly cuddles, I told Jon his eldest daughter wanted to be baptized. We had a discussion. One that was probably frustrating for both of us. We have different ideas on how to approach this religious thing with our children, and we’ve been avoiding it for a long time.

But here is it.

Jon is supporting Lilah. The biggest part was making sure it was her decision, and not because of outside pressure, or a desire to belong, or just fit in. From Lilah’s response, I believe it is her decision.

Since Lilah is no longer in her eighth year, she will have to take the missionary discussions, and we have to go through the baptism as if she is a convert.

I am happy for my daughter. I hope she is happy with her choice too.

When I turned Eight…

Monday, June 27th, 2011

June 1st, 1991 I was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was a wonderful day, and I’m happy I chose to become a member of the church.

Lilah just turned 8 and the pressure sure is there to have her baptized.

Just for the record Lilah has chosen to wait, and if you’re surprised by this, then obviously you don’t know the situation of what is my life.

Just as I am not pressuring Lilah to be baptized, Jon is not pressuring her to not be baptized. Due to our mutual respect for one another and our desire to have a working marriage, we’re teaching our children and letting them choose for themselves and this includes allowing them to choose to be baptized or choose to not be baptized. This is something I have to accept, just as it is something he has to accept.

I don’t think everyone understands this. Lots of people expected me to have Lilah baptized right on schedule, which surprises me. I suppose I might not always talk about what is my religiously divided home, but hello! I live in a religiously divided marriage! You can’t expect everything to go peachy keen in what is the Mormon pathway of being raised in the Church. I know Heavenly Father knows my situation, and my heart, and thus I’m not just some parent neglecting my spiritual duty by not having my child baptized at 8, which she still is for another 354 days.

This is hard for me, but please understand that I love both my husband and daughter, and want what is best for my family, and right now what is best, is to allow our daughter to choose for herself. Because lets face it, just because someone is baptized at eight, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be members of the Church for life, and just because someone decides to wait, doesn’t mean they will never believe and never become a member.

Late

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

With all the things that had been going on in her life, the absence of her period didn’t hit until Sunday. It was that morning that she realized she was three days late, and when your body runs like clockwork, she was almost sure she was pregnant, but how could she be when she has an IUD? This was a little nerve racking to her. She sat through church wondering and calculating when this baby, if there was a baby, would be due. It would be the end of June, very beginning of July. It would be perfect to happen right before their medical plan changes took affect, and maybe, just maybe, she was suppose to become a parent at this time in her life. Maybe Heavenly Father had a plan for her, because he knows that there is a part of her that says she will never have another child, at least if it was left to her completely.

Lets back up a little bit. Earlier in the year they found out that their medical insurance would be changing to a Health Savings Account and the deductible would sky rocket beginning July of 2011, so having a baby would be something they would have to save for, and would become a huge expense, medically. She tried to convince her husband that they should get pregnant right away, but he wasn’t going for it. It’s not that he didn’t want another baby, though he kinda doesn’t, but he didn’t want one right now just because their health insurance would be changing, and would like to wait till they are in another house.

So her dream of having a baby anytime soon died.

She once again consoled herself with the thoughts of how much work a child is. How much time they take, and how she would have to change her lifestyle completely if they were to have a baby.

She decided waiting was for the better, but she also has days where a baby was something she decided she never wanted. Those days are the days she’s trying to organize and all the baby stuff gets in the way, or all the clothes her youngest can’t wear continue to pile up, or the days she just wants order and to get rid of every damn thing in her house.

So there are days she doesn’t want another baby.

This Sunday her baby hunger came back. As she sat through sacrament and they blessed a one week old little girl, she wanted to so badly be pregnant. She wanted so badly to have a baby, but the thoughts of it also scared her. How would she and her husband raise this baby religiously? How would they make room in their tiny house? How would they be able to save and buy a larger house? How would they move with a baby if they bought a house?

She worried and ached for the baby at the same time.

She talked to her husband after church. She was so anxious, and he could see how it was affecting her, so he told her to go buy a pregnancy test.

After buying the test, she took it at home while her husband was with their older daughter. The test quickly came back negative, but silently she wished for it to be positive. She waited for that second blue line to appear, but it never did. Her younger daughter came knocking on the door, she wanted to play Uno. The mother asked her to wait and go play a little longer.

The blue line never appeared and that physical confirmation came just 24 hours later.

She was just late.

Long Shot

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

For my girls road trip to Utah I treated myself to a new CD to occupy my time. I love Kelly Clarkson, so I bought her new one, All I Ever Wanted.

I love it and Eden is now, “Are you listening to your new CD.” It’s more a statement than a question and she rolls her eyes and sighs a little whenever she says it and hears me playing it.

One song reminds me of Jon and me and it resonates with our relationship when Jon first left the church. It starts off a little strange, and there is one line I don’t like that you hear over and over again, (You’re the best I got.) but overall I really love it and love to jam out to it while I’m washing dishes.

There is no official music video for it, but I’ve linked one that has the words as you listen to it.

I love you Babe.

The path I’ve made with the burdens I carry.

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I hate to say Jon leaving The Church is a burden, but it is. It makes things a little more difficult and life that much harder. We’ve learned to handle it and deal with it and I hope we continue to deal with it as the girls grow.

It’s been three years since I’ve known and nearly three years since Jon made it public. It’s not necessarily an anniversary I like to remember exactly to the day each year, so I just leave it at the month it happened, or the end of November. It seems funny that it happened three years ago, when three years doesn’t seem that far away. The feelings I felt three years ago have mostly faded. The anger, the hurt, the wondering if our marriage could survive such a change of heart.  It seems funny that I’m mostly OK with it, or I guess have come to terms with how things are. We’ve discussed many things since it’s happened and I’m sure will continue to discuss.

On Sunday our combined priesthood and relief society meeting dealt with helping others with their burdens because we’ve born them before, or had similar burdens. Really they were talking about unemployment or underemployment in this difficult economical times, but it took on a very different meaning that day.

Just moments before that meeting a sister had come to me to talk about dealing with a spouse leaving the church. Her husband has not been coming to church with her and he gives one excuse, not feeling comfortable in the ward, as 80% of the reason and 20% being up in the air. She worries about him leaving the church and was wondering and asking advice on how to deal with it.

Her and I don’t have a close relationship, though we have a friendly one, and for obvious reasons she was asking me for advice and solace. It was hard to give and it made me sad to hear her story, but I was happy that I could be there to help her. Luckily she has options and can take actions for him not feeling comfortable, but that 20% doubt will always be there for both her and him until things are resolved.

I hope I gave her words of advice and I hope I was able to help her, but I don’t really know and may not since they’ll be leaving the ward soon.

This is not the first time someone has asked me on how to deal with a spouses disbelief, and I wish it would be the last, but I fear it won’t.

I’m not happy for my “burdens” but I’m happy that I can help others and that Jon and I have come to some compromises. I had no one to personally turn to who had been through anything like what I was going through. I only had many friends with open ears and hearts, and that I am grateful for.

I know I have made a path for those I might meet who may have similar burdens as me. I hope it’s a path of love and compassion towards a wayward spouse and not bitterness at the betrayal, though I was very bitter for a time.  I hope others are able to see light in their marriage, even when everything seems so dark.

I know I’m also following the path of others I just haven’t encountered personally.

I hope I can follow my Savior as I walk this path and I hope I can serve others no matter the path they are on.

Children

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Since this is mostly my family blog and Jon and I mostly have things figured out about our marriage, I don’t blog too much about his change of beliefs and how it affects us, but one thing on my mind lately is children.

When we were engaged and an early happily married, and both Mormon, couple we wanted six kids two years apart. (Just a note that we are now and still a happily married couple.) We had our first child right after he graduated because we felt he would be done with school and able to provide for the family, at least hypothetically. In the following 15 months we had around 5 months of employment with 4 months of unemployment and 6 months of underemployment. It was a sucky time in our financial life and hard on our marriage, but luckily we were pretty use to being poor students and didn’t have a very expensive lifestyle. No car payments, no house payments, one child whom I  breastfeed and made the baby food for not only ’cause it was cheap but because we felt it was the best for her. I was also able to get student loans and grants to help our poor circumstances, though we never had to use the loans at that time.

As the months of underemployment stretched on we realized it was around the time we had wanted to start preparing for another child if we were to stay on our “one every two years” plan. Instead of praying for employment we started praying about our family and whether we should have another baby. I think Heavenly Father answered our prayers by providing Jon his employment at UNLV. Not only did he have gainful employment, at just less than twice what we had ever made in a year combined, though we were very poor so it wasn’t much by some standards, Jon received health benefits immediately, which allowed me to get pregnant nearly immediately and have Eden in the summer so I could do Fall on-line courses after I had her. It was a miracle to me, and one of the few times I’ve felt very guided by the Lord.

Fast forward two years. In the Fall of 2006 it was time to start thinking about another child. I was just finishing my degree so it wasn’t necessary for us to have a child before August and we weren’t sure if we were ready for another one at the time since two seemed like a lot, then Jon dropped the bomb that he no longer believed in the teachings of the Church. It was a shaky time in our marriage and even now, nearly three years later, we’re still figuring things out, though it’s with more love and compassion, rather than anger at the betrayal.

Which finally brings me to my recent thoughts.

Jon and I have be discussing whether we want another child. We both agree that we don’t want one while living in our current house. I feel overwhelmed with the things we have here and the four of us, to bring another child into it would be no doubt very overwhelming and difficult. Plus I worry that if we stayed here too long Jon would actually give the three children the master bedroom because we can’t fit another regular sized bed in there with the bunk beds. 😉

Then there’s the fact that the reason why Jon wanted so many children has changed. I don’t want to completely speak for him, but I can say that the belief that we need to multiply and replenish the Earth and bring as many spirits into this world is not something he believes in now, so the reason why to have a lot of children is not there, besides the fact that we like our big families.

Jon’s not sure if he wants another child and though I know I want another child, I’m just not sure I want to bring one knowingly into a religiously divided home. Some might say that I still can insist that they be raised in the church and only give Jon his one Sunday a month with them, two when there are five in a month, just like I do with our girls, but I can’t. I feel like the situation is different. It’s more like I’ve knowingly married a nonmember who does not agree with my beliefs and want a child with them. Wouldn’t that nonmember be entitled to a full 50% of that child’s Sundays and religious teachings, not just 25%? Granted together we’re trying to raise free-thinkers and children who choose their own religious identity, but I know that they are influenced more by the fact that they attend my church on a regular basis. I know Jon would like 50% of the Sundays, but I just can’t, and I know it hurts him that I don’t let him have 50% of the Sundays.

The rules would change for this third child.

Last week I went through our baby clothes. I’m giving half of them away because we simply can’t store them all for the what if’s. What if we have another baby and what if we have a girl?
It’s more like, what if we never have another baby and what if we never get out of this house?

I’m contemplating long term, less hormonal, birth control because I don’t like taking a pill every day and I’ve decided I don’t like having hormones in my body that don’t need to be there. It’s the long term part that scares me. I haven’t had a child in 4 years, but I don’t want to say I won’t have another child in 4 more years. What I’m contemplating can be removed so as to allow me to get pregnant sooner, but to make that choice is still hard.

I long for a baby in some ways. I’m so young and able, something I know some woman  aren’t, yet here I am not giving birth to any more beautiful children, watching and holding my friend’s children and not enjoying those first couple years of my own infant and toddler.

I will say I am happy with my two girls. I’m not sure how I would home school if I had one or two little ones to take care of also, life seems so overwhelming without adding others to the mix.

A part of me wants to write this down just so it’s been said and there is no wondering why I’m not having more children, and possibly why I may never have more. Some might already understand, most, if not all, would hate to be in my position of a “lost” husband, but I love him and he is one of the most important people in my life and I know he loves me.We both want the best for one another and our children, even if that best might be different in our own, individual eyes.

I happy with my little family, and even though it may never be bigger, I’ll try to glory in the children I have.

Cute Dad

Monday, February 9th, 2009

When I let everyone who attended sacrament meeting on the day of my talk know that my husband was not a believing member of the church I got mixed reviews. Most were very supportive and just didn’t know, some where upset that Jon wasn’t who they thought he was.

One woman had previously given Jon a compliment on what a wonderful father he was and how she watched him and thought he was so great. Then that day I gave my talk she was so upset and said “I can’t believe I told him he was a great dad.”
Of course I came to his defense and said he is still a wonderful father and husband and that is why I stay with him but she just didn’t get it.

Yesterday at the end of Relief Society I was talking with a sister my my ward, Sister Brinkerhoff. I really love this sister and though I don’t know her extremely well she’s always been very kind and talkative when we’ve sat next to one another and genuinely concerned.
I had sat next to her for the third hour of church, or Relief Society in this case, and at the end she mentioned that I should go get my girls and get home. I told her that I don’t have my girls today because they’re with their dad this Sunday and we talked a little about how I let Jon have a Sunday with the girls because he allows me to take them to church. Then she gave the compliment of how cute he is with my girls and what a good dad he is.

It really touched me because she knows the situation, but can see past it and see what a wonderful father he is and not how he’s ruined my chances of having an eternal family or is a horrible man who did not honor his priesthood.

Then we exchanged some goodbyes and joked about not wanting one anothers trials, what the lesson had been about last week and she had taught.

I really love this sister and her friendship, and am grateful to be in a ward with wonderful people who are supportive of me and my family.

Staying Positive

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

After Thanksgiving my husband starting doing a weekly post on 5 things he’s grateful for that day, or week I suppose. He started doing this to help him focus on the positive, rather than the negative, and to be a happier person in general. Lately I see myself easily getting down and comparing myself or my life to other’s and not measuring up. To help me stay focused and positive I too am going to start a list of 5 things I’m grateful for each week starting today.

1. A wonderful husband, who regardless of being an aethiest, got me and the girls Christmas presents and told me when Christmas programs were on that he thought I would like and watched them with me and the girls.
2. Two healthy beautiful girls.
3. The gospel of Jesus Christ.
4. A home.
5. A, realatively, healthy body. (Right now it’s not at it’s healthiest but I’m trying to remedy that.)

Busy Day

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Today was a busy day for me in terms of church. I spoke in Sacrament meeting, and then taught a lesson during the next one hour block. One of the girls in my class, I say girls but she’s really around 19 or 20, jokingly asked if I was also teaching Relief Society, which is the final class for adult women in our three hour block. Then we had a good chuckle because the lesson was about the Second Coming and Millennium and that was the lesson I gave in Gospel Essentials, of course slightly different since they’re from different manuals.

My talk went well, I decided to share that my husband’s beliefs had lead him away from the church. I just felt that is was necessary to share that bit of information with the message I was trying to convey. As my friend Nancy said, I said just enough that could be public, without going into unnecessary private details. She also complemented me on the fact that I don’t wear my situation on my shoulder and allow it to shape or change me. Most did not know my circumstance.

I got many positive responses after my talk. One woman shared with me that she was in the exact same boat I am, and it had only been in the past five years of their marriage that her husband had returned to church. She also mentioned on the strength of my marriage to have my husband there today supporting me even though I was outing him, per say, and the difficulty of sharing what I did because so often those in my circumstance are just quiet.  A friend of mine said she wished she could have heard my talk as a teenager because she had a lot of anger since her parents were not  sealed together. Most just complemented me on my talk and said how strong I was or wonderful. I appreciated these thoughts because I felt naked, putting myself and family out there for others to know and judge.  One woman said she’d like to take Jon over her knee. She had once complemented Jon on what a wonderful father he was and that she’d watch him with our girls. She made a comment today in such a way that it seemed like she wouldn’t have told him he was a good father if she had known his beliefs, and that makes me sad because I don’t think having the priesthood makes you a wonderful father, it might add to it, but it’s not all you need to be a good father. Jon mentioned she might feel duped and didn’t feel offended by her comment.

A part of me is happy to have my situation out there. In a way I felt like I had to hide it or make it hush, hush, but in reality this is my life and I don’t wish to wear it on my shoulder, but I wish for people to know that it is possible to have a happy marriage,even in what are imperfect circumstances. I want to be an example to more than the few auxiliary leaders that knew about what was going on, I want to help others and connect to them in deeper ways. I want to weed out people who will just judge me and my family and allow true friendships to flourish.

One woman in my ward called and asked for a copy of my talk so she could reread it and send it to her children. She’s a convert to the church and her husband never converted before he died and she felt inspired and touched by what I said.

Also when the counselor who asked me to give my talk told his wife, who happens to be the  Relief Society president in our ward, that he had asked me to give a talk on Eternal Families, she mentioned that it was kinda cruel, or not nice to asked me, but he said I vindicated him.

This is the talk I gave. I learned a lot while I was writing it and I am happy that it helped so many, but more importantly that it helped me.
I hope I haven’t hyped it up too much. I was emotional during parts, so I’m sure that added to the spirit there, but I hope what I have to say is still helpful to all who take the time to read it.

——————————————-

If I were to do a word association game and ask you to tell me the first word that pops into your head when I say the words Eternal Family, and you, the congregation, could respond I know there would be a number of of answers. Since you can’t respond I’d like to tell you some things I imagine might be said by members of this congregation.

Some might be: Temple, temple marriage, sealing, family, love, hope, joy, happiness, eternity.

Other answers might be: never or not for me.

Now I’ve listed two kinds of answers. Most of us would answer positively or give the normal by the book answers, but some of us might possibly think we are never going to have an eternal family, or that an eternal family isn’t for us because of our circumstances.

Eternal families are something offered to couples who have been married, or sealed, in the temple to their spouse, but it is not limited to just those who fit in the equation of how to more likely achieve an eternal family. The equation for an eternal family being, one worthy man sealed to one worthy woman, in the temple for time and eternity, and keeping those covenants throughout their mortal live. The last part, or keeping our covenants is the most important part of the equation.

Our church is made up of very many people and thus we have many people in many diverse circumstances and they may, or may not, fit into that ideal Eternal Family equation.

Some of us are single, which encompasses young singles, middle aged singles, older singles, divorced singles and widowed. Some of us are married, which include those who have been married in the temple and those who have not been able to go to the temple for various reasons. Some reasons possibly being we are converts and our spouses did not convert, or we just simply did not marry in the temple and we may or may not be preparing for being sealed to our spouse.

Some of us appear to be apart of the perfect equation, but worry about being able to achieve an eternal family because our own faith has wavered or our spouses faith has wavered or changed to such a degree that they are no longer keeping their covenants and we may not be with our family into the eternities. I fall into the last category, by way of a spouse who has changed his beliefs.

One thing I have learned and have a testimony of is that even through all this diversity and the appearance of not fitting perfectly into the Eternal Family equation, we are all promised blessings of an eternal family if we stay faithful and worthy.

Those of us in less than perfect circumstances don’t desire to be singled out or have sorrow or pity felt towards us, for we all are imperfect. What we desire is love and hope.

Elder M. Russel Ballard once said:

A family can live with Him only after a man and a woman are sealed in marriage for eternity by the power of the holy priesthood. We acknowledge that many in the Church desire this great blessing but see little evidence of its fulfillment in this life. Nevertheless, the promise of exaltation remains an attainable goal for each one of us. The prophets have stated clearly that no blessing will be withheld from any of God’s sons and daughters if they love Him, have faith in Him, keep His commandments, and endure faithfully to the end.

Equality through Diversity Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Equality through Diversity,” Ensign, Nov. 1993

President Howard W. Hunter said:

This is the church of Jesus Christ, not the church of marrieds or singles or any other group or individual. The gospel we preach is the gospel of Jesus Christ, which encompasses all the saving ordinances and covenants necessary to save and exalt every individual who is willing to accept Christ and keep the commandments that he and our Father in Heaven have given.

Each commandment given is for our benefit and happiness. To love and serve God and to love and serve his Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, should be our goal. Our focus of affection should be on these two holy Beings, and we should worship them with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. We should be engaged in assisting them in their divine purposes of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (See Moses 1:39.)

….

May I hasten to add that no blessing, including that of eternal marriage and an eternal family, will be denied to any worthy individual. While it may take somewhat longer—perhaps even beyond this mortal life for some to achieve this blessing, it will not be denied. The Church Is for All People Howard W. Hunter, “The Church Is for All People,” Tambuli, Aug. 1990

So the apostles and prophets have stated that the blessings of eternal marriage, or family, will not be denied to any worthy individual.

I know many of us already knew that the blessings of eternal families will not be denied to us if we are worthy despite our imperfect circumstances. Even so it may seem hard for those who do not fit into the perfect equation for eternal families to have hope, but I dare say that it is up to all of us, whether we fit into the perfect equation or not, to individually prepare to be apart of our own eternal family.

President Hunter he also stated:

The atonement that Christ wrought was in behalf of every individual. However, each must work out his or her own salvation, for we are not saved collectively. While it is true that worthy couples will obtain exaltation in the celestial kingdom, each man and each woman sealed in an eternal relationship must be individually worthy of that blessing.

An eternal marriage will be composed of a worthy man and a worthy woman, both of whom have been individually baptized with water and with the Spirit; who have individually gone to the temple to receive their own endowments; who have individually pledged their fidelity to God and to their partner in the marriage covenant; and who have individually kept their covenants, doing all that God expected of them. The Church Is for All People Howard W. Hunter, “The Church Is for All People,” Tambuli, Aug. 1990

So we individually need to be committing ourselves to to Lord. We personally need to be applying the atonement and keeping the commandments. I want to emphasize once more what President Hunter said: The worthiness of one’s friends or family will not save him or her. There must be an individual effort.

We only have agency over ourselves, so it is only fair that we are judged individually on our worthiness in obtaining an Eternal Family.

So whether or not we fit into the perfect equation of eternal marriage and family doesn’t matter, we are all individually responsible for saving ourselves, and as parents we are responsible for teaching our young children.

But I’m going to be focusing on what, as an individual, is my part in my Eternal family.

First off, I am responsible for obeying the commandments of God.

When I think of obeying the commandments I think if all the things I need to be doing daily.

Praying to the Lord, seeking the scriptures, paying my tithes, living as purely as possible are all things I think of as living the commandments of our Heavenly Father.

Since I do have children, teaching my children the gospel of Christ also falls into obeying the commandments and things I need to be doing daily.

I know that I cannot save my family through my faith alone and thus want to teach my children so they can choose the gospel and save themselves. I also know, being from a family where not every sibling actively believes in the doctrines of the church, and having a husband who does not believe, that all I can do is be an example to my family, friends, and love ones and most importantly love them. I know the heartache of seeing someone you love depart or distance themselves from the church, but I also know that they have their own agency and all I can do is teach and be an example to them in hopes that they return and can be apart of my eternal family. Being an example and showing love are the best ways to teach or share the Gospel of Christ with a person.

Making and keeping individual covenants with the Lord is another way I try to become worthy for an eternal family.

President Howard W. Hunter noted:

I have always been impressed that the Lord deals with us personally, individually. We do many things in groups in the Church, … but … the most important things are done individually. We bless babies one at a time, even if they are twins or triplets. We baptize and confirm children one at a time. We take the sacrament, are ordained to the priesthood, or move through the ordinances of the temple as individuals—as one person developing a [personal] relationship with our Father in Heaven. … Heaven’s emphasis is on each individual, on every single person” (“Eternal Investments,” address to CES religious educators, 10 Feb. 1989, p. 4; emphasis added)

As young as eight, people are baptized into the church and receive the holy ghost. Baptism is the first covenant we make as an individual with the Lord. We then renew that covenant with the Lord each sabbath day by worthily partaking of the sacrament.

As we get older and grow within the gospel we go to the temple and individually make covenants with the Lord when we take out our endowments. Ideally, we then return to the temple to hear those covenants as we make them vicariously for those who have passed on.

For our families encompass more than just our spouse and children. Last week in a Relief Society discussion we were asked what tools we would want for those difficult times or when we are in the midst of spiritual storms and one of the sisters replied her mom. Our Eternal family encompasses our siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and all we are connected with.

Returning to the temple for endowment sessions helps me prepare for my Eternal family and gives those who have passed on a chance to be with their family eternally.

The last or the highest covenant called the new and everlasting covenant of celestial marriage is also made within the walls of the temple and between the Lord and an individual. When we are sealed in the temple of the Lord, we make covenants with the Lord, not with our spouse. As mortals we are imperfect and thus why we make the sealing covenant with the Lord, a perfect heavenly being, and not with our spouse, an imperfect mortal.

I had an institute teacher explain this relationship once as a triangle.

The Lord is at the top angle, while each spouse is at the bottom. The Lord brings us closer together and binds us together as we each, individually, come closer to the Lord and keep those covenants.

We are to try our very best to be prepared to make the new and everlasting covenant in this life, but if we are not given the opportunity the prophets have promised it in the life to come.

One of the most important elements of preparing myself for an eternal family is the Atonement of Christ, for without the atonement we would not be able to make and keep covenants with the Lord and would not be worthy to be in the presence of the Lord or our Eternal family.

We would not be able to repent of our sins and mishaps and we would be damned without the atonement.

The atonement is here for us to make use of everyday and is for everyone. The Atonement allows us to worthily renew our baptismal covenants to be cleansed once again to enter the presence of the Lord.

While I was preparing for this talk I found a scripture that sums up much of what I’ve been trying to say.

It’s found in 2 Nephi 10: 23-25

23 Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

24 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

25 Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen.

I know that all of us can become worthy for an eternal family, no matter our circumstances, I know each of us can and should have the same goal of obtaining an eternal family and some of the ways of ensuring life with our families in the eternities are through obedience to the commandments, making and keeping covenants with the Lord, and exercising the Atonement in our daily lives.

Please don’t pity me

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

A while back Jon brought my attention to a blog post by a woman from a part member family. The last point was to not feel sorry for her her life, since she is not married to a member of the church.

Lately I feel like I’ve been pitied, but not in the ‘ah I feel so bad way’, but in ‘you are so strong in your faith way’. I know it might sound ungrateful, but some of the comments I’ve received I feel are derived from the fact that Jon is not an active member of the church. If I was married to an active temple worthy member, going to the temple by myself would be no big deal, but since I have a husband who is not an active member, I’m seen as a pillar of strength and faith.

I guess it comes from wanting to be a normal member of the church and I don’t want to be seen as different. I know there are times where I do want that attention or to be given special consideration, but overall I am the same as everyone else, it’s my husband who is different.

I sometimes forget my that my husband is not like other priesthood holding members of the church. When teaching a lesson and the subject of eternal marriage came up, I was more concerned about my sister and how she felt, than myself, even though we’re in similar boats, only she chose to marry outside the church and I did not, and she is not active in the church, and I am. Being an active, temple worthy member, I still feel that I am entitled to the same blessings as every temple worthy couple. I still feel support from Jon to allow me to practice my faith, though it is very different than him participating in my faith with me.

I guess I don’t see myself as so different than others within the church.

Sometimes I appreciate the words of comfort telling me I’m strong in my faith and that particular person admires me for what I’m doing. Mostly I feel that a person pities the situation I’m in and is glad they’re not me. I don’t want pity. I just want to be seen as the same.

This thought came up because I was asked to give a talk in church for this coming Sunday. It’s about eternal marriage-my part. The bishopric member who asked me to give the talk because he felt that I could give inspiration to others that are not married, widows, or in a part member family. He also expressed that I seem to be strong in my faith etc. I expressed my concern that not a lot of people know my situation, so I’m wondering how I can help those he wants me to when they might still see me as married to a worthy priesthood holder. He said I wasn’t needing to explain my situation necessarily but just focus on how an individual is responsible for themselves in the eternal realm, since we only have agency over ourselves.

I’m not sure how I’m going to approach the topic. I’m speaking as the opening speaker to a high councilman so I don’t have to take up a huge amount of time and I was only asked today, in which I have 7 table runners to finish by Wednesday and then a lesson to prepare for class this Sunday. I work well under pressure. In fact I’m sure even if I had two weeks to work on the talk and no table runners to make I would only get to it the week before and really start writing a few days ahead. In this case I just have two things to worry about, with teaching the lesson, but I’ve given talks on days I’ve had to give lessons before.

I’m just not sure how I’m going to connect to those he wants me to connect with without telling my plight, though I fear getting overly emotional and the focus being on my “sad” circumstances rather than inspiring others to focus how to be a good member of the church and how to work on being an member of an eternal family when you’re not sealed to another person.

I’m just not sure what to do.