I was born on November 26. Three days later, at exactly 22 years old, my mother brought me home on her birthday, November 29. Often she has told me that it was her best birthday ever. Little did she know that this innocent newborn babe would grow up to stab her in the heart.
She suckled me, changed me, bathed me, swaddled me in baby oil. She helped me learn to walk and talk. And after all her loving toil, a knife to the heart was in her future.
When sick she ministered to me. When healthy she encouraged me. Three meals a day she prepared for me. Bought my clothes. Washed and ironed my clothes. As I aged, my innocence faded. Never would I have suspected that I’d do what I did, after I grew.
Kindergarten, grade school, then, Jr. & Sr. high school. A mom always constant in love and care. As the stabbing grew closer, neither one of us remotely aware.
Finally, off to college. Interrupted for 2 glorious years of mission in Guatemala and El Salvador. Every week a letter from my sweet mom. Frequent ‘care packages’ were much anticipated and even more appreciated. But, not remembered enough to prevent the blow to my mother’s heart that I soon would strike.
Graduated college. Moved to Texas. Fell in love. Asked my sweetheart to marry. Cried when she accepted. Oh that sweet & innocent puppy love, unencumbered by the coming distractions of children, bills, and the adjustments of living together. Those months of engagement were heaven on earth. The final months leading up to my inevitable deed.
The fateful September day arrived. My fiancé had never been to the temple. She & I traversed the endowment ceremony without parents or siblings or friends. Together, yet alone, among a room full of strangers. Afterwards she recounted her fright and intimidation during that first temple experience. The knife was poised…about to plunge.
I and my gorgeous fiancé were ushered into the sealing room. With no mothers or fathers present, we were pronounced man & wife……and the knife……was finally plunged deep into my mother’s heart.
Outside the temple walls my mother stood. Sobbing silently in her wounded heart. Excluded from the crowning event of her first born’s coming of age. UNWORTHY to witness the wedding. UNWORTHY? Certainly she should be the most worthy! No, it’s the judgement that was unworthy of my worthy mom. Oh, the humiliation and indignity she must have felt. How many wondered what she could have done? What horrible sin caused the temple to not let her in? Her shame and dishonor only drove the dagger deeper.
The Damage Comes Home to Roost
My dear mother resigned from the church…three months ago.
After the fact, we discussed it at length. The first fissure in her faith was slashed open 38 years before. Outside those cold…stone…temple walls. She was stabbed in the heart by her first born son. Bruised and bloody within. Stoic and stout without. I didn’t realize what I’d inadvertently done. At the time, I gave no thought to her plight. Of course not. In just a few hours, it would be my wedding night.
And what of her great unworthy sin? Now the knife boomerangs back into my own heart. My parents finances had been stretched thin. A choice was made between full tithing or continued support for my younger missionary brother. My mother chose to keep my brother preaching rather than fully tithe.
I’m sorry mom! I’m sorry you have carried this wound for your entire 86 year life. If I could do it again, so differntly I’d do. We’d marry outside to include all. Especially for you to stand proud and tall. I’d unselfishly wait for 12 month to transpire. Only then would I enter the holy house to be sealed to my sweet spouse.
I’m sorry mom for my naive arrogance. It was hidden then, but I plainly see it now.
Such a Simple Solution
For the vast majority of the world, a mother holds a lovely, prominent & honored place in the wedding celebration. Are we the only religion that bars “UNWORTHY” parents from their beloved children’s weddings? To me, this truly is an unholy practice. And…wholly unworthy of the Church of Jesus Christ.
This dreadful pattern only plays out in the United States, Canada and a few other lands. In most countries, the marriage ceremony is performed civilly outside of the temple. Then the sealing follows at a convenient date. In the U.S., if a couple makes the choice to marry outside the temple, they are not permitted to be sealed for at least 12 months. Unfortunately, stigma, rumor and gossip accompany the mandatory waiting period.
Marriage in the temple is not a saving ordinance. Only the sealing. So, why do we have the 12 month probationary period in the U.S. and Canada? I’ve asked many. No one can give a reason why. The only speculation I’ve heard is that our exclusionary approach brings in more tithing. Certainly that can’t be the reason…can it?
Our wedding exclusion policy only does harm. How many more mothers will be silently stabbed in their tender hearts? How many non-member parents will be supremely disappointed in their exclusion? How many mothers will weep in their unworthiness? Unworthy? Really? Every year our exclusive policy creates hard feelings and wedges among 1,000’s of parents and family. To what end? It’s a bad policy that has ended in most places around the world. It’s time that it end here as well.
Voting In Disapproval
Over the past year, I have voted in disapproval at all 4 of the conferences where sustainings are conducted: Ward, Stake and both General Conferences. I vote because I care about the church. I care about the commandments and the loving gospel of Jesus. I care about those among us who are in pain.
Here are the reasons I vote in opposition.
- The Law of Common Consent. This is the beautiful law given by Jesus that mandates how His church is to be governed. Today, the church is in open and blatant disobedience to this divine commandment.
- The exclusion policy of gay couples and their children. It was dictated to the church in November 2015. Never has it been put to the vote of the general membership. Our doctrine, the law of God and the pronouncements of past prophets demand that it be presented for a general conference vote.
- The U.S. wedding waiting period. Another policy that has never been put to the required vote. Certainly, my fellow church citizens would soundly reject the continuance of the injury this policy promulgates.
Please, Apostles…Let’s live by the Law of God…the Law of Common Consent
Please, my fellow church members…Let’s live by the Law of God…the Law of Common Consent.
- Common Consent Scriptures & Doctrine, click HERE.
- Common Consent Register—A Record of Those Who Disapprove, click, HERE.
- Disturbing membership Trends, click HERE.
- Do We Love Jesus Enough?, click HERE.
- The Only True Hope for The Only True Church, click HERE.
- My personal sadness over friends and family leaving, click HERE.
- “Tear Down This Wall.” More on marriage exclusion, click HERE.