Saturday, October 3, 2009

Not Conflicted . . . and Not in Hiding (or marriage Part 2)

Now for the rest of the story-marriage within the church. I consider my marriage to be a non-conforming marriage within the church. What do I mean by that? I would define a conforming marriage as the Mormon ideal, married in the temple for time and eternity with both parties striving diligently, retaining their testimonies, and by all outward appearances headed straight to the celestial kingdom.

Here is my partial list of non-conforming Mormon Marriages as I've noted from my experience at church or online:

  • Married, both parties LDS and in good standing, but not in the temple for time and eternity.
  • Married, both parties LDS, one in good standing, one not or disaffected, could be either a temple marriage or a civil marriage.
  • Married, both parties LDS, both not in good standing or disaffected, could be either a temple marriage or a civil marriage.
  • Married, both parties LDS, both in good standing, wife previously sealed to another person in the temple and ineligible or doesn't desire sealing to present husband.
  • Married, one party LDS, one a non-member.
  • Married, one party LDS, one an excommunicated member not disaffected from the church.
  • Married, one party LDS, one an excommunicated or resigned member who is disaffected from the church
  • Divorced, not currently married, but still sealed to previous spouse
  • Married, previously divorced, both parties still sealed to previous spouse and not to each other
  • Married to a same sex partner, not in good standing but attends regularly and not disaffected.
  • Widowed, in any applicable configuration above.

Any sealing or temple marriage without the holy spirit of promise could also be nonconforming but would not be easily ascertainable by earthly means and may not even be something the parties are cognizant of in this lifetime.

Now add to that the fact that I am the product of that wider set of human interactions that produce children than what is contemplated above and can never in this life be sealed to the parent I want to be without being sealed to someone I don't want to be sealed to. I am endowed though, and, technically, I still have children who are sealed to me. But if one is keeping score based on the current inning and how the kids play the game, if I'm going to the celestial kingdom at all, I'm probably going alone or with part of my kids and part of my sibs and not to the highest glory.

While this is not optimal, it's beyond my control. And, because of the beauty of the atonement and the peace that comes with prayer, scripture study and concerted efforts to live the commandments both outwardly and inwardly, I feel joy and I'm not conflicted, ashamed, embarrased or feeling diminished in anyway about the character of my non-conforming "mormon" family situation as it is currently constituted. The gospel is for everyone, including me and my cup runneth over when I ponder both the current blessings I have received and the future blessings I will receive even as a lone person in the Celestial Kingdom.

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