Story Submitted by Kaylie
I was baptized at the age of eight, nearly nine. My mom took the discussions from the sister missionaries and decided to join the church. She let me choose what I wanted, and I didn’t want to join a new church at first, but a few weeks after her, I got baptized, too.
My dad was not interested. The more time went on, the more opposed he became to the LDS church and its teachings.
But I believed in it, despite being taught that people who didn’t accept the gospel like my dad wouldn’t go to the celestial kingdom. I felt something at church and I loved how it called me to learn and grow.
So knowing that my dad wasn’t LDS and that he likely wouldn’t attend my wedding someday was always a cloud hanging over my teenage years. I could hope he’d change his mind, but as the years went by, that seemed less and less likely.
But I knew that if and when I found someone, I’d want to be sealed in the temple. I wanted to have a happy family, probably more than I wanted anything else, and I believed that starting my family through a temple ceremony was the only way to achieve that.
It all happened. I met my husband shortly after returning from my mission.
I told my dad about the wedding and he asked the question I’d been dreading for over ten years: “Can I come?”
And I hated it. All I could say was, “You can come to the reception.”
It turned out that he didn’t. My parents had separated while I was on my mission. I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the whole thing if he came. Would I have to keep my parents apart? Would his bitterness at being excluded ruin the whole day?
But he didn’t come. I haven’t seen him since then, not in person. He’s never met my husband or kids. I don’t blame the church for this because I know he makes his own decisions. But I sometimes wonder how things might have been different if he’d been able to come, or even if he hadn’t come, if he’d at least known he could if he wanted to. And I wonder how many tears I wouldn’t have had to shed during my teenage and college years worrying and wondering what would happen when the moment came.
I’m glad my husband and I were married in the temple. I wanted to start our marriage this way. But I also didn’t know that the one-year waiting period had not always existed, that it was a relatively recent rule that wasn’t even imposed for all members of the church, only for those in the US and Canada.
I wonder how much I sacrificed for the sake of a policy that I assumed was the eternal word of the Lord.