I’m sure my story is an echo of many stories you have already received.

I am a convert to this church since my eighteenth birthday. I attended BYU and served a mission in Chile.  My husband is a wonderful man who comes from a entirely Mormon family.  I am still the only member in my family.

What this means is, not one of the people that I love, who cared for me and brought me up, and I daresay, prepared me to receive the gospel, not one of these wonderful people were able to be in attendance at my wedding.  Their part was to congratulate me as I exited a beautiful temple building once the deed had already been done.

I believe my family felt great hurt over their exclusion.  I still am sorrowful over that loss.  Every mother dreams of that perfect wonderful day for her daughter, and every fathers looks forward to the day he can walk his little girl, now all grown, down the aisle.  I feel as though my temple wedding has robbed them of those experiences.  Of course, in my mind and the culture which permeated our lives, getting married a year later was not done, at least not by faithful returned missionaries.  I see now how foolish this thinking was.  If I could go back, I would do it differently.  I would be more secure in my faith and standing before God, and would have chosen to put my family first. Sadly, I cannot go back, I cannot give them that anymore.  Even a vow renewal ceremony, as sweet as that would be, would probably mean as much as the ring ceremony we had at our reception.  My heart is heavy, and I can only hope this will open a dialogue of more tolerance and understanding.

-Michaela