By Lia

I am not married, nor am I engaged, but this is a problem that I worry about a lot.

At 26 years old, never having been through the temple, I have spent a lot of time waiting outside of temples. I’m about to be a bridesmaid for the 12th time, which means there were at least 12 weddings of very close friends and family (who would obviously have asked me to be in the temple with them) that I could not attend. When I was 18-19 I didn’t feel quite as left out as most of the bridesmaids were all waiting outside, but as I get older and am now usually the only one left outside the temple watching the kids, I can’t even describe how left out I feel and just sad that I can’t be there with them.

When my closest friend/youngest cousin got married I was 23 and considered going through the temple (although I was not ready) simply so I could be there with her. Luckily I realized I was simply not ready for that.

Currently, my only brother (and only sibling) is dating his first serious girlfriend since coming home from his mission. Every time he mentions her I am afraid that he is going to tell me that he is going to get married, and that will mean that even though I still don’t really want to go through the temple I will have to because there is NO WAY I am not going to be at the wedding of my only brother.

On another note, I have been dreading my own wedding ever since I got my first serious boyfriend. At one point I was very serious with a boy and discussing marriage. My entire family in Taiwan (none of them church members) were very excited and talked about how my wedding would be their first trip to America. How can I ask them to fly 15 hours to my wedding to wait outside? A ring ceremony is not the same thing!!

Additionally, I am still very close to all my high school friends, who have also expressed excitement about my marriage, but also would not be able to attend.

On the other end of the spectrum, whenever I have mentioned the thought of a civil ceremony to any of my American, Mormon family members, they have been horrified at the idea and then immediately assumed I was not worthy. I can only assume members of my future husband’s family will feel the same way. The only family member not horrified by the idea was my mother, who obviously also would want her family to be able to attend my wedding.

This was a lot to say, but my point is that I am affected by this policy in every way, as I’m sure a lot of people are, and I think that a policy not based on doctrine that causes so much anxiety for faithful members should be changed.