. . . . there I was writing my ex-wife a letter trying to explain what a Temple Marriage and Sealing is and what it means regarding our son. You see my current wife and I wanted her daughter, my older son, and our younger son, to all be sealed to us in the Mormon Temple. One of our many obstacles was my son was only 15 and needed the consent of both of his living parents. The other obstacle was my wife’s daughter was 18 and needed the same consent from her bio-father (even the Bishop had to look this one up. You have to be 21 to attend otherwise.) I was charged with the task of letter writing. In these letters I had to explain things to people who didn’t know much about Mormonism. I had give them enough information to make an informed decision about whether or not they wanted their children to be sealed to my wife and I.
In the middle of the letter, which I was trying to keep to one page, I put my hands down from my computer and thought to myself . . . .
It’s almost as if we need to have the missionaries come out and teach them the lessons.
How could anyone make an informed decision without all the facts at hand. I tried to give them the facts as best as I knew them. I explained that the children couldn’t be sealed to any other living parent. I tried to explain that it had no effect on the current custody situation. I tried to explain everything that I was taught about the temple that would fit into an 8 x 11 sheet of paper (allowing for the obligatory white spaces of course).
But I wasn’t taught much about the temple. What happens in the temple stays in the temple. Right? When I would ask questions I would get ‘You’ll have to experience it yourself.’ Or ‘We don’t talk about those things outside the temple. So I was the one to tell my ex wife and my wife’s daughters father about their children’s eternal progression. Yes. Me? A 1 year within the church.
When I got a call back from my ex-wife all she was concerned with was . . . . . Polygamy. She wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to take a couple of wives to the temple with me. Maybe she felt it would be hard to explain to her side of the family about her son’s father and his new sister wives. I viewed her concerns and assured her that that wasn’t going to happen. I was relieved that everything went smoothly. My wife’s daughter’s bio-dad gave his consent. My ex gave her consent. Everyone had their taste of Mormonism and was OK with their portion. But I didn’t realized how much of a Jagged Little Pill Mormonism was until I went out with the missionaries.
I was called on one night to go out to teach a lesson to a man with the missionaries. It was a Thursday (Don’t ask me to remember how I remember that detail because I just forgot). When the missionaries and I got to the door I understood why I was asked to attend this teaching. The gentleman was about the same age as I. He had pictures of his children on his fireplace mantel. They looked similar to mine. Actually he looked similar to me. We both come from African descent and we both have mixed race children. When the missionaries talked of subjects that where near to me I put in my two cents as best as I could. But when they asked me to tell this man about my Temple experience (this was months after our Temple trip) I think I told him too much. I felt he wouldn’t know what I was talking about until he knew a couple of things about Mormonism 102, Temple 101, Priesthood 102, and even a little Mormonism 202. I realized the information was too much for him to take. Not all I was saying stuck with him, I could tell by the glaze in his eyes. I realized there is a lot to take in with regards to Mormonism. Even one of the Oldest of our wards High Priests has no idea about it all. So how can we expect to have this man take it all in just over a couple of months. The meeting before last was about 3 or 4 months ago. We visited him just last week and Mormonism is still too much of a Jagged Little Pill for him to take. Maybe it will never be for him. So we must accept that contrary to LDS belief Mormonism isn’t for everyone.
I know one of the missions of LDS Missionaries is to teach people what they ‘should’ know so that they can be held accountable for their own salvation. But what they don’t tell people is that the Second President of the Church, Brigham Young, took about two years to accept Mormonism. Seems it was a Jagged Little Pill for him to take also. Heck it took the missionaries coming over for 11 years for me to become a member. And still there are jagged edges on the pill I take everyday. The Jagged Little Pill I Like to Call Mormonism.