The Why

May 6, 2006

engagementSomebody left me a note that said that he or she thought it was really sad that people who serve missions marry so quickly after getting back.  This post is in response to the unsigned coment:

"You know return missionaries usually marry within six months after their missions end.

I think its sad.

Really, I do."

I don't know who this is or what this 'sadness' is referring to.  I think it could be either sad because 'dang, there goes another one that I can't have' or it could be 'dang, they're so naive.  They don't know what they're doing, they don't know who they are…'

I'm guessing this comment reffers to the latter.   That there's something wrong with getting married quickly after having been a missionary.

I can't imagine what the problem is.

So I'll just go about explaining me.  Why is it that I'm getting married just a bit more than 4 months after having returned from a mission.

I suppose the first and most important thing to do is ask the question "Is there something wrong with marriage?"

To me, marriage is the best relationship a man and woman can share.  It is the beginnings of the best relations I've ever experienced – those of family.  I know what a successful family can be like, and I know what it takes.  I feel sorry for those who feel that there is no such thing as a truly happy marriage.

Now, assuming I'm right, why wouldn't I want to get started on my own family as soon as I can after having put it off for 2 years?  Why would anybody put it off longer than the 18 or 24 months they had already put it off?  Obviously some people can't help it and every circumstance is different, but if I'm right wouldn't it be something to persue? 

If you love somebody…   And you know that that person has all the qualities you've ever hoped for in a spouse…  And you enjoy being happy…

Why wouldn't you embrace happiness?

Maybe the problem is some sort of negative view of serving a mission and the changes that take place in a person.   I've heard people say upon my returning, "You're going to need some time to re-adjust."

I suggest these people are missing the point.

I didn't go on a mission just to come back.  This wasn't a trip up the ladder then back down again.  The mission was supposed to change me.  I went because I wanted to become somebody – not just visit a personality then leave it behind.  I came back with no intention of 're-adjusting' to anything but spending more time alone.  But even being alone wouldn't change who I am and who I want to be – that person which was developed as my 24 years of life were plugged into a 2 year ideal.

And in terms of marriage… Why wouldn't I want to marry when I'm at my best?  I want her to expect me at my best.  I expect it of myself.  I want to expect it and get it forever.  There's no reason to wait on that account. 

The only other reason I can think of to put it off would be concerns having to do with how long and how well you know your potential mate. 

On this count, I think 9 years is a sufficient amount of time to get to know my future wife.

But obviously I'm not every returned missionary.  And yes, there are lots who find a girl and marry her within a few months of getting back.  Why do they do that?  This is a harder question for me to answer.  But I can tell you that your capacity for real love grows immensely while serving a mission.  Those who have served will probably tell you that they loved the people they worked with just as much as they loved their own family and closest of friends.   Maybe that's part of it – that these people are simply able to love harder and faster and stronger than other people can understand or believe.   Maybe it's that they feel there's something hugely important about marriage.  Maybe, to them it's more than just an outdated social custom.  Perhaps even essential in developing the most desirable of human relations.  And maybe, just maybe, there is a God and he cares enough about each person who dedicates 2 years to His service to get that person in contact with his or her soulmate ASAP. 

I honestly have no idea.  I'm not in that situation.  I am marrying a girl I've known for years and who fits me better than anybody I've ever met.  I love her.  I want to commit to her.  We knew we would get married even before I left for my mission, so I have no desire to wait any longer than I absolutely must in order to make my committment to her official, binding, and more permanant than is the already deep and rewarding friendship she and I already share. 

I hope this answers somebody's questions and creates more understanding and trust in a world where it's easy to be hurt, then afraid, then doubting, then cynical.



3 Responses to “The Why”

  1. squishous Says:

    “when you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”

  2. chellee Says:

    That is one of the sweetest things I have ever read. No really, it made me cry a little. I am so happy for you two, and I think you’re really cute with each other, and so nice! Congratulations!

    P.S. Squishous, nice quote, I like it.

  3. WhiteRaven Says:

    Hmmm, I would say if you knew the girl for a long time it might be o.k. to get married after you got back from a mission. What I think is sad (let me tell you, you are lucky to have had someone to come back to in the first place) is you leave for the mission and mean while she is back here banging all your friends (had a few friends have that happen to them) of course I also have had a few friends go on a mission get sent back for some odd reason than come out of the closet, but I support them that is what happens when you repress your sexuality I mean you cant even masturbate how did you do it man!

    I could never ever ever serve a mission I was LDS still technichaly am, but I am putting in for an excommunication here soon so you know how it goes I betrayed my brothers, hey speaking of betrayed me and you should get on the subject of Antichrist since he is Jesus and all (that is an Antichrist joke, I know not very funny) those who study get it though.

    Well I would say if you were my friend (good friend that is) do what ever floats your boat, want to get married get married, me I have been hurt enough to be more of a drifter (stupid Kellers). Also I would like to add since you have a religious thing going on about marriage, getting married and having kids is the closest you can get to god besides being dead at least that is what the Kabbala has to say about it.

    I would also like to add jealousy is not a physical attachment but an emotional attachment, jealousy is a red flag on both sides, leave jealousy to fester it grows into much worse. I think people do not understand that hence 65 percent divorce rate in this country just thought I would add that.

    Well that is it I do talk a lot, sign of loneliness I guess of course I am abundant in friends so maybe not that alone.

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