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The Space Between

Reflections of a twice-divorced, LDS single mom.
 
I must admit I feel a bit like Matt Foley “motivational speaker” as I prepare to introduce myself. I may not be living in a “van down by the river,” but being married in the temple (not once, but twice) and being divorced (not once, but twice) does tend to make one feel like a far-from-ideal poster child for the hopes and dreams of an LDS gal. 
 
I chose to title my inaugural post “the space between” because I feel like that is where I currently reside. I am a hopeless romantic and I believe in and hope for a healthy, loving, and eternal marriage. I don ?t know when that relationship opportunity will present itself, but until it does, I am here, in this space, trying to navigate the unique landscape that is part of being a divorced member of the LDS church. At times that landscape has been marked by painful and lonely periods that don ?t fit easily into the LDS culture of “family” and “forever.”
 
The “space between” presents itself in a variety of ways and creeps in at unexpected times. Most recently, it presented itself as I was asked to be part of the witness couple in an endowment session. When non-married individuals (in contrast to often cozy and affectionate married couples) are asked to serve as a “couple,” it results in an awkward space between ? at the altar. Fortunately, a loving Heavenly Father constantly reassures me that this awkwardness this temporary ‘space between” is a valuable and essential part of the learning and growing I need to do.
 
I hope my “previously married” perspective is a valuable addition to the great voices here at Mormon Momma and I look forward to hearing from all of you whether or not you can relate to or agree with the thoughts I share. So, share with me ?.does the “space between” resonate with you at all? Are there times in your life when you have felt “out of sync” or that you just don ?t “fit’”? What have you learned from those times? Thanks in advance for sharing!

{ 35 comments… add one }

  • lellyrose October 8, 2009, 6:48 pm

    Hi Julie,
    I’m so impresssed with your post—-and yes I do know what you mean about feeling like “the space between.” I had no idea that you had gone through that—-I have too. I hope you will write some more. I enjoyed it.

    An old friend,
    Lenella

  • agardner October 8, 2009, 8:06 pm

    Welcome Julie, I’m excited to read your posts.

    While I’ve never been through a divorce, I think most all of us can relate in some way to being in the “space between.” Although mine seems kind of trivial now, I definitely felt out of place when I was a 27-year-old bride when seemingly everyone else around me had been married for years (including my younger sister, who had been married for 7 years and had 3 children by the time I got married.) Even now it’s kind of weird when all the moms with kids my kid’s ages are in their 20′s, and I’m nearing 40.

    I know this is nothing like struggling through two divorces, but it was definitely not in the Utah-Mormon norm (although it seems like it’s getting more common for women to marry late). At the time I felt like the only one in the world.

    Anyway, I really look forward to reading your column, and I’m glad Alison has found some new bloggers!

  • Alison Moore Smith October 8, 2009, 8:16 pm

    Julie, welcome. What a lovely intro!

    One of my very dear friends who I met, by the way, when we were put together randomly as roommates at Education Week had been twice divorced when I met her. I know that probably conjures up some images but, just as with Julie, whatever those words may evoke, they didn’t fit her at all. She was bright, pretty, faithful to a fault, fun, happy. It was, I have to say, eye-opening about what preconceived notions we may have about people who have been through difficulty.

    I really look forward to hearing from Julie and getting an enriching perspective.

    As for “the gap,” I think we all experience it in various ways, not alway marital. Whatever ways we don’t fit in, don’t live up, don’t follow the norm. It was a huge revelation for me in my 20′s that seriously I could be a good LDS woman even if I loved computer programming and didn’t like sewing, cooking, or crafts! Those things were so central to Relief Society as I grew up, and still were when I was a young LDS woman, that I didn’t even think to separate them.

    Interesting topic. Good job, Julie.

    Welcome to you, too, Lenella! Glad to have you hear. We are a vocal, rowdy bunch. Don’t let us scare you! :bigsmile:

  • agardner October 8, 2009, 8:36 pm

    and didn’t like sewing, cooking, or crafts

    Ditto for me, plus scrapbooking!! Oh, the horror.

  • corktree October 8, 2009, 9:38 pm

    I’m new but I’ve read a few of your discussions before and I like the tone and attitudes I’ve seen. I hope to learn something about myself and others by participating a bit more.

    I like the idea of this “space between”. It resonates with me and allows me to feel better about where I feel like I currently am in a lot of relationships. I’ve struggled a lot lately with wanting to go back to where I was before (where I felt happy and secure) and wanting to quickly move on to another phase in my life where I might feel confident and clear headed again. But I’m beginning to understand that being in transition from one perspective to another is not such a bad thing and that it will not last as long as it seems it will. I seem to have more “off” days than not lately, but I am really trying to have more compassion for myself and others that I know are in the same boat or that see things from a similar vantage point or feel like I do even with different circumstances. Thanks for helping me see this all more clearly.

  • Julie Echols October 9, 2009, 6:21 am

    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and shared thoughts. One of the big lessons I have learned from my own “space between” is that none of us are exempt from trials and challenges or from experiencing times when we feel different or “othered”. It can be easy to distance ourselves from others when we feel like we don’t belong. I have had times when I questioned “why was I made this way” and “why don’t I fit in”? A loving Heavenly Father has reminded me that He made me who I am for a reason and that He needs me to use my unique gifts, talents, and perspectives to serve Him. I believe everyone fits into that category and as we accept ourselves and the space we find ourselves in, we can authentically be more and do more with the life we have been given.

  • facethemusic October 9, 2009, 7:08 am

    Hi Julie, Lenella and Corktree!! Glad to have you around!!
    I can certainly see how those who’ve been divorced, (particularly after having been married in the temple, and maybe even more “particularly” if it’s happened more than once) would feel “different” or “othered” within the church. I’ve heard the same thing from those who’ve been unable to have children. When so much of the gospel focuses on “eternal families”, it’s easy to see how those who’ve lost temple marriages and those who haven’t been able to have children would feel a sense of separateness. The wonderful thing about the gospel of Christ, is the inexorable connection between the Savior’s atonement and grace, and Hope — that NO blessing will be denied to those who remain worthy and endure. Of course, it’s the enduring part where all the work comes in… :)

  • ksjarvis October 9, 2009, 7:16 am

    Julie, what a great post! You are right, I think everyone has experienced those times where you are in a period of your life when you just feel really out of place.

    Accepting myself as I am is a difficult thing for me. Especially since much of our purpose here in life is to CHANGE who we are. We are told from every direction that we need to change. From the world we are told we need to change our outward appearance, be more assertive, be on equal standing with everyone around us. From the church, we are told to change by being less selfish, change our hearts, etc. Are many of those expected changes positve things? Absolutely. But sometimes it is hard for me to find a balance between accepting myself as I am and changing myself to be better.

  • facethemusic October 9, 2009, 8:47 am

    But sometimes it is hard for me to find a balance between accepting myself as I am and changing myself to be better.

    That’s a profound thought ksjarvis. Well said.
    I think it’s a matter of the difference between “Accepting myself as I am” and “being COMPLACENT in who I am”.

    I accept the fact that my butt is entirely too large, but don’t count myself as less lovable, less worthy, less valued, less capable, because of it– so in that sense I “accept myself as I am”. However I shouldn’t be complacent about it and continue sitting around stuffing my face with donuts and bonbons.
    Although, it’s noteworthy that I am NOT what I look like. I might be in a disabled or fat or scarred or diseased or _______(insert your choice of adjective here) body, but that’s not “who I am”, it’s merely the condition of my physical form. Then again, who we are spiritually can have a big impact on what we look like physically, right? It’s not as easy a subject to tackle as it might appear at first.

    I think it’s also a matter of the “Serenity prayer” as it’s often called:

    “God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    the courage to change the things I can;
    and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    An interesting thing to note is the REST of the prayer, that usually isn’t quoted:

    “Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    Forever in the next.
    Amen.”

    ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

    That one line struck me the first time I read it: “…taking, as He did, this sinful world AS IT IS…. trusting that He will make all things right”. He “accepted” this world as it is, but WITH THE INTENT to change it. Putting your profound thought in that context adds some insight I think.

  • Lcgryan October 9, 2009, 9:13 am

    Julie, I love your writing style…looking forward to reading your posts. As for the “space between”, it can be a very awkward place to be and oh so uncomfortable. I am there, yet again, with an oldest son, 21, who is not choosing to serve a mission. I felt the pain of his desicions when he came home from his first and only year at BYU and wanted to distance himself from everything that remotely related to our church. I didn’t realize just how awkward this situation could get until I started teaching seminary and found myself in the midst of others from my stake who knew my son and expected him to be well on his way to serving the Lord. Ironically, I found myself giving comfort to those who were disappointed to hear his path was going in another direction. The process was exhausting…some encounters left me feeling so down hearted that I found myself licking my wounds like a cat and wanting to retreat. Those individuals who are secure and loving enough to reach out to those of us who are in the “space bewteen” are rare but golden friends. I find myself gravitating towards their positive energy, drawn like a magnet. From this experience, I have come to realize how important it is to be acceptiong and loving to everyone. Judgements and fear leave little or no room for love….at this point in my life…love comes first and all the rest will fall into place.

  • jennycherie October 9, 2009, 10:41 am

    Quote: being married in the temple (not once, but twice) and being divorced (not once, but twice) does tend to make one feel like a far-from-ideal poster child for the hopes and dreams of an LDS gal.

    Welcome Julie! Great insights in your article! Welcome also to the other new sisters who have posted!

    Quote: Are there times in your life when you have felt out of sync ? or that you just don ?t fit ? ?? What have you learned from those times?

    I think that this is something we all experience for one reason or another. For me, it is usually when our marriage is struggling or when our finances are at their worst. I think the most important thing I learn from those times is that I am not the only one feeling that way. Most people feel like they don’t fit the mold of the ideal or normal Latter-day Saint at one time or another and so it is something to overcome and use to comfort others rather than to dwell on.

    great article, Julie!

  • facethemusic October 9, 2009, 10:42 am

    Your comments are a wonderful addition to the conversation Lcgryan!!! My mother has gone through a similar thing, with 3 out of her 5 children. At times it was nearly too much to bear. And what caused her the most pain wasn’t necessarily their inactivity and even hostility towards the church, but how much PAIN they caused OTHERS by other evil decisions BECAUSE they weren’t living the gospel. Merely knowing that they no longer accepted the gospel was nothing compared to the knowledge that it was HER CHILDREN who hurt people so much. At times it was almost more than she could bear and she didn’t feel worthy to take the sacrament or go to the temple because of it, despite the fact that she knew intellectually that she wasn’t responsible for her children’s use of their agency..

  • jennycherie October 9, 2009, 10:44 am

    Posted By: facethemusic

    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right

    Tracy – I have never heard the whole thing before. I LOVED this part especially!

  • Alison Moore Smith October 9, 2009, 10:46 am

    Welcome corktree and Lcgryan. We look forward to your input.

    Amen, jennycherie. Maybe it’s because there aren’t really any ideal LDS folks after all.

  • ksjarvis October 9, 2009, 1:09 pm

    That one line struck me the first time I read it: “…taking, as He did, this sinful world AS IT IS…. trusting that He will make all things right”. He “accepted” this world as it is, but WITH THE INTENT to change it. Putting your profound thought in that context adds some insight I think.

    I had never heard the whole peom either. Thank you for that. It definitely gives me more to think about.

  • jennycherie October 9, 2009, 3:12 pm

    Posted By: Alison Moore Smiththere aren’t really any ideal LDS folks after all.

    ˇˇˇAMEN!!!:whorship:

  • Michelle D October 9, 2009, 7:33 pm

    Excellent insight, Julie. Welcome to you and the other new voices.

    I agree that we all experience “the gap” between what we want and what we get, who we want to be and who we currently are. Sometimes the frustration with that empty space is the difference between what appears to be the “perfect LDS life” and reality. Temple marriage, paying tithing, serving well in callings, etc are no guarantee that life will be “perfect” and there won’t be any empty, unsatisfying gaps or challenges. We would all be better served if we were more loving, forgiving, and accepting of ourselves and others, and our individual circumstances in life.

    I look forward to reading more of your perspective, Julie!

  • Tinkerbell October 16, 2009, 2:44 pm

    Welcome, Julie! I felt the “space between” as the child of divorced parents (who had married in the temple). The way a few parents of friends treated me, it was as if I was a sinner. Awkward times.

  • Soozer October 22, 2009, 12:45 pm

    I, too, remember some of those awkward times in the temple, feeling like a ministering angel on Stake Temple Day as I watched all the couples come together in the Celestial Room. Hopefully in going through these things we learn better how to minister to others who may also feel out of place.

  • tslinn November 5, 2009, 7:27 pm

    After being married in the temple and now divorced for nearly 4 years I feel it is more like a chasm than a space between. In our temple only married couples are asked to be the witness couples and I have been in sessions where extra women were in the prayer circle and they stopped the session to run out into the hall and round up extra male temple workers to complete the circle….which seemed to take an eternity. But as I struggle with being single and active in the church, I had not previously realized what a chasm my children find themselves facing. I actually had a date a month or so ago, which led my middle daughter to jump to the conclusion that I was getting married and therefore sealed to this new man. Her comment was, “what about my sealing, and what about my eternal family?”. We obviously need to teach our children to reach for the goal of eternal marriage and eternal families, but when and where are the kids whose families have been torn apart, taught about their eternal situation? Not sure that makes sense. But I can see my kids feeling the chasm or space as they deal with the fallout from their parents actions(mine).

    An additional thought. That is great that you are a hopeless romantic and continue to look for an eternal companion. I can’t tell you how many people have made the comment to me that there is someone out there for me, that I will find someone kind and right. But I have pretty much given up on that happening. I need to find a way to fit in and be who I am, single, raising 5 kids, in this married family unit church. But I also realize that sometimes I create my own chasm or space and need to reach out to people more, instead of hiding in the back, or being too quick to judge that I don’t fit in.

  • Alison Moore Smith November 6, 2009, 2:01 am

    Oh, my friend, what important insight.

    tslinn is a dear friend of mine. But don’t hold that against her. She’s a dear friend of everyone. When she moved to my ward years ago, it only took her about three weeks before she had more friends than I did. And, hey, I had a lot of friends! So I know I’ve been one of those people who is absolutely positive that there is some amazing guy out there who deserves her and that she will find him. I mean, seriously, if anyone should have a great guy it is her. And I mean that. If you meet her, you love her. (You shush up, Slinn!)

    About the kids, I have no good ideas. Honestly, I wish the leaders of the church would give us a little more to go on with the sealing stuff. There are SO many people who are unnerved, upset, worried, about all the who is sealed to whom stuff. We ARE taught that it’s vital, and yet we many of the questions with regard to it are dismissed out of hand.

    When I taught in YW in Florida, I realized that of my 12-ish Laurels at one point, only three were living in a home with two parents to whom they were sealed. So, when I taught the gazillion temple-marriage-ish lessons, I taught them to make righteous choices for THEIR marriage/families. They had no control over their parents (just as spouses have no control over each other). Ultimately all they can do (and all they will be judged for) is what they do. No matter what their parents do, no matter what their spouse might do, if they choose to follow God to the best of their ability, it’s all good. In the end, of course, which is the kicker, really.

    All that aside, I think your ideas and attitude are spot on. You need to learn how to fit in AS YOU ARE. My best guess is that you’ll do that just by being who you’ve always been. Happy, optimistic, funny (there aren’t very many women who make me laugh so hard I cry — a couple of years ago I was bawling through most of the General RS Meeting because I was sitting by her!), incredibly bright, interesting, big-hearted, thoughtful. Oh, and the sweet rolls don’t hurt either. :) Seriously and most sincerely, Tara, you are one of the most engaging people I know and it’s EASY for people to see that because it just shines through if you just let it. Just be Tara.

  • Rebecca November 6, 2009, 2:47 pm

    I thought I would chime in here with some thoughts I have. I recently went through a divorce and my Stake President shared some thoughts with me. The first thing he told me was that often people think that when we get to the Celestial Kingdom that it will be like a big family reunion. He said that is not doctrinally correct (I will ask him for references to that). He told me that only couples that have been sealed to each other will be together in the Celestial Kingdom. He said that the importance of having your children sealed to you is that they receive blessings here on earth and the eternities as a result of the sealing and that even if a couple is divorced the children will still receive the blessings of that sealing. I will see if I can get something more concrete that I can quote from. :smile:

    I guess that since getting divorced I actually feel that the space has closed for me. I shut out people before; big time, but now I find myself caring more about others. I have found even though my life is a couple of steps away from “the norm” that I feel I am right where I belong.

  • Alison Moore Smith November 6, 2009, 4:07 pm

    I’d like to see his references. Not so much because I disagree, but just because I don’t think there is very much doctrine on it all. Personally, I think there are lots of things we just don’t have a clue about. For example, what ARE the “blessings here on earth and the eternities as a result of the sealing” that kids get? Without even questioning whether these exists with our without an intact marriage, I can’t think of what they actually ARE unless you’re talking about some kind of extended relationship.

    OTOH, I’ve always thought that the “family reunion” idea was odd, given that ideally we’d ALL be sealed so everyone would be connected and we’d just be one mass of people standing in an eternal group hug or something. I mean, think about the logistics of ALL the people in the afterlife trying to live NEXT TO all the people they are connected to by sealings.

    And given that we have marriages and remarriages and some men sealed to many women and a few women sealed to many men, I just don’t see what it really means.

  • tslinn November 6, 2009, 5:44 pm

    We recently had a SA(misfit) fireside and a member of the seventy spoke to us and answered questions from the audience. The whole evening ended up being on sealings and different circumstances. It was pretty interesting. He also stated that it is a misconception that we will be in family units in the eternities. He said we will be eternal units as couples. Not sure how that works out with the whole polygamy sealing thing. Sorry Alison, no references for that either.
    I went to my old bishop, who happens to be our current home teacher, with my daughter’s question. He came and taught a lesson that really seemed to work. He said that too often we think of sealings as a single chain link, and if that link is broken, it is all broken. He suggested, and showed us a picture, that we think of the sealing as chain mail. That everyone is all linked together through the sealing and if one link is broken, the whole is still intact and bound together. Not sure if that means one big group hug, but it did make sense to me and my kids.
    But this has also altered my thinking on ever getting my own sealing cancelled in the event of being sealed to another man in this life. I don’t want to do anything that may separate me from my kids or take away any promised blessings they may have because of our sealing. And I want them to feel like their sealing to me is intact as long as they need that comfort….probably until they are sealed to someone else themselves.
    I really do wish there was more concrete information on this whole issue, but I guess we are all going to have to wait.

  • Alison Moore Smith November 6, 2009, 5:58 pm

    Interesting Tara.

    How does the sealing to kids work if someone cancels a marital sealing? I don’t even remember. (And, frankly, I’ve heard so many versions that I’m not even sure which I decided was the most credible.)

    Posted By: tslinnNot sure how that works out with the whole polygamy sealing thing.

    Which is always the elephant in the sealing room, eh?

    But this has also altered my thinking on ever getting my own sealing cancelled in the event of being sealed to another man in this life. I don’t want to do anything that may separate me from my kids or take away any promised blessings they may have because of our sealing.

    What are the “promised blessings”? Have you been told that canceling the sealing to “the pig” would cancel the sealing between you and your kids? I have a close friend who was married in the temple to a guy who went off the moral deep end. He was excommunicated and she later remarried in the temple “for time.” A bit later her sealing was cancelled and she was sealed to her new (wonderful) husband. I’ll have to ask her about that.

    Honestly, it makes no sense to me that being sealed to a decent guy would distance you from you kids. My understanding (vague though it is) that sealings aren’t generally dissolved until a woman gets remarried, because there needs to be a sealing in place, but to whom the woman is sealed isn’t of particular issue.

    I really do wish there was more concrete information on this whole issue, but I guess we are all going to have to wait.

    I wonder if this isn’t one of those issues that could have answers if anyone (ahem) knew how troubling this stuff was. Generally I do think it’s more troubling to women for the very reason that only dead women can be sealed to more than one man. (Another thing that defies logic.)

  • tslinn November 6, 2009, 7:58 pm

    I totally agree that a sealing needs to be in place and I am adhering to our good friend, President Lake’s advice, to not cancel my current sealing unless another sealing is a done deal.

    And no, I don’t think my kids’ sealing would be anulled or cancelled if I were to be sealed to someone other than their dad. For instance, what if both parents, previously sealed in the temple, left the church or went inactive…..would their active children not receive the blessings of the covenant they were born under? I think they would. My only thought process there was to comfort a teenage daughter struggling with her own view of eternity and her current situation. I figure I was sealed and as long as I live up to the covenants I made when I was sealed, I will receive the promised blessings whether in this life or the eternities. And as you said, it doesn’t really matter to whom I am sealed. Hopefully HF will find some decent person for me to be with. This is all assuming I even make it into the celestial kingdom. Right now I am aiming high, for the telestial! lol. I know I can make that!

    Honestly, this whole sealing issue has really been bothering me for the past 2 months. I have somewhat decided to let it rest for now because I really don’t know where or what the answers are. I am happy that I won’t be spending eternity with the “pig” as you put it, but unsure about the void I now face being in a sealing alone. Talk about a “space between”.

  • Ray November 8, 2009, 12:04 am

    I think we don’t get answers because they aren’t given, for whatever reason. Some things we simply don’t know, and almost everything about the actual logistics of the afterlife fits in that category, I believe.

    Of course, except for the core concept of eternal sealing with Michelle, my personal speculation is very unorthodox, so it’s easy for me to say it’s OK not to know.

  • Alison Moore Smith November 8, 2009, 1:12 pm

    Posted By: tslinnThis is all assuming I even make it into the celestial kingdom. Right now I am aiming high, for the telestial! lol. I know I can make that!

    Oh, shut up, you. That kind of talk leaves not an iota of hope for the rest of us. If you aren’t there, ain’t nobody gonna be there. (And if you are REALLY feeling that way, I’m on a plane to come slap you around, girl. What????!)

    Honestly, this whole sealing issue has really been bothering me for the past 2 months. I have somewhat decided to let it rest for now because I really don’t know where or what the answers are. I am happy that I won’t be spending eternity with the “pig” as you put it, but unsure about the void I now face being in a sealing alone. Talk about a “space between”.

    No kidding, friend. I’m sorry this has been bothering you. Not that I blame you at all. :sad:

    Ray, my speculation isn’t formed enough for me to know if it’s unorthodox or not. In fact, even if it was well-formed, I don’t really know what an orthodox position is other than, “Yea, we get sealed to our families and it’s really, super important.” Because trying to fit, oh, the Sunday School lessons with the actual, practical application is kind of a stretch.

    As for the “whatever reason,” I agree but therein lies my problem. I think we’d all concur that most of the answers come about AFTER someone ASKS. And, just like the priesthood thing, I don’t know if anyone is ASKING about this. Is this an issue for anyone in a position to make a statement of doctrine about it?

    For a few years now I’ve been pondering on whether to openly discuss an interesting conversation we had in the church office building a few years ago. I don’t think it’s inappropriate as it wasn’t told in confidence, but I’m just not sure how to address it in the best way or, maybe more to the point, if discussing it would be helpful. Suffice it to say that clarification on the sealing issue would be helpful to thousands of members.

  • agardner November 8, 2009, 3:10 pm

    Suffice it to say that clarification on the sealing issue would be helpful to thousands of members.

    Well, now you do have to share. Curiosity’s up!

    I think it’s true that there are thousands of members who would like clarification on this issue. My cousin is one who has really struggled with questions regarding his own parent’s sealing, and he wrote to church headquarters and received a letter basically saying, “it will all be worked out in the hereafter.” It still bothers him though.

    In a nutshell, his mom was sealed in the temple, pregnant within a few weeks, and divorced within a few months (annulled actually, I think). She was remarried in the temple either right before or right after my cousin was born (yeah, I don’t know how that all happened so fast…but it did). So he was conceived under the covenant but born under a different covenant. His stepfather legally adopted him but when he wanted to be sealed to him he was told it wasn’t necessary. He kind of feels like he isn’t sealed to any parents because his parent’s sealing was canceled even before he was born. Anyway…there are situations out there that kind of make you scratch your head and wonder.

  • Michelle D November 11, 2009, 10:15 am

    Angie, perhaps the church leaders think your cousin being sealed to his stepfather isn’t necessary because they don’t view him being born under a DIFFERENT covenant? The COVENANT is the same, isn’t it, regardless of the circumstance? Only the PARTICIPANTS vary?

    However, I can understand how he might feel that he wasn’t really sealed to either father.

    Interesting issues and questions and searches for answers throughout this discussion…

  • agardner November 11, 2009, 1:57 pm

    Michelle, I think you’re right…that’s pretty much the reasoning they gave to him. Plus, they said he was sealed to his MOTHER and since she sealed to someone that counts for him too.

    Now that I think of it, he was born before she was married to her second husband, but just by a bit (maybe a month or so). So I guess technically he was born under the covenant of the first marriage, although she was in the process of a divorce at the time.

    So I’m assuming that if a sealing is cancelled between the parents…it stays in effect for the children? I guess that’s where his concern is, because he considers his step-dad (adopted dad, actually) to be his dad, and yet technically his sealing was to this other guy he’s never met. But what the church told him and I guess makes sense is that he was sealed to his mom, and she is sealed to his adopted father, so he is thus sealed in a family unit with his parents.

  • daisy November 13, 2009, 8:08 pm

    Wow. Lots to think about. I’ve done a fair amount of genealogy work and I’ve often just shook my head said to myself, “It’s a good thing God’s in charge, because no one else could sort out this tangled web.” I know some people worry about who to seal to who first second or third. (My mom was adamant that I seal her father to her mother first, even though she was a second wife, after her father’s first wife died in childbirth.) To me it’s like thinking we can change God.

    Anyway back to the orginal post. I detect the spirit of eternal optimism in Julie’s post that I absolutely love and agree with and I just salute you. It takes courage to have faith. Most people don’t realize that. You are an inspriation.

    As to the space between. I’ve felt that too. Most of the times, in my case, it has been me that has put that space there.

  • daisy November 13, 2009, 8:14 pm

    Ok, JUlie, I just have to ask. My family was first converted back in about 1965 by a pair of sister missionaries in Orlando, Florida. One of which was a sister echols. I don’t remember her first name ( i was only 5). I realize that would make you about sixty-five. If you are lots younger than that, please forgive, its hard to tell how old you are by reading your post.

  • Julie Echols November 16, 2009, 4:17 pm

    Wow! I have been in the middle of a household move and haven’t had much time to follow the discussion. I have been missing out! I am going to try and answer the questions one by one.

    First, sorry Daisy but I wasn’t around in ’65. I am 39. Glad to hear a fellow Echols blessed your family.

    The sealing discussions are interesting and I must admit that I kind of “cop-out” when thinking about this issue as it can be confusing and makes my head hurt. I tend to jump to the bottom line that I have a loving Heavenly Father who will sort everything out in the end. My job is to keep my covenants, love my neighbor and return with clean hands and a pure heart. A tall order in and of itself :-) I will let you know, however, that I received an interesting letter from the First Presidency when my first sealing was cancelled and I was sealed to husband #2. It basically stated that my children were still sealed to their mother and father and that that sealing remained in force (even though mother and father were no longer sealed). Not quite sure how that works out on the other side but I am too busy trying to be worthy of that blessing to worry too much about the logistics.

    Tslinn….sometimes I give up on the idea that there is someone out there for me too….I think my “hopeless romantic” side has less to do with finding someone now and more to do with thinking that there is some amazing man who was tragically killed in World War I and who is my soulmate :-) Reminds me of what Elder Faust said once to the single adults….”some of you may think your eternal companion was killed in the war in heaven.” :-) I will have to find a reference for that.

    I love how you stated that “I need to find a way to fit in and be who I am”. We all need to do just that. I think we are each too important to not share our real selves, our real hopes, our real fears, and our real dreams.

  • Alison Moore Smith November 16, 2009, 9:15 pm

    Posted By: Julie EcholsI love how you stated that “I need to find a way to fit in and be who I am”. We all need to do just that. I think we are each too important to not share our real selves, our real hopes, our real fears, and our real dreams.

    Not to mention the fact that if we are NOT our “real selves” then we can’t have any real friends, because no one knows who we really are.

    One day in college (literally, one day after health class), I realized that all my years of trying to “fit in” and be the person I thought everyone would like hadn’t made anyone like me at all. First of all, I didn’t have a huge mass of friends anyway and, second, the ones I did have only liked the person I was pretending to be, not the real me.

    The odd thing was, when I finally gave up trying to be this person I imagined I had to be to be liked, I ended up with way more friends than I’d ever had before. Go figure.

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