Can I Marry a Mormon?

Q. Hello, my name is Becky and I’ve become infatuated with a Mormon boy. He’s 22, and I’m 18. I am not Mormon, but have seriously been thinking about becoming Mormon. Not only because of him, but because I feel it would be good for me. My mother on the other hand, thinks I’m being stupid and does not support me in any way. I believe it’s my choice, and I would like to marry him. If I don’t become Mormon, I shall be Christian. Can Mormons marry Christians? Would it be bad if they aren’t sealed?

Hi Becky! It sounds like you have at least two questions here:

1) Can I/Should I be a Mormon?

2) What would a mixed-religious marriage commitment be like if I remained a non-Mormon Christian?

Young love

To the first question, a hearty YES!

Of course, if you embark on such a momentous decision you should do it for the right reasons, and having a crush on a guy, while thrilling, just won’t have the kind of lasting draw to keep you in communion with Christ in the restored church. Talk to your local missionaries and they will help you understand and obtain the deeper motivations that will bring you everlasting life and joy. Introduce them to your mother, too. They can help alleviate her fears.

And my answer to the second question is: CAUTION!

Mixed-faith marriages are tough on any family. They are stressful, and only get more stressful as the hormones wear off. Mormons are particularly hard-hit because marriage itself is a sacred ordinance and covenant with God that must be entered into by both husband and wife. Is it bad not to be sealed? Well, it’s not “going-to-hell” bad, but it’s settling for less. Less than what Our Father has prepared us to become.

I’ve written back to another person about this topic before. Please read it next. It’s called, “I’m in Love with a Mormon, What Now?

Question Box: Prayer

Someone recently asked us if prayer worked and if praying for a sick family member might help her get better.  My short answer: Yes and Maybe.

Prayer is the medium through which we can communicate with God. God is our Heavenly Father and he loves us and wants us to be happy.

The scriptures are full of examples of prayers being offered and answered—Hannah, Solomon, Daniel, Peter, Nephi, Alma, the Savior, and the list goes on. But some if not most of these examples are pretty dramatic. Babies aren’t always conceived, wars stopped, people healed, or lives saved because of my prayers, no matter how much I may want these things to happen. In fact, I often feel like the answers to my daily prayers are rarely (if ever) dramatic and if that’s the case then how do I even know that prayer works?

One of my favorite descriptions of prayer comes from the LDS Bible Dictionary:

“Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.”

Presumably God already knows what we want and need. Prayer really isn’t about convincing Him to give us what we want. Instead, prayer is about learning to align our desires with God’s will. It’s about us learning how to have a conversation with our Heavenly Father that can change and bless us.

Becoming a parent has broadened my perspective on many topics and prayer is one of them. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father may not be that different from my relationship with my toddler (perhaps we’re all essentially toddlers in God’s eyes anyway). Teaching her how to communicate effectively is one of my jobs. She may be able to physically take a toy she wants out of my hands but I want her to learn to communicate differently. I want her to learn to be polite (please), and grateful (thank you), and I want her to learn to understand her desires and motives and learn to articulate them. I want her to learn how to ask. I imagine our Heavenly Father is the same.

I also know that there are times when no matter how politely she asks for something I won’t give it to her. I love her and I want her to be happy but no matter what she may think I know better than she does that, for example, eating chocolate chips for every meal won’t really make her happy like she thinks it will. Thus, I don’t let her do it not because I don’t love her but because I do love her and I want her to be happy and healthy in the long run.

Similarly, Heavenly Father is a loving parent who wants us to communicate with him. He wants us to be happy and He has a much wider perspective than we do on how that happiness may come to be. Over time (and I believe this is something we’ll be learning our whole lives), as we learn how to pray to him and align our will with His we can learn to trust Heavenly Father and recognize His hand in our lives. We can come feel his love for us and recognize the answers to our prayers, even if they aren’t the answers we expect.

For more articles on prayer, how to pray, and how to recognize answers to prayer check out these great articles hereherehere, and here.

Why do I need a prophet?

Jesus Christ is the head of His church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is called by His name and we follow Him. But how can we follow someone if we don’t know what He wants us to do? Christ doesn’t come on the radio shows in the morning or on the 5 ‘o clock news to remind us that He loves us and that we need to keep His commandments. The blessing of a prophet is to know how to follow Christ in an ever-changing and challenging world.

We know what he taught people and civilizations in the past, thanks to the Bible and the Book of Mormon, but what about in our day?  Check out a session or two from October’s General Conference to learn what we have been counseled most recently.

2013 is a LOT different from Biblical times. We have new issues, new questions, new innovations that require continuous revelation from Christ. We get questions all the time on this site about abortion, gay marriagetithing, pornography, drugsfinances, the end of the world, etc. Thanks to our modern, living prophet, we can know exactly what Christ would tell us all about how to navigate the new stuff.

President Thomas Spencer Monson

When He was on Earth, Christ called 12 apostles, ordained them with the power and authority to act in His name. He also called a group of men called a quorum of the Seventy and established other positions of service to help spread the gospel around the world–leadership that would last after He had to leave them.

After He suffered, died and was resurrected for our sake, He left the church in Peter’s hands, but continued to lead the church through His chosen Apostle. In time, however, the people stopped listening to the words of Christ’s disciples and killed them. Without a prophet or apostles, Christ’s instruments for guiding the world were lost.

Because He loves us, our Heavenly Father has again called a prophet to act as His mouthpiece. The first prophet of this era was Joseph Smith Jr. He is responsible for the majority of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After his death in 1844, God has continued to call prophets for our benefit and we continue to be blessed by their teachings. His church still operates with 12 apostles, quorums of the seventy, etc. the same way He formed it originally.