Ministering Angels

"They neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those what are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory."

Friday, August 05, 2005

For time and all eternity, as fast as we can

By Melinda

Yesterday, I went to the temple sealing of a former roommate (Jane Doe). She met her husband (John Doe) online in May. They talked by phone a few times, then met in person. Ten days after meeting in person, he proposed. She accepted. Three and a half months after discovering his existence, she married him for time and all eternity.

This sort of story happens all the time - at BYU with kids under 23. These two don't fit the profile. Jane is 27, and is an RM with a masters' degree and a stable career. John is 30, also an RM with two college degrees, and plans to head to law school. Also, when Jane and I were roommates, we had more than one conversation about hormone-crazed RMs who married within weeks of meeting a cute girl. Jane and I agreed that quickie relationships like that were disasters waiting to happen (barring the occasional success story like a couple I knew who met and married within five weeks and were still happily married after 40 years). THEN SHE WENT AND DID IT!

I'm scratching my head and trying to figure out what happened to her. Any ideas?



at 8/05/2005 4:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 8/05/2005 7:34 PM Blogger Dirk said...

Follow her example!


at 8/05/2005 9:40 PM Anonymous Barb said...

I think it was M* where it was discussed that according to some that you know in minutes if someone is right for you. However, in many instances it is important to make sure you really know the person first. There is no exact formula for success. I have heard from someone's personal experience on a blog that age is not such a key factor as seeking a person who is a healthy person.

Well, what happens if one of the people who writes the blog decides to suddently marry. Will there be auditions as to who can fill her place?

at 8/06/2005 4:05 PM Blogger Dave said...

Both are Mormon and both are RMs, so they already know that they have about 98% of their life values and beliefs in common. And both are old enough to know what they're doing. Best of luck to the new couple. It's not like marriage is ever really a rational decision anyway.

at 8/06/2005 5:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's 27. That's all it takes for some.

at 8/07/2005 12:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marriages after short engagements are not unique to Mormon culture. And short engaments do not necessarily mean weaker marriages. Modern American culture tells us that short engagements are bad. I don't think the Lord cares whether our engagements are short.

In many cultures arranged marriages are the norm, with very short engagements. Sometimes the bride and groom meet for the first time at the altar, sometimes for a few hours prior to their acutal wedding.

Our western culture says that you must be "in love" with the person you are to marry. And that to find out if you are "in love" you must deeply and intimately know the other person.

There are several problems with the western model of marriage. First, "in love" usually means "I want to have sex with this person." And, it is probably impossible to really get to know a person outside of marriage, no matter how long two people date.

I think there are real advantages to the arranged marriage model. My wife and I have two very close friends from India, both are doctors. He was raised in the US and attended medical school here. Once he finished with his residency, his mother told him that she had found a woman in India and had arranged for him to marry her. She showed my friend a picture and a short biography. He traveled to India, met with his new bride for about four hours under the supervision of her family. A few days later they were married.

They returned to the US where both now practice medicine. They have two children.

They have been married for ten years. We know them well. They have a loving and very supportive relationship. I have never heard them exchange a cross word, raise their voices with one another, or say anything derogatory about each other behind each others back, like some of my American friends.

Once I asked my friend if he loved his wife before he married her. He said, "love cannot exist outside of marriage. I did not love my wife for sometime after we were married. But I love her more each day. The key to our sucessful marriage is respect. I have treated her with respect since the day I married her. Respect grew into love."

Arranged marriages like my friend's work because they had involved parents making disspassionate assessments of potential mates. The parents were in a better position to make assessments of compatability.

So what does this have to do with your post? How long a person is engaged does not determine future sucess in marriage. What determines sucess is compatiablitiy and both partners willing to work at the marriage.

My friend is right about one other thing--love, true romantic love, does not exist outside of the commitment required by marriage. So waiting to fall "in love" before marriage is waiting for an illusion.

at 8/07/2005 1:49 PM Blogger Jahn said...

"Marry in haste; repent at leisure.

at 8/07/2005 4:36 PM Anonymous Abdul said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 8/08/2005 5:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I never thought I'd believe that arranged marriages had any sense to them. But after reading the comment posted above, I think I'm a believer.

We make a mess of it when we try to choose someone ourselves. Let the older wiser ones set it up! Then we can blame them if it goes sour.

at 8/09/2005 11:16 AM Blogger Melinda said...

I thought the comments about an arranged marriage were good too. Interesting about not being able to really love someone without committing to them. There's some real truth to that.

However, I would have to object to an arranged marriage. My dad has picked out two different husbands for me - and either one of them would have been a disastrous relationship! The first one he picked because he was good friends with potential husband's dad. But I immediately spotted a real immaturity in the potential husband. My dad didn't see it for a couple of years.

The second guy my dad picked because he looked and acted like a future GA. He also said he was single because he hadn't yet found a woman who put Christ at the center of her life. Translation: he was auditioning women for the role of "perfect Mormon wife" and had not yet found her. That's a scary man. He doesn't want a real woman - he wants an image for the neighbors. I wish him well, and I extend deepest sympathies to his future wife, who will never be able to live up to her husband's expectations.

Maybe arranged marriages would work if my mom got involved in the spouse choosing project, but I sure wouldn't leave it up to my dad!

at 8/09/2005 11:17 AM Blogger Melinda said...

Oh wait, except I don't want my parents involved at all at this point, except to give a stamp of approval. :)

at 8/09/2005 6:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe she was pregnant?

at 8/09/2005 9:33 PM Blogger Dirk said...

Umm, to the last poster did you even read the original post, it was a Temple Marriage. Therefore pregnancy is extremely unlikely(not impossible but very very unlikely)

at 8/10/2005 10:18 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog that has some great ideas about choosing a good mate. You should check it out.

at 8/10/2005 5:43 PM Blogger Sarita said...

good points

at 8/11/2005 2:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did the origninal post on arranged marriages. The point of the post was not to advocate for arranged marriages per se--I don't think that arranged marriages work in american society like they would in traditional Indian society for a number of reasons, Including certain cultural safeguards we don't have here. Rather, I used my friends' arranged marriage as an example of individuals who had an abusrdly short engagement, yet had a very happy marriage. As my friends' experience shows, so long as two people are basically compatable, treat each other with respect, and are committed to the marriage, love will almost always develop and a succussful marriage will almost always result.

at 8/11/2005 3:16 PM Blogger micahp said...

Well, I agree that some people go too fast. I got married before I knew my wife for a full year. We were engaged after about 8 months. It was definety fast and a time of emotion, hormones, excitement and looking to the future. Sometimes its okay to get caught up in your emotions. Do marriages where the couples dated for years and lived together before getting married tend to last for eternity more often? Then again what's the hurry to get married. My guess is hormones but also a clear vision of what our purpose is and having a family is a pretty important part of the plan. In the end, I don't think it's our place to judge how long someone should wait. Sometimes it seems to me like the people who talk about it are jealous that they themselves haven't found someone they want to marry or someone that will marry them.

at 8/12/2005 1:05 AM Blogger Stephen said...

Fear, love, peer pressure? Who knows. I agree it is generally a bad idea, but sometime people just click.

at 8/12/2005 7:31 AM Blogger Dirk said...

Why is it a bad idea? As opposed to general society where people try out relationships for years to the point that the only benefit to marriage is the piece of paper and employer health benefits.

Sure maybe taking a little longer may be preferred, but as with the example of the arranged marriages, and historically long engagements have not been the norm for most people.

If your both sure, waiting longer, especially when trying to remain Temple worthy, can actually be damaging to the relationship.

Anyone who rushes into a marriage thinking all their problems will now be over are in for a rude awakening, and will thus struggle, but those who expect to have to continue to work on it can and will thrive.

At the age of the couple in question the need for a lengthy engagement is actually less in my opinion, because they are used to dealing with life, and having to live on a budget, make car and rental/mortgage and other payments.

I still think %90 of the married within six months of getting home from their missions (Like all three of my RM Sibs) are just asking for trouble, simply because they really aren't as ready for the responsibilities of life yet. But If they are willing to work at it, and don't spend themselves into trouble (unfortunately many many do) then those marriages will also work.

The only real difficulties I predict for this couple is that they have both been living alone for quite some time now and have become set in some of their ways. Those ways will need some adjusting but other than that I see little problem with going so fast.

at 8/13/2005 11:47 PM Anonymous JKS said...

My parents met and married in 3 months. And lived in different states. They only saw each other for about 2 weeks of the 3 months.
She said it was pretty interesting going grocery shopping and having no idea what her new husband liked to eat!!!
They were sure about it. They've been happily married 39 years.
If the above couple was sure, then it didn't really matter how long the engagement was.

at 8/14/2005 7:26 PM Blogger Ty said...

sometimes love just happens and you go with it. Why question when you're finally blessed with it?

at 8/16/2005 11:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can marry more misery in fifteen minutes of ceremony than you could have ever imagined possible in one lifetime.

Take your time.

at 9/28/2005 5:48 PM Blogger Osvaldo said...

I've known people who were looking to marry quick. It was always disastrous.

I've known more people who were disgusted by the idea, like your friend, and who then knew right away that they'd met the one. I was one of them. My wife and I put off getting engaged for a while, because we were too embarassed, but we knew within two weeks of dating.

If you're not trying to convince yourself that you've found the right one, when you suddenly realize that you have, you know the realization is genuine.

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