Kirby: Pushing a couple into the temple

Published August 4, 2007 12:00 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

My nephew got married on Thursday. Even though he was raised LDS, it wasn't the traditional Mormon temple marriage. He married someone of another faith. So of course we boycotted the wedding.

I'm kidding. We went. Family is important. Bride and groom looked happy together. But the fact that they're young also makes them relatively clueless. They'll need all the family support they can get to make it work.

Not everyone gets that support. Last week, while riding TRAX, I listened (no choice really) as two couples across the aisle discussed the future weddings of their daughters.

The couples were active LDS Church members. A major clue was the voluble agreement that they would not pay for the weddings if said daughters didn't get married in the temple.

One couple said their daughter could just go to a justice of the peace during her lunch hour. The other said they might give their daughter bus fare to Vegas. Then they complimented each other on defending the faith.

I was pleased as well.

Among the unexpected benefits of riding TRAX are such occasional reminders that I'm not the stupidest person in the world.

It's been a while since I heard that "temple or nothing" wedding stuff. I thought it had gone the way of that dim-witted pronouncement of "better a dead daughter than a sexually violated one."

But a few days later, a friend said her mother had refused to let her get married in her grandmother's wedding dress when she found out it wouldn't be a temple marriage.

Gambling is technically a sin, but I'd still be willing to bet that Heavenly Father thinks micromanaging your daughter like that is a bunch of crap. If he were similarly controlling, he wouldn't have let two idiots have a daughter.

The fact that your daughter is getting married at all means she feels ready to start taking adult risks. Ideally, this is also the same time when parents should start thinking harder about shutting up. You make fewer mistakes that way.

This isn't about whether getting married in the temple is important. This is about believing coercion is an acceptable way of getting people there. If you don't believe me, call the temple and ask if you can bring a hostage next time.

You may think you're telling your daughter how important a temple wedding is, but what she's hearing is that she's not as important to you as your personal sense of propriety.

And regardless of how the marriage turns out, years from now, when she's looking back on the most important moment of her life, what she'll remember most about you was your priggish disapproval.


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