Non LDS GF


NoMiddleName

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I've been in a relationship with a gorgeous and wonderful girl for 2 years. However, she is absolutely 100% against Christianity. ( bad experiences ). Plus a previous partner who was a bit of a rabid zealot. 

Question, how long do I give this relationship before I should be looking towards raising a family etc. 

I'm 38, she's 31.  We currently live in Britain but I have felt and heard the call of Utah for a few years now. 

I'm not married and have no kids. 

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My opinions only, obviously.

How long? Now is a good time to be looking toward raising a family. Everything you do (like, literally, every decision you make) should be with that end in mind.

As for your girlfriend, personal compatibility between spouses is tremendously important to a good marriage. But it's not the only thing, and not even the most important. Shared values are the bedrock of any intimate relationship, with marriage being the prime example.

It sounds like you're a Latter-day Saint. If a girl you're dating, however wonderful, is truly "100% against Christianity", to my mindset that's an obvious dealbreaker. Please note that I am not urging you to leave the relationship. Rather, I'm trying to provide honest and pointed feedback. You cannot and will not change her mind or attitude. Only she and the Spirit of God can do that.

If the nature of your relationship with this young woman is sexual, then to be blunt, you are living after the manner of the world. There is no lasting happiness in such an arrangement. You really need to get that sorted out before you will significantly progress in the spiritual journey you want to take.

As for Utah, it is a beautiful place, both in nature and in society. I think it's a special place (no sarcasm intended). It certainly was and is for me. But ultimately, it's just a place, and its inhabitants, however friendly, are just people. Do as you feel you are led to do, but don't imagine that going to Utah is like going to heaven. Saints raised in Utah tend to call it "Zion" and everywhere else "the mission field." Eliza R. Snow's urging might have some applicability here:

Think not, when you gather to Zion, your troubles and trials are through,
That nothing but comfort and pleasure are waiting in Zion for you.
No, no, 'tis designed as a furnace, all substance, all textures to try,
To burn all the "wood, hay, and stubble," the gold from the dross purify.

Think not, when you gather to Zion, that all will be holy and pure;
That fraud and deception are banished, and confidence wholly secure.
No, no, for the Lord our Redeemer has said that the tares with the wheat
Must grow till the great day of burning shall render the harvest complete.

Think not, when you gather to Zion, the saints here have nothing to do
But to look to your personal welfare, and always be comforting you.
No, those who are faithful are doing what they find to do with their might;
To gather the scattered of Israel they labor by day and by night.

Think not, when you gather to Zion, the prize and the victory won.
Think not that the warfare is ended, the work of salvation is done.
No, no, for the great prince of darkness a tenfold exertion will make,
When he sees you go to the fountain, where freely the truth you may take.

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I know a bit about living a mixed faith marriage. My advice would be to very carefully measure your relationship with the church and her relationship with Christianity. You have said that her relationship is 100% against broader Christianity, what is that going to mean for her "relationship" with the church? You have not said anything about your relationship with the church.

Mixed faith relationships can work, but they will require more effort than relationships with a shared faith -- especially when one of those faiths is a high demand religion like the LDS church. You will need to be prepared for some of your beliefs, desires, and practices to clash with her beliefs, desires, and practices. She will need to be prepared for the same thing. Some of those clashes will not be easy to reconcile. If you are familiar with the work of David Schnarch, you will need to be "differentiated" so that you can easily face her invalidation of your beliefs. Likewise, she will need the emotional maturity to handle when your beliefs invalidate her beliefs. It can be very difficult.

And, looking towards a family, children make it doubly difficult, as you must negotiate what to teach children about your own faith and Christianity in general, while respecting her being 100% against anything that looks Christian.

Things that I see that help make mixed faith marriages work

Mutual respect. Even if you disagree about many things, you have to be able to respect each other. If you are forever going to see her as something less than because she's not Christian, or if she is going to forever think you are something less than because you are Christian, it won't work very well.

You need to find shared values. Hard work, generosity, loyalty, kindness, or whatever, but you need to be able to identify things you both value so you are not constantly and forever wrangling with differences.

You've already been together for 2 years, so you already know something about each other. Making it a lifelong commitment, I expect, will change certain dynamics. Adding children to the mix will further change dynamics. I would suggest you explore with her what those new dynamics might look like before making those commitments.

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Everyone here has given great advice. If you really see a future with this girl, have a frank discussion with her about your views. Don’t be surprised if she decides to end things either. After all, you are a different person now then who she first met.

I typically think ending it over religious differences is a bad idea. We all grow and change over time and the person you marry at 22 won’t be the same person at 44. So be careful-you might regret this more than she does. 

Edited by LDSGator
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I should have put your two initial posts together. You're a recent convert, pushed over the edge of Christianity by the Shroud of Turin. Maybe if I would do just a tiny bit of research and referencing before venturing a response, my answers would be less clueless.

Welcome to the fold. We are very happy to have you with us. As for your questions above, my answers will stand more or less unchanged, though I apologize if I came across heavy-handed. I sometimes aim for bluntness, but never rudeness.

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Thank you everyone. I know I have been scant on details but the question / scenario is still there. 

For a little bit of history, her mother was hardcore Jehovah before she died when my lady was just 15. One of her ex's was a control freak and a zealot so her experience with Christianity isn't great. Although I understand her reasons I find them to be lacking in her overall world view. 

I don't believe in changing her just to suit my religious world view but at the same time I know I can't sail into deeper seas with that big a leak on the boat. 

So I now feel like I am at a junction in life where I need to pack up and head over the Atlantic to answer the call that has been ringing off the hook since 2015. I am currently consolidating my businesses so I can make such a move but I for sure need guidance on this issue. It's a massive decision and has been weighing on me for a time. 

Although I cannot stress enough, the good lady is an outstanding human being. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Vort said:

I should have put your two initial posts together. You're a recent convert, pushed over the edge of Christianity by the Shroud of Turin. Maybe if I would do just a tiny bit of research and referencing before venturing a response, my answers would be less clueless.

Welcome to the fold. We are very happy to have you with us. As for your questions above, my answers will stand more or less unchanged, though I apologize if I came across heavy-handed. I sometimes aim for bluntness, but never rudeness.

You are absolutely fine. 2013 seems like such a long time ago but my faith in the church is absolutely sound. It's just my life I am trying to figure out. 

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FTR, Eliza R. Snow was a sister to Lorenzo Snow, the fifth president of the Restored Church of Christ and a contemporary of Joseph Smith. She was a gifted poet and quite a spiritual person, sometimes unofficially referred to as "the prophetess". She wrote several hymns, at least two of which are in our current hymnal: "How Great the Wisdom and the Love" and "O My Father". The above poem, "Think Not, When You Gather to Zion", is also written as a hymn. It was in our hymnals when I was growing up, but apparently the 1985 (current) hymnal doesn't have it. Pity.

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NMN, here's a relevant blog post from one of a handful of LDS bloggers that I truly admire (though I don't always agree with Sister Parshall or her approach to topics; I guess you could say I'm something of a Parshall fan). She expounds using the same Eliza R. Snow poem I quoted above:

http://www.keepapitchinin.org/2014/03/04/when-you-gather-to-zion/

The blog post itself and the comments that follow ring true to me, though they have a somewhat more negative tone than I would portray. As I wrote earlier, I love Utah. It's a sacred place for me. But if you go there, go in with your eyes open. There are good people in great abundance, but not only good people. There are folks of all stripes. It's worth noting that Salt Lake City is a center, perhaps the center, of antiMormon activity.

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If you're interested in kids, something to ponder: If you cannot both agree before marriage on what core truths and beliefs will be taught, expect to see those differences waging war in your children as they grow.  You will find reason to mourn such division and lost paths.  For each kid, at least one parent will "lose".  Possibly both parents, but no fewer than one.

Can it still be worth it?  Dunno.  Folks who have told me stories tell a mixed bag of them.  From what I've personally heard, divorce or dead marriages are more common than happy-ever-after stories.  But both exist.

Edited by NeuroTypical
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Marriage is always fraught with built-in conflicts.  If you and your wife are both reasonable people, you can usually work things out.  When it becomes difficult is when there are "core issues" at conflict.  What is a core issue for you or her may be very different than core issues for anyone else.

If you're going to be serious about a religion, you're saying that a specific way of life is going to be part of your "core".  This creates exponentially strained relations when you start having children and have to make decisions on what rules they need to follow as you raise them.

The teachings of the Church are designed to make your relationship with The Lord a core part of who you are.  Many seemingly mundane activities will have some reminder of our relationship with God.

You've indicated that you have learned about our health code (the Word of Wisdom, or WoW for short).  But if you ONLY see it as our health code, you've only got part of the story.  When I go to a restaurant and I see the list of drinks, I see that there is a section for alcoholic drinks and a section for non-alcoholic drinks.  As I see that alcoholic section, I skip over it with a reminder that I've made covenants to my Heavenly Father to refrain from those drinks.  It is a reminder that I've chosen a path that is special. 

And there are several other parts of our religion that are just as integrated into our behavior.  Being a Latter-day Saint is not just a few hours on Sunday.  It is who we are.  And it isn't just about a "social etiquette".  It is about developing a relationship with our Savior through constant reminders throughout our lives that we are not simply "crude matter" (as Yoda put it).  We are spiritual beings with a higher purpose.  It is through constant reminders that we can develop our relationship with Deity and become what we are meant to become.  All human beings have this potential because we've all been given a spark of Divinity within us.  But we are so inundated with sensory inputs from this mortal world that we forget our divine nature.  All these new behaviors you will learn about are about reminding us about our divine nature.

If you choose to get married, are you and your wife going to be on the same page about what/who you are?  While it is possible (I know some who have made it work) the great majority of the time it becomes too much to strain such a marriage.  I once heard a statistic of 1 out of 20 are successful.

You need three things in common (technically 4) if your marriage is supposed to work.

  • You need to have a common place of beginning.  One reason we have elaborate wedding ceremonies is to provide that on some level.
  • You need to have a common set of values.  Becoming LDS has a lot more "value based" demands than you may be currently aware of.
  • You need a common vision for the future.  Other faiths + LDS faith marriage have a better chance of working if you're willing to give up the Celestial Kingdom.  Completely different faiths + LDS faith... I don't know if I've ever heard of these working out.  And if she's atheist...  Additionally, what about your children?  How will you raise them?
  • (Obvious appendage): You need to be committed to those common values and common vision for the future.

A core part of our faith is family.  And this implies Temple marriage (sealing) and a hope that all our children will have a Temple marriage.  If you marry her at this point, are you willing to give those up?  Currently, you may be willing.  But if joining this faith is your goal, you'll eventually learn why it is so important.  And you'll regret the fact that you've essentially given that up.

As with anything this monumental, it is your choice.  But at some point you'll realize that something's gotta give.  While the very few are able to find a third way, most of the time you're left figuring out what are you willing to give up to gain the other?

Edited by Carborendum
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I’m an LDS Christian lady married to a he generic Christian dude. we are extremely happy. But you got to have a shared value set. 
 

Have a serious and open discussion with this lady. If she’s totally against raising Christian kids and it’s something you are passionate to do: that’s a foundational clash and the relationship needs called off. 
 
If her reaction is “it’s not for me but I respect that you love it and I’m cool with you teaching that to the kids”, then have an in depth and frank conversation about things.  When you’ve been together for two years any question should be game. 

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Very late to comment on this, but here are some relevant scriptures.

From two different points of ideas and ideals, Paul approaches this topic.  It is something that has been around for a long time.

2 Corinthians 6

Quote

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

 

1 Corinthians 7

Quote

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

 

So, I suppose it would depend on how deep of a relationship you have with the woman and how much she will allow you to practice your faith I suppose.  In the end, I would pray and fast about it and seek an answer from the Spirit.

 

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