My lovely wife and I have recently crossed our 18th anniversary. We haven’t actually celebrated yet– we have a weekend at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel awaiting us– but it’s enough to say we actually made it this far.
This wasn’t the first marriage for either of us; I’ve been married twice before and she once– temple weddings, all. My wife doesn’t appreciate it when I say we should get a revolving charge account at the temple. I’m not going to explain away my other two nuptials. They are so far in the past and I am no longer that person. I will say these earlier stumbles make me wonder if I will be held accountable for them even though I was never denied another temple marriage.
Take 3 Nephi 12: 31-32 for example:
31 It hath been written, that whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.32 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whoso shall marry her who is divorced commiteth adultery.
Is this to say I have stripes waiting for me for remarrying a divorced woman? I just might if you ask the Church Educational System which fires any of its employees who get a divorce. Which means that, if Wilford Woodruff had been with CES, he’d have been handed his pink slip (and did he get stripes for his divorce?).
It may have been explained to me some time ago what was meant in 3 Nephi (and Mark in the NT), but I’ve long forgotten the answer. I have difficulty accepting that my mistakes– mistakes which I’ve apologized for and since corrected– are still going to leave glaring marks on my report card. It sure leaves a big scarlet “D” around your neck in the ward if it gets out you’re divorced. I don’t know what the sisters experience, but as a divorced brother, I felt soiled and unattractive. Some LDS women came right out and said they would not date me because I was divorced. This led me to go out and date non-Mormon women who weren’t so repulsed. I had no intention of courting them, but at least I could enjoy the company of a pretty, appreciative woman.
My wife and I traveled in different circles in our singles ward. She thought my group was “weird” and I thought hers was “full of itself.” Nevertheless, we both ended up at a pot luck at someone’s house; I was feeling impish and playfully struck up a conversation with her. To both our surprise, we started hanging out and the next thing I knew, I agreed to drive her Sonata with her to SLC. Although we were supposed to take turns, I drove the whole way non-stop, and when I met her family– and they heard of my vehicular chivalry– I earned the pet name “Super Dave” (her siblings still call me that).
Definitely, I’ve skinned my knees a few times coming to the point where I met my wife. And if it means getting stripes for the others to get to her, I say bring them on. And while we sometimes get on each other’s nerves, and have entirely different opinions about child-rearing and American Idol contestants, I can safely say, with no agenda…
Really, sweetie, you’re the best I’ve ever had.