Here's and excerpt from this week's letter:
"...have you been going to church? I don't want to be a nag, but here's my train of thought: if we get married, there is no reason it wouldn't be in the temple. So it would be best if you were thinking about preparing for that. Even if it's another couple of years down the road, it would good to be thinking about it, so that it means something to you. I don't want you going to the temple just for me..."
I've never been directly confronted with this issue, I think it's just one of those things that everyone just assumes all members are on the same page about. However, temple marriage is one of the things I've never had a testimony about. While I wasn't on a mission I began to plan a life that involved marrying a non-member, mostly because at the time a majority of girls who still accepted me as an upright young man fit in that pool. To be honest, all that time, the idea of not getting married in the temple was not disturbing to me, in fact I didn't think twice about it. Maybe it's lack of faith, maybe it's ignorance, maybe it's the number of temple marriages(including that of my parents) I have observed fail for the same reasons temporal marriages fail. I have always assumed I'd just go along with whatever my wife wanted, it is HER day after all.
Now, Hannah has placed it in front of me. I guess temple marriage has never seemed of all that importance to me because it occurs to me that the #1 priority in marriage should be to have a happy, successful, and loving marriage, and everything else can follow that. I've felt that, just like being an RM doesn't guarantee a perfect boyfriend/girlfriend, a temple marriage doesn't guarantee a perfect, or even a good, marriage.
I consider myself a very analytical person, while I am very creative, I crave facts and figures to make educated decisions, I've never been able to "feel" an answer, answers just eventually make sense though logic and rational thought. It's hard for me to say I desire a temple marriage when I don't even know what a temple marriage truly is. I feel like all of my information is the same as they feed you in primary, you promise to live worthily and in return you get to be with your spouse for eternity. If it's so simple, why all the mystery around what goes on in the temple? I struggle with the idea I'll be inundated with a vast amount of information at the last minute, and that I'll be making a very important life decision without all of the information. It's the same issue I have with endowments, when Hannah got hers I had so many questions, unfortunately she was unable to answer any of them, and simply replied, "You'll find out when you go for your own." In my way of thinking, this seems to make no sense, how can I commit to something so important when I can't know what I'm committing to until I've already committed to it?
In retrospect, I even wonder about my baptism. Do I regret getting baptized at eight? No, but I sometimes wish I had waited until I fully understood what it was that I decided to do. Looking back I feel like I decided to get baptized because it was expected of me, and that's what all of the other kids my age were doing, so it must be right. Sometimes I feel like the same concept applies for 19 year-olds deciding to go on a mission, or other young people going to the temple together. Do I go because I KNOW it's right? Or because it's what I'm supposed to do, or expected to do.
To this, most people simply say, "Have faith, and you'll know what to do." When I hear this I always think of when Obi-Wan tells Luke to put on the Blinder and to reach out with his feelings:
Crappy quality I know, nevertheless, I wonder after watching this clip, am I Luke or am I Han? Do I want to have, but lack the courage to "let go"? Or do I depend too much on myself alone for my own good?