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Question

Dear Gramps,

I have been getting to know and going out on dates with this great guy who is active in his Mormon church. We are both 28 and single. I am Baptist and don’t understand a lot about the Mormon faith. My question is what is the best way to further a relationship with him if I’m not sure I want to convert to Mormonism? Every prayer for clarification sends me back to him and my heart tells me that he is the one I want to spend my life with. We agree on just about everything, but he has not opened up to me about his faith and what his beliefs are. I don’t feel like asking him to define his faith at this stage of our getting to know each other is the right thing to do, but rather get to know each other as people and individuals without the pressure of faith.

We have not put a label on what our relationship is. Without joining the Mormon Church is there hope for a future with this man?

Jen

 

Answer

Dear Jen,

The best way for you to find out more about our Church would be to invite the local missionaries to teach you.  These young men and women have given two years of their lives to teach others, such as you, concerning the Mormon Church.  They would be delighted to talk with you and explain the beliefs that your boyfriend has.  Though they would love to have you join the Church, there is no obligation to do so.  They could also supply you with literature and other reading materials that will help you better understand what your friend and the rest of us believe.

I am sure that you friend would be more than willing to help you contact the missionaries and be with you as you are being taught.  This way you can involve him, but not do it in a confrontational way.

As far as there being hope for your future with him, without joining the Mormon Church, that is a question that you will need to address with him.  We have been advised by our leaders to marry within our own faith as I am sure you have.  Spencer W. Kimball, a previous leader of the Mormon Church gave the following advice,

“Without common faith, trouble lies ahead. When two people marry who have different standards, different approaches to life, and different backgrounds, it is a very difficult thing. There are exceptions, but generally there will be great difficulties. Religious differences imply that there will be wider areas of conflict. Church loyalties clash, and family loyalties clash.  Paul said: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14). Perhaps Paul wanted them to see that religious differences are fundamental differences.”

Interfaith marriages have been known to work, but in most cases ( one in seven) it results in divorce or inactivity in their respective faiths.  In either of these cases, children born to the union will suffer.

I would encourage you to sit down with your friend and discuss the subject of religion.  Once your relationship has developed, it might prove hard to be honest with each other as to how important this matter might be.

 

Gramps

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