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Thanks for taking my question. The short story is that I am an atheist, and carrying on a complicated but loving relationship with a believing Mormon woman. While I believe none of the claims of the church (and am honest about it), somehow I take seriously the idea that marrying this woman disallows her from certain temple privileges and post-mortal progression. She says God put me in her path for a reason. Is it wrong to carry on, knowing she is sacrificing certain aspirations to do so? Thanks.






I can’t give you a direct answer to the question you are asking.  First it really isn’t my place to make such a call, and second there is no way one post can give me enough information about the two of you to give such direct counsel.

I can only give more generalized advice.  It seems likely to me that she is hoping that at some point you might convert and thus allow both of you to enjoy all the temple privileges and progression.  The unknown question is has she considered the possibility that you might never convert?  And if she knew that you never would convert would she still be interested in moving forward?  Those are important questions that you both need to have answers to before moving forward.

Then there is you.  The very fact that you are asking about this shows that there is a certain amount of stress in your relationship caused by the difference of religious belief.  This stress will not go a way unless one of you effectively converts to the other’s beliefs.  As well intentioned as that conversion might be, if it is not based on the belief that it is true then the conversion is a lie and a fraud, and that rarely ends well.

So the two of you need to figure out how (and if) you two can make this work.  What level of compromises can you accept? How much you are willing to give in? How will you handle families (both extended) and any kids you might have?

I wish you the best of luck in navigating the path before you.






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