Living Happily Ever After


Why Wait?

“My kids always perceived the bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries are unloaded from the car.” (Erma Bombeck)

Or in the case of my younger sister, the bathroom is where you wait it out until all of the dinner dishes are done! (I’m sure I’ll hear from her on this one. But she KNOWS what I’m talking about:)

As an adult, since my engagement to #5, I’ve also been “waiting it out,” but unfortunately, couldn’t hide in a bathroom; I had to keep living my life.

What was I waiting for?

Marriage. To get married, to be exact. Actually, it’s THE reason for my “long” engagement and wait. Yes, the time to thoroughly get to know one another, to help our children prepare for the life change and blending of families has been very helpful. But the main reason for the wait is that I need authorization to marry where I wanted to marry.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe in marriage (and family) and in beginning all of that by marrying in a L.D.S. temple. A temple is the place we believe covenants, and the ties that bind, are made not for just this life but for eternity.

To qualify for the privilege of going to a temple to worship, marry or participate in other ordinances you must have a temple recommend (a paper permit.) This is required not because what takes place in a temple is secret (it’s not secret), but because the ordinances performed therein are so sacred. To receive a temple recommend, you must live certain standards and then obtain the recommend/permit from your local clergy.

In a first marriage, you only need a temple recommend to be married and sealed to your chosen spouse. In the case of divorce, additional authorization beyond a temple recommend is required to remarry in a temple. Men and women sealed to previous spouses in a L.D.S. temple must obtain special permission to be sealed to a new husband or wife in a temple. The additional authorization is known as a cancellation or clearance of your previous sealing and it is in letter form. As both #5 and I had been married and sealed in a temple to our previous spouses, both of us needed additional authorization to remarry in a temple. And that letter of authorization to do so comes directly from The First Presidency of The Church. They are the only men who grant that permission.

It is a process that takes time. In fact, you never know how long it all can take to gather the required information, complete the interviews necessary and do everything else that is part of obtaining a cancellation or clearance to remarry in a temple. I think for that reason, most L.D.S. couples who remarry choose to marry civilly (not in a L.D.S. temple) initially, and then go to a temple approximately one year after their civil wedding to be sealed to one another.

But that’s not me.

For a variety of reasons, I guess.

My parents raised me to live a life that would allow me to marry in a temple, and I had always chosen to live that way. I hadn’t changed, I didn’t change the way I lived or what I believed in, just because my former spouse made the choices he did. Or because I was divorced or living an unexpected life. A temple marriage was still my ideal. For me, it was the place to marry–my only choice.

I was also raising my children to marry in a temple. I needed to remarry in the temple not just for me, but also as an example to them (especially given the “example” the other Merriman parent had set.)

We began the application process that would allow us to marry in a L.D.S. temple within weeks after we got engaged. We just never realized how long it would take.

“If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.” (Oscar Wilde)


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