The goal of going to the temple and being sealed for time and all eternity is something I've heard about my whole life. And it's something that I want very much. The thing is, both people have to be members of the church and worthy to go into the temple to be married there. Which is why, from a young age, we're encourage to date only those who share the same religion as us. You're one day going to fall madly in love with someone you date, and how awful would it be to not be able to spend time and eternity with that person because you both can't go to the temple. I heard that advice over and over when I was growing up, stored it in the back of my head, and said eh, that's not going to happen to me.
I met Sammy in high school. Realized there was something completely different about him from all the other guys. We started dating. I told myself that this was just dating, just because we were dating didn't mean we were going to be perfect for each other and fall in love and one day want to be married. Then as time went on, I realized I couldn't picture myself with anyone else other than him. And it broke my heart. Because, I wouldn't be able to go to the temple with him.
I had people on all sides telling me to end it. My bishop, my parents, my grandparents, leaders. They told me that I could find a returned missionary in college and he could take me there, and it would be a much easier path saving me from pain and tears. Little rebel me said no way to all them and kept fighting for Sammy. I had no idea what the future held, what was going on inside him. I just knew I wanted Sammy and I'd take the harder path for him.
As time went on, I watched as Sammy started investigating the church and having his change of heart. I didn't push him. I told him I loved him no matter what happened. But inside I leaped for joy every time he learned something new and said it made sense to him and he believed it. As he learned I learned along with him and believed in my faith even strongly than ever before. The more we learned together, the more importance I had for the temple, and wanting to go there.
Sammy wanted to see the temple, and the day we visited it together was a special one. You can read about that here. After that day, we both knew what we wanted. The question was just how to get there.
It hasn't been easy. I can't count how many nights I've cried because I'm just so frustrated and it's so hard and why can't we just get there already? It almost tore us apart, but at the same time it's shown us how strong we are as a couple. Sammy is still working things out for himself, and we're deciding what's best to do for the two of us. But there's one thing I know for sure. The two of us are going to make it. We're going to make it to the temple. How do I know this? I was at the temple after all those hard months of questioning and prayer, and then I finally got my answer. What a special experience.
I dated who I "shouldn't." And it hasn't always been easy. But, it's been worth it for me. I know that this particular situation doesn't end up working for everyone, and that it can be heartbreaking. Hence the warning. But I wouldn't do it any other way. As long as I get him. For forever.