Sunday, September 8, 2013

You're Married?!

The reason why I am writing this post is because my sister recently got married to her sweetheart and many of the guests at the reception were friends and acquaintances of mine also.  Although I felt as if I was running all over the place that night, as I'm sure my sister did at mine, I did have a little time to talk to a few guests.  One of which approached me and the first thing she said after "hello" was "wow, you're not pregnant....?".

While I know she didn't mean anything offensive by this comment, it got me thinking.  These days, people commonly think that couples get married at a young age for one main reason: they must be pregnant.  Of course, there are other reasons- many that I may have not even thought of.  But getting married at a young age as a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a whole different story than most young marriages.  I don't say this in a boastful way, or in any way at all... I just want people to understand my, and possibly many others', perspective on getting married "young." 

Just a little background information: I met Josh a couple months after I turned 19, in my third semester into my college career.  He was 22 and an RM (Return Missionary) in his third semester, as well.  Going into this semester, after a slightly disappointing "dateless" last semester, I was hoping for a little somethin' somethin'.  And by this, I do not mean FUTURE HUSBAND.  My hopes for the semester was a few first dates (that was very hopeful ;) or even... a boyfriend?!  Nothing in my near plans included finding my husband- nothing.

In my journal, I wrote, "I have a feeling that my first long-term relationship will end up in marriage".  Boyyyy was I right!  I didn't have much dating experience- my longest relationship was a little under 3 months and I had a record of quickly finding pet peeves in guys... of course, I had my flaws too.  Anyway, I don't want to go on forever about the lovey dovey details of me and Josh's relationship, but I do want to help explain why LDS couples, especially from BYU-I(do), tend to have such short courtships.

While I find it difficult to comprehend how some couples end up engaged after a matter of days/weeks, I try not to judge a relationship I do not have any part of.  My purpose is not to explain those situations, but my own.  Josh and I dated for only about 5 months before he proposed.  Some ask how the heck we could possibly get to know one another in that short amount of time.  From the outside world, I would agree!  But, people do not know the environment of Rexburg, Idaho.  I hope not to offend anybody when I speak of Rexburg, but it is a bubble.  And that's okay- for those who like it.  Personally, coming from a city like San Diego, I have had a difficult time adapting to such a different atmosphere such as Rexburg's.  I always wanted to know what living out in the country was like- now I can check that off my list!

Being in Rexburg is like stopping time.  It sounds silly- I'm going to school full-time, right?! But without many activities to do in Rexburg (some may disagree), there's not much else to do than hangout; whatever that term means, these days.  Anyway, with not much to do- all there is to do is get to know each other.  Does this make sense?  Instead of going to parties and drinking, we spend our time in large groups, doing whatever tickles our fancy- photo scavenger hunts, fast food hopping, playing around in Walmart, going to the park... Eventually in these large groups, you find someone that stands out to you (JOSH!!!) and you end up spending more time one on one.

I feel like I could go on forever about our days of "hanging out" but I would just like to compare our days in Rexburg together to what it would be like in a city or different college atmosphere.  In "the real world" people are typically working full-time and only get to see each other 2-3 times a week, fair?  In Rexburg, the entire college town lives within a mile of each other, therefore, meeting up on campus and after classes is the usual.  Therefore, those who are dating, depending on the relationship and personality types, will see each other every day.  This, to me, speeds up the relationship considerably.  Each day is another day that allows one to understand where the other comes from, what his/her values are, future goals, and so forth.

Along with seeing each other much more often, our faith focuses on the importance of the family unit.  We believe that people are most happy and satisfied when part of a complete family- this being a mother, father, siblings, and so forth.  For more information, check out: .  With a focus on the importance of the family unit, we, as young LDS people, know that our next step in life after high school is to get married.  Although I have had the desire to party and my love for dancing has still not decreased, I knew that partying and "living my life" as the world views it, would not be part of God's plan for me.  Where would this lifestyle get me?  Of course, I don't condemn having fun, I still have my single tendencies that I fight everyday.  But with an overall picture of where I want my life to go, I have a better idea of how I should be living my life now to create a better end result.

With all of this in sight and goals in line, getting married "young" doesn't seem so ridiculous.  Still not convinced?  Me neither.  Now onto the subject of love.  To tell you the truth,  I don't really know anything about it! I can't pinpoint the moment when I knew Josh was "the one."  And although we were engaged within 5 months and it seems as though it was a breeze knowing that I would spend the rest of my life with him, it wasn't by ANY means a simple decision to make.  In fact, it was one of the hardest, most difficult moments in my life.

I was definitely searching for an answer.  Each day I hoped an angel would appear and say, "LACEY, HE'S THE ONE!!!!!!" But unfortunately, that's not how things work.  I think God wants us to have a little faith in Him and ourselves.  Unfortunately again, I wasn't feeling very confident in myself.  I'm not mature enough, smart enough, able enough, the list goes on and on.  I wanted to be perfect before I got married- sounds silly, right?  But the thought of having a child (not that we were planning on it any time soon) and not being able to be a good mother scared me to death!  Not to mention, was I selfless enough to be a wife?  I still don't think I am, but these are just a few things that continually ran through my head when deciding to marry Josh.

Back onto the subject of searching for an answer.  Typically, when members of the church need inspiration, they do several things.  Pray, read scriptures, fast, attend the temple... we believe these things bring us closer to our Heavenly Father.  There's a simple phrase that goes, "If you want to speak to God: pray, if you want to listen: read."  Fasting is another way to come closer to God.  The first Sunday of every month we fast for something in need.  This could be for something we need, or something another may need.  With attending the temple, LDS members escape from the world into the House of the Lord.  Here, there are no distractions.  Once again, here is a better explanation: .

Wow, I got off onto a tangent.  We were talking about love, then I led to the church- as you can tell, it is the center of every decision I make.  After all, marriage isn't just between each spouse, but it is a triangle between each spouse and God.  Back to love.  I would like to start out saying that love has no age, but it has a brain!  When I say this, I mean that anybody can fall in love, but it takes a willing mind to continue staying in love.  When people judge others, stating that they don't really love each other, that is a tough thing to truly dictate.  Due to several circumstances, people show love in many different ways.  It depends on how the other receives it, which is why no one can truly determine what love is between a couple.
I don't think love is something that one chooses to fall upon.  Love is something that occurs whether you think you're ready or not.  This is definitely what happened to me.  I hadn't loved anyone before Josh, which confused me even more when making this decision; I didn't know what it truly encompassed.  All I could do was continue to seek inspiration through the things previously mentioned and wait to feel a sense of peace about entering this new chapter of my life.   

Long story short, I received my answer.  It didn't mean that things necessarily got any easier, of course.  Doubts came and left, but I wasn't going to let fear get in the way of things.  While we don't believe in moving in with each other or intimacy before marriage, those things have become the norm in the eyes of the public.  People cannot BELIEVE the thought of marrying somebody that they have not become so well acquainted with.  Here's the thing though- since we do not do those things before marriage, why would we have a long engagement?  Do you think we would last?  I don't think so!!! When Josh and I were dating, I dreaded the end of the day- I wanted to spend every waking moment with him (and sleeping, at that point), I literally counted down the hours until I could be with him again.  Nothing else was important at the time- it was hard to focus.  He turned my mind to mush.

Back to not living with each other before marriage- we believe that marriage is an opportunity to grow together- as many others do.  What better opportunity to do this than when you are young and malleable?  If that's the right wording... but really.  I can't imagine how much harder it would have been if we had both been older and set in our ways and decided to combine our two completely separate lives into one, cohesive marriage.  While tying the knot while young has it's consequences, getting married older does, as well.

To conclude, when is anyone truly ready to get married?  Looking back at my journal entries, I read, "I fasted today and asked my bishop and parents if they would fast for me and I feel really good about it! Basically, I've come to receive my answer... I think I just expected perfection before marriage but that's not what it's about.  I know marriage won't solve anything, but I think it will just make us stronger."  I've never asked others to fast for me- I think this definitely strengthened my testimony.  I realized that other people are here on earth to help me and that sometimes it's okay to ask for help.  I'm so glad I did.

Nothing is guaranteed.  I still can't say that Josh and I will have that "perfect" relationship I wanted to establish before we were married.  That is what marriage is about, right?  Working one with another to become perfect in Christ.  So, when people look down on me for "throwing my life away" or "being tied down" at such an early age.... I can only feel bad for them that they do not comprehend the happiness that comes along with being married. The purpose of this post was not to convince people I am happier than anybody else or to defend my decision of getting married at age 20, but to express to the world that young LDS couples are not foolish for tying the knot!  It gives us a sense of focus, drive, and determination to better ourselves each day.  While it is easy to do this single, there is no better motivator than the one we love right beside us helping guide our lives to become more like Christ each day.



  1. You say it perfectly Lacey!!! No reason for someone to not understand why now!!!

  2. loved this lace. thanks for posting this!

  3. I love this. Everyone needs to read this and comprehend it. -btait

  4. I love your question "when is anyone truly ready to get married?" I got married at 21 and a lot of people gave me a hard time. It was tough at times knowing so many people were thinking I wasn't ready and completely insane. One thing that helped me not to worry about what others thought was to remember that no matter how old, how wise, how financially secure, how educated, how experienced I am... there will always be people that will judge me for my decision to get married.

    1. Hi Becca,

      I totally agree! No one can accurately know where someone else is in their life. It's not fair for others to judge, but it's inevitable. All we have to do is focus on the good in the situation!