I've heard that those who get married young are losing out on great life experiences like traveling and "finding yourself." But getting married at 19 has given me different opportunities, and definitely not fewer.
I never planned to be a teenage bride.
In fact, since I was a little girl, I planned to go on a mission. And then I thought that once I’d done that, I’d get on to graduating college, moving to the city, buying a cute little studio apartment, and getting a gorgeous Great Dane to keep me company. Where was a husband in all that planning? Maybe somewhere in my mid-to-late twenties, after I had established myself the way I wanted: as a strong, independent, single woman.
But things didn’t work out that way.
I graduated high school and started college, right on track. I dated casually—for the practice and for the fun—until I met Matt. He was perfect. Intelligent and shy, kind and thoughtful, Matt was any girl’s dream guy. I can’t even tell you when I decided maybe a mission wasn’t for me and maybe Matt was—I just remember being so happy and thinking to myself that I would be contented for the rest of forever if Matt was with me.
He proposed when I was 18, after knowing me six months, and we got married six months after that, when I was 19.
The world is taking notice of the LDS Church, and this is especially evident in mainstream literature. Often inaccurate but sometimes flattering, you'd be surprised by how many famous authors are writing about "the Mormons"!
Disclaimer: We are in no way endorsing books that contain inappropriate content.
“It is surprising to me that these people [the Mormons emigrating from Liverpool] are all so cheery, and make so little of the immense distance before them. . . . I should have said they were in their degree, the pick and flower of England.”
(The Uncommercial Traveller, London: Chapman and Hall (1958), p. 223-25)
From Richard J. Dunn's "Dickens and the Mormons":
A missionary’s return is meant to be a joyous occasion. But it doesn't always happen that way.
It is the mark of a job well done, of two years of sacrifice devoted to God and others. Homecoming for a returned missionary should be a time for family gathering, congratulations, and reflection. For me, it was quite different—depression and bipolar disorder sent me home before my 10th month was up.
That doesn’t stop others from treating me like I am somehow less than I should be. For thousands of missionaries who come home early—whether due to rule infractions, health issues, or emotional struggles—much of the trauma lies in the treatment given by well-intentioned friends and neighbors.
Conclusion and Consequence
After returning from 10 months of service, I received several letters and comments from friends and acquaintances urging me to “not give up” and “go back.” While generally understanding, the expectations set by others crushed my spirit. I wanted to go back. I loved my mission. I hoped and prayed that, above all else, I could get better and return to the field. And yet I knew that I would not return. I knew I was in over my head. The good-natured but misguided pressure to “just cheer up” hurt deeply.
I learned quickly to keep my mouth shut. At college the few people who bothered to pursue the subject of my age would not accept “20” as a legitimate answer. Some accused me of being dishonest. Those who didn’t would likely ask, “How can you be home from a mission? Did you even go? What did you do to get sent home?” The worst part? I was still trying to sort out those feelings myself.
How can you communicate multiple meanings for a word in just a few seconds? Latter-day Saints who use American Sign Language do it every day. Check out these seven gospel words that sign language makes more powerful.
Members of the church come from a variety of places and speak a variety of languages, but one group of Latter-day Saints are especially unique because of their signed language. The first Deaf branch of the church was established in Ogden Utah in 1917 under President Joseph F. Smith. And the LDS Deaf community has only grown since then. In fact, temple sessions, general conference, and many church pageants in the United States now offer American Sign Language interpretation in addition to other widely-spoken languages like Spanish.
Because ASL is a visual language, it is no surprise that signs can convey layers of meaning in a matter of seconds. As you check out the following gospel-related signs, you may be surprised to find your understanding of their English translations become a little more powerful and memorable.
1. Jesus Christ
The sign for “Jesus” has reference to the crucifixion. Touch one palm with the middle finger of the opposite hand, and do the same for the other palm with the other middle finger.
What will actually happen during the Millennium? Find out five myths and learn what we do know about this thousand-year period.
As I completed the writing for the book Living in the Eleventh Hour, it occurred to me that there might be some value in continuing the trek, completing the story, if you will. I honestly had not anticipated a sequel. And so the next weekend I began what might be called a review of the literature. I turned first to the standard works and was absolutely blown away by how much the prophets have spoken about the millennial period. While I was certain that much of my data would come from the Doctrine and Covenants, I was stunned by the doctrinal detail in the Old Testament. I knew that the book of Revelation would be tremendously fertile ground, but I had not realized that the four Gospels, the epistles of Paul and Peter, and the teachings of modern prophets and apostles like Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and Orson Pratt would be so fruitful as well.