Last month we celebrated our 24th Anniversary. My mom took the boys for the weekend so we could enjoy a very relaxing and quiet home. We had a great time and even did a little shopping and eating out. On Friday, we shopped at Trader Joe's. We had a little bit of a wait in line before it was our turn to check out. The lady said "Hello" to us and then said "I saw what you were doing?" I was so confused.....what were we doing?!? She said she saw us holding hands and she liked that. I explained that we had only been married for 24 years, that's why we still hold hands. ;-) After a minute, she said "Your church encourages you to marry young, right?" My immediate response was - no. As we left, I spent a lot of time pondering this. I thought of our society. Go back, 60-70 years and you'll see a much different picture. The family was central to much of society. Families attended church regularly. People came into adulthood with the desire to marry one day and start their own family. Many of them did just that. While Mormons married in their temple, others married in their church. Over time, a portion of society changed how they felt about families, marriage and religion. But we haven't. We don't encourage people to get married young, we encourage them to get married. Plain and simple. "The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan." - The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
We teach our children that they are a child of God. We teach of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We teach of the importance of family. We teach about the pre-existence. We teach what this life is for. We teach of where we're going. We teach the Plan of Salvation. We teach that families can be together forever.
I never felt encouraged or pressured to marry young. Trust me, I had no intention of getting married at 19, but I knew this is who I was to marry. So, why did I marry so young? I knew who I was and what this life was for. I had a desire to one day be married in the temple and raise a family. When Tony and I met, I knew this was the right person for me. Even though I had planned on marrying 5-7 years in the future, I took a leap of faith. It wouldn't be the last time I would choose the Lord's timing over my own. It's wouldn't be the last time I would be blessed for that either.