Mormon dating an atheist

I intend to spend some quality time in the temple, with my bishop, and with close family and friends as I think and pray my way through this decision, but I would also value your insights into this. That’s because, it turns out, I largely failed the I-have-all-the-answers-worked-out-in-advance-and-execute-them-perfectly variety of Mormonism. If so, then step away from the internet and go look him in the eyes and take his hands and start asking him all the questions you asked me. And if you do reproduce, keep an eye out for my friend Susan Katz Miller’s book , due out next year from Beacon Press.

AD Ladies, I sure can’t tell you who to marry, but because you asked, I’m going to say something here I’ve never said in public before: I am not sorry I married outside the LDS faith. And guess what: God roots for both our teams–the hopeful screw-ups and the straights. Is he really “amazingly kind, generous, intelligent, funny, honest, affectionate, and hard working”? Because if your marriage is going to make it, you’re going to have to talk and talk and talk about all this stuff until it’s all talked out, and then like all the other married couples around the world—interfaith or single faith or no faith at all; Hindu, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Methodist, Catholic, atheist–you can do the dishes, dance in the kitchen, worry over the bills, tuck in the kids, pull up the covers, watch the Daily Show, kiss goodnight, say your prayers (together, separately, what have you) and fall asleep. But as long as you’re in love and talking and working out all the details together, it should be okay. And now, a final word: folks, I had hoped to launch an extravagant donations drive for the Family Acceptance Project in honor of Chrismukkah—and ten generous artists, authors, and crafters who read AMG donated amazing prizes.

I have observed in relationships among friends and family inside and outside of the church that holding a temple recommend does not guarantee a strong, happy marriage. Like the other night when my husband was standing in front of the kitchen window in his pajamas threatening to shoot the inflatable snowpeople on the neighbor’s lawn with a BB gun because he so dislikes Costco Christmas cuteness in his line of sight. But Mormon theology is also rich with opportunities for second chances.

On the other hand, my religious faith is so much a part of who I am that I worry marrying someone who is not religious, let alone Mormon, may present obstacles I can’t even begin to anticipate. I’m a firm believer in the God-is-big-life-is-long-there-is-a-plan-for-all-of-us school of Mormonism.

I can count on one hand the number of Sundays I’ve missed sacrament meeting in the past ten years.