So why didn't I tell him about it right away? As regular readers would already know, I'm married to a non-member. He's always respected my beliefs and way of life, some people even refer to him as a "Dry Mormon," but he hasn't thus far felt the desire to get baptized and commit to the Gospel himself. I would be lying if I said it hasn't been hard sometimes, but I understand and respect his feelings.
My husband used to go to church with me all the time and he is very familiar with the Church, our beliefs, way of life, and unique culture. He never promised me that he would get baptized, I never asked him to, and this arrangement has worked very well for us. He accepts and loves me for who I am and I do likewise. Religion-wise, he probably felt that he knew exactly what he was getting himself into when he married me. He knew a bit about polygamy and that wasn't enough to make him run away screaming, but I was always afraid about telling him about the Priesthood Ban. I'm not usually a procrastinator, but I admit I was in no hurry to tell him about it. I knew that he would eventually find out somehow, but I remember crossing my fingers that no one at church would bring it up in conversation or during a lesson. I was always afraid that he would flip out or think I was nuts for believing in Mormonism, that he would lose all respect for me and every other Mormon out there for being part of a racist religion. I used to research the topic, in preparation for that day when he would ask about it, so that I would be able to explain it. But I never found an explanation that I thought he would be satisfied with, because it never satisfied me either. It seemed like any attempt to explain it just led to more troubling and confusing theories, so I decided to leave it alone and just hope for the best. Eventually he did find out about the Priesthood Ban and to my relief, he didn't flip out or criticize my faith. I told him of the possible reasons for it and touched on some of the racist myths presented in the past. Still, he is
The Church is growing rapidly in many places in the world, so obviously not everyone is struggling with the same issues that I am. Critics would argue that the Church is preying on the poor and uneducated, who don't know any better when they think that they have found "The Truth." But I believe that even the poor and uneducated have been given a conscience and common sense like the rest of us (though small details may vary according to circumstances), so that they, too, have to sometimes make intellectual sacrifices in order to accept the Gospel. Still, I feel torn because I feel that some of the finest, most Christlike people will never be able to accept the Gospel because they feel that the true Gospel of Christ would never require anyone to break moral laws (i.e. polygamy) or discriminate on the basis of race (i.e. Priesthood Ban), just to name a couple of examples. So why would they want to accept or spread the word about such a religion?
I'm not sure why God made some doctrines, new and old, so difficult. I'm not even sure that it's really all from God. And I'm not sure where to even point the finger of blame: God? General Authorities? Individual prophets? Ourselves? However, I know that my faith has made me a better person and that's why I stay in the Church. It saddens me to see some very good and moral people unable to accept The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because certain aspects of it go against basic truths of decency that they uphold in their lives. But I understand it because I know how hard it is to see beyond things that have happened in our past as a Church. I don't like hearing excuses, so I guess I feel ashamed to offer them. It can make being a missionary very, very difficult.
Sometimes it feels like Mission Impossible.