A pioneer is defined as a person who is among one of the firsts. I am a pioneer for my family. I met my first set of sister missionaries in August of 2010 while having dinner with my boyfriend and his family. I had no idea what was happening! When invited for dinner I was told the sister missionaries were going to be having dinner with us, that was it. But after eating, we all sat down in the living room, and my life was changed forever. The sister missionaries asked, “So we heard you had some questions for us?” My mind went completely blank, but did I have questions?
Needless to say, I did have questions, and I did end up taking the lessons.Then in September of 2010, I was baptized (by my boyfriend who introduced me to the church) into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to this day, I am the only member walking on this side of the veil. In October we attended a Catholic funeral for a family friend who was hit by a drunk driver, weeks after she was married. Little did I know that her death was going to impact major things in my life. The wonderful man who baptized me, proposed in November of 2010, and then a hard choice was brought to the table: do we have a civil marriage for my family or do we wait eleven months to be sealed for all time and eternity?
I knew in my heart the answer before the question was even asked of us – we wait the 11 months to be sealed! Too many things could happen in that year of waiting after a civil marriage, and there was no way I was missing out on the blessings from the temple or being sealed for all time and eternity to the man I love! I did not want to be lost (like my family friend) to my husband if something happened before we could be sealed. Then reality hit – there was no way for my family to witness a monumental time in my life if we choose to be sealed right away instead of a civil marriage. What was I supposed to do? My husband’s stepdad voiced his opinion loudly, but as kindly as I think he could, and said that we should have a civil wedding for my family. I couldn’t even fathom it!
Growing up, I was always outside playing, swimming, at the racetrack watching my dad’s family race, or at the rodeo grounds watching my mom’s family ride bulls – needless to say, I wasn’t a girl who had her wedding all planned out at a young age. In fact, before dating my now husband, I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to get married or that I needed to get married to create my family. Thankfully my mind and heart knew better than my younger when I fell head over heals for the gospel and for my husband. Even though I could never imagine my wedding as a young girl, I knew that my future stepfather-in-law was wrong about a civil wedding.
After little deliberation the week after our engagement, I told my future husband to pick a temple and call them up to reserve a date for our wedding/sealing. Within hours, he had called the Nauvoo Temple and requested a sealing date for October 8, 2011. Even the temple worker he spoke to was questioning the date since it was so far out, but we knew it was going to happen. My family was told the next day, and no one questioned it further – life felt like it was going easy. Boy, was I wrong! Early on the week of our sealing, my future mother-in-law expresses her dislike of the location of our sealing. Needless to say, after some tears were shed by me out of stress and frustration. To top it off, my dad tells me the next day that he is not coming to Nauvoo because he cannot be a part of it. My dad loves me unconditionally, and he was afraid I was making a mistake. Because, I am such a daddy’s girl (and always have been), he thought he would protect me by trying to get me to call it off by refusing to go.
It hurt me to break his heart, but I knew that in end I was doing the right thing for myself, my husband, my future family, and even for those who came before. I went to Nauvoo without my dad, but with the support of my new husband, his family, the rest of my family, and some of our amazing friends. I took a stand for my beliefs in the Gospel, the blessings of the temple, and my past and future family, and it was the greatest stand I have taken thus far today that will continue to effect this side of the veil and the other.
Author Katrina Brown is a pioneer for her family! She is currently an at-home mother and within the last year after dealing with some earth shattering trials. She has come to realize that she has a lot more to say, so she and her husband have started a blog: www.thebrownslegacy.com