Last Friday I had the privilege of attending a Mennonite wedding. ( For those who the distinction is important, this was a wedding within a conservative Mennonite community.)
Over 700 people attended the event. I was the only English – or non-Mennonite person in attendance. I stuck out like a sore thumb.

Instead of describing the details of the five hour program, fascinating as it was, I want to discuss one facet of the Mennonite wedding ritual.

Over a two hour period, we sat in church pews and listened to church minister after minister (all male) while they waxed on about the value of marriage, the importance of family and love of God. Near the end, in quick succession, about 10 more ministers stood and gave the couple and the congregation their advice on marriage.

It ranged from the typical references about the Golden Rule, to some new ideas for me, like we should rejoice when our spouse rebukes us because that gives a chance to practice humility. If you have humility, you can put aside your human desire to defend yourself in an argument and that will make you the better person for not wanting to protect yourself. (I kinda chuckled at that – the idea that I should be proud of myself if I can achieve humility and let the other guy think they are better than me. Isn’t that a form of false pride?)

After hearing lots of treaties on what love and marriage is about, I flashed back to my temple wedding day. The main advice I remember getting at the altar from our sealer was about forgiveness. He told us (looking only at me) a story about a woman who had a temple marriage and how her husband had an affair. She had a choice to make and she chose to forgive him. They stayed married and it all worked out.

I missed any nuances of his words, any higher meaning about how sometimes your beloved will stab your heart so hard you can’t possibly breathe. I was stuck in panic mode, thinking, “What Are You Trying To Tell Me About My New Husband That I Don’t Know????”

It took a few weeks of constant reassurance from my husband that he had never cheated on me and had no intention of doing so in the future before I was able to relax a bit.

That brings me to my big question of the day: What advice good or bad, have you heard at a Mormon Wedding?