Part 1
The story and events you are about to read are true. Names have been changed, location omitted.

Shortly after moving out of my parent’s house and attending a community college an hour away, I began dating a man from the singles branch. Our courtship was stereotypical, and lasted three months before we were engaged. Prior to him proposing, I prayed fervently to the Lord asking if marriage to this man was the best option for me. We were married in the Nauvoo temple, February 2010. I was 18 at the time, and turned 19 two months later.

—————————————————————–

“What are you looking for?” The text on my husband’s phone read.
“Nothing much, I just got out of a serious relationship.” was his response.

I had given birth, at the age of 20, to our daughter, Susie, a month earlier in October 2011, and believed us to be a happy temple-married young couple struggling with sleep deprivation like all new parents. My belief was unfounded.

When I read the text on his phone, I was devastated. I had no idea he was trolling for another woman.

I called our home teachers, a husband and wife companionship, and requested them to come over. My husband had a history of breaking things in our house when he was upset and I wanted the home teachers support when I confronted him. I planned on taking the baby and spending the night at our home teacher’s house.

In short, I ended up staying in my home after he made a verbal comment about self-harm. We made a commitment as a couple to call our ward Bishop and schedule a meeting. His diagnosis of our issue was my husband spent too much time playing video games, and I was suffering from depression.

I did not leave. I did not move out. I prayed and received confirmation this was the beginning of the end, and I needed to prepare myself. I started therapy to receive help for my postpartum depression, and my husband became increasingly violent to inanimate objects in our home. We never went back to the Bishop because my husband didn’t want to.

———————————————

Why am I writing this? Because it provides the needed background information for what came eight months later.

My best friend came to visit for a weekend, and it became evident my husband had a different theory in his head of what this visit was going to be. While she was with us, he sent her wildly sexually inappropriate private messages over Facebook. I only learned about them a week later because my friend was strong enough to tell me. While she forwarded the messages to me, I called my therapist and my mom. During the conversations I had with my therapist and then my mom, I felt the Spirit telling me it was now time to leave. I did not second guess myself, and never have regarding that inspiration.

My hope was to have everything packed and ready to go before my husband got off work. For some reason, that day he decided to come home early. I told him I knew what he did, and Susie and I were going to my parents. Fortunately, he let me leave without harm.

I was with my parents for about a week before my first appointment with Bishop Smith. He wanted to meet with me because not only was I new to the ward, but based on his conversations with my parents it became evident my husband and I were likely to divorce.

Our first meeting was spent discussing my plans for the future, (finish my associate’s  degree, and transfer to the local university. Get a part time job, live with my parents until I was self sufficient), and to find out what he knew about temple cancellations/clearances. He was encouraging of my divorce after reading the communications my husband had with my friend, and applauded me for leaving when I did. He said too many times women stay in unhealthy relationships because either they can’t leave, or they feel it will somehow get better. In both cases, it gets worse. I was young, I was mentally strong, and I could thrive on my own. As for the temple cancellation, Bishop Smith said he didn’t know a whole lot about that, because he had never done one before, but would ask the stake president for more advice. At the time, all he knew was the basic procedure. We scheduled another appointment in which I would bring copies of the communications that proved my husbands infidelities. We had appointments on a monthly basis during the three months it took for my divorce to go through.

After the divorce was official, I brought the bishop a stack of papers of all of my ex’s communication with my friend (previously I just brought in the ‘juicy’ part), his activity with his girlfriend/fiance he had prior to our divorce and his plan to marry over the Christmas holiday a month later, along with other information I believed to be relevant. The bishop read them and agreed divorce was the best decision for the situation at hand.

I planned on seeking a temple cancellation in a year, after the stress of the divorce winded down, and wanted to know what it was I should do. Bishop Smith shared with me the advice he had gotten from the Stake President. He said, “Now, as for the temple cancellation, it is something that is usually done sometime after the divorce and when you are engaged to be married to another temple-worthy man. I am more than happy to fill out the paperwork if that’s what you want, but at this time it will likely not be approved.”

I replied, “Ok, I wasn’t planning on actually doing it for at least another year, I just want to know what the process is and what I will be losing by going forward with it.”

He smiled, “Great! As that is now taken care of, have you considered adoption?”