Thursday, January 29, 2009

Beginning Part III

So I went to live with Natalie. As soon as I got there, she introduced me to Andrew and Rebecca, but didn't tell me of her special relationship with them. I got a really good feeling from them when I walked in their home and instantly liked them. I couldn't wait to go back.

That's when it hit me. Natalie was going to practice polygamy with them. I'm not sure how I knew this, it just came to me. Natalie wore a wedding ring, she was opposed to dating, she was obsessed with polygamy, all the talk of being sister wives, etc, it all pointed straight to that. The way she and Andrew looked at each other...I just knew it. Natalie had also mentioned to me that she was in love with someone, but she wouldn't tell me who. Now I knew. I knew it. Well, I wanted to be sure, so I did something really bad.

I read Natalie's journal. And sure enough, there it was. Her commandment to marry Andrew.

I. WAS. HORRIFIED. Imagine knowing someone, or thinking that you know them, you are so close and then you realize: you don't know them at all. There has been this HUGE secret kept from you and you had no idea. And your world shatters. Not only can you not see this person the same anymore, but you can't see your world the same anymore. It is terrifying. I was disgusted. Even though I'd come a long way since the Kyle situation, it is different when you are facing it in real life with a good friend. I was sure she was being deceived. How could this be true?

But I tried praying for her, and I don't know how to explain it other than, it just didn't work. I would pray to Heavenly Father that she wouldn't be deceived, but it didn't feel right. It was like there was this blockage between me and God because I wasn't praying for the right thing.

The truth was, deep down, I knew it wasn't wrong.

And that scared me. To death.

How could God command something like this? How could polygamy be brought back in the Church? If it were brought back, would I have to practice it? Would I be strong enough for that? What if I weren't and I left the Church? And the thought of Natalie having to do something like just filled me with disgust and contempt. The thought of her marrying that awful man Andrew....ugh!!!! I hated him so much!!

I told her that I knew, but I didn't tell her I read her journal. She was devastated and freaked out. To her, this was something so incredibly sacred and divine and there I was trampling it like a jerk. In retrospect, I understand exactly how she felt. At the time, I had no idea. I just knew that I wished I'd never come to live with her; I wished I'd never met Andrew and Rebecca, I wish I'd never found out. It was a very dark time for me because I was struggling with what was right and wrong, possible leaving the Church, not knowing who I could go to because I would be betraying Natalie's privacy if I talked to anyone else about it, but she didn't want to talk about it and besides I didn't want to talk to her about it! I wanted to talk to someone who had nothing to do with it, to tell me I was just being deceived and this was all so, so completely wrong.

I didn't go to anyone about it except for my branch president and I kept everyone's identity anonymous. Surprisingly, even though he told me what I wanted to hear, that they were all being deceived, I left that meeting feeling worse than when I'd gone in. I knew it was right. I KNEW.

A few days later, I was home alone and Andrew came by to drop off something for Natalie's family. Out on the porch he started asking me friendly questions about my religious background and my conversion story and we had a very long spiritual conversation. At the beginning of it, I was filled with contention and feelings of hatred for the man I thought of as a pig, but by the end of it, I admired him and longed to talk to him more. His wife kept calling over and over again and it seemed she wasn't happy he was taking so long. She finally showed up and forced him to end the conversation and go home.

I was so torn.

The rest of the summer, we didn't really talk about it. We went over to their house a lot and helped out with all their kids and it was wonderful each time to be there, and I felt so full, but at the same time so scared. Towards the end of the summer, I started to feel really uneasy about going over there and stopped going completely. Natalie and I had been fighting a lot as well and I was pretty sure I had lost a friend. I didn't think I'd see either of them again.

When I moved out, I lived with a different friend for a week before going back to school. And it was then and there that I received the revelation that I, too, would marry Andrew.


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