Friday, October 15, 2010

Should LDS couples be allowed to marry civilly first as a courtesy to those who can't attend the temple ceremony?

Excerpts of Temple Wedding Petition

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To our Latter-day Saint friends and families, this petition is NOT about allowing non-members or those who do not hold a temple recommend into an LDS temple. It's about giving LDS couples throughout the world the choice to hold a civil ceremony first (if the couple desires it) prior to temple sealing without the mandatory one year waiting period.

You see, when an LDS couple is married in an LDS temple, Mormon and non-Mormon relatives and friends who, for a variety of reasons do not possess the required 'temple recommend', are excluded from the ceremony. Also excluded are younger siblings, nephews and nieces, or possibly children of the bride or groom; in fact anyone who has not previously received their own "endowment". Under current guidelines and practices as outlined in the Church Handbook of Instructions, no male LDS member under the age of eighteen is eligible for the "endowment" ceremony.  Young women are encouraged to marry and be sealed to a returned missionary in the temple.

This unnecessary and divisive policy (worthy LDS couples who choose a civil marriage first outside of the temple are penalized with a one year wait before they can be "sealed" in the temple) that can foster marital disharmony is harsh for the couple and their loved ones who do not fit the 'acceptable standards' required for entrance into the temple wedding. There are suitable alternatives to this exclusionary policy.

{click here to read further, or to sign the petition}

Waiting outside the temple on wedding day

5 comments:

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

I think that if a couple wants the option of marrying civilly first, they should be allowed that option. As long as they're temple worthy 5 minutes before the ceremony, they should be 5 minutes after. I see no "sin" in getting married in a civil ceremony that would require a year long waiting period.
In my opinion, the waiting period is mean-spirited. It's understandable though. While there's probably nothing that they can do to force non-member family and friends to get baptized, I suspect that this policy helps them collect more than a little back tithing from members; The father who can't bear to miss his daughter's wedding or the aunt or uncle who want to keep up appearances in front of the rest of the family. Mainly anybody who doesn't want to stick out like a sore thumb on the wedding day. Temple weddings are a brilliant way of getting fence sitters back in line. Allowing for a civil ceremony first takes away their ability to control and manipulate. Not just the bride and groom, but nearly all their LDS family. To attend a temple wedding, one must keep their temple recommend up to date. This means more frequent interviews. More probing questions. More control. More money for the church.

If the church stops punishing couples for having a civil ceremony first (effectively turning them into second class LDS members), more and more couples will start to choose civil ceremonies. They will see how much more enjoyable civil weddings are. More inclusive and harmonious. More family friendly. Given a choice, young brides will choose a wedding dress that doesn't have to be adjusted and altered seven ways til Sunday. (Stick a turtleneck under that thing. ELBOWS ARE IMMODEST!!!) They'll choose the flowers. The rings. The music. The INCLUSIVENESS.
I don't see the church changing this policy because frankly, the LDS church just doesn't care about the hurt feelings of non-member family and friends nearly as much as they care about the bottom line. What do they say to the heartbroken mother who can't see her son get married? "Just get baptized" is their solution. And god forbid that they would care about the feelings of an apostate. Apostates are evil. Who cares about them?

Amy said...

I think that if a couple wants the option of marrying civilly first, they should be allowed that option. As long as they're temple worthy 5 minutes before the ceremony, they should be 5 minutes after. I see no "sin" in getting married in a civil ceremony that would require a year long waiting period.
In my opinion, the waiting period is mean-spirited. It's understandable though. While there's probably nothing that they can do to force non-member family and friends to get baptized, I suspect that this policy helps them collect more than a little back tithing from members; The father who can't bear to miss his daughter's wedding or the aunt or uncle who want to keep up appearances in front of the rest of the family. Mainly anybody who doesn't want to stick out like a sore thumb on the wedding day. Temple weddings are a brilliant way of getting fence sitters back in line. Allowing for a civil ceremony first takes away their ability to control and manipulate. Not just the bride and groom, but nearly all their LDS family. To attend a temple wedding, one must keep their temple recommend up to date. This means more frequent interviews. More probing questions. More control. More money for the church.

If the church stops punishing couples for having a civil ceremony first (effectively turning them into second class LDS members), more and more couples will start to choose civil ceremonies. They will see how much more enjoyable civil weddings are. More inclusive and harmonious. More family friendly. Given a choice, young brides will choose a wedding dress that doesn't have to be adjusted and altered seven ways til Sunday. (Stick a turtleneck under that thing. ELBOWS ARE IMMODEST!!!) They'll choose the flowers. The rings. The music. The INCLUSIVENESS.
I don't see the church changing this policy because frankly, the LDS church just doesn't care about the hurt feelings of non-member family and friends nearly as much as they care about the bottom line. What do they care if a mother is heartbroken that she can't see her son marry. Missionary opportunity. Or she'll get over it. And god forbid that they would care about the feelings of an apostate. Apostates are evil. Who cares about them?

MainTour said...

I thought have heard of a lot of couples that have a Civil ceremony on Friday and then a temple wedding ceremony on Saturday.

This happens when one spouse has an all non-LDS family. I know that my in-laws did this.

Amy said...

In other countries it's common. Some other countries have laws requiring a civil ceremony first. If you heard of this happening, either the person who told you was wrong or it was done in violation of LDS church policy without the bishop/stake president knowing.
The policy in the United States is very clear: Punishment for a civil ceremony is a 1 year waiting period.