Excerpts of Temple Wedding Petition
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.