369: Exploring LDS Temple Wedding Exclusion and Inclusion

September 2, 2012
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In this episode three active, believing LDS church members explore LDS temple wedding exclusion and inclusion.  A big thanks to Jean Bodie for organizing this episode.

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47 Responses to 369: Exploring LDS Temple Wedding Exclusion and Inclusion

  1. Kate Ross
    September 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    I would give anything to be able to go back in time and NOT get married in the temple for the simple reason of how much is hurt my dear parents. As a young, naive, 22-year-old I had been convinced by the church and my member in-laws-to-be that this was the ONLY way to marry the man that I loved – that to be married anywhere but the temple was for those who were less than worthy. As the only daughter of non-member parents (I joined the church when I was 21), you can imagine their dismay when I told them they would not be permitted to witness my wedding. My parents are not very emotional people, but I clearly remember tears rolling down my father’s face when he realized he would not be walking me proudly down the aisle like in a traditional wedding.
    For the following 16 years that I spent as a very committed TBM, I could never shake the sickening pit in my stomach every time I attended the temple. I knew it was because it brought up reminders of my wedding day and all the sadness that surrounded it for my family. What a horrible feeling to have when remembering what is supposed to be the happiest day of your life!
    Now that I have resigned from the church (3 years ago), I find that hindsight is 20-20. I am so angry that I was somehow convinced that keeping my parents out of my wedding was in some way justifiable. I was young and naive, and very much in love. Shame on the church for convincing its members that this is ok.
    Thank goodness my parents forgave me.
    Maybe one day I will forgive myself as well.

    • Cate
      September 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      If I had it to do over again, I would marry civilly first. My husband was an adult convert and no one from his family was in the temple. I didn’t understand at the time, having been raised in the church and having my own family present, how painful this was for his mother. This single act of exclusion remains a stumbling block in my relationship with her and in her acceptance of the church. It did not have to be so but I didn’t know better and I prioritized my desire to conform to US LDS culture above the righteous desires of this loving mother. It was not a Christlike act as He put people first, touching lepers, dining with prostitutes, teaching Samaritans, healing on the Sabbath, and even disrupting the activities in the Gentile court to make sure that access to the House of God was available even to those outside the tribe.

      • Kathleen Weber
        September 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm

        If people are concerned it would seem better to get married in the Relief Society Room or Chapel and be sealed before baby number one pops out. This seems infinitely more practical than passing out temple recommends to everyone who would actually like to see your first kiss. As though it were your first. I don’t even remember kissing over the alter. We marry when we are young and when young lack wisdom.

  2. Bill
    September 2, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    My wife has not attended church for several years even though I remain active. I have assured her that I will be together with her on the day each of our three daughters is married whether they choose to marry in the temple or not. My kids know that and I don’t envy the decision each of them will have to make when the time comes. When we married in the temple there was no trouble because most of our family was able to attend. I am looking forward to the conversation. Thanks in advance!

  3. CanuckAussie
    September 3, 2012 at 4:08 am

    My ex’s family was non-members, she was a convert. When we got married, she was angry that I would even consider a temple wedding. I was OK with that, despite the indoctrination, and I agreed that it would be selfish and ignorant and inexcusable to exclude her family from their only daughter’s wedding. I was happy that we made that decision when we were sealed a year later, only to find out that the temple ceremony was creepy and sickening and literally felt evil. Swearing to self-mutilate ourselves, being touched innappropriately semi-naked. It sickened me and I never returned. When her mother (a wonderful woman I loved dearly) my oly consolation was that I did not let the LDS church treat her like dirt by not letting her attend her daughter’s wedding.

    It is easy to just blame the church and its indoctrination, but the people that exclude parents must accept responsibility for their selfishness.

    • December 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

      I disagree. I married in the Temple, though it broke my heart to exclude my entire family. Canuck-Aussie, I was not acting out of selfishness. I was told that this was what God wanted me to do. He wanted me to prove my faithfulness by marrying in the Temple rather than civilly. You can accuse me of conforming to LDS culture or of being naive, but not selfishness. I wanted my family there more than anything and am now so ashamed that I put the church before my family. Also, as for those who say “just have a ceremony afterwards” we tried that, but our stake pres plainly stated that we could not have a ceremony. We had a little ring exchange, but the SP made sure to tell everyone there that this was not the marriage ceremony. That had happened in the temple.

  4. Jean's Home Boy
    September 3, 2012 at 6:20 am

    This was a very illuminating podcast,one that brought out most of the essential points. The key point was that it is not doctrinal, merely policy and it actually goes against the doctrine as taught by Joseph Smith. It goes against the doctrine of families. It goes against the doctrine of kindness and instead is cruel and heartless. Why does the church have this policy if it only hurts people? I think it is because it brings in millions of dollars in tithing. Bishops can extort “back tithing” and couples and families will ensure their tithing is fully paid. When did this church become so hung up on money? I guess it has been since the days of Joseph. And they wonder why the rest of the world calls the LDS church a cult.

    • Doubting Thomas
      September 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Agree totally JHB.

      This is another example of policy dressed up as doctrine!

      It is a very scary entity that has no rules that cannot be usurped by current leadership. This seems to be the only revelation going on in the church… Policies that control members.

      Only in our church do we find commandments broken by leaders (polygamy), and suggestions for healthy living turned into commandments (Word of Wisdom).

      I regret being married in the Temple. Sealing would have been okay.

      DT

  5. Charlotte Garland
    September 3, 2012 at 6:44 am

    My husband and I were converts to the church when we were married in the Ward Relief Society room. Our non mormon families were with us. Being married in the chapel was not allowed and we did not question authority. About 1-1/2 years later we made our trek to the temple with our baby daughter and were sealed. This arrangement worked out for us and gave us time to concentrate more on the temple endowments. If my children who had joined a new church had come to me and discussed what they had learned in the temple including giving all their time, talents and everything else they owned to this new church and if the information was revealed, how their lives would be taken, I would have said to run not walk from these people. I didn’t question it though. I believed this was Jesus Christ’s Church on the earth with the information I knew at the time. It wasn’t until years later when studying deeper into church history that reality set in and the house of cards came tumbling down. I was taught about free agency in the church, but it’s a form of coercion to manipulate people with temple marriages this way in a double bind situation.

  6. Charlie
    September 3, 2012 at 7:57 am

    One year wait rule in civil wedding countries:

    In those countries, ie Mexico, Brazil etc the church demands that the sealing be done on the same day or next day if travel is needed to reach the Temple, otherwise the one year rule applies too. Then if you marry civilly in Brazil (which you have to there) and go off on a honeymoon, then you need to wait a full year for the sealing.

    Note that Elder Ballard’s father in law also couldn’t enter the Temple so he had to wait outside back in the 50’s when his daughter married Ballard (from podcast they did at ldsradio) so the top authorities know about this pain from way back but insist in keeping the policy. What seems to happen is that top authorities reason that celestial marriage is akin to entering exaltation and there the couple will be alone too, or missing their non-member family who don’t reach exaltation, so they should get use to this separation from day one.

    • Bak Irish
      September 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      So, if I understand correctly, the argument is that we will have pain in exaltation so we might as well just have some pain today as well. Wow, what an uplifting belief system. I am left speechless.

      • Charlie
        September 6, 2012 at 9:49 am

        Well, in a way. Few make it into heaven and the highest levels although in the “belief system” those that do can visit those that don’t but not the other way round. But it’s about getting used to that separation which will happen in most families. Very, very few families will be all together in exaltation and it all starts here on earth with the Temple ceremony.

        However there are alternatives the church could adopt and which I’d personally prefer like dropping that one year wait for sealings. Joseph Smith never envisioned that type of punishment and it shouldn’t happen today in church -in my humble opinion….

        • Jean Bodie
          September 12, 2012 at 11:36 pm

          There is a post below that says, “I love your humble opinion.” It was meant to post right here. You are obviously a believer with an open mind and heart and that truly is humility.

          • Charlie
            September 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm

            Cheers Jean…. I’m not sure the ‘humble’ label fits in my case but I do hope to be open minded always….

            This crusade you are on is one I agree with and hope that Dehlin is right that the church is re-considering this issue. Like we say there are other options available and it could become a missionary tool instead of a painful episode for part member families.

  7. Joy
    September 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I would love for a discussion about the emerging policy of canceling church and allowing only “temple worthy” members to attend regional temple dedications on those Sundays. What kind of stigma ensues in that situation?

    • Jason
      September 3, 2012 at 11:54 am

      At Joy,
      What policy is this? I’ve not heard of it.

      • Charlie
        September 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm

        She’s referring to the transmissions to LDS church buildings of Temple dedications and re-dedication. Usually it applies to the Temple’s district, for example next week will be the re-dedication of the Buenos Aires temple by President Eyring so all chapels this Temple services, and have satellite capacity installed, will become an extension and part of the Buenos Aires Temple for that day. Then to enter the chapel next Sunday members will have to show valid recommends to the high counselors who will man the doors. Other chapels will be closed entirely so members are only attending the re-dedication, the actually ceremony inside the Temple, which will be viewed live via satellite. People who do not have valid recommend can not enter then the chapel area nor see any service on that Sunday but do go to Saturdays cultural night off course.

        However when the Nauvoo Temple was dedicated, because of the historical significance of the event, president Hinkley had the dedication ceremony relayed to all satellite capable chapels around the world and the same system applied ie high priests guarding the entry to the chapel where the live feed was shown.

        • Jason
          September 3, 2012 at 8:34 pm

          Charlie,
          Thank you for this.

    • September 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      Have you noticed how they have replaced “unworthy” with “temple worthy?” All they’ve done is put the sock on the other foot. They no longer exclude the “unworthy” from things having to do with the temple so much as they only allow the “temple-worthy” to participate. The corporate and jurisprudent church is keen on semantics. The New Testament featured people who did similar things who hedged and hawed over semantics and The Law. Hmm, I’m trying to remember what they were called…

    • Jean Bodie
      September 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      I love your humble opinion.

      • Jean Bodie
        September 12, 2012 at 11:35 pm

        That reply went to the wrong person; not that you do not have a humble opinion but the comment was made for a different post and the page started jumping around, I don’t understand these things.

  8. Keri
    September 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    My niece was a convert for one year prior to her wedding. Both of her parents were not able to go to see her be married. I helped her in the temple playing the role of her mother. Which was wrong. They did this weird ring ceremony before the reception, but it was not the same. They did not declare in public that they promise themselves to each other. My daughter was married two weeks ago and we had an amazing civil ceremony followed by a really fun party where all of their friends and family were able to attend. All of our Mormon family thought it was so wonderful and like a fairy tale….which is every little girls dream. The temple is not a castle and the wedding ceremony inside is generic. Usually performed by someone you don’t know. My nieces wedding felt like watching them herd cattle through the shoots. Many girls are also not allowed to even wear their wedding dress that their parents just spent a lot of money on.

  9. Charlie
    September 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Re Michael “In countries such as Argentina, however, no religious marriages are recognized by the state, so ALL marriages are contracted civilly before the religious ceremony – no matter what church.”

    This isn’t the full story. My wedding in Argentina caused the same pain and criticisms from non-member family even though we married civilly in the morning down at the registry office and then had the reception that night before travelling 5hrs to the Temple to be sealed Saturday morning. The problem was that the culture there is that few relatives see the civil wedding in the morning but everyone goes to the church wedding at night or Sat afternoon. So we were strongly criticized for not letting her mother and grandmothers -nonmembers- see our church wedding when all other mothers are in the front row at the church wedding seeing their daughter walk down the aisle, being given away by the dad etc…..

    The only way this problem will be solved is if the church grants Bishops or SP priesthood authority to marry -which had to have been the case in biblical times at least- and then hold a wedding in an open and public church setting, as Joseph wanted, either before or after the civil wedding if one is required by law. Currently the only priesthood office in Mormonism which can marry are apostles and those who they delegate the sealing power to. Currently bishops, high priests etc do not have priesthood authority to marry anyone and can’t marry unless the secular state government gives bishops that authority, as happens in most US states. But only adding a civil wedding as they do in Latin america won’t solve this mess because we suffered the same criticism part-member families face in the US because non-member family couldn’t see our church, ie Temple, wedding.

    • September 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      But bishops, at least, and possibly stake presidents CAN marry. But one of my most recent experiences with an LDS non-temple wedding was pretty bad. It has to be performed in the cultural hall or in the RS room because apparently the chapel is forbidden by the Handbook. (No bishop will dare tread against the Holy Handbook.) Then just like a funeral is more about trying to preach Mormonism rather than talk about the life of the deceased, an LDS non-temple wedding is supposed to be a lesson about how the couple should have gone to the temple instead. So this last wedding made people squirm because it seemed to denounce the happy couple for their poor judgment of marrying outside the temple rather than just be happy for them. And the man wasn’t even a member, so why even bring up the subject.

      My sister was married in an LDS chapel back when it was allowed, when you could be walked down the aisle, have flowers, choose an organist to play what you wanted played, throw rice, and everything. Of course, those were the kinder, gentler, happier, and more polite pre-correlation days.

      • Jean's Home Boy
        September 5, 2012 at 2:53 am

        I was married in the church in the early 80s. We were married in the chapel, as was my brother. That angers me SO much that weddings are not allowed in the chapel anymore. The church has become such a joyless controlling greedy organisation that I would leave it even if I didnt know that Joseph Smith was a fraud. This is just one more evidence that all the LDS leadership care about is money and control. I curse them all.

        • Charlie
          September 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

          They are not banned from the chapel but some conditions like not video taping inside the chapel and no wedding march inside the church building are banned, as they actually always were.

          The reason given in book 1 is that weddings should be “simple, conservative and in harmony with the sacredness of the marriage convents. There should be no extravagance in decorations or pomp in the proceedings” One may agree or disagree with this but truth is that one can still be married in the Chapel as long as the Bishop is a legal marriage celebrant in your state.

      • Charlie
        September 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        The can marry only if the state they live in grants them secular, governmental authority to do so on the states behalf ie if civil law authorizes the official to marry, as book 1 says. For example Arizona and Utah’s governments authorize bishops as wedding celebrants, give’s them a number to use etc. But the church doesn’t grant them priesthood authority to marry so in all of latin america bishops and stake presidents can only do those ridiculous ring ceremonies, since the state doesn’t grant them authority to marry nor does the church.

        Handbook doesn’t ban marriages from the Chapel, I’ve just checked, it’s section 3.5.3 to 3.5.5 In fact they prefer marriages to be done in a chapel rather than an outside hall. What it bans is wedding receptions inside the chapel and video recording inside the chapel, and they do ban the wedding march inside the chapel (go figure!). Maybe the people you saw preferred the cultural hall to be able to tape their wedding? But that part of it is a give and take situation.

  10. September 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Now that I am 29 years into my mormon story I can say I feel remorse for excluding my non-LDS parents from my wedding. But at the time I was way over the top, dedicated, literal member of the church. I feel sad now looking back on my sweet mom and dad waiting outside. It breaks my heart now and I think next time I speak to my mom I will apologize. What even breaks my heart worse is the potential that that may happen again as I face my own evolution of belief that as it takes its natural course may see me on the outside with my own children.

    • Square Peg
      September 4, 2012 at 7:37 am

      I too worry that the tables will be turned on myself. I have “evolved” in how I feel about the church and probably cannot secure myself a recommend when my children are married. I am angry that I will be on the “outside” of my own children’s weddings just because I no longer agree with everything I did when I was willing in the past to exclude people from attending my temple ceremony. I can’t tell you how much sadness this causes me. But I am not willing to “fake” who and what I am just to be allowed to go in-although it is tempting. I’m so glad these things are coming out so that all suffering these emotional burdens do not have to feel like they are alone. How I wish changes could come about though.

  11. Bak Irish
    September 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Ok, I am going to ask a really stupid question, but I am curious to hear people’s opinions.

    Nobody in the podcast brought up the possibility that temple weddings be opened up to non-members. What would be wrong with allowing any invited guest, as detailed by the bride and groom, into the ceremony? This would get the Bishop and Stake President out of the business of determining who can go to a wedding.

    Now, I know what your are thinking… but give me a chance here.

    The temple itself is sacred. We do not want to “pollute” (ouch) the building with non-worthy people. I understand this. But, when I go to the Salt Lake Temple to see a sealing, I walk down a very secular long tunnel to a very bland waiting room. No “sacred” spaces here. Then I go up a very normal elevator or take a very normal staircase to the sealing room where I see a hallway in the temple. More sacred, but still quite bland. The sealing room is a very simple space with chairs on two sides and an altar in the middle. Again, nothing that gives away any of the “sacredness” of the building. The whole physical experience feels very “herded” and the access to the facility is very limited.

    The text of the sealing prayer is sacred. Family members that are invited guests of the bride and groom are not going to make light of the text. If they are there to support their family members they are going to understand that the text is sacred to their loved one and they are going to respect it. If a person wants to be disrespectful, the text is publicly available on the Internet. Anyone who wants to find out what the text contains can do so easily.

    Our temple clothes are sacred. Funerals and viewings are done with the deceased wearing their temple clothes and anyone can come pay their respects.

    PROs

    The bride and groom have the right (and responsibility) to invite respectful people that they love.

    Seven year old sister Jane could see her older sister married.

    Non-members now have a way to enter the temple if they are deemed by their relatives as “worthy.” The perceived “weirdness” that surrounds the Temple could be reduced because non-members can say they have been in there and nothing too strange happens.

    CON

    A person that is disrespectful may gain entrance to the temple. I think this would be an infrequent event. Also, it can already happen with today’s policies. A malevolent actor may gain a valid temple recommend, enter the temple, and create a scene.

    I know this is “radical” but I don’t see why it could not work. I think the Church could get some long term positive PR. It would be perceived as being more welcoming to all peoples. The stigma about the “weirdness” that goes on inside the temple would be reduced. The Church no longer would have to say, “only worthy Church members can go in there.”

    Possibly, the middle ground here is that the bride and groom would only be allowed to extend the “non-Mormon” invitations to immediate family members. If this is the case, I think the CON listed above totally goes away because parents and siblings will respect the decisions of their loved ones.

    • Square Peg
      September 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Bak Irish,
      I think that is a wonderful idea!!!! I wish they’d ever consider something like that.

    • Michael
      September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      Biggest reason I can think of this not being OK’d would be the way that the bride and groom hold hands over the altar. Since endowed members are under covenant not to disclose the tokens, certainly non-members attending a sealing, and seeing the way the bride and groom are holding hands, would constitute “revealing” a token, correct?

      • Bak Irish
        September 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm

        Yeah I forgot about that part. However, I think the whole notion of “revealing” tokens and signs is a mute point since it is all easily obtained in public domain knowledge bases.

        For me, the “revealing” part of the promise boils down to my personal actions and attitudes surrounding protecting the signs as sacred and not flaunting or making light of them. Non-Mormons already know the whole story. Having them see a sign in practice, in the proper place and time, to me is not a “revelation.” I believe the vast majority of loved ones would show respect and reverence toward it.

        Also, given the changes that were made to the endowment ceremony a decade or so ago, the Church appears to be moving away from the strict penalties associated with revealing signs and tokens. Maybe they can take another step…?

        I believe parents that are allowed into their child’s wedding are going to feel more accepted and “loved” by the Church. It could even be a great missionary tool.

        On the other hand, if we keep the status qou, we know that many excluded parents become angry and many become vocal opponents of the Church. And, in my opinion, rightfully so.

        How can the Church claim to be THE “family” church and break up families during the most fundamental familial ceremony? As the King of Siam says… “It is a puzzlement…” to me.

  12. Doubting Thomas
    September 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I thought it was interesting that Mitt and Ann Romney were married in Michigan one day and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple the next day… maybe two days afterwards.

    Was this the policy back in the late 60’s?

    This is just the worst thing the church does. Looking back on my own personal situation I am stunned at the lack of compassion I had for my family that were not able to attend my wedding.

    • Jean
      September 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      No the policy when the Romneys married was as it is now – a one year wait for choosing to honor their parents before a church policy. So, how come the rule was waived for him? In the 1960 Church Handbook it says if parents ‘insist’ on being at their children’s weddings, the bishop or stake president should seek special permission from the first presidency, but that was no longer in the hanbook when the Romneys married civilly first with Ann’s non religious family in the East. Then they enjoyed the privilege that we cannot have, of being married in the Salt Lake Temple. This is just fine in my books, this is not my beef, but why do the members of the ‘royal families’ get better treatment than the rest of us?

  13. Anissa
    September 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Thank you for doing a podcast on this subject. I have been hoping for one. This was done from a loving position, and seemed so reasonable to have hope for a change in the policy to allow civil marriage outside temple and then be sealed, without a punishment period of time. I would love for your voices to be heard from those who make the policies. Is there a way we can have our voices make a difference? Should we write letters, sign something, anything?

    In my second marriage we got married civilly first only because I had to wait for a sealing cancellation from my previous marriage. I remember being secretly happy because I could include everyone in our families, especially my daughter. Children need to be present the most so they can bond as a new family forms. I was also secretly happy I could have the big normal wedding. My Dad has 7 kids and I am the only child he got to walk down the aisle or witness their marriage. My mother is a convert. Her and her kids are the only members in our entire extended family. When we attend a cousin’s wedding it is so beautiful and special for the whole family. When they come to one of or weddings it is awkward as we all separate at the temple. My poor Grandparents.
    When my sealing cancellation came through my husband and I had to wait a few more months before we were allowed to be sealed to make it 1 year. We both maintained our recommends through our engagement and marriage. I thought it strange we could go to the temple to do sealings for the dead but not for ourselves. Who thinks this makes sense?

    On another point about my situation. If I had been a man I could have just been sealed right away and not had to wait for the cancellation of my previous sealing. Please help me understand that?

    Again, loved this podcast. I feel strongly about wanting this policy to change. If they allow people in other countries to be married civilly first, (without the year probation) then it should be a choice here as well. There were many good, valid points in this podcast and I really hope it will make a difference! Thank you!

    • Kate Ross
      September 5, 2012 at 9:14 am

      You had to have your previous sealing cancelled before being sealed to someone else because women are only allowed to be sealed to one man, alive or dead. Men, on the other hand can be sealed to multiple women. I have a friend who got a legal divorce from his first wife, but never a temple divorce (i.e. sealing cancellation), then got sealed to his second wife. From an eternal perspective I suppose he is actually married to 2 women because he is still sealed to both of them. I assume this is quite common in the church, especially as divorce rates climb. Members of the mainstream LDS church make a big show of abhorring polygamy, but as far as the temple/celestial kingdom is concerned, polygyny is alive and well. Polyandry, on the other hand, seems to have ended with Joseph Smith.

    • Charlie
      September 6, 2012 at 10:08 am

      “I thought it strange we could go to the temple to do sealings for the dead but not for ourselves. Who thinks this makes sense?”

      No one thinks that makes sense, because it doesn’t.

      Your story shows why the one year wait should be scrapped and the ‘legal wedding’ separated from the ‘sealing’ as Joseph Smith apparently wanted it to be.

      Re Men who divorce: they need a sealing clearance which is processed just like your sealing cancellation was. Widowers though don’t need anything and they can go and be sealed to a second wife. The first wife is still sealed to that widower therefore celestial polygamy still runa in Mormonism….

      “If they allow people in other countries to be married civilly first, (without the year probation)…” this is slightly misleading because the one year wait does apply if the Temple sealing isn’t done at the first possible and practical opportunity in those countries which do not recognize LDS weddings. If one marries civilly in Brazil, as you have to by law, and then go off on your honeymoon, then you need to wait a full year before being sealed in a Temple.

  14. Jim Thomas
    September 5, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Great podcast. The one thing I thought it needed was an exploration of the history behind the policy – when it started and why, and how it has evolved. As I recall someone started to bring it up early in the podcast but they never came back to it. Otherwise, great job!

  15. September 6, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Loved this podcast, and LOVE the idea behind it. As the youngest of 5, I had to sit in the lobby with all non-endowed extended family members while my siblings married.
    One note: it may be worthwhile to point out that the Joseph Smith quote about marriage being public, which was part of the original D&C 109, was from 1835 at the latest- years before temple sealings and endowments were in the picture. It makes sense that once the “higher law” was given, things changed.
    At least, that’s what I’d say if I wanted to spend time defending the church in all it’s inconsistency… but thankfully I don’t bother with that anymore;)

  16. September 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Rock, could you post that passage from Joseph Smith stating that weddings should be public? I was driving while listening and didn’t catch the source?

    Thanks.

  17. Blake
    September 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    John,
    I don’t get it. Why will the church allow unendowed children to be sealed to their parents in the temple, yet won’t allow these same children to see the marriage of a sibling, other relative or friend in the temple.

    I enjoy listening to Mormon Stories. Thanks for your contributions.

  18. Celeritas
    September 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I am certainly in favor of inviting with love those not of our faith who are parents of the children being married to witness the sealing. They should re-work the temple prep class so that parents and loved ones who want to attend the sealing can be prepared and learn more about our ordinances and doctrines pertaining to family and marriage before witnessing the sealing.

  19. Jessica Bischoff
    September 24, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I haven’t read these comments (reading comments is so exhausting!) and I know I’m a few weeks late to the game here, but I wanted to add my thank you for this particular podcasts. I learned new things that I had previously thought of as “doctrine”. I’m so glad that I am educated now. Thanks again!

  20. Adam
    September 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    This was an exceptionally well done podcast, with very credible participants and reasoning. Add this to Daniel Peterson’s similar sentiments from his podcast with Dan Wotherspoon, and one is left wondering how the brethren can not make this change. It would be so beneficial to the members and the Church. Fine job, John. Thanks to you and Jean for putting it together, and to the other panelists for their excellent contributions.

  21. Heather
    October 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    This episode hit home on a few levels for me.

    I was married in the temple about 2 years ago. Luckily parents on both sides were able to attend as well as 2/4 sets of grandparents. In fact, my husband’s grandfather was able to preform the sealing which was very special for us.

    However, neither of us had siblings present and only one member of the wedding party (i.e. our closest friends) was able to come inside the temple. It felt wrong knowing that siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and many dear friends were left waiting outside. Many had come from far away and at great personal expense only to sit around in a crowded visitors centre.

    But at the time, I felt I was doing the right thing. In fact, I’ll even admit that I felt better than them in a way. I know I shouldn’t have felt “holier” than them and I don’t suggest that the church necessarily encourages that. However, how could I not feel that way? If they really were as wonderful as me, why weren’t they in attendance?

    Less than a year after getting married, my husband and I left together for various reasons. Now I see things from the other side. Now I realize how hurtful it was to my family to act the way I did. It’s amazing how my eyes have opened. Now I think about my three siblings who are yet to be married–two of whom will likely get married in the temple. I can’t image not being there. I hope things change before that happens or that they are smarter than I was and realize that getting MARRIED in the temple is not the only option.

    To be perfectly honest, the temple sealing ceremony was a bit of a let-down. It was nothing special. I felt light headed having to kneel for that long. I got bored. I HATED the fact that there were only “old” people in the room with us. Where were all my friends? It was very special to have my husband’s grandfather seal us and he did add a personal touch. But let’s be real, he was reading a script.

    When my husband and I were engaged and planning our wedding, I wrote him a heartfelt letter about how lucky I felt to have him. At the end I expressed sadness that we wouldn’t have any chance to exchange vows and this is what I would have said to him at that time. I know we could have had a program at our reception which included vows but it didn’t feel the same to me.

    Looking back now, I would say one of the best parts about getting married in the temple was the fact that it was free. We were (and still are!) young and on a budget so it was nice to have a beautiful building to get married in that didn’t cost us anything. At least not directly–we were both life-long full tithe payers.

    This podcast was wonderful. Some very good points were raised and I hope to share this with others. Thanks for tackling the hard stuff!

  22. Bryan
    October 10, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I know I’m a little late on this, but in 1981 I was not a member for a year yet and my bishop performed the marriage ceremony for us. A year later we went to the temple. I’m really glad we got to do it that way because my mom and dad got to be there. I’ve read Rock Waterman’s website on this subject, but will be listening to the podcast too. Now, how to get around this issue because I have a son and daughter. Yeah, I hold a recommend (credit card as one person said) but I would like to see others come and take joy in the event. I find it funny that people excuse this by saying, “well, it’s only because it’s so sacred of an event.” It doesn’t make it any less sacred. Policy and politics.

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