Temple Wedding Petition

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PetitionA temple wedding petition to is being circulated to promote love and happiness in the family by changing the church’s stance on civil marriages preceding temple weddings. The petition requests that the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints make it acceptable to have a civil marriage ceremony first, if desired, and then giving the couple the necessary time to attend the temple for the sealing ordinance as they do in those countries whose laws require it.  (The petition is not endorsed by Mormon Matters; this information is being shared for discussion as a news item).

In the following video which lasts about 2 minutes, Jean talks about the stigma some members may feel if they choose a civil wedding ceremony. The other preseding videos last approximately 2 minutes each.

Temple Wedding Petition 3 Here

Temple Wedding Petition 1 Here

Temple Wedding Petition 2 Here

Temple Wedding Petition .org here

The actual petition is found here

I was raised in a part member family and remember when my brother was married my parents were disappointed that they weren’t able to go to the temple and see their son get married. It would have been nice for our family to have seen it. I wonder if it makes non- members, or those on the fringe, feel excluded from the church and may damper future missionary work with families. I live in England and it’s the law that there is a civil wedding which usually takes place in the chapel.

Recently a nephew was married and was schedueled to get married in the Salt Lake temple. Because much of the family couldn’t witness the wedding they decided last minute to have a civil wedding. He and his wife since their marriage enjoy going to the temple but have to wait a year now to be married in the temple.

I wonder if there is a church loophol if you want your non- member family to see your wedding you could get married in America and fly to a country where the church allows civil marriages followed by a temple marriage after?

What are your thoughts and experiences?

Just to make it very clear that there is no advocacy on the part of MM.

Comments

comments

Comments 161

  1. I have always thought this was a very divisive policy. It’s obviously not “doctrine” as it is different in other (non-US) countries. It’s just a tradition done here. Any tradition that serves to tear families apart rather than build them together should be jettisoned.

  2. I really hope the church changes this one year waiting. It is damaging to its image especially amongst non-member relatives and friends.

    I don’t know how they expect members to then invite their non-member relatives and friends to accept the missionaries after they were denied the chance to see a loved ones wedding. Its especially difficult when the daughter is a member but not her parents.

    “I wonder if there is a church loophol if you want your non- member…..”

    There is a way: Assuming you can’t fly all your relatives to England, have two marriages but keep quiet about the first one. First do a civil marriage in your hometown in front of all family and friends with a paid licensed marriage celebrant that makes that one legal and lawful but then go off into another jurisdiction for the Temple wedding but without telling them that you are already married civilly back home. For example, say you live in Utah, you marry civilly first then go to Canada or Mexico for the Temple wedding and honeymoon.

    But the couple needs to be capable of such deception because if they mention the civil marriage the pedantic Temple scribes will make them wait a year. Better would be to sign this petition and pray that they will change things 🙂

  3. Despite the wording of the first paragraph, this post does NOT represent the viewpoint of all the permas who write here at Mormon Matters.

    For example, while I would love to see the policy change to be consistent throughout the world, I personally have NO desire to sign this petition. For one thing, I can’t stand the idea of clicking on the doors of the temple to enter the site. The symbolism alone is deeply offensive to me, especially when the stated goal of the site explicitly is NOT to have non-members enter the temple for sealings.

    Again, I have NO problem with the idea of a policy change with regard to this issue, but this post represents the view of its author (and perhaps other authors here) – NOT the consensus of all who write at Mormon Matters. This is a request from a single author, not from Mormon Matters as a group blog.

  4. My main thought is this: whoever is doing this petition does not sincerely want the Church to change its policy. The Church doesn’t tend to respond well to public pressure in any event and, moreover, online petitions tend to be less effective than doing nothing at all. (That is, people who might otherwise do something productive feel like they’ve done something by clicking on an online petition, and therefore don’t do anything else, while an online petition is eminently ignoreable.

  5. I agree with Ray – I wouldn’t sign a petition either. The church isn’t my congressman. And I wouldn’t sign a petition that goes to my congressman either probably ;).

    With regard to the policy, my preference would be to allow a civil ceremony to accompany a temple ceremony, but the trend (at least in the US) has been to eliminate all non-temple components. Ring ceremonies are now discouraged. For converts or those with part member families, this is very divisive. It results in excessive resentment toward the church in many cases. It is not easily explained away to non-believers who are banned from such an important life event of someone they love. Explanations of sacredness (implying the non-believers are profane) certainly fall flat and create ill will. If a temple marriage is something people should yearn and strive for, this policy doesn’t create that result for these individuals.

  6. Restricting temple recommends to faithful members who attend meetings regularly and tithe is one way to keep members attending meetings and paying tithes. The current policy on temple marriages motivates faithfulness to these policies–at least from members. Allowing a civil marriage before the temple ceremony might hurt the church financially. Would some members be less inclined to pay tithing and keep a recommend if they could see loved oens married in a civil ceremony?

  7. OK…I have been ringing in alot lately after just reading this blog for a while…but I am really considering joining the Church and here’s the hitch. My wife whom I have been with for 5 years but just recently married in a lovely Lutheran ceremony 5 months ago yesterday (we have been Lutheran for a while) is not interested in the Church at all. The missionaries have been over and she is not interested, we have gone to church and still not interested. So that leaves me in a strange situation i.e. considering joining a church whose emphasis (even doctrine of salvation) is based entirely upon marriage and families. We’re also having our first child together (due in June 2010) and I have a 15 year old son who was born when I was a teenager and making all the wrong choices who lives with me (and has for 8 years). So I have an extremely complicated situation at least in my opinion. Will my wife ever join and be sealed to me?, will I be able to be sealed to either of my two children (or any others that come along)? if my wife and I are sealed what would our families (both non-LDS) think about not being invited to the ceremony?

    Here is the conclusion I think I have come to. A friend of mine who is Roman Catholic married a woman who was Luthern in order for them to have a Catholic ceremony she had to convert…does the RC church recognize civil marriages yes…are civil marriages a sacrament in the RC church absolutely not! Those Catholic’s who marry outside of a Catholic mass are participating in a sub-par ceremony, that doesn’t require sanction by the church nor is it recognized as an offical Catholic union. This same couple had a baby and wanted to have it baptized, problem was they wanted one of her Lutheran brothers to be the godfather – the church said no, both godparents had to be Catholic, so they picked a new godfather. So There are rules that are divisive that other churches expect members to obey and honor because they are considered sacred.

    My understanding (as an outsider) is that the Temple and its ordinances are sacred, and rather than encourage something less than the sacredness of the Temple the Church chooses to have its members rise to the occassion and accept the policies that ultimately come from leaders that are said to be in direct receipt of the Lord’s will for our day. I disagree that explaining something is sacred (to non-LDS) and requires certain behavior or obedience (or membership) in order to participate is the wrong approach to take, it has been the line of other church bodies (and other religions) for centuries and hasn’t diminished the ability of those organizations to reach the mass of unbelievers out there. The gospel is something that is offered to all, anyone can accept it…there is a chosen vessel for that gospel and indeed a “Royal priesthood)” as Peter would say, but that vessel that people that priesthood is open to anyone who answers the call of the spirit and becomes a part of the kingdom of God on Earth in this day.

    The better way, in my opinion is to explain to non-LDS that the Church is Christ’s Church and all Heavenly Father’s children are welcome to become a part of it and experience the fulness of all it has to offer. If my wife ever joins after I do and we have the opportunity to be sealed I will spend the time leading up to that date teaching my non member family (and hers) about the blessings of the gospel and offering them a chance to receive those blessings themselves as I should be doing I suppose from the moment of my acceptance of the gospel as well.

  8. mormoninvestigator

    Those are some good thoughts. I grew up and live in Utah, and all my immediate family and most of my extended family are active LDS. They were all in the temple for my marriage (except a sister who was too young). I think the current church policy really caters to families such as mine, where almost everyone can attend the wedding. I do think a policy change or at least more emphasis on sharing that special day with non-LDS relatives would be a great move.

    I’ve seen people left out in the cold on what should otherwise be a tremendously joyous occasion for all, but I’m not sure of the best way to maintain the holiness of the temple ritual while including others. I think the temple emphasis should be the sealing, and that the church should maybe ease up on civil weddings performed on the same day.

  9. I was sealed in the temple last March, and we immediately followed up with a simple ring ceremony at the reception, in which my father-in-law, who is a Bishop, emphasized that our true marriage was in the temple, but that we love each other a lot, etc.

    It was perfect and nobody, from Bishops to Stake Presidents to anyone, gave us a hard time about it.

    I’d also side with Ray in that I hope that nobody interprets this petition as something that is endorsed by all permas. I don’t think decisions on the GA level should be made through “political” means… the concept of “by common consent” is sacred, but this just doesn’t feel the same to me.

  10. My wife and I have plenty of friends and family who are not Mormon. We decided to have a two day event. On Thursday, we got sealed in the Manhattan Temple, had a lunch at a local (fantastic) restaurant for those who could attend the temple, and then we stayed the wedding night at the Ritz Carlton. The next day, we had a ring ceremony where everyone was invited. It was a more or less traditional celebration. What we liked about it is that we celebrated for two days our wedding. That first day flew by very very fast. It was nice to have a second day of celebrations. Every one of our friends and family were able to experience the wedding as they normally would experience it otherwise. (I mean, heck, I even composed our own wedding march!).

    Personally I don’t think having the ring ceremony first is a good idea. I think the actual sealing should happen first. But celebrating afterwards is a perfectly fine idea in my mind.

  11. Post
    Author

    10 “I was sealed in the temple last March, and we immediately followed up with a simple ring ceremony at the reception, in which my father-in-law, who is a Bishop, emphasized that our true marriage was in the temple, but that we love each other a lot, etc”

    Thanks Arthur for your comment. Do you feel that those who went to the ring ceremony maybe could of been offended by your father-in-law emphasizing that your true marriage was in the temple!! It’s sort of like saying all the cool mormons get to fly business class and get the good seats with all the nice food and great surroundings and the rest of you plebs just get our scraps.

    No offense intended!

  12. I’m not really too concerned if they were offended by that or not. We were meeting what I consider to be a minimum obligation to anyone who wanted to see some kind of ritual. If they’re really offended by my beliefs, then 1) Do they even know me? and 2) Why did I invite them to my wedding?

    Modern marriages nowadays are a three-ring circus, as far as I’m concerned. The only reason we even HAVE rituals, spend thousands of dollars, hire a DJ, etc. is so modern people can prop up the institution and try to convince themselves that it’s not a sinking ship. Half of all marriages end in divorce, even those that don’t have infidelity, many people get married just for tax and other benefits.

    Why do I want my marriage to resemble that at all? The more I can do to distinguish my marriage from that, the better.

  13. Before I wade in let me confirm my understanding; are we saying the those within the US are not allowed to marry in a ceremony outside the temple before the actual temple ceiling?

    If that is correct, it makes me shake with anger. I was married in the UK we had a beautiful ceremony in an LDS Chapel with talks and advice and music and prayers and love. It was followed by a simple sit down dinner and speeches, it was a brilliant missionary tool we invited both members of the ward and non-members many could see the beauty of marriage and the commitment we have made to one another the talks focused amid some humour on Families forever and the Temple.

    The Temple ceremony was spiritual and sacred, however it was short and simple there was no real indulgence in the moment.

    If the US membership are missing out on this opportunity I feel sorry for them, the policy seems short sighted and authoritarian, dogmatic and stupid.

    However the one year ruling still applies to the UK and I feel it is appropriate, My personal feelings are that no sexual relations should happen until you are married in the Temple (exceptions obviously apply such as new converted couples, those who live a considerable distance from the Temple).

    Stephen M # 1 if my initial understanding is correct what’s your point

  14. Arthur # 13

    “Modern marriages nowadays are a three-ring circus”

    I think you raise an interesting point and one in which I can see being a motivating factor for the Brethren agreeing with.

    But why invade this ritual alone ? College and University rituals, are a shadow of former masonic and other secular rituals. what about medical, political and many other professions for that matter ?

  15. When there is an LDS Temple University Degree ordinance we’ll make an apples-to-apples comparison.

    Until then, I’m not certain how the LDS Church preserving the sanctity of what it believes to be a foundational institution, pre-ordained by God for all men and women and essential to exaltation, is somehow an “invasion.” Whether you agree with the Church or not, I don’t know how on Earth you could compare an eternal sealing with a university graduation ceremony.

  16. The problem with talking about viewpoint here is the “church” is not being consistent. From the outside it could be viewed as special treatment (and not the good kind) for American members.

    #4 – “Despite the wording of the first paragraph, this post does NOT represent the viewpoint of all the permas who write here at Mormon Matters.”

    Of course not, But where does it state it has to? Yes for a TV news, being neutral is important, but this isn’t TV. Mormon matters implies differing views on said matters. This post does represent the authors views. When I write something I don’t think “Does the represent George Clooney, Greenpeace, McDonalds and my next door neighbour Steve’s views?”. There are many people on mormon matters all with different views. How can I possibly cater to views that I cannot know. Yes if I was psychic but otherwise ludicrous to even suggest.

    #4 – “For one thing, I can’t stand the idea of clicking on the doors of the temple to enter the site. The symbolism alone is deeply offensive to me”.

    It’s a door! Deeply offensive? The point is why should couples in America have to wait a year to enter the temple (via the….Doors!). “this petition is NOT about allowing non-members or those who do not hold a temple recommend into an LDS temple”. Again clicking the doors has nothing to do with non-members.

    #4 – “especially when the stated goal of the site explicitly is NOT to have
    non-members enter the temple for sealings.”

    The stated goal is no waiting period, the site is just saying what its not about. Read the statements next time.

    #5 – “My main thought is this: whoever is doing this petition does not sincerely want the Church to change its policy.”

    Of course they want to change its policy. Unless he’s thinking “Here’s a petition, I don’t care about this issue but maybe you do”. Maybe it’s an identity theft scam, or possibly an elaborate joke. How can anyone suggest he’s insincere?

    #7 – “Restricting temple recommends to faithful members who attend meetings regularly and tithe is one way to keep members attending meetings and paying tithes.”

    But only in the US. Also how is this relevant? They got a civil marriage, not
    committed a sin i.e. murdered a whole village.

    #7 – “The current policy on temple marriages motivates faithfulness to these policies–at least from members. Allowing a civil marriage before the temple ceremony might hurt the church financially. Would some members be less inclined to pay tithing and keep a recommend if they could see loved ones married in a civil ceremony?”

    Again only in the US. Some bold sweeping statements there. It doesn’t motivate faithfulness it just alienates US non-members and couples who got a civil manage. Faithfulness is universal not different from country to country. Policy not doctrine. So in my opinion it’s wrong.

    Restricting temple marriage = tithing & faithfulness = more church funds

    This is about human emotions not money! Mourn with those who mourn.

    I realise I’ve picked on 3 people in particular. I feel they are missing the point of this post. I’m not married, nor planning on it, yet I see where people are coming from, especially non members. But also couples who want their families there too.

    The ring ceremony sounds like a good idea, but it’s not entirely traditional which is what people like. Everyone does things differently. My point still stands that outside of the US no-one has to stress over such a situation. If we are all children of God we should all have the same rights.

    #13 – “Modern marriages nowadays are a three-ring circus, as far as I’m concerned. The only reason we even HAVE rituals, spend thousands of dollars, hire a DJ, etc. is so modern people can prop up the institution and try to convince themselves that it’s not a sinking ship. Half of all marriages end in divorce, even those that don’t have infidelity, many people get married just for tax and other benefits.”

    Yes many marriages are lke that although thats the reception not the ceremony! Last 3 people I knew got married in a registry office. We are deviating from the main topic again…

  17. Arthur

    My point is there are many Rituals that we all participate in, as celebration of personal achievement and decisions. Just because civil marriage ceremonies are expensive and secular is no reason to abandon it.

    I agree that The Temple sealing is the best option personally, however it is not for family and loved ones a civil marriage is an opportunity for all to enjoy the unifying effect of true love.

    You point about the percentage of civil marriages ending in divorce is interesting, I would be interested in seeing the % of those sealed who separate and the % Temple divorces.

    However just because something has a high rate of failure does not mean it should be abandoned. Many of those who are baptised and confirmed members of the church go less-active or ask to have there name removed.

  18. mormoninvestigator – the question about your wife who is not interested is probably a moot point on some level. Paul advocates people to stay in their mixed faith marriages because the spouse can be “sanctified” through that union. I think that really means that you’ve married your wife because you love her, and life is long; your views may end closer than you think when all is said and done. But the most important thing is to love and serve your spouse by keeping the marriage commitments you’ve made, and to live up to any other commitments you decide to make in the future with regard to the church. Mormons are “covenant-making” people. It doesn’t make you any less of a Mormon if your spouse chooses not to join. Many in the church have been in similar situations or were raised by parents in similar situations.

  19. I would have loved it if my family could have been at my temple wedding. However, I was an adult convert, and none of my family is LDS. We held our temple marriage on the opposite coast, near my DH’s family, in order to minimize the impact that their restriction would have had on my loved ones. We later had a ring ceremony for my family, held in my single’s ward bishop’s backyard. My bishop very carefully worded things such that it sounded like we were exchanging vows, and it kept the peace. However, I cried throughout my entire temple sealing because my sisters, mom, and dad weren’t there; in-laws I had only met once are not the same. My mom cried throughout the entire ring ceremony because she knew that it wasn’t the wedding. They are devoutly Catholic; its one thing that I left the Catholic Church, but it was quite another when their oldest daughter/granddaughter/sister was married where they couldn’t attend.

    Did we explain to my family why they couldn’t attend my wedding? Of course! Did they understand? Absolutely NOT. Sure, the Catholic Church requires that Catholics be married in a Catholic church for their wedding… but non-Catholics are certainly permitted to attend the ceremony! The little temple booklet that the church dispenses talks briefly about this topic, and I found it to be completely useless for my situation.

    I know that they discourage ring ceremonies now. If they had forbidden one when I was married, I probably would have pushed for a civil marriage and a 1-year wait. Its preposterous to me to think that somehow I would have been “sinning” and needing to repent if I had gone that route, but oh well.

  20. #19. Yes, I agree that we all participate in rituals. And if nobody conflated the two ideas (temple sealing and secular “party”), then there would be no problem. But apparently, your post shows that people do just that. “But why invade this ritual alone?” If you think the Church is just co-opting or “invading” a secular ritual by instituting a temple sealing, then it just proves that the Brethren might have been right, instead of just being authoritarian and dogmatic.

    “However just because something has a high rate of failure does not mean it should be abandoned. Many of those who are baptised and confirmed members of the church go less-active or ask to have there name removed.”

    But see, you’re missing the logic again. Marriage as a secular institution is in shambles, and I’m proposing a temple sealing as a higher, better alternative, therefore the original is less necessary. If there was a new, higher, better form of baptism and confirmation, and baptism and confirmation were a SECULAR institution, then heck yeah, I’d say do away with B&C and replace it with the higher ordinance.

    Therefore…

    #18. I’m not sure we’re deviating from the main topic at all. This post, I think, just shows what the Brethren are afraid of:

    “It’s sort of like saying all the cool mormons get to fly business class and get the good seats with all the nice food and great surroundings and the rest of you plebs just get our scraps.”

    Yes, that’s exactly what we’re saying. That’s the whole point. We believe we have an ETERNAL bond, something that binds men and women together for eternity in families, something that secular marriage can NEVER do. We’re not allowed to act like that’s better than the alternative?

    I think we can do it without coming across as jerks. And I don’t think that having a second, secular wedding ceremony is really necessary to get our point across. Should we have a secular, second Endowment, that everyone can come to and take pictures of, so we can use it as a missionary tool? With punch and cake?

    I know I’m coming across as insensitive, I’m not intending that. And I understand there’s lots of nuance involved, and I’m telling you right now that I understood that enough to incorporate a ring ceremony in my own reception, for our non-member family. But I do think that anyone who wishes to revise a policy should know why it was instated to begin with, and I don’t see where anyone is doing that.

  21. In our situation, the Civil Marriage was the key service for non-members, with all the well wishes and support you would expect to them the Temple was possibly an after thought, where as for us the civil ceremony was a step toward the temple sealing.

    it worked perfectly for both parties allowing members and non-members the pleasure of a ceremony that brought tears to there eyes for good reasons, and we were able to have a small select group within the temple ceremony just 12 other people making it a very intimate moment between my wife and I. I have been to some sealing’s where 30 – 40 and more people are invited it looses that intimate feeling and takes on a more social moment (good for some, but we were fortunate to have both).

  22. “My personal feelings are that no sexual relations should happen until you are married in the Temple”

    What the hell…

    On my mission, we had a district leader who had a stroke of revelation and thought that in addition to the mission rules which stated that we were not allowed to listen to non-church music, Elders should also be required to stay out of restraunts or other establishments which may playing music, or contain similar expressions to pop-culture. He also tried to institute a rule that forbade discussions about those types of things, like movies we had seen, or songs we liked, etc. Long story short, some Elders complained to my Mission President who apparently vetoed these new sets of rules. His take was that missionary life is already very rigorous and demanding as it is, and we do ourselves a painful disservice complicating it with more rules and rigidity than what is necessary. That, about sums up my take on the obsurd comment above.

    Arthur:

    Last time I was aware, Mormon marriage statistics were about on par with society at large. I am aware of two disciplinary councils in the last six month, with members in a relatives stake, that were held in behalf of sealed Mormons who committed adultry. I personally was involved in a disciplinary proceeding several years ago as a Ward Clerk, for someone in our Ward.

  23. #24. Assuming that’s true for a moment (I’m not sure where you can get a reliable statistic on that, but who knows), then one could argue that the Brethren are even MORE justified in trying to prevent the conflation of temple sealing and secular marriage. You could say that your statistic proves that this has already happened.

  24. OK the simple approach. US members have to wait a year to be married in the temple after civil marriage. All this other stuff is real touching, but completely irrelevant elsewhere!

  25. Yes because sealing has magic power in this life that stops all marrital conflicts and adultry. Wake up, sealing is mostly about status.

  26. #27 – Exactly, its almost like they are suggesting Americans are more likely to make mistakes and need some time to think. Insulting really. It is literally senseless.

  27. #27. Well, we’re left to speculate. But I will say that, whenever the Church makes broad generalized rules for everyone, people complain that the policies aren’t flexible enough to incorporate the needs of different cultures and situations. Whenever the Church tries to make different policies for different areas, based on the perceived need of a certain area, people complain that the Church is being inconsistent. Of course the Lord would prefer to just not have ANY rules and let people govern themselves, but we’re not perfect yet.

    Again, we’re left to speculate. Perhaps in the US there’s a particular problem with people treating temple sealings like a “semi-special” version of regular marriage. Maybe there’s a completely different reason. I can only guess. But I don’t think it’s a “senseless” insult, based on the idea that Americans “are more likely to make mistakes.”

  28. Arthur #30

    So there is no need to speculate, the rules in the UK is that a Temple marriage must occur within 24 hours of the Civil Marriage(like it has been produced by FOX).

    The reason that this exception is allowed within the UK is that a wedding must be witnessed by a government official and the signing of the wedding certificate in front of the witnesses.

    If you are not married within the TWENTY FOUR hours then the one year ruling comes into play (add tense montage where appropriate).

    Cowboy #24

    fair point it is my opinion, I just don’t like the idea of the bride and groom having sex in the limo on the way to the temple.

  29. …Or we could argue that success in marriage has little to do with the venue where marriage ceremonies are performed. As much as we Mormons would like to think that we have a unique perspective and approach to marriage, we really don’t. Discovering this was also a disappointing lesson from my mission. My companion and I were tracting one day, and at a particular house when then gentleman opened the door I reached into my “bag” of door approaches and withdrew something related to eternal families. I briefly discussed the restoration, and that included with this news was the offer we could teach him how family relationships could persist beyond mortality (“the cup’s half full” tack). His response jarred me because in a polite Christian way he expressed his gratitude for Jesus also, and said that when he dies he fully expects to enjoy Heaven in the company of God, his wife and children, his friends, etc. This unexpected response forced me to change my strategy, so my message went from one of hope, to one of great urgency. I now had to connect the Mormon dots for him by saying, “actually, sir, if you don’t receive temple ordinances performed in Mormon temples, by proper Priesthood authority, your marriage is of non-effect when you leave this world” (“the cup’s half empty” tack).

    The point of this example is that short of the ordinances, I think very few people approach marriage much differently than Mormons. Those who are religious generally expect all of the things that Mormons do. Those who are socially mature and responsible, whether Mormon or not, will approach marriage with careful consideration and respect for the institution and their spouse. Those who aren’t emotionally mature will behave immaturely in their marriage. Those who do not respect emotional boundaries, among Mormons or the world more broadly will have greater propensity for infidelity, etc, etc, etc. After the marriage is performed, the culture of marriage is very similar across the American social framework. Both spouses generally share living arrangement, expenses, etc. They try to work together in raising their families, and progress economically. They enjoy family vacations, share in each others successes, and mourn over disappointments. They help one another out, and spend the holiday’s together, etc. The list could go on and on, but what’s true for both Mormons and “secularists”, as you call them (though it’s not the best term for it), is that some do all of this with relative success whereas others do not.

    At the expense of introducing a diversion to polygamy, is that the Church already has a precedent to the idea of conflating Mormon marriage customs with “secular” customs. Mormon marriages at one time where unique, both in terms of ceremony and daily practice. That of course changed, and now Mormon marriage culture is more like the broader American culture of marriage. So, in effect, yes the Church has already conflated Mormon marriage with “secular” marriage in order to suit social appetites. It would make a lot of sense to do so in this regard. It may even improve the spiritual quality of live sealings, because the focus would be less overshadowed by the celebration.

  30. #30 – Yeah I’d agree, but it is a broad generalized rules for everyone except the US. People disagree with the current policy, nobody is likely to oppose the church for removing the ban. “Whenever the Church tries to make different policies for different areas, based on the perceived need of a certain area, people complain that the Church is being inconsistent”. That’s exactly the reason people are making a petition. When you’re pushed into a corner you fight back. In my mind its only creating bad feelings, counter to what Jesus taught. Everyones struggling during this recession, and this is one less arbitrary rule that has no basis. This is inperfection that need not exist. I said it’s almost like they are suggesting that.

    “It is literally senseless.” I meant the one year ban is senseless, I see no reasons for it, nor am I being given the actual reasons that led to such a decision. So the very definition of senseless

  31. I just don’t like the idea of the bride and groom having sex in the limo on the way to the temple.

    Fair enough, but on the flip side it may ease some of the tension at the temple making for a more focused experience. I agree with chastity and fidelity, but I wouldn’t take it beyond that.

  32. *I meant to say: Everyones struggling during this recession, and this is one less arbitrary rule that has no basis and is causing more unneeded stress.

  33. Cowboy: “I just don’t like the idea of the bride and groom having sex in the limo on the way to the temple.” Neither does the limo driver!

  34. #33. I don’t feel “pushed into a corner” as an American, this hasn’t caused me stress at all, I don’t think it’s “arbitrary” and I see “sense” in the policy (what you call a ban). It just made us modify our marriage plans a little. I’ve got bigger things to worry about. I’m having trouble seeing this your way and I don’t think I can.

    #32. Now THIS I understand, and I appreciate your point of view. I think you’re generally right, mostly I’m just sticking up for the Church because it doesn’t seem like anyone else is. Though I will say that the “venue” in which marriage is performed does make a difference, in the end. People behave differently when institutions are viewed as sacred. I agree that you don’t need a temple sealing ceremony to believe in the sanctity of marriage, in the same way that I think you don’t have to BELIEVE in God to have morals and ethics. But when people go into work wearing a suit, they behave differently than on “casual Fridays.” Why? Psychology, I guess… we grow to fit the role we’re playing. So I’m not going to say that venue doesn’t matter, because it seems to matter in other human institutions. What if Congress held sessions in Yankee Stadium, with fans cheering and drinking beer? Would the people act any differently? If so, then there must be SOMETHING different. People tend to respect and attach significance to certain edifices, uniforms, rooms, etc. Again, I’m not saying that other marriages aren’t sacred. But I am saying I’m perfectly fine with the Church wanting to set temple sealings as sacred, and different than what they view as “worldly” marriages. I don’t find it offensive, and I’m completely willing to “play along,” as it’s benefited my marriage at least.

    And people viewed marriages differently 100 years ago then they do today, and even more so 200 years ago. I don’t think we’re a different species nowadays. So I wonder, what was different then? Were they just a bunch of abusive, unhealthy marriages, unable to be terminated because the laws didn’t let them? I have a hard time believing that. Maybe in a lot of cases, but the majority? So if people viewed marriage differently 200 years ago, that would show that a change of “venue” (in this case time) can alter people’s perception of something like marriage.

  35. Hawkgrrrl:

    Yeah that could make the trip somewhat uncomfortable. I forgot to include the quotes on that line, I actually didn’t say it. I was responding to MrQandA.

  36. Brion, I’m not going to respond to comments that don’t reflect what I’ve actually written. Address all the people you want to address; just try to have some semblance of accuracy when you do.

  37. PS, I’m also a bit biased, if only because my wife’s Aunt was not permitted to view our temple sealing. She had to sit in the visitor’s center. However, it was this experience that led her, seven months later, to be baptized into the Church. She bore her testimony at her baptism that, because she was not permitted into the temple, she knew it was something intense and special, unlike our reception, and that led her to investigate the Church, gain a testimony, and be baptized. This was just one month ago. As you can see, I am biased. I have seen the results of “setting apart” the temple. Maybe the policy here in the US is clumsy, but I absolutely see what they were going for, and for that reason I sustain the policy (unless they decide to change it). And in no way am I signing the petition, or any petition like it, ever. That’s all I have to say on the subject.

  38. Haha Hawkgrrl: perhaps limo drivers will start a petition ?

    Arthur # 37 “I’m not saying that other marriages aren’t sacred. But I am saying I’m perfectly fine with the Church wanting to set temple sealings as sacred, and different than what they view as “worldly” marriages.”

    I agree the Temple is distinct, especially because of the focus it places on the covenant you make with God, however why not have both ? surely most people are spiritually sensitive enough to distinguish between a Temple ceremony and a Civil ceremony.

    It works fine in in the UK (although the 24 hour rule requires extra planning), you can defend the views of the senior authorities and I appreciate the effort, but as Brigham Young, Bruce McConkie and Jeffrey Holland have taught sometimes the views and opinions of authorities over policy are wrong.

  39. Arthur ~40

    I want to take your comments in the spirit that they were meant, but I can’t. I find it ignorant and patronising, I’m sorry to be so direct but My Wife’s father was not permitted to see her get married in the temple, my sister had no parents there to see her get married, I feel like swearing, I do.

  40. I think the Church should change it’s policy out of respect. At the same time, a petition is useless regarding objections to religious practice. It’s not like a 2/3 vote will over turn the policy.

  41. “It’s not like a 2/3 vote will over turn the policy.”

    I wish you weren’t right, but IMO the latter end of the Priesthood ban indicates that not only will the leadership not change it’s policy due to public opinion but will also delay a change as to not be seen to be following public opinion.

  42. Why not just quietly and discreetly go get married & sealed in the Temple first, then a day or two later throw a big bash civil marriage ceremony?
    You could get a great personality like Karma Kory or Elvis or Merlin the Wizard to marry you in renaissance regalia next to a waterfall.
    The Church may frown upon the practice of following a Temple ceremony with a civil one, but they shouldn’t throw you out – should they?

    And let’s face it. You’ve got to live with your non-member friends & family for a very longtime.
    Do you really want to be causing offense right off the bat?

    They say: Do what is right, let the consequence follow. Is cutting those not qualified for temple entrance out of a most important ritual right?
    Maybe discreetly and quietly obeying the commandment, then standing for a public civil ceremony IS what is right !?

  43. I suspect that if we were able to be sealed in the temple immediately after a civil marriage, it might detract from the importance of the temple marriage.

  44. It takes a while to read through all these comments! I think though that some are missing the point here.

    We married civilly first down in the Registry (which isn’t a chapel) as the law required, then traveled to a Temple the next day but we still had problems with my wife’s non member relatives complaining that they couldn’t see the “Church wedding” as they could do with the catholic or Jewish weddings. This reinforced their belief that we are a divisive cult and no ‘eternal family’ talk has ever changed that.

    The only way it seems to work OK is how they do it today in the UK where there is a civil wedding in a mormon chapel where non-members and friends can attend and share the moment with them, and then they head off for the temple wedding overnight.

    But it would be better, frankly for the sake of both missionary work and extended family relations, to do the Mormon chapel wedding first or a civil wedding before God in a chapel everywhere in the world and then later when the couple is ready for the ordinance, they should go a be Sealed in a spiritually profound way, without thinking about the reception or honeymoon. And the only way it can happen that way is if the church drops the one year waiting time. But the church would also have to change the priesthood practices and doctrine since Bishops don’t actually have a priesthood authority to marry. In countries where they do its because the government has authorized them as ministers to legally marry people. In believe most US states do grant Bishops that authority?

    Oh by the way we were also told to not consummate the marriage until after the Temple ceremony but I’ve never been able to verify that that was doctrinal. But they pushed that line in each interview back then.

  45. #39 – Brion, I’m not going to respond to comments that don’t reflect what I’ve actually written. Address all the people you want to address; just try to have some semblance of accuracy when you do.

    They don’t reflect what you’ve actually written. There’s a reason for that – I disagree with what you wrote. What I say is my opinion, nobody elses view (unless they feel the same). I can’t write for them.

    #40 – I see what you’re saying, however even if you were married civilly, she would still have missed the temple marriage and still joined for the same reason. That’s an isolated case, glad it worked out. But for most this happens once in a lifetime. Why let them miss out?

    #42 – The sad part is I don’t know what it’s like. You’ve been through it. When things work out for someone they assume it’s right and everyone else must be wrong or deceived.

  46. re 8 mormoninvestigator,

    I really think you should take things one step at a time. If you believe the church to be true then get baptized. Later on things have a way of working out for the best.

    Also if you know someone in your ward who works in Family History you should have a good sit down with them and go over the church’s practices in sealing by proxy. After death the church does a lot of things that it wont do in life, like sealing women to several men for example or sealing an out of wedlock born child to his father and mother, both biological and adopted parents, and so on. The general idea in family history is that the dead and the Lord work it out later.

  47. This may be a little (O.K. a lot) off the subject, but isn’t the ruling about cremation sort of like the rulings about marriage, meaning they are different from country to country. In countries where cremation is the law, (India, Japan, China), the church allows members to be cremated. But in the U.S. (and maybe other countries for all I know) cremation is forbidden or at least frowned on. (I’m not quite sure what the definitive ruling is on this. I’ve heard both). I’m prepared to be chastened for my ignorance, but am just wondering.

  48. Thanks for posting this, James. I didn’t know of the outside of the US differences. The church does listen to public opinion. The only reason for their public support of the SLC anti-discrimination rules re: gays is the post-prop 8 backlash and the need to improve their image. It’s not going to change this, however. If the church hasn’t been concerned enough about the feelings of the families of those getting married for 150 years, they are not going to start now.

    As a zealous convert getting married in the temple at age 22 outside the view of all my family members, I was only doing what was “right”. 34 years later, I feel I was following a cultish mandate.

  49. # 20 Hawkgrrl…thanks, just to clarify though I have every intention of remaining married to the woman I love…it almost seemed by your comment that it appeared I wasn’t planning on keeping this marital covenant. I am merely pointing out that my situation is complicated. My wife is a Lutheran and for example she will want our child baptized as an infant – If I choose to be LDS then I choose the doctrines of the church and would be opposed to infant baptism…it simply creates a complicated situation that could be divisive in our marriage. I was using that as background why I was commented about the Temple etc…

    # 50…I am not sure where you are going with that. Are you saying if my wife passes away I could run to the Temple and then have her sealed to me? Or write a will asking the church to seal us once we’re dead? I am confused

  50. Good heavens, Brion, and you say I don’t get the point of posts and comments?

    Ask anyone here: I will respond to comments that don’t agree with mine. I won’t, however, respond to comments that totally misrepresent mine (that don’t reflect what I actually said) – as your criticism did. It’s not worth it, especially if I have to define every word I use to avoid mis-interpretation. Consider this my last comment on that particular inanity.

    I support allowing both ceremonies to be performed: first a temple sealing and then a ring ceremony or re-commitment ceremony or vow renewal ceremony or whatever other term one wants to use where legally possible. In countries that don’t recognize a temple sealing as a legitimate civil marriage, the second (or first) ceremony would take care of that civil requirement; in countries that do recognize the sealing as a legitimate civil marriage, the second ceremony could be called anything BUT a “marriage” – since the couple already would be married.

    Oh, and no sex after a civil marriage until after a temple sealing? Sorry; can’t support that one – especially since it’s not even consistent with the Church’s own temple definition of the Law of Chastity. To me, that one’s a no-brainer.

  51. Like one of the earlier commenters, I am baffled by the vigor of the insistence that this post does not represent the views of all the permas, something I would have taken for granted without further comment. Has the wording been changed since the post went up? If so, perhaps there should be some indication (like “updated in response to comment #4”). If not, Ray’s comment doesn’t make sense to me, and it seems we have a post that does not actually endorse the petition, together with a response that suggests it was so inappropriate as to demand extraordinary expressions of disagreement.

    I presume the explicit disclaimers were added later, but even without them I don’t see any suggestion in the current text that anyone, even James, necessarily supports either the petition or the substantive position that the 1-year rule should be relaxed.

  52. re 51, Mei Li

    I’d agree with that. It varies from country to country according to local needs. Therefore both this one year wait and the issue of cremation isn’t about church doctrine but current practices and policies. Therefore it wouldn’t require a revelation necessarily to change it, although I’d hope they still consider these things prayerfully.

    re 50 mormoninvestigator,

    No, I’m only saying that there will be many options available later on but the important point is to take things one step at a time. If you believe then join up and do your best and let things work themselves out later.

  53. re 55 Badger,

    I was also a bit baffled by that one (re #4)

    I guessed that maybe something else is going on in the background here that we can’t read about? Not sure.

  54. Ring ceremonies are now discouraged.

    The “three ring circus” that some of them turn into is incredible.

    I’m sorry to be so direct but My Wife’s father was not permitted to see her get married in the temple, my sister had no parents there to see her get married, I feel like swearing,…

    My parents were not able to attend when I got married.

    Good heavens, Brion, and you say I don’t get the point of posts and comments?

    http://adrr.com/living/ss_5.htm

  55. The changing of the language in the first paragraph helps. The essay originally started out looking as if the blog as a group was promoting a cause.

    No one seems to feel any sympathy for me and my parents not being able to attend my wedding. Of course they were stuck in another country and could not get an exit visa (as I recall, my dad was a bishop at that time, so if they could have gotten out, they would have been able to attend). But I saw my wedding as a religious ceremony, not a social pageant.

    I’ve been to social pageants. They quickly become class markers, or attempts at class markers. I am rather not fond of that sort of activity.

    But most people want what they want and “damn the torpedoes” — that is, forget the consequences or the spill over or how it affects everyone or anyone else. I get that kind of logic all the time when dealing with five to ten year old kids.

    On the other hand, some times things are just a form that we’ve inherited from when it did not matter.

    It is too easy to use the way things are argued and the tenor of the approach as a proxy for what is going on rather than looking directly at the issue.

    This whole thread has given me thought.

  56. At a second glance, I wonder how much of an issue this really is from the perspective of the Church. They have a policy in the U.S. that says you have to wait a year to recieve a sealing if you choose to get married civilly first. A year really isn’t that long of a time, and I don’t expect that they will ever give their blessing to such an arrangement, even if they did drop the policy wait. So without the blessing of the Church, how many people would still choose to marry once inside the temple, still leaving their uninitiated family members feeling ostracized. I doubt things would change much. I think that from the institutional perspective the Church see’s this issue in the context that “true” discipleship entails that we should be willing to forsake family for Christ and the gospels sake, of which the temple is supposed to be representative. So, at the end of the day it really becomes a matter of choice for the member getting married. They could wait a year if this issue was important enough. If it were me in this case, I’d opt to wait a year and preserve relationships (particularly if it were my in laws who be spending the time “touring” the temple in lieu of participating in their daughters marriage). Someone has already mentioned this, but you have a long road ahead of you with your in laws, and I thinks it’s best to start that road on the right foot. That being said, I also do not ascribe to Church beliefs generally, so such a position is convenient for me so long as I can tolerate those prone to make judgement. On the other hand, if I still believed in the Mormon Church as I once did, I would probablly stand my ground in the confidence that I was doing what God wanted me to do. I would also tell myself that if those who were not admitted to the ceremony understood the Gospel I did, they would be able to appreciate the situation.

  57. “if I still believed in the Mormon Church as I once did, I would probablly stand my ground in the confidence that I was doing what God wanted me to do. I would also tell myself that if those who were not admitted to the ceremony understood the Gospel I did, they would be able to appreciate the situation.”

    My situation is filled with ironies. As I stated before my parents could not attend my wedding (non-members), the church did its part to ensure my gay son can not get married at all by helping to take away his legal right to do so (prop 8) and now that I am disaffected from the church, if my remaining sons get married in the temple I will not see their weddings. I appreciate nothing about the situation(s). It is more than a religious ceremony. It is one of the single greatest events in one’s life, religious or not. As has been discussed in this thread, there are other ways around this situation. The church is simply not interested. Traditions (what else can it be?) die hard. Religiosity uber alles.

  58. It’s customary on many blogs to make it clear when an original post has been altered by inserting the word “Update”, using bold fonts for additions and strike-through for deletions, etc. Mormon Matters might want to consider a similar policy, since it tends to lessen the sort of confusion seen in this thread.

  59. Stephen,

    “forget the consequences or the spill over or how it affects everyone or anyone else.”

    What are the “consequences” of a civil wedding prior to the Temple wedding?

    I also don’t appreciate you referring to my civil ceremony as a “social pageant” I see it as an opportunity to celebrate the love between two people.

    It works fine in the UK no negative consequences or spill over.

  60. re 60, 61,

    The issue is also what non-members see and think of us and how that effects our proselyting efforts. After they are left out of their child’s wedding, either they consider us more of a cult or turn around completely and join us. Although I obviously do not have any stats on this I still feel safe saying that the majority will see us as more of a cult rather than deciding to join us.

    Also, the problem with the one year wait is the effect it has on Mormon culture. All YSA are taught that the objective in life is to marry worthily in a Temple. They know if that they fall before the wedding and become pregnant then they will have to marry civilly and wait a year. The implication then is that those who marry civilly and wait a year are ‘unworthy’ of a Temple marriage at the time (within out culture) even if that is not the case.

    If that mandatory one year wait was not in place and all couple were left to choose according to their own circumstances then the current stigma associated with civil wedding in mormondom could ease. It may also help us in our missionary efforts with non-member friends and relatives.

  61. kuri – apologies – my bad on the post updating etiquette.

    mormoninvestigator: “If I choose to be LDS then I choose the doctrines of the church and would be opposed to infant baptism…it simply creates a complicated situation that could be divisive in our marriage.” I would suggest you bend where you can and work through. Sounds like you have a good perspective. My sister was baptized both Catholic and LDS due to the hospital she was born in. Although my parents didn’t feel infant baptism was necessary, they also didn’t feel it was harmful.

  62. I think that things might actually be STRENGTHENED in many ways if the Church were to change their policy.

    Let a couple get married civilly to publicly signify their commitment to each other, their love, and to meet the legal requirements in the country in which they live. All of their friends and family can celebrate the event together. It would bring people together and be a uniting event.

    Let the couple then get sealed together, whether it is the same day, a day later, a month later, or a year later. The significance of this would be making an eternal bond. It would give the couple a change to really focus on the eternal significance of the step they are taking without the ceremony getting lost in the chaos of what passes for a typical wedding day in the US. It would be a much calmer day, a much more spiritual day. It would refocus their commitment to each other.

    Some people would rather only have the temple sealing count as the entire thing, and forgo a whole “wedding” ceremony. That is fine too in jurisdictions that allow it.

  63. Mr. Q and A, you are typifying the type of response that gets people ignored. I also don’t appreciate you referring to my civil ceremony as a “social pageant”

    You need to look at what has happened to Bar Mitzvahs or as many American weddings. Or what started to happen to “ring ceremonies” (I’ve been to a couple or so), and why the Church is now discouraging them. I’m not saying your wedding was a social pageant, I’m noting that many religious rituals in the United States have devolved into huge pageants with little religious significance. Obviously the only British wedding I’ve had note of was Charles and Di, which was a made for export and improving tourism affair, complete with two made for television movies.

    On the other hand, that combining the marriages is working in other countries without the ceremonies getting out of hand is a plus.

    I appreciate that my personal experience doesn’t matter at all to you.

    But, this back and forth illustrates exactly what I was focusing on, that the way an argument or a discussion is conducted can obscure the issues and derail things.

    From the way this post was originally framed to look like Mormon Matters was endorsing and leading the way, to the pattern of discussion here, the general approach is one that comes across as stating:

    1. I want what I want.
    2. If you don’t give me what I want, I’ll have hurt feelings because I don’t think that self denial or restraint have any virtue.
    3. Change what you are doing or you are just insulting me.
    4. Social trends that are causing real problems really won’t apply here, trust me. The problems with ring ceremonies and the effects in areas where people delayed temple marriages (and never followed up to get them) won’t happen. After all, they did not happen in the few examples I’m familiar with.
    5. Disagree with me and I’ll be insulted and insult you back.

    Well, my facsimiles went through, I still can’t eat and keep something down, but with my hearings canceled, I’m going back to bed. If I have other thoughts when I’m not quite so sick, I’ll have to revisit them.

  64. Stephen #69 I appreciate your reply, thank you for not ignoring me I was a little over sensitive and did not give you the respect you deserve.

    “I appreciate that my personal experience doesn’t matter at all to you.”

    your personal experience is sad and frustrating, however it is a tail of misfortune and not one of exclusion.

    I must concede that I do not know of the circumstances surrounding the ring ceremonies, but as you’ve suggested some have “devolved into huge pageants with little religious significance.”

    Honestly I have been to some testimony meetings that feel the same, with little focus on the Spirit or Christ, in response to this the brethren have emphasised that our meetings should focus on the spirit, as I discussed earlier UK weddings allow for worship through songs, prayer and musical items. It is modelled on sacrament meetings, when done properly no one can deny it is a an edifying experience.

    I would not advocate abandoning testimony meetings because some miss the point, but would re-emphasis the true order of things.

  65. Been there, done that. It all depends on whether one desires to please the Lord or the world. I’d rather please the Lord and wait for him to come through. And he has, for the last 30 years. We could do away with the “false traditions of our fathers” such as wedding rings. Was that ever something that came through revelation or was that just a church-sanctioned tradition.

    The Catholic church went the way of pleasing the populace (who often wasn’t members willingly), and lost relevance (see the reasons why reformation started). Would the Lord’s church want to follow?

  66. Suggestion: have a totally fake ceremony for the sake of looks with the nonmembers. All they need is the looks that they’re included; they can’t understand or appreciate the sealing, anyways.

    If they see us compromising on something that we tell them is very sacred, how will they believe in our integrity? Might as well do a toast with real wine while we’re at it. After all, we shouldn’t offend people, right?

    Sorry about the ranting. I’ll stop it here.

  67. “Suggestion: have a totally fake ceremony for the sake of looks with the nonmembers. All they need is the looks that they’re included; they can’t understand or appreciate the sealing, anyways.”

    In other words, if you throw the uninitiated/non-Mormon “dogs” a bone, they should stop barking.

    The superiority expressed in this comment, is the very problem with the current policy. Regardless of how genuine your beliefs may be, it still seems to come across just like this.

  68. To follow up on Cowboys response, it is this sense of superiority that the church feeds its members through the exclusive temple ceremony. The harm to individuals and families be damned.

    This petition is really only aimed at raising awareness, and for that I applaud the effort. The church is in a tight spot here. It will be forced to make an accommodation in the future. However, losing its role as gate-keeper to such an important family celebration would seriously harm its finances. It will be a tough one to get and will not fully happen until the full tithe payer marker of attending a temple sealing can be replaced with another visible marker.

  69. I believe that the main reason for the one-year wait is to shame couples into marrying in thetemple first, lest they be lumped into the same category as couples who are not worthy to attend the temple for transgression- related reasons.

    A secondary reason somewhat related to the first is that by making the ceremony exclusionary, more people who are close to the couple are pressured to be full tithepayers. I know several people who only pay tithing in order to have recommends for family weddings.

  70. I don’t have a great deal of interest in the subject at hand, but I do think some of the comments in this thread are illustrative. There’s a theme running through many, if not most, of the comments here that reflects the mormon belief that non-temple weddings are meaningless and of no value. So what if weddings are full of pageantry? Are the bride and groom not still married at the end? Are they not still making a commitment to one another? Are they not still making public declarations of their love and commitment? Do you honestly believe that you have the right to tell others what is or is not a valid expression/celebration of their relationship, or to intimate that their experience is of less value? This is the height of arrogance, in my opinion. Why is a wedding ceremony that is lacking religion entirely, let alone any one particular religion, somehow deficient? I find the attitudes found in many of the comments here tasteless and condescending, although I’m guessing few of those making the comments would have much self-awareness about such things.

    Ok, carry on.

  71. #76:
    There’s a theme running through many, if not most, of the comments here that reflects the mormon belief that non-temple weddings are meaningless and of no value.

    This is certainly the LDS belief in effect, unless that non-temple civil wedding happens to be between two gay men, or between two lesbian women. In that case, it means absolutely everything, and the entire bedrock of society is in imminent danger of complete destruction!

  72. #71:

    “The Catholic church went the way of pleasing the populace (who often wasn’t members willingly), and lost relevance (see the reasons why reformation started). Would the Lord’s church want to follow?”

    To the contrary, the Catholic Church went the way of pleasing the hierarchy, and defending their privileges. The Reformation happened because the Church didn’t please the populace enough. The Reformation was a populist movement — see Luther’s German-nationalist resentment about indulgence money flowing south to Italy to build St. Peter’s, “the chalice for the laity,” scripture in the vernacular, etc.

    Interestingly enough, the “populace” isn’t always clamoring for things to be made easier. There is often at least as much pressure from the populace for greater piety and religious rigor as there is for relaxation. I recall President Hinckley saying something to this effect — that one of the reasons the Church prospers is that many people are searching for a religion that demands something of them, unlike typical megachurchism.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t say the RCC “lost relevance” (they still have a few more members than we do, by last count). The Catholic Church is probably the single most influential Christian force in the world today; as much as we like to talk our book, the LDS Church is still a footnote laboring in obscurity.

    I see the LDS Church as resembling the Catholic Church far more than either organization would want to admit. Right now, we’re going through what the RCC did in the early 20th century. The LDS ultramontanists are in the ascendant at the moment, but that will not always be the case. The RCC survived Vatican II, and the LDS Church will survive its counterpart.

  73. #71–“The Catholic church went the way of pleasing the populace… Would the Lord’s church want to follow?”

    I don’t see this as pleasing the populace. I see it as including as many people as possible in one of the best days of peoples’ lives. I don’t see what is gained by the exclusion and it seems like it is an easy, harmless fix.

    I like your ranting, by the way, Velska. It gives life to these threads. I ranted inside all weekend. My son got called on a mission. In my situation in life it was bittersweet. Happy for his happiness, sad for his gay brother who wants to burn down every Mormon building in existence.

  74. #8 wrote:

    “A friend of mine who is Roman Catholic married a woman who was Luthern in order for them to have a Catholic ceremony she had to convert…does the RC church recognize civil marriages yes…are civil marriages a sacrament in the RC church absolutely not! Those Catholic’s who marry outside of a Catholic mass are participating in a sub-par ceremony, that doesn’t require sanction by the church nor is it recognized as an offical Catholic union.”

    I don’t know if your friend had an unusually conservative priest or what, but this is not the policy of the Roman Catholic church. Catholics may marry baptized Christians in a Roman Catholic ceremony(Protestants, at least; I’m not sure about Mormons, since we don’t recognize each others’ baptisms), and the marriage is a sacrament. With permission, Catholics may also marry non-Christians in a Catholic church, but such marriages are not sacramental.

    I, my father, my aunt, my best friend, and most of my cousins have all married non-Catholics in Catholic ceremonies (after going through the extensive marriage preparation required for all Catholic weddings), and those marriages are all recognized as official Catholic unions.

    When Catholics marry non-Catholics, they have the choice of whether to include a mass in their wedding or not (this does not affect whether the marriage is a sacrament). Many priests encourage mixed couples not to have a mass, because having a part of the ceremony in which one partner cannot participate (and in which one partner’s family will be unable to participate) seems contrary to the spirit of the wedding. My husband and I chose not to have a mass (contrary to the wishes of some members of my family, but with the support of my priest), specifically so that there was no part of my wedding in which my husband and his family could not participate.

    Some information on Catholic marriage policies: http://catholicexchange.com/2009/02/19/115965/

    “This same couple had a baby and wanted to have it baptized, problem was they wanted one of her Lutheran brothers to be the godfather – the church said no, both godparents had to be Catholic, so they picked a new godfather.”

    As for godparents, officially there has to be at least one Catholic godparent at a Catholic baptism, but only one. Often the second person is a non-Catholic “Christian witness”–not technically a “godparent” as far as the Church is concerned, but functionally equivalent; most people probably don’t know the difference. I’ve heard stories of priests with their own ideas, though; it sounds like your friend’s priest was one of them.

  75. By the way, I went to a civil wedding recently where the officiator (who was the father of the bride and a stake president) did everything in his power to make the wedding as much like a temple sealing as possible. I found it to be in very poor taste, since we were outside and the groom does not believe in the church. So if anyone is getting married outside the temple, be careful not to let a relative of the bride who is heartbroken that she is not getting married in the temple perform the wedding. Everyone felt weird.

  76. So what if weddings are full of pageantry? It is not the pageantry that is the problem, it is the use of expense and pageantry as a status and class marker. An LDS wedding usually runs under $500.00 total expense, including cake and such in the reception. $10,000.00 is getting away cheap in some alternatives.

  77. #84 – you make a good point, but isn’t it clear that mormons, far from eradicating status and class markers in the matrimonial context, have simply established markers of their own? And they have nothing to do with money, but rather whether you got married in the “right” place and in the “right” manner. But in mormon culture, the markers transcend your wedding day. They last your entire life and they are worn like a badge. No one outside the church knows or cares where I got married or how much it cost, but I’d be a wealthy man indeed if I had a nickel for every time in my life I’ve been asked if I was married in the temple.

  78. “An LDS wedding usually runs under $500.00 total expense, including cake and such in the reception.”

    I’d be interested to know where this figure comes from. Just as an observation, I am noticing fewer receptions being held at Ward chapels so I doubt that LDS marriages are evens saving money on the venue. My impression is that LDS weddings are probablly on par with the cost of weddings in the “world”. Wealthy LDS seem to lose no momentum on the “spare no expense” wedding philosophy, on account of the temple. I attended a wedding about two years ago for an LDS couple where my estimate on the cost was around $50,000. That does not include all of the other expenses, such as honeymoon, clothing, decorations, etc.

  79. re 84 Stephen,

    What, you think this one year wait is in place to keep costs down? and have a classless church? What about the reception? The last wedding reception I went to was on a luxury boat cruising the harbour and that normally cost $10K for only a few hours, but that reception was an all night exclusive hire.

    The more comments I read the more I’m convinced that this policy is simply an arrogant one. Maybe made up by whoever made up the priesthood ban??

  80. All this makes me curious… How many people here *didn’t* have any close family members excluded from their wedding? Is there *anyone* who had their whole family there?

    Not me. Both my parents were excluded, as were all five of my husband’s siblings.

  81. Philomytha, I have no complaints about my situation. My wife was a new convert, so we had to wait. We had a guilt-free civil ceremony with all our family and were sealed a year later. My feelings have nothing to do with personal circumstances.

  82. Dec 14, 2009 – Temple Wedding Petition – Mormon Matters

    I have just recently been a direct witness to this unfortunate, and according to me, deplorable policy involving a family marriage. The non-member mother of the bride flew a very long way to attend her LDS daughter’s wedding, but had to wait outside on the temple grounds while the marriage took place in the temple. One of the real sad parts of this is that the temple was one of the smaller ones in a more remote area, and besides our wedding party there weren’t more than just a handful — less than dozen I would say, other patrons there. In fact very few people are known to come especially on particular days, that this temple closes in the early afternoon.

    In any event, the non-LDS mother came into the reception area and was greeted by the fellow at the desk and sat down for awhile in the waiting room off to the side, but eventually was asked by the fellow at the desk to “Please wait outside.” She was very dignified in her compliance — kudos to her. She didn’t want to do anything to “rain” on her daughter’s wedding. So, while the couple were doing their preliminaries, we waited in the reception room by the front desk. We were ALL feeling very bad and concerned for the mother and asked the fellow at the desk if she could plese wait inside the waiting room. He paused a bit and said something like, “Well, I know there aren’t too many patrons here today, but there aren’t too many workers either, and I may not be able to be at desk all the time to watch over things here at the front. So, I don’t feel that I can have a non-member unattended inside the temple.” He did offer to bring out chair for her to sit on just outside the front door, and he did bring one to her but she OBVIOUSLY declined the offer not wanting to sit out there by herself like you would leave a dog outside a restaurant or someplace like that. It was just a despicable situation. Here is a reserved, well-bred older woman being treated like that at her only daughter’s wedding. By and by we went and waited in the sealing room, but it was an unusual experience for me. We waited and waited, and I got up every now and then and wandered in and out about the hall just outside the sealing room. Finally the couple came in and the ceremony took place and in very short order it was over. While we were leaving, the workers were “closing up shop” and that was it. Photos were taken outside with her mother who was taking this in stride, but I felt BAD for her and awkward, even ashamed of my religion’s treatment towards her.

    Later that day there was another ceremony conducted by a State licensed individual who preforms marriages and they where ‘married’ again, — the whole deal, for the benefit of the mother and other non-member guests. The good thing about this (and I am being very objective based upon the comments of others) is that this non-temple marriage ceremony just blew away the one in the temple. The message spoken, the ambiance, the ‘spirit,’ the joy — everything, was so superior. The only way to rationalize this from a TMB point of view is that one ceremony addressed requirements (the proper ‘authority’) for marriage beyond the grave, and the other marriage was for this life. The temple sealer just read his blurb off a card saying nothing of note or beauty to address the couple or the marriage and even fumbled a bit with “the exact wording,” and was done. The other fellow, however, addressed the couple directly, said beautiful, even spiritual things appropriate for the occasion and made it a truly memorable, sacred, event.

    If it was me doing it, I would hands down have just been married outside the temple with my family present, and then wait the requisite year for the sealing.

    This policy smacks totally of seizing control of the minds of the church’s members similar to the processes of brain washing. It fosters attitudes of Mormon Nazism amongst the rank and file. It’s an insensitive and unChristian policy. It makes the church look totally like a cult. And this policy is really no different than how the blacks were treated before that “policy” changed.

    This petition, however, is NOT the way to get the church to change; in fact it will cause them entrench even more; that’s how the church’s powers that be think; they will not be bullied by apostates (like these two women who are no longer members) or any “liberal mindedness.”

    Too bad. This church could be so much more and better for so many people, but they don’t want that; they WANT to be “set apart” from the world; it makes them feel superior and right while conversely making others (like this mother) feel inferior, or worse, i.e., “She’s no longer your daughter; she belongs to us now!”

    ‘nuf said.

  83. Cowboy, I’m out of the mainstream, obviously, if your experiences are the norm. I’ve just been to weddings and receptions in Texas where they have been modest. The $50,000.00 reception is exactly the sort of thing they are trying to get people to avoid, apparently with little success.

    Goose, obviously you run with a much more arrogant crew than I do. At least in the Church.

    Now the last wedding I was invited to for non-members (and that I had to miss) had the Commodores for the house band. Perhaps we need more of those in the LDS circles.

    But the extravagance that is the life of Goose and Cowboy is not part of my experience and is exactly what they are trying to encourage people to avoid.

    Paul B, guess we have our HitlerNazi reference in the discussion now. Not much more can be said once that sort of thing sets in.

  84. Stephen,

    You are correct that they try to discourage great expense, I’ve heard that too. But, in my experience, it isn’t working for receptions.

    re Paul,

    What a sad story. Why the brethren don’t see this, I don’t know. Maybe its because in their social circles this problem never comes up. They keep talking about how emotional they became when a granddaughter married, where they officiated, and a few close relatives were present. I wonder if it happened to them, if their wife wasn’t allowed to enter the Temple to see her child’s wedding due to a tithing problem, I wonder what they would say then.

  85. #92 – Stephen M, I would agree with your assessment of mormon weddings generally (not sure about the dollar amount). Most of the LDS wedding receptions I have been to have been relatively modest. That said, in my experience the relevant variable has been how much money the family has. In other words, even for mormon receptions, those who have the money will spend it on a nice reception. In my experience this is just as true for receptions following temple marriages. I do think there are cultural differences that lead to less ostentatious receptions (at least in the western U.S.). It has not been a mormon tradition to have a full-blown dinner reception, and obviously things like open bars, which significantly drive up the cost of weddings, are generally not present at LDS receptions. Again, though, my experience has been that when LDS families can afford to spend more on the venue, decorations, catering, clothing, etc., they generally do.

  86. “The $50,000.00 reception is exactly the sort of thing they are trying to get people to avoid, apparently with little success.”

    I don’t think that is the case because it none of their business.

  87. “Again, though, my experience has been that when LDS families can afford to spend more on the venue, decorations, catering, clothing, etc., they generally do.”

    Which is the case for marriage practices across the country. In other words, religion has nothing to do with wedding celebration extravagance, but money has everything to do with it. Hence, LDS wedding costs are about on par with the rest of the world.

    Stephen:

    Just an item of clarification, my point about the $50,000 wedding was not to suggest that such was the norm, but just to point out that LDS weddings are no exception to frivolous expense.

  88. #96 – I agree with this, Cowboy. Again, I think that mormon cultural mores dictate generally less expensive weddings than mainstream weddings, but within that context, I think attitudes about spending, including social and cultural markers, are not much different than the rest of the world. I would also suspect that if you leave the U.S. (particularly the western U.S.) this difference becomes even less.

  89. 83. The bride’s dad used phrases that would only be used in the temple. He told them to take each other’s hands and used a strange phrase that I won’t repeat here, but would be spoken in the temple. He told them to pretend no one else is there and gave them a bunch of spiritual advice like I have seen in temple ceremonies. I thought it was especially offensive to tell the groom (who didn’t believe in god, and the officiator knew it) to pray every day and make god a partner in life.

  90. #98 – Sounds like a guy I knew, who decided he was going to baptize the hell out of his wayward son. Like it or not, you will believe the way I do.

  91. I thought it was sad. I thought it made what was supposed to be a wonderful union and commitment of love into a power grab. Injecting religion when it wasn’t needed, or even wanted.

  92. It seems that there are divided opinions about this as there are about ALL things. Isn’t this what makes us human beings? Do we not have moral agency to use at our own discretion? Which commandments should we ignore? Honor they father and thy mother? Which policies should we ignore, question or petition the church to change?

    What business is it of a church to legislate where a marriage takes place?
    What business how much a couple spends on a reception or honeymoon?
    What business if a married couple wants to have sex in the back of a limo? (tongue in cheek)

    Come on folks; it is not a church’s job to TELL you what to do; they teach correct principles, we hope; and we govern ourselves.
    The church in North America has been given authority by the laws of the land (not just the laws of God) to perform a legally binding contract of marriage until death within the private confines of the temple. This means that at the same time, they can perform another ceremony which is purely religious and means nothing to those outside the LDS faith; the sealing of that marriage for eternity. Just because they CAN perform both ceremonies in one, doesn’t mean that they HAVE to; as you have observed here, it happens in other countries quite nicely and the sealing ceremony doesn’t get relegated to an afterthought. Members in other countries love the church, love their spouses and their families and what is more, they are not forced by the church into leaving any loved ones out of the wedding ceremony.

    Does the church have authority to divorce you? If your marriage doesn’t work out and you decide to get a divorce and many who were married in the temple DO get divorced. Yes, the church can ‘TEMPLE divorce’ you and NO THEY HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO LEGALLY DIVORCE YOU.

    Why can’t people separate the two ordinances in their minds and in practice?
    They are two, distinctly different ordinances.
    North Americans are accustomed to having both these ordinances in one – as one of the other posters mentioned, in England they are accustomed to having a civil (Church) ceremony first and they like it that way.
    Are people here hanging on to it out of tradition?
    The points you raise for why it should remain so are so insulting to those from other cultures and with different customs.
    Do you think that couples in England have sex on the way to the temple?
    If they did, it would be extremely bold of them, but wrong?????
    They are legally married and that is the Church’s requirement for a couple having sexual relationships.
    Is sex between legally married people wrong? Why does sex even have to be part of this equation? Is that what this is all about?
    If a couple has a temple recommend then we must assume that they are worthy; does having sex after the marriage make them unworthy to be sealed in the temple?

    In South Africa where the temple is very far away from many worthy latter day saints, they have a week or so to get to the temple for their sealing ceremony. It means the world to them to actually get to the temple and at great expense but they are not required to wait until after the sealing to consummate their marriages.
    I’m not bringing up these issues; some of you are. It is as though sex is dirty and would make a temple sealing less sacred.
    I was married before my now 35 year old marriage; therefore I had had sex. Was I considered unworthy of being married and sealed to my second husband because I was not a virgin? NO!
    I was just as worthy as any other member, despite my lack of virginity and having had a previous divorce.
    Worthy means worthy.
    Step out of your comfortable, acceptable routines, cultures and traditions and show respect to those who do not share the same ones as you.
    Think outside the box; what really, ultimately could possibly be wrong with holding the two ceremonies separately in order to show respect to non-members, younger members of the family, inactive members and especially to the parents who have raised, nurtured, paid for education, sports etc. all of their loved child’s life. They are now handing them over to another person whose customs and traditions are not necessarily pleasant or correct to them, and instead of welcoming them to unite with that person’s family in a celebration of the marriage; we further alienate them? How can that be good for the family, the couple or the Church?
    Stop making up excuses for the Church; let them come up with their own reasons for this divisive policy.
    Thank you to those of you with open minds who have looked carefully at the petition.
    If a church will not change a policy that is divisive and painful to its own members and to their families, they are uncaring. IT IS NOT A DOCTRINE, JUST A TRADITION. A tradition that began with keeping secret the polygamous marriages of the early leaders. The church has given up polygamy which early leaders said was essential; it is time to give up the two in one ceremony.

  93. jean #101

    I find your post interesting, you seem to have taken exception with my comment’s

    (However the one year ruling still applies to the UK and I feel it is appropriate, My personal feelings are that no sexual relations should happen until you are married in the Temple (exceptions obviously apply such as new converted couples, those who live a considerable distance from the Temple).)

    (Cowboy #24 fair point it is my opinion, I just don’t like the idea of the bride and groom having sex in the limo on the way to the temple.)

    I highlighted that there were exceptions for both those who live a great distance away from the temple and new converts, but my point is that the one year penalty for those who are not married within the temple with in 24 hours has good premiss.

    there is nothing wrong with sex, sex isn’t bad but IMO there is something about waiting to be married in the temple first.

  94. Jean:

    I might just offer your group an unsolicited thought of constructive criticism. Your petition is meaningless in the hopes that it will impact Church policy. I don’t say that to be rude, but it has no hopes of succeeding because it has no enforceable power. You could have one million people sign it and it won’t be enough to change the policy. I believe the magic number of signatures needed to change a Church policy is 12 plus 3, or 15 if can catch my drift, and your just not going to get those signatures.

    The real issue your trying address here is a one year waiting policy that deters LDS couples from holding civil ceremonies in which all their loved ones may participate. Why not re-focus your efforts by engaging the couples (those LDS intending to marry in the Temple) by encouraging them to wait the one year, and go ahead with the civil proceeding. Your petition could mean something, as it would represent a commitment of signers to not make their wedding ceremonies exclusionary. While the Church’s policy, and encouragement of this practice are certainly distasteful, it is a shared responsibility of those who go through with it. I see this as a more effective means for changing the practice, even if it doesn’t effect the policy. I would also say that persisting in the direct offensive towards the Church starts to look like your mostly interested in laying assault against the Church and this particular issue was just the nearest stone to throw.

  95. #102 – I understand your point on this issue, MrQandA, but you do understand that it’s taking the idea of “chastity” well beyond church standards, don’t you? The standard of chastity, even as defined in the temple itself, is based entirely on being legally married.

  96. What business is it of a church to legislate where a marriage takes place?
    What business how much a couple spends on a reception or honeymoon?
    What business if a married couple wants to have sex in the back of a limo? (tongue in cheek)

    Err, marriage is a religious rite, thus it tends to take place in venues that are religious. That it is important enough that the state has made provisions as well has little to do with those who wish to partake of the religous rite.

    As for money and ostentation, Churches have an interest in encouraging people not to be caught up in pride. In not having divisions according to wealth. That is a classic Book of Mormon trope.

    As to your third question, Churches have nothing to do with the limo trade.

    Jean, I’m not sure about all of what you are saying, but there is a point to a Church having rules about the sacraments of the faith, and marriage is a sacrament of the Church.

    I appreciate the thought that you feel that the religious rite has nothing to do with the social event. That message comes through. You apparently reject the message that a Church should preach against pride. Once we get to that point, I’m not sure what else we are discussing. As to sex, the limo trade, etc., I don’t see the relevance to the rest of the conversation.

    I also wonder when you tell us not to discuss the matter, just to go along with you and that any other approach is just making excuses. That is harsh advocacy, but it does have the advantage in making clear how you feel on the matter and how you feel about the possibility to discuss things.

    It points out everything that is unpersuasive about your approach.

    Though you come close when you realize that it is not a doctrine, just a policy (which is different from a tradition) and one that is well open to correlation and change, just very unlikely to come from the voice you are using.

    Much better would be to realize just how much people care, the various policies that are currently in play, the concerns they have, and how the policy can be modified while meeting the concerns.

    To ignore the concerns or say that the Church has no business having them, and that they are just a bunch of fraudulent, uncaring liars, is not the way to persuade many people of much, other than your emotive approach.

  97. “Why not re-focus your efforts by engaging the couples (those LDS intending to marry in the Temple) by encouraging them to wait the one year, and go ahead with the civil proceeding.”

    The answer to this is obvious from some of the comments on here. Couples listen to what the Church leaders say and not to someone who is suggesting that they may think for themselves and make a decision based on what they feel is right for them and their loved ones.

    Due to the policy, couples are looked upon as being disobedient or rebellious if they choose to wait for the year. If the policy were to be changed to make it okay to choose to obey God by honoring your parents who have given their lives to taking care of you, then the couple would truly be free to make that choice.
    Thanks for the constructive criticism.
    I have looked at this topic inside out and outside in and from my perspective and that of many other people both LDS and other religions, dropping the one year waiting penalty is the only way to give people their agency and to make good inroads with the non-LDS community.
    The Church is a missionary church which now boasts that they have more members outside of North America than within it. That means more part member families and more opportunity to do missionary work instead of slamming the proverbial door in these non-member’s faces.

  98. “You apparently reject the message that a Church should preach against pride.”

    Stephen, this tells me more about you than than why others spend money. Some people simply enjoy the celebration of life and can afford it.

  99. “Err, marriage is a religious rite” Err not it isn’t; it is a legal binding contract between two individuals; a civil contract. You cannot be married in the temple without a marriage license can you? It is only religious to those who are religious and if the family members have different beliefs then the religion defaults to the couple. The couple defaults to the church leaders rather than their parents.

    Teachings of Brigham Young on Marriage

    “Marriage is a civil contract. You might as well make a law to say how many children a man shall have, as to make a law to say how many wives he shall have.”

    JD 11:270, Brigham Young, August 19, 1866

    It IS a tradition for North American LDS to be married and sealed in one ceremony because they can. In other countries where the law forbids this, they have two separate ceremonies. My niece in England did not spend those exorbitant amounts of money that were discussed here. She had a lovely chapel wedding, a short and fun reception and then off she went with loved ones who have a temple recommend, for her sealing. Some of the thoughts that have been expressed here make that seem less meaningful. How much more sacrifice is required of them than you? You probably live close to a temple and you go and have your double ceremony and reception and think that everyone else should do it the same way. It ISN’T being done the same way in other countries; the members are not less worthy.

    “a bunch of fraudulent, uncaring liars,” Those are your words NOT MINE! The goal of the petition is very clear if you read it, and any other opinions that I may hold have nothing to do with those goals. I have not expressed the opinion on the petition that they are ‘a bunch of fraudulent uncaring liars,’ but I did point out in my first paragraph of this post what Brigham Young had to say regarding marriage being a civil contract. Nothing you can say will change that. None of your feelings about the specialness of the temple sealing changes that. If you want to make your civil marriage vows in or out of the temple that should be your choice and it does not lessen the sealing in any way to take care of it on its own special day or later that day.

  100. Jean, I beginning to think that my hunch was correct (along with Ray’s sentiments), that your motives are questionable in that they are not directly related to the issue at hand.

    “The answer to this is obvious from some of the comments on here. Couples listen to what the Church leaders say and not to someone who is suggesting that they may think for themselves and make a decision based on what they feel is right for them and their loved ones.”

    So your contention is that the Church is more persuasive than you are? Secondly, if they feel like the Church is right, then they are doing what they feel is right for them and their loved ones. It’s the loved ones who are not permitted to participate that are ultimately affected by this policy. While we agree that it is a poor policy, your argument that members follow blindly like sheep, speaks more of your true agenda than a polite objection to a simple policy. Third, as I have stated you have no hope of getting Church leaders to consider your silly petition, so this whole effort is instead just a stunt to tilt public opinion against the Church. By the way, I am saying this as someone who does not believe in, or support the Church.

    “If the policy were to be changed to make it okay to choose to obey God by honoring your parents who have given their lives to taking care of you, then the couple would truly be free to make that choice.”

    This argument is an attempt to spin the LDS doctrine of agency against itself, and yet it was the whole point to my “constructive” criticism to you. I’m sure we both agree that the LDS Church holds no physical control on its members, thereby depriving them of free-agency. Therefore, your comments imply that you believe that the Church holds some type of religious coercion, be it (though I loathe the word) brainwashing, or social conditioning. So your solution is to beg the Church to “return” this right of agency back to the membership, so that the “sheep” may begin to think freely. If you truly felt this, then you would not ask the Church to relent on it’s policies, rather you would encourage the membership to seize their agency, by acting for themselves and disregarding the Church’s policies. If agency were truly your concern then you would seek to break the dependency of members on the Church, instead of petitioning the heavy hand as where to land. In short, Church members are free to choose, because as Hugh Nibley put it, the only power the Church holds over the membership, is the power to excommunicate. So I’m not sold on the idea that you have considered this matter from all angles, and have found your current approach to be the only viable solution. Indeed, a careful consideration clearly demonstrates that an approach similar to what I suggested is the most viable means for accomplishing what you CLAIM your intentions to be, ie, to eliminate the ostracization of non-Mormon family members from weddings. Careful consideration also shows the petition to be nothing more than a charade, because it lacks force.

    “dropping the one year waiting penalty is the only way to give people their agency and to make good inroads with the non-LDS community.
    The Church is a missionary church which now boasts that they have more members outside of North America than within it. That means more part member families and more opportunity to do missionary work instead of slamming the proverbial door in these non-member’s faces.”

    Enough with the pretenses. You couldn’t care less about the Church’s missionary efforts, nor the manner in which the Church is perceived broadly. Quite to the contrary in fact, as your entire effort is intended not improve LDS public relations, but to injure the Church’s reputation.

  101. No I could care less about the Church’s missionary efforts but they do.

    Quote: “While WE agree that it is a poor policy, your argument that members follow blindly like sheep, speaks more of your true agenda than a polite objection to a simple policy”.
    1. Who is the WE that agrees that it is a poor policy? Does everyone here agree with that assessment?
    2. Did I argue that members follow blindly like sheep?

    I care about what is in the petition, I have stated that quite clearly but you insist on arguing and putting words in my mouth, so there is no point in discussing my ‘silly petition’ further with you, is there?

  102. Jean:

    I don’t pretend to speak for everyone here. By WE, I meant you and I. As for your second question, yes you did infact that argue that members follow blindly like sheep, though you did not use the term “sheep”. Even so, your implication holds the same meaning as “sheep”, was used to characterize Mormon support of leaders. You said:

    “Couples listen to what the Church leaders say and not to someone who is suggesting that they may think for themselves and make a decision based on what they feel is right for them and their loved ones.”

    In this comment you assert that “couples” follow Church leaders without thinking for themselves. Furthermore you contend that this thoughtless religious dependence is so great, that a thoughtful appeal to reason, or an invitation to think for themselves, as you put it, will fall on deaf ears. As you see it, only the Church is capable of mitigating the hurt caused by this policy, as member free-agency is confined to those things which are acceptable to the Church hierarchy.

    So, I ask you, have I put words in your mouth, or do you deny that Church members follow like sheep?

  103. brjones: 104, I do understand that it is going beyond the letter of the law, I have not personally heard anything that would indicate that sex within the 24 hours before the temple marriage is a sin or banned however I believe the twenty four hour ruling helps to discourage it. The spirit of the law works both ways, it allows you to “pull your Ox out of the mire on the Sabbath” but it also suggests that we look to be our better selves.

    jean:

    I think Cowboy has a point, use your zeal and resources to encourage the membership within the US to wait the year if required.

  104. Jean, Brigham Young’s opinion in a talk has little to do with the historical fact that marriage is a sacrament and a religious rite.

    However, I think you are more than clear enough.

  105. Jean,

    Just because they CAN perform both ceremonies in one, doesn’t mean that they HAVE to; as you have observed here, it happens in other countries quite nicely and the sealing ceremony doesn’t get relegated to an afterthought

    Good point.

    103 Cowboy, Your petition is meaningless in the hopes that it will impact Church policy

    I don’t think that’s the case. They did know about the gay lobby handing in a petition a few months back and spoke about that plus the picketing. They also will commission statistical studies on different issues from time to time. So although I don’t think they will appreciate having a petition thrown at them, if the said petition makes the news they will probably look into this to see what its about.

    Now me personally I wouldn’t put my name on it, actually I haven’t used my real name anywhere on the web because I have too much to loose (ie church job!) but others will. I wish them luck.

  106. “the historical fact that marriage is a sacrament and a religious rite”

    Can someone explain what is meant when it is said here that “marriage is a religious rite”. Is it being said it is only a religious rite (ceremony) or that it is a religious rite among the other things? It is stated over and over again here that it is a fact that marriage is a religious rite and I don’t get it. I don’t understand how it can be considered “only a religious rite” when non-religious people get married by non-religious officiants (judges, etc) in non-religious settings.

  107. Recently, Elder L. Tom Perry gave a speech at BYU expressing concern about the negative opinions many non-members hold about Mormons. He indicated that the LDS church is hiring public relations people to help change those negative opinions. I am writing to recommend that church leaders change a policy that creates unnecessary animosity.

    Perry observed that “a person’s view of the Church is the sum of personal experiences they have had …..” True enough. Parents of converts are devastated when they are excluded from the temple marriages of their children; the typical result is resentment and anger towards the Mormon Church. As one distraught mother told me, “I used to think highly of Mormons. I defended them when people criticized them. Not anymore.” No PR campaign will ever undo the damage done to this woman’s opinion of the LDS church by the devastation of being excluded from the marriage ceremony of her own child.

    Several years ago, the LDS church ran a series of commercials with the tag line: “Families, it’s about time.” Yes. It’s about time for LDS leaders to put people before policy; time to stop insisting that couples force devoted family to wait outside with broken hearts; time to encourage couples to build bridges to their non-Mormon family instead of burning them.

  108. Cowboy wrote to Jean:

    “I’m sure we both agree that the LDS Church holds no physical control on its members, thereby depriving them of free-agency. Therefore, your comments imply that you believe that the Church holds some type of religious coercion, be it (though I loathe the word) brainwashing, or social conditioning.”

    Goose wrote to Jean:

    “Now me personally I wouldn’t put my name on it, actually I haven’t used my real name anywhere on the web because I have too much to loose (ie church job!) but others will. I wish them luck.”

    Things that make me go hmmm… Cowboy, why does Goose fear losing his church job? Might it have something to do with religious coercion? If he speaks out about something he questions, such as the policy, then he’s afraid of repercussions. Where is the free agency in his choice to keep quiet? It isn’t a choice, just as couples who choose the way the Church has taught them growing up to be married in the temple. What is the alternative? Shunning, fear, guilt, shame. As has been spoken countless times in recent years from the pulpit of general conference, loyalty to the Church is taught as a value. Nowhere is love of all family taught. Instead, shunning family members is taught as was recently preached by Dallin H. Oaks. You claim there is no religious coercion. All I see is a coercive organization that creates and fosters an environment for divisiveness and pain in family relationships. The policy is wrong. You may be right that the brethern will never admit it is wrong, just as they have demonstrated with their actions in the past with other sensitive issues. Even today there is no apology or admission of wrong doing for past policies that were divisive and hurtful. The only answer that ever seems to be given is, “I don’t know why.”

  109. Thank you, jean, for convincing me of what I only believed at first. I know from your comments that the welfare of the LDS Church doesn’t concern you in the slightest. With that foundation, I want to ask two simple questions, and, frankly, I don’t want an editorial answer to either question. A simple answer, shorter than my question, would be appreciated for both:

    What religion do you profess currently?

    If you are not the sole sponsor of this petition, what organization is, and what is its religious affiliation?

    (I ask specifically because two of the three people in the #3 video are ex-Mormon; one is an atheist; one [David, of the last comment] has called Joseph Smith a fraud in various places online; etc.)

  110. Oh, and jean, it’s not just disingenuous but flat-out dishonest to say you don’t call Mormons sheep here in your comments while calling Mormons “robots” and worse on anti-Mormon sites.

    At the very least, please own up to your true feelings and don’t try to come across as having any charitable feelings for believing members here when you ridicule and mock them with glee and extreme vitriol elsewhere.

  111. David:

    If I were to reveal my actual name (no, fortunately my parents did not name me Cowboy) and make derogatory comments about certain current health care policies, I would probably lose my job. You could argue that my employer has robbed me of my free-agency. I would disagree however, because no one has taken away my right to speak, it’s just that my employer would prefer not to pay me to work against them. That’s really not a hard concept to grasp, and so it is with Church employees. Naturally they are not going to want to pay someone, who ultimately hurts their mission. I will not argue that the Church holds significant sway and influence on the members. I will even agree that I find it objectionable at times. I will however, completely disagree that the Church is even capable of taking free-agency away from the members. If a member wished to withdraw their membership from the Church, or to go against the Church in any way, the only real recourse the Church has is to revoke membership. But, clearly Jean has shown her true colors, as this issue was never about free-agency anyways. Her duplicity in playing indirectly off of someones elses experience, combined with a hidden agenda, are as distasteful as the policy in question.

  112. Goose:

    Correct if I am wrong, but I don’t recall any precedent in the LDS Church where a petition or some equivalent, have been either succesfull or near successful in changing a Church policy. This silly position has no hope or purpose other than to try and ride the wave of publicity surrounding Mormon antagonism. Everything about the approach is wrong, to try and accomplish it’s pretended goals.

  113. Cowboy,

    I would like to correct you but the problem is that I can’t show you any proof without breaching contract conditions

    Suffice to say that the church doesn’t delete anything nowadays, especially if its made the news.

    Now you are correct in saying that the petition wont change the policy in and of itself. But it will make some brethren at least look at the issue here, and ask the question, and if it is included by the PR people they recently hired well then they will definitely look at this question more closely. But then will come the praying and discussing it in their weekly meetings. I’d say that its a safe bet that only if they feel that the Lord prefers it to change will they then go ahead and change it. If there is one thing that I’m certain about the brethren its that they look for that confirming feeling in all the things they do. But questions and members concerns do reach them and frequently. Oh President Uchtdorf recently addressed questions raised in one of those studies, although he doesn’t mention the study itself.

  114. Michelle here, exmormon, mother of four and the only member of my family to have witnessed my own wedding. Should my children grow up to “follow the mormon prophet” and get married in the temple like they are being conditioned to do, It will be a momentous occasion in the life of my children that the mormon church will have stolen from me. It is happening now all over North America as we speak. It is a cruel and might I say wicked thing to do to any parent anywhere in the world. Marriage is not only important to LDS people. It is not only sacred to LDS people. It is not only to be reserved for a certain class of people to witness to the exclusion of loved ones, even parents. We love our children deeply and fiercely, have taken care of them, given of ourselves to them their whole lives, look forward to every momentous occasion in their lives and don’t deserve to be shut out, don’t discount our emotions and the pain caused by this policy, in the callous self righteous way I’ve seen in some of your replies. Who does this? What kind of people, religion, will encourage and facilitate such a divisive unkind, unchristian, uncharitable act of discrimination on such a special day? Who is the adult that encourages a child with non member/ “unworthy” (as per mormon criteria) parents to hold their marriage where a parent cannot attend? This is completely disrespectful and those of you who cannot see it must put yourself in the shoes of a parent who is denied access to their childrens special occasion based on some arbitrary rule. The mormon position is, as far as I know, unprecedented in North America. And it is a dangerous precedent at that. To take a civil ceremony (meaning for it to be valid and legally binding a civil license is required), combine it with a religious rite and exclude loved ones from attending when there are so many part member families in the church, is shortsighted on the part of church leaders. How would you like for the catholic church to go “Dibs” on funerals and exclude everyone who is not a devout practicing catholic? people would think they were crazy, No? But the mormon church does a similar thing with marriage and has been flying under the radar for many decades.

    I am reminded of the ban on the priesthood to blacks when I think of this rule. Of course the ban on blacks and the priesthood was akin on a higher level to the apartheid regime of South Africa that was allowed to carry on for so many years before pressure was brought to bear on the powers that were in that country to abolish their very archaic practices and revolutionize their way of thinking. What were some of the arguments, excuses used back then against letting blacks in on a piece of the mormon pie. Compare them to the arguments and reactions used against this petition and you will see a pattern. Control, maintaining the status quo, superiority complex, fear, elitism, apathy and very few common sense arguments. Not to worry folks we are not trying to change doctrine which would require a revelation, {tongue in cheek).

    Anyone who has been LDS or who have done an unbiased study of the religion and have gained some insight as to why LDS people do what they do, knows that they do most of what they do out of “obedience” to their leaders. We know that, which is why an appeal to the leaders on this policy is the most effective route to take on the issue. Those of you who say it is the decision of the parties getting married just don’t understand the mormon mindset. Those of you who try to character assasinate the movers behind this petition need to take a long hard look at yourselves, stop judging, don’t shoot the messenger as we speak not only for ourselves but for all those parents and loved ones out there having to endure the pain of being excluded from their childrens marriages. Just because you might be able to point your fingers and say that some of us are rabid exmormons, does not shield you from scrutiny and make what the church is doing any less “wrong” These are diversionary tactics that are meant to derail and you should make no mistake that we recognize them for what they are, but will not be dissuaded from this effort. I will say this though, those who are in glass houses should not throw stones.
    Now, the petition is this, that the mormon church abolish the 1 year waiting penalty for couples who choose to get married civilly first before a temple wedding, thus making it so that couples are “free to choose”.
    RESPECT.

  115. Thanks Ray

    Just my opinion here but some of the board on MM don’t have a TBM belief in the church but if you cut them in half their mormons through and through its almost like non believing jews they are still jewish.

    I for one woudn’t want you to go around looking for skeletons in my closet or vet me to be a writer for MM and thats probably true for many of us that write here.

    Just my opininon we all have varied views on issues of the church if you look closely at the writers here and we differ in activity levels from some very active to some not active at all. Some may be agnostic but active or athiest in the church but still see it as their home and tribe. I think this applies to our lovely guests Jean and Michelle as well. I for one believe they have genuinely seen heart ache with families not being able to see a son’s or daughters wedding and they are concerned.

    I think you’ve gone just a little to far with the questions below and wouldn’t want you to scare off others who we would like their comments from and other organizations in the future.

    Its great though to have you back and in the full swing of it again!!

    Warm Regards and Happy Holidays Dude

    James

    I want to ask two simple questions, and, frankly, I don’t want an editorial answer to either question. A simple answer, shorter than my question, would be appreciated for both:

    What religion do you profess currently?

    If you are not the sole sponsor of this petition, what organization is, and what is its religious affiliation?

    (I ask specifically because two of the three people in the #3 video are ex-Mormon; one is an atheist; one [David, of the last comment] has called Joseph Smith a fraud in various places online; etc.)

  116. “These are diversionary tactics that are meant to derail and you should make no mistake that we recognize them for what they are, but will not be dissuaded from this effort. I will say this though, those who are in glass houses should not throw stones.”

    Michelle:

    The entire premise of this so-called petition is a diversionary tactic to throw stones. You object to the notion that members obey their leaders, and resent the fact that you do not possess the same influence. I find it rather audacious of you to suggest that some of us here, most of whom are life long active Mormons (such as myself), do not understand the “Mormon mind-set”, implying that you do. You then attempt to defend your movement by suggesting that you have been either misreprented, that you have been the victims of character assassination, or that you have just been the assaulted messengers. I think character assassination has yet to be determined, so I will ask you the same question that I asked Jean (my guess is you two are the women from the video):

    Do you believe that Mormons follow the leaders like “sheep”, or cult followers, etc?

    Now we both understand that I don’t shooting the messenger in this case, but to be fair let me arm you with a few things to consider before answering:

    If you say no, you will need to reconcile what exactly is meant by Mormon mindset, and how it possible that Mormons do not have free-agency in this context. You will also have to clear understanding of free-agency, which is not freedom from consequence, rather the right to choose. These are comments you have made which make it appear that you and Jean believe that Mormons are incapable of self thought, or self directed action.

    If you say yes, then you have not been misrepresented or been victim of character assassination. Nor have you been a messenger, as this petition is actually your cause. You will also need to acknowledge that your ultimate goal was to shame the Church rather than to improve relations through policy change.

  117. James, I searched the internet to find whatever I could about the apparent sponsors of this petition. The ones I could identify as appearing to lead the cause ALL have said some horrible, nasty, vicious things about the LDS Church and believing members – and those descriptions are not exaggerations. Some of what jean and David have said elsewhere is absolutley vicious and condemnatory.

    As everyone here knows, I have disagreed openly and regularly with Jared’s idea of having all who write here provide bios that include a classification of their activity level in the Church. I oppose that completely. This particular situation, however, is different, imo – because it is being presented to members as coming from a place of love and concern. Based on everything I’ve been able to find about the views of the people identified in the videos, nothing is further from the truth – and thus my questions. I understand totally if jean doesn’t want to respond to my questions with a simple, straightforward answer, and I respect your right as the author of this post to set conditions on the comments (as I have done with some of my posts). Therefore, I will drop my request for answers to my questions – even though I believe they are valid in this case.

    Finally, I find it VERY instructive that Cowboy and I are united in this conversation. I respect Cowboy greatly – but I think it’s safe to say that we aren’t in the same camp generally in discussions here. It’s not the idea within the petition to which I object. I’ve already said I would support a change in the policy. I do object vehemently, however, to the approach taken and the MANY statements elsewhere from those who appear to be its main advocates.

  118. #27:
    I searched the internet to find whatever I could about the apparent sponsors of this petition. The ones I could identify as appearing to lead the cause ALL have said some horrible, nasty, vicious things about the LDS Church and believing members – and those descriptions are not exaggerations.

    Ray, as our “chief parser in residence,” did you truly mean to indicate, as a matter of grammer, that “some horrible, nasty, vicious things about the LDS church and believing members” constitute descriptions which “are not exaggerations”? 😉

  119. To postulate that the motive of this petition is to shame the mormon church, is an admittance that the mormon church needs to be ashamed of it’s practice to exclude family members from witnessing the marriage of their loved ones. To assume that I or the movers behind the petition will shame the mormon church is an error in logic, as we are not the ones who instituted the current policy of the church. The church has sufficiently shamed itself by this policy, so perhaps you should point your fingers the other way cowboy. A more accurate statement would be that as more people become aware of this policy, the mormon church will have much to be ashamed of.

    It is disconcerting the way that you have summarily dismissed the petition because, some of the people who are helping with it are “atheist, and exmormons” as if to say, well that settles it then. Who else does not count in your book cowboy? Who else did not count 40 years ago? You have attached the adjective “silly” to the petition with very little thought as to the pain and distress caused by the policy. What is more silly, that a mother or father is being excluded from their childs wedding or that the petition is seeking to change that?

    As for the mormon mindset, like i’ve stated earlier, it is to “follow the prophet,” “obey the teachings of their leaders,” “to not question their leaders as it will be like questioning God himself, for whether it is through his mouth or the mouth of the prophet, it is the same”, “following your leaders whether they are right or wrong according to Dallin H Oakes is the right thing”. It takes the responsibility for ones obedience driven actions out of the hands of the individual and puts it on someone else. It’s brilliant psychology, and enables otherwise good, reasonable people to do unreasonable, hurtful things without thinking and therefore caring about the repercussions to others.

    As for free choice my thoughts on that are in the visitor comments on the petition website and are spot on. They are also on one of the videos.
    Cheers

  120. I think Michelle has a legitimate point there.

    Some of the petitioners may well be exmormonms, critical of the church or in some other way undesirable to the main body of the church but they are still parents and family members denied the chance to see a wedding of a loved one. That’s the whole reason for having this petition and this discussion

    Honestly some people are going too far in criticizing these non-members both here and in the comments section on the petition site. Those questions by Ray 118 don’t help either side especially today when the President Monson is trying to reach out to other Christian churches.

  121. She does not have a legitimate point, as her hasty efforts to quip back failed to take into consideration who she is talking to, me. There are two things that Michelle could have learned in just a few comments prior to our exchange, which may have changed the way she chose to respond to me:

    1) I entirely agree with her that the current Church policy which promotes an exclusionary wedding service is hurtful and wrong. Take note however, I said nothing of a waiting period. The waiting period is the Church’s business and they have a right to do what they want with it, as it their temple we are talking about. All the Church needs to do is provide some type of a green light, or thumbs up to people with non-member relatives and friends who should have the right to attend the wedding, such as a parent. Let Church figure out the solution from the religious angle. At the same time, there technically is a workable solution, and that is get married civilly, and wait a year for the sealing.

    A second item to consider, If the Mormon “drones” as Michelle and Jean believe they are, though they won’t say that here, are given their “agency” to choose between an initial civil vs temple wedding, without the waiting period, will that solve things? After all, if the Church says, “no waiting period, but we recommend that members show their devotion to the Lord by getting married in the temple without the civil service”, what would the thoughtless “follow the Prophet” sheep do? This reveals the point, because the Church is not going to change its doctrine on temple marriage. Therefore, Michelle and Jean really just trying to shame the Church, as their work around solution falls flat on it’s face with careful thought. Particularly when considered in the context, of their so-called “Mormon mind-set”.

    2) The second thing that Michelle could have learned is that I don’t believe in the Church either, and frankly as most here know, I can be antagonistic to the Church at times. So the fact that she, or anyone else is an ex-Mormon, non-Mormon, Aetheist, etc, is really a non-issue to me.

    Again, Michelle I will spell this for you. You and Jean are frauds, because you pretend to be seeking one thing, and are really seeking another. Whether the Church’s policy brings shame upon itself or not is irrelevant to this discussion, your motives however are not. It is your hidden agenda that I take issue with. As I said in my first comment to jean, you were just looking for stones to throw at the Church, and this stone (your silly petition) was just a matter of convenience.

  122. Cowboy, you don’t know me from Adam’s apple, yet you call me a fraud, what other names do you have for me? very high schoolish. You seem to be grossly misunderstanding and misleading others who are reading your comments. let me reiterate, no one has said a thing about changing church doctrine on temple marriage. You seem to have got a couple of premises stuck in your head and for the sake of wanting to oppose this for your own reasons are using these premises to argue points that we did not raise. Can someone say “obfuscation” and classic “diversionary tactic”
    The fact that you have these presuppositions in your head about our motives etc suggest that you are incapable of having an intelligent discussion about the matter and your mind is closed to listening or even understanding. I will borrow a quote from Thomas Paine as I believe it relevant here ” To argue with a man who has renounced the use of reasoning is like administering medicine to the dead”
    Cowboy, what is your real name? I could call you a few names too but I realize that I would just be shooting in the dark hoping that I hit the target, If at all the target exist.

  123. “Cowboy, you don’t know me from Adam’s apple, yet you call me a fraud”

    That sounds right.

    “what other names do you have for me?”

    Fraud will do.

    “let me reiterate, no one has said a thing about changing church doctrine on temple marriage.”

    Your petition is a request to change a current policy on Temple admittance, and marriage rites. From the perspective of the Church, your argument does not hold.

    “You seem to have got a couple of premises stuck in your head and for the sake of wanting to oppose this for your own reasons are using these premises to argue points that we did not raise.”

    The premise that I have stuck in my head is that two Mormon critics, in a pretense of concern, have attacked a Church policy that is ultimately irrelevant to their claimed interest. Your petition to the Church is not to allow civil ceremonies, since that is already allowed (as though it could be disallowed), but to change a policy about how and when a person may participate in Mormon temple rituals. Admittance to the temple should not be the concern or focus of anyone seeking to ameliorate hurt caused by an exlusionary marriage policy, rather it would be to civil marriages. You claim to do this, however your route conveniently crosses into Temple traffic and by-passes LDS couples, who should be the intended audience. In order to explain this absurd strategy, you have revealed your agenda. You claim that because Church members believe in following the Prophet, members are not able to think for themselves (a suggestion made by both you and Jean). This is common Mormon drone, cult argument. Given that your attack is focused on the temple and a policy that only indirectly relates to exclusionary weddings, and your claim that Mormons are sheep (you have not quite admitted this, but given your actual arguments that Mormons do not think for themsevles, coupled with your obvious silence to a question I have now asked twice, I will take it as your acknoweledged belief), you have given away your position, ie, as an assault on the Church – not a polite disagreement.

    The fact that you have these presuppositions in your head about our motives etc suggest that you are incapable of having an intelligent discussion about the matter and your mind is closed to listening or even understanding. I will borrow a quote from Thomas Paine as I believe it relevant here ” To argue with a man who has renounced the use of reasoning is like administering medicine to the dead”

    I believe you said something about diversionary tactics and obsfuscation? Suffice it to say, making the claim does not make the case. Particularly when there are three detailed posts that appeal to reason. And unfortunately you have not proved your own argument to be the standard of reason, so failure to agree with your point does not qualify as failure to reason.

    “It may be time to let this thread die.”

    Agreed, Michelle/Jean – you may have the last word, if you wish.

  124. “It may be time to let this thread die.”

    I think the only thing happening now is the kicking of the dead bodies to see if they are really dead.

  125. Cowboy you seem to have a severe reading comprehension disorder as well as chronic perception dyfunction. Your arguments misrepresent the petition and reeks of contempt.
    perhaps you should start over, remove all your preconceived notions and read the petition once more. Not that I have much hope that you are capable of an open mind but you might just surprise yourself.
    Adieu

  126. you seem to have a severe reading comprehension disorder as well as chronic perception dyfunction

    A very british way of insulting.

  127. Again, thank you, Michelle, for validating my observation way back at the beginning of this thread. I appreciate the unanimity of attitude and approach it illustrates.

    Adieu 2.

  128. My son and her brand new life had a traditional wedding party for the friends and relatives of the bride (and some friends of my son), who could not attend the temple ceremony.

    Those, who could not go to the sealing room (because they weren’t endowed members or not even members), were invited to a waiting room inside the temple, and met the couple right after the sealing ceremony (minus the ceremonial stuff) to congratulate them. They also watched a video that described what happens inside the temple fairly well. They were pretty happy.

    Then, two days later, we had another party in her home town 450 miles away. There we did some stuff that made the friends and relatives realize that we do respect their convictions, but we do things our way. We are just people, who want to be happy.

    As for superiority: Almost every active church goer that I have ever met has been eager the defend her/his own faith as the “right one”. I don’t take that as an insult. How I say it is that I believe that we have the priesthood that gives us authority, and that is what gives me peace and assurance. If what you believe gives you the same, I totally respect your choice and wish you well.

    I am open to listening to the teachings of other churches/sects. My favorite reading has been religious works for all of my life, despite my years as an “aggressively agnostic” nonbeliever. For the last 30 years the foundation that I have has kept me up. I say live and let live.

    When I go to almost any other church’s meetings, and they know I’m a Mormon, I hear jabs at Mormon doctrines every time from the ministers/teachers. When a friend of mine visits our meetings, I don’t use any of it to knock down his own faith, but I try to help him understand things that he has made clear he doesn’t understand. For some people that may sound like a holier-than-thou attitude, but I am sincere about what I do. I don’t pretend to let others be happy with their choice, I actually feel it.

  129. Oh, and sorry for starting up again — against some people’s wishes, as I understand it — but I’ve been away and wanted to put my oar in once more. I may have Asperger Syndrome or something….

    Because everyone cares what some guy writes in a comment to an obscure blog site, right? 😉

  130. were invited to a waiting room inside the temple, and met the couple right after the sealing ceremony

    Hmmm, and you actually thought they were happy about this.

    Anyway, it may be too late now, but I’ve just remembered that the church did change a current policy due to what non-members thought about it. It was back in the late 90’s when the church was sued over its practice of excommunicating those who wished to have their names removed from our records. Due to that litigation and the resulting negative publicity we now have an “administrative process” to cancel someones membership upon request. It involves only a form to fill out plus some mail but no traumatic church “trial”.

    If the church could change a policy due to complaints from non members back then it could do so today too. Hopefully it wont take more negative publicity for it to happen.

  131. “If the church could change a policy due to complaints from non members back then it could do so today too. Hopefully it wont take more negative publicity for it to happen.”

    I had always assumed that the reason this protocol changed was because excommunicating someone who simply requested to have their names removed, was akin to slander or libel. The member initiated the severing of membership, not the Churh, so to hold a court excommunicating them became a form of defamation, particularly as word got around about how they were “excommunicated” as opposed to having voluntarily left. If such is the case then I don’t think this example serves as a valid precedent to changing policy based on public perception. It would be another example of the Church overstepping its bounds, and being pushed back by the law.

  132. Cowboy, are you aware of the 1987 Dialogue article by David John Buerger? In the article, Buerger suggested that LDS church leaders needed to seriously consider making changes in the temple endowment ceremony to counter declining rates of attendance. The Church issued a survey to about 3,400 members in Canada and the U.S. to determine members’ opinions concerning temple work and various other topics only a few months after the 1987 Buerger article.

    Survey question 28:
    For a person who had been through the endowment ritual, “did you feel spiritually uplifted by the experience?” and “was the experience unpleasant?” and “were you confused by what happened?”

    Survey question 29:
    “Briefly describe how you felt after receiving your own endowment.”

    Survey question 37-k:
    “Did you find it hard to go to the temple?”

    Survey question 39-b:
    “have you ever fallen asleep during sessions?”

    Survey questions 70-a and 70-b:
    “Do you believe the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a prophet of God?”
    “Do you believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth?”

    Survey question 77-g:
    “Do you have any doubts about specific LDS doctrines and teachings?”

    A page at the end of the Survey was left blank in case the person had “any additional things to write about your feelings or activities in temple or genealogical work…”

    Soon after the survey, plans were underway to change the endowment ceremony again (the ceremony had been modified many times since its introduction in Nauvoo, Illinois in the early 1840’s). In 1990, the revised ceremony became effective. Anyone who googles the temple changes can readily find the information about the removal and additions that were made.

    Without question, most faithful Mormons would stand firm in their faith that any decision to change temple ceremonies would have to come by direct revelation from God. It’s likely that few LDS members are even aware of the 1987 Dialogue article or the above survey. Many endowed members who first attended the temple after 1990 and have no idea about the old version of the ceremony. I’ve even heard from members refusing to believe that older versions included the ridicule of a Protestant minister and bloody oaths. Of course, these people would avoid any information about older versions of the ceremonies in books or on the internet because they’re not considered Church approved sources.

    The 1987 article was one catalyst for the survey which was a catalyst for the 1990 changes. It’s probable that the survey results indicated that a significant number of people were offended by various parts of the ceremony. In particular, many converts with a Christian background were highly offended by the part of the minister accepting employment from Satan (“Lucifer”), not to mention the bloody oaths and other things.

    This temple wedding petition is an effort to bring about change of a policy, not doctrine. If the temple ceremony and aspects of the ordinance could be changed following the efforts mentioned above, then surely the Bretheren will be open minded enough to consider and take seriously the concerns of members and non-members and help the Bretheren to understand the thoughts, feelings, and experiences relating to temple sealings and civil marriages.

  133. Cowboy,

    Yes you are right there. That’s how that change came about. Point is that it did change. the church could’ve fought it fmore or paid hush money as it has in other situations, but it was more beneficial and convenient to all parties to simply change the policy. I’m suggesting that maybe it is also more convenient to all people concerned to change this one year waiting rule, which isn’t backed up by any scripture or ‘revelation’. It appears to be more of a cultural thing.

    The church has changed other Temple and sealing policies before due to practicality only. For example up until the mid 70’s after a civil divorce one needed to request a clearance from the first presidency just to renew a temple recommend. That changed.

    Also what David here 149 wrote is also true and that study is still on file. So the church does constantly change.

    But how they do changes is very very interesting. Check out how president Eyring describes it, (I love it how he describes this):

  134. Actually this one is much better. (Just forget its Skousen!)

    What the point is that this one year wait should be discussed and the pain it causes nonmember relatives considered as they seek the Lords guidance.

  135. Post
    Author

    Goose – thanks for the videos

    But weren’t The Brethren opposed about making the word of wisdom anything but that. But Grant over ruled or trumped them and made it mandatory as the prophet.

  136. Post
    Author

    151 Goose
    Don’t you think the brethren sat down and talked as a group about purchasing manuscripts from Mark Hoffman?

    If so don’t you think they got that good feeling!!

  137. 152,

    No, I’m sure its was done under Joseph Fielding Smith around 1909 or 1911 and the general conference voted to accept the motion -ie that WoW would be mandatory. Packer spoke about that recently in GC.

    153, I read about the ‘mormon bombings’ but way back in 91 or 92 odd, so I don’t even remember the title of that book, so I may be wrong, but I believe their motivation was to buy to get them those docs out of the public domain, and Hinkley was alone during most dealings. So I doubt that group discussion ever happened.

    But also the Hoffman forgeries have been good for the church in the long term -they put into doubt ALL historical bits and pieces people find which are critical of the church. So in a weired round about way Hoffman actually ends up helping the church instead of destroying it. Shame he killed innocent people along the way though.

  138. No. 21, I can relate to your feelings on your family not being able to attend. When my father found out that he wouldn’t be attending my wedding, it was a very unhappy day for me. My wife started crying right before we left for the temple because her father, who had done so much to make it a special day, wouldn’t be attending, nor would the rest of her family. The ordinance worker had to go out in the hall to find the second witness. This is not a problem for a lot of lifelong members whose families are all LDS. But it’s a missionary church and converts like me face a lot of pain in what should be one of the happiest days of our lives.

  139. David:

    I was not at all aware of this, and it has my attention. Thank you for making me aware of this, and I agree it does stand as a great precedent to how the Church changes its policies. To be clear, I am not suggesting that Church leaders make changes to policy only by the direction of God. I don’t believe that the Church is “true” in any real religious sense. So I accept the notion that externalities greatly impact Church decision. Since at the least the 1970’s, and some would argue since David O McKay, the Church has been working very close with PR firms, even to the point of owning one (Bonneville Communications Corp.). At the same time, as far as the Temple Petition goes, do we know of any examples where the Church has ceded to an outside, and frankly antagonistic lobby group such as the temple petition group? I am highly doubtful, and I stand my position that it is very unlikely that the Church will respond to this movement in any meaningful way. I’ll also be very surprised if the temple petition group could garner the amount of support needed to really turn Church leaders heads. So I see the matter as a double whammy on “no freakin way”.

    Again however, I am very intrigued by the 1987 dialogue article you cited.

  140. 156 Cliff,

    Another very good example of the pain and suffering this policy causes some mormon families (since the bride were also crying)

    I suggest you add that story to the petition website. One day the brethren will get the message.

  141. I am considering the LDS faith and stumbled on this blog.

    This may be an interesting question:
    A pal of mine recently married a Mormon widow. — Soon afterward, he overheard his wife talking to a Mormon friend once, and found out she was “sealed” in marriage, (by proxy ) in the Mormon Temple, after her late husband died, but before they (my pal, and his mormon widow wife) married.

    He found the “Mormon proxy marriage sealing” ritual on-line, and it states the spouse pledges “marriage for all time and eternity” to the dead spouse. That the sealed spouses are “eternal companions” by this “proxy marriage ceremony”. —
    He (my pal) asked her to ask this marriage be canceled, as he does not understand how she can be his wife, yet be married for all time and eternity to someone else. — She states she can’t tell him that she will abandon this eternal marriage to her dead spouse, even though she is married to him.
    I wonder, should this hurt his feelings, to cause mistrust ? She has the right to a past and love for her deceased husband, but I don’t think she shows a full commitment to him by staying eternally married and sealed to another man.

  142. I don’t have a good answer for you. I have been directly involved in a similar situation with a gentleman I baptized on my mission. It does make the relationship difficult because she is sealed to her deceased husband, while married for time (as Mormons say) to the man I baptized. To complicate matters, he is a convert, and therefore is sealed to nobody in his current marriage. I know he has had a hard time dealing with it, but has tried to be a “good sport” about it. My in laws are in a similar situation, but they are both sealed to deceased spouses, but are currently married to each other. They see it is a temporary living arrangement the helps them fullfill companionship. Just one more example, is a former co-worker who was married in her early twenties. She was married to her husband for about two years before he passed away from a work related accident. A few years after he died she remarried another man whom she fell in love with, and they have been married for 25 years. She expressed to me at one point that she was confused and scared about how it would all work out in the end because, while she felt like she loved her first husband, she would much rather be married for time and all eternity to this man whom she also loved and had a happy 25 year marriage with. Sorry, no answers just issues.

  143. The temple wedding petition website has received and has posted an official correspondence with Elder L. Tom Perry regarding the one year waiting penalty. Prior to the petition, a letter was sent to Perry requesting the policy be changed. His response is very interesting. A followup letter was sent to Perry without any further contact from his office concerning the matter.

    Please see the three letters on the petition site in the Media Content section.

    http://www.templeweddingpetition.org/enter/5036.html

    Would love to hear your feedback.

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