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jkwilliams

Question on Sealing Cancellations

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I have a good friend who has been out of the church for a number of years. His brother has also left the church, but his two sisters are active members. The one thing they all agree on is that their mother is abusive and has always been so, to the point where the four siblings have distanced themselves to varying degrees from her. My friend tells me their father was a good man who did his best to protect his children from their mother, who was abusive to him, as well. Their father was, from everything I have heard, an exemplary man who served faithfully in the church in many callings, including as bishop. He passed away a few years ago, and my friend's mother has since remarried, to a man she met in her ward.

Last week, the four siblings received letters from their mother's bishop, saying that she was petitioning the First Presidency to have her sealing to their father cancelled so she can be sealed to her current husband, and the bishop wanted the children's input into the decision. My friend contacted the bishop to ask whether she was alleging any specific grounds for the cancellation, and he said he wasn't at liberty to discuss the reasons. So, my friend wrote a letter back saying that what his mother wants to do with her sealing is up to her, but he would not condone any accusations that called into question his father's faithfulness and character.

He asked me if a posthumous sealing can be cancelled without specific grounds for the cancellation, and I said I had no idea. So, I'm asking if anyone here knows.

Edited by jkwilliams

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It's not necessary that her sealing be cancelled before she can be sealed to the man she wants to be sealed to now, and I suspect the First Presidency would probably not cancel it while approving her for this other new sealing.  It's up to them, though. Our Lord and those involved would work out the details among themselves on the other side of the veil.

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Just now, Ahab said:

It's not necessary that her sealing be cancelled before she can be sealed to the man she wants to be sealed to now, and I suspect the First Presidency would probably not cancel it while approving her for this other new sealing.  It's up to them, though. Our Lord and those involved would work out the details among themselves on the other side of the veil.

Whether or not the cancellation is necessary, she is requesting it. My question is whether the church requires some justification for the cancellation to happen. I would assume so, but I don't know.

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Just now, jkwilliams said:

Whether or not the cancellation is necessary, she is requesting it. My question is whether the church requires some justification for the cancellation to happen. I would assume so, but I don't know.

Yes, our Church leaders would require some explanation from her to help them determine if there is a  just reason to cancel the sealing. The fact that she is asking for a cancellation is not enough of a reason,, and the fact that she wants to marry another man is also not enough of a reason for them to cancel her first sealing.  The sealing is treated as a contract in contract law, and the husband has a contract with the wife even if the wife decides she would like to be loosed from that contract.  The first husband has the right to decide for himself whether or not he wants to terminate that contract, so he will have his day in court, so to speak, to make his will known.

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1 minute ago, Ahab said:

Yes, our Church leaders would require some explanation from her to help them determine if there is a  just reason to cancel the sealing. The fact that she is asking for a cancellation is not enough of a reason,, and the fact that she wants to marry another man is also not enough of a reason for them to cancel her first sealing.  The sealing is treated as a contract in contract law, and the husband has a contract with the wife even if the wife decides she would like to be loosed from that contract.  The first husband has the right to decide for himself whether or not he wants to terminate that contract, so he will have his day in court, so to speak, to make his will known.

Are you just guessing that, or can you cite church policy?

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21 minutes ago, Ahab said:

It's not necessary that her sealing be cancelled before she can be sealed to the man she wants to be sealed to now, and I suspect the First Presidency would probably not cancel it while approving her for this other new sealing.  It's up to them, though. Our Lord and those involved would work out the details among themselves on the other side of the veil.

Actually, if a woman wants to get sealed again, she does have to have her first sealing canceled.  Though there have been a few exceptions made, it's the church's policy that woman can only be sealed to one man at a time.

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23 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

Whether or not the cancellation is necessary, she is requesting it. My question is whether the church requires some justification for the cancellation to happen. I would assume so, but I don't know.

From my experience, the church usually cancels the sealing, if the woman is getting re-sealed.  Wanting to be sealed to another man would be the justification for the cancelation.  

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2 minutes ago, bluebell said:

From my experience, the church usually cancels the sealing, if the woman is getting re-sealed.  Wanting to be sealed to another man would be the justification for the cancelation.  

I wonder why they asked the children, then. 

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2 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I wonder why they asked the children, then. 

I would guess that, even though most temple cancellations are granted (from my limited experience) they are not all granted, and the First presidency wants to make sure they have all the information necessary before taking the matter to the Lord.

Pres. Hinckley had this to say about the process-

"The most burdensome responsibility I have is to make judgments on applications for cancellation of temple sealings following civil divorce. Each case is considered on its individual merits. I pray for wisdom, for the direction of the Lord in dealing with sacred covenants made in the most hallowed surroundings and of an eternal nature."

It's unusual for a woman to request a sealing cancellation after the death of a husband, especially she is past childbearing years, but it does happen.  Usually though it's an issue of divorce.

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Just now, bluebell said:

I would guess that, even though most temple cancellations are granted (from my limited experience) they are not all granted, and the First presidency wants to make sure they have all the information necessary before taking the matter to the Lord.

Pres. Hinckley had this to say about the process-

"The most burdensome responsibility I have is to make judgments on applications for cancellation of temple sealings following civil divorce. Each case is considered on its individual merits. I pray for wisdom, for the direction of the Lord in dealing with sacred covenants made in the most hallowed surroundings and of an eternal nature."

It's unusual for a woman to request a sealing cancellation after the death of a husband, especially she is past childbearing years, but it does happen.  Usually though it's an issue of divorce.

There was no divorce in this case. I just wonder, if this is just routinely granted, why ask the kids, and why say he wasn't at liberty to discuss the reasons? I don't know. It's just kind of weird, but then that's pretty much par for the course with my friend's mother. She is definitely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

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This stuff is such a mess and causes a lot of heartache.

If the church followed Ahab's first comment about letting the Lord work it out on the other side of the veil, we wouldn't have to do all the guess work that causes this kind of stress. We're talking about eternal families yet no one really knows how it will work out.

In my experience, women are sometimes allowed to be sealed to a 2nd husband, so a previous sealing is sometimes an impediment to a new sealing and sometimes its not. Former spouses are often consulted (or they submit a letter) indicating whether or not they feel a sealing should be cancelled, but that's not possible once he is deceased. I've never seen the church seek the opinions of the offspring. My understanding is that regardless of whether the sealing is cancelled or not, the children will still be sealed to the father and mother, it's just the spousal sealing that would cease. I have no clue how that would work in eternity.

Quote

He asked me if a posthumous sealing can be cancelled without specific grounds for the cancellation, and I said I had no idea. So, I'm asking if anyone here knows.

Am I understanding you correctly that the sealing of the father and mother was performed posthumously, or are you just referring to the cancellation? My wife's parents were sealed after her father died and then cancelled a few years later when her mother remarried/sealed and her new husband adopted the children.

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1 minute ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This stuff is such a mess and causes a lot of heartache.

If the church followed Ahab's first comment about letting the Lord work it out on the other side of the veil, we wouldn't have to do all the guess work that causes this kind of stress. We're talking about eternal families yet no one really knows how it will work out.

In my experience, women are sometimes allowed to be sealed to a 2nd husband, so a previous sealing is sometimes an impediment to a new sealing and sometimes its not. Former spouses are often consulted (or they submit a letter) indicating whether or not they feel a sealing should be cancelled, but that's not possible once he is deceased. I've never seen the church seek the opinions of the offspring. My understanding is that regardless of whether the sealing is cancelled or not, the children will still be sealed to the father and mother, it's just the spousal sealing that would cease. I have no clue how that would work in eternity.

Am I understanding you correctly that the sealing of the father and mother was performed posthumously, or are you just referring to the cancellation? My wife's parents were sealed after her father died and then cancelled a few years later when her mother remarried/sealed and her new husband adopted the children.

Oh, sorry. It’s the cancellation that is posthumous 

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16 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

There was no divorce in this case. I just wonder, if this is just routinely granted, why ask the kids, and why say he wasn't at liberty to discuss the reasons? I don't know. It's just kind of weird, but then that's pretty much par for the course with my friend's mother. She is definitely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

I think partly because they aren’t granted as a matter of routine, but rather each case is considered individually.

And the other aspect is an issue of privacy. The church probably chooses not to disclose statements from an individual to other individuals without consent for liability reasons. 

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16 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think partly because they aren’t granted as a matter of routine, but rather each case is considered individually.

And the other aspect is an issue of privacy. The church probably chooses not to disclose statements from an individual to other individuals without consent for liability reasons. 

I guess that makes sense. The whole situation is weird. 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

From my experience, the church usually cancels the sealing, if the woman is getting re-sealed.  Wanting to be sealed to another man would be the justification for the cancelation.  

You may be considering situations only when the man hasn't died.  My wife was sealed to her first husband who had died before we met and she wasn't required to cancel her first sealing before being sealed to me as her husband.  Our bishop told us a cancellation is not required in those situations, and that it was good for her to remain sealed to both of us for now.  I suspect the 3 of us will work it all out beyond the veil, with the Lord to help us.  Her first husband has been dead for a while and I'm thinking he probably has another woman he would like to be sealed to now.  I'm thinking she may remain sealed to him though to help us all stay linked together because of their children which I will continue to want to know.

Edited by Ahab

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If she get sealed to the second guy without getting her sealing canceled to the first, would that mean her children would have to wait until they are 18 to get baptized?

 

😉

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From section 3.6.1 of the Handbook:

Quote

Sealing of Living Members after Divorce

Women. A living woman may be sealed to only one husband. If she is sealed to a husband and later divorces, she must receive a cancellation of that sealing from the First Presidency before she may be sealed to another man in her lifetime (see “Applying for a Cancellation of Sealing or a Sealing Clearance” below).

And here (same section):

Quote

Sealing of Living Members after a Spouse’s Death

Women. A living woman may be sealed to only one husband.

Men. If a husband and wife have been sealed and the wife dies, the man may have another woman sealed to him if she is not already sealed to another man. In this circumstance, the man does not need a sealing clearance from the First Presidency unless he was divorced from his previous wife before she died (see the previous heading for the policy in cases of divorce).

And here (same section):

Quote

Applying for a Cancellation of Sealing or a Sealing Clearance

A woman who has previously been sealed must receive a cancellation of that sealing from the First Presidency before she may be sealed to another man in her lifetime. 

This last quote seems to be the most on-point.  It does not preclude a cancellation of a sealing after the death of the husband, so it sounds like it's permissible.

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

Are you just guessing that, or can you cite church policy?

 

2 hours ago, bluebell said:

Actually, if a woman wants to get sealed again, she does have to have her first sealing canceled.  Though there have been a few exceptions made, it's the church's policy that woman can only be sealed to one man at a time.

As bluebell noted, exceptions to policy can be granted by the Firs Presidency. I am personally aware of three such, where women were granted permission to be sealed to more than one living man. I'm a small sample size, though --- it is very uncommon. I also had a brother who wanted his sealings to two previous wives cancelled so he could be sealed to his third wife, a convert. The convert was extremely bothered that he was sealed to two other living women. Why the first one wasn't cancelled, as per policy, in order to be sealed to the second, is beyond me. But it really existed. 

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2 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

I wonder why they asked the children, then. 

Letters from people affected are always included in the application. This allows people to vent or tell things that need to be said, and in my experience, heartfelt, articulate, well-written letters from spouses, parents, and children are the key (along with the bishop and stake president letters) to the application being approved. One application resulted in a letter stating that more time was needed, but that the First Presidency was so moved by the family letters that what would normally be five more years would be granted in one year, if all continued on the same trajectory. 

The letters make a huge difference. 

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2 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

I wonder why they asked the children, then. 

I would not know...but in my mind, I would want to know if I was their son..I like the fact that they contacted the siblings..they are the ones who are sealed to these two parents.  In any case as the situation is with siblings and their mother..they might welcome a chance to be with a peaceful father in their beliefs.

Edited to add:  I feel the mother should have told the children herself and discussed it.  She didn't have to do what they say...but it should have come from her.

Edited by Jeanne

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2 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

There was no divorce in this case. I just wonder, if this is just routinely granted, why ask the kids, and why say he wasn't at liberty to discuss the reasons? I don't know. It's just kind of weird, but then that's pretty much par for the course with my friend's mother. She is definitely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

My wife's friend from high school's (who served as a missionary in the Virgin Islands with my grandparents. Small world!) father died of brain cancer. According to him, he was a wonderful father. The mother remarried a man (who was in my wife's bishopric when we were married. A nice guy), and told the kids that she never loved their father, and was seeking a cancellation of sealing from him. The kids were very upset about this, with lingering resentment to their mother to this day. The request was denied, but the sealing clearance was approved, so she is sealed to both. 

 

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Considering the mother, I would just let it go and reseal them after she dies. 

I would hope this is a caution to anyone who is comfortable with the current policy, expecially men who think they are acquiring more wives at the women's expense. 

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1 hour ago, Ahab said:

You may be considering situations only when the man hasn't died.  My wife was sealed to her first husband who had died before we met and she wasn't required to cancel her first sealing before being sealed to me as her husband.  Our bishop told us a cancellation is not required in those situations, and that it was good for her to remain sealed to both of us for now.  I suspect the 3 of us will work it all out beyond the veil, with the Lord to help us.  Her first husband has been dead for a while and I'm thinking he probably has another woman he would like to be sealed to now.  I'm thinking she may remain sealed to him though to help us all stay linked together because of their children which I will continue to want to know.

As Smac posted, church policy is that a woman can only be sealed to one man (living or dead) at a time.  They do make exceptions though, but only with first presidency approval.

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Tack on a request to get the sealing to mom cancelled so it is no longer your problem.

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25 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Tack on a request to get the sealing to mom cancelled so it is no longer your problem.

I didn’t think sealings were in effect for those who have resigned from the church. 

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