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Mormonstories Podcast #369: Exploring Lds Temple Wedding Exclusion And Inclusion


Tacenda

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Very interesting discussion on civil marriage and how it should be acceptable for those that feel it's better for their families to do this first and sealed afterward. Perhaps like it was done before the 60's?

Also, in the discussion they talk about how the church is the same everywhere except in this area, where some countries have the civil ceremony first. Because it's a law to have a public wedding. Also, that JS said all weddings should be made public. And that this is a policy and why does it undercut JS doctrine? And since then there hasn't been a revelation to change JS doctrine.

I know we had this topic previously, but I thought it would important to post this new podcast. John even mentions that there is a rumor that this is currently on the table for the first presidency and they are discussing it (how John knows this I've no idea).

Hey, the church evolves all the time, as we've noticed with current policy changes.....

Edited by Tacenda
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Ray:

I think I'll let it stay here, even though I meant it to be on the General Discussions and somehow it ended up here.

Cal:

They mention on the podcast that it was in the D & C at one time that Joseph Smith said marriages should be a public affair. Later it was taken out of the D & C.

Maybe this discussion has already run it's course beforehand and I'll let sleeping dogs lie. It just caught my attention when John said in this podcast, that through rumor this has been on the table and the first presidency is discussing the situation.

Edited by Tacenda
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If it was taken out, it was a good chance that it was in the Lectures on Faith parts of which weren't written by JS.

It was published in Times and Seasons here: http://contentdm.lib...20-1846/id/9966

"...we believe that all marriages in this Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints, should be solemnized in a public meeting, or feast prepared for that purpose:"

The rules of marriage were specifically published to shine a light on John C. Bennett's practice of spiritual wifery and declare it "a creature of his own make", according to the article.

Edited by mercyngrace
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I have an LDS friend in England and she says that a civil ceremony is required first, before sealing in the Temple. I'm not sure why or how that works. Sounds like a much better plan, to me, especially if the family has a lot of non-members.

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It was published in Times and Seasons here: http://contentdm.lib...20-1846/id/9966

"...we believe that all marriages in this Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints, should be solemnized in a public meeting, or feast prepared for that purpose:"

The rules of marriage were specifically published to shine a light on John C. Bennett's practice of spiritual wifery and declare it "a creature of his own make", according to the article.

Thanks.
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I have an LDS friend in England and she says that a civil ceremony is required first, before sealing in the Temple. I'm not sure why or how that works.

The government over there has not deputized LDS to perform marriages, so the wedding takes place first and then the sealing. It has nothing to do with how the LDS leadership would structure things if they had a choice.
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I do not mean to belittle in anyway those who feel they have suffered by not being allowed to witness the wedding of a child in the temple, but what I find very ironic is that what they were not allowed to witness would probably not seem like a wedding to them anyway. In the temple ceremony there are no bridesmaids in funny dresses, no maid of honor, no walking down the aisle, no best man, no men in tuxes, no wedding dress (can be worn if appropriate, but not required), no exchanging of rings (not part of ceremony, but sometimes still done), no "I do's", and no "until death do us part".

What I also find very ironic is that there is nothing preventing those who choose to have a temple wedding from also having a ceremony as described above, which could be attended by anyone and would be viewed as a traditional wedding ceremony. My sister, who married a recent convert to the church, had just such a ceremony, and I do not think his family felt they missed out on anything, because they saw what they expected to see, a traditional wedding.

For those parents who were not able to attend their child's wedding, perhaps they should ask their child why they did not hold a traditional wedding ceremony, much as a parent would ask any child if they had simply chosen to be married at city hall without their parents present.

Edited by guerreiro9
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I have an LDS friend in England and she says that a civil ceremony is required first, before sealing in the Temple. I'm not sure why or how that works. Sounds like a much better plan, to me, especially if the family has a lot of non-members.

Is sad is not the same in USA... I learnt some comments, and is heartbreaking... how many peoples, members and exmembers suffered for this reason!

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The government over there has not deputized LDS to perform marriages, so the wedding takes place first and then the sealing. It has nothing to do with how the LDS leadership would structure things if they had a choice.

I live in England. Had to do the marriage in the chapel first, then reception, then Temple. It makes for a VERY long tiring day. We are lucky, the Temple was only an hour away. We used to live in Wales, it would of been over 5 hrs of travelling to the Temple,on top of a full day, if we'd married from there. Personally I'd of preferred just a Temple sealing/marriage. It seems marriage is about catering to everyone else's wants.

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I live in England. Had to do the marriage in the chapel first, then reception, then Temple. It makes for a VERY long tiring day. We are lucky, the Temple was only an hour away. We used to live in Wales, it would of been over 5 hrs of travelling to the Temple,on top of a full day, if we'd married from there. Personally I'd of preferred just a Temple sealing/marriage. It seems marriage is about catering to everyone else's wants.

My personal preference would have been me, my husband and someone in the temple who could be witnesses, no family. Don't really like being the center of attention or fussed over or even worse, feeling responsible for someone else to have a good time when I want to be the one having the good time.

Didn't work out that way, but luckily my mom is not into gala events so she just made a really good buffet for everyone who showed up and then we were able to take off.

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Agreed with above two posts. If it were up to me, I would have it be my wife and I. Perhaps our parents. Anyhow, I feel it a sacred ordinance and we often superimpose our own culture perceptions of weddings onto a sealing and, in my opinion, do it a disservice. Obviously with how engrained in culture this is and how important that is to people when they think about marriage, I think that the Lord understands and tolerates that.

With regard to "JS doctrine" I'm not even sure what that's supposed to mean. Obviously we believe in a living church and I see little utility in taking a few statements JS said at some point in his life and use it to demonstrate how those who currently hold the keys and stewardship are in error.

Anyhow, it's interesting to me that some people are upset that temple ceremonies aren't open to the public or at least qualifications for temple attendance aren't softened to accommodate those under a larger umbrella. The thing I find interesting is that often some of the same people raising these issue are the ones who don't believe in temple ceremonies or view them as strange or silly.

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I do not mean to belittle in anyway those who feel they have suffered by not being allowed to witness the wedding of a child in the temple, but what I find very ironic is that what they were not allowed to witness would probably not seem like a wedding to them anyway. In the temple ceremony there are no bridesmaids in funny dresses, no maid of honor, no walking down the aisle, no best man, no men in tuxes, no wedding dress (can be worn if appropriate, but not required), no exchanging of rings (not part of ceremony, but sometimes still done), no "I do's", and no "until death do us part".

In the podcast they point out the same thing you do, that a "wedding" and a "sealing" are not the same thing.

What I also find very ironic is that there is nothing preventing those who choose to have a temple wedding from also having a ceremony as described above, which could be attended by anyone and would be viewed as a traditional wedding ceremony. My sister, who married a recent convert to the church, had just such a ceremony, and I do not think his family felt they missed out on anything, because they saw what they expected to see, a traditional wedding.

For those parents who were not able to attend their child's wedding, perhaps they should ask their child why they did not hold a traditional wedding ceremony, much as a parent would ask any child if they had simply chosen to be married at city hall without their parents present.

Yes, a couple could do that. However, in the United States, the Church's policy if a couple has a wedding ceremony outside the temple is to not allow them to get sealed until a full year has passed. If a couple decides to have a public ceremony, even if it's for the most honorable reasons like allowing nonmember family and friends to attend, some fellow Mormons might question why they didn't get married in the temple and wonder if they are unworthy. What's more, the couple runs the risk, if something tragic happens before the year is up, of dying without getting sealed. So even though they do have the choice of having a wedding outside the temple that everyone can attend, the Church puts pressure on couples not to do that, but to get married and sealed in the temple from the get-go.

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In the podcast they point out the same thing you do, that a "wedding" and a "sealing" are not the same thing.

Yes, a couple could do that. However, in the United States, the Church's policy if a couple has a wedding ceremony outside the temple is to not allow them to get sealed until a full year has passed. If a couple decides to have a public ceremony, even if it's for the most honorable reasons like allowing nonmember family and friends to attend, some fellow Mormons might question why they didn't get married in the temple and wonder if they are unworthy. What's more, the couple runs the risk, if something tragic happens before the year is up, of dying without getting sealed. So even though they do have the choice of having a wedding outside the temple that everyone can attend, the Church puts pressure on couples not to do that, but to get married and sealed in the temple from the get-go.

A post temple wedding ring ceremony is a viable option. Most couples married in the temple have a reception following. A ring ceremony where the rings are exchanged is an available option and as most receptions include the bridesmaids in the funny dresses the whole pomp would be included.

Edited by ERayR
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A post temple wedding ring ceremony is a viable option. Most couples married in the temple have a reception following. A ring ceremony where the rings are exchanged is an available option and as most receptions include the bridesmaids in the funny dresses the whole pomp would be included.

This made me think of a story I heard once where the bride had let her mom believe that the ring ceremony was the actual wedding. She was afraid to tell her mom that they'd been married already. So I see where it matters to some people. Me personally, I kinda agree with some of the thoughts on this thread about the ceremony being more about the couple and some have said they'd like it to be without anyone else but who had to be there by law. Attending weddings, showers and ceremonies isn't always my favorite thing to do. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that.

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This made me think of a story I heard once where the bride had let her mom believe that the ring ceremony was the actual wedding. She was afraid to tell her mom that they'd been married already. So I see where it matters to some people. Me personally, I kinda agree with some of the thoughts on this thread about the ceremony being more about the couple and some have said they'd like it to be without anyone else but who had to be there by law. Attending weddings, showers and ceremonies isn't always my favorite thing to do. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that.

I have heard there are some who elope - to the temple. Saves a lot of wrangling and the bride and groom get what they want.

Edited by ERayR
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My wife and I had a ring ceremony after the temple sealing. We had bridesmaids, her father walked her down the isle, and pretty much everything else, minus the "I do". We did exchange rings and did pretty much everything else as if it was the actual wedding. The funny thing is that this option was not brought up once during the interview. The interview was extremely biased. The whole time I had the impression that those interviewed were putting their families perceptions about marriage above God's. Marriage in my opinion is all about the couple getting married, and not about their parents.

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My wife and I had a ring ceremony after the temple sealing. We had bridesmaids, her father walked her down the isle, and pretty much everything else, minus the "I do". We did exchange rings and did pretty much everything else as if it was the actual wedding. .

I've posted several times, when this topic has come up, about two ring ceremonies I've attended that were absolutely wonderful in that you would not know they weren't a secular wedding except for the "I do's." All of the above took place, including a reception line, the throwing of the bouquet etc etc. It was held in the cultural hall, where the walls were covered with draperies, the lights were dimmed and tiny white lights plus several lamps transformed the room with a warm glow. Circular tables with cloths and centerpieces provided seating... an aisle with white runner was provided down the center, leading to a vine covered arch... the bridesmaids and groomsmen walked down the aisle, then the dad walked the bride all bedecked in her bridal gown... and the couple exchanged rings with some simple words, the groom kissed the bride... Everyone was happy, even the non-member family.

A lovely buffet dinner was provided with music/dancing... having seen these lovely events, it is my opinion that anyone who still feels "left out" is not being reasonable.

GG

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about two ring ceremonies I've attended that were absolutely wonderful in that you would not know they weren't a secular wedding except for the "I do's."
Unfortunately this is actually against the handbook guidelines. Apparently happens quite a bit so that members think it is perfectly okay, but the guidelines say that nothing should be done to make it appear as if there is a wedding ceremony taking place or even something close. A simple ring exchange without an exchange of vows is recommended as the only ceremony. Edited by calmoriah
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Unfortunately this is actually against the handbook guidelines. Apparently happens quite a bit so that members think it is perfectly okay, but the guidelines say that nothing should be done to make it appear as if there is a wedding ceremony taking place or even something close. A simple ring exchange without an exchange of vows is recommended as the only ceremony.

Cal... when the couples exchanged rings, they didn't say any type of "vow"... in fact the bishop simply stated that they would now exchange rings... and they did so... followed by a quick kiss. Everyone applauded.

But I do think the rest of the activities such as the bridesmaids etc go far in reducing the feelings of exclusion of non-member families. IMO the Church should welcome this not only for families, but it gives the bride and groom a chance to have a activity with their families and friends. To me it's a plus.

GG

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Cal... when the couples exchanged rings, they didn't say any type of "vow"... in fact the bishop simply stated that they would now exchange rings... and they did so... followed by a quick kiss. Everyone applauded.

But I do think the rest of the activities such as the bridesmaids etc go far in reducing the feelings of exclusion of non-member families. IMO the Church should welcome this not only for families, but it gives the bride and groom a chance to have a activity with their families and friends. To me it's a plus.

GG

I personally don't have a problem with this, but I think the guidelines are clear that if one includes all the ceremony save for the "I do's" then it becomes a problem. It seems that even having a bishop there to pronounce it is time to exchange rings goes further than the guidebook suggests is appropriate as it gives the ceremony an official nature. The idea that there is a secular ceremony as well as the sacred ceremony seems to be the issue, they seem to me to want to limit that ceremony to the bare minimal of a ring exchange though I would assume that various speeches by family members and friends wouldn't be an issue as though aren't really ceremonial, rather they are tradition attached to the dinner side of things from what I've observed, not the wedding itself. Sorry don't have the direct quote to offer.

I personally hate the western style of wedding ceremony, but would be happy to see versions of it being allowed for nonmembers to participate in if they were held on not days after the temple sealing (I personally think that having anything more than a small casual gathering on the day or of the day after the temple experience detracts from the experience itself due to worry and concern about the following extravaganza; I think the temple day should be devoted to the temple and that there should be enough space between that and any other activity so that no one has to worry about doing anything but the temple that day, including worrying about anything else). Given the way things are currently set up, I understand why the Church has tried to discourage the ceremonial aspects not associated with the temple since generally they are happening so close to the temple ceremony itself that it does distract and even at times seems to displace the temple.

Edited by calmoriah
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Cal... when the couples exchanged rings, they didn't say any type of "vow"... in fact the bishop simply stated that they would now exchange rings... and they did so... followed by a quick kiss. Everyone applauded.

But I do think the rest of the activities such as the bridesmaids etc go far in reducing the feelings of exclusion of non-member families. IMO the Church should welcome this not only for families, but it gives the bride and groom a chance to have a activity with their families and friends. To me it's a plus.

GG

Garden Girl, your words here are so welcome and refreshing!

My heart has ached for non-member relatives who have been excluded from their close family's temple weddings. I too, as a non-Mormon have been excluded but my own connections have not been immediate family. The close friends and extended family who have been married in the Temple have expressed sorrow to me that I couldn't attend the actual wedding. And given our close relationship, I know their regret was genuine!

Hearing you say that you appreciate the idea of creating a celebratory and inclusive experience for family and friends not able to enter the Temple is music to my ears.

I can understand there can only be one actual wedding service, but having a lovely and meaningful ceremony for others who love the couple (both for the sake of relatives and friends and for the couple themselves) must surely be a very good thing!

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I would love to see a ceremony 'invented' that celebrated the social/community side of the marriage, the extended family and friends' support of the new nuclear family. Family and friends could be the ones making vows to the couple, the couple could be making vows to their community as well.

I don't see a problem with meaningful ceremonies in and of themselves, the problem is with ones that are similar enough to a western wedding ceremony as to be seen as overlapping with or even displacing in importance the temple ceremony.

Edited by calmoriah
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