Jump to content

Slate Article On Mormon Exclusion Of Friends And Family From Marriages.


jcake

Recommended Posts

A long time ago, I was married in the temple.  Sadly, my in-laws were unable to attend, not being members.  The fact that, in many countries, civil weddings are held just prior to the sealing, and no year-long wait is imposed, tells me that this is a policy, not a doctrine.  

 

I believe it would be a kind and loving thing to allow a civil ceremony prior to a sealing.  I don't think that a civil ceremony in any way downplays the sealing.  If anything, it highlights that civil ceremonies are temporary-for this life, sealings can be for eternity, if the couple is true to their covenants.

 

Here's hoping that this policy will be reconsidered, and the heartbreak of parents not being able to see their children marry, will cease.  

 

This article in Slate may be of interest regarding this issue:

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/faithbased/2013/09/mormon_weddings_why_you_can_t_attend_your_friends_lds_wedding_but_should.html

 

 

Link to comment

One possibility is to allow a simple civil ceremony to be held in a chapel connected to the temple for all those who want to attend and then have the couple by themselves adjourn to the sealing with temple appointed witnesses.

I wonder though how long it would take for people to start being upset about not being able to dictate the form of the civil ceremony to allow for decoration of chapels, participation of bridesmaids and grooms, etc....the fairy tale wedding they or their parents always dreamed of....

Link to comment

A long time ago, I was married in the temple.  Sadly, my in-laws were unable to attend, not being members.  The fact that, in many countries, civil weddings are held just prior to the sealing, and no year-long wait is imposed, tells me that this is a policy, not a doctrine.  

 

I believe it would be a kind and loving thing to allow a civil ceremony prior to a sealing.  I don't think that a civil ceremony in any way downplays the sealing.  If anything, it highlights that civil ceremonies are temporary-for this life, sealings can be for eternity, if the couple is true to their covenants.

 

Here's hoping that this policy will be reconsidered, and the heartbreak of parents not being able to see their children marry, will cease.  

 

This article in Slate may be of interest regarding this issue:

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/faithbased/2013/09/mormon_weddings_why_you_can_t_attend_your_friends_lds_wedding_but_should.html

 

My brother made sacrifices to fly out for my wedding but he could not attend it since he's been an inactive member. But he was fine with that. I think the fact that temple sealings focus on the eternities in marriages is the primary reason why the LDS Church recently made greater efforts to discourage civil weddings in conjunction with temple sealings. The focus of God's children should be on eternal families, nothing else. As Dr. Laura used to say when she was on the radio (to paraphrase), "marriage is a covenant before God which happens to have cultural elements thrown into it. It's not a cultural event with a little God thrown into it".

Link to comment

I don't see this changing anytime soon. Nor am I all too apt to have it change. This at a time where maybe one of my 4 parents could actually go in to watch it and where maybe 1 of my brothers out of 10 siblings. It's a different set of values and beliefs and I hold no qualms having them, even if they're difficult. 

 

That said I think there's plenty of ways to make a wedding accommodating so that all can feel like they're included. I've seen a number of tasteful ways of going about it, and have been taking not for quite a while. Ironically if I were to get engaged next week the one that would have the biggest problem would be the one who has the highest likelihood of going....because she's got one thing missing. Well honestly there's a number of issues that are bound to happen at my wedding that I'm so not looking forward to (getting my family together is like preparing for an armistice). But the sealing really ain't one of them. If only because that's the one moment I can thoroughly not worry about my family and remember just exactly why I'm there and what's most important. 

 

 

 

With luv,

BD

 

Link to comment

A long time ago, I was married in the temple.  Sadly, my in-laws were unable to attend, not being members.  The fact that, in many countries, civil weddings are held just prior to the sealing, and no year-long wait is imposed, tells me that this is a policy, not a doctrine.  

 

I believe it would be a kind and loving thing to allow a civil ceremony prior to a sealing.  I don't think that a civil ceremony in any way downplays the sealing.  If anything, it highlights that civil ceremonies are temporary-for this life, sealings can be for eternity, if the couple is true to their covenants.

 

 

Why didn't you hold a civil ceremony after the temple sealing?  Why is it only acceptable in your opinion if the civil ceremony comes first?  There is nothing in church doctrine or policy that prevents a couple from holding a civil wedding ceremony after their temple sealing.  This ceremony can include exchanging of rings, I do's, walking down the aisle, bride's maids in stupid dresses, in short everything that nonmembers tend to associate with a wedding.  You could have held a civil wedding ceremony when you were married that your in-laws would have been able to attend.  You and your wife simply chose not to.

 

-guerreiro9

Link to comment

But the sealing really ain't one of them. If only because that's the one moment I can thoroughly not worry about my family and remember just exactly why I'm there and what's most important. 

 

 

 

With luv,

BD

I wish for my sake I could have elope because what I remember most about the sealing ceremony was my awareness of all the people who had come, not my actual sealing experience. That is a result of my own personality, not the behaviour of others but I wish I hadn't felt so guilty about not wanting a crowd that I would have seriously considered it an option and talked about it with my soon to be husband.
Link to comment

Why didn't you hold a civil ceremony after the temple sealing? Why is it only acceptable in your opinion if the civil ceremony comes first? There is nothing in church doctrine or policy that prevents a couple from holding a civil wedding ceremony after their temple sealing. This ceremony can include exchanging of rings, I do's, walking down the aisle, bride's maids in stupid dresses, in short everything that nonmembers tend to associate with a wedding. You could have held a civil wedding ceremony when you were married that your in-laws would have been able to attend. You and your wife simply chose not to.

-guerreiro9

Yes there is. Church policy is against it and a couple might get in trouble if they went ahead and did it after a sealing.

The Handbook says anything done must not resemble a wedding in order to not detract from the significance.

Link to comment

I know of parents who have committed to not attending the ceremony and waiting outside with the nonLDS inlaws, which I think is a wonderful gesture of love. I would do so though I doubt if I will have the opportunity.

Link to comment

Yes there is. Church policy is against it and a couple might get in trouble if they went ahead and did it after a sealing.

The Handbook says anything done must not resemble a wedding in order to not detract from the significance.

 

I stand corrected.  The Handbook says the following:

 

Exchanging Rings after a Temple Marriage

Exchanging rings is not part of the temple marriage ceremony. However, couples may exchange rings after the ceremony in the sealing room. To avoid confusion with the marriage ceremony, couples should not exchange rings at any other time or place in a temple or on temple grounds. However, after their temple marriage, a couple may exchange rings at other locations. If such an exchange is made, the circumstances should be consistent with the dignity of their temple marriage. The exchange should not appear to replicate any part of the marriage ceremony, and the couple should not exchange vows.

 

Special Meeting for Guests Who Do Not Have Temple Recommends

A couple may arrange with their bishop to hold a special meeting for relatives and friends who do not have temple recommends. This meeting provides an opportunity for those who cannot enter a temple to feel included in the marriage and to learn something of the eternal nature of the marriage covenant. The meeting may include a prayer and special music, followed by the remarks of a priesthood leader. No ceremony is performed, and no vows are exchanged.

No other marriage ceremony should be performed following a temple marriage.

 

I have been to a number of ceremonies exactly as described above including those involving members of my family.  Some of them were presided over by Bishops whom I am guessing did not consult the handbook beforehand.

 

I do think the church is being unnecessarily strict in this, but I will defer to those with more light and knowledge who put the procedures in place.  I am sure there was a good reason, but as in most things it was probably a case of the few ruining it for the many.

 

Thank you for bringing this to my attention, this could have been painful later on if I had encouraged my children to hold just such a ceremony, only to have their hopes dashed after planning had begun.

 

-guerreiro9

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
Here's hoping that this policy will be reconsidered, and the heartbreak of parents not being able to see their children marry, will cease.

 

The solution is found in the fact that the Church does not exclude anyone who take it upon themselves to meet the requirements.  No change is necessary.

Link to comment

The solution is found in the fact that the Church does not exclude anyone who take it upon themselves to meet the requirements.  No change is necessary.

 

While factually correct, this is a ridiculous oversimplification.  Yes, Grandma, you can come to my wedding... you'll just need to change you life, leave your church, join mine, pay tithing, and get endowed.  Oh, and by the way, since I'm getting married in 9 months, you need to have joined the church 3 months ago.  Hope you took care of that!

Link to comment

While factually correct, this is a ridiculous oversimplification.  Yes, Grandma, you can come to my wedding... you'll just need to change you life, leave your church, join mine, pay tithing, and get endowed.  Oh, and by the way, since I'm getting married in 9 months, you need to have joined the church 3 months ago.  Hope you took care of that!

 

Why should Grandma change anything she believes, and practices, just to please her grandchild?

Link to comment

Why? I'm not a Baptist. Why should I get the benefits of being a Baptist when I'm not?

 

The church (our church) can certainly exclude non-members and non-TR-holding members.  And it can institute policies that cause its members to exclude those people (as they did with me and my wedding).

 

But, do the Baptists prevent people who are not members of their church from attending Baptist weddings?  Does any church, other than our own, prohibit non-members from attending their weddings?

Link to comment

We certainly have rules for whom can attend a Temple marriage ceremony. OTOH a wedding at a local Ward building is much more open. You can even have the Bishop do the ceremony in his office, though obviously there is not enough space there for everyone whom might like to attend.

 

If the couple chooses to be maried in the Temple, that by definition excludes someone, and it has nothing to do with how good they are. Sealing rooms aren't all that big. I've been to non Temple weddings where there were around a hundred people. They were beautiful weddings, but obviously a hundred people aren't going to fit in a Sealing room.

 

We eloped with everyone knowing. There were just 6 people at my marriage ceremony. My fiance, Me, My Bishop, My RS president, the officiator, and a witness we grabbed from the Celestial Room. No family was there. From there we went streight back to our apartment and had a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and ginger ale. Choices have to be made. Given the circumstances, If we had to do it all over again, we'd do it the same way. The way we did it wasn't/isn't for everyone.

 

BTW. My wife and I were engaged for a year and a half. So, at least in theory, anyone whom really wanted to meet the demands could have attended.

Link to comment

The solution is found in the fact that the Church does not exclude anyone who take it upon themselves to meet the requirements.  No change is necessary.

 

While factually correct, this is a ridiculous oversimplification. 

 

Occam's Razor.

 

Yes, Grandma, you can come to my wedding... you'll just need to change you life, leave your church, join mine, pay tithing, and get endowed.

 

 

We claim to be the only true Church.  Without such a claim, the Church has no enduring value whatsoever and we become just one of the myriad masses of man made philosophies out there.

 

Oh, and by the way, since I'm getting married in 9 months, you need to have joined the church 3 months ago.  Hope you took care of that!

 

This has always been an excellent teaching situation.  Some will certainly find it to be a stumbling-block and such is the parable of the sower.  Others however, will desire to be part of and investigate.  It's all about enticement, the plan of salvation outlined in 2 Nephi 2.  If we give in to all demands and have no standards, then there is no enticement, nothing to attract people to the Gospel (which resides fully only in the LDS Church); no bitter, no sweet. 

 

Notice how the Church does NOT give in to any demands.  Plural marriage is still part of our published doctrine.  The Priesthood ban is still part of our published doctrine.  Our stance against Socialism has not changed. Our stance on feminism and women being ordained to the Priesthood has not changed. Our stance on homosexuality has not changed. Etc. All that has ever happened is the Church deftly deflecting criticism and opposition and navigating the world by emphasizing certain aspects of the doctrine meet for the times we are in.

 

Can you not see Satan's plan rearing it's head in most criticisms of the Church and the spirit killing entitlement mentality (feeling entitled to see the sealing ceremony in this case without having evidenced that one has truly come unto Christ) many people bring with them or suffer from?  Can you not see how perfect (as humanly possible) the doctrine and organization is right now and how it all dovetails with the scriptures and words of the prophets?

 

If you have not already, avail yourself of the new temple video and watch and listen carefully to how Lucifer, bleeding heart on his sleeve and with mock sacredness, entices Eve.  The Church absolutely nailed this one for the times we are in.

 

 

But, do the Baptists prevent people who are not members of their church from attending Baptist weddings?  Does any church, other than our own, prohibit non-members from attending their weddings?

 

The Church attempted a media campaign in the 90's emphasizing that we are Christians "just like you".  They quickly dropped it after finding out that people lost interest in a church that was just like any other.  There is only so much mainstreaming that can be done before we lose our ability to entice.  The most effective mainstreaming that has occurred has been the fact that our members, despite our peculiar beliefs and practices, have been able to be in the world (and not of it).

Link to comment

The church (our church) can certainly exclude non-members and non-TR-holding members. And it can institute policies that cause its members to exclude those people (as they did with me and my wedding).

But, do the Baptists prevent people who are not members of their church from attending Baptist weddings? Does any church, other than our own, prohibit non-members from attending their weddings?

Family it's about time, doesn't apply here.
Link to comment

We certainly have rules for whom can attend a Temple marriage ceremony. OTOH a wedding at a local Ward building is much more open. You can even have the Bishop do the ceremony in his office, though obviously there is not enough space there for everyone whom might like to attend.

 

If the couple chooses to be maried in the Temple, that by definition excludes someone, and it has nothing to do with how good they are. Sealing rooms aren't all that big. I've been to non Temple weddings where there were around a hundred people. They were beautiful weddings, but obviously a hundred people aren't going to fit in a Sealing room.

 

We eloped with everyone knowing. There were just 6 people at my marriage ceremony. My fiance, Me, My Bishop, My RS president, the officiator, and a witness we grabbed from the Celestial Room. No family was there. From there we went streight back to our apartment and had a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and ginger ale. Choices have to be made. Given the circumstances, If we had to do it all over again, we'd do it the same way. The way we did it wasn't/isn't for everyone.

 

BTW. My wife and I were engaged for a year and a half. So, at least in theory, anyone whom really wanted to meet the demands could have attended.

 

I'm glad that you were able to have your wedding in a way that was pleasing to you.

 

All I'm saying is that I wish we'd remove a policy that prohibits some members from doing likewise.

 

And, yeah, if you have a year & a half long engagement, it allows for people to theoretically join the church and progress towards endowment.  But, they'd also have to receive a spiritual witness first which may not be something that they can do simply because a loved one is getting married.

Link to comment

Occam's Razor.

 

 

We claim to be the only true Church.  Without such a claim, the Church has no enduring value whatsoever and we become just one of the myriad masses of man made philosophies out there.

 

 

This has always been an excellent teaching situation.  Some will certainly find it to be a stumbling-block and such is the parable of the sower.  Others however, will desire to be part of and investigate.  It's all about enticement, the plan of salvation outlined in 2 Nephi 2.  If we give in to all demands and have no standards, then there is no enticement, nothing to attract people to the Gospel (which resides fully only in the LDS Church); no bitter, no sweet. 

 

Notice how the Church does NOT give in to any demands.  Plural marriage is still part of our published doctrine.  The Priesthood ban is still part of our published doctrine.  Our stance against Socialism has not changed. Our stance on feminism and women being ordained to the Priesthood has not changed. Our stance on homosexuality has not changed. Etc. All that has ever happened is the Church deftly deflecting criticism and opposition and navigating the world by emphasizing certain aspects of the doctrine meet for the times we are in.

 

Can you not see Satan's plan rearing it's head in most criticisms of the Church and the spirit killing entitlement mentality (feeling entitled to see the sealing ceremony in this case without having evidenced that one has truly come unto Christ) many people bring with them or suffer from?  Can you not see how perfect (as humanly possible) the doctrine and organization is right now and how it all dovetails with the scriptures and words of the prophets?

 

If you have not already, avail yourself of the new temple video and watch and listen carefully to how Lucifer, bleeding heart on his sleeve and with mock sacredness, entices Eve.  The Church absolutely nailed this one for the times we are in.

 

 

The Church attempted a media campaign in the 90's emphasizing that we are Christians "just like you".  They quickly dropped it after finding out that people lost interest in a church that was just like any other.  There is only so much mainstreaming that can be done before we lose our ability to entice.  The most effective mainstreaming that has occurred has been the fact that our members, despite our peculiar beliefs and practices, have been able to be in the world (and not of it).

 

To be clear, I'm not suggesting that we let non-members or those without recommends into the temple for weddings.  Our sealing rooms aren't even big enough to accommodate that kind of event.  They are sealing rooms... for sealings... not really designed for weddings.

 

I'm suggesting that we simply remove a policy that prevents people from having a public wedding ceremony before or after their temple sealing (via the one year wait period).

 

And I appreciate your quaint view that nothing in our published doctrine has ever changed.  Enjoy that. 

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...