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No more time-only marriages in the temple


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First Presidency Discontinues Time-only Marriages in the Temple

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced that time-only marriages in the temple will no longer be performed.

The discontinuance was addressed in a Monday, May 24, letter to General Authorities; General Officers; Area Seventies; stake, mission, district and temple presidents; and bishops and branch presidents.

Time-only marriages in the temple have been reserved for those who have previously been sealed to a spouse who is deceased, according to the Church’s General Handbook (see 27.3.3). They had to meet the same requirements for a temple sealing — including a valid temple recommend for living ordinances and a marriage license. A marriage in the temple for time only was not authorized for members who were in the process of seeking a cancellation of sealing or a sealing clearance, according to the handbook.

Signed by President Russell M. Nelson, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring, the letter states:

“A temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the house of the Lord. It is a holy place of worship where individuals make sacred covenants with God and receive promised blessings. These covenants and blessings are eternal in nature.

“Because of the eternal nature of the temple and the work that takes place there, it has been decided that time-only marriages in the temple will no longer be performed. In the case where a couple desires to be married civilly and where a sealing is not contemplated or possible, the couple is encouraged to invite their bishop or stake president — where it is legal — to officiate at the marriage ceremony.”

________________________

I have to agree this makes sense and I never really understood the purpose of time-only marriages. Worthy civilly married couples can still serve in the temple together and in so doing maintain a righteous sacred marriage.

Edited by JAHS
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18 minutes ago, Calm said:

Latter-day Saints don’t view chapels or rented facilities as much as sacred space as temples, in my experience...though this may be a result of my own experiences of having church in rented schools and other buildings.  I can imagine that even without believing one’s marriage is eternal, one would still want it to be seen as sacred for many of those who are religious and having that in a dedicated, sacred place rather than a chapel or gym or other building that is temporarily converted for the process might lend more of the feeling to the experience.

 I think mostly I agree about the part that the purpose of the temple is only for ordinances of an eternal nature or for those who have died. 

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I didn't even know you could do this! you could get married literally anywhere

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1 minute ago, JAHS said:

 I think mostly I agree about the part that the purpose of the temple is only for ordinances of an eternal nature or for those who have died. 

Still...it could lead to time only marriages as being seen as second class.

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14 minutes ago, Calm said:

Still...it could lead to time only marriages as being seen as second class.

They already are sort of considered second class compared to an eternal temple marriage, but no less sacred.
God sanctions all marriages. According to Jesus:
"Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Matt 19: 6)

Therefore all marriages can be considered sacred. 

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I wonder if the temple will change to sealings only, and no marriages in the future. 

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58 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

thought this happened a few years ago. I must have dreamed it. 

They disallowed time only marriages in the temple except for where both had deceased spouses iirc.  It might have been something else, but there was a limitation.

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19 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I wonder if the temple will change to sealings only, and no marriages in the future. 

I actually hope it does.

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1 hour ago, JAHS said:

They already are sort of considered second class compared to an eternal temple marriage, but no less sacred.

Which is an unfortunate problem for the couple IMO.  Marriage is hard enough without feeling even if you try your hardest, it will never be the best relationship one can have.  I hope they change to allowing all couples to be sealed while living.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Duncan said:

I didn't even know you could do this! you could get married literally anywhere

I don't think most people would. From memory the only big reference was a one-liner in Handbook 1 or something.

 

27 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I wonder if the temple will change to sealings only, and no marriages in the future. 

Marriages are a legal thing though. As long as it satisfies local requirements it's a marriage. So a sealing IS a marriage in many places (though a certificate/documents may need to be signed separately as evidence).

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealing_(Mormonism)#Civil_recognition

 

Edited by JustAnAustralian
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2 hours ago, JAHS said:

They already are sort of considered second class compared to an eternal temple marriage, but no less sacred.
God sanctions all marriages. According to Jesus:
"Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Matt 19: 6)

Therefore all marriages can be considered sacred

However, isn't it still the case that all marriages (both formal and informal, WBIC) of deceased couples are still being sealed for eternity in all temples?  The final shake-out to take place far in the future, at the Last Judgment?

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3 hours ago, Duncan said:

I didn't even know you could do this! you could get married literally anywhere

Yes, I agree. 40 years in the church with virtually every calling there is "below" the stake president or counselor, and I have never heard of this!

I feels like those who do this were pretending it was a sealing, but I don't know.   It just seems odd to me to use the facilities for purposes for which they were not designed.

But I am certainly willing to look at these feelings- not that it is even relevant to think about it at this point!

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33 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

However, isn't it still the case that all marriages (both formal and informal, WBIC) of deceased couples are still being sealed for eternity in all temples?  The final shake-out to take place far in the future, at the Last Judgment?

Now that makes sense to me for deceased couples...

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2 hours ago, JustAnAustralian said:

From memory the only big reference was a one-liner in Handbook 1 or something.

Turns out it made it into the new handbook too

"

27.3.3
Marriage in a Temple for Time Only

Marriage in a temple for time only may be performed when all of the following requirements are met:
    The man and the woman are each already sealed to a spouse who is deceased.

    The man and the woman each have a valid temple recommend and a recommend for living ordinances.

    Temple marriages are legal marriages in the country where the temple is located.

    The couple has a valid marriage license.

A marriage in the temple for time only is not authorized for members who are in the process of seeking a cancellation of sealing or a sealing clearance.
For the policy on sealing a couple who were married in the temple for time only, see 38.4.1.6."

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4 hours ago, Calm said:

Still...it could lead to time only marriages as being seen as second class.

They are, in the church.  You can get married for "time only" marriages anywhere, and eternal marriages are clearly preferred and a goal taught to the youth throughout the church.   Right?

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9 hours ago, Calm said:

I actually hope it does.

I think the writing might be on the wall, with the recent change that couples can marry outside the temple in a civil wedding and not have to wait a year before getting sealed. And with SSM being legal, maybe ramifications in the future by laws might force the church's hand to allow that, but with sealings only it could work out. And think of the families that aren't members and then could attend a wedding instead of waiting outside the door while their child is getting married. I've always felt that was terribly wrong. Only one of my siblings out of 5 was able to attend my wedding. And my dad barely made it to see me with his coffee habit. My bishop asked him to drink decaf only.  

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9 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I wonder if the temple will change to sealings only, and no marriages in the future. 

That's already the case in some countries, such as the UK, where a marriage ceremony must be open to the public in order to be legally recognized.

If this comes to the U.S., I predict it will come via enforcement of "public accommodations" and anti-discrimination statutes.  I am reminded of this story from 2014:

Quote

Govt tells Christian ministers: Perform same-sex weddings or face jail, fines
Officials threaten to punish senior citizen couple – both ordained pastors – if they decline to officiate same-sex ceremonies
Saturday, October 18, 2014

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order Friday to stop officials in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from forcing two ordained Christian ministers to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.

City officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city claims its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies now that the courts have overridden Idaho’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here – and it’s happened this quickly. The city is on seriously flawed legal ground, and our lawsuit intends to ensure that this couple’s freedom to adhere to their own faith as pastors is protected just as the First Amendment intended.”

“The government exists to protect and respect our freedoms, not attack them,” Tedesco added. “The city cannot erase these fundamental freedoms and replace them with government coercion and intolerance.”

The Hitching Post Wedding Chapel is across the street from the Kootenai County Clerk’s office, which issues marriage licenses. The Knapps, both in their 60s and who themselves have been married for 47 years, began operating the wedding chapel in 1989 as a ministry. They perform religious wedding ceremonies, which include references to God, the invocation of God’s blessing on the union, brief remarks drawn from the Bible designed to encourage the couple and help them to have a successful marriage, and more. They also provide each couple they marry with a CD that includes two sermons about marriage, and they recommend numerous Christian books on the subject. The Knapps charge a small fee for their services.

Coeur d’Alene officials told the Knapps privately and also publicly stated that the couple would violate the city’s public accommodations statute once same-sex marriage became legal in Idaho if they declined to perform a same-sex ceremony at their chapel. On Friday, the Knapps respectfully declined such a ceremony and now face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for each day they decline to perform that ceremony.

“The city somehow expects ordained pastors to flip a switch and turn off all faithfulness to their God and their vows,” explained ADF Legal Counsel Jonathan Scruggs. “The U.S. Constitution as well as federal and state law clearly stand against that. The city cannot mandate across-the-board conformity to its interpretation of a city ordinance in utter disregard for the guaranteed freedoms Americans treasure in our society.”

Virginia McNulty Robinson, one of nearly 2,500 private attorneys allied with ADF, is serving as local counsel on behalf of the Knapps in Knapp v. City of Coeur d’Alene, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.

Some observations about the above story here:

Quote

It is one of the tenets of the current movement toward gay marriage. They get to get married, Christians are forced to provide goods and services if they demand it, but — and this is the key caveat of it all — but Christian ministers will not be forced to wed gays because of their religious concerns.

That was last week. This is this week where the government of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho is forcing two Christians pastors to marry gays.
...
For the rest of us, the Knapps are Christians. They run their Hitching Post as a ministry and their weddings are religious affairs with quotes from scripture, etc.

That does not matter.

According to the state, the Knapp’s must provide gay marriages if they are to marry anyone at all.

You will be made to care. The Knapp’s will be made to care. And all the people who said this would never happen will move the goal posts.

See also here.

As John Philpot Curran put it: “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.”  And even then, religious liberty is at risk.

Thanks,

-Smac

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27 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I think the writing might be on the wall, with the recent change that couples can marry outside the temple in a civil wedding and not have to wait a year before getting sealed. And with SSM being legal, maybe ramifications in the future by laws might force the church's hand to allow that, but with sealings only it could work out. And think of the families that aren't members and then could attend a wedding instead of waiting outside the door while their child is getting married. I've always felt that was terribly wrong. Only one of my siblings out of 5 was able to attend my wedding. And my dad barely made it to see me with his coffee habit. My bishop asked him to drink decaf only.  

But then there is this scriptural restriction on who can enter the temple:

"And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it;" (D&C 97: 15)

The word "unclean" may sound harsh, but the only way to satisfy this restriction is to ensure those who enter are worthy to do so.
I don't think any civil laws are going to force anything on a religion unless it is acceptable to God. (eg. cessation of polygamy)

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26 minutes ago, smac97 said:

That's already the case in some countries, such as the UK, where a marriage ceremony must be open to the public in order to be legally recognized.

If this comes to the U.S., I predict it will come via enforcement of "public accommodations" and anti-discrimination statutes.  I am reminded of this story from 2014:

Some observations about the above story here:

See also here.

-Smac

Mostly phony story and fake news. 

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5 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

Mostly phony story and fake news. 

exactley, SSM has been legal in Canada for 15 years ish, no Bishop or Stake President have ever been jailed for not performing one

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15 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

Mostly phony story and fake news. 

How so?  

Thanks,

-Smac

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5 minutes ago, Duncan said:

exactley, SSM has been legal in Canada for 15 years ish, no Bishop or Stake President have ever been jailed for not performing one

Bishops and stake presidents don't charge a fee to officiate in a marriage ceremony.  There is no financial transaction, ergo essentially no means of using public accommodations laws and/or anti-discrimination statutes to punish bishops and stake presidents.

But there are other religious groups whose religious leaders do charge a fee.  Will the day come when they will be compelled, pursuant to public accommodations laws and/or anti-discrimination statutes, to officiate in same-sex weddings?

Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Little Sisters of the Poor.

Beto O'Rourke's threats.

The Knapps in Coeur d'Alene.

Lawfare against religious liberty is an ongoing thing.  I think we need to pay attention to these things.

Thanks,

-Smac

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