Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Non Temple Royal Wedding

As the world prepares for this momentous occasion I would like to state for the record that I feel sorry for Kate and William.  Based on the title of this post you are probably thinking that I feel sorry for them because as non church members they are having a civil marriage as opposed to getting married in the temple.  Nothing however could be further from the truth.  You see, according to British law all weddings must take place in a public place, therefore all British saints marry first in a chapel where non member family and friends can attend and at some point (usually shortly) thereafter they go to a temple to be sealed.  Thus there are two separate parts to a typical “Mormon” wedding in Britain that do not necessarily exist in other parts of the world.  I feel sorry for the royal couple because they will not be following their civil wedding with a temple sealing ceremony.  This means that their marriage will be for this life only and they will have no claim on each other in the world to come. 

Here in the United States we have the freedom to get both married and sealed in the temple and have no need for civil ‘till death do us part’ ceremonies.  In fact in the church we highly discourage such ceremonies. 

I had a couple come to me a few weeks ago where the bride to be was a fairly new convert whose non member parents wanted to attend their wedding.  I explained that in the church we marry in the temple.  If a couple chooses to disobey this counsel and proceed with a civil marriage there will be two consequences.  First, not all but many of their peers and fellow ward members will assume that they committed a sin together which prevented them from having a temple wedding.  And second (unlike in the UK), they will be forced to wait a whole year before they can be sealed even though they may be active and worthy temple recommend holders.  I explained that this policy is specifically in place to discourage couples from the temptation of having civil weddings where their non LDS friends and family can attend. 

I further warned them that during the time that they are only married according to civil law if one of them dies their marriage will have no effect in the afterlife.  I also explained that any children born before a sealing ceremony takes place will not be born 'in the covenant' which means that they will have no claim on them either.  To clarify my point I quoted from former Church President Joseph Fielding Smith who said "Unless young people who marry outside the temple speedily repent (this statement in and of itself indicates that marrying outside the temple is a sin), they cut themselves off from exaltation in the celestial kingdom of God. If they should prove themselves worthy, notwithstanding that great error, to enter into the celestial kingdom, they go in that kingdom as servants.  When they marry outside of the temple, they cut themselves off. If they are content with that kind of marriage outside, when they come forth in the resurrection, they have no claim upon each other, or their children upon them, and there will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Fortunately after counseling with me this good couple made the right decision and decided to proceed with a temple marriage.  When the parents were informed of this the father immediately made an appointment to come and see me. He told me of how he had always dreamed of walking his only daughter down the aisle.  I explained to him that we do not do this in the temples of the Lord.  He was very respectful and asked if he could at least attend the wedding ceremony.  I explained that due to the sacred nature of temples he would have to be a member in good standing to attend.  He then surprised me by asking if he could join the church.  I confirmed that he was most welcome to join and we would be honored to have him amongst us.  He then asked if that would enable him to be in the temple on that special day.  I explained to him that as a new member he most certainly could be in the temple on that day but would be restricted to performing ordinances with regards to baptisms for the dead.  He would have to wait a whole year until he could attend a marriage/sealing ceremony.  He said that the wedding was in three months and asked if the rules could be bent a little in this case.  I explained that one year was the time required and that I had no authority to change that policy. 

Knowing him to be a man of great wealth I thought about suggesting that the wedding take place in England where both a civil marriage and a temple sealing could take place.  That thought quickly left and a strong spiritual prompting came to me; I looked him in the eye and explained that he could arrange to see his daughter and son in law sealed to each other on behalf of his very own ancestors in a year’s time if he was worthy to enter the temple.  This would basically be a re-enactment of the ceremony he would have missed; so in the long run he wouldn’t really be missing out at all.  

Funnily enough he didn’t seem too happy with this idea but asked just what he would have to do to be considered ‘worthy’ to participate in such a ceremony in the future.  I explained that he would have to sustain (support and obey) church leaders from the top down to the local level.  He wouldn’t be able to partake of tea, coffee, tobacco or any alcoholic beverages and he would have to donate 10% of his income to the church as per the law of tithing.

At this point something very strange happened.  He just got up and left my office without a word.  I think in his mind he had resolved to comply with all the requirements specified and I assume he went to tell his wife that this is what they needed to do. 

From this experience we can see that the spirit works in marvelous ways upon the hearts of the children of men.  We also learn from this that the Lord truly does provide constant opportunities for missionary work if we will but listen to the spirit.

35 comments:

Lady Mildred Mickey of St. Mary's Circle said...

Oh the heartbreak..... he could have been my dad. I wish I'd gone to Britain to get married.

That is correct... the temple sealing is much the same a year later when doing vicarious work for the dead... usually the sealer just talks really fast so they can get even more people sealed together without spending too much time. It doesn't take away from the spirit at all..........

Bjorge Queen said...

A lot of the time, people who are antiMormon or apostate complain how they don't get to see their loved ones marry. "Oh, poor me. This was such a hard day for me. I cried all day." This is silly. The church allows anybody who wants to be Mormon to be Mormon. Whether or not to accept these saving ordinances is a choice. Some people choose to be with their loved ones when they die while others choose to go to separate gated commuities with no contact orders. God is kind that he allows some of the lucky ones to be servants to those who are more righteous. It's sad for the people in Britain that their civil laws make them have a degrading civil ceremony first. Maybe some day God will bless them the way he has the United States. But certainly, God will not be mocked by those who fly to other countries to have their fancy and "of the world" all inclusive civil weddings with their flowers and rings and dresses and music and celebration and laughture instead of doing things the right way as god hath commanded.

Mr. Smith said...

Just an honest question here.

President:

How many members, as a percentage of total members (active or not), of your Stake do you think would ultimately land in the highest level in the celestial kingdom? Not including those under the age of 8.

I'm not trying to trap you, and I understand that ultimately the Lord will decide, but in your opinion, what percentage will make it?

Cindy said...

I didn't know that in England you can't get married in the Temple. I agree with Bjorge Queen that's just so sad. Would people actually go to England just to have a civil marriage before their sealing? The 12th article of faith says that we believe in "honoring, and sustaining the law", how can trying to get out of the law of your own country really be honest?

Cognitive Dissenter said...

I'm so glad I was not allowed to attend my only daughter's temple wedding. It was truly a blessing for both of us.

Two reasons: (1) I would have been furious to have to watch her make polygamous covenants, i.e. "the new and everlasting covenant of polygamy"; and (2) She was so upset about her best friend/mother being excluded from an event we had both looked forward to -- it was a huge catalyst that drove her out of the fucking cult. She saw the light. Thanks to the Assholes of the Lord.

Amen and Amen. Keep up the good work, Bretherrrn.

(Sister P ) Lady Mildred Mickey of St. Mary's Circle said...

Cognitive Dissenter... AMEN sister!

(I love your blog too and can't figure out how to follow it without my real name showing up)

Brigham Taft Pratt said...

Cognitive Dissenter is clearly an anti trying to disturb the peace of this blog. As an active member of the church, I reach out to you Cognitive Dissenter. It is clear that you have been offended. You shouldn't let little things like this get to you; just look at what a disagreement over borrowed cream did to Thomas B. Marsh and his wife!! You need to remember that if you have a problem with the church, you are the problem. It is never right to criticize the church or church leaders. Giving in to the trappings of offense and sinful behavior should be avoided at all costs. One of my inspired leaders counseled against both by warning my young men's quorum to "not sweat the petty things and not pet the sweaty things." It is a simple line, but it helps me avoid offense and other things. I hope this helps.

As far as William and Kate go, I am really sad that they will only be together until death because they seem like such a happy and nice couple. If you were to just see them on the street without knowing who they were, you would probably even guess that they were LDS (happy, modest, etc). If only they would just pick up the Book of Mormon and read it.....

Bjorge Queen said...

Sister P, I had the same problem. You have to go into "my account" and then "blogger settings". Be sure to uncheck "show my real name" and change your "display name" to what you want it to be.

Macha said...

Well it makes perfect sense really. If you really care about your loved ones, you'll be doing what you have to do to be with them for eternity, and then you'd be able to be there for this short and standardized ceremony.

J Hume said...

We learned in General Conference that payment of tithing is an effective form of divorce-insurance, so perhaps The Royal Couple might want to pay tithing. They have plenty of money, so it's no problem to pay, and I'm sure they'd both like to avoid divorce.

~Clint~ said...

By strict interpretation of D&C 132, I doubt any of them will get to the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. It clearly states that there is only one person on the earth at time who can perform the sealing ordinance.

It is says that person is Joseph Smith for the "Last Days", but even if you consider the keys to have passed to President Monson, I highly doubt anyone in the Stake Presidents ward was "sealed" by him, or a previous President of the Church.

Please let me know if my interpretation of D&C 132 is off President?

Sweetie said...

None of my family got to come to my temple marriage as a new convert. And nobody seemed to care either. But I did go into shock in the endowment & that naked part!

Sweetie said...

Who went back for that naked part??

Oh, pres... I remember, you & Boyd did often!

It takes a special person (or something else) to do that, don't you agree?

Catherine Pillinger said...

>>>suggesting that the wedding take place in England where both a civil marriage and a temple sealing could take place.<<< But wouldn't the civil ceremony still be a quiet little dud of a ceremony? The last time I attended an LDS civil ceremony they weren't "allowed" to take it over the top, lest it appear more desireable than the crown-of-all-ceremonies in the temple. Have the rules changed on how a civil ceremony is allowed to take place? I'd be interested to know...

Stake Pres. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GraceAlone71 said...

Wow I'm so thankful to don't belong to this legalistic religion anymore. It's fulfilled with self-righteous men who believe they're gods in embryo, who think with this false priesthood they can band parents from witnessing their children's wedding.

Marriage as we think of it was for this life only, yet God has promised that all who follow him will be reunited with their loved ones. William and Kate will see each other again in the afterlife, if they're followers of Jesus Christ.

When you get down to it Mormonism is and will always be about two things godhood and sex, and this article proves it. It teaches men must be sealed in the temples to be exalted to a god, with godhood comes the creation of spirit children with their goddess wife/wives.
Sick, sick, sick.

nynor said...

after reading half a dozen of these 'blogs' i am struck with the feeling that this guy is mocking the LDS faith. this level of tripe just cannot be real.

keep it up, paternoster, 'tis amuzing as can be.

LorenzoBWC said...

great new hair president! im sure your stake as well as your Efollowers are very excited with that new development

Stake Pres. said...

GraceAlone71 Mormonism is not all about sex and Godhood. We, as Saints of the most high suppress all sexual desires before marriage and are careful in our use of the power of procreation thereafter. Please return to the fold.

Nynor there is nothing amusing about this blog. I am trying to bring souls such as GraceAlone71 back to the fold and am enjoying great success.

LorenzoBWC I am glad you like the new hair style. We all need a new look now and then.

Catherine Pillinger said...

Wow President... I must say you look very much like President Bill Clinton more and more these days! Have you done your genealogy and found out if you are related?

Stake Pres. said...

Sister Pillinger I have completed my genealogy all the way back to Adam. Bill and I are closely related.

BShinozaki05/21/2011 said...

President, I appreciated the spirit and the insight this article has brought light to me. I dated my fiancé long distance with integrity of respect for a year and a half and started investigating shortly after starting to take her to her ward when she moved to my city last April to be at my younger brother's memorial and started attending the oil painting apprenticeship I'd graduated from and started working wor me at my portrait art kiosk. We were blessed to find an apt for her to move into very close to the school, the YSA ward, as well as my condo she will move into after we're married.

I was baptized into the church last July and have truly enjoyed the spiritual growth and increased personal growth through all the sweet community, my callings and attending ward and church events and I am helping three friends investigate this church I love.

Last September when my parents and sister were in town, shortly after my 31st birthday and our 2nd anniversary and after getting permission from her parents, I proposed to her and to my delight she happily accepted. I am so excited and motivated to hold to the rod and create a close and obedient family with the love of my life. In our ward 9 couples after us have also gotten engaged.

Today as I was researching about how to complete my vows to her for Saturday I started to understand more clearly why pre- Temple civil marriage is discouraged although our bishop was converted like me just before his marriage and received the sealing ordinance to his wife a year after which is our plan.

If I'd come to this talk sooner I may have thought to wait a couple more months to show my desire to be perfect and truly sanctify the greatest way we could be married in this dispensation which is for eternity in a Temple and not settle for just a civil wedding on a golf course though it will be by a Bishop with an approval letter from the church headquarters our bishop helped to be issued. To more strongly compell my non-member parents and her inactive parents and non-member step father to soften their hearts and necks to want to join the church sooner.

Still I am very determined to help share the restored perfect Plan of Salvation, the healing Atonement and restored Gospel with my parents so that they may fly in again to join us when we are finally sealed thee soonest after a year it would be possible. I hope this comment wasn't too long. I am so grateful!

The most correct answers said...

Question: Are we to be concerned about the inverted pentagrams displayed all over Temple Square?

answer: no

mormonansweredman.com

Anonymous said...

"If they should prove themselves worthy, notwithstanding that great error, to enter into the celestial kingdom, they go in that kingdom as **SERVANTS**."

I find it interesting that a god can cause intelligences to be created from matter unorganized, create our universe, cause plants to grow, make humans, design and sow cloths for Adam and Eve, and yet can't get off his lazy ass to get a glass of pure grape juice?!

Anonymous said...

While I most certainly agree to always follow the commandments I don't believe in ruling by fear.

"First, not all but many of their peers and fellow ward members will assume that they committed a sin together which prevented them from having a temple wedding"

I find this very sad and troubling that this is a consequence you concern them with. It is not our duty to judge our brothers and sisters. This should not be used as a way to encourage temple marriage. This only encourages paranoia and mistrust in an environment where every person should feel love and acceptance.

I abhor how you made it seem that there was no hope for them in the after life. God is all mercy and love. That is what sealing for the dead is for. I feel you have persuaded this couple with fear not hope and that is not the way of the Lord.

My bishop and now stake president is a master at bringing ward members into peaceful and hopeful understanding of church principles they are struggling with. He never uses negativity or fear. Several of our ward members including myself began our married life with a civil marriage. When we told him our decision, he was disappointed but he explained he how temple marriage ultimate brought our happiness and asked if we would still work with him after we got married. He didn't by any means try to scare us into getting sealed nor did cheapen our special day by shaming us for not getting married in the temple. He married us in a beautiful ceremony and made the whole day magical.

Later as we began working with him he made a comment if we thought our "civil marriage was wonderful wait until our temple sealing" And boy was he right! That year and a half we prepared I felt and understanding and love for the gospel that I had never come close to through how much I love my husband. If he had taken your approach, my road back to church would have been much more turbulent or, heaven forbid, never happened.

It reminds of my favorite painting of the Lord when he is knocking on the without a knob. He isn't kicking down the door or trying push his way in with fearful threats. He is waiting patiently and gently for us to let him in.

You are there to guide members, not to force them on the righteous path. Which I get that feeling from your entire blog. I feel the very act of having this blog is self conceited and narcissistic. I have not read a post where you haven't given yourself an ole' slap on the back for a job well done.

Disgusted of Bilayati. said...

There is of course a very good reason why, in Britain, marriages have to be in a public place. An important part of the ceremony is when the minister, or the registrar (in civil ceremonies)asks if anyone present, 'know of any just cause or impediment why the two persons might not be joined in matrimony'. That is the moment when, should either of them already be married to someone else, or they be brother and sister,or some other objection exist,a public-spirited person could step forward and stop the ceremony taking place. Had America have had that system it might have stood in the way of Joseph Smith taking other men's wives. The whole dreadful epoch of polygamy might have been avoided. This is just another reason, in addition to the point about non-member relatives being excluded from temple weddings, why the law in Britain should remain as it is.Temple marriages where parents of the bride or groom can be excluded are no marriage ceremony at all. They are a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

This whole thread is bizarre to me, especially because William and Kate are CATHOLIC and were married in a Catholic church. Why it is the business of leaders of the Mormon church is beyond me. Tolerance is a virtue many of you could work on.

Anonymous said...

This is the most unkind and judgmental article I have ever read. Please put more thought into your blogs before posting them especially if you are saying these things as a stake president. Ultimately the decision to whom, when, where is between the couple. They shouldn't care whether or not people are judging them for past mistakes. You are cutting out the entire point of the atonement and personal decisions. The one year probationary period is a random number that the church picked. The Stake President and bishop should proceed with the spirit in telling them what is best for the couple. As for temple sealing before a civil ceremony, this should be decided between the couple. If it is important enough to you to have your family there that can't be there for the temple, then that's your choice. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about it. I am really ashamed when church leaders like you do not proceed with the spirit and with a Christ-like heart. I believe Jesus would welcome that couple who have true desire and intent, and you should only be there to facilitate and help that couple with whatever they choose. It is not your business to tell them what is best for them. Only to guide and direct with love and the spirit.

Anonymous said...

This is the most unkind and judgmental article I have ever read. Please put more thought into your blogs before posting them especially if you are saying these things as a stake president. Ultimately the decision to whom, when, where is between the couple. They shouldn't care whether or not people are judging them for past mistakes. You are cutting out the entire point of the atonement and personal decisions. The one year probationary period is a random number that the church picked. The Stake President and bishop should proceed with the spirit in telling them what is best for the couple. As for temple sealing before a civil ceremony, this should be decided between the couple. If it is important enough to you to have your family there that can't be there for the temple, then that's your choice. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about it. I am really ashamed when church leaders like you do not proceed with the spirit and with a Christ-like heart. I believe Jesus would welcome that couple who have true desire and intent, and you should only be there to facilitate and help that couple with whatever they choose. It is not your business to tell them what is best for them. Only to guide and direct with love and the spirit.

Anonymous said...

I think you seriously lack an understanding of God's plan for us here on this planet.

You are so wrong to tell people that getting married civilly is a temptation that needs to be avoided and that those who do get married civilly and possibly die are stuck. You of all people should recognize sealing for the dead AND that God's nature is not one of "Oh well sorry, you didn't follow my plan exactly, you're screwed". Why would I want to be close to a god like that?

I have been a member of the LDS church all my life. I was strong in the preexistence and I am strong now. My potential sealing almost lead to divorce and loss of financial and emotional backing that I can not live without.

We were recommended by the TEMPLE PRESIDENT after telling him the entirety of the situation to get married civilly first. He said that anyone who says you lose out on the blessing of an eternal marriage if you are sealed a year later is wrong. Wrong.

Jeffrey R. Holland said, "Individual adaptations have to be made as marital status and family circumstances differ. But all of us can agree on the pattern as it comes from God, and we can strive for its realization the best way we can".

Heavenly Father wants us to be eternal families. Ideally everyone could get married in the temple; but, that's not reality. Regardless, everyone is striving to realize the ideal in the best way they can.

Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father have extended the hand of grace and mercy toward each of us. Do you not understand that?

I'm disappointed. Your words are exactly the reason why my father said to me "The Mormon Church doesn't condsider me a person".

We members need to show compassion and love toward everybody, not teach them that life is bleak and that there is one way. That's just not true.

I am worthy of the temple. I did nothing wrong. My circumstances are hard and I had to make a hard decision. Seeing your words has not made this time any easier.

Think about the people around you and what they're going through. You have the freedom to say what you think, but it's kind of sad that this is actually what you think.

Sharon Burress said...

The keys of authority are the keys to delegate the power to seal.

Sharon Burress said...

Having gone to the Temple frequently and participating in all the rites, I must ask, why were you at any time, naked? I have never been naked in the Temple, except in the private, tiny cubicle in the dressing room where none could see me as I changed my clothes.

Sharon Burress said...

Having gone to the Temple frequently and participating in all the rites, I must ask, why were you at any time, naked? I have never been naked in the Temple, except in the private, tiny cubicle in the dressing room where none could see me as I changed my clothes.

Sharon Burress said...

The keys of authority are the keys to delegate the power to seal.

Sharon Burress said...

The keys of authority are the keys to delegate the power to seal.