Temple Sealing Cancellation Question


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New user here-- hoping to get some "feel" for how this might go before the Church is contacted about it:

A woman of my acquaintance was married/sealed in the temple to her first husband who died, leaving her a widow. She wishes to re-marry an active LDS man who has never married before and therefore has a strong motivation to marry in the temple and be sealed. There was behavior in her first marriage that could justify a sealing cancellation, but she is very loyal to the first husband.

The question is this: If she were to request sealing cancellation from her first husband to marry the second in the temple, could the children of the first marriage re-seal her to the first husband after they have all passed away, given that they were married at the time of his death and never divorced. So in essence she would technically be sealed to two men after hers and their deaths, which is allowed by Church policy, although it's commonly believed she won't have both husbands in the next life- it just gives them a right to choose between them.

In other words once a sealing is cancelled, can a person be re-sealed to that person after death if they were never divorced?

Also, regarding the form for sealing cancellation, does anyone know if the family members of the deceased are consulted, or is it just a private matter between the surviving spouse and the Church?

Thanks

Edited by Lapterces
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From CHI 1, 3.6.1 Sealing of Deceased Members

Deceased Men. A deceased man may have sealed to him all women to whom he was legally married during his life if they are deceased or if they are living and are not sealed to another man.

This seems to indicate that what you are suggesting above would be OK (seeing as you indicated that the woman's children would perform this sealing AFTER she was deceased).

Deceased Women. A deceased woman may be sealed to all men to whom she was legally married during her life. However, if she was sealed to a husband during her life, all her husbands must be deceased before she may be sealed to a husband to whom she was not sealed during life. This includes former husbands from whom she was divorced.

This also seems to indicate that it would be OK. By that I mean it doesn't state the circumstance you explained (cancelling a sealing) as an exception. The last sentence indicates that even if divorced, sealings of deceased couples that were married can happen, so it's only the "Once a sealing is cancelled..." part of your question that could add a spanner in the works.

The sealing policies sure seem to be a tough manage for widows, especially young widows still at ages where child-bearing is feasible, but had a marriage relationship where both husband and wife were happy and faithful to the covenant. They need to have the sealing cancelled to have another temple sealing (which a lot of men who are looking to get married and have children sealed to them will want). It's good to know Heavenly Father can be perfectly just, fair, merciful, and loving when all is said and done.

As stated, sealings are (generally) not cancelled unless one of the parties is going to be sealed to somebody else.

Interesting scenario in the OP, though. Even if, administratively speaking, it's possible, it seems like something one would want to make the subject of careful consideration and prayer. If it were me, I'd be consulting this with the Stake President and Temple President. Even those well-versed in Family History (consultants, High Priest Group Leader) and that have long family histories in the church may have come across similar situations in their own work and could then advise as to whether this is possible.

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The practice of the Church is to seal a deceased woman to any and all of the men to whom she was married (assuming all of the husbands are also deceased). It is a blanket policy and carries no implications, so far as I can tell, as to whom she will be sealed for eternity.

Two examples:

My grandmother was sealed to my grandfather. After he passed away, she remarried for time only. She has since passed. After the second husband passes away, a sealing ordinance will be performed for the two of them.

My mother was sealed to another man prior to meeting my father. That sealing was cancelled and my parents were sealed before I was born. They have been married for over 30 years now, and the prior husband is remarried and sealed. Regardless, when all of the parties involved have passed away, my mother will eventually be sealed to the first husband again, even though it was cancelled during mortality.

It's just what we do because we don't know enough about eternity to do any better.

As for your friend, I doubt there will be much hang up in cancelling her sealing so she can pursue a sealing with her prospective husband. Especially if he has not been previously sealed. I believe the Church's attitude on such things is to rule in favor of the living.

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...I believe the Church's attitude on such things is to rule in favor of the living.

I was going to suggest, instead of cancelling the sealing to her first husband and then do a re-sealing after all involved have died. Why not marry the second husband for time and then when the woman and 2nd husband have passed on, do a proxy sealing for them? Wasn't this policy created for just such an occasion? Why mess with the first sealing when all things can be dealt with by proxy later?

M.

Edited by Maureen
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I was going to suggest, instead of cancelling the sealing to her first husband and then do a re-sealing after all involved have died. Why not marry the second husband for time and then when the woman and 2nd husband have passed on, do a proxy sealing for them? Wasn't this policy created for just such an occasion? Why mess with the first sealing when all things can be dealt with by proxy later?

M.

In the circumstances provided in the original post, the prospective husband has not previously been sealed. I think most would prefer that he be sealed in this life and enjoy the benefits the sealing covenant has to offer while still in mortality. Afterall, this is the part in which those benefits are most helpful.

If he had been previously sealed, I might feel differently about it. Actually, I wouldn't care if he'd been previously sealed. Let the couple do whatever they want in that case. But in these circumstances, I believe the sealing would be of more benefit to the living than to the deceased.

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...I think most would prefer that he be sealed in this life and enjoy the benefits the sealing covenant has to offer while still in mortality. Afterall, this is the part in which those benefits are most helpful....

MOE, could you tell me what kind of benefits people receive while alive that have been sealed?

M.

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MOE, could you tell me what kind of benefits people receive while alive that have been sealed?

M.

This is a long answer without much concrete evidence behind it. Bear with me:

We commonly talk here about the two priesthoods--the Aaronic and the Melchizedek. We talk of those as "the two" priesthoods because of a revelation given in 1835. "There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood." (D&C 107:1). However, in 1843, Joseph Smith spoke of "three grand orders" of the priesthood. These were the Aaronic, Melchizedek, and the patriarchal (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sec. 6, pp. 322–23). A common interpretation is that this patriarchal priesthood is the priesthood spoken of in D&C 131, "in order to obtain the highest [degree of glory], a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]." (verse 2).

What this means practically is a matter that isn't fully resolved. Some, like President Packer, claim that the patriarchal priesthood is entirely contained within the Melchizedek priesthood. But we have also heard things as recently as this past April from Elder Ballard interpretations such as "Men and women have different but equally valued roles. Just as a woman cannot conceive a child without a man, so a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood to establish an eternal family without a woman. In other words, in the eternal perspective, both the procreative power and the priesthood power are shared by husband and wife."

That's about where the evidenced based discussion ends. From here on out, you're kidn of on my own interpretations and suppositions. But for what it's worth, I believe that the patriarchal order of the priesthood is a part of the sealing ordinance. While unsealed couples are able to use the procreative powers together, only sealed couples are able to use the patriarchal priesthood to preside over and guide their families. The benefit of this priesthood, I would posit, is similar to the benefit members receive when they receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Thus, when a sealed couple upholds their covenants, I believe they have increased access to the revelation, guidance, and influence of the heavens in making decisions for and with their families.

This doesn't mean that unsealed couples don't receive such inspiration, but like the difference between being influenced by the Holy Ghost and having his constant companionship, being sealed maintains and ensures constant divine assistance within a family unit.

So that's why I think we would prefer the living couple be sealed, as they will be the ones that need the guidance and help more than the deceased party.

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MOE, could you tell me what kind of benefits people receive while alive that have been sealed?

Appending on MOE's answer, I had an elders quorum president ten or so years ago who taught me an important principle: I can enjoy the blessings of my eternal marriage NOW, not just after I die. If my wife and I are living worthy of our covenants, the blessings of peace, the joy of the Spirit, and the increased love and perceptiveness inherent in an eternally sealed union can be ours in mortality, immediately, today. I don't believe I had ever thought about it in that sense, but I have since found it to be true on occasion. I have no doubt that as I learn to discipline myself to live my covenants better, I will enjoy these blessings more and more frequently.

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MOE, could you tell me what kind of benefits people receive while alive that have been sealed?

M.

I think I have a different level of perspective than I would if I wasn't sealed. I've made covenants on an eternal level. That makes me want to make our marriage happy. It makes me want to work through problems and hard times and financial difficulties. For me personally (knowing my personality and the specific struggles I have in life), I think that if I were married only civilly, it would be a lot easier to have divorce as an option in the far back reaches of my mind. I know that I would be less motivated to work things out, and stick with my marriage when things get hard, if I didn't know that I'd have eternal consequences tied to my decisions and actions. I work harder at making my marriage happier because I know that it can last forever, and I want it to.

That was kind-of rambly...sorry if it didn't really make a ton of sense.

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Why mess with the first sealing when all things can be dealt with by proxy later?

That makes sense, but if there are potential new offspring, they would be sealed (BIC) to the dead husband in that case.

I can see why favoring the living makes sense, the dead can't complain.

what kind of benefits people receive while alive that have been sealed?

Children are BIC

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had 2 missionary companions who's parents were in this situation.

Person A) His parents and 4 siblings. Mom was sealed to another person who died later. The oldest sibling is the first husband's. A's mother got remarried and sealed to the 2nd husband the first husband's kid was only sealed to the biological dad and mom.

Person B ) Companion's mom's husband (was sealed to him) died about a month after marriage. She was pregnant with his kid. She remarried and was sealed to her 2nd husband. Each kid, including the one from the 1st husband, was sealed to the 2nd husband.

In other words, regardless of any advice and answer you may get in here, you will need to talk with your Bishop, Stake President, and Temple President. As you can see, we never know what happens with these circumstances. Many people wouldn't guess that B's half-sibling would be sealed to the 2nd husband instead of the biological father since the 2nd and his wife have other kids together.

The Bishop is entitled to receive revelation, to a degree, for your situation because he is the presiding judge in Israel in your ward boundary.

The Stake President because he holds the keys over the temple. Yes that's correct, it is the Stake President who holds the keys over the temple, not the Temple President.

The Temple President because he holds the keys over the temple ordinances that go on inside the temple.

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  • 2 weeks later...

ApexViper is right. Only your direct priesthood authorities can advise on exactly what is available given the unique circumstances.

However, I didn't see anyone has commented yet on the children from the first marriage. There is no reason to have them re-sealed. The cancellation of the parents does not affect the sealings of the children.

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  • 9 years later...

Just want to throw in my thoughts. I’m at an age where dating widows is common. I’ve always been a member (8yrsold) but never active until a year ago. I won’t say my story but suffice it to say… I’m am now in all humility taking the Temple Prep course. 
Because I dated a few eternally seal widows and learned more about the Temple and sealing’s I decided with my carnal mind that I would not date (eternally sealed widows). If I could do well and be endowed then I wanted my Wife just to be sealed to me. Also, I haven’t really dated to much in my Gospel journey because “I’m working to be what I want”. If I meet a woman and we want to move forward then I need to rework myself and repent of past deeds now.  I don’t want to grow in the Gospel because she wants me to, I am building my own foundation in the Gospel for myself, now, doing my best. So if she comes along, I can present myself to her. We Marry. Our foundations are sealed, and we work on our new foundation together. Now I think, as long as, I’m confident our Kids will seal us after we pass, let her stay sealed to him. He is a Son of God. If we have the Love of Christ there, the millennium right? We will have such deep Love for everyone there, that I likely might encourage her to pick him for Love’s sake. What if he has been taking all the classes available in death and changed? So and if I can change myself, repent, receive grace and make it there. I will have time to court other women if she does not choose me? Let her choose! Who wants to be with someone that doesn’t choose you? It seems to me that many people will not choose their eternally seal companion, when they see all their whole life’s doings? I only have a little studying but if we all Love like Christ there then we won’t look at it like we do here. I will add though in honesty that I would feel better if she canceled her sealing to him here because of my carnal mind, which I’m working on. How Lovely it would be me and her? I’m embarrassed to admit I think my marital thoughts and behaviors would be better if I felt that it was just me and her on our team, and there wasn’t another player on the sideline waiting to try to take her away😳Anyway there’s my .02 cents.

P.S. please note that I am pretty proud of what I’m doing now. I read this back and I’m concerned some might think me prideful. I’m not, in fact I am embarrassed that it has taken me this long and look up to people who grabbed ahold early and lived righteous proper lives. I have not. Alcohol addiction, morality and a desire to live a “fun” life have put me in a perilous position of catch up. And, inability to forgive myself. I’ve been to the Bishop and he gave me my limited use recommend and I did what I understood to be repentant, but can’t forgive myself for the pain I caused our Savior. I am Thankful for Him though!!! I have people like y’all to Thank for reaching out.

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25 minutes ago, Striving to be like Him said:

Just want to throw in my thoughts. I’m at an age where dating widows is common. I’ve always been a member (8yrsold) but never active until a year ago. I won’t say my story but suffice it to say… I’m am now in all humility taking the Temple Prep course. 
Because I dated a few eternally seal widows and learned more about the Temple and sealing’s I decided with my carnal mind that I would not date (eternally sealed widows). If I could do well and be endowed then I wanted my Wife just to be sealed to me. Also, I haven’t really dated to much in my Gospel journey because “I’m working to be what I want”. If I meet a woman and we want to move forward then I need to rework myself and repent of past deeds now.  I don’t want to grow in the Gospel because she wants me to, I am building my own foundation in the Gospel for myself, now, doing my best. So if she comes along, I can present myself to her. We Marry. Our foundations are sealed, and we work on our new foundation together. Now I think, as long as, I’m confident our Kids will seal us after we pass, let her stay sealed to him. He is a Son of God. If we have the Love of Christ there, the millennium right? We will have such deep Love for everyone there, that I likely might encourage her to pick him for Love’s sake. What if he has been taking all the classes available in death and changed? So and if I can change myself, repent, receive grace and make it there. I will have time to court other women if she does not choose me? Let her choose! Who wants to be with someone that doesn’t choose you? It seems to me that many people will not choose their eternally seal companion, when they see all their whole life’s doings? I only have a little studying but if we all Love like Christ there then we won’t look at it like we do here. I will add though in honesty that I would feel better if she canceled her sealing to him here because of my carnal mind, which I’m working on. How Lovely it would be me and her? I’m embarrassed to admit I think my marital thoughts and behaviors would be better if I felt that it was just me and her on our team, and there wasn’t another player on the sideline waiting to try to take her away😳Anyway there’s my .02 cents.

P.S. please note that I am pretty proud of what I’m doing now. I read this back and I’m concerned some might think me prideful. I’m not, in fact I am embarrassed that it has taken me this long and look up to people who grabbed ahold early and lived righteous proper lives. I have not. Alcohol addiction, morality and a desire to live a “fun” life have put me in a perilous position of catch up. And, inability to forgive myself. I’ve been to the Bishop and he gave me my limited use recommend and I did what I understood to be repentant, but can’t forgive myself for the pain I caused our Savior. I am Thankful for Him though!!! I have people like y’all to Thank for reaching out.

Thank you for your thoughts.  I hope some day you can forgive yourself. That is the thing to work on as hard as it can be.    

Also, welcome to the forum.

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