Midwest LDS

You no longer have to wait a year between civil marriage and temple marriage in the US

Recommended Posts

No surprise here, the church has been doing this everywhere else, but it's a nice change nonetheless. This would have made my marriage a lot easier (I have a lot of non-member family members who were moderately offended they could not attend), so I'm glad the option is now available to have a civil marriage first if need be. 

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/couples-married-civilly-authorized-for-immediate-temple-marriage

Edited by Midwest LDS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Quite possibly the beginning of the process to dissociate temple sealings from civil marriage completely.  

We live in interesting times . . .

Why would that process necessitate a beginning step?  Seems to me that if a law changed where, for example, homosexual marriages were required to be performed by any institution that performed legal marriages, then it would take about 34.7 seconds for the church to implement a new policy that temple sealings were no longer legal marriages and you had to be legally married first. It's not like if the year wait policy were in place that it would restrict them from applying the removal of the year wait as well in those 34.7 seconds.

It is interesting times, for sure. But I don't think it follows that a presumption of temple sealings no longer being legal marriages in the future ties into this change.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Why would that process necessitate a beginning step?  Seems to me that if a law changed where, for example, homosexual marriages were required to be performed by any institution that performed legal marriages, then it would take about 34.7 seconds for the church to implement a new policy that temple sealings were no longer legal marriages and you had to be legally married first. It's not like if the year wait policy were in place that it would restrict them from applying the removal of the year wait as well in those 34.7 seconds.

It is interesting times, for sure. But I don't think it follows that a presumption of temple sealings no longer being legal marriages in the future ties into this change.

I think it will wind up going further than that, and big ships turn slowly (usually).  The sealing was restored as an ordinance wholly divorced (pardon the pun) from civil marriage—we sealed lots of couples who never got civilly married at all.  Policies certainly can change quickly as a matter of administration; but we may be building towards a situation where the sealing is literally everything and the civil marriage reverts being to “just a piece of paper”—and possibly a nonessential one at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, unixknight said:

Makes sense to me.  After all, if you start of as not married at all you could always have gotten married and sealed all at once.  I never understood the need to wait a year.

Well, the way I've heard it: The church jumps for joy when two folks shacking up decide to let God into the equation and get hitched.  Our church will help just about anyone interested in getting married, regardless of whether they're members or not, don't care if you drink or smoke, etc.  

Not everyone is ready for the temple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was particularly interesting that the letter specifically mentions the scenarios "when a temple marriage would cause parents or immediate family members to feel excluded." As long as I can remember, there have been lessons with case studies and hypothetical scenarios that addressed this, and all of those lessons concluded that the "right" choice was to marry in the temple. It seems to me that, by specifically mentioning this scenario, they are saying that the right choice going forward may very well be to include those family members in the wedding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, unixknight said:

I never understood the need to wait a year.

Just out of curiosity, have you every taken the time to consider why this policy was in place? And if so did you come up with nothing? Or do you not agree with whatever reasons you came up with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

It seems to me that, by specifically mentioning this scenario, they are saying that the right choice going forward may very well be to include those family members in the wedding.

I think that's exactly what it's saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Just out of curiosity, have you every taken the time to consider why this policy was in place? And if so did you come up with nothing? Or do you not agree with whatever reasons you came up with?

I haven't spent much time with that one, no, since it has never really been relevant to my own situation.  

Just to clarify, when I say the old policy never made sense to me, that isn't intended to imply that the policy itself was flawed, only that I didn't understand it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, unixknight said:

I haven't spent much time with that one, no, since it has never really been relevant to my own situation.  

Just to clarify, when I say the old policy never made sense to me, that isn't intended to imply that the policy itself was flawed, only that I didn't understand it.

Gotchya.

I wonder if that's common (to not have thought about it much). I, myself, have considered the why of it a fair amount. As much as I can see alternative approaches, and therefore don't have a major problem with the change, I do struggle a bit with the "cheering" for the change because I felt I understood the reasons for the policy in the first place.

In short, the reasoning, in my thinking, was related to putting God before other things, and as a litmus test to show commitment to that.

That being said, I've reconciled my consternation thusly: I realized that the early pioneers, for example, had many sacrifices that were litmus tests of their faith -- such as giving up their homes, losing people to mobs or the elements as they sacrificed to come out west, etc., etc. Now that those sacrifices are no longer required it doesn't diminish the importance or value of those sacrifices. But I certainly understand the cheering for not having to walk from Nauvoo to Utah and lose children to the elements, and start over, and have 15 wives.

In short, my initial reaction to the cheering was to be annoyed. But having thought about I understand it better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have thought about it a lot and could never come up with a good reason.  Nobody from my immediate family was able to participate in my marriage.  My mom was the only active member and was unendowed.  There were some serious hard feelings that never need have happened.  I am not the only person who has been in that boat.  This will fix the majority of these issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I think I just realized something.

When I first heard t his, I was looking at it from the opposite perspective...  One of "If the couple gets married civilly, why is it necessary to wait a year to get sealed?"

But having now read up on it, I realize that it's more about separating those two steps precisely because before, an unmarried couple either had to do both at once, which left out friends and family who didn't hold recommends, or put the sealing aside for a year in order to accommodate them.

So this solves that problem by allowing the two phases to be handled separately, but without a year-long delay.  Heck, you might even be able to do both on the same day at separate venues.  Maybe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off topic question I have had for a while, but never wanted to make a whole topic on it.

This whole civil marriage and temple marriage thing has confused me when considered with the commandment to not have sexual relations before “marriage”.

What is a civil marriage and what about it allows for two people to engage in intercourse without being under condemnation?

Is it just the idea that two people are commuting to each other? That explanation could cause problems and lead to justification of this law.

Is it that a society of people acknowledge that two people are together? If this is it, does it mean if I crash land on an unknown island with a single woman, could we sleep together all we wanted because we were the only society? Or how does the different understandings of civil marriage in other countries (like in South America where no one does cause it’s too expensive but still claim to be married)?

I never understood the requirement to wait a year, nor the concept of how civil marriage satisfies the pre-req for sex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Fether said:

Off topic question I have had for a while, but never wanted to make a whole topic on it.

This whole civil marriage and temple marriage thing has confused me when considered with the commandment to not have sexual relations before “marriage”.

What is a civil marriage and what about it allows for two people to engage in intercourse without being under condemnation?

Is it just the idea that two people are commuting to each other? That explanation could cause problems and lead to justification of this law.

Is it that a society of people acknowledge that two people are together? If this is it, does it mean if I crash land on an unknown island with a single woman, could we sleep together all we wanted because we were the only society? Or how does the different understandings of civil marriage in other countries (like in South America where no one does cause it’s too expensive but still claim to be married)?

I never understood the requirement to wait a year, nor the concept of how civil marriage satisfies the pre-req for sex.

Marriage is the commitment of two people together, formalizing their vow for everyone to see: themselves, family/friends/goverement, and God.  It is something to be rejoiced in.

A sealing is a couple choosing to formally bring God into their relationship and formally committing themselves (all 3) together.  Is is something be majorly rejoiced in.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the change is nice, but nothing I'm weeping tears of joy over.

I had some questions as to the year wait. Mostly because it wasn't consistent over the world (for understandable reasons). If we in the US were learning things by waiting, what were others missing out on by not waiting? Was one getting nice benefits while the other set suffered for not waiting?

However, while I am happy for those who can have more inclusive wedding now, I also never understood the resentment and personalized pain that came from not attending someone's wedding. Could be a cultural thing, but it seemed to put undue pressure on a couple to make you happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Fether said:

Off topic question I have had for a while, but never wanted to make a whole topic on it.

This whole civil marriage and temple marriage thing has confused me when considered with the commandment to not have sexual relations before “marriage”.

What is a civil marriage and what about it allows for two people to engage in intercourse without being under condemnation?

Is it just the idea that two people are commuting to each other? That explanation could cause problems and lead to justification of this law.

Is it that a society of people acknowledge that two people are together? If this is it, does it mean if I crash land on an unknown island with a single woman, could we sleep together all we wanted because we were the only society? Or how does the different understandings of civil marriage in other countries (like in South America where no one does cause it’s too expensive but still claim to be married)?

I never understood the requirement to wait a year, nor the concept of how civil marriage satisfies the pre-req for sex.

I don't mean to offend but your questions are crazy.

Civil or legal marriage is where two people, in conjunction with the law, vow to become husband and wife. (And in some countries where SSM is legal, also spouses). The main requirements for a legal marriage are a marriage licence, valid officiant and two witnesses.

M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Fether said:

Off topic question I have had for a while, but never wanted to make a whole topic on it.

This whole civil marriage and temple marriage thing has confused me when considered with the commandment to not have sexual relations before “marriage”.

What is a civil marriage and what about it allows for two people to engage in intercourse without being under condemnation?

Is it just the idea that two people are commuting to each other? That explanation could cause problems and lead to justification of this law.

Is it that a society of people acknowledge that two people are together? If this is it, does it mean if I crash land on an unknown island with a single woman, could we sleep together all we wanted because we were the only society? Or how does the different understandings of civil marriage in other countries (like in South America where no one does cause it’s too expensive but still claim to be married)?

I never understood the requirement to wait a year, nor the concept of how civil marriage satisfies the pre-req for sex.

It's a good question.

The way I've answered it in my head, is that every culture has some mechanism for formalizing and recognizing the joining of a man and a woman to start a family.  We're used to a big, formal ceremony but yeah some cultures have little to no ceremony at all.  Two people just decide they're joined and that's it.  As long as the idea is for it to be a permanent commitment, it counts.  

It isn't the ceremony itself that satisfies the marriage requirement, it's the commitment, by whatever means are understood and accepted by the cultural context.  (So in a culture like ours where some form of ceremony is needed, it isn't enough to just live together and call it marriage... though I understand in some jurisdictions if two people live together long enough, it becomes recognized as a common law marriage.  Dunno what the Church's view is on that tho.)

Side note:  When I was a kid (raised Catholic) I often wondered about a hypothetical scenario just like the one you described, because it occurred to me that if there was no priest around to perform the ceremony, what are you supposed to do?  What if there was a worldwide cataclysm and just one man and just one woman had survived?  (There was a Twilight Zone episode of that exact scenario, IIRC staring Elizabeth Montgomery and Charles Bronson.)  What then?  Would God have to perform the ceremony?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, unixknight said:

Makes sense to me.  After all, if you start of as not married at all you could always have gotten married and sealed all at once.  I never understood the need to wait a year.

In the USA, where a Temple Marriage is legally binding, there is no need for a Civil Wedding to make it legal.  Therefore, the reasons for getting married Civilly first becomes a reason that detracts from the sanctity and meaning of the Temple ordinance.  The default of one-year wait (the rule for new converts) was, therefore, applied to give the couple a chance to reflect on the sanctity and meaning of the Temple ordinance.  Before the announcement, this default wait policy can be changed for shorter or longer depending on the Bishop and Stake President's discernment.

In places like the UK, Temple Marriage is not legally binding, therefore, a Civil Wedding by a government authority HAS to be done for it to be legal regardless of the presence or absence of a Temple Wedding.

@Jane_Doe's first reaction above - although completely understandable - is one of those reasons that detract from the sanctity and meaning of the Temple ordinance.  Although it is very good to have the support of non-temple-qualified family, those things are not necessary, nor are part, of the Temple Marriage Ordinance.  The Temple Marriage Ordinance is between the spouses and God... not their family, not even their parents.

 

Edited by anatess2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, anatess2 said:

 

@Jane_Doe's first reaction above - although completely understandable - is one of those reasons that detract from the sanctity and meaning of the Temple ordinance.  Although it is very good to have the support of non-temple-qualified family, those things are not necessary, nor are part, of the Temple Marriage.  The Temple Marriage is between the spouses and God... not their family, not even their parents.

 

For me, having things be separate better highlights: the civil marriage, marriage traditions, and the sealing.

Letting non-members be a part of the civil stuff, and then getting a the time to specifically for God and His sealing.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

For me, having things be separate better highlights: the civil marriage, marriage traditions, and the sealing.

Letting non-members be a part of the civil stuff, and then getting a the time to specifically for God and His sealing.  

Sure.  But non-members were never deprived of being a part of the Wedding (the "civil stuff", as opposed to the Marriage - the Ordinance).  The twig that has toppled many a Temple Marriage Ordinance Oak is the insistence of the spouses to have their non-temple-qualified family be present at the very second they become legally husband and wife.  Not an hour later, not a day later, or anything outside of that very second the legal joining occurred.

Edited by anatess2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Fether said:

Off topic question I have had for a while, but never wanted to make a whole topic on it.

This whole civil marriage and temple marriage thing has confused me when considered with the commandment to not have sexual relations before “marriage”.

What is a civil marriage and what about it allows for two people to engage in intercourse without being under condemnation?

Is it just the idea that two people are commuting to each other? That explanation could cause problems and lead to justification of this law.

Is it that a society of people acknowledge that two people are together? If this is it, does it mean if I crash land on an unknown island with a single woman, could we sleep together all we wanted because we were the only society? Or how does the different understandings of civil marriage in other countries (like in South America where no one does cause it’s too expensive but still claim to be married)?

I never understood the requirement to wait a year, nor the concept of how civil marriage satisfies the pre-req for sex.

I fundamentally agree with you, Fether.  I think that from a divine-law standpoint, what made—makes—civil marriage an appropriate environment for a sexual relationship, are the elements of commitment and mutual support (material as well as emotional) and sexual exclusivity and the lifelong duration and overall self-sacrificing nature of the traditional relationship that civil marriage was understood as encompassing. 

Once the goal of civil “marriage” morphs from self-sacrifice for a greater good, to mere personal fulfillment and enrichment and gratification; in my view it may not justify a sexual relationship between the parties and utterly fails as a useful preparation for the obligations undertaken in the sealing covenant.  It may be that at this point civil marriage is being “sanctified” more by inertia than anything else—the idea that God is somewhat merciful to schmucks who sincerely don’t know any other way of doing things.  That excuse may work for Babylon, but the children of Zion may find themselves held to a higher standard before long.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

...Therefore, the reasons for getting married Civilly first becomes a reason that detracts from the sanctity and meaning of the Temple ordinance.  The default of one-year wait (the rule for new converts) was, therefore, applied to give the couple a chance to reflect on the sanctity and meaning of the Temple ordinance....

How? Are you saying that a sealing looses it's reverence, authority, sacredness just because it occured after a civil marriage? That the time inbetween the wedding and the sealing, whether it's hours, days or weeks, causes the bride and groom to loose focus of the sealing ceremony, making it less effective?

I'm going to speculate that if Latter-day Saints in the UK can cherish the temple sealing after getting married then North American members can do the same.

M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

In the USA, where a Temple Marriage is legally binding, there is no need for a Civil Wedding to make it legal.  Therefore, the reasons for getting married Civilly first becomes a reason that detracts from the sanctity and meaning of the Temple ordinance.  The default of one-year wait (the rule for new converts) was, therefore, applied to give the couple a chance to reflect on the sanctity and meaning of the Temple ordinance.  Before the announcement, this default wait policy can be changed for shorter or longer depending on the Bishop and Stake President's discernment.

In places like the UK, Temple Marriage is not legally binding, therefore, a Civil Wedding by a government authority HAS to be done for it to be legal regardless of the presence or absence of a Temple Wedding.

@Jane_Doe's first reaction above - although completely understandable - is one of those reasons that detract from the sanctity and meaning of the Temple ordinance.  Although it is very good to have the support of non-temple-qualified family, those things are not necessary, nor are part, of the Temple Marriage Ordinance.  The Temple Marriage Ordinance is between the spouses and God... not their family, not even their parents.

 

This seems pretty harsh in relation to the parents or family that couldn't witness the wedding. I think of Sister Marriott who's parents planted the magnolia tree in their yard so that their daughter could be married there later in life. Then she got married without any family  present.

Parents, LDS or not can be  very invested the marriage of their child and I think this is a wonderful change that will help smooth the path for so many families rather than creating offense through exclusion. I would think that most non-member family aren't interested in the temple sealing and wouldn't mind not being a part of it. So the couple can go do that after and have it be more private and special without the hurt of not having their non member family there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now