Saturday, September 29, 2007

Getting Married in the Temple

This is something that I've never really understood. As a Mormon, I pretty much have three options when it comes to getting married:

  1. Get married in the temple
  2. Get married outside the temple, wait at least a year, then get married in the temple
  3. Get married outside the temple
I don't have any problem with the temple itself, but getting married in the temple means at least three things:

  1. Any non-member or non-temple recommend holding member cannot attend the ceremony.
  2. I live outside of Utah, so I have to explain to all my coworkers and friends why they are not allowed (or not invited) to come to my wedding.
  3. I would have to drive about 3 hours to get married in a place the neither I nor my fiance has any connection with other than the fact that there is a temple there.
I can't wait to explain to my coworkers:
"My finance and I do see the advantages to getting married in a nice setting nearby and inviting everyone we know to this very special day in our lives, but instead we are going to have a small ceremony about three hours from here, so it will only be a little inconvenient for people to come. I would really like to invite you, but our religion won't allow it."
What are they going to think?
"Send the missionaries my way." (That won't work because they'd have to wait at least a year.)

So what are some solutions?

  • We could have a traditional wedding, wait a year, then get sealed in the temple.

This sounds like a compromise, but most Mormon girls that I've talked to don't seem like they'd be willing to go with it. Plus, do it like this is almost considered a sin (at least repentance is necessary). President Joseph Fielding Smith said, "Unless young people who marry outside the temple speedily repent, 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." ( emphasis added.) So for some reason, this method won't work.

  • We could get sealed in the temple and then have a tradition wedding.

Again this sounds like a fair compromise, but again it is not advocated. The website indicates: "The Church instructs members not to have a second wedding ceremony after a temple sealing because it shows disrespect for the sacredness of the temple ordinances. If a member disobeys these instructions, there is no direct punishment as far as the Church is concerned. However, without complete and full repentance, the temple sealing will not be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, and it will be of none effect, leaving the couple with no promises of eternal family living." ( Again, this method is considered so wrong that it merits repentance and withdrawal of divine promises.


I've presented some of the things I've been taught, but I still have a few questions. I would love it if someone would put a comment and answer these because I would really like to know. (That's why I started this blog.)

  1. Why do Mormons need to wait a year after getting married in a traditional ceremony to get sealed in the temple?
  2. How does having another ceremony after a temple celling show disrespect? The way I see it, if people didn't respect it, they wouldn't do it.
  3. Why does having a wedding ceremony outside the temple so serious that it necessitates repentance and can affect salvation?

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