Mormon Temple Weddings

Why do Mormons have closed wedding ceremonies for their temple weddings whereas if you aren’t a temple recommended member you can’t attend the wedding, even outlawing the parents of the bride and groom if they are not full Mormon’s.
I appreciate they feel that their temple is special but no more that I feel that the Catholic Church is just as special but we don’t close our churches.

I’m not entirely sure why the inner temple is closed off to the uninitiated (sorry, I don’t know the proper term). It does make me wonder what happens if one of the persons being married isn’t Mormon though…

If one of the parties is not a Mormon then they wouldn’t be getting married in a temple to begin with. Both the bride and groom must have a temple recommend to enter a temple.

Excluding people from a temple wedding is right at the tops of the list of things that my church needs to change. It can be very hurtful to be excluded from such an important family event.

The reason for the exclusion is simply because the ceremony takes place in a temple, which is closed to all except recommend holders. I suspect that this practice is based in history because of the ability to exclude people from polygamous marriages when the marriage ceremony is in the temple. My branch of Mormonism no longer practices polygamy.

I don’t believe mormons are allowed to marry outside the Church, but perhaps I am wrong. I know such a marriage could not be sealed in the temple.

It is highly discouraged for Mormons to marry outside the temple. In fact there is often speculation regarding the couple’s “worthiness” if they are both LDS and marry outside the temple. For people who marry outside the temple they must wait one year before they can have their marriage “sealed” in the temple. The one exception is for countries where marriages have to take place in public or at city hall and religious leaders are not allowed to perform legal marriages. In those cases, the couple marries outside the temple and is allowed to be sealed afterwards that same day. Or if a temple is too far to go the same day, the couple is given up to four days to go to the temple for the sealing depending on how far the temple is. If they don’t go within that time frame, they must also wait one year.

iepuras’ experience is valid, but I have a few comments on “highly discouraged” and “speculation on worthiness”

If y’all are living in sin, most mormons will urge you to either knock it off, or get married. My church sees moving from a state of shacking up, to a covenental married relationship, as a step forward. Temple sealings aren’t an option for most of these situations. I’ve been involved in the lives of numerous people who decided on LDS weddings out of the temple. When they sought advice, “don’t get married until you can go to the temple” was a minority opinion. Most opinions given, in my experience, is along the lines of “get hitched now, then live worthily and go to the temple in a year or so.”

In the two dozen or so non-temple weddings I’ve been invited to, a handful of them have seen both spouses being LDS. And in those cases, it is true that I encountered mormons who engaged in “speculating about worthiness”. Gossipy mormons certainly exist. If you guys find a way to cure the world of gossipy people, please share - but I’ve personally known enough gossipy Catholics to know you guys have this issue as well. In other words, “speculating about worthiness” is a gossipy people issue, not something unique to mormons.

Mormons usually want to raise their kids mormon, which means parents want their kids to be married in the temple. We are every bit as guilty of pressuring and discouraging and manipulating our kids, as Catholic parents who want to raise their kids Catholic, and pressure them to find Catholic spouses and have Catholic weddings.

After spending most of my adult life in young single adult or student wards, I’ve seen plenty of LDS couples get married. It never seemed to turn out well when a “shacking up” couple marries so that they are no longer sinning. I know some people who married for those reasons or because of guilt related to pregnancy and those marriages didn’t turn out well. It can work out, but my experience is that it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a good thing to get married out of guilt.

I do know quite a few LDS couples who married outside the temple who have good marriages thus far and were not subject to much gossip. For each of those couples, one person was a new convert and they did not want to wait the obligatory one year to have a temple wedding. Some of these couples (but not all) were discouraged from getting married sooner rather than later. Some of them were encouraged by church leaders to wait the one year for the temple wedding. This doesn’t necessarily happen everywhere but it does happen and it is not uncommon. One friend in particular was subjected to all kinds of guilt from ward leaders and her father because she chose to marry outside the temple to her newly converted fiance. It was actually very sad to witness how she was treated when she really was trying to do the right thing. I never once doubted their “worthiness”.

Mormon temple weddings make it much easier to speculate and gossip if an LDS couple chooses to marry outside the temple. A Catholic couple can fornicate up until the wedding date, but no one necessarily knows or has grounds to speculate based on the location of the wedding.

You are correct. People gossip, and the more salacious the gossip, the more it tends to spread. It is not unique to any particular group, but the policy of Mormon weddings in the temple lends itself to gossip if an otherwise faithful LDS couple chooses to marry outside the temple.

Just to clarify…it’s only endowed temple recommend holders that can attend, which is typically those 18 years and older. Older youth can get recommends, but only to perform baptisms for the dead.

I have always felt that limiting the wedding ceremony to only endowed recommend holders is one of the most unfortunate policies of the church. Converts to the church who are eventually married in the temple often face difficult situations when they have to tell their families they won’t be able to attend the ceremony, which includes their own young children if they were previously married. Never seemed to me to be a real family focused event.

In any case, you wouldn’t be missing much; it’s one of the most anti-climatic ceremonies. Even after 10 years, my wife still complains that it was one of the worst and most disappointing experiences. Of course, that has nothing to do with me. :wink:

Which branch of Mormonism are you referring to? The LDS church does in fact still believe and practice polygamy. Men can be sealed to more than one woman. Women, on the other hand…well, they get to share their husband in heaven. :rolleyes:

I’ve only attended one temple sealing. It was an interesting experience. Even today, I can still say that I like the environment of the temple; it’s nice being there (though the same thing could be said about Catholic cathedrals, for example).

Anyway, my friend that was getting married went to the temple earlier than everyone else because there was a specific portion of the Endowment that he did with his soon-to-be wife, related to the veil. The rest of us arrived at the temple (I went with his family) later. As someone mentioned, to attend a sealing, you must be an Endowed member with a current recommend (I believe that children being sealed to their parents have a special recommend for that). Because his brother and sisters were not endowed, they couldn’t attend the sealing. They ended up doing baptisms for the dead while the rest of us were at the sealing (his father is no longer a member, and didn’t come to the temple).

For the sealing, we didn’t have to change into the white clothing, but did take off our shoes. We went into the sealing room and waited for the couple. They came in dressed in the ceremonial clothing. The actual sealing was relatively short. After that, we all quietly congratulated them, hugged, etc, then left the sealing room. We all then waited for them outside the temple while they changed clothes. His siblings met us outside (the bride’s siblings and family are all endowed so they were present for the sealing). Finally they came out, and we all took pics.

But yeah, as a convert, it was always in the back of my mind what I would do if I ended up getting engaged to another member. I could only imagine the horror of my parents (as well as my 3 siblings, extended family, etc), especially my mother, if I told them that they couldn’t be present for my wedding. There were a few other people in the ward that ended up having non-temple weddings, so that was comforting at the time. Some LDS have a ring ceremony after the sealing, though the Church discourages any appearances of a second wedding ceremony, detracting from the sealing.

Very true. In fact, I have an LDS friend who is one of two living wives sealed to one living man. She was the first wife of this man and is legally divorced but still sealed. She cannot get her sealing cancelled. She may be able to get it cancelled if she marries a man to whom she can be sealed in the temple. If she marries a man who is not LDS, she cannot get the sealing cancelled. He has since remarried in the temple, so his legal wife is actually his second wife for eternity. It angers the second wife to no end that she is wife number two and is technically subject to my friend as the first wife. Not that she wants to have anything to do with him, but she is kinda stuck from the LDS perspective.

I’ve been to many LDS wedding breakfasts and receptions for family and friends. Never once have I actually seen the marriage. It’s a kind of non-event for us. :shrug: Someone tells us the couple was married that morning or afternoon, which we believe, but who knows. Anyone could say they got married but I couldn’t tell anyone that there actually was a marriage, as I wasn’t there. It’s like showing up for the end of a movie.

I stood outside a temple once waiting for the couple. It’s degrading and I haven’t done it again since. Inviting someone to wait outside the building you are being married in is just rude, IMO. Doing that to your own parent(s) is unimaginable, not to mention disrespectful.

One of the issues I read about on another forum is when Mormons are invited to regular (gentile) weddings at churches and to the reception as well.

It was a very funny thread.

I guess because Mormons know they can’t see a temple wedding without a recommend many think they don’t need to go to the wedding ceremony but just to the reception. Not a good idea. :wink:

Though the temple marriage is a beautiful ceremony with a lot of meaning, the saddest part for me is how exclusionary it was. My family, who was not LDS, and most of my wife’s family, also not LDS, could not attend.

that fact, by itself, marred what should have been a great day and out people from both families against the LDS church.

Christ said EVERYONE was welcome. The LDS Church excludes family from what should be a very joyous occasion. And since no pictures are allowed to be taken, we could not even show our families pictures of the event.

Very sad.

I have a few questions about LDS weddings. You mention a lot about temple recommends. What exactly does this mean? Is it like going to premarital counseling in the Catholic church before you get married? What is the purpose of taking off your shoes before you go into the temple?

I have heard from my LDS friend that for the sealing ceremony the bride and groom both kneel down facing each other and behind them are mirrors that are supposed to show their reflection and that they will be together for eternity is this true? She couldn’t attend the wedding so she had to wait outside but this is what someone told her. I think it would be upsetting to not have my parents or friends their to witness my wedding. I find it interesting that LDS members and others would be excluded since LDS is usually very family focused.

Thanks TexanKnight for answering my questions!:slight_smile: I think it is interesting about the 10% I understand its importance its in the Bible and the Catholic church asks us to tithe as well. But to say you can’t get in to the temples and consequently using this logic Heaven is well wrong. I feel bad for people who believe this way as it is not what Jesus or the Bible states.

One more question, I have heard the term Jack Mormon before is that someone who was/is Mormon but does not go to church or activities?

Hi Try, you don’t need to feel bad for me - Texan is wordsmithing. Don’t pay tithing and go to heaven all you want. But thanks for the good thoughts.

I guess it’s a similar term to “Christmas Only Catholic”, signifying someone who really doesn’t do much at all to observe one’s religion. My mom called herself a Jack Mormon - she never went to church or prayed, and she smoked and sometimes drank alcohol.

Okay, so an LDS couple can have a civil divorce but their sealing can’t be undone unless the woman remarries another LDS man? How are they unsealed? What happens when one of the spouses dies? If the husband dies can the woman remarry another LDS man and choose to not be sealed to her new husband? What about if the wife dies and he remarries?

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