Mormon Temple Wedding Q & A
My granddaughter is a baptized Mormon and is planning her wedding in August at the temple in Washington DC. I am not a Mormon, but have been a Lutheran all my life. I have been informed that only baptized Mormons are allowed to attend the ceremony. I find this difficult to accept as her parents and I love her dearly and have supported her in her life choices and ensure that we do not mistakenly attempt to change her religious beliefs. I feel that God would want those relatives and friends who would support the ceremony and be in attendance in the eyes of the Lord as loving members of her family and as witnesses of her entering into a special commitment with her betrothed as a solid and religious plan for living their lives according to Mormon doctrine and the blessing of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Any assistance in understanding the reasons for Mormons not wishing to have a person’s family and life supporters in attendance would be appreciated. Thank you….take care and may you continue to be in my prayers and thoughts.
Mormon Temples Are Sacred not Secret
I just received your kind and thoughtful inquiry,and appreciate your asking about LDS temple weddings, as well as your desires for your granddaughter and you. This is a special and sensitive time for each of you. I write as a convert and lay member, and don’t speak officially on behalf of the Church.
My parents were also not members of the faith I embraced at 25, even that of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and when I married in the temple, we chose to have both a civil ceremony which all of our friends and family of other faiths could attend–including scriptural talks, beautiful music, and a ring ceremony, graced with the Spirit and family observing the temporal union. Then, we engaged in our temple wedding, which by God’s prescription and not by ours, is attended by any of His children who take steps to prepare to enter His holy House–to seal what we believe is an eternal covenant and union or eternal marriage.
Just as there were special requirements to enter the temple and to enter certain parts of the temple as recorded in Exodus, Kings, in the Old Testament, similar divine requirements exist today. Again, these aren’t things mandated by men, but revealed by God. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ who prepare themselves for the Lord’s highest blessings–including eternal marriage and not just marriage until death do your part–are those who may receive those blessings. Those blessings are free and available to everyone in the world equally–as long as they meet the pre-requisites the Lord has established for entering His presence. Entering the temple is, in a very real sense, Sarah, entering His House. If anyone were allowed to enter–those who might want to enter unworthily would defile it and drive out the Spirit, just as we read in the Ezekiel 10:18, 19 22, and 23 when the glory of the Lord progressively and then ultimately departed from the temple when those unclean entered it. A study of the Old Testament reveals, as well, preparatory cleansing and sacrifices prior to entering the Lord’s tabernacle, or temple.
I cannot fully know how challenging this may be for you, but I hope this provides some measure of comfort in knowing you can be part of the natural ceremony or ring ceremony and exchange of temporal vows for your grranddaughter, should she opt to have one of those. And then, during the time of her sealing, you would be invited, if you desired to attend the Washington D.C. Visitors’ Center, and learn more about the temple, tour the grounds, and see the kinds of things that the Lord Himself has provided for those who enter His house. He desires for each of us that family bonds endure beyond this life and has prepared a way for that to happen. That time, although then not with your granddaughter, can be particularly special and sacred for you, and enhance your own personal faith, as it seems you are a faithful person yourself, and a loving grandmother. There are films, displays, and many informed and kind assistants on the temple grounds with whom you can spend the 45 minutes or hour of the actual time passed in the temple. I will pray that your heart might be touched by the Lord in all of this and that you may feel that He is an inclusive God, and we are an inclusive people–but that He Himself sets requirements for entry into His holy House, which any person who chooses, may meet to enjoy those very same blessings.
Learn more about Mormon Temples at the official site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths as the “Mormon Church”).
Mormon Temples are sacred not secret.