We receive many comments about the petition and LDS Church policy. Below are a selection of brief comments submitted by visitors to the website. If you would like to leave a comment, please contact us.
"I have no problem with the sealing ceremony in the
temple, but to penalize couples for wanting to have a civil ceremony
before hand and making them wait one year to have a temple sealing seems
like a control issue to me. Since Mormons are allowed to have a civil
ceremony followed shortly by the sealing in the temple in other
countries there should be no reason for the one year waiting period in
the U.S. This is just plain cruel to the family and friends that are not
Mormons in good standing."
"The day my sister got married was one of the saddest days of my life because I was not able to be present at her wedding. I love my sister deeply and she is one of my best friends, but to this day I do not think she realizes how painful this was for me. I feel a little comforted knowing that I am not the only one who has shed tears of pain outside of a Mormon Temple because of a rule that is incredibly divisive. Thank you for doing this!"
"Thank you for doing this. Your efforts, may for me, put to rest years of guilt and pain suffered by me over my Temple Marrage. "
" Thank you so much! It was very hard for me not to have my family attend my wedding. The most important day of my life... It's a strange feeling to look around for loved ones and see some distant relative of your spouse's you don't even know, but no mother or father, sisters or brothers. In the church, family is forever.... unless they are not LDS or "worthy." Family is just as important on both sides. No matter if you're LDS, Catholic, or Muslim. There should be no penalty for respecting the feelings of your loved ones."
"Yea, it's about time someone took this task on. My family was not allowed to go to my Daughter and son in law ( best son in law every btw) wedding in the Salt Lake Temple. Thank you for doing this. Good luck in all your endeavors with the church."
"I was married in the temple 24 years ago. None of my non LDS family was allowed to come, which made it so that my 3 kids, now adults, were subsequently isolated from this hurtful act. The Church only puts LDS families first and is cult-like when blood relatives are treated as Satan's minions. What other so-called Christian church bans family from seeing their own child married? If God is love, and Jesus' #1 commandment was to love, this certainly is not the place."
"I'm so glad you've put those letters up here. It clearly shows the main problem with this whole issue and that is that the top leadership have no idea about the hurt and pain this policy causes so many part-member families. They think that a 'ring ceremony' will suffice. Hopefully, this petition will help them see what is happening in the real world. Also I apologize for not signing the hard copy; its only because my contract (employee with the church) bans this sort of thing and I'd just lose my job if they found out. But all the best and I hope you can get enough signatures, and get to actually present it to Church Headquarters."
"Thanks for this. I've been excluded from family weddings with the comment, "Too bad you can't go through the temple." I have no desire to go through the temple, but I do love my family members and love to feel included in family occasions."
"This is a shameful site questioning the church in a way that shows a lack of faith. Our lives are about choice and accountablity. If a woman chose to not pay her tithing her consequence was the inability to see her child be sealed. The child could just as well have postponed the wedding until the mother caught up. Choices. Those who sign this petition are choosing to question the regulations of the church in a way that will shake their faith and weaken their testimony. I'm also perturbed by the entrance link to this site. The doors by which you "enter" the temple to come into the site have meaning and it is highly inappropriate to place "enter" links onto them."
"As a religious thinker I have to respond to the person above who left the comment regarding how shameful this website is. I am completely amazed that an individual would give up their right to think and petition a church or any organization to play fair; or that asking them to consider good people’s feelings is somehow unfaithful.
We have all heard of consequences; choice and accountability. If I drop my drinking glass on a tiled floor, I’m pretty sure that it will break the glass and likely chip the tile too. However, the Tile God doesn’t come and impose this penalty on me for being clumsy. I will experience a natural consequence. There is a huge difference between natural consequences and punishments. Is this person a parent? People who choose to think for themselves and make a decision to love and honor their family and friends will not be zapped by the Mormon God and so the Mormon leaders do it instead. Also, what is it with the ‘regulations’ of the Church? Churches don't have regulations; they are tax exempt because they are considered to be a 'charitable organization'. Show me the charity in this. This is not a regulation but a policy, and even if it was; people have free will – UNLESS someone takes it away by punishing them for using it.
The woman who could not pay her tithing did not have an 'inability' to see her child’s wedding; that is called blindness in which case the poster would have been correct. The woman was being punished for not paying; she did not go blind for disobeying God.
If Mormon testimonies are so weak that they cannot sign a petition to their own beloved leaders; they are weak indeed. Speaking of blindness…"
"Having watched my mother outside temple gates when my brother was married seemed to break her spirit..as she was the most loving and wonderful LDS woman that I have ever known. Because she was behind on tithing requirements, she was unable to attend as well as my brother's siblings. Please consider this petition as a genuine compromise for the price of harmony and love in the family. It shouldn't be any other way."
The LDS church once had a series of promotional commercials with the tag line: “Families, isn't it about time.” Yes, it is time for LDS leaders to put people ahead of policy; time to stop forcing couples to break the hearts of people who love them; time to encourage couples to build bridges to their non-Mormon family instead of burning them. Thank you for putting this petition together!
Policies, especially coercive ones, can and should be changed in the church. Therefore, it is the responsibility of any member to bring to light those policies that are at odds with Doctrine and Covenants 121 to their leaders, that the church might improve in its stated missions and move forward instead of alienating and causing sorrow in those it ultimately seeks to convert.
"Marriage is just a piece of paper that states that you have control over another person. True love knows no bounds. If you truly love your partner, you will include his or her family in any proceedings that take place. After all, this day will be remembered for the rest of your life (and your partner's), and you don't want to start off with hurt feelings that could linger on forever."
"I think it's time for this change to happen. I'm not a Mormon but both my adult children and all grandchildren are. My husband and I have waited outside the temple while our only daughter was married. It was hurtful and humiliating. I'm dreading the day that our grandchildren will do the same and we are excluded again. Allowing a couple to have a civil ceremony with everyone included to witness their love and commitment to one another and then be sealed as soon as they choose would go a long way in easing the pain this causes in families."
"I completely agree, the policy needs to change. If they can change something as serious as the length of the temple garments to accomodate modern clothing then why not this? It's a policy not a commandment from the scriptures. My family has some long-felt hurts over this very thing. And to think there's no need to do this for the sake of "obedience"? It's nothing more than a very sad commentary on "spiritual superiority" to exlude loving parents...I'm passing on the petition, hopeful for change."
"My fiance's family is mormon, and I am heartbroken to think that my fiance and I can't be at their weddings even though I will be overjoyed to have them come to ours!!"
"With baptism, we create part-members families from non-members families. We need to learn how to respect those non-members who have allowed theor member spouse to raise their children in the LDS tradition."
"I have had this insult from my daughter go on for over 20 years. She thinks it is alright to deny me the witnessing of her wedding, and my grandaughters. Enough!"
"I live in Puerto Rico. Our nearest temple is the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic temple, and the Dominican Republic does not recognize temple sealings as legal marriages. Therefore, couples who want to be married in that temple must first marry by civil law and then go to the temple. I'm told that this can be done on the same day: you go to a government office in the morning, get your papers filled out, and then get sealed at the temple that same afternoon. There's nothing wrong with that."
"Beautiful buildings and furnishings, quiet surroundings, special white clothing, professional videos, predictable order, and a sense of distinction do not constitute true spirituality. Perhaps the temple experience seems spiritual when compared with the banal meetings most active members endure Sunday after Sunday...the temple ceremonies are repetitious and mechanical." Isaiah Bennett
"The irony of the following situation
should not escape anyone's attention. A couple that is totally worthy
in every way to attend the temple to be married, yet chooses to show
love and acceptance; (Christian Behavior) towards all members of their
family by being married in a civil ceremony, is penalized for one year
before they can have their very worthy marriage sealed for eternity.
Another couple, who by LDS standards is unworthy to be married and
sealed in the temple and makes a choice to be married in a civil
ceremony usually receive the same penalty as the worthy couple." What
makes the worthy couple so sinful? They did not listen to 'counsel'
from their leaders. Those leaders are the ones imposing the one year
waiting penalty. It is not a natural consequence, but an imposed
punishment for disobedience. Whatever happened to, "We teach them
correct principles and they govern themselves"? Those words from the
founder of the church - Joseph Smith, prophet, seer and revelator.
"Speaking of ironies, another one is that the Church will automatically do both the endowment and sealing by proxy in temples for all members who didn't have that done during their lifetime (for whatever reason), automatically in some temples one year after the death date listed for endowment, and one year after both husband & wife are dead for the sealing, or after they pass the 105 year old mark if no death date is recorded (as with most inactive members of record). If one is really keen, one can find the records for this in the family search site. This makes president Kimball's arguments somewhat irrelevant today since that problem was solved another way. (Kimball was mentioned in a video here)"
"This is ridiculous!!! If a
member's testimony is so weak that they cannot make an adult decision
to marry in the temple with or without family members and stand firm on
it, then they shouldn't be getting married!! There is also the
vanishing ideal of choice and consequences to address. You choose your
path, but you have no right to choose your consequences. You choose a
civil marriage--you have to wait for the temple. I think that if you
choose a civil marriage first, that shows that a temple marriage is not
very important to you. It all boils down to commitment and obedience.
What kind of an example are you to non-member family or friends if you
are willing to set aside your beliefs faith, and standards just so no
one gets their feelings hurt? A marriage is about a husband and wife
cleaving to each other and no one else."
"How does getting married civilly undermine the importance of a temple sealing? Are you then sayin that civil marriages are not as valid as a temple marriage and does not mean as much to a couple as a temple marriage? What is so ridiculous about having your loved ones present at your wedding?. It would seem more ridiculous to not have your loved ones present but waiting outside, while strangers witness your marriage. It would seem ridiculous to "obey" and be "loyal" to an organization at the expense of hurting your family and loved ones. Anyone not willing to priotize human relations over the mandate of an organization should not be getting married in the first place, until they have figured out a philosophy for living that is broader than the musings of a self assured teenager. I suppose that it takes the kind of loyalty, faith and values you are referring to, to be a sister wife, to give up your 14 year old daughter to be the 10th sister wife of some fifty year old predator, to strap on a bomb and take out the infidels, after all what kind of testimony would you have if you weren't willing to obey at the expense of hurting other people feelings. What values would have to be in place for a child to deny a parent from witnessing their marriage. The answer is "none" All you need is just "loyalty" and "obedience" to an organization, not necessarily to any principles or values. As for choices and consequences. There are consequences and their is punishment. If you study psychology, you will get to understand that they are uniquely dissimilar. One is fear based, is intended to extract compliance through threats, withholding of (unrelated cause and effect)priviledges and is an exercise in orwellian techniques. The other is a logical approach that seeks to connect the dots and affords people the opportunity to really "choose." Please read the petition and don't jump to conclusions before you have put yourself in the shoes of those who are hurt by an arbitrary policy, that causes so much rift to family relationships."
"The NSW gov in Australia granted the
church marriage celebrant ability, to Bishops, Stake Presidents and
Sealers/Temple Presidents after they complete a course and register
with the government. So a Temple Marriage is done first as the only
marriage usually for members as it is in the US. If a couple is married
by Bishop at the chapel (under his NSW state authority) or by outside
authority, then the one year waiting period applies for the Temple
marriage as in the US"
"Thank you for initiating this movement towards making the LDS Church more "family-friendly".
"As an LDS convert, this issue has deeply affected my family. There has and always will be contention surrounding this issue and if there is a possibility we can bring families together instead of tearing them apart, like it did mine, there is something to fight for."
"I'm more than happy to help you with this excellent petition! I'll send it to everyone I know, if that is okay with you."
"The practice of excluding people from family events in a "family-oriented" religion is very ironic and sad. "
"3 children under 18 who I give the freedom to choose to be mormon, so I may soon be faced with this same injustice (lack of real freedom) and heartbreak -- both for them as well as me."
"My beloved grandparents sat in the visitors center while I, their oldest granddaughter got married. My parents and my in-laws could not be there. My siblings, cousins and friends could not be there. I am still sad I did this to them, even after 30 years, and having been divorced and left the church. It was cruel."
"I am for any measure or policy change
that will potentially increase the joy, celebration, and love families
share, instead of causing hurt feelings and disappointment. Thank-you
for bringing to light this issue."
damaged family relationships in such a way that my family has not
recovered in 16 years. In the case of my dad, who missed the temple
wedding, it is too late. He died this year."
policy has affected me directly. I forced my former wife to marry me in
the temple and exclude her parents and siblings, and now my oldest son
did the same to his parents and 3 siblings, all of whom have left the
"Thank you for doing this. I hope that it will
make a difference. As a lifelong member of the church I have seen and
experienced firsthand the heartache this policy can cause."
pain and absurdity of this policy have affected several generations of
my family. A loving Heavenly Father must weep over these policies. This is a cause I will support in any way my help is needed."
agree, marriage is about love and becoming family. To leave family
members out of ceremonies because they are not "worthy" is cruel. In my
opinion the church is not worthy of holding ceremonies if it does not
adhere to the families wishes, as long as they are reasonable. Having
your family there is very reasonable."
"When my own daughter got
married in the Logan Temple, nearly 10 years ago, I was not allowed to
attend and my Mother-In-Law stood in my place next to her, which was
very sad for me. Im my opinion, excluding a mother from her own
daughters wedding is a sad, family-divisive practice that is not good
"There is NOTHING sacred or secret
about a temple marriage. Excluding loved ones from a ceremony
celebrating the union of two people is mean-spirited and does nothing
to promote families or the good will of the church. I got married in
the SLC temple almost 27 years ago. My ceremony, and subsequent
ceremonies that I have attended, were nothing that should require a
recommend, tithing being paid, or even membership in the church. Very
unkind and destructive of families."
"I am about to experience
this firsthand. I am a non-believing member whose family are believers,
and are temple worthy. My son is getting married next year, and I will
not be allowed to enter the temple to attend the wedding. I have
considered becoming active, paying tithing, and lying in the TR
interview, but I simply cannot bring myself to say the words that I do
not believe in answer to the TR questions."
"We didn't stand
outside the temple when our lovely daughter married. We refused to
travel the 1000 miles or so to do that. We went to work as normal that
day and then went out for dinner. Sad sad day. It was rough for our
daughter too. Now I make a point of making sure that anyone that
expresses what a family oriented the LDS church is, knows that is what
it does to families on wedding day. "