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To our Latter-day Saint friends and families, this petition is NOT about allowing non-members or those who do not hold a temple recommend into an LDS temple. It's about giving LDS couples throughout the world the choice to hold a civil ceremony first (if the couple desires it) prior to temple sealing without the mandatory one year waiting period.

You see, when an LDS couple is married in an LDS temple, Mormon and non-Mormon relatives and friends who, for a variety of reasons do not possess the required ‘temple recommend’, are excluded from the ceremony. Also excluded are younger siblings, nephews and nieces, or possibly children of the bride or groom; in fact anyone who has not previously received their own endowment. Under current guidelines and practices as outlined in the Church Handbook of Instructions, no LDS member under the age of eighteen is eligible for the endowment ceremony.

This unnecessary and divisive policy that can foster marital disharmony is harsh for the couple and their loved ones who do not fit the ‘acceptable standards’ required for entrance into the temple wedding. There are suitable alternatives to this exclusionary policy.

The consequences of this policy extend well beyond the wedding day as hurt feelings interfere with the bonding of the two families.

Waiting outside the temple on wedding dayThe policy is stated clearly in an official LDS manual as follows:

Who May Attend a Temple Marriage

Only members who have valid recommends and have received their endowment may attend a temple marriage. Couples should invite only family members and close friends to be present for a temple marriage.

Special Meeting for Guests, Who Do Not Have Temple Recommends

A couple may arrange with their bishop to hold a special meeting for relatives and friends who do not have temple recommends. This meeting provides an opportunity for those who cannot enter a temple to feel included in the marriage and to learn something of the eternal nature of the marriage covenant. The meeting may include a prayer and special music, followed by the remarks of a priesthood leader. No ceremony is performed, and no vows are exchanged.

No other marriage ceremony should be performed following a temple marriage.