Jason Bourne wrote:
Buffalo makes a good point.
And I wonder why this issue so often puts so many defenders into an apoplectic fit. Really, is it devaluing the temple sealing because someone is married civilly first especially if they are doing it for non member family? Why not avoid the pain and have the best of both worlds? Why the scornful remarks that cast Kevin Barney as less than faithful because he thinks differently about this?
This issue has been discussed to death for a number of years.
As I mentioned above, a number of countries require marriages to take place "with open doors." In such countries, it is necessary to have a civil marriage before the temple sealing.
Note that the LDS couple who are getting married generally regard the temple sealing as the "real" wedding, and the civil ceremony as a mere "going through the motions" to meet the legal requirements. When such ceremonies were required here in NZ, they were usually short, simple ceremonies that met the bare-bones requirements, and were conducted in a fairly terse, businesslike fashion. Afterwards, the couples were frequently heard to say something equivalent to, "Right, we've satisfied the government; now let's go and really
The current anti-Temple marriage crusade is being marketed as
a way to be kind to the non-LDS rellies. But let's be honest here: given that most LDS couples want
a temple wedding and look forward to
a temple wedding, aren't they frequently if not usually going to take a similar view to that of other couples required to have a civil ceremony they don't really want? "Okay, we've satisfied your possessive in-laws; now let's go and really
How much will that spare the relatives' feelings, really? Aren't they going to (rightly) feel that they've simply been thrown a bone to keep them quiet?
I predict, with 100% confidence, that if this silly petition were to be successful, it would simply be the first step; the anti-Temple marriage crusade, emboldened by this first victory, would simply move on to the next demand. The civil marriage mustn't be too simple and unobtrusive; it must be seen by all parties as nothing less than the real
wedding. To that end, it should be fine to pull out all the stops. Parents and other relatives should not be separated from the couple on the family's "special day," so the sealing should not take time away from them on that day. It should be pushed off onto another day so that the tender-hearted rellies won't feel that they're being "excluded" from anything that actually matters.
And the Church should not say anything to suggest to the couple that their marriage is any more valid or significant after the sealing than they were before, because of course the rellies will find out about that, and they'll feel offended (sob) and excluded (wail.) Again.
How do I know that this is where the anti-Temple marriage crusade is designed to end up? Because I once had a discussion with an anti-Temple marriage -- and anti-Mormon, of course -- crusader who was tactless enough to spell out his program.
I predict that someone will scream "slippery slope!" Let me pre-empt that obvious ploy: the process I have described is one that follows naturally. It is easier to start making concessions to assuage the feelings of people who do not share our faith than it is to stop; and the first step in the process is actually the biggest. Everything after that is just a matter of degree.
Here's a radical idea: maybe the thing to do is to accept that there are people to whom sacred things actually matter
and allow them
to make their
decisions for their
lives based upon that fact.
Or is that just too radical?