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Question 42


Two worthy Latter-day Saints are planning to marry. The parents of one are not LDS and ask the couple to hold their wedding in a place where all are allowed to attend (i.e., not in an LDS temple). The couple has two choices: Follow the directives of latter-day prophets and marry in the temple, making the wishes of the non-member parents secondary; or honor the parents according to God's command in Exodus 20:12.

What should they do? Please explain your answer.

(For information on why a compromise is not an option, please see The Human Cost of Mormon Temple Marriage Policies)


The answer to this question is hystericaly simple. I am a convert to mormonism and in order to accompany both sides of my family I will have a "traditonal" wedding and after that I will have a private ceramony in the temple which will bind me to my hunsband for all eternity. If the parents really love and support you they will be more than happy to go through with this plan. -M (LDS)

The woman who answered [above] didn't read far enough. Please direct her to your page, or something to help the poor woman out, that says what will really happen if she tries this, "It is at this point that the LDS bishop lets the "other shoe" drop and announces to LDS boy that should he get married anywhere else, even by a Justice of the Peace, he and his wife will be required to wait one year before they can go to an LDS temple and get sealed." and so forth?

Just wanting to help. -BB (non-LDS)

This happens in India all of the time. You can get married on a civil license and with all present and then later get sealed at the Temple. -V (LDS)

I have been a member for a year (I reached my one year anniversary yesterday. My boyfriend,whom I met well after joining the church and I are planning to get married. He is a member and has been all his life. I came upon the same problem recently with my parents (one a very devout protestant) as the young couple did and this is how I handled it:

The absolute hardest part was seeing this from my parents perspective. My father won't get to walk his only daughter down the aisle. My mom won't get to sit near as my fiance and I are married before God. It was THE hardest part about joining the church. I gave up some things and there were no illusions of what I would have to go through in joining.

The part I had to realize, the hardest part about this, was that it wasn't about my parents. My creed, what I believe to be true is that to help Micah get to the Celestial Kingdom I need to get married in the Temple to him. He has offered on various occasions to turn this into a "civil" wedding. He doesn't want my parents to be hurt and neither do I. I love them dearly. But getting married civily is not the way I am doing this. I want to know that if he dies the day after we are married that he will go to the Celestial Kingdom. I want him to be as close to God as possible. Micah, however, is not my first love. My parents have always come first. I transferred back to Minnesota to be closer to them. I want to take care of them some day. I also want to take them closer to God. The belief of the church is that ceremonies (like baptisms for the dead and sealings) are there to bring families close for eternity. If I hold off on bringing my husband closer to me who is to say that I won't do that same thing to my parents. I need to be consistent. I need to be honest to myself and to God. I NEED to get married in the temple. I need to do this for my family, the ones I have now and the ones I haven't yet started. It's hard and I could never deny that. But God has a way of putting challenges in front of us that we can always handle. He will never give us what we cannot handle.

The wedding is one day out of all of our lives. One exclusion will not mean eternity unless that is your wish.

I hope this makes sense. I also sincerely hope this helped. -AMS (LDS)

This one is easy for me. My brother just became a Mormon against the familys wishes. The woman that he intends to marry is a mormon. They should get married outside the temple so the non-member family can attend. However, if the mormons have their way in this, he will be married in the temple just like they want. I believe the object is to pull the person away from the non-mormon family. -MK (non-LDS)

I found this question to be quite interesting and I will be glad to answer it from an LDS perspective. First the way the question is worded would seem to put two commandments of the Lord in direct opposition. A closer look however one can begin to understand the importance of following and understanding the commandments of God. Let me for instance rephrase the question something like this. If your parents don't following the word of the Lord up to and including damnation do you follow Exodus 20:12 to honor them? Of course not! This does not in anyway mean you do not "love" them. While we all fall short of the Glory of God, we all have a responsibility to do our best in obtaining salvation. That sometimes means making hard choices. Concerning eternal marriage in Ephesians (5:31) 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (Ephesians 5:22-32) tells of even more concerning marriage but I will not go that deep in this posting. Modern day revelation tells us that eternal marriage is important in order to obtain the Celestial Glory. (D & C 132:15-19) "15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. 16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. 17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever. 18 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God. 19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them--Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths--then shall it be written in the Lamb's book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever."

How do we know that there is a celestial glory? (1Cor 15:40-43) "40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: I think we can all agree that we follow Christ and his teachings first and foremost even over our parents.

Unfortunately there is a human cost to this practice, but I would argue that it is by choice of the parents (one set, the other set, or both sets) getting excluded. Each of us makes choices in life. In this choice those who have joined and taken on the name of Christ in his true Church have vowed during baptism to follow the commandments of Christ. One of those commandments is eternal marriage. It has to be done in a temple and it has to be done with the proper authority. I would also further argue that most marriages don't comply with the authority of Jesus Christ even if performed in a church. Covenants of the Lord have to be done by the authority of Christ. The only religion that does not show its authority by election or certification of man is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints. If one chooses to reject it then it is by their choice that they have excluded themselves from those events.

I have heard the argument that Jesus would never keep me from his house of worship. I however have to disagree especially in light of Temples. It is mentioned twice that Jesus Cleansed the Temple.

(Matt 21:12-16) "12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. 14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, 16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?" The other scripture of cleansing of the temple is (John 2:14-17). My point is only worthy participants are to take place in this ordinance and it bound in heaven as in earth by the proper authority.

This however does not obvert the feeling being hurt by one side or the other. It is unfortunate that the bigger picture is often overlooked. I have found looking from the non member parents perspective that they don't seem to mind the religion until it impacts or shows fault in their own lives. Then all the sudden it is evil and should be done away with. I find it even more amazing that a parent would not want to best for thier child and want to see them happy. I would have much more respect for a parent that would argue up front about how they feel about a religion than to wait until they are excluded. These same people may or may not be excluded from Heaven but if they are excluded what argument would they make then? This to me shows how shallow people can be. In my case at my sealing, both my parents and my wife's parents were both excluded from participation. My parents didn't like it however said if that is what you believe you need to do then do it. Nothing more ever said. They understood that what I was doing was what I consider I need to do for my eternal salvation in following the covenants and commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have a great respect for my parents in this matter because of way they handled the situation. Of course they also sat me down before I joined the church to talk to me about what they believe and why I shouldn't join. Ultimately it was my decision and they respected that. Anything less than mutual respect at the end of the religious conversation with my parents would have been destructive to our relationship. Ultimately the commandments of God come first. -ER (LDS)

the question about the mormon honoring the parents, in my opinion is this. they are adults not living in their parents' house so this really does not apply because after they are married they are one flesh and a new family.

but the bondage the mormon lives under is truly a shame. jesus came to set us free and the mormon is not free and has no hope of salvation. the bondage comes from the fact you MUST be married in the temple to receive exaltation.

in gospel principles pg 241 it says, "eternal marriage" is essential for exaltation. pg 243 states one of the blessings that follows is we can be exalted as god. pg 242-243 states this marriage MUST be in the temple.

pg 244 states marriage in the temple. so i see no compromise by having two ceremonies, one in the temple and one for the family. if something like death happens before marriage in the temple, then no exaltation. this again is bondage. on pg 30 of "achieving a celestial marriage student manual" spencer k, gives a "modern parable" about a man being shut out of the kingdom because he was not married in the temple.

pg 131 in the manual and doctrines of salvation vol 2:43-44 teaches "if you want salvation in the fullest, that is exaltation in the kingdom of god" then 1 requirement is marriage in the temple. what i want to know is, if this is so important why is it not taught in the B.O.M.? for true freedom in jesus christ contact me at [email protected] and we can talk. -RB (non-LDS)

In Discourses of Brigham Young (1925 edition; there is also a 1978 edition), Brigham Young says:

"I ask you, brother B, how must I believe the Bible, and how shall you and every other follower of the Lord Jesus Christ believe it? 'Brother Mormon, how do you believe it?' I believe it just as it is. I do not believe in putting any man's interpretation upon it, whatever, unless it should be directed by the Lord himself in some way. I do not believe we need interpreters and expounders of the Scriptures, to wrest them from their literal, plain, simple meaning."

A question far more important than where to be married is, is marriage in the temple, for the purpose of exaltation, true or not? If I take the Bible at face value as Brigham Young states, and the Book of Mormon, neither teach marriage for exaltation. Mark 10:17-27 tells us how to inherit eternal life.

In Luke 20:27-37 Jesus says you neither marry nor are given in marriage in the life to come: marriage is not required for exaltation. Brigham Young said to read the Word at face value. So I did.

Jesus was clear in Matthew 15:3-6 : "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whoever shall say to his father or mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." Anything you do beyond what Jesus taught is nullifying God's Word (the Bible) by the teachings and traditions of your church. -SB (non-LDS)

I believe the answer to this question is a lot easier than it has been made out. I would simply answer it with another: Do you believe that Gordon B. Hinckley is a true prophet of God? Do you believe that he recieves revelations from God? If so, then putting of a temple marriage would be out of the question. I know many converts to the church who realized that their commitment to God was simply more important than getting a civil ceremony first. None of their parents were able to attend the temple ceremony, but because they're loving parents they were willing to put their faith in their children's decision. Please remember that this life is only temporary and is a test of your faith. If in doubt remember to pray for direction and if need be ask that God might soften your parent's heart. -KC