Recently I had a close family member get married in the temple to an awesome guy. This young man was the only member of the LDS church in his family and it was an uncomfortable situation (to say the least) for the bride, groom, and family members involved. Although there was a ring ceremony for those who couldn’t attend the temple, from what it appeared, there was an unpleasant taste in their mouths so to speak about the LDS Church and their policy with not allowing them to watch the wedding ceremony.
This situation is something that is a sore spot for many people. In fact, one blogger shares an example of someone who went as far to say that one of the main reasons why Mormons are not Christians is because they keep parents from watching their kids get married.
So what is the solution?
It appears that some people feel that a petition to the First Presidency of the Church to change the temple policy is the way to go as seen on this website.
Some people on the petition site express how in other countries a temple marriage is not counted as a civil marriage and therefore LDS couples are allowed to get married civily first and then go to a temple “sealing” shortly afterwards. Currently in the United States, if a couple gets a civil marriage first, they have to wait a year before they can go through the temple to get “sealed” (or married).
Others believe that if you follow certain steps of preparing non-member friends and family, heartache can be avoided, as seen on this site.
Personally, I do not feel that anything one can do or say can reduce the hurt a non-LDS family member feels by not being allowed to watch their close relative get married. However, I can also understand how people may feel that it lessens the purpose of the temple and maybe puts their commitment to the Lord in second place if they get married civily first.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Should the LDS church make exceptions for family members and allow them into the temple just for sealings? Should they allow couples in the U.S. to get married civily first and then married in the temple shortly thereafter as they do in other countries? Do you feel that if the LDS church allowed non-LDS people to participate in the temple that feelings towards the Church would be better and possibly a missionary tool?