Sealing waiting period policy discontinued

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Sealing waiting period policy discontinued

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 May 2019, 08:47

If any of my comments came across as dismissive or disparaging, I apologize. That absolutely wasn't my intent.

I get the grief. My own family has been impacted by it to a degree. One of my adult sons and our teenage daughter can't attend my daughter's sealing tomorrow. If this change had been made a few months ago, my daughter probably would have chosen to be married civilly first and then sealed. The change has been announced, but my family STILL is being impacted tomorrow by the old policy.

Am I upset? Yes, to a degree. Am I sad? Absolutely. However, I have wanted this change for a long time. So has everyone here. All I am saying is that I think it is important to acknowledge that, even with the grief. I refuse to be bitter about it, even though it impacts my family tomorrow.

My joy about the change is greater than my sorrow about two of my kids not being able to attend their sister's wedding tomorrow. I mean no disparagement or judgment whatsoever in saying that. I simply have read angry, bitter, condemning responses elsewhere, and that saddens me.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Sealing waiting period policy discontinued

Post by SilentDawning » 07 May 2019, 09:51

Thanks Curt.

The price an organization pays for reversing bad policies is often a heightened sense by its members of being a casualty of the past at the time of reversal. Of course, if you don't reverse the policies, then the damage continues. There has to be a turning point where the organization takes the hit if they care about the future. We're taking that hit right now.

I believe this casualty syndrome is something that will fade away eventually and the hurt will dull eventually. People deserve a certain period of time to experience whatever emotion the gash dictates and then move on. We are in the gash period right now.

Right now my sadness and yes, anger about this policy is more prevalent than my joy for future people getting married. But I trust that will change as time heals most wounds. And it's never a good thing to feel persistent negative emotion.

On a weird, positive note -- this reversal further justifies Brian Johnson's comment about "being on your own clock". Bad policies do happen, and we will likely see more in the future, in spite of the current prophet's apparent affinity for a purer, less harsh approach to religion. There will be new leaders, misguided zeal, and fear to guide bad policies. Hopefully not too many. But self-direction is the antidote for bad policy.

Further, this discontinuation only justifies the idea that our own sense of what is right and wrong must prevail, as it's ourselves with whom we must ultimately live. The reversal of this policy, like the priesthood ban, and plural marriage only underscores that the Lord DOESN'T remove prophets who lead their people astray, and that justifies my current program of maximizing personal joy --- wholesome joy -- based on worshipping according to my personal needs and conscience. Prophets should be listened to, and considered, but what they say isn't always right. And history has shown past prophets are more than willing to let past, destructive policies persist, even when in error. Tradition can blind them at times.

And last of all, I have a son who is not married, and if he chooses the temple (he may not, and that is fine too), then at least there will be a final balm to spray on the wound.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 07 May 2019, 10:27, edited 2 times in total.
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dande48
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Re: Sealing waiting period policy discontinued

Post by dande48 » 07 May 2019, 10:09

I had a question, I'd like to put out there: How often do you think this "new policy" will be put into effect?

It's great to have that option available. There are several weddings I would've loved to attend. But I wonder if the emphasis on temple marriage over civil is far too strong. Despite the policy change, I wonder if most members would've still opted for only the temple ceremony; it's definitely now a chance to "one-up" the "less-faithful", which is often a problem I see in the membership. It still seems like Bishops will strongly encourage only a temple ceremony, though without the threat of penalty. Plus, adding an additional "wedding" onto the occasion, seems like both an added stress and added expense to an already expensive and stressful day.

Would I have felt worse, if it was my family which "excluded" me, rather than the Church? The policy has changed, but the doctrine remains the same. I think I would've still been left alone on the temple grounds.
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Rumin8
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Re: Sealing waiting period policy discontinued

Post by Rumin8 » 07 May 2019, 12:29

I've deliberately waited for this change to marinate a bit before I commented anywhere. I'm coming down in the camp that basically is thankful for the change, but why did this take so dang long???? I'm also very grateful that this change was made. I can't emphasize that enough.

One of my biggest regrets now (I didn't care 25 years ago) was that 95% of my wife's family could not attend our wedding. I have since been to many non-LDS weddings in their family, and they are so much more festive and enjoyable that mine ever was. They are truly good people and they have never pointed the finger at us for excluding them. Most of them grew up Catholic in Provo, Utah. They get it.

I'm grateful for my own sake as well. As a non-TR holding member, I will now be able to attend the weddings of my children. This takes some pressure off of my mixed faith marriage, since I will not be excluded from one of the biggest events in my children's lives.

One thing that stood out for me was the following:
The Church asks that these civil marriage ceremonies be simple and dignified.
Even with this announcement the church has to tell us what to do. I get where this is coming from, but it seems like the church always has to take the stance that we can't govern ourselves and need guidance in all things. Like missionary farewells or homecomings, this seems like an effort to suck the pageantry and "fun" out of significant life events. I'll admit I'm probably reading too much into this.

Finally, in validation to those that are hurt by this change, for whatever reason, I get it. I feel that way too. I think it would go a long way if the church would simply apologize, or even just acknowledge that some of these policies (emphasis mine) have been hurtful and divisive. We talked about this very concept the other night in what I call my "Mormon's Anonymous" support group. If the church practiced what it taught about repentance, there would be much less fear and anger surrounding changes like this.

This was a good change. Keep them coming, please.
"Moderation in all things, especially moderation." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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AmyJ
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Re: Sealing waiting period policy discontinued

Post by AmyJ » 07 May 2019, 13:40

dande48 wrote:
07 May 2019, 10:09
I had a question, I'd like to put out there: How often do you think this "new policy" will be put into effect?

It's great to have that option available. There are several weddings I would've loved to attend. But I wonder if the emphasis on temple marriage over civil is far too strong. Despite the policy change, I wonder if most members would've still opted for only the temple ceremony; it's definitely now a chance to "one-up" the "less-faithful", which is often a problem I see in the membership. It still seems like Bishops will strongly encourage only a temple ceremony, though without the threat of penalty. Plus, adding an additional "wedding" onto the occasion, seems like both an added stress and added expense to an already expensive and stressful day.

Would I have felt worse, if it was my family which "excluded" me, rather than the Church? The policy has changed, but the doctrine remains the same. I think I would've still been left alone on the temple grounds.
I thought about this as I reflected on being married for 12 years. Both sets of parents were active temple goers, and all sets of grandparents were not involved. I would have absolutely taken advantage of getting married civilly first.
a) I had 7 siblings wait outside for me when I got married - was a headache to arrange babysitting for and such. It felt anti-climatic for them and for me - they couldn't be there at the experience, just got to be in pictures.
b) Finding a beautiful wedding dress that works for garments and doesn't look dumb with the long sleeved temple style is almost impossible.
c) It was too much to put our wedding day and our sealing day on the same day. I like the idea of it being a special date night...

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Sealing waiting period policy discontinued

Post by hawkgrrrl » 07 May 2019, 16:43

For me, the elephant in the room is that the temple sealing itself is just so disappointing. It's very business-like and cold, and when I went, included sexist inequalities in what was said. I don't remember a word of what the sealer said, who was a person unknown to me and that I had no personal connection to at all, but having been to other sealings, I'm just glad he didn't go on some old-man sexist soliloquy about gender roles like so many of these guys do. The sealing feels more impersonal, more like something that happens to you rather than something that you choose to do, that I would have found a court house registry more meaningful.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Sealing waiting period policy discontinued

Post by SilentDawning » 07 May 2019, 19:12

hawkgrrrl wrote:
07 May 2019, 16:43
For me, the elephant in the room is that the temple sealing itself is just so disappointing. It's very business-like and cold, and when I went, included sexist inequalities in what was said. I don't remember a word of what the sealer said, who was a person unknown to me and that I had no personal connection to at all, but having been to other sealings, I'm just glad he didn't go on some old-man sexist soliloquy about gender roles like so many of these guys do. The sealing feels more impersonal, more like something that happens to you rather than something that you choose to do, that I would have found a court house registry more meaningful.
It's been a long time since I was in one of these ceremonies. But I can compare it to my sister's non-mem wedding. It was so much more personal and moving than the rote prayer of the sealing.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Reuben
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Re: Sealing waiting period policy discontinued

Post by Reuben » 08 May 2019, 02:02

SilentDawning wrote:
07 May 2019, 02:53
Remember that scripture everyone would quote to objectors to the one year penalty "I come to turn son against father...."? Pretty hollow justification now, isn't it? With the reversal being touted in the name of family unity?
In case it comes up again for something else: my favorite way to read this is as descriptive rather than prescriptive. The sword Jesus "brought" was already in the hands of the people. In particular, for centuries, the Pharisees had used disgust and shame to regulate their behavior to try to guarantee God's grace, because they were terrified they wouldn't measure up and he would let them be conquered again. How would such fear cause them to respond to their family members forsaking their traditions? Take up your disgust and shame, brothers! Defend! Attack!

Anyway, here's my perspective on the policy change, as someone who has decidedly left the church: it's complicated.

I've felt relieved rather than happy. I live in the UK, so the old policy had been less likely to affect me - though one child is moving back to the US, and others might follow. For me, it's more symbolic. It lifts an emotional burden somewhat.

There's still a burden, though. There's somewhat less discrimination now, and a little less prejudice. A lot of both will remain for a long time.

My wife is relieved enough to be happy about the change. The first time she was more upset about some aspect of the church than I was, it was about the old policy.

I can't work out what the change means. Does it indicate compassion for active, believing members? Certainly. Compassion for active members who are "unworthy"? It's very likely. Compassion for people like me? Hmm. We're existentially scary, and are spoken of more as cautionary tales than anything else, but compassion is a definite possibility. Maybe the change is a de-fanging of anti-Mormon rhetoric. Maybe it's a step toward protecting the temple from same-sex marriage. Maybe the old policy bothered most church leaders for a long time, but they had to wait for some apostles to age out.

Maybe all of it. It's complicated on the other side, too.

I haven't been angry, but I really do understand the anger. It makes me sad that the policy change has dredged up hurt for so many people all at once.

I'm relieved on behalf of believers who faithfully excluded family, who have had to bury their feelings as their stories were steamrolled by the official narrative.

I'm looking forward to seeing photos of weddings that everyone can attend.

I'm not looking forward to the early growing pains, as early affectees (like Curt's family) have to decide between excluding family members and scrambling to change plans.

I appreciate the guidance to keep civil weddings simple. Temple weddings have put soft pressure against extravagance and one-upsmanship. A bishop's counsel can do the same.

I don't like the word "authorized" and I find exegesis that skirts around it to be wishful thinking at best. But realistic expectations tend to turn into reality.

I've noticed more believers talking about past hurts. While the announcement doesn't contain an apology, it makes some space for grieving together by implicitly acknowledging that the old policy caused pain. Members are moving into this space. This is a good thing.

There's probably more I'm forgetting. It's complicated.
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DoubtingTom
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Re: Sealing waiting period policy discontinued

Post by DoubtingTom » 08 May 2019, 09:10

I’m really excited for this change for two main reasons.

1) It will likely impact me as children, siblings, in-laws, nieces, etc get married and hopefully I can participate in a civil ceremony as I have no intention of renewing my recommend anytime soon.

2) I hope more and more LDS couples can experience the joy and excitement of a civil marriage celebration. As others have pointed out, the temple ceremony is kind of dull, impersonal, and somewhat anti-climactic. I get the joy of eternal sealing, but there is something to be said for a little more “pomp and circumstance” for something as joyous as a wedding. I hope more couples can celebrate and feel the special joy that should accompany this day beyond what is offered in the temple itself.

thegreythinker
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Re: Sealing waiting period policy discontinued

Post by thegreythinker » 08 May 2019, 14:46

I'm so happy about this change.

It's been my dream to have a civil wedding, (even before my faith crisis) but I didn't feel like I could until now.

Now couples can choose how many people they want to invite or none at all to their sealing. Instead, they can invite most of their friends and family to a wedding ceremony.
Rumin8 wrote:
07 May 2019, 12:29
The Church asks that these civil marriage ceremonies be simple and dignified.
Even with this announcement the church has to tell us what to do. I get where this is coming from, but it seems like the church always has to take the stance that we can't govern ourselves and need guidance in all things. Like missionary farewells or homecomings, this seems like an effort to suck the pageantry and "fun" out of significant life events. I'll admit I'm probably reading too much into this.

I don't think you're reading too much into this at all. It seems like whenever the church makes a change, they have to have some sort of control over the members and I think it's because the church is afraid if they let members govern themselves, that might cause some of them to have doubts.

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