We are the Barker brothers and we run RationalFaiths.com, a blog that examines the Mormon tradition. One of the series recently featured on our blog was dedicated to Mormon weddings and temple sealings.
Since most countries outside of the United States require a civil marriage first vs. a temple sealing in order to be declared legal and binding, stories from church members overseas shared a common theme of inclusion. And we loved their stories. Entire families attended the wedding celebrations and shared in the joy of that special day no matter what their religious beliefs. Generally, temple sealings took place either the same day as the wedding or shortly after.
On the other hand, stories we read from church members in the United States were largely stories of heartache. Couples either had to exclude family and friends from their temple sealings or wait the required year to be sealed if they chose a civil marriage.
We feel that it truly is a penalty for couples that choose a civil wedding to have to wait a year to be sealed in the temple. It is unnecessary and not rooted in doctrine. And what is most worrisome is the grief and pain that is brought upon so many families, particularly when exclusion results from the couple feeling like there is no choice but to only have a temple sealing.
We have thought and pondered on this topic for a long time and as a result we decided to create this website. Our main objective is to gently persuade the LDS church leaders to prayerfully consider changing the one-year wait penalty imposed on those who choose family first. We believe this would not only benefit couples who want to include all of their friends and family, but would also allow for more positive experiences for those who are not members of the church.
We hope you can join us in this movement by sharing this website and writing a letter. We are collecting emails, stories, and letters to help format a letter that will be sent, through official channels, to our leaders in Salt Lake City. We will be also passing along the letters and stories that will be part of a packet that will accompany the letter.