By Kelly

I recently resigned my church membership, based on doctrinal disagreements I have with church leaders. The exclusion that happens within the temple is one major reason. I married my husband when I was barely 21 years old. He was the same age. We were married and sealed within the Mt Timpanogos, Utah temple. During our ceremony there were only a dozen family members among the friends of our parents within their wards and bishops. Outside the temple waiting for us to exit were 30 plus family members that were either not members or under age to be endowed according to church policy. One of them was my Father in Law….One of the most honest, loyal men ever and a great man of integrity. Also, we had 9 direct siblings outside.

Looking back after the last 25 years, that day was a huge turning point in my views of the church and temple doctrine. The temple hasn’t ever brought my family together, it has only excluded and separated it. My God wouldn’t do that. The temple ceremony is extremely impersonal for the couple being sealed. Most of the time you don’t know who is marrying/sealing you. You don’t have any opportunity to express your love to your partner in front of your friends and family. You only get to listen to a man you don’t even know and will likely never see again say things to you that I didn’t even remember the next day because I was sad I had so many loving, church standard living family outside waiting for us to be done to share in our joy. It was a huge blow to me later in life when I learned that it is only church policy that prevents couples from being able to have a civil wedding the same day as the sealing. The church conforms to others countries laws and allows those couples to do that. How much more beautiful and special their days and ceremonies are than mine was, I often wonder.

I regret not standing up to my parents and church leaders and requesting a civil ceremony before the sealing in order to include my entire family! God wants our families to be together, right? The 1 year waiting period is only a way for church leaders to punish those members that want a civil ceremony. God didn’t make the policy that is different depending on what country you live in!! The church leaders make that decision!!!! Plus the culture looks at a civil ceremony as that the couple isn’t worthy to attend the temple, since the waiting period for sins is also 1 year. This is wrong on so many levels!! I ask the church leaders to please change their policy to allow a civil wedding before the sealing without punishment to the couple so couples can feel the full joy of exchanging vows before all the family and friends they love so much. The sacrifice the church asks them to make is not for God, it is only to keep their excluding policies.

From a woman that may have never doubted the church doctrines and leaders……and left the church, if it hadn’t been for the temple doctrines.