Dear First Presidency,

I am writing about the one-year waiting period between temple sealings and civil weddings, as is currently the practice in U.S. and Canada. I respectfully request that you inquire of the Lord whether this policy can be changed.

This policy has caused me personal pain, and caused pain to many of my friends and family. I have been an active member my whole adult life. I have held a temple recommend since I turned 12 until present day (20+ years later). But I have been excluded from countless temple weddings, nonetheless. I am one of the youngest siblings in my immediate family, and one of the youngest cousins in my extended family. I was not able to attend any of my cousin’s temple weddings as a result of my not having been endowed at the time (I was too young). I also missed my father’s marriage in the temple, as I was very young at the time. I even missed my dear sister’s temple wedding.  Missing your own sister’s wedding is completely heartbreaking. I do not understand how this in any way serves the Lord’s purpose.

When my brother got married, he and his dear bride had 11 siblings between the two of them. Only 4 were able to attend, restricted either due to age or church membership status. More than half of their beloved brothers and sisters had to wait outside!

It is very difficult to understand this policy as a member, it is even more difficult to explain to non-members. Many non-members are first introduced to the church through weddings, and it is not a good first impression. The policy seems unnecessarily exclusionary, and at times downright cruel. Why would a mother, who has done so much for her child, be shut out from her own child’s wedding? And why would a convert, who has already changed so much in his/her life, be asked to exclude his/her family? Is this really what the Lord wants? Is this really the impression He wants to give non-members (and members, too) of His church? Is this much pain and ill-will really necessary? Isn’t there a better way?

Please consider taking this issue to the Lord in prayer.

Respectfully,
Amanda Ford