Dear President Monson,
I was raised in the Church, served a faithful mission, married my wife of 29 years in the Salt Lake City Temple, and we have six children born in the covenant.
I plead with you to revoke the policy of making couples wait 12 months to be sealed if they choose to marry civilly first.
The policy seems to have arisen in the 60′s and its motivation is unclear. To the rest of the world, the policy appears to be about tithing revenue and retaining members. Its effects are to discourage civil, inclusive weddings at which all family and friends can be welcome.
By preventing civil, inclusive weddings, the policy causes a tremendous amount of pain and family division. The policy even fosters abuses such as daughters and sons telling their parents that the parents are ineligible or unworthy to witness their children’s weddings. I fully understand that this is not the intention of the policy, but it is indeed a side effect.
Since the policy has no doctrinal or scriptural basis, and since the policy is relatively new in the Church’s history, could it not be changed? Rather than imposing a 12 month waiting period, allow worthy couples to be sealed as soon after their weddings as possible. After all, getting married civilly does not make them unworthy of the temple. They can attend the temple, and be sealed as proxies for deceased couples, yet the Church does not allow them to be sealed for themselves.
This inconsistency, and the general conflation of weddings and temple sealings, is a cause of much pain and anguish for faithful, worthy couples with family and friends who aren’t of the LDS faith. To improve the Church’s ecumenical standing, please revoke the 12-month waiting period.
Thank you for your consideration,
Lake Oswego Ward,
Lake Oswego, Oregon Stake