Church Leaders Eliminate Year Wait Between Civil Wedding, Temple Sealing

May 6, 2019, 6:20 PM | Updated: 6:24 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A major change in the temple marriage policy for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The one-year waiting period is no more for Latter-day Saints who are civilly married and then want a temple marriage.

“I pretty much jumped out of bed and started bawling,” said DayNa Cooley who got civilly married with her husband David on November 17th of last year and was planning a November wedding at the Salt Lake temple. “I can finally get sealed to my husband and we can do it sooner than I thought. My heart is beating so fast because I am so excited. I wanted to do this so long it’s going to be amazing there is no other way to describe it. It’s going to be perfect.”

The previous policy required that a man and woman who received a civil marriage must wait a year to be married or sealed in a temple.

“The new policy sets a single global standard for Latter-day Saints around the world,” according to a statement issued by The Church. “The Church has observed this practice for many years in more than half of the countries where the worldwide faith resides. In those countries, couples are required by law to marry civilly first.”

The faith’s First Presidency said the policy shift will allow immediate temple marriages not just for those living in areas where a licensed marriage is not permitted in the temple, but also for situations where couples want to have a civil ceremony first “… when a temple marriage would cause parents or immediate family members to feel excluded.”

This is long-awaited news for Rob and Cindy Trishman who were married in the Logan temple 12 years ago.

On that day not one of Rob’s family members, who all flew in from Pennsylvania, were able to go inside the temple and attend the ceremony. On the other hand, Cindy had about 25 family members attending.

“It was difficult, it was something I’ve carried in my heart and mind a lot thinking my parents were not at my wedding. My family was not there to see me get married that is difficult for me and no doubt for them,” said Rob to KSL.

The new policy would have allowed them to get married civilly first and then immediately get a temple marriage.

“I’m happy for all the future couples who don’t have to agonize over that. They can have a good, happy occasion,” said Rob.

“That’s significant, a really, really big deal,” said Cindy. “I think it provides more opportunity for family to be part of that moment.”

The Church stated the civil ceremonies should be “simple and dignified,” and that the temple sealing should be the central focus of the marriage.

“Newly baptized Latter-day Saints will continue to wait a year from the date of their confirmation to be married in a temple,” according to The Church’s statement. “This aligns with the Church’s long-standing policy of allowing new converts to gain a greater understanding of their faith which includes learning about the sacredness of a temple and the sacraments, or ordinances, that take place in temples.”

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Church Leaders Eliminate Year Wait Between Civil Wedding, Temple Sealing