Comments about ‘Ask Angela: My guy said he wasn't an active Mormon, but now wants a temple wedding’

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Published: Monday, Nov. 25 2013 12:00 p.m. MST

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Getting married in the temple isn't just something you decide on a whim and get to do. If you've been in a position of inactivity, you have to come back to church, you have to repent and if there are serious misdeeds you go to the Bishop, you have to have a change of heart and a desire to be completely active in the church, which means attending church meetings, serving in callings, faithfully holding the Priesthood (for men), prayer, temple worship, Book of Mormon studying, etc. If he just wants to get married in the temple and that's his only interest in the church, he cannot hope to do that. It requires some serious, permanent change. I hope the guy wants it for himself and his future family. And if that's the case, he's better off finding a faith-filled LDS woman who wants the same thing.

1.96 Standard Deviations

There is still room for both of you in the church! But, you're going to need to have the desire to come back with "full purpose of heart" for a temple wedding. Church attendance is one, of many, parts required to get a temple recommend. It will be worse to go through the motions of temple preparation and temple marriage and not truly be sincere about keeping the covenants afterwards.

Ask yourself if you are willing to make necessary, and sincere, sacrifices for a temple marriage. If not, it's time for a frank discussion with Mr. Boyfriend. Things likely won't work if one is striving for a temple wedding and the other person is not.

Cedar Hills, UT

Motivation is everything here.

Is the boyfriend beginning to think about eternal perspective as a result of the relationship? If so, his desire to prepare to go to the temple could reflect very noble love and intentions towards the woman he desires to marry. In which case it should be flattering to her that he thinks of her in that manner.

Or, is he thinking of family or social pressures to marry in the temple? In that case, the motivation would be flawed. Desire to go to the temple should come from inner conversion and a desire for eternal covenants.

What more, it is better to have this discussion now, and decide it now, than to put it off until after marriage. In that sense he is doing her a favor in bringing it up now to be discussed and decided. If she doesn't want to be a practicing LDS member, she needs to communicate that directly to avoid problems down the road. Don't assume the other person knows your intentions if you haven't stated them directly.

I wish the couple the best in working this out.

Ronnie W.
Layton, UT

Does a couple paragraphs of explanation give one enough to make a judgement call about a relationship?

I would say it usually does not.

I would not trust someone who sees themselves fit to make a judgement call with such limited info.

Someone once told me the best advice you can get is from yourself. There is some truth to that. You know your situation better, you know your feelings better and you have your best interests at heart.

Provo, UT

Why did the woman leave the LDS church?

Why does the man want to marry her in an LDS Temple - because they are somewhat grandiose buildings or does the man believe that marrying in an LDS temple ensures a marriage for eternity?

Assuming we live after death, aren't all marriages eternal (sans divorce of course)?

What makes everyone think that the LDS church is the only one who believes in eternal marriage?

Cedar Hills, UT

Thinkman, great questions.

Why the woman or man stopped practicing their faith is a good question indeed. It will influence the outcome.

I, too, was wondering about the man's incentives myself in my earlier post.

As far as eternal marriages, LDS members believe that for a marriage to remain in effect after this life, it needs to be "sealed" by priesthood authority in a temple.

I think it's wonderful that others would want an eternal marriage. A desire to share the blessing of eternal families is one of the reasons that LDS members invite others to be baptized and prepare to receive the blessings of temple ordinances.

I hope this post helps you and others understand the LDS perspective and why temple marriage is so important to us.

Kevin J. Kirkham
Salt Lake City, UT

Here is the easy, simple and fair solution. Get married outside of the temple first and then attend church with the intention of resolving any issues that you may have that would keep you from worthily attending the temple. If you both find a new sense of joy and fulfillment in attending church, keep it up and worthily attend the temple in a year. If you find that you really don't enjoy church and following church standards, you're better off not having a temple wedding.

Having a non-temple wedding will also allow non-LDS, less active LDS and active LDS who haven't gone through the temple yet to be able to attend your wedding. Excluding non-LDS (and even some less active LDS) family from attending, as would happen with a temple wedding, can cause hurt feelings and resentment. It did with mine.

You have nothing to lose in waiting and everything to gain. Trust me.

City, Ut

I agree with Angela.

If this guy is liking you enough to want to marry you forever instead of just until one of you dies--and wants to change his lackadaisical behavior so as to make that happen, thats pretty impressive.

You don't want to throw away that kind of love.


A lot of *individual* people believe in being together forever. Finding an officiator who believes in using his/her authority to do that is another matter. 'Til death --- for as long as you both shall live -- and/or other words to that effect is all that is said regularly by "normal" officiators.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

I find it off-putting that Mormons believe that they, and only they, have the idea of "eternal marriage", and they and only they have the "authority" to create eternal marriages. The Bible is filled with scriptures that say otherwise.

My wife and I vowed to love one another and be "married" to one another "forever".

IF there is a life after this (for which there is no evidence), no so-called "authority" can change our "eternal marriage"; no earthly formalities can possibly keep two people apart who love one another as we do. Any god who would stoop to such technicalities would be unjust, unloving, and unworthy of my worship.

Besides, I have known LDS couples who were married in the Temple "for eternity" but who essentially hate each other. No "authority" would ever require such a couple to stay together (whatever that might mean) in the hereafter!

Not that I believe in any of this religious persnickety-ness...

Mission, 00

Thinkman and The Scientist- the truth is that while we mormons may not be be the only ones who believe in eternal marriage, it is true that most other Christian faiths believe it is"till death do us part" regardless of how much they believe in the after life, or how much they love each other.

Manti, UT

Religious incompatibility is one of the main destroyers of a relationship. If you have no desire to go back to Church except on an occasional basis, then a temple marriage is not for you. No one can make you want to go to church with a real intent and complete commitment. That is something between you and the Lord and you cannot mock God by pretending. He knows your soul. Complacency has no place in the temple. It is a sacred privilege and honor to be able to attend the temple and a complete wonder to be able to receive the highest blessing you can receive in the temple, which is a temple marriage. From the way you are hesitant about it, you should not continue this relationship no matter how much you have "invested" in it. If you have no desire for the blessing offered you, then, by all means, back out or neither of you will be happy. Let that young man go to find someone who is worthy of him and his higher desires.

Far East USA, SC

From the article

"We’ve been dating for about two months ....."

The advice should have been, "Date another year and then write me"

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

JoeBlow -- nice catch. After two months of dating, while I do believe couples can meet, date, fall in love and even marry in short of time, it also is way premature to be wrestling with finality on such issues... more so that it is good such conversations are happening and issues being explored. So yeah... date for a year and then write me.

Scientist -- "Any god who would stoop to such technicalities would be unjust, unloving, and unworthy of my worship." Thus a loving God allows proxy work to be officiated... a situation regarding all ordinances which is applicable to to majority of the human race current and throughout history. A minority get to benefit from these in mortality; but, would seem to be necessary as this just God requires MORTALS to receive these ordinances either for themselves or on behalf of others. Am certain this is based on an aspect of physics we're unfamiliar with.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

@ Thinkman

"What makes everyone think that the LDS church is the only one who believes in eternal marriage?"

Anyone who went on a mission last century can tell you that our missionaries take major criticism for believing in eternal marriage. Most other churches, that I am familiar with, not only don't believe it but are openly hostile toward the idea.

Bountiful, UT

To the Scientist:
When Jesus ordained Simon Peter he said to him: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Thus when a couple are bound together by the authority Jesus gave to Peter, they will not only be bound together until death; they can, if they honor their marriage vows, be bound together also in heaven. Wishing that the bonds of matrimony will extend beyond death is nice, but Jesus apparently recognized that such a promise requires the officiator to have the authority (keys) to seal a couple on earth and have it binding also in heaven.

John K
Carmichael, CA

On the other hand, if he is in flux and starting to change towards becoming an active member, and she is not, this could be a bad case of being unequally yoked. If they can't talk about becoming fully active to qualify for the celestial kingdom, then it would be best if they went their separate ways. If she can find it in her heart to rekindle her testimony and want to come back, they could be a great support to each other in doing that.

Granny Barton
Woods Cross, Utah

My feelings have always been this. If you think living the commandments is difficult, try living with out them. Then you will find out just how difficult life can be.

Hays, KS

My personal opinion is that, unless their desire for a Temple Marriage moves them to serious soul-searching and repentance, then it falls into the category of what I like to call Horse Wishes. (As in, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.)

As to eternal marriage being uniquely LDS, one must first question whether the other faiths believe in the Bible, which both states that, speaking of the priesthood powers, no man taketh this honour upon himself (Hebrews 5:4) and that there is a DISTINCT priesthood key to bind in Heaven (Matthew 18:18). If they do believe in the Bible's teachings on this matter, then there can be little question that other churches have no binding authority to bind in Heaven. Their desire to do so amounts to little more than a Horse Wish. The fact that people think it's unfair God would recognize one church's authority over the others assumes the fact that all Churches have an equal amount of truth and divine authority, which is quite obviously not the case. God is not bound to treat equal things that a very much NOT equal. Such would not be commiserate with justice.

Tampa, FL

The man needs to sincerely pray and receive guidance from his Priesthood leaders about coming into full activity in the Church if that's what he sincerely desires. And the woman needs to decide if she's willing to make those changes or if she's not.

Admittedly, I'm curious as to why people who are very clearly non-LDS and are only vested in trying to twist LDS doctrine are commenting on an LDS-based news website in the first place? I've seen the same few people comment on the Faith articles with no other purpose than to persecute and belittle our doctrine... What is the point of that? :|

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