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OT- Civil LDS Wedding

posted Feb 27, 2017 17:59:49 by SharonMoake
Have any of you had experience with a civil LDS wedding? I have been reading posts and most say DON'T have the bishop do it since it will turn out to be a hell-fire and damnation type ceremony and unpleasant for all attending especially the bride and groom. Any suggestions? We live in Utah and dont really know who else to ask.
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52 replies
LindaSmith said Feb 27, 2017 18:10:10
My son and his wife were married civilly by the bishop in another state. It was simple and beautiful in all respects. The only damper on the day was that the ward members decided to go to the temple that day instead of coming to the wedding. The only members who attended were 3 "old time" couples in the ward, the bishop, and our family. The chapel was fairly full with their friends from work and her non-member family. It wasn't a very good representation of the church, but the day was beautiful otherwise.

Our new DIL had been baptized only 3 months earlier, so they couldn't go to the temple yet. This summer they will be sealed :-D

It is all individual experience! There is no reason for the day to be terrible unless someone is determined to make it so.
AnnieSmart said Feb 27, 2017 18:10:15
I have attended several LDS civil Marriages. I did not hear hell fire in any of them.
[Last edited Feb 27, 2017 18:12:14]
Steve-JoyMarker said Feb 27, 2017 18:10:23
Surely, it depends on the Bishop.
I have never had any bad experiences
with an LDS Wedding with a bishop
AngaleeJackson said Feb 27, 2017 18:12:40
I was a photographer for one a few years ago. It was held in the Joseph Smith Memorial building. The middle-aged bride & mother of three was pregnant at the time of the ceremony. It was beautiful and not at all hell fire & damnation. Unlike other civil ceremonies I've attended, this one was filled with love and hope--hope for the future and not at all shameful in any way. The bride's bishop performed the ceremony.
[Last edited Feb 27, 2017 23:06:07]
Kathryn Blose said Feb 27, 2017 18:19:25
Our current bishop in Las Vegas officiated at the weddings of two of our daughters. He did a nice job. He was only upset when he wife agreed to fix up their backyard so our youngest daughter could be married there.

If you do have a bishop officiate, do it in an LDS meetinghouse. and keep it simple, is my advice. Talk to the bishop ahead of time and express your concerns. Pray about it as well for reassurance from the Lord.

Bob Walker said Feb 27, 2017 18:22:10
Bishops have guidelines (including the exact words for the actual wedding ceremony) and they are asked to follow them as closely as possible. Weddings are not allowed to be conducted in the chapel, but may be done in other rooms in the building, or other venues outside of a church building (such as a backyard wedding). I can't imagine one of them being hell fire and damnation. That Bishop needs to be talked to by his Stake President if it actually happened and gave someone this impression that they are all like that.

My second to youngest sister just came back into the church after a lifetime of fighting against it. She is now 41 and has really turned her life around. She has not yet been a new member for a year and she met this wonderful guy. Two weeks ago they were married by his Stake President (and lifelong best friend) in their living room. Only immediate family was present, and it was a beautiful ceremony. They are looking forward to being sealed next February, and in her receiving her endowments this summer.
[Last edited Feb 27, 2017 18:24:39]
SharonMoake said Feb 27, 2017 18:36:02
Thank you for your responses. I was hoping that IF we did have a bishop it could be our recently released bishop since he knows us much better than the current one. Does anyone know how that works? Does a bishop lose his license to wed as soon as he is released?
LoryVanValkenbur said Feb 27, 2017 19:06:26
I have three children who have been married civilly. The ceremonies were beautiful. Two were in the chapel, one in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. One a bishop and one a stake president. There are guidelines for using the chapel, but the weddings were really nice.
Bob Walker said Feb 27, 2017 19:07:15
Yes he does. Only your current Bishop/Stake President has the keys and the legal authority.
[Last edited Feb 27, 2017 19:08:01]
LoryVanValkenbur said Feb 27, 2017 19:14:50
A chaplain can also perform a ceremony. Bob is correct, it must be a current bishop or stake president.
JulieK said Feb 27, 2017 19:37:31
Sharon, my eldest son had a civil wedding in the Beaver Dam church house by our Bishop and it was very lovely. The Bishop gave some great quotes about love and sacrifice that were by prophets. She had wanted to have it in the historic small chapel upstairs which is now used as the primary room but because of a handicap brother she had it in the cultural hall. I've been to many other civil LDS weddings that were lovely as well. Of course, they aren't the same as in the temple but they are choosing to be married which is a wonderful things these days where so many choose cohabitation.

LoryVanValkenbur said Feb 27, 2017 19:59:17
I agree Julie. My bishop actually researched whether or not we could use the chapel. It had to be very simple, no decorating etc. I did feel the Spirit. Nothing compares to a sealing, but I wanted the Spirit a part of the ceremony, as did my children.
KrissR said Feb 27, 2017 20:19:56
I was married by my husband'a bishop in a civil ceremony before we were sealed in the temple. It was a great ceremony, with no "hell, fire, and damnation". It had spiritual aspects as well as light hearted parts. I have been to several other civil ceremonies and have never seen a bishop or stake president be any thing less than kind and respectful. They may throw in a sentence or two about being sealed at a later date, but that is a small portion of civil ceremonies from what I have seen.
David.Clark said Feb 27, 2017 21:08:38
My brother was married civilly in my parents home almost 25 years ago. My brother-in-law (who is a counselor in his ward's bishopric) is getting married next month in a civil wedding. In both cases, the brides were recent converts worthy in every way to go the temple except for the one year period the converts have to wait after their baptisms to go to the temple.

In both situations, the couples were advised to go ahead get married in a civil ceremony and then get sealed once the bride reaches her one year baptism anniversary. In my brother's case, they were sealed after the year. He has since served as bishop, counselor in stake presidency, and branch president.

We're raised in the church to believe that being married in a civil ceremony is settling for something less. As such, it's sometimes easy to look down on people getting married outside the temple. I absolutely agree that a temple marriage is the goal, but having a civil marriage first doesn't always mean, as illustrated above (and in other possible circumstances), that anyone settled for anything (and might, in fact, be the best option in any given circumstance).

With that said, I hope a bishop conducting such a ceremony wouldn't give a hell fire and brimstone lecture during the marriage.
Formerly known as Alabama LDS
SharonMoake said Feb 27, 2017 21:40:30
JulieK that is our ward !:)....we won't be able to be using it though....its already reserved for a scout fundraiser. I hope to have it reserved after they are done in case of inclement whether since DD wants an outdoor wedding/reception, but choosing May is risking rain. But I was thinking we would want the ceremony earlier than 5 in the afternoon...we will see, DD hasn't decided for sure where.
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