Couples Married Civilly Now Authorized for Immediate Temple Marriage

May 6, 2019
1 min read

I rarely comment on current events or things like this on my blog but I’ve been waiting on this announcement for quite some time.

My family has a lot of members and a lot of converts as well. Being a Latter-day Saint already separates us from them in some significant ways and essentially banning all of them from participating in our weddings was a hard thing.

Later on, I learned that it was only in a few countries that there was a one-year waiting period to get sealed in the temple after a civil marriage. It seemed strange to me that there would be a different standard for members around the world.

In the United States and a few other countries, if you met someone, fell in love, and happened to join the church in the process, your parents as non-members could not attend your wedding. That has probably left a dark mark on people’s feelings toward the church for a long time.

At least now, this policy is gone and it gives the couples more options when it comes to how they want to celebrate their weddings and under a uniform global standard.

This is great news and it will bless many, many people.


  1. In some countries, the Temple is not authorised to perform the civil ceremony, only the spiritual one. So it is necessary in places like the UK to have a civil ceremony first (something about the law requiring such ceremonies having to be accessible to all) and then have the sealing in the Temple. So an LDS wedding usually takes place in the chapel on a Saturday morning, followed by a lunchtime reception and the Temple sealing on Saturday afternoon/evening. I seem to remember the regular Temple services come to an end mid-afternoon or so, but the sealing rooms stay open later. I loved that system.

    Of course in places that have no Temple, the sealing necessarily has to take place later when the couple is able to travel overseas to the Temple. Indian LDS couples have to travel to Hong Kong for the Temple ceremony, Hong Kong being one of the few countries that Indians can visit for a short time without requiring a visa.

    On a personal level, I cannot understand why this one-year waiting period existed at all.

    • Shankar, great to hear from you! Thanks for your insights. I’m not entirely sure why the waiting period existed either.

      My guess is that it was to discourage civil marriages among the saints wherever possible. To me it felt like the couple was being punished by denying them the blessings of the temple. Was the one year delay supposed to be a period of repentance?

      A civilly married couple who is endowed would probably still be able to enter the temple and participate in other ordinances including proxy sealings I would assume.

      I never liked the policy and when I learned that other countries didn’t have it I wondered why there were different standards based on location.

      It’s great that they made this change though because I think it will do far more good in the lives of people.

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