Subject: Excluded from daughter's wedding. My Letter to Newsweek
Date: Dec 17, 2007
Author: Colorado mom

Here is what I just sent to Newsweek

A Letter to the Editor of Newsweek

"Mitt Romney is trying to present the Mormon religion as just another Christian denomination. Our experience may raise questions about how well some Mormon “family values” align with those of other faiths. When our only daughter was married in a Mormon temple, we were not allowed to attend the wedding because we are not Mormons. Our feelings and values were not respected. We were told we could wait outside the building. The ceremony is so secret that the bride is not permitted to know in advance what it will be like or to talk about it afterward. When we were raising her, we never imagined that we would be excluded from her wedding. Romney’s candidacy has given voters a good reason to explore his unusual and unique beliefs."

A further note to the Editor:

We eventually discovered that the temple ritual was mostly copied from the Freemasons to hide Joseph Smith’s polygamy. There is information online at several sites maintained by ex- Mormons, as well as in books and historical records. Helpful sites for us were Mormon Curtain, under the topic, “Mormon Temple Ceremonies” at (link) and Recovery from Mormonism at (link) which has many stories similar to ours. Their main pages have links to numerous other controversial Mormon ideas.

The Book of Mormon is a fantasy prehistory of the Americas. It says that Native Americans are descendants of a lost tribe of Israel and Christ appeared here to speak to them. Mormons are not allowed to read anything critical of their church or examine the actual history of the founder, a convicted con man who said he was forced by an angel to “marry” dozens of woman. Some were already married to other men and at least one was only fourteen years old.


Subject: Re: Excluded from daughter's wedding-my Letter to Newsweek
Date: Dec 17 11:54
Author: NeverMo Mom of TBM's     [TBM=true believing Mormon]

As a mother who has experienced what you have and expect to go through it again as G-children grow up I'd like to thank you for writing this letter.

I don't intend to wait outside again, and I will tell them why.

I believe if everyone put in this position would refuse to wait at the Temple and be honest with the reasons why the policy might change.

Also I read posts here about those that lie to get temple recommends so they can attend weddings of children or family members. I resent this very would change much sooner if those within stood up and said it's time to let members be sealed after marriage outside the temple, and not have to wait for a year. Those of you that go along with this hurtful practice are just enabling them to continue excluding family members and loved ones. So flame away if you like. Or get some backbone and stop bending to their rules.


Subject: Re: Excluded from daughter's wedding-my Letter to Newsweek
Date: Dec 17 12:15
Author: PtLoma       [TSCC = This so called church]

I suspect that many nonmembers don't care whether they see the inside of a sealing room...they simply want to be present when their child is married. And most would be happy with a public ceremony followed by a temple sealing....I doubt that most would even care about being excluded from the sealing.

Actually, this practice IS allowed by TSCC in countries where civil marriage is required (France, Germany do not recognize religious marriages as legal) or in countries which require a religious wedding to be PUBLIC (UK, etc.). In these countries, couples may have a civil (or LDS chapel) wedding first, followed by an ASAP sealing in the temple.

The one year wait rule between civil and temple marriage in the USA is a relatively new LDS invention. Ann and Mitt Romney were married in a PUBLIC ceremony in Michigan, then flew to SLC the same day and were married the next day in the SLC temple. When I asked older board members their recollections of the rules in those days, most seemed to recall that there was no one year wait in the 1960s, and it appears that the Romneys' wedding arrangements were ROUTINE in those days, rather than a special exception granted to VIP members. I don't mean that every LDS couple had a public wedding before the temple in the 1960s, but that it was possible to have a civil or public wedding in order to include nonmember relatives, followed quickly by a temple sealing.


Subject: Is it possible
Date: Dec 17 17:06
Author: Starkitty

That one of the reasons that there was no one year waiting period between public marriages and temple sealings back then because there were not as many temples at the time? It seems that with a temple around every corner these days, the expectation is that you'd head straight to it to get married as you would no longer have to travel a great distance.


Subject: Re: Excluded from daughter's wedding...
Date: Dec 17 14:28
Author: you do make a good point

Good point!

You have cracked this thing open and whittled it down to its core--

IF the Leader-Dogs in LDS, Inc. would "fast and pray" (or consult their Ouija boards, or whatever) and become more sensitive to all of this nonsense, they would easily see that your suggestion is a good one--

LET the couple even have a "lawn wedding", right outside the temple, for all of the non-momo people to "attend": they could even do this right BEFORE (or right AFTER) the couple do the INSIDE marriage thing.

I can easily see places like AZ and HAWAII conducting an "outside" ceremony, during most of the year. For colder places, like Chicago and D.C. and etc (and other places around the world), then it would be easy to have a "staged wedding", in a temple annex.

That way, the WHOLE family, of both bride and groom, could be there, on invitation, of course.

P.S: When a person is not even invited to their kids' weddings, that would probably hurt, even worse, than being invited, but not able to witness the marriage..
(As in "you're not invited, because you're not able to come inside, with us, anyway!)


Subject: my grandfather
Date: Dec 17 12:02
Author: nonamepls

My grandfather was not permitted to attend his youngest daughter's wedding until he paid his back tithing.

But he smoked and that did not prohibit him from entering the temple.



Subject: that would be called black mail in certain circles n/t


Subject: Re: Excluded from daughter's wedding-my Letter to Newsweek
Date: Dec 17 12:17
Author: No Moniker

A TBM friend was excluded from his daughter's wedding because he was behind in his tithing. He told me this in an effort to make me feel better about being excluded from my DD's wedding.

My reply: You mean you were not permitted to be present at your own child's wedding because you owed the church money?

You would think this might get someone to start thinking, but he is ultra TBM to this day.

It's all about money with the LDS church.


Subject: Where does this organisation get the idea that 'parishioners' OWE them money?
Date: Dec 17 12:42
Author: Brigantia

There's no OWING about it. It isn't a tithing paid to the Lord at all, or it could be given to needy charities without the organisation's objection, if they wish to be thought of as Christian.

10% of one's increase is not 10% of gross income anyway. This organisation is effectively invoicing parishioners for.... what?

I stopped paying tithing when I discovered that the church had been taking 10% via my mother (the carer) from my two profoundly handicapped brother and sister. The money was their disability and mobility allowance from the British Government which was means tested to cover their extra needs. My mother's pension was dipped into by this organisation in like manner and she, being TBM, paid it so she could go to the temple and attend the weddings of her grandchildren, only one of which after all that was held in the temple.

Only three of us continued attending church after she died. The other 7 had had enough, especially after the funeral and the Will debacle, which is another nightmare story for another time.



Subject: When I first told my 18yr old daughter I was leaving the church...
Date: Dec 17 15:30
Author: ausgaz

I told her that I was very happy if she chose to continue to believe and that I would support her. I said my only exception is that if she married in the temple that there was no-one alive big enough or ugly enough to stop me from attending. I loved her reply, she said, "dad, if you couldn't go I wouldn't get married there".

As a TBM I used to think it was a necessary sacrifice to forsake your family and friends to keep god's commandments and marry in the temple. It is only when I contemplate the idea that my daughter could have been married and me not attend that the real gravity of the situation has hit me. I don't think a person can understand the love a parent feels for their child until they are a parent.

The good news is she decided to leave the church too along with all our other children. She has a steady boyfriend who we like a lot and treats her very well. They are moving in together over the Christmas break and we couldn't be happier for them.

I wish you all the very best for the future.



Subject: You can also be excluded from a child's wedding for not paying enough tithing. n/t


Subject: when my mom got remarried (language)
Date: Dec 17 17:23
Author: bookworm

she had a temple ceremony. I was TBM at the time and was the only one of 8 of her kids that could attend. Even being TBM I thought she was being extremely selfish to marry in the temple and exclude most of her family. When I complained to another TBM member, they looked at me like I was crazy. Their arrogant response was "it's their fault they can't attend her wedding. If they really cared about their mom they would do what they had to do to get a recommend." What a bunch of bullsh*t.

TBMs don't get it. They don't recognize anybody else's beliefs and they certainly don't acknowledge anyone's anger and resentment for being excluded from a temple wedding. I think back with a bit of shame and guilt that I didn't even give a second thought about my dad's feelings from being excluded from my temple wedding 12 years ago.


Subject: If your daughter had married Mitt Romney . . .
Date: Dec 17 17:31
Author: closet questioner

You would have been able to attend the wedding, a traditional ceremony -- after which, she and her husband would have had the temple ceremony.

Unfortunately, she did not marry such an LDS blue-blood.


Subject: I guess it depends on the stake leader
Date: Dec 17 22:40
Author: Isis

We got married in the D.C. temple and then had a big ring exchange and vows at my mom's ward building (I grew up in that ward) in NYC. The stake leader did the ceremony. But I guess that depends on the stake leader and culture of the congregation. That was in 1997. Our ward was mostly Latino/Caribbean. We also lived in AZ at the time. I guess that broke all the rules!!??


Subject: Re: I guess it depends on the stake leader
Date: Dec 17 23:05
Author: noholdsbarred

doesn't sound like any rules were broken - just a matter of who actually got to go in the DC temple and who didn't. those of us who have been excluded from the temple wedding audience could give a rat$ a$$ about anything outside to make us "feel" included....


Subject: Excellent letter, I hope it gets published!!
Date: Dec 18 00:49
Author: Lara C

I have been waiting for something to come out in the media about this. If anything brings out the cultish aspects of the LDS church, this is it!!!


Subject: There really is no reason to prevent a civil marriage
Date: Dec 18 03:17
Author: Sandra Sue

first and then go to the Temple except they are stubborn and want to keep control of their people and make them pay in money and works.
What goes on in the Temple is a sealing not a regular marriage ceremony as most know it.

We were married in the Relief Society room and had to wait a year to go to the Temple because my husband had not been a member for a year yet, of course we were made to feel guilty because we got married early (I was asked out right if I was pregnant, I was not!) and had the emphasis that it was for time only, so neither ceremony was as joyous as it should have been because of that attitude and once I had gone to the Temple I knew there was something not right about what I was doing.

I hope they publish your letter. They deserve to be exposed and an other thing is who they have baptized after they died, like Hitler and Jews who died. That should also be exposed.


Subject: The irony of all this is...
Date: Dec 18 04:06
Author: Vahn

...That JOSEPH SMITH himself was "Sealed" to women time after time WITHOUT the use of a temple.

I think this fact pisses me off more than anything else. It's CLEAR that there is no reason to exclude the never-mo family to perform the ordinance... so what does the church profit from it?



Subject: Re: Excluded from daughter's wedding-my Letter to Newsweek
Date: Dec 18 05:34
Author: anonmo

Colorado Mom:
Your letter is really good.

To extend the impact, maybe the next letter can be from someone who was refused admittance to their child's wedding due to owing back tithing. This is extraordinarily un-Christian. It is specific (esp if one states the approximate amount owed, any extenuating circumstance that impacted repayment), and the public embarrassment to be kept from the temple. Offensive to most readers and easy to understand. No theology. No history. Just hypocrisy and greed. These are not Christian attributes. Members are not equal and are regularly evaluated for worthiness. This is not Christian.

Good Luck. What you are doing is hard and it is important.


Subject: exclusion from offspring's wedding leads to suicide.......
Date: Dec 18 08:01
Author: penny poster

A few months back - maybe even last year - a very sad gentleman posted on here about being excluded from the temple wedding of his daughter.

He had an illness that was potentially terminal. Because he felt an outsider in his family due to his newfound knowledge (that the church isn't true) - he couldn't live with the knowledge that his children were disappointed in him and his wife would not accept his new position, and felt they'd be happier without him. He posted that he had arranged with his doctor to withhold life saving treatment shortly after his daughter's wedding.

I can't recall his poster name, and I don't know if he went through with it, (many of us begged him not to) but it was one of the saddest stories I've come across. It's a dreadful practice. Even my best friend who is TBM disagrees with this policy. Her inactive husband and children couldn't attend her daughter's temple wedding. What a way to make family members feel lousy!! And of course, you can be TBM and still not be able to attend, if you are under a certain age etc. Very polarising policy.

I agree with anonmo's suggestion for the "next" letter - to show how unspiritual (is that a word??) this policy is.

and ausgaz - what a great 'gal' your daughter is!


Subject: Re: Excluded from daughter's wedding-my Letter to Newsweek
Date: Dec 18 11:11
Author: No Moniker

Here is my letter. Probably too long for publication, but perhaps it will prompt further inquiry and a more in-depth story. I encourage everyone else to follow Colorado Mom's lead, let's take advantage of the spotlight placed on TSCC by Romney's run to let the world know the truth about the "family values" LDS church.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney likes to present a family friendly image of himself and his LDS religion. While I am sure Romney genuinely considers his church to have “family values”, there is another sad side to the LDS “family values” story.

Here is my family’s devastating experience with the “family values” LDS church.

Our daughter joined the LDS church and was later married in an LDS temple. We, along with her entire immediate and extended family were excluded from the wedding ceremony by policy of the LDS Church. Virtual strangers were present, but not her mother, father, grandparent or siblings. None of the people who have loved and supported her all her life were permitted by the LDS Church to be present. A bitter experience that broke our hearts.

After a lifetime of expressing unconditional love and support in all the tangible and intangible ways only a mother can; I was judged "unworthy" and not allowed to be present at the marriage ceremony of my own child because it took place inside an LDS temple. This is a terrible and hurtful policy of the LDS church.

The LDS church’s exclusionary policy extends to church members who are considered “unworthy” in some way. Several years ago, a friend was excluded from his daughter’s wedding because he had fallen behind in his tithing. In other words, a father (and life-long member of the LDS church) was denied permission to be present at the marriage of his daughter because he owed the church money.

A simple solution would be for couples with non-member or “unworthy” family members to be married in a ceremony outside of the temple and then be “sealed” inside the temple later. This would allow for both an inclusive ceremony and the sacred rite. However, LDS couples living in the US are actively discouraged from considering this option and those who do are penalized by church policy requiring them to wait one year to be sealed in the temple. Further, it has been my observation that couples who still choose this option are demeaned by church leaders and other members as being “less than faithful”. (I refer you to the church publication Ensign, February 2005).

However, this waiting period is not church policy in the UK, France, Germany, Japan and many other countries. Church policy there allows couples to marry in a ceremony outside the temple and to be sealed in the temple on the same day or another day of their choice. They are not penalized by any waiting period.

Clearly, church doctrine permits this option.

If the LDS church is unwilling to allow non-LDS family and friends to be present at temple marriages (and I don’t think they should be forced to), they should at least eliminate the one year penalty. If LDS church leaders are serious about doing their part to bridge the religious divide between themselves and other religions and honest about their “family values” PR they must change their cruel and unnecessary policy. It is simply time for the “pro-family” LDS church to stop coercing couples into making those who love them wait outside with broken hearts.


Subject: express yourself
Date: Dec 18 21:39
Author: Colorado mom

The first part of your story sounds so much like mine.

My first notes were much longer. I just whittled it down gradually to the word count that I thought they would publish, after averaging the word counts of several letters in the last magazine. Other publications probably allow longer stories.

I encourage you to send it off to where you think it might do the most good or be likely to get in print. I figure, even if mine doesn't, someone will have read it and maybe want to know more. How about a local newspaper?

So many people here have astonishing stories to tell. Now is the time, before Mitt bombs out and all the media attention moves on to something else.


Subject: Re: Excluded from daughter's wedding-my Letter to Newsweek
Date: Dec 18 22:03
Author: noholdsbarred

A few years after I was excluded from my sister's wedding in the temple, I sent off a similar letter to a local newspaper (this be in the greater Seattle area).

Wow - the responses it generated from holy than thou mormons. Did it ever tick them off.

I'd say go for it. The shiny image that they portray needs to be dented and tarnished.


Subject: I wrote a series of letters to TSCC...
Date: Dec 19 00:19
Author: Pete Chance

prior to my daughters wedding trying to persuade those in authority of the various reasons TSCC [This so called church] to change its ridiculous policy. I received cursory unyielding responses. The fact that I'd written to SLC was reported to the bishop and stake president (as I knew it would be). When it came time for my daughter to marry, I attempted to obtain a temple recommend by answering the interview questions honestly and openly. I hadn't been to the temple in over 23 years and told the bishop and stake president that I had no intention to go otherwise. I was politely told that despite my honesty, I wasn't "worthy" and could not attend my daughter's wedding.

Those three hours outside the temple, including the photo session thereafter, were the most bitter pills I've ever swallowed. My daughter married a tremendous young man whom I love and respect. That said, watching her exit the temple and run to my arms was almost more than I could stand emotionally. There were people inside with her that barely knew her or knew her not at all. Two of my employees (co-workers of my daughter) were there inside but I wasn't. I can't forgive TSCC for what they did to me. I did the same thing to my parents when I was married 28 years ago. Until my daughter was married, I didn't realize how badly I'd hurt my mom and dad. I would like to get the letters I wrote to TSCC published somehow in order to bring about some awareness of the cruelty of this policy, but I think it rather unlikely the TSCC will ever realize the temple is nothing more than its "Golden Calf."

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