Subject: Left out of wedding of my brother
Date: Aug 16, 2008
Author: heeler

My little brother is getting married in the temple in a few days. I am having a hard time dealing with my emotions on this one. I married a wonderful non member 16 years ago and have not been active in the church since I left home 18 years ago. I am still close (on the surface) with my very active family........My little bro and I were very close growing up and my husband has spent a great deal of time developing a great relationship with him also. That is where the bitter feelings come bro and I were always the closest siblings out of all the kids, and my husband has always treated him like a little brother, teaching him how to hunt, shoot, etc.
Now the wedding is here and of course we have only been invited to the reception. On top of that, we have been designated as "the babysitters" on the day of the ceremony.
So basically we are good enough to take care of all the little kids, decorate for the reception, and clean up, but are not allowed to go to the wedding. I just feel so upset about this. I won't say anything to anyone except my husband b/c I wouldn't want to ruin the big day, but still I am extremely hurt/mad/sad. thanks for a place to vent.


Subject: I think you should say something.
Date: Aug 16 19:22
Author: apostate

You don't have to be rude and you don't have to ruin your brother's day.
You can just say to whomever: "I have to tell you that DH and I never agreed to being the official wedding day babysitters and we're not going to be able to fit it into our schedules".
The thing is, LDS SHOULD know what they're doing is hurtful. They can choose to do it anyway, but they should know.
When my little brother got married, I had to explain to my mom why I wasn't going to pose for pictures on the temple grounds when the LDS church held MY family in disdain.
Reading your letter, it looks like I could have maybe written it myself.
The night of my brother's reception, my aunt tried to use me for kitchen help.
I was near tears all day and I had to redo my makeup and the pants I was wearing (that were my size) I guess ran small so I felt like a fat cow on top of everything else.
SO being asked to work in the kitchen about put me over.
Luckily, my mom was sensitive enough to tell her sister that I was a family member of the groom (and not kitchen help) and she told me to go put on the coursage she bought for me. God bless her.
But anyway, PLEASE DON'T allow yourselves to become servants on the wedding day. That's too much!
Gracefully explain that you understand that rules are rules but you're not going to use the time to watch the children of all the wedding guests who WILL be invited either. That's completely fair. Anyone with half a brain will understand. If they don't understand, they don't have half a brain so screw 'em.
Please do this for an old bitter apostate. It would make me feel tickled pink to know that somewhere out there there's an exmo woman like me standing up for herself.


Subject: Re: I think you should say something.
Date: Aug 16 19:26
Author: bona dea

Agreed. Unless you actually want to baby-sit, don't do it. You aren't their servant. If you do decide to do it, I think I would tell them that you would prefer to be asked next time.Just assuming that you will do it is rude.


Subject: This is kind of the approach I took.
Date: Aug 16 19:40
Author: apostate

Keep in mind that my parents are also TBM but reasonable.
Your relationship with your family sounds like mine with my family. Pleasant but superficial.
I basically said:
I understand that this is the policy and rules are rules. I don't expect you to change the policy or fight the policy on my behalf. I don't expect anyone to give up their dream of a temple marriage for me. I understand that it's important in your religion.
That said, it will still be a very difficult day for me full of mixed emotions. Happiness for my brother. Sadness that I won't be a part of it. John and I have always been very close and it breaks my heart that I can't be there for his wedding- even though I understand that it can't really be helped.
That said, I don't think it's right to exclude someone and then ask them to watch the children of all the "worthy" guests. This is where I have to put my foot down.
I understand that it's not meant to be personal, but it hurts just the same.

If they try to feed you any crap about how it was your choice to leave the church, just calmly explain that you did what was right for you and you don't regret it. You only regret that religion needs to be an issue on this day.
Hold firm. They don't have to understand your reasoning. They just have to live with it.
You can tell someone "no" and they might not agree but the answer is still "no".


Subject: Re: "Babysitters?" That's excuse enough to NOT go. n/t
Date: Aug 16 21:17
Author: on the fringe

I'm with Neutron on this one. Excuuuuse me, babysitter? Tacky of them to not have thought of getting sitter(s) ahead of time on such a special day, tackier yet to expect a beloved sister and BIL who aren't invited to do it. So sorry.


Subject: It's tacky, but I doubt they think of it that way.
Date: Aug 17 00:31
Author: apostate

For them, it's simply "convenient". And most of them are so broke, what with paying a fortune for gas and groceries and 10% to the morg, that it would really be a hardship to hire a babysitter. The morg mentality is "Why pay someone when I can ask a family member or friend to do it for free?" It's the morg way.
They need babysitters and the unworthy sister isn't doing anything that day.
This is why I think she needs to explain as gently as possible that she understands the policies but that doesn't change that it's hurtful.
Some types of people aren't intentionally insensitive, but the only way they will ever understand is to have is spelled out for them.
Mormons are told many times (during talks, reading the Ensign, etc.) that the unworthies either have made their bed and must lie in it or that they will get over it quickly.
Not so.
They need to understand this.


Subject: I went through the same thing...
Date: Aug 16 19:37
Author: TennesseeBuckeye

My little brother got married and we helped out and played with the kids outside.

I don't think my brother had any idea how hurtful it was, or maybe he did. He was very angry with me for leaving the church.

The church's wedding protocol turns otherwise wonderful people into thoughtless jerks, and what should be a shared family experience into a painful, divisive, judgmental affair.

I'm sorry you have to suffer because of it. :-)


Subject: Maybe little brother doesn't feel the same about you as you feel about him. If he did,
Date: Aug 16 19:43
Author: flattopSF

he'd have more respect for you and your husband.

Blood is not thicker than water. Blood bonds are not any stronger than a sheet of wet toilet paper.

Sorry your little brother feels you have to be stepped on on his big day. HOWEVER: you have the power to control what happens to you by using a simple two-letter word: "NO."

Self-empowerment demands respect. Give it to yourself!

Best wishes.


Subject: I wouldn't be so quick to blame the brother.
Date: Aug 17 00:36
Author: apostate

First off, he's the groom (not to mention a man) and probably has little to do with the whole process of choosing a babysitter.
Secondly, he's been taught since birth that if he doesn't marry in the temple, and if something happens to his wife before they can be sealed, God will stick them in separate gated communities and say "tough cookies".
IT's unfair to expect him to have a different type of wedding than his religion expects.
Don't blame the bride and groom. They're too brain fucked to think straight. Blame the MORG. The higher powers that be.
They have the power to make the policies more family friendly and they choose not to.
But don't blame the young couples who love eachother and just want to be together.
I have a hunch that the mother of the groom has a lot more to do with the babysitting situation than anyone.


Subject: Re: left out of wedding
Date: Aug 16 19:48
Author: Shh, be still.

I was also left out of my little brothers wedding. The bad part (in all of their minds) was that I was an RM home for about three years. I still remember standing outside the temple when they came out. I had several people from my childhood ward and extended family come right out and ask why I wasn't there. I told them the truth "I'm not worthy." That shocked a few people - even though they already assumed it. What a bunch of BS, my brother wasn't able to have any of his four siblings at his wedding. Even though I still bellieved when I got married, I made damn sure that we didn't get married in the temple because most of both of our families would have been excluded.


Subject: the pain has only started.....
Date: Aug 16 19:49
Author: anothercastaway

dont' show up.

my mom and dad (and i) weren't allowed to my sister's wedding. her 25 year anniversary was this last June. due to the mental and emotional aungish of that 25 year mark, my mom now has such a severe case of shingles that other complications have started to set in that have her drugged and bed ridden. The doctors feel that she will pull through but they indicate it will be at least 6 months.

mormons are for mormons and only mormons. They consider the rest of us baggage.

i repeat - don't show up -


Subject: Re: left out of wedding
Date: Aug 16 19:56
Author: bona dea

I think this is more a matter of being inconsiderate than anything else. The brother may not even have been the one who decided you should baby-sit. Someone probably thought, "Gee, we need someone to watch the kids. X won't be going and she will be happy to do it." My problem with that would be that they didn't ask and just assumed that you would do it. Wedding or not, that is rude. Personally, I enjoy spending time with my siblings' kids and would probably do it if asked, but I would certainly say something if the decision was made for me.It is up to you how you handle it, but I would certainly let them know that they don't get to make these kinds of decisions without your input.

As far as the wedding, I would be angry at the church rather than your family. They have been put in a hard position .I do believe people get to decide on the type of wedding they want. I have 3 sisters. I didn't go to any of their weddings. 2 eloped and one went to the temple. I wasn't happy about any of them, but it was their right to have the wedding they wanted.


Subject: The Mormon Wedding Ceremony is a Sociopathic ritual.
Date: Aug 16 20:02
Author: dja

....a one-act Tragedy in the chapter of Humanism.


Subject: I understand how you feel.
Date: Aug 16 20:15
Author: Colorado mom

My daughter converted and married in the temple, which meant that no one who had previously known her could be there. Not one friend or relative, not even her own parents were allowed to attend.

They expected us to wait outside and be there for photos. I said, "I refuse to let you humiliate me that way" and we did not go.

I think you have every right to tell them how you feel. It probably won't change things, but maybe someday they will understand how it must have been for you.

There is no other religion who treats family members this way. The secret temple ceremony was only started to hide polygamous marriages which were illegal and immoral and it is not sacred in any way.

I am really sorry that this is happening to you and I think it is one of the worst aspects of the church. It certainly shows that it is not at all about families, only about who they can control and get a lot of money from.


Subject: "I refuse to let you humiliate me that way" is perfect. It needs to be archived. n/t


Subject: Re: left out of wedding
Date: Aug 16 20:41
Author: lilmama

Look at it through different eyes. Let's say they went to Vegas alone and now you all are having a reception for them now that they're back. (My son is considering doing this just because it sounds fun). How would the day go in that case? Would you babysit? Maybe not - because the family would all be involved in preparing for the day together. Sit him down and ask him about it - maybe you can't go to the actual wedding. OK, fine. But you want to participate in his special day as his special sister - not the babysitter. Ask for a compromise and work on it together.


Subject: Re: left out of wedding
Date: Aug 16 20:48
Author: MJ

I would say something along the lines as "Because the church feels it important to exclude inactive family members (non-members), we would feel very uncomfortable at the reception. For us it is very painful to be excluded from your wedding service because of church policy, and we do not want to risk having that pain show though in a way that takes away some of the joy of your special day. For this reason, we must decline your invitation to the reception and your gracious offer to use us as babysitters. Perhaps we could celebrate at a later date with a small dinner, or some other event where everyone can feel welcome."

It is off the top of my head and needs to be tuned, but you get the drift.


Subject: Decline the "honor" of babysitting n/t


Subject: One thing I don't understand
Date: Aug 16 21:06
Author: Foo_Fighter

heeler, I'm sorry that you have to go through this. None of my family were allowed at my wedding (I'm glad that they were 2,000 miles away now).

My wife has 6 bbrothers and a sister...all LDS. NONE of them were at the wedding. Again, I was glad that they were in California and we were in Logan.

I'm glad they were so far away because now it just feels like we ran down to the local J.P. and got hitched.

Now, what I don't understand: Why hasn't someone made a film about all of this? It would be a great project for some indie film maker!


Subject: If you babysit you're agreeing to him now treating you as 2nd class
Date: Aug 16 21:19
Author: Tiphanie

Sounds like he's being assimilated by the Morg and doing anything they tell him to in a desperate attempt to fit in.

You have to stick to your guns and teach him that you both are still deserve to be treated as well as anyone else. If it was me I would refuse to babysit. Period. And I'd let him know right now so he can make other arrangements.

Show up for the reception, give them a nice gift (if you give him cash, it will go for Morg things) and be very pleasant.


Subject: Re: left out of wedding
Date: Aug 16 21:20
Author: No Moniker

I did not wait outside the temple when my DD and SIL married. If my absence inside wasn't important, then my absence outside wasn't either.

They regret the decision to exclude us and wish that they had married in a place we were welcome.

I have forgiven them because they were young and thought they were doing the right thing. We now have a good relationship.

However, I will never forgive the mormon church and it's leaders. They purposefully take a day that should only be about celebration and inject judgment, division and pain.

On the bright side [TBM lurkers take note], of the 100 or so family and friends who were made aware of this anti-family policy not one will ever let a mormon missionary in their door. They want nothing to do with a church that would insist members treat their family so terribly.


Subject: That's awsome. Hit them where it hurts (bad PR) n/t


Subject: Re: left out of wedding
Date: Aug 18 22:31
Author: Hyacinth

Missionaries came knocking on my husband's friend's door. The first question he asked was why was his family excluded from his cousin's wedding. Yeah, it's a big deal to people who aren't Mormon. He really let the missionaries have it because of that and wouldn't listen to anything they said. They tried to "tempt" him with the line if his family joined the church, of course they could attend a Mormon wedding. Yeah, that will really attract investigators. All outsiders see is they are not considered good enough to attend. It is a good idea to make sure as many people as possible are aware of this exclusionary practice.


Subject: Enablers, Inc.
Date: Aug 16 22:31
Author: anon

I certainly understand the mental anguish you must be going through, and I also understand your desire not to upset the perfect wedding day. But isn't this exactly what TSSC is counting on? That the "unworthies" will keep their mouths shut and work and not say a word. This preposterous anti-family practice of prohibiting nonrecommend holders from attending weddings will continue until the people being pushed to the back of the bus complain LOUDLY. Over and over. In Letters to the Editor. On YouTube videos. On blogs. TSSC has been embarassed into recantation before (polygamy, blacks) and it can happen again only if the people being misused have the guts to tell the world what's happening.


Subject: Re: left out of wedding
Date: Aug 16 22:47
Author: MormonTarget

You know - I really really feel for you - the entire thing sucks.

But my recommendation - rise above it and show them all what you are made of. You have a great relationship with your brother and I wouldnt do anything to mess with that and it is his special day so dont ruin it.

If they asked you to babysit, go do it with enthusiasm and a smile on your face even though you are destroyed inside. But do it for him and show the entire family that you are above the petty stuff and just take the high road.

I would go out of my way to make sure his (and his brides) special day is perfect even if it means you dealing with crap. I honestly think some people may actually be watching to see how you deal with this thinking that if you are excluded, you will want to join the frock and come back into the church...but if you turn it around on them and show them all that you are a healthy, well adjusted and happy person who just loves her brother, that may really show them that there is life outside of LDS Inc.

But, I wouldnt let it die either. I would wait until after the event, the honeymoon and all that, and then I would sit down with my brother one on one and explain to him how hurt you were and how you swallowed your pride for him and tell him exactly why you did it. I think that is only fair to yourself - otherwise it will eat at you forever. But let him have his special day, go out of your way to do whatever they want you to do with a happy heart and then after some time, do the one on one and get it off your chest and then be done with it.

Just my $.02


Subject: I agree, rise above them all, be magnanimous.
Date: Aug 16 23:47
Author: Heresy

Be gracious and support your brother. Show them how civilized ex Mormons are. You can tell him later how it felt. It isn't his fault he was born into this sucky church.

I have to go to one in a couple weeks too. I've never actually sat in a temple lobby and I'm kind of looking forward to seeing how the whole thing goes. A couple of worthy TBM family members have already mentioned that they realize how awkward this all is for them, too. Maybe it will start them thinking.


Subject: Don't go. Period. Don't go.
Date: Aug 16 23:13
Author: Southern Man

Do not play into the Morg's game. If more people stayed away from such travesties, and then told everyone they know about the exclusion, it would inform the world that the church's claims of being "family-oriented" are nothing but a bald-faced lie.


Subject: If it's any consolation....
Date: Aug 16 23:29
Author: C22

it's really not a wedding. It's a mormon priesthood ordinance, specifically a sealing that satifies the legal agreement. It's as exciting as watching somebody ordain a deacon. Some guy mumbles some mormon mumbo jumbo, and it's over. No ring ceremony, no vow exchange, nothing.

I rather enjoy the fact I don't go to them anymore.

That said, yes, I get pretty angry at the fact that mormonism, inc, has convinced people to forego "a real wedding" where the couple are the center of attention, and all can attend.

And as others have said.. it's roots are in polygamy, and it has morphed into eternal/celestial marriage, sans spiritual wifery.


Subject: Well, if you DO decide to go and babysit...
Date: Aug 17 02:58
Author: Adult of god

at least you can know that you are practicing for the afterlife when you, as a non-worthy, will again be the servants of these exalted, sealed beings.

Or so I've been told. ;)


Subject: Why you can't do it::
Date: Aug 17 03:41
Author: forestpal

1. You would lose your self-respect.

2. You would be enabling the cult.

3. You would be supporting temple LDS marriage.

I can't believe they have the bad manners to ask for your help, so they can dump you and other family members off at the temple door--don't do it!

No need to preach or explain at all--the less you say, the better. Your actions will say it all, when you are not there in the waiting room, not there to babysit, not there for clean-up duty.

A normal wedding should not require a babysitter, for heck sake.

Let them know immediately that you won't be available for babysitting. You won't be doing any janitorial stuff, either. The cheapskates need to hire a wedding hall, or a catering service.

Do not make excuses. It is none of their business where you are during the ceremony, as all that matters to them is that you are NOT in the sacred temple. So, don't tell them where you are. Have that your secret.*

Your quiet, but firm actions will speak volumes. Later, when your brother and new SIL catch on, see the light, and want to talk about the horrors of the temple, you will be there for them--firm and solid--and they won't feel they "owe you one" for babysitting, etc.

*Your secret could be you and your husband celebrating what a great couple you are, doing something you love to do together, going shooting or something your brother would have enjoyed. You two could celebrate a wedding day the way it should be celebrated, in honor of that poor, misguided couple. Celebrate love, freedom, mutual respect, and family.

My cousins "sat out" a wedding at the Salt Lake Temple, across from Crossroads Mall (before it became a pile of rubble). They took the underage kids to the arcade, and had a good ol' time, and were late for the photos. They deducted the cost of the games from what they would have spent on a wedding gift.

You could babysit, and take them all to an R-rated movie.

You could do clean-up duty, and send your brother a bill for your services, instead of a wedding gift.

I've babysat twice, and I regretted it both times. One time, there were no seats in the overcrowded waiting room, so my ex and I took the kids for a nature walk around the grounds, and brought them back grass-stained and rumpled. The parents complained, and we got mad. The second time, I had to help comfort the groom's Down's syndrome adult brother, who could not understand why he was excluded. The poor guy sobbed the whole time, could not be consoled or distracted. Everyone could hear him sobbing, and I made some loud comments like, "I know, the stupid rules make no sense. You are a good person. The rest of us here can't go in, either."

Like "no moniker" says, give the LDS all the bad publicity it deserves!


Subject: Re: Why you can't do it::
Date: Aug 18 21:07
Author: wild thought

Heck, stand outside the temple and call the press to come and interview you or something? call the television stations and newspapers and humiliate the Church...think of the pain you could be saving other families from if you can instigate a change...i know it's a wild thought but i can't help but put it out there...


Subject: Re: Why you can't do it::
Date: Aug 18 21:28
Author: Apple Annie

Quiet women don't change the world. Wild ones do. Go for it!


Subject: Re: left out of wedding
Date: Aug 18 21:28
Author: shocked

I was shocked when my sister-in-law told me that her niece was getting married, but not in the temple. My sister-in-law went on to say that she would not allow her children to attend the wedding. She doesn't want them to think that it OK to be married outside the temple and not the "right" way.

So, it doesn't end. We can't go to their "temple wedding" and they will not attend ours. Amazing!

I'm sorry you are going through this, especially with your closest sibling. My heart goes out to you.



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