May 5th 1990, I was married in the Los Angeles temple. My Dad, Grandma and Grandpa and other friends and family who were not members, stood outside the temple, while my ceremony took place. There were tears and sadness, from my Dad and Grandparents, while they stood outside the temple as their daughter/granddaughter was married. (they were never mormon and therefore, were not allowed in to see the wedding)
I, at barely 20, was doing what I was supposed to do, doing what a good mormon girl does, get married in the temple. I didn't even think twice about this. I just did what I had been conditioned to do, since I was a little girl...get married in the "house of the lord."
If you were not mormon, or a non temple recommend holder, you were not allowed to be in the temple.
If one chose to have a "civil" wedding, the couple would have to wait a year to be married in the temple.
That may sound like no big deal, but when all of mormonism is centered around being sealed in the temple, if a couple is not married in the temple first, there is often speculation around why this did not happen. The biggest guess, sex before marriage. One cannot get a temple recommend, therefore be married in the temple, if they are not living the law of chastity and if they have broken the law of chastity, they must go through the steps of repentance, which could take coincidently, a year. There is so much to this and I am not even sure that this is or would make sense to anyone outside of mormonism.
If you water down the "cult like" parts of mormonism, maybe mormonism will not seem so much like a cult???
This morning, the church changed (yet another policy) making it so that a couple can have a civil ceremony (get married outside of the temple) and then get sealed in the temple, when it is good for them, no more waiting a year to make that temple sealing happen.
This is a good thing. So many people going forward will be spared the pain and sadness of not being able to be a part of a loved ones wedding.
As someone who lived the lifestyle of mormonism, very devoutly, this hurts. I know this is in the past for me and I am not even married to my first husband anymore, but I hope that people can see that we spend years, even decades deconstructing the way we were raised, the things we did because we believed and were conditioned to believe, from childhood.
When you created a life built totally on the conditioning of being raised in the church, it creates a long road to un backing, rethinking, refiguring, healing. It makes you question EVERYTHING.
If you know someone who has left the mormon church, know that that comes with a lot of pain and way more courage than you can imagine. It is not easy and it effects every area of their life.
It is complicated and multi layered for many of us.
If you are mormon and find yourself wanting to defend this or tell me or anyone else that they just should have done it differently, or you did it differently, or you feel any kind of defensiveness about your church, can you refrain from trying to explain this away. Can you listen to your loved ones who may be hurting with all of these policy changes? Please?