Mother Who Knows
Date: December 03, 2017 03:41PM
At exactly what point is a Mormon temple couple "legally married" in the Mormon temple ceremony? I think it isn't all the silly costumed mumbo-jumbo that officially marries them. After all, the temple so-called-vows are only vows of allegiance to the cult. There is no mention in the Mormon temple ceremony of the words "love, honor, cherish, fidelity, loyalty" or any of those romantic wedding vows that a normal bride and groom profess to each other. It is not between the two partners, the bride and groom, but it is between the couple and the church.
I wish I could recall the exact wording of the temple marriage ceremony--as it is a set narrative, the same for everyone. You can find it online, somewhere. It is preceded by a preachy Mormon sermon, and a cautionary tale of what might happen if the couple does not keep the commandments of the cult and the temple.
The rings are not part of the temple ritual, and they are exchanged off to the side, after the couple has risen from their knees and have completely stepped away from the altar.
After the ceremony, the bride and groom are rushed off to a little "office" down the hall, to sign the legal wedding license. The ordained officiator signs it, and also witnesses. No one pays attention to this, as it is done privately and separately. I was the only family member in the temple office. This is the point at which the couple become "officially" husband and wife, in the eyes of the law, right?
After her temple wedding, my daughter started to cry, and said, "This was NOT what I thought my wedding was going to be like!" We were hurriedly shuffled through the crowded locker room, and there was no room at all in the "Brides' Room", which the temple people brag about, that is supposed to be so beautiful. The herd of “un-worldly” brides was hogging all the mirrors, trying to rescue their hairdos from the mayhem of the heavy veil and cap they are forced to wear. It was an atmosphere of chaos and stress and hurrying. I tried to keep an easy-going, positive attitude, when we were admonished to be sure our locker was securely locked! My daughter lost her key, which delayed our meeting the photographer outside, who took way too much time posing us at various temple-posing sites, and my daughter was too late at the reception to fix her hair and makeup. I had a photographer at the reception, but the TBM in-laws hired a photographer at the temple. The photos highlighted the temple, at the usual temple-posing sites--which we had to wait in line for, in the 100-degree heat, because other couples were using them. In these sorry photos were all the rejects and unworthies: the siblings who were too young to go to the temple, the father who left the cult, all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen, who hadn't been to the temple yet, the older siblings who had all left the cult.
Sorry to ramble. Back to the point. When my daughter was sobbing on her wedding day, I told her that her REAL celebration was yet to come. I promised her that she would enjoy the beautiful reception that she and I had planned (and paid for) together, down to the last detail. It was a wonderful reception! Everyone enjoyed it--even the little kids and all the "unworthies."
I told my daughter that the moment she and her husband were married was the moment they signed the wedding license in the office. Was I correct?
I've never been to a civil wedding. Isn't all they do is go down to City Hall, to sign the wedding license in the presence of an official and witnesses?
If this is correct, all that the non-temple parents and loved ones miss, is the actual signing of the marriage certificate. All of the rest of it--all the costumes and secrecy and exclusion and sacred veiling of the bride's face, and covering of her wedding dress, and the preaching and lecturing, and secret handshake across the padded altar--is moot. It's all fake ritual, to intimidate.
All you non-Mormon parents of temple brides and groom, you miss NOTHING. Go and enjoy the receptions, and don't let the Mormons treat you like dirt!