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Posted by: 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!

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 04:01PM

It's different in different jurisdictions. The marriage license in most U.S. states has to be signed by the newly-married couple, witnesses and licensed officiant certifying that vows or words of intent of of marriage were spoken (or signed [ASL], or somehow verbalized). I'm not sure "love, honer" and all of that are required, but some mention has to be made or agreed upon by each party of the intent to join the other in marriage. In the temple, of course, there's the added most important part, which is loyalty to the cult. An official pronouncement of the couple as joined in marriage by officiant is probably also a part of the requirement though I don't know that. In the U.S., the marriage wouldn't be legally binding without both the most rudimentary of statement of intentions and the signatures.

In some nations a wedding must be held in public to be legal. A temple wedding would have nothing to do with the legal status of a marriage in such cases.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2017 04:02PM by scmd.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 04:04PM

My understanding is (at least in most states):

The license to marry is a "permission slip"...it is not the legal marriage itself...

...UNTIL (as I understand) it (or some other legally mandated form) is signed by the legally-authorized officiator of the "ceremony" (either religious ceremony or secular ceremony).

State laws may vary, but theoretically, I think that if the officiator signs the required legal document (which may not be the marriage license), but the bride and groom were (somehow) to NOT sign it (say: a massive earthquake hit the building, or there was an explosion nearby which necessitated immediate evacuation), the couple would still be legally married so long as the officiator had signed the required document.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2017 04:06PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: William Law ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 04:04PM

The marriage license doesn't make you married. The license only gives you the option to get married, but many people don't exercise that option.

My wife and I got a license. It was set to expire after 30 days, so the day before the license expired, we went to the courthouse and got married in the judge's chambers. For legal matters, the court will consider the point that the pastor or judge declares you married as the point in time that you are married. Everything else is technicality and paperwork.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 04:08PM

William Law Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The marriage license doesn't make you married. The
> license only gives you the option to get married,
> but many people don't exercise that option.
>
> My wife and I got a license. It was set to expire
> after 30 days, so the day before the license
> expired, we went to the courthouse and got married
> in the judge's chambers. For legal matters, the
> court will consider the point that the pastor or
> judge declares you married as the point in time
> that you are married. Everything else is
> technicality and paperwork.

A better answer than I gave.

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Posted by: dogblogger ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 04:06PM

And then there is common law marriage after a specified period of cohabitation.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 04:15PM

Damn it, we're just roommates, with a roommate agreement!

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Posted by: gemini ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 04:31PM

We don't even have a roommate agreement and have been together going on 8 years. My kids have even stopped asking me when we are planning to get married. I don't know...it does not feel broken and the fact that we wouldn't have to go through a divorce if we split up somehow makes us work harder on the relationship (if that makes any sense at all).

I do not remember going anyplace to sign anything after the temple sealing. I know the witnesses signed the paperwork before the shin dig even started in the sealing room. I also was not informed that I could wear my wedding dress out of the temple so I just changed into my traveling clothes...lo and behold I found out later I could have had pictures in my wedding dress. I was upset about that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2017 04:31PM by gemini.

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 04:24PM

Each state varies.

Many states the "common law" marriage is not automatic. It still requires some paperwork.

A friend just went to gave her common law marriage made official. She had to sign paperwork at the county office. She lives in Colorado.

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Posted by: Captain Klutz ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 02:03AM

California has no common law although I suspect the state would recognize a common law marriage from another state.

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Posted by: dogzilla ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 09:47AM

Not all states recognize common-law marriage -- Recently, I looked this up and was disappointed to see that my state does not recognize common law.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 01:53AM

When I worked for Social Security, we had to verify the validity of marriage when certain types of benefits were applied for. (In many cases, we could just accept allegations. In other cases, there were headaches, and "common law" was one of them.)

What constitutes a valid common law marriage varies from one state to another. It is not valid, in some states, to enter into a common law marriage at all. (It is often more common in the "Bible-belt" states, because they don't want to have people just living in sin.)

It used to be the rule that if you entered into a common law marriage in a state that accepted it, then your marriage was reciprocally recognized in all states. Then, gay marriage happened, and this concept blew all to hell in a handbasket.

I retired before gay marriage became legal, so I don't know the current marriage laws any more.

We all hated common law cases, because they were SO complicated to establish.

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Posted by: waunderdog ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 09:01PM

But the main point is that in the eyes of the law it's the paperwork that makes you married, not the ceremony.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 09:45PM

waunderdog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But the main point is that in the eyes of the law
> it's the paperwork that makes you married, not the
> ceremony.

True.

The ceremony (assuming that there IS a ceremony) has nothing to do with the legality of the marriage...

...all ceremonies (regardless of type) are simply cultural add-on's.

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Posted by: dogzilla ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 09:45AM

"Isn't all they do is go down to City Hall, to sign the wedding license in the presence of an official and witnesses?"

About a year ago, I witnessed a same-sex marraige at the courthouse in my fair city. The only inaccuracy in your statement is it's not city hall, it's the county courthouse where it takes place. I was the Official Designated Witness®. I met my friends at the courthouse, we went through the clerk's line and signed the ledger. Then they sent us off to a little "chapel" room, where the happy couple had to state their vows. A clerk of the court read off the vows "Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, blah blah blah, etc." Now declared husband and husband by the power vested by the State of [State]. And then we had a nice champagne brunch and that's a civil wedding ceremony.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 10:25AM

Where I got married (Philippines), having a religious "ceremony" is completely optional and completely irrelevant. The religious officiant, unlike in the US, is never a "justice of the peace" or any such thing, and has no legal standing whatsoever.

The legal marriage happens when you get a license then sign it in the presence of a government official (who also signs). You can say vows or whatever when you do so, but it's entirely optional. Signing the wedding contract (which the official asks if you've read and agree to) is all that matters.

Other countries do the same thing -- any religious/other ceremony has nothing to do with legal marriage, and for mormon there, they're married as soon as they sign the paperwork -- the temple ceremony is optional add-on with no legal standing, just like a Catholic or Anglican or whatever ceremony.

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Posted by: desertman ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 02:05PM

n my opinion it is a permission slip to become married!

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 06:16AM

And petting. If you want sex, you have to actually get married. I was taught that marriage is a license for sex.

If you apostasize from the “one true church”, you’re still married and you can still have sex. That’s the one ordinance they can’t disappear with their magic “Delete” key because the state won’t put up with their fickle bullshit.

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Posted by: PollyDee ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 06:31PM

There is a difference between the marriage license and the marriage certificate.

The license is the State's permission to marry after you have jumped through their hoops and paid them their fee. The marriage certificate is the official document that is recorded in the Vital Records of the State's Department of Health.

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Posted by: PollyDee ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 06:39PM

It is the Marriage Certificate that must be signed by each party entering into the contract, and by the officiate and witnesses. This document is then sent by the officiate to the Vital Records of the Department of Health.

They are not "leagally" and "officially" married until the document is recorded. However, the date of the signed document is what is leagally used, not the recording date which may be a week or so later. If the signed certificate document is never sent in, then the State has no record of the marriage.

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Posted by: Mårv Fråndsen ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 08:12PM

Notaries are authorized to marry people in the state of Florida.

A couple is married when the officiator and witnesses sign the form saying they are married and the form is conveyed to /filed with the county Clerk of Court.

Everything up to then - license, ceremony or lack thereof, etc. is preliminary to the real event = filing with the local bureaucracy.

You may thank the Clerk of Court but no tipping!

----

As a bit of perspective recall the controversies over Clerks of Court refusing to accept the filing of marriage forms for same sex marriages. The Clerk of Court is the final action which marries the individuals which is why religious (or whatever) Clerks of Court refusing to carry out their tax paid and sworn duties was a big deal.

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Posted by: Mother Who Knows ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 06:57AM

Interesting! Thanks, everyone.

I was hoping to put a new perspective on temple weddings, to ease the pain of those loved ones who are pronounced "unworthy" or too young to see the wedding. The Mormons simply don't want to set themselves up for ridicule.

A child, or someone "too young" might see the silly costumes and declare: "The emperor has no clothes!"

Non members would probably roll their eyes and whisper "It's definitely a cult!"

Unworthies might remember the secret handshake over the altar, and use it to fool the Morgod and Jesus and Joseph Smith at Jesus's right hand, and sneak into the Celestial Kingdom. (The Morgod is really stupid. That's why he needs the Mormons help in keeping records and taking charge of things in Heaven.)

I feel lucky that I was able to attend enough temple weddings, to realize they are a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, and not a real marriage ceremony sealed by love and loyalty between the two being married.

Trust me, you miss nothing but hot-air, pomp and intimidation, crowd-herding, shushing, and smoke and (literally) mirrors. It isn't a pleasant experience, as the old Mormon negativity and repetition seeps into the temple, like everything else. Same old same old.

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Posted by: PollyDee ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 04:54PM

Your description of Mormon so-called weddings is so accurate! In Mormon doctrine, the ceremony is not even called a wedding, or even a marriage, it's called a "sealing" - the terminology is intended to create the illusion of the ceremony being more significant, with eternal consequences, than that of other cultural wedding ceremonies. I also believe that by using the "sealing" terminology Mormons attempted to circumvent our government's legal definition and laws of marriage rationalizing spiritual wifery, polygyny and polyandry as practiced in the cult.

DH and I were "sealed" in the cult temple, however, upon our awakening and escape from the cult, we realized that our "wedding" really wasn't legitimate. We did not want to continue our life together under the shadow of the sham "sealing" of a cult. So, after 32 years of marriage sanctioned by the State of Utah, we decided to finally have the ceremony that we were denied - an incredibly beautiful and deeply meaningful "wedding" celebrating our love and life together.

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