This old maid here is a little bit confused about a few things that people told me about marriage. Being single I decided to ask you to tell me if these are “myths” or fact. While living in Greece, someone mentioned in a conversation that the church does view sisters that are married to nonmembers as not married at all. 2nd: Someone told me that because he had been baptized only a month when he wanted to get married to his fiance and didn’t want to go to a Judges’ office to do it, the Bishop came to his house and they got married there. Is something like that really possible, or is it all really just a bunch of parsley as I suspect? Thanks for lighting it all up for me.
Dear Aunty Mimmi,
What you have heard is only partly correct. Your Grecian friends are a little extreme. You see, the Church recognizes two kinds of marriages- those that are consummated for time and eternity by the authority of the priesthood in the holy temples, and those that are consummated for time only, that are performed by civil authorities.
The Church recognizes civil marriages as being valid contracts “until death do you part,” or “for the duration of your mortal lives.” Bishops, as ecclesiastical officers, are recognized in most countries, as being authorized by the state to perform such marriages. Thus, if a couple wants to be married for time only, their local bishop is authorized to perform this marriage, and it may be performed in any suitable location. The home of one of the participants would be an ideal location. Otherwise, the bishop’s office or the Relief Society room in the Church building is often used for “time only” marriages.
For a husband and wife to be sealed to each other for time and eternity, sometimes called “celestial marriage,” the couple must have to have been members of the Church for at least a year, and must receive temple recommends from their bishop and stake president certifying their worthiness to enter the holy temples and take upon themselves the sacred covenants of obedience to the gospel that are prerequisite to and part of the eternal marriage covenant.