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Question

 

Hi Gramps,

If a woman broke the law of chastity and she has repented and become faithful and even served a fulltime mission, can she still wear the “wedding veil”to cover her hair and face as symbol of purity and virginity on her wedding day?

Jeziah

 

Answer

 

Dear Jeziah,

If a woman, regardless of her past, is faithful and marries a worthy Melchizedek priesthood-holder, she has the privilege of receiving the marriage covenant in the Temple. That sealing is a crowning ordinance, building on the symbolism and covenants of previous ordinances from baptism to the endowment. Thus, temple sealings have their own set of symbols to borrow from and do not need to rely on local cultures to define wedding norms. These symbols include ceremonial clothing, specifically temple robes.

“Temple robes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as the robes of the holy priesthood, are worn only inside Mormon temples and reserved for the highest sacraments of the faith. White symbolizes purity. There is no insignia or rank. The most senior apostle and the newest member are indistinguishable when dressed in the same way. Men and women wear similar clothing.” (Temple Garments, mormonnewsroom.org).

On the day of her wedding, the bride will wear a tactile reminder that her sins (whatever they may be), though scarlet, are made white in the blood of the Lamb! The Atonement is a recurring theme in all the saving ordinances, and now she’s dressed in it! What’s more – the strict dress code of those participating in the ordinance is universal – she wears the same sacred clothing regardless of whether she’s a veteran missionary or not, Relief Society president or “just” a visiting teacher, a mother or not. She wears the same clothing regardless of her past – her present worthiness is what the Lord is concerned with, and this is reflected in her attire.

On a personal note, there’s a tradition for those attending a traditional wedding to stand when the bride enters the room. This tradition has always been a bit forced for me. Only once have I felt such an impulse naturally. It was at the first temple sealing I attended (not mine). When the bride walked in, she looked to me to be clothed in purity, righteousness, and salvation. She was a daughter of God, with her life and priorities set in order, attending the Temple to claim God’s highest blessings through covenant. Her attire matched her character.

Outside the temple, other traditions come into play, including how the reception participants dress. As an old engineer, I view this quite practically: Let the person paying make that call.

 

Gramps

 

 

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