I have been married for 17 yrs and am sealed to my husband, however, he was sealed to his first wife for 19 years. She is not active and has been married for 11 years. She was unfaithful during their marriage. He has asked to have the sealing canceled and our bishop sent it to the stake president. The stake president doesn’t feel like priesthood men should ask for a cancellation. This feels unfair to our marriage as we try to live the gospel. Will this ever change?
Congratulations with the 17 years of marriage to your husband, and may you have many more years and well into the eternities with your husband. A sealing cancellation is a serious decision, and is taken very seriously by the Presidency of the Church. As I am not your stake president I can only speculate what he may or may not be thinking. At this moment, we know that a man may be sealed to more than one women while living. A sealing is not something to take lightly, even after divorce. We don’t know all or what is affected from a sealing that has been canceled. Our Father in heaven does, and fortunately all things are worked out in the end through a loving and compassionate Heavenly Father.
In light of this, I can see the stake president thinking to himself that his previous sealing doesn’t affect your current sealing with your husband. If this doesn’t affect your relationship (it doesn’t) there doesn’t seem/appear to be any need for a sealing cancellation with the first wife, unless of course she requests it. At the same time though, if you think something isn’t fair, you can ask the stake president to share with you why he doesn’t feel it is necessary, and if he can share with you what counsel we have received from the brethren in the Church Handbook of Instruction. If you still feel something is off, and are needing a second witness, you can reach out to your local area authority to confirm the counsel received. If confirmed, then you have a choice to feel this is still unfair, or to recognize his previous sealing will not affect your relationship now in mortality, nor will it affect your relationship in the eternities. All things are worked out by a perfect, loving, and compassionate Father in heaven.
May the Lord bless you with peace and comfort through a circumstance that doesn’t appear right to you.