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Question

 

Gramps,

Hi. I have only been in the LDS church for 2 years and my boyfriend just a few weeks. We just started dating and have talked about getting married. We both have been divorced and have kids. We do not live together and are keeping the law of chastity. Can we be sealed?

Jennifer

 

Answer

 

Dear Jennifer,

If your boyfriend is promoted to fiance then the two of you can get sealed in the temple. About a year after baptism, your boyfriend will be eligible to receive his endowment in the temple. Following that, yes, the two of you can be sealed together. If your wedding date is scheduled any time after that year mark, the civil ceremony and the temple ceremony will take place at the same time (that is – they are the same ceremony) (assuming you are in the United States or some other country that allows the two ceremonies to be the same). If your wedding date is scheduled before then, then the two of you can be first married civilly (by your bishop if you want). Normally, a couple who opts to marry civilly rather than in the temple have to wait for a year to be sealed. In your case, where a temple sealing would mean an undue delay in your marriage, the sealing can be scheduled for a year from your fiance’s baptism.

The Eternal Marriage student manual lists the procedures for preparing for and entering into a temple sealing. The scenario you describe is mentioned as an exception to the one year wait policy:

“A person may not receive a temple recommend until one full year has passed following baptism and confirmation. If a couple is civilly married and then decides that they wish to be sealed in the temple, they must wait one year from the date of their civil marriage to be sealed. This restriction applies only to those people who could have been married in the temple initially but chose not to do so.”

As a hypothetical, it would look like this: Your fiance was baptized January 1 of this year. The two of you decide to get married and schedule the date for August 1 of this year. Since your fiance is not yet endowed, your bishop marries the two of you together. Then the two of you will be eligible to be sealed Jan 1 of next year, one year from his baptism (not one year from your wedding).

Of course, you’ll want to counsel with the bishop since he has been called to be a gatekeeper for the temple. This way there’s no surprises in the timeline for either of you. And you should probably be engaged first too.

 

Gramps

 

 

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