A random topic on PostMormon.org inspired me to post this. It's a dilemma most Mormons have had to deal with... heck, non-Mormons have to deal with it, too.
All Mormons are told that God wants them to have a temple wedding. Trouble is, you have to be "worthy" to walk into a temple. You not only have to be a member of the church, you have to be a member in good standing. This means:
- Paying 10% tithing to the Mormon Church
- Attending services regularly
- Fulfilling callings
- Following the Word of Wisdom (which includes things like no coffee/tea)
- Sustaining the president of the church as a prophet, seer and revelator
- Being one with the teachings of Mormon doctrine
So, what does a young man/woman do when they want to get married in the temple? They have to realize that their church gets to decide who is worthy to attend their wedding. There is so much pressure on couples to marry in the temple that most make the decision to have the temple ceremony without some of their family and friends in attendance. These family and friends are usually welcomed at the reception later, but it's just not the same thing... is it?
The whole thing has always struck me as judgmental and arrogant... even as a believing member.
Why would God want a young woman, for example, to marry without the people who raised her, funded her education, bandaged her boo-boos by kissing them and making them better, loving her and bringing her into the world in attendance?
How is that in line with family being important?
It's a slap in the face to people that are not Mormon when they find out they are judged as unworthy.
Some of these people might be sweeter, more honest, and loving than some of the temple recommend carrying people that can walk through the temple door! Let me remind everyone that one of my uncles attended the temple when my father's temple work was done a few months after he passed away. He attended the ceremony higher than a freaking kite on heroin.
Why was my uncle considered worthy, and I considered unworthy?
The rules and guidelines make no sense to me. The whole temple sacred/secret thing pops up when you think about this topic, but that doesn't really explain why God would want a marriage ceremony to be so exclusive to begin with. Why marriage? Why not do what some couples do and have a normal wedding and then get sealed in the temple later on?
As a kid growing up in the LDS Church, temple marriage was mentioned constantly. It was preached as the right thing to do, and that the pain it might cause some family members would be worth it because you were doing right by God.
Maybe I just don't get it...
I just don't understand why God would want it that way.