I've heard for MONTHS now that the lds church will shortly be announcing that civil ceremonies prior to temple ceremonies will not pose the standard "Now you have to wait a year to be sealed" problem with which we in the United States currently struggle. First it was supposed to be announced in the April general conference, then in the October general conference.
It hasn't been announced.
But that doesn't mean it won't yet. There are a host of Mormons who would (almost) kill to have the U.S.-only policy changed. (Note: we've been jealous of our U.K. friends for years, who marry first, and can be sealed thereafter whenever they want.) There has been considerable pressure on the church for the last number of years to change the policy (which policy was not always there), and though the church likely considers it "lowering their standards", they will most likely yet bow to popular pressure.
It wouldn't be the first time.
And of course that pisses off a whole bunch of us, not that they would change their policies, but that we got SCREWED. Of all my family and extended family, I had ONLY MY PARENTS in the sealing room when my husband and I were married. Everyone else was outside. My husband had his parents, one brother and his wife, and an aunt and uncle. That was IT for family that got to witness our union. Yes, it sucked, and yes, we sucked for thinking that that was the way it had to be. (In other words, I'm as bitter with myself as I am with the church, but the amount of disgust and ridicule we'd have had to endure had we made any other choice, combined with the inevitable limiting of our "progression" in the church hierarchy [I'd likely never have been a YW president, and he'd likely never have been either an EQ president or bishopric member!] made us feel like we had no choice in the matter.) But this is not about our personal feelings.
This is about how I believe the church will indeed bow to the people...but spin it to make it look like they are the victim, bowing to the pressure only because they absolutely had to thanks to Satan's control of the nasty United States government. The church, in other words, will play the victim.
What exactly does that look like?
There is considerable political pressure on all states, Utah included, to recognize marriage between homosexuals. The church - and many others - have wrongfully claimed that if homosexual marriage is legal, they will be forced to perform such marriages. This is not true, but it makes Christians sounds persecuted, and Christians love nothing more than feeling persecuted. Mormons have taken a particular shine to feeling persecuted, as evidenced by a handful of instances throughout church history. (That was sarcasm, by the way. It just doesn't translate via blog. There are infinitely more than a handful of instances, of course, but my most favorite recent "we're being persecuted!" moment was the church's recent release of a short film addressing garments and why they're not weird. Riiiiiight.)
And so, as homosexual marriage is legal in more and more states (and will, if people in this country are still possessed of any common decency, become legal across the board), the church leaders in Utah will use the political pressure placed upon them to cry foul, persecution, and destruction of religious freedom. I believe that at some point in the not too far distant future, the church will pull the following:
- They will give one last desperate plea to the rest of the Christian world for support upholding heterosexual marriage as the one and only, demonstrating how slammed they have been by the media and gay activist groups, and begging for the hand of Christian friendship so that they can be yet more mainstreamed by Christians.
- They will make a huge showing of having to change their policies because the government is blackmailing them by threatening their tax-exempt status, or because the country has become horribly wicked and the lord told the prophet to separate the church from the practices of the world, or because they (and other faiths!!! See, we're just like you!) are having their religious liberties curtailed so that evil and unnatural practices can be upheld, and...
- THEREFORE they will NO LONGER be conducting ANY WEDDING in ANY BUILDING, WHATSOEVER and WHEREVER. All marriages will henceforth be civil marriages, conducted civilly by the empowered individual of your choice.
- Temples will NO LONGER perform ANY MARRIAGES, but SEALINGS ONLY.
- In order to be sealed in a temple, individuals MUST FIRST have been married by civil powers.
- They will stare tragically at the cameras, have their press department spin the dickens out of it, and sit back contentedly when young engaged couples first bemoan the added costs of their weddings, but then revel in the fact that everyone can be present for their vows.
- The Utah economy will enjoy a slight bump, at least for those in the wedding business, as families now plan civil weddings, receptions (which will still be allowed in church buildings so as not to piss off tithe payers), and after-sealing parties/luncheons/etc.
I do prophesy in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Amen.
Now, let's see just how much better a prophet I am than Tom Monson, shall we?