Latter-day Saints can now marry in temples immediately after civil wedding

May 6, 2019

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who marry civilly outside of the temple can now be married immediately in the church’s temples.

The announcement Monday changes the church’s policy that couples married outside of the temple have to wait for a year to be sealed inside the temples.

The new policy will be implemented worldwide, and has already been in practice in countries throughout the world where couples are required by law to marry civilly first.

“Where possible, leaders should encourage couples to be both married and sealed in the temple,” says a First Presidency letter to Church leaders around the world. “Where a licensed marriage is not permitted in the temple, or when a temple marriage would cause parents or immediate family members to feel excluded, a civil ceremony followed by a temple sealing is authorized.”

The First Presidency also stated, “This change in policy should not be interpreted as lessening the emphasis on the temple sealing. The sealing of a husband and wife in the temple is of eternal significance and a crowning experience on the covenant path.”

Those civil ceremonies can take place in the church’s chapels, according to the announcement.

The church also said that regardless of whether there is a civil ceremony or not, the temple sealing should “the temple sealing should be the central focus of the marriage and provide the spiritual basis on which the couple begins life together.” They also ask that the civil ceremonies be simple and dignified.

New members of the church will still have to wait for one year from the date of their confirmation to be married in the temple.