CHI #3 Whose marriage is this anyway?

Since the CHI deals with LDS church doctrine and in places draws from the scriptures there are many good things said in this handbook. The problem is that the way it is treated is as though it is the gospel. We are expected and many members and leaders do take it to be 100% authoritative as if it is the voice of the Lord to us.

So as I discuss these points if they run counter to the truth we know then they are wrong regardless of who signed the book.

3.5.1 under the subheading of special meeting for guests who do not have temple recommends the CHI explains a couple arrange with their bishop to have a special meeting for relatives and friends who do no have temple recommends. It can have a prayer and special music followed by a talk by a priesthood leader.
It says no ceremony is performed, and no vows are exchanged.

Then a short paragraph saying:

No other marriage ceremony should be performed following a temple marriage.

Well why does the CHI say that? In fact I think I violated this one without knowing it. You know your government sanctioned marriage may not be recognized in another country. What then? Since the church says you need a government issued license to be married then obviously if you don’t have one for the country you are living in you are not married there. You might think twice before having sex with who you think is your spouse while visiting a foreign country. I mean maybe you committed adultery without knowing it.  But on the other hand if you get a new marriage in the new country you are violating the church rules here stated.

How now brown cow? Please Mr. Church what do I do? How can I be subject to kings and rulers etc and still follow you? What do I do?

Hey stop whining the answer to that was given long ago and is right in the Doctrine and Covenants. Well at least part of it, the OF1. Don’t look at the rest of the Lord’s words as found in say section 98 or 101 or 42 where He says you should obey Him and His law above the laws of man. Just follow Wilford Woodruff’s example and his strong prophetic “advice” and put the law of God subservient to the law of the government.

Sure do it. It works every time. The church won’t bug you and this will muffle your conscience. Of course it may decrease your portion of the Holy Ghost but hey you will still have temple recommend which we all know is required to return to the presence of God. By this rational the soldiers who fought for Germany in world war 2 were all blessed even if they were working at a concentration camp turning on the gas, they were just obeying the law. Same as any God given right violating members serving in the military, FBI, CIA, IRS, or TSA. They are all following the law and just doing their jobs.

Now please as you read this don’t take an excerpt from the above two paragraphs and explain that it is wrong. Of course it is wrong. It is all sarcasm.

You may think this is all foolishness. I could not agree with you more. To think that a man and woman need to have permission from other people (with the exception of their spouse) to be married is total foolishness. Governments and churches are people. They both administer their ordinances. And when a church which has authority from Gd to perform ordinances which will be recognized by Him they had better be damn careful to not run afoul of His laws of agency in doing so.

The whole mess comes about when we start putting any law of man, governmental body or church body above the law of God. Only we ourselves personally can insure that we are not guilty of this. It should be obvious by the posts on the CHI that the present LDS church is not going to be of any help in this regard. The doctrine of the marriage covenant stated on this blog is correct. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman. Why is that correct? Because it is what God said it.

So what pray tell does the CHI think it is doing in forbidding people to have other marriage ceremonies?

Maybe someone is afraid that members might awake to the realization that they never needed government approval or church approval to have a God recognized marriage in the first place.

I don’t really care what they think. I can see what it does. It places the corporate church as the dispenser and controller of God’s blessings to its members. It inserts said church between God and His children thereby depriving them of rights and freedoms which God has given them.


  1. Actually, I have heard LDS sermons that defend WWII Nazi LDS who clearly violated the spirit.

    Thanks for a good post. The “corporate” LDS church needs to be challendged.

  2. I think it’s pretty clear that the message is that no other marriage ceremony should be performed *by the church* following a temple marriage.
    A marrying couple is free to do whatever ceremonies they wish, governmental or otherwise.
    The prohibition is aimed at the ecclesiastical leader, not the husband and wife.

  3. Hi again Mary B
    No it doesn’t appear that way. The wording is that even if they have a special meeting they the couple should not exchange vows, which is a form of a marriage ceremony.
    And then it states outside of the paragraph as a blanket statement which has no reference to a church meeting or anything saying:

    No other marriage ceremony should be performed following a temple marriage.

    You know the author of this blog LDSA has written a real good post on marriage and what it is. And the Lord has explained that marriage is a covenant (the exchanging of vows) between a man and a woman.
    So if I am a woman meet and with the permissionof any living spouse we exchange vows to be good to each other forever (or just this life) and treat each other as the gospel requires and to be man and wife we are married in the sight of God.
    the permission of another man/woman or group of men/women has nothing to do with it unless those other people are present spouses to one of the parties of the vow.

    But the CHI here prohibits even people who have been sealed in the temple from having another exchange of those vows.

  4. We’ll have to agree to disagree on the meaning of the sentence in question. I am not convinced.

  5. You know Mary I can understand how important it is to be convinced of something before we give our belief to it.
    But frankly there is no need to try and convince you at all. And I certainly would be one of the last people to try and convince anyone of the interpretation of the CHI.
    I feel a little like Elijah must have felt when he said, “Why halt ye between two opinions?”
    If you really want to know you don’t have to take my word for it. As a matter of fact you shouldn’t, I’m not your priesthood leader. But please do us a favor and go to your stake president or bishop and say, “Hey you know my hubby and I want to renew our love so we are planning to go to a romantic place and have a second marriage ceremony just the two of us or maybe we will have a couple of friends as witnesses to help us celebrate. There’s no problem with that is there? I mean the church doesn’t mind right?”
    Now if you are not married I apologize for making the assumption but you could ask a friend to do it for you.
    Then please report back to us. I love nothing more than learning the truth even if , or especially if I am found wrong. I want to know the truth.
    Thanks and I will be watching for your results.

  6. Apparently Mary chose not to take you up on it.

    What would happen if I got married in the temple, then – without bothering to tell or ask an ecclesiastical leader – decided to have a private little garden ceremony? What if I did it in another state? Another country? (I mean, when I got my tubes “tied” I didn’t know I was supposed to ask the bishop’s opinion/advice and innocently went and did what God and I had decided was the best thing to do.)

    See what you did? You’ve got me wanting to have my own little private ceremony after the official one and I don’t even want to get married!

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