Wednesday, July 6, 2011

MORMON TEMPLE WEDDING POLICY PETITION and Related LDS Hymn Parodies #26 and #27

I recently got an email from a lovely lady named Jean Bodie who has become a follower of my blogs, especially in connection with my hymn parodies.  I first met Jean at the ExMormon Foundation Conference in October 2010 where she gave a wonderful talk entitled Good Works in a Post-Mormon World.  Even though I didn't get to know her very well then, I felt an immediate kinship with her as a ExMormon woman.  Since then, though, we have become Facebook friends and have exchanged several messages that have further cemented my opinion of her, and I now consider her a very good friend IRL.  I admire Jean's courage and conviction despite the struggles she has encountered since leaving Mormonism as illustrated very vividly in this video posted on YouTube (from the I Am an ExMormon website).  Jean currently serves as the Secretary of the ExMormon Foundation, and is involved in working on this petition as well as many other worthwhile activities.

In the recent email I received from Jean, she asked if I would write two hymn parodies highlighting the issues that are addressed in the Mormon Temple Wedding Policy Petition which seeks to change the policy of the Mormon Church requiring people who decide to first have civil weddings to wait for a year before they are allowed to have their Temple weddings.  She told me that she wanted to use these hymn parodies in varoius ways to support the petition, including possibly being sung publicly during the time when the petition will be delivered to Mormon Church leaders in October 2011.  In communicating with Jean about this (and reading the information contained on the petition website), I began to see that this is an important issue and a compromise that the Mormon Church should make - and since it became so obvious to me that this policy is unfair to non-members and others who cannot attend temple weddings, I agreed to write the hymn parodies.  Because Jean gave me the inspiration for these hymn parodies and provided various possible lyrics to me (some of which I used), I have given her credit on these hymn parodies as well. 

Of note, of course, is the fact that in countries other than the United States, this policy does not apply.  In such countries as Latin America and throughout Europe, people are allowed to be married civilly first and then soon after that to be sealed in a Mormon Temple.  Why should the United States and Canada be any different?  After all, from what I have been able to ascertain, there is no doctrinal backup for this tenuous position taken by the Mormon Church.  In short, it is exclusionary and discriminatory against those who are not members of the Mormon Church or who do not have recommends enabling them to enter Mormon Temples.

While discussing the issues surrounding this petition with Jean by email, and commenting that sometimes when something doesn't directly affect people, some tend to shrug it off, Jean very eloquently replied as follows: 
"As you said, if something doesn’t directly affect people they can just shrug it off.  We have to make people realize that it really DOES affect them; it can affect anyone – children, non-endowed members, non-tithe paying members, ‘unworthy’ members, and Ex-Members. Then it can affect anyone who is not a Mormon and that is the majority of people in the world. Why the heck are they building temples all over the world when so few people can enter? The temples are the brainwashing centers of the cult. It is so obvious from what goes on inside and all the Masonic symbols on the buildings, even the new ones. If it wasn’t part of their brainwashing/occult stuff, wouldn’t you think that now with all the negative publicity that they would be leaving out those Masonic symbols?"
"We also need Mormons to understand that we are not trying to take away their right to be married in the temple, if that is their choice, and that we are not asking for all the above who are excluded to be allowed in their temples. It is just a case of removing the penalty; there is just no need for it except as a means of control – get the couple into the closest brainwashing center to make those scary covenants so that they have them by the short hairs."
I hope that you will take the time to consider this important issue and visit the website dedicated to the Mormon Temple Wedding Policy Petition - and if you are so inclined, that you will sign it.  It is only through making issues heard that they are ever changed.  Indeed, the old adage that says "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" is very true.

Below are the two hymn parodies on this issue.  As a note, these hymn parodies were written from a Christian point of view even though I consider myself an Agnostic now.  But it seems rather obvious to me that this is a universal issue, regardless of a person's religious affiliations or inclinations, and it is one that needs to be addressed.

Sung to the tune of I Love to See the Temple, #95

I sit outside the temple,
My daughter’s getting wed.
I long to be there with her,
To hear their vows be said.
But I can’t go in this house of God,
A place where few can enter,
Even though I worship Jesus Christ,
Oh yes, he is my Savior.

I know the path she’s chosen,
But such a special day,
Should not be so exclusive,
This is the price I pay
For not worshipping the way she does,
Since I am not a Mormon,
But if there was just some other way
That felt much more like heaven.

The temple’s very sacred
To Mormons everywhere,
But weddings without families
Seems totally unfair.
But I sit outside the temple now,
And think about the wedding,
Trying hard to wait here patiently,
Although my heart is aching.

If only they would hear me,
And change the way it’s done,
Allow a civil wedding
And then the temple one.
They would help keep families unified
Although they are not Mormon,
And if they would make this compromise,
They’d show that they are Christian.

© Diane Tingen and Jean Bodie, 7/4/2011

LDS Hymn Book, #300

I have a family here on earth,
They are so dear to me,
But they believe that I won’t be
With them eternally.

Families can be together forever
In Christianity.
Though Mormons all believe
The doctrines they receive,
Yet I know the Lord still loves me, too,
I know the Lord still loves me, too.

I have a daughter and a son,
So special and unique.
But when they marry, I won’t hear
The vows that they will speak.

Families can be together forever,
As Mormons testify.
But there’s a cruel ban,
Through Mormonism’s plan,
So I won't be able to attend
Because the Mormon Church won't bend.

© Diane Tingen and Jean Bodie, 7/5/2011


Anonymous said...

hi for some reason...something sounds fishy...IMO either get a recomend or just go to the reception..not a big deal...get over it..The two Mormons are getting married not you...Let them have their private temple marriage its about them not you as I said just go to the reception...BTW great songs but seems like your heart wasn,t in these two kind of...its almost like condoning the bogososity (not a word but it fits :) rock on Diane have a great day its hotter than fish grease over here! Stay cool...great blog...

Diane Tingen said...

Interesting comment by Anonymous, and I cannot let what was said go unanswered. First of all, I'm puzzled by the comment, "something sounds fishy." In what way??? Saying that someone should either get a recommend or just go to the reception is competely skipping over the issue. People who are not Mormon can't just go get a recommend. They are excluded from the wedding altogether because they don't buy into Mormonism. Is that fair? I don't think asking that civil weddings be allowed just prior to temple sealings is unreasonable. If a couple wants to just have their temple sealing as their wedding, fine - no one is trying to keep them from doing that. But if they have people in their families who they want to have included in their wedding, then making it possible for them to have a civil wedding first is much more reasonable. Of course, the funniest part of this whole comment is saying "its almost like condoning the bogososity (not a word but it fits)." So just what is bogososity? I will agree that these two hymn parodies are quite a bit different than the others I have written in that they are much more serious. Most of my others approach the issues from a more or less humorous standpoint, but since there is nothing funny about denying people the right to have their family members at their weddings, particularly when the problem is easily solved by allowing couples to be married civilly prior to being sealed in a Mormon Temple, I did not feel humor was appropriate in this situation.

Anonymous said...

From a devout mormon point of view the temple marriage is vital to the faith..the foundation for the family being together in the celestial kingdom forever and something that has been the main goal of every latter day saint man and woman since childhood. So no devout TBM would want it any different.
On the other hand to a 'normal' person a civil marriage with all the family and friends in attendance is perfect and then get sealed right after that.
Doing this will take the control away from the church and change an idea that has been harped on continously all their lives about getting a temple marriage. Of course they could compremise and remove the 1 year wait but I doubt it. The bogusosity means that the temple, the ceremony, the clothes the whole nine yards is just a made up tale ala 'the emperor is not wearing any clothes' so its almost like pulling back the curtain and seeing the wizard of OZ pulling all the levers and all that like in the movie. Can the church afford to do this? I hope so. After thinking about it you are right, they should do it. But if they do it will negate all those oaths and vows which are a pretty strong control trip...which I bought hook line and sinker for many years until I thought OMG this is nuts what am I doing? More later...

Jean said...

Anonymous; How would making the change regarding the one year wait negate all the oaths and vows? I don't understand that. They are all there; all the same in the other countries that allow civil weddings.

People in other countries just don't think they are doing anything wrong by having a civil ceremony, because it has always been that way for them and the church does not hold that penalty over their heads. They have a happy wedding, inviting whomever they wish and THEN they go and have the temple sealing which is very important and sacred to them. They make the same covenants that we make in North America.

Please explain.

Sandra W. said...

Dang it! I've been there; missed two kids temple weddings b/c I no longer believed. And now my son who was married in the Oakland Temple is dead.....b/c he left the church and his wife left him. He couldn't handle all the loss. I feel like placing my fingers securely around the necks of all the GAs for continuing the lie. Love your song.

Jean said...

Sandra, my heart aches for you and there is nothing I could possibly say that would alleviate your pain. This must have been a hard story to share; thank you for doing it.

Did you happen to add it to the temple wedding petition site? We have a tentative meeting scheduled at the time of delivery of the petition in Oct; Friday 14th and I would appreciate permission to share that story with the person we talk to.
The church leaders have to wake up to the damage being done to the lives of its members, those who are not members and those who have left the church. They seem to think that they have some kind of monopoly on loving kids; they don't. We all love our kids and want to share their special moments always. Commitment and loyalty are such important issues in relationships. The first commitment made in our lives is from our parents to us; we are born helpless, but with their love and care we survive, grow up, choose a mate and get married. How cruel it is to then turn around and tell them they are not worthy to be at your wedding. Oh, one does not need to say those words, but it all boils down to the same thing.
If you were a faithful Catholic, who paid large sums of money for humanitarian relief; you were chaste and honest in all you did; raised a child with all the love your heart could muster, it wouldn't matter what conciliatory words were uttered to appease you, you would know that as far as Mormons are concerned, Catholics are not worthy because they don't believe in the LDS Church. So wrong on every level. So sad for you my dear; I hope you feel better soon.