The “Say I Do” Wedding Drive Through

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Las Vegas offers some fast, convenient, and inexpensive ways to get married – but these marriages can be a real gamble. The smart money in Vegas settles for marriage in only one place, the Temple of the Lord, where a marriage can be sealed by the same power and keys Christ gave to Peter. A marriage so sealed on earth can be sealed in heaven.

The concept of eternal marriage is one of the most ennobling and inspiring doctrines of the Restored Gospel. How grateful I am for the supreme blessing made available in the Temples of the Lord.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

54 thoughts on “The “Say I Do” Wedding Drive Through

  1. Whoa, anonymous, settle down there. Do you really know someone–Mormon or not–who thinks the BEST way to start out your married life is in a quickie chapel?

    For myself, five years ago today I was married in the Las Vegas Temple. I too am grateful for this supreme blessing.

  2. Does anyone know of any marriage rites discussed in the NT, either by Jesus or any of his diciples?

    Just curious.

  3. Keryn

    Do you feel special promoting the ceremony that Joseph Smith cooked up to justify his polygamy?

    Did you enjoy the lovely vows that you spoke from your heart to your spouse? Oh, that’s right, in the Mormon ceremony you marry the Church, not your spouse.

    And what about those Mothers and Fathers who don’t believe in Joseph as a prophet and refused to fork out the 10%? Families are forever, except when they’re sitting in the parking lot.

  4. Lighten up, Francis…er…keryn

    Nobody is suggesting anything about vegas wedding chapels. Some choose to get married there, some don’t. Whatever floats your boat, eh?

    But getting married in the temple is no guarantee of success either. It’s not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage.

  5. My hunch is that some “parking lot” families as you call them will be doing a lot better in the afterlife than some “temple families” that I have been familiar with.

    It begs the question–why some crackpot ceremony convince thousands of couples that this stuff is the real mccoy? In other words, I would suggest to you that marriages are made, not performed. If you want to poo-poo the temple ceremony, that’s your own business, but the temple’s doctrine has real and positive effects on numberless marriages. And I would that’s at least as important as the (sometimes blinding) cynicism that rules this conversation.

  6. “…but the temple’s doctrine has real and positive effects on numberless marriages..”

    And I would argue very real negative effects.

    1) highest rate of family bankruptcies in the nation

    2) too many married too young with no means of support for the family

    3) over-emphasis on “temple marriage” as if the ceremony and place itself is what matters

    4) A marriage ceremony that reads more like marrying the church vs marrying the spouse

    5) closing of the ceremony to non-tithe payers is destructive to the family ethos

  7. 1) I wasn’t aware that such a study had been done on a religion-by-religion basis.

    2) That’s pretty subjective, but I’m not personally aware of any young couples in real financial trouble.

    3) The temple is a sacred place, where we make sacred commitments. As such, it is important. But so are all the other things that help to form a good marriage.

    4) I honestly have no idea what you’re referring to.

    5) Again, we hold the temple to be a very sacred place, and those who do not hold it in such esteem are not invited inside. Seems pretty reasonable.

  8. I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “the family ethos,” but the truth is the truth, and disagreements over the truth will lead to strife and possibly estrangement, even within families. Jesus Christ himself warned us of that. But to me, no friendship or family bond is worth rejecting the truth. Most of my family wasn’t allowed at my sealing (in the Las Vegas temple, incidentally), and if it were somehow my choice whether to let them attend despite their disbelief in the very truths upon which eternal marriage is built, I would have denied them entrance myself.

  9. Jeff-
    Would it be okay to go behind your family’s back, get your interviews with the Bishop and Stake President, obtain your recommends, secretly set a temple sealing date in the Las Vegas Temple, and elope when no one is expecting it?

    That way you could still get the “Las Vegas Experience” while honoring the Lord’s commandment to be sealed in His Holy House.

    All kidding aside, sometimes I wish my wife and I would have eloped, still getting married in the temple…Weddings…what a hassle! I’m glad that part of a marriage doesn’t last for eternity!

  10. Roy Wright said:

    “…and if it were somehow my choice whether to let them attend despite their disbelief in the very truths upon which eternal marriage is built, I would have denied them entrance myself.”

    Families are forever.

    Not a better example of why this phrase is meaningless; Mormonism is about Mormonism only, and cares not a wit about families.

    Roy – would you also give your 14-year old daughter to the Prophet if he asked? Or your wife?

  11. I enjoyed your post about the LAs Vegas Chapels. My parents got married “in Vegas”. They are waiting to be sealed in the temple. The Vegas temple is the way to go!

  12. Rachel

    be careful on how quickly you form your opinions. Misunderstandings like these have been responsible for many of the world’s great tragedies. I am sure the Himmler’s SS thought they knew and understood the Jews. Unfortunately ignorance usually becomes a stumbling block to our eventual understanding instead of motivating us to learn.

    You mention tithing again and again as exclusion criteria for entering the temple. There are many other exclusion criteria that are much harder to overcome such as addictions (drugs, alcohol and pornography) dishonesty, hatred, child abuse, infidelity etc. I want you to notice that all of these things are SELF selection. Mormons view the marriage covenant as the most sacred event that will occur in your life. It is held in the temple so only those striving for the highest moral standard are able to attend. The sealing room in the temple is small to keep the setting simple and sacred. If you want to go in you have the choice of whether or not you are going to live up to the standards.

    Let me correct a few of your points in a hope that you will seek first to learn before passing judgment in the future.

    1) “highest rate of family bankruptcies in the nation”

    Although Utah does rank third on the list of bankruptcy filings (#1 Indiana, #2 Ohio) No study has been conducted on bankruptcy rates for religious groups. Do I need to mention that it is very ignorant to assume everyone who lives in Utah is a Mormon?

    2) “too many married too young with no means of support for the family”

    I guess the only way you could have come up with this comment would be to again assume everyone in Utah is LDS and then look at unemployment rates. According to the government ( ) Utah has the second lowest unemployment rate at just 2.8%. Although Utahan’s do get married younger than any other state with the average age for men of 24.6 and women 22.1 which doesn’t differ much from other western states. Utah is also number 5 on the list for high school graduates and 17 on the list for college graduates. Is there a better way to sustain a family than with a great education?

    Referring to your last three comments there is no way to prove or disprove your claims because they are based on opinion and not facts. As long as we are giving validity to your biases let me include mine. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  13. Josh said:

    “I am sure the Himmler’s SS thought they knew and understood the Jews.”

    Enjoying your persecution complex?

    1) it must be the non tithe-paying apostates that are driving up the statewide family bankruptcy rate in Utah.

    2) all of those returned missionaries with wives and families in the second year of college must not have anything to do with the high family bankruptcy rates. You can’t eat a textbook. Your employment argument is a non sequitur.

    3) we’re all paying the tab for these behaviors.

  14. “Mormonism is about Mormonism only, and cares not a wit about families.”

    Rachel, could I ask what your experience was with LDS congregations or the Church in general that led to this hostile view? Were you excluded from attending a child’s wedding, perhaps, and that painful experience still casts a cloud over your views on the religion? Or were you offended in some other way? I’d like to understand what led to your views.

    My experience is that the Church and its members care a great deal about families, both LDS and non-LDS families. While meetings and callings put strains on my time, the guidance and teachings I get from the Church constantly motivate me to be a better father, to take it seriously as my most important calling on earth, to watch over the needs of family, to be a good example to them, to spend time with them, to join them daily in prayer and scripture study, to help them prepare for their own families, etc.

    I have a difficult time understanding why one would think that the Church “cares not a wit for families.” Surely we have our weaknesses and can do better, but “cares not a wit”? But I’m sure you’ve got some reasons, so I’d like to know where you’re coming from. Might help us to better appreciate your views rather than simply dismissing them as “just another angry anti.” Then real dialog might start.

  15. Mormanity

    Despite Elder Bednar’s (and your) assertion that those who don’t tow the church’s line must have been “offended” – by the way, that’s an easy way of dismissing contrary viewpoints as being the weakness of the holder – my opinions are from direct interaction with Mormonism, particularly Mormon families that have some active and non-active members. They are offered to be either supported or argued against.

    And there are many reasons to take issue with church policies other than “offense.”

  16. Rachel, I thought I was asking a pretty civil question. You seem to read some kind of antagonistic code language into the word “offended.” OK, let me rephrase. Why are you, uh, upset? Why are you ticked? And if that doesn’t work, pick any one of the following: Why are you bothered, angry, unhappy, irritated, grouchy, negative, riled up, bitter, antagonistic, or whatever it is that you feel best describes your attitude about the Church?

    From your answer, I imply that you are offended – I mean bothered, upset, or whatever – by the Church’s attitudes about families based on what some Mormons or ex-Mormons you know have experienced or have told you. Were the painful experiences they went through actually indicative of Church that “cares not a wit” about families? Is it possible that there might be some sincere care, but that it was poorly or stupidly executed in the case of those you know?

  17. When someone is upset with Church enough to hang out at pro-Mormon blogs and throw out complaints, they are “offended” by the Church, by definition.

  18. Rachel,
    There must be some reason you feel the need to voice your opinions concerning the Mormon Church and specifically temple marriages. I’m sure there are many that would love to sincerely discuss these reasons with you, and possibly help you.

    But I believe you need to stop and look at your actions. No matter if you agree with the LDS Church or not is there really an excuse for your behavior? Would the Savior approve of your contentious and accusatory comments?

    If you want to sincerely discuss what you are going through please feel free to write me at

  19. In any case, Rachel deserves to heard, even if the views are in error (as Josh sufficiently demonstrated, despite the unneeded Nazi reference)

    I have encountered many “temple marriages” in my day. I have seen some in shambles–I wouldn’t have such marriages for all the money in the world. I have seen some that I envy. People are people, Rachel. In attempt to discredit Mormonism, you have exploited to the errors of some at the expense of the virtues of many.

    I attend BYU–the place where marriage fever is rampant. Yet your accusations about marrying too young are ill-founded. Yes, we have cases. But then again, others have cases of teenage pregnancy. Which is worse? Marriage too young or pregnancy out of wedlock? I don’t presume to know, but I will say that it is wrong to single us out, as though Mormons are the only religious people who have problems.

  20. …my opinions are from direct interaction with Mormonism, particularly Mormon families that have some active and non-active members. They are offered to be either supported or argued against.

    Were you planning to support your opinions, then? The closest you’ve come to actual argument is implying that marrying during college leads to bankrupcy. Now, I got married as a sophomore in college and never went bankrupt, so surely that’s not an unavoidable formula, but it’s not a terribly unreasonable assumption for a lot of people, in and out of the Church, who don’t live its principles. As to your other statements, I’m still waiting for some shred of support for them.

  21. No one has answered one important question: would you give your teenage daughter or wife to the prophet for him to marry, and all that that implies? I wouldn’t. I’m active and tithe paying. Does my answer make me a bad mormon?
    Also, I have no intention of taking multiple wives in the afterlife, and my wife has told me in no uncertain terms that this idea is unacceptable. Are we damned? If so, I guess I’m fine with that.

  22. “No one has answered one important question: would you give your teenage daughter or wife to the prophet for him to marry, and all that that implies? I wouldn’t. I’m active and tithe paying. Does my answer make me a bad mormon?”

    Well, if we follow the Joseph Smith example, in some cases you might just well turn him down (as did numerous women who would only change their mind upon seeing a heavenly manifestation).

    “Also, I have no intention of taking multiple wives in the afterlife, and my wife has told me in no uncertain terms that this idea is unacceptable. Are we damned? If so, I guess I’m fine with that.”

    No, you’re not damned. Nephi certainly is not damned. Nor is Jacob, or Alma, or Ammon, and so forth. And fyi, I’m not exactly groove with the idea myself. But I have come to terms with it as history, and I can firmly say that I accept Joseph Smith as a prophet without giving up any of my core values to do it.

  23. I have no intention of taking multiple wives in the afterlife, and my wife has told me in no uncertain terms that this idea is unacceptable. Are we damned?

    It depends on what you mean by “no intention.” I accept the doctrine of plural marriage and am willing to live it, but have no desire (“eagerness,” you might say) to do so. I think the teachings of the scriptures and prophets indicate that this is close to the proper attitude toward plural marriage. Wholesale rejection of the idea is certainly damnable, but so is being overzealous in its pursuit.

  24. So then, Roy, I am damned. Because as far as my wife and I are concerned, polygamy is off the table. I guess I am okay with that though. I honestly do not want another wife.
    Which brings up another point, how do we as members explain to news savvy friends that, while we do not practice polygamy in this day and age, it’s okay for an apostle to marry another woman for time and all eternity after his first wife passes on? I was presented with that question recently and did not know how (and frankly did not want) to respond. It’s hard enough doing missionary work, today’s unprecedented access to information certainly does not help.

  25. anon@8:19– Remarrying after your spouse dies is not at all the same as entering into an additional eternal relationship with a second wife. This is polygamy, and a couple of apostles are practicing polygamy (if only in theory).

  26. Anon@5:35,

    I am a little suspicious now. Why did you quickly respond to Roy’s response that contradicted yours while ignoring mine that suggested you were correct?

    And last I checked, Roy was antagonistic questions himself. But then again, we all have our “devil’s advocate” moments 🙂

  27. Because your suggestion was incorrect. Several prophets have said polygamy is required, and there are living apostles who still sort of practice it.
    You can be suspicious of me all you want, but I assure you I’m an active, RM, tithe-paying member. I’m allowed to have questions last I checked.

  28. When I say suspicious, I am not referring to your activity in the church. I am referring simply to something that I value more highly than RM, tithe-paying, activity: straightforwardness in discourse.

    And please be careful about insinuating that any of us are opposed to questions. The old accusation that anyone who supports the Church’s position must be an iron-fisted orthodox is a hackneyed and dull accusation, the symptom of a one dimensional argument. It amuses no one, annoys (most) everyone (it’s simply stale to me), and, frankly, is incorrect

    Re: prophet’s views on polygamy, if you want to play “prophet poker” (I’ll see your *name your favorite prophet’s quote here* and I’ll raise you a *name a “better” prophet’s quote), we can. I’m good at it.

    In any case, I challenge anyone to show me evidence that the Book of Mormon prophets engaged in polygamy. And then show that they did not receive exaltation. Good luck.

  29. Just my two cents…

    I don’t think Anon is referring to polygamy in this life. He is referring to the belief among many members and taught by some Prophets that polygamy will be practiced in the life hereafter. So while Nephite prophets did not practice polygamy, as we don’t today, that isn’t very relevant to Anon’s question. The question is will we have to practice it in the life hereafter? Will it be imperative to our salvation that we accept multiple wives? Anon you can correct me if I’m wrong.

    I don’t want to take sides, but I don’t understand how Anon not replying to a particular person’s comment would be considered not being straightforward. I also don’t see how he or she is playing prophet poker.

    In regards to Anon’s question (if I understand it correctly)I don’t know the answer. I believe it is a possibility. But I also don’t think this teaching would be considered doctrine. If the Lord does require polygamy to be practiced in the Celestial Kingdon I have confidence that it will make sense why. Our perspective is so limited. For me this question falls under the category of questions I feel are futile to try to answer in mortality. When we are in the presence of the Father I’m sure His plan will be clear.

  30. As the Lord’s people, we are to strive to obey His commandments without question. He wants a faithful, humble, and obediant people in the Celestial Kingdom. He will not lead us astray or give us challenges that we wouldn’t be able to handle. If I remember right, it took Joseph Smith many years to take on another wife. The Lord finally told him to obey His commandment or lose his position as the Lord’s prophet. We may not always agree with what we are taught but it is for our benefit. So, if the Lord told me to take on another wife in this life or the next, I would gladly obey if only to show that I am willing to obey His every word. My wife agrees with me on this and we have been happily married 6 years now.

  31. Teancum, you succinctly summed up my question. Thank you.
    Adamite, come on now. Do you know the circumstances of Joseph’s first plural wife? Do you know her name and age? Do you know Emma’s reaction? Olivers? Avail yourself of this knowledge, you need to know your history.
    Also, I will not obey polygamy under any circumstances, nor will my wife ever consent, so we will not progress (according to Brigham Young. Is there a quote “undoing” his declaration?). That is fine with me I guess. It would be dishonest of me to say I was okay with marrying another woman for eternity, even if my wife precedes me in death, but I am not.
    That is great that you are willing and obedient. I guess I will not see you there after this is all over.

  32. In any case (and I say unto all), let’s not let a lack of clarity in the historical record destroy anyone’s testimony, for testimonies are based on truth. People need to know that some MOrmons actually DO know these things and are not only faithful to but have faith in the church to which they belong.

    Some of us are quite aware of the issues involving plural marriage and, while not exactly comfortable with the idea, nevertheless can say with confidence that Joseph was a prophet.

    BTW, for those interested:

    Fanny Alger
    Age 14
    Emma was largely unaware
    Oliver would be excommunicated for accusing Joseph of adultery (which Joseph did not believe it was, since he had married her)

    So the myth of the yokel/ignoramus Mormon goes by the wayside. Of course, no one has insinuated that Mormons are that way. Just throwing it out there for kicks.

  33. I honestly do not want another wife.

    Neither do I.

    Which brings up another point, how do we as members explain to news savvy friends that, while we do not practice polygamy in this day and age, it’s okay for an apostle to marry another woman for time and all eternity after his first wife passes on?

    It is difficult to deal rationally with any form of bigotry, almost by definition.

  34. Walker: “So the myth of the yokel/ignoramus Mormon goes by the wayside.”

    You know that Joseph had secret relations with 14-year olds (and many others), you can read about flaming swords damning his wife, his seer stones and hats, Book of Abraham, leaving members in Kirtland in financial shambles, and destruction of printing presses…and you still call him a prophet.

    If his name was Koresh, would you feel the same?

  35. Good old-fashioned sound-byte argumentation–long on generalities, short on facts, and even shorter on real attempts to understand.

    Your Koresh parallel is laughable, but sadly unsurprising, given the intellectual simpleton-ness that pervades most discussions of Joseph’s plural marriage (incidentally, the “many others” you refer to equal no more than two–Helen Vilate Kimball and Fanny Alger). It poses a false dilemma–either way I’m damned. Should I legitimize logical fallacies with a response (besides a sad shake of the head)? I’m not inclined to do so. I’d much rather discuss the evidence. Until then, shooting-from-the-hip scholarship makes for colorful parlor games, but that’s about it.

    Otherwise, I can say with a good deal of confidence (certainly more than most on this blog and more than most folks in my ward) that your machine-gun claims are disappointingly general and in some cases, flat wrong (the flaming sword Elizabeth Lightner wrote of was promised to kill him, not his wife) It resembls someone who took a glance at an anti pamphlet and then calls that scholarship.

    You can paint caricature if you wish, but just recognize that it distorts the fuller picture. If want GOOD and faithful scholarship, read Avery’s Mormon Enigma, the biography of Emma Smith.

  36. Roy- what bigotry? On my part or theirs? I don’t understand or agree either way.
    It seems to be an honest question.

  37. Anon,
    The first question is do these news savvy friends believe in eternal marriage? If not, than the apostles being sealed to another wife after previous wives pass away should be of little importance.

    Polygamy is the practice of being married to more than one wife AT THE SAME TIME. Since these apostles have only one living spouse, by definition it would not be considered polygamy.

    If they are asking directly “Will Mormons have multiple wives in the next life?” than the simple declaration that the Church does not teach this should suffice.

    I understand that there are quotes that exist from Prophets in early Church history teaching this principle. And my personal opinion is that the Lord is going to honor those sealings performed under His Holy Priesthood. But there is no official doctrine in regards to polygamy in the next life.

    In my opinion, that’s really all your news savvy friends need to know.

  38. If his name was Koresh, would you feel the same?

    I don’t believe someone can be fairly judged by their last name. If Joseph Smith was named Joseph Koresh I don’t think it would have changed the reaction and conversion of the thousands of early Latter-day Saints.

    There have been many good people with the last name Koresh, and I am sure there will be many more.

    So yes, I would feel the same if a man in the early 1800s with the last name Koresh restored the Gospel, and wouldn’t be stupid enough to draw a connection between him and a cult leader from the 1990s.

    And could it just be that there are Mormons that are familiar with Joseph Smith’s past -swords, multiple wives, seer stones and all, and still believe him to be a Prophet of God? Yes. Because I have done extensive research on each drive-by attack you just made, and my testimony of Joseph Smith being a Prophet of JESUS CHRIST continues to grow.

  39. Correction: I misread Bill’s post. When he said, many others,he was referring to wives in general, not just 14-year olds.

    In any case, Emma personally approved at least 6 marriages. I don’t think I can look Emma in the face in the afterlife if I reviled against something that she supported (even if she only supported it sporadically)

  40. Teancum/Walker

    Growing up as a member, I was taught a completely different story to the historical record of Joseph Smith.

    You may say that that’s the fault of the church and doesn’t have bearing on the claim of Joseph as a prophet. I think it’s clear that his life was misrepresented to cover up actions which were not consistent with a Joseph Smith hagiography.

    Except it wasn’t mere embellishment. They were big ones that go to the credibility of the entire story. And not only from the perspective of the antis. Bushman’s book, as one example, and the fully documented historical record…from my view the totality of the story reads like the arc of the charismatic leader who, while talented, isn’t directed by “God” but by his own desires for personal satisfaction and control; and this story has been written over and over, throughout history, on different scales.

    The Koresh analogy may be crude, but in the same vein. Trying to justify the finer points of dynastic marriage, or presume the approval of his wife, or debate what “translation” of the Book of Abraham “really” means, is willfully ignoring the truck that just ran over a myth.

  41. Ignoring the truck?

    No. It’s simple. Not everyone sees it the way you do, Bill. I have studied Joseph Smith’s life in-depth, and still know that he is a Prophet of God.

    I know by the power of the Holy Spirit that Joseph Smith, though far from perfect, was called to restore Jesus Christ’s true Gospel. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s one true Church on the earth today. It is the only Church that has Christ’s priesthood and true authority.

    I don’t have a testimony of Joseph Smith’s character. I have a testimony of the Gospel. I have a testimony of Christ’s Gospel that was restored through a living Prophet.

    The original topic of this thread was eternal marriage. This is one of the greatest doctrines restored in the latter days. I am thankful and rejoice to know that I will be with my family forever. I know this doctrine came from God.

    So take your arrogance and your knowledge of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s fallibilities and go live the life you choose Bill. If this is all a lie, than no need to hang around pro-mormon blogs.

  42. Unfortunate. I’ve read Bushman’s work on Joseph SEVERAL times now. Oddly (or fittingly, depending on your perspective), I have stronger testimony now than I did before.

    Bill probably doesn’t realize that Bushman is a stake patriarch, which, if he’s faking it, makes Bushman a fraud the size of Tennessee.

    And incidentally, I don’t “presume” Emma’s approval. I have documented fact (from Bushman’s work, ironically).

  43. Roy- what bigotry? On my part or theirs?

    On the part of anyone who takes for granted that those Apostles and other members of the Church who engage in the kind of polygamy you described are doing something wrong — those who are so vehemently anti-polygamy that its practice by religious leaders is, to them, an indictment of that religion a priori.