Living Happily Ever After

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The Packet

“Shake hands forever, cancel all our vows, And when we meet at any time again, Be it not seen in either of our brows, That we one jot of former love retain.” (Michael Drayton)

As I said, to obtain the necessary cancellation and clearance to remarry in a L.D.S. temple, a packet of paperwork must be completed and submitted to your local pastor.

As part of that packet, you must write a letter regarding your first marriage; when and where it took place, why your marriage ended, if there is any hope for reconciliation, and other personal information; your former spouse must write a letter–they’re free to share whatever they want to share, I think; your pastor must write a letter; and the pastor of the person you’re engaged to must write a letter. All of that is included with your application.

You must then be interviewed by your pastor.

You must then be interviewed by the local church leader who presides over your pastor’s congregation and several other L.D.S. congregations and pastors.

And then your packet is sent to Church Headquarters, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Your fiance goes through the same application process on his end and his packet is also sent to Salt Lake City.

When both are received, the applications are¬†reviewed. If information is missing, if more information is required, or if there are any other questions, the paperwork is returned for additional information. Sometimes a certain amount of time must pass before an application can be made. Sometimes it’s an issue of rounding everything up from everyone involved–it can take awhile! Factor in holidays, vacations, mail time, missed phone calls, wait time for appointments, and the rest of life…it takes a fair amount of time to complete the necessary paperwork, gather the required letters and obtain the authorization.

You never know how long it will take.

And as it is a very private matter, you don’t always know the reasons for the delays.

And you wait.

In my case, while you wait, you hear a lot of stories. And now here comes the gossip (feel free to skip it, every bit of the following is hearsay and could be completely inaccurate or untrue–having passed through who knows how many mouths and ears–but all shared with me by well-meaning people with the good intention of helping me know what to expect.) I call it “divorced L.D.S. gossip,” but here is just some of what I’ve heard the past 9 1/2 months: a church leader and his wife of 20 years STILL waiting for their authorization to be sealed in the temple; a worthy couple, both with regular temple recommends, waiting 2 years for their authorization to be sealed in the temple; a couple waiting four months for their authorization; and that the average wait for authorization is anywhere between 30 days and three months–it depends on each individual and situation, and to what degree additional information is needed.

I began the process, so did #5.

“What’s interesting about the process…is how often you don’t know what you’re doing.” (Alan Rickman)

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