Is certifying on-line to officiate at a wedding OK?

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terrydoxey
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Is certifying on-line to officiate at a wedding OK?

Postby terrydoxey » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:58 pm

A couple asked our son-in-law if he would get certified on line to officiate at their wedding. The couple are LDS, but not active, and wanted someone they're close to, to officiate rather than a bishop they don't have a relationship with. Our son-in-law decided to ask his bishop about it, who told him 'That's a no-no", so he respectfully declined the invitation to officiate. The couple's other choices are also active in the church, and because we didn't learn of the explanation why the bishop said no, thought would see if there is a policy, something in the handbook prohibiting an active member to do this; was it possibly the bishop's opinion in that case?

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Re: Is certifying on-line to officiate at a wedding OK?

Postby russellhltn » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:46 pm

Handbook 1: 3.5.3 would appear to prohibit that.
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terrydoxey
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Re: Is certifying on-line to officiate at a wedding OK?

Postby terrydoxey » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:29 pm

I haven't been able to access handbook 1 to read that yet. What does it say? I should've thought to mention the wedding is taking place outside at a park- won't be at a church house.

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Re: Is certifying on-line to officiate at a wedding OK?

Postby russellhltn » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:45 pm

Handbook 1 is restricted. Only stake presidencies, bishoprics and a few auxiliary positions at that level can access it.

It limits officiating to just the leaders.
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Mikerowaved
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Re: Is certifying on-line to officiate at a wedding OK?

Postby Mikerowaved » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:15 am

terrydoxey wrote:I should've thought to mention the wedding is taking place outside at a park- won't be at a church house.

I no longer have access to HB1 either, but it seems to me, that your statement above would make all the difference. If the state you're in sees your brother-in-law as one who can legally perform a marriage, and it won't be performed on church property, then I don't see the problem; but that's just my opinion.
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Re: Is certifying on-line to officiate at a wedding OK?

Postby lajackson » Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:12 pm

The Handbook allows a bishop, stake president, or mission president to marry a member of his ward, stake, or mission if civil law authorizes the officer to do so. Other Church officers are not authorized to marry members using their ecclesiastical authority.

The laws of the land allow others to perform marriages by virtue of state law, such as justices of the peace, judges, and in some states, anybody. Some states require registration, others do not.

So legally, if the state allows someone to marry a couple civilly, they can perform marriages if authorized by the state, as long as state law is followed regarding marriage licenses, waiting periods, witnesses, registration of the person performing the marriage, if necessary, and anything else required by law.

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michael.crook
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Re: Is certifying on-line to officiate at a wedding OK?

Postby michael.crook » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:23 am

Mikerowaved wrote:
terrydoxey wrote:I should've thought to mention the wedding is taking place outside at a park- won't be at a church house.

I no longer have access to HB1 either, but it seems to me, that your statement above would make all the difference. If the state you're in sees your brother-in-law as one who can legally perform a marriage, and it won't be performed on church property, then I don't see the problem; but that's just my opinion.


Not to cause a 3 Nephi 11:29 here, but wouldn't this be dangerously close to not sustaining a priesthood authority? Basically circumventing the bishop, who is legally authorized, with a dubious "certification" that is still not legal in many jurisdictions. My wife and I were inactive for a long time and thus not ready for the temple, so prior to our sealing, we had a civil-religious marriage at the wardhouse, presided by the bishop.

We were in Vegas, so Elvis could have married us, but we waited the month that both our bishops wanted and waited. Never in our wildest dreams would we bypass our priesthood authority. But as always, that's just my five cents, two after taxes and tithing.

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Re: Is certifying on-line to officiate at a wedding OK?

Postby lajackson » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:39 pm

michael.crook wrote:We were in Vegas, so Elvis could have married us, but we waited the month that both our bishops wanted and waited. Never in our wildest dreams would we bypass our priesthood authority. But as always, that's just my five cents, two after taxes and tithing.

Because the couple mentioned in the original post is LDS, I would always defer to the bishop. And even otherwise, I have enough respect and reverence toward the institution of marriage that I would not marry anyone on a whim, even if it was legal.

It sounds to me as if you had two wonderful bishops involved in your lives, as it should be. This might be an opportunity for the person asked to perform the marriage to introduce the couple to their bishop and start a relationship that might have eternal implications. The son-in-law can always attend the wedding and provide support in that manner.

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Re: Is certifying on-line to officiate at a wedding OK?

Postby will227457 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:37 pm

In answer to the original question. Your friend may get certified on-line by the state and perform the marriage. There is no "rule" that says that once authorized by the state he must obtain ecclesiastical endorsement from the church to perform the marriage. Bishops as part of their calling ALSO have authority to perform a marriage ceremony as authorized by the state. I am sure a current or former Bishop can enlighten us about the paperwork filled out to accommodate this.

Being LDS has nothing to do with who or how they are married it just happens to be one of many facts about the individuals.

Now if they want to be married at the church facilities that would be open up another line of questioning about usage of church facilities and who would make those decisions.

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Re: Is certifying on-line to officiate at a wedding OK?

Postby lajackson » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:27 am

will227457 wrote:Your friend may get certified on-line by the state and perform the marriage. There is no "rule" that says that once authorized by the state he must obtain ecclesiastical endorsement from the church to perform the marriage.

It depends on the state. Some states do not require any certification or ecclesiastical endorsement at all. Some states require that you register a certificate of authority with the county clerk before you are authorized by the state to perform marriages. Check your local state law.

You are correct that once authorized by the state, most do not require the obtaining of an ecclesiastical endorsement. Bishops, on the other hand, have guidelines in the Handbook that may limit their authorization from the Church to marry members.


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