NEW Guidelines Announced for Church Leaders Performing Civil Marriage Ceremonies

New civil marriage guidelines announced for Church leaders performing ceremonies


The letter, sent Wednesday, June 30, 2021, was signed by President Russell M. Nelson, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring. Taken from the Church News:


The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has revised the conditions in which Church officers may perform civil marriages between a man and a woman.



Effective immediately, mission presidents, stake presidents, district presidents, bishops, and branch presidents may officiate civil marriage only in the following circumstances: 


  •  At least one of the couple—either the bride or groom—is a member of the Church.
  •  Either the bride’s or the groom’s membership record is assigned to the unit over which the Church officer presides.
  •  The Church officer is legally authorized to perform a civil marriage in the jurisdiction where the marriage will take place. Not all jurisdictions recognize civil marriages performed by local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Previously, Church policy allowed Church officials — when permitted by local law — to perform civil marriage for those who were not Latter-day Saints, according to the Church’s handbook of instructions. 


It is the second First Presidency announcement in five weeks dealing with marriage. A May 24, 2021, letter announced that time-only marriages in the temple will no longer be performed. “Because of the eternal nature of the temple and the work that takes place there, it has been decided that time-only marriages in the temple will no longer be performed,” the May 24 letter stated.


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