Can more than my immediate family attend my temple sealing?
June 1978

“Can more than my immediate family attend my temple sealing?” New Era, June 1978, 31

“Can more than my immediate family attend my temple sealing?”

Answer/Brother A. Reed Halverson

Temples have been described or defined as holy sanctuaries wherein sacred ordinances, rites, and ceremonies are performed that pertain to salvation and exaltation in the kingdom of God. They are the most sacred places of worship on earth. Each one is literally a house of the Lord, a house of the Great Creator. The inspired erection and proper use of temples is one of the great evidences of the divinity of the Lord’s work.

Since temples are buildings dedicated to the Lord as his houses and are used solely for sacred purposes, it is reasonable that all who enter the temples do so with the recommendation of the bishops, the fathers of the wards, who personally know each ward member, and are entitled to inspiration on their behalf.

With this firsthand knowledge and the divine inspiration to which he is entitled, the bishop is well qualified to judge the worthiness of a ward member to enter the holy temple. He also indicates the activity or ordinances in which the person may participate. Young people, teenage boys and girls, may be baptized as proxies for the dead who have not in life been baptized and who cannot perform this earthly ordinance for themselves.

Children, from infancy, may enter the temple to be sealed to parents, with the understanding that those who have reached the age of accountability must have been baptized and must have a recommend for that ordinance.

Although the question isn’t specific as to what temple sealing the person has in mind, it is assumed that the question refers to the sealing in connection with marriage.

This ordinance of sealing wife to husband has been termed the culmination of all other blessings, undoubtedly one of the most sacred ordinances and greatest blessings the priesthood can confer upon people in mortality. Who, then, should be invited to witness this ordinance and hear this sacred ceremony? Occasionally, good, loving parents, through inactivity or otherwise, are not permitted to enter the house of the Lord and consequently deny themselves the pleasure of enjoying this most important event in the life of a son or daughter. Because of the sacred nature of the eternal marriage ordinance, only those individuals who have been endowed in the temple and who have a current recommend are permitted to witness the sealing. It then follows that those of the immediate family who meet these specifications may be given that opportunity. However, the privilege need not be limited to only immediate family, but other relatives and friends who have received their endowments and who hold current recommends may also attend and witness the temple sealing.

At times, because they are the only members of their families in the Church, young couples have come alone to be married in the temple, choosing this rather than forfeiting or delaying the wonderful blessings that can come only through a temple marriage. If all young people truly understood the importance of a temple marriage, many more would put forth the effort needed to be qualified and worthy to marry and be sealed for time and all eternity in the house of the Lord, thereby opening the door to the greatest blessings man can attain.

  • Former President, Ogden Temple