The Attempted Covert Cancellation of a Temple Marriage

Late one evening in the 1970’s, the Garden Grove Stake President and I were chatting in his office after a meeting. 

He shared with me a letter he had received from a less-active non-practicing Latter-day Saint sister.  He also shared his response. (He covered the sister’s name to protect her privacy.) 

The letter went like this:

Dear President,
“I need your help.
“When I got married in the Salt Lake Temple my husband and I were very much in love. 
“But over the years, I have found him to be increasingly annoying.    Some of his habits disgust me.  He is becoming more and more repulsive. I can’t stand to be around him.
“The thought of being sealed to him for time and eternity is more than I can bear.
“I don’t want to hurt his feelings. But is there some way you can cancel our temple sealing without him knowing.”

The Stake President’s response was very terse.

“Dear Sister,
“Don’t worry.  You are not living worthily enough for your temple sealing to have any effect in the hereafter.”

(Source: Personal conversations with a truly great man, who was the Bishop of my childhood, and the Stake President of my young adult years. He was a Renaissance man: doctor, professor, theologian, philosopher, public speaker, storyteller, mechanic, and farmer. We served together in several leadership assignments.  He was like a second father to me. My father was his ward clerk and his stake clerk.)

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