004: Mike & Paul Barker on FamilyFirstWeddings.com

family-logo1 copyFamilyFirstWeddings.com is a letter writing campaign that will serve as a request to Church leadership to prayerfully consider removing the current one year waiting period between civil ceremonies and temple sealings. Michael and Paul Barker, who also run the RationalFaiths.com blog, are the organizers of this campaign. I consider Mike and Paul good friends, and I had the opportunity to interview them together about this new project.

Many Latter-Day Saints often forget how painful the one-year wait can be on their fellow Mormons and the non-LDS family members of couples whose wedding they are unable to attend. Paul and Mike share their personal evolution on this subject and answer some common questions and concerns about the Church’s current policies and some specifics about the Family First Weddings campaign.

Please have a listen, visit their website, and support their new project.


6 Responses

  1. jay griffith
    jay griffith July 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm |

    I have not yet listened to “The Family First Wedding” podcast but my wife and I have thought about this concept and discussed it several times. As the only member in her family, her parents and siblings missed out on her wedding—twice. Her first husband died of cancer and then several years later I married her for time only in the temple. I was fixated on getting married in that venue since that is what I had been taught and it was important to me to have that experience. (I had been through the temple many times having served a mission and being active in the church). I have regretted that decision for some time now. It deprived my wife’s family of the wonderful bonding and sharing of love that a wedding can provide. And it sure didn’t leave a good taste or impression of the church in her family.

    Just one of countless stories of heartache created by a policy that doesn’t serve the members well.

    I believe a wedding should be held publicly and should be celebrated with as many people and kinds of people as desired. Then the sacrament and sacred ordinance of sealing can take place afterwards at some point and time and the attention to what is said and done in the temple will be better attended to. I think this ought to be the default.

    Thanks for doing a podcast on this. And to the Barker brothers for taking the initiative to create the campaign. I support it!

    1. Paul
      Paul July 3, 2013 at 11:26 pm |

      Jay we would love to hear your story on the site!

  2. Les Blake
    Les Blake July 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm |

    Love this idea. It needs to happen, and the sooner the better. Thanks for pointing to this resource!

    Also, a quick note of clarification regarding that quote from Joseph Smith. In Rough Stone Rolling, Bushman states that 1835 D&C concludes with statements by W.W. Phelps on marriage and Oliver Cowdery on government. So, canonized, yes! But perhaps not the words of Joseph?

    Here is the actual text:


    1. michael
      michael July 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm |

      Thanks. I thought we fixed that already. We’ll get on it now.

  3. MCA
    MCA July 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm |

    Thank you so much for this conversation. This is something that has intrigued me for sometime. I served my mission in Chile and really relate to what was said about “well, when the rest of the world catches up, they’ll do it the ‘right’ way too.” Ugh. I cringe at my former less-than-thoughtful self. It just makes so much sense to have the ceremonies separated. I know my husband and I would have felt much better if all of our friends and family were able to attend our wedding.

    Barker Brothers, you two rock. I agree that this policy really does more harm than good, so thank you for organizing this project.

    Micah, as always, a wonderful podcast! Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into these productions.

  4. jeanikins
    jeanikins July 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm |

    That was wonderful. Completely respectful and you have my admiration for doing that. I need to make a correction. I have not yet been excluded from a temple wedding, but I was excluded from a sealing in the USA. I married my husband in Cardston and while I sent invitations to my family, it was merely a formality; I knew that they would not be happy to pay for a ticket to come from England only to be left out of the actual wedding. I had no family members present at my wedding. My children were later sealed to my husband after he adopted them and they got to see us all in our temple clothing etc. yet they were not present at our wedding. I think it would have been a bonding moment to have them there. If they could sit through a 1hour 10 minute sacrament meeting, I’m sure they could have behaved themselves for the 10 minute ceremony in the temple.


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