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Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:32 pm
by michellemc
Can a bishop who has been released still perform civil weddings?

Re: Bishops/weddings

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:12 pm
by russellhltn
I don't think they can under the authority of the church. That would probably be a better question directed to the state since the laws vary on who can and can't do a marriage.

Re: Bishops/weddings

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:46 pm
by lajackson
michellemc wrote:Can a bishop who has been released still perform civil weddings?

A bishop needs to be currently serving to use his ecclesiastical church authority. Once he is released, he would only be able to perform a civil marriage if authorized by the laws of the state in which he lives. (Handbook 1, 3.6.3)

Re: Bishops/weddings

Posted: Tue May 05, 2020 9:33 am
by jamescable
My Stake President says that it is OK to officiate a civil wedding as long as you comply with the laws of the area/ are designated by the county to perform the wedding and as long as it is not on church property and claims no religious authority.

My brother in law's Stake President says that it is a violation of church policy and priesthood authority. for a member who is not a bishop or stake president to perform a wedding even if authorized by the state/county.

What is the church position? especially with the covid-19 social distancing.

Re: Bishops/weddings

Posted: Tue May 05, 2020 10:38 am
by russellhltn
General Handbook 0.4:

Questions about Instructions
When questions arise that are not addressed in the scriptures, the words of the living prophets, or this handbook, Church members should rely on their covenants with God, the counsel of their local leaders, and the inspiration of the Spirit for guidance.

If leaders have questions about information in this handbook or about issues it does not address, they counsel with their immediate presiding authority.

Which stake president has authority over the situation?

Personally, I tend to side with your stake president because he adds the disclaimer "and claims no religious authority". That seems to me to take it out of the realm of a church/religious situation. I doubt anyone would claim that a Justice of the Peace couldn't perform a marriage just because he's a member.

I do have a question about where the marriage is taking place. If it's taking place on church grounds, that's a different story.

Re: Bishops/weddings

Posted: Tue May 05, 2020 2:48 pm
by BrianEdwards
Once released, the Bishop cannot officiate in that office anymore (although he retains the Priesthood office). So to me, in a civil-marriage sense, he becomes a regular citizen, and would be treated the same as a generic ward member (or non-member) who wants to perform a civil wedding. While I understand the underlying desire to have a "former Bishop" perform the ceremony, my own sense is that if somebody wants him to perform the wedding, he should go through whatever local requirements exist for other citizens to be authorized. And when performing the ceremony, while he could give inspired words, he shouldn't really give a "blessing" in the sense that he could if he was actively a Bishop.

But you ask 10 people, you'll get 11 different answers ;) So I'd definitely follow the counsel to have the bride and groom consult their Priesthood leaders, then prayerfully move forward.