**This post is not endorsed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, these are the thoughts and opinions of Scott regarding our experience in obtaining a Temple Clearance form to be sealed. **
I wanted to share the process that Jess and I went through to obtain a Temple Clearance form in the LDS Church for all those out there on the internet that may be beginning this process or already in it. When Jess and I knew we wanted to get married, I got online and started searching for how one goes about being sealed to someone in the temple after having been sealed before. I read several people’s accounts of what it took and the process. I will admit, some accounts scared me that perhaps things won’t work out or it may take forever. But I want to provide my reassurance and my experience.
I went to my Bishop first, as you should too. My Bishop had literally just been sustained to be the new bishop of our ward the week before, so this was a learning experience for both of us. I told him what I had read online and he said he would do research in the Church Handbook. The following Sunday, my Bishop had the paperwork that the stake had printed off for him. It’s a fairly simple form with some instructions for the applicant, your Bishop, and then Stake President. My Bishop sat down with me and we filled it out together, simple information stuff such as my name and address. It’ll ask for your former spouse’s name and address. Then also information for the person to whom you are engaged to.
I had read online that women can only request a sealing cancellation if they are engaged to someone. This later made sense to me when I saw that you needed to fill out the section about the person to whom you are engaged to. I guess I don’t see a way around that. Anyway…
On the forms there are a few to-do items. My Bishop needed to call Jess’ Bishop in regards to her worthiness. Then my Bishop needed to send a letter to my former spouse asking for her feelings on this application and comments on any financial obligations related to the divorce.
The next part was the painful part. My Bishop mailed a letter to my former spouse 31 March. Two weeks went by and no word from her yet. It says in the instructions that if a response is not received a phone call may be attempted in placement of the letter. My Bishop called her and she was not very happy about the application and was slightly confused as to how the process worked. I do not blame her at all for not understanding because I didn’t at first. But she was pretty adamant about having our sealing cancelled first then allow me to get sealed to Jess. My Bishop and hopefully her Bishop explained to her that the process doesn’t proceed like that. But we gave her some time to write the letter and another two weeks passed and we called her again. She said she was working with her Bishop in writing her response. Obviously, Jess and I were quite frustrated at this point that she was taking so long and she was in control of putting our wedding on hold.
After another week and half she finally mailed it and we received it 13 May. This was by far the most painful and frustrating part. But looking back to this whole process, we were glad that we at least got it and were able to move forward. I was so nervous that she would only write awful things and the First Presidency of the Church would not grant us approval to be married, and sure enough, the letter she wrote was filled with nothing but hatred and horrible things. I’m not here to defend myself but, imagine you are my Bishop, brand new and he really doesn’t know much about me. He had read her letter and was quite surprised. But he said he had read it again and had impressions in his mind that convinced him that all was well and to proceed forward.
Whatever happened through your divorce, I can tell you that even though her letter was awful, I prayed for the gift of discernment for my Priesthood leaders. Here was my Bishop with my story and her letter and he felt that all was well and sent the paperwork onto the Stake President by simply putting it in his box in the stake offices.
The very next day I met with the Stake President and he simply just wanted to make sure we had all the needed information. He met Jess and we had a lovely conversation. We left and he wrote his letter later that night and he mailed it to Salt Lake the very next morning. From the day that he mailed it to the day that the First Presidency’s response was in my mailbox and in my hands it took a grand total of 19 days. And now I just need to bring their letter to the temple with me on the day of mine and Jess’ sealing and we’re set. Overall, it took about 2.5 months from start to finish for this whole process for us. I’m sure it’s different depending on the situation.
To clarify, this was for obtaining a Temple Clearance form which is for men only. The Temple Cancellation form is the exact same piece of paper but you check a different box indicating a cancellation instead of a clearance. I have heard that cancellations can take much longer for the First Presidency to review because they are determining a daughter of God’s saving ordinance.
Probably some details you didn’t care about are in here, but I just want to reassure the soul who is reading this and going through a similar process to have faith and to pray and Heavenly Father will see to it that you’ll be happy, no matter how painful or frustrating it is.