First Presidency Announces New Guidelines for Church Leaders Who Perform Civil Marriages


The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has changed the conditions in which Church officers may perform civil marriages between a man and a woman. Such civil marriages may be done only in the following circumstances, effective immediately:

  • The bride or the groom is a member of the Church.
  • Either the bride’s or the groom’s membership record is assigned to the unit over which the Church officer presides.
  • The Church officer is legally authorized to officiate at a civil marriage in the jurisdiction where the marriage will take place.

“This policy applies to stake presidents, mission presidents, district presidents, bishops and branch presidents,” the First Presidency said in a letter sent to Church leaders around the world on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. 

This change comes two years after the First Presidency announced a discontinuation of the one-year waiting period between a civil marriage and a temple sealing.