#hearLDSwomen: Getting My Sealing Cancelled Was Difficult and Invasive

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

It took me four years to get my sealing canceled from my abusive ex-husband. I knew it was possible because a friend had gotten it done. I also knew it was a recent change in the handbook. I went through four bishops and two stake presidents during that time who all drug the process out longer to keep me from going through with it. Despite me clearly having expressed that I had prayed about it and had peace in moving forward with the cancellation was right for me, they dug their heels in and refused to let me move forward. This happened in multiple wards.
– Anonymous


When working through my sealing cancellation process, I had to write a letter describing a myriad of things, one of which was any major sins I had committed since getting married and how it was handled. I had two post divorce dating instances when things went further than I was comfortable with but not even close to all the way. I mentioned them and going to the bishop to resolve them and being back in good standing in every way. My stake president demanded that I recount those events in full detail. He made me describe exactly how our bodies were positioned and how they moved and if I liked it, etc. I was so uncomfortable. My bishop had said I was wiped clean and never had to talk about it or think about it again, yet my stake president was forcing me to go over it again and treating me as if it was my first time confessing the sin. The way his facial expressions and body language appeared to me gave me the distinct impression that he liked hearing me talk about it and was getting some satisfaction from it. That experience scarred me. I refuse to ever be alone with him again for any reason.
– I had been pronounced clean.


Pro Tip: Respect the agency of people who decide to cancel a sealing from a former spouse. Do not ask for voyeuristic details of sexual transgressions or force someone to reconfess something already repented of.

Click here to read all of the stories in our #hearLDSwomen series. Has anything like this happened to you? Please share in the comments or submit your experience(s) to participate in the series.

“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)

You may also like...

9 Responses

  1. Ziff says:

    Oh, wow. These are awful. It’s so sad that there’s leadership roulette at play here too, with some leaders determined to throw up roadblocks (or require recounting of past sins?!?) to make the process difficult. I’m so sorry you both went through this.

  2. SC says:

    Those horrific interview experiences are exactly why we need ProtectLdsChildren.org and Sam Young. So sorry that happened to you too!

  3. Maria says:

    Women shouldn’t feel that it’s necessary to spill all private details to their leaders. Write a letter detailing all your sins? Good grief – that is insane.

  4. KTudor says:

    My husband is currently pursuing a cancellation from his first wife. The SP recently called him in to ask if he wanted to reconsider because his ex wrote in her letter that this request made her sad. Never mind that their divorce was her idea to begin with. I’m livid that the SP felt it appropriate to bring my husband in to seemingly encourage him to choose to remain sealed to another woman.

    • Andrew R. says:

      I don’t, obviously, know any of the circumstances. However, let’s assume that this ex-wife is a member in good standing. Why should she loose the blessings associated with the sealing, that are individual?

      The sealing cancellation means that in order to get the blessings received, upon faithfulness, from the sealing she will have to re-marry and be sealed to the new husband.

      That is why the SP is doing this.

      • David says:

        Why is this the concern of her ex-husband? Let her be like other single members of the churh

  5. Anna says:

    Church leaders demanding that women detail sin is itself sin and I wish the men could look in the mirror and see that. When a man wants to know every detail, well that is porn plain and simple. He is demanding that the woman give him some porn with questions about what position, did you enjoy it, what color were your panties. It is nothing but verbal porn. Men who look at porn are condemned by the church, but men who demand that women give them detailed descriptions of sex are listening to porn and demanding the woman supply it as part of repentance. This is so sick and twisted, and doing it in the name of God? Talk about taking the name of the Lord in vain.

    Yet, over and over I hear about Mormon bishops asking detailed questions rather than sticking to what they need to know. All they need ask is “Do you keep the law of chastity?”

    And what does her sin have to do with escaping from an abusive man? They should concentrate on the abuser’s sin of abuse and how she should not have to be tied eternally to an abusive man.

    Asking this kind of question is voyerism. Period. The bishop might as well be going around the neighborhood peeking in windows, because demanding details is sticking his nose in where he has no business.

  6. Bethany says:

    My jaw literally dropped!!! This was my exact experience. Went through the bishop (two in fact) and then during the stake president interview I was told to restate all my past transgressions. I refused. I had to refuse numerous times as he continued to ask and pester me for details. I was told that because of my disobedience (in not sharing what I felt was in the past and already taken care of) to him my sealing cancellation from my ex might not be cleared in time for the wedding I currently had planned with my current husband. He used his rank in the church to threaten, belittle and humiliate me.

  7. Annon says:

    I had a similar experience during my temple-divorce and it felt terribly, disgustingly wrong! The bishop called me in and asked me several times about embarrassing things that had already been dealt with years ago when I wasn’t even married. Then when I thought I had told him everything he said he got a letter from SLC that they wanted more graphic details about these make-outs — like hand positioning and speed, was it under or over underwear, did he ejaculate, and it was humiliating!!!! I had been extremely loyal to my temple covenants during my marriage while my husband had been repeatedly unfaithful. This process is unfair and degrading. It felt like a witch hunt.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.