Taking Sides: You’re the Bishop (Poll #17)By: Bishop Bill
There is a man in your ward who moved in about a year ago. He is separated from his wife and is working through a divorce. He tells you that they have been “emotionally” divorced for many years, and that his grown children have wondered why he took so long to finalize the divorce. For several months you have noticed that he sits by a single sister in the ward his same age during sacrament meeting. You call him into your office and warn him against dating until the divorce is final. He tells you that they have spent time together, and have decided to get married immediately after his divorce is final, and he asks you to conduct the wedding. You agree to his request, but again warn him about dating before the divorce.
About a month latter you get a call from your Stake President. He is quite upset. He said he got a call from a fellow Stake President, who is the Stake President of the soon to be ex-wife of the brother in your ward. The man and woman in your ward attended the temple together, and members of the wife’s stake saw them together in the celestial room and called their Stake President. You explain that you have counseled them not to date until the divorce is final and that they plan to marry civilly as soon as the divorce is final. He tells you not to marry them, as it would look like the church approves of their premature relationship. You are the bishop, what do you do?