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redman

What if you want the church to be true,

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Abulafia wrote: "Would you rather be married to an adulterer male or female who still believed the church to be true and was still active but found it difficult to give up his/her adulterous ways or a person who in all sincerity left the church but did not leave his/her standards, and would never commit adultery in or out of the church."

Are you suggesting that when Mrs. Redman decided who she would marry, she could either have married Redman or she could have married the active Mormon adulterer? And isn't she glad she chose Redman? Oh, come on now.

By the way, one instance of adultery and the person is excommunicated, in which case he will not be an active Mormon until he repents and returns to the Church. The second time and he is gone forever. No more active Mormon. Just so you will know.

The real question is: Would you rather be married to a man who stayed true and devout to his faith, or a man who changed his mind and left you hanging out to dry?

She may still love Redman and have a satisfactory marriage. But won't she still feel she was cheated out of what she thought she had when they married in the temple?

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Abulafia wrote: "Would you rather be married to an adulterer male or female who still believed the church to be true and was still active but found it difficult to give up his/her adulterous ways or a person who in all sincerity left the church but did not leave his/her standards, and would never commit adultery in or out of the church."

Are you suggesting that when Mrs. Redman decided who she would marry, she could either have married Redman or she could have married the active Mormon adulterer? And isn't she glad she chose Redman? Oh, come on now.

By the way, one instance of adultery and the person is excommunicated, in which case he will not be an active Mormon until he repents and returns to the Church. The second time and he is gone forever. No more active Mormon. Just so you will know.

The real question is: Would you rather be married to a man who stayed true and devout to his faith, or a man who changed his mind and left you hanging out to dry?

She may still love Redman and have a satisfactory marriage. But won't she still feel she was cheated out of what she thought she had when they married in the temple?

AAArgh you have misunderstood me Charity.

I am talking retrospectively. I have dear friends in both situations. Both were married in the temple, and both have undoubtedly had dreams come shattering down, in ways that only a mormon girl would know, who had spent their lives hoping for and attaining a temple marriage.

All I am saying is I would rather be the second!!! In my opinion one has a severe moral weakness and the other has moral strength (and it does take a great deal of moral strength to stand up for what you believe in, when your whole culture is telling you you are wrong)

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Nothing comes without a price. You may feel that your life has improved if you leave the Church. That improvement comes at a terrible cost for your wife.

Not if he is going in a better direction.

Many women in the early days of the LDS Church had to leave behind Methodism, Anglicanism and other faiths in order to follow their husbands into the LDS Church.

Did they pay a price? Indeed.

Do their descendants believe that sacrifice was justified?

Absolutely.

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Ave, we will never agree on which is the better direction. I cannot see the path of a family away from the Church as better in any way. Since you made that choice for yourself, you can't see it as anything but better. I see in Mrs. Redman what has happened to my daughter whose husband left the Church but stayed with her. I know how she feels. It is only her hope that he will have a change of heart that sustains her.

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The real question is: Would you rather be married to a man who stayed true and devout to his faith, or a man who changed his mind and left you hanging out to dry?

See my response above.

I'd personally rather be married to a man who was looking out for the best interests of his family, whatever that involved.

If that meant changing locations, jobs, houses, diet, medical care, and even yes, denominations, I'd want him to have the family's best interests at heart.

I certainly wouldn't want him to find something "better" (including healthier/safer/wiser/more true) and leave the rest of the family behind.

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Ave, we will never agree on which is the better direction. I cannot see the path of a family away from the Church as better in any way. Since you made that choice for yourself, you can't see it as anything but better. I see in Mrs. Redman what has happened to my daughter whose husband left the Church but stayed with her. I know how she feels. It is only her hope that he will have a change of heart that sustains her.

What I'm simply trying to suggest, charity, is that times have changed.

Women used to follow their husbands' lead (whether into the LDS Church, or any other), and now they show significantly more independence, for better or worse.

I don't know about your own ancestors, but I had plenty who left other faiths to become LDS. Does that make them disloyal people? Apostates? Or enlightened?

Really, what you're describing is again, entirely in the eye of the beholder.

Do you believe the non-LDS man who converts to Mormonism and leaves another faith should leave his family behind? Or take them with him?

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Ave, the whole concept of marriage is two people as one. As you no doubt know, in LDS marriages, the couple advises together, and one does not force the other. If they are united in this way, will there never be a choice made where one does something the other is completely opposed to. This is why the Church puts such emphasis on temple marriage. This is the best way to assure that the couple has this kind of unity.

You say times have changed. And that means what? That Mrs. Redman doesn't have to follow her husband's lead? Even though he wants to take his family down his "better direction?" Of course, you see Redman's decision as being beneficial to his family. And you want him to take his family with him. If Mrs. Redman is a devout Latter-Day Saint, she will not see this as an improvement at all. They are no longer as one. That is a heartbreak for any woman.

As far as you and I are concerned, maybe it is all in the eye of the beholder. But what is Heavenly Father's view?

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Basically, I'm wondering what the true believers think of people like me. ...

Is there an explanation for people like me?

Simple question.

While "faith" and "belief" can be personal and subjective, "truth" and "knowlege" are eternal and objective.

The TBMs in your ward, "know" that that LDS church is the one "true" church, and the only true path to external exhaltation.

For them, any and all explanations for your lack of belief, must, by definition, begin with the premise that you are wrong. So yes, there are many explanation for people like you, none of which respect the possiblity that you have made the right decision.

But you already knew that.

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Ave, we will never agree on which is the better direction. I cannot see the path of a family away from the Church as better in any way. Since you made that choice for yourself, you can't see it as anything but better. I see in Mrs. Redman what has happened to my daughter whose husband left the Church but stayed with her. I know how she feels. It is only her hope that he will have a change of heart that sustains her.

from the Pickle jar: did Mrs Redman marry Mr Redman because she loves him no matter what church he attends, or did Mrs Redman marry Mr Redman because he was LDS?

We all look for certain qualities in a spouse; those qualities may differ, depending on the individual. What appeals to me might not appeal to someone else. Religion is just one of those qualities. For some, religion is a huge factor. For others, it's a small thing. Some break down religion even farther. Maybe it's that the person will be a member of a certain church (LDS), not just their religion (Christianity). I hope for Redman's sake that Mrs Redman isn't hung up on him being LDS, because if she is, he's in for a world of hurt when he finds out she places the church ahead of him. And she's in for a world of hurt, when she finds out he no longer believes the same things she does. The only way they're going to avoid the hurt is if Mrs Redman loves Redman more than she loves the church.

Perhaps a lesson from the Book of Ruth is not out of line right here: "thy people shall be my people and thy God my God". That kind of love is rarely found in some circles.

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Ave, the whole concept of marriage is two people as one. As you no doubt know, in LDS marriages, the couple advises together, and one does not force the other. If they are united in this way, will there never be a choice made where one does something the other is completely opposed to. This is why the Church puts such emphasis on temple marriage. This is the best way to assure that the couple has this kind of unity.

You say times have changed. And that means what? That Mrs. Redman doesn't have to follow her husband's lead? Even though he wants to take his family down his "better direction?" Of course, you see Redman's decision as being beneficial to his family. And you want him to take his family with him. If Mrs. Redman is a devout Latter-Day Saint, she will not see this as an improvement at all. They are no longer as one. That is a heartbreak for any woman.

As far as you and I are concerned, maybe it is all in the eye of the beholder. But what is Heavenly Father's view?

charity--

Lest you misunderstand, I believe strongly both in marriage, as well as in the fact that spouses should not, if possible, be "unequally yoked."

But sometimes, as evidenced throughout history, it happens.

I think you're involved in some conflicting principles here in trying to determine what God would want in this instance.

Can we find support for divorce in scripture? Can we find support for staying with an unbelieving husband or wife? Can we find evidence of someone changing faith as a matter of loyalty to another family member?

What I'm trying to point out to you, which I'm sure you haven't overlooked, is that for people to convert to the LDS Church, they have left other faiths. Families have been broken, and heartbroken, in that process. But the ends is seen to justify the means, as Latter-day Saints believe they are the "one true church."

They are not unique in that claim. There are other faiths that believe they are the authentic Church of Jesus Christ. There are others which, while not Christian, believe they are "God's chosen people."

If a Jewish man converts to Christianity, should his wife follow him, or remain faithful to Judaism?

Now you have an interesting theological and sociological dilemma to reconcile.

I don't know redman's wife, and neither do any of the rest of us, except redman. I don't presume to know what's best for their situation. But I do know that I couldn't be married to a man who was dishonest or embraced something in which he didn't believe. I think we should all join in wishing him well and hoping and praying that his family will survive any journey of faith (or loss of faith, as some might perceive it) that he will take.

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Perhaps a lesson from the Book of Ruth is not out of line right here: "thy people shall be my people and thy God my God". That kind of love is rarely found in some circles.

I see the Pickle and I are on the same wavelength. :P

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from the Pickle jar: did Mrs Redman marry Mr Redman because she loves him no matter what church he attends, or did Mrs Redman marry Mr Redman because he was LDS?

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Redman,

I too am new to the board. I am a physician so I empathize with the whole being on call on a holiday situation. My kids and others in my ward have come to me with some of these same kinds of questions. I remember being a returned missionary and thinking that my "shelf of doubts" was going to break. I can tell you over the years that almost every item has slowly been removed from the shelf. It has not always been in the way that I would have imagined and has involved me looking at the gospel in new ways. Let me explain.

As a soon to be physician you are schooled in the scientific method. You have used that same method to find "objective" information about the church. This method has failed me at times. Information that I was taught as "dogma" in medical school has changed. Sometimes the answers are not in the books or the patient has a situation that is not quite in the textbooks. I search my books, but don't find the answer. Then I go to God and ask him what I can do. I have had flashes of inspiration and thoughts brought back to my memory which have enabled me to help someone. I believe there is information available outside of the standard scientific inquiry that I have had the opportunity to have been channeled into by my affiliation with the church.

Don't get me wrong, I am a skeptical hard-hitting, fact-finding person. I believe that the scientific method has done much good for mankind, but also possibly some wrong. I am especially humbled as we enter a new age of capability in genetic engineering. Many techniques and procedures will be able to be performed. Science can only answer that the technology is there, not whether it should be used or not. Science then looks back to the theologian, philosophers and lawmakers for guidance into these tricky issues. Science can only say something can be done, not whether it is right or wrong. Science by its very nature cannot tell us the morality of an issue, only the so called facts.

Next point. The more I have read about the world at large, the more I see that there is a place for the LDS within the world. I wanted to know about Christian theology so I read "The Story of Christian Theology" by Roger E. Olson. Bart Ehrman's books have also been interesting. Others such as Elaine Pagels, John Sanders, Clark Pinnock and Karen Armstrong have helped me to see many of the issues of the have evolved within Christianity over time. When I traveled to Europe there was so much fascinating history and new ways of looking at things. An introductory text about world history made me see myself and the church in entirely different ways. When I was troubled by polygamy I read a book called "Religion and Sexuality" by Lawrence Foster. It was a helpful book, but more helpful when I read the chapters about the Oneida Perfectionists and the Shakers in addition to the parts about polygamy.

Next. As your understanding broadens you may need to look at issues within Mormonism differently. I would caution you to not draw conclusions to rapidly. I thought I knew alot of about polygamy and still do. I am just reading the book about "Joseph Smith and the annointed quorums." My impression from reading about half of the book is that Joseph was much more concerned about training others and setting up the temple endowment than he was about polygamy. I think polygamy was part of a much bigger picture. I had read extensively about Smith's polygamy and tried to withhold judgement and to be sympathetic. As I am reading this books I am amazed at how much energy he was putting into training others about the ordinances at building the temple. To focus on polygamy causes you to lose sight of the bigger issues.

Similar issues have come up with the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon makes me a better and person and brings me closer to Christ. Is there extensive proof about its historicity. There is some evidence in the Arabian penninsula and some interesting tidbits from the new world. The DNA evidence is interesting, but doesn't seem to exclude the possibility of Book of Mormon people. It has made us look at the Book of Mormon in the new ways. Is it literal history, a modern expansion of an ancient text, a tribal history, symbolic history or inspired fiction. I have read about these issues and lean towards the modern expansion of an ancient history. In the end the books feeds my soul and comforts me. As I get older this seems to be more important than having to know every detail about its historicity.

My advice. Put down some of the more "objective" or possibly negative history about the church. Concentrate on the scriptures and history of the world at large. After you finish your residency there will be a time where you can start to read some more about the church and be able to clear out that shelf of doubt some more. You'll be able to read with some more life experience and also some more grounding in the world at large. I don't think you are evil for questioning. As a physician you are constantly questioning and probing. I do think that reading objectively is as important and reading only faith promoting church literature has its own problems. It is a complex topic and needs to be digested slowly and within the largest context possible. Finally, I know that if you will hang in there and also work to make the spirit part of your life, that you will be blessed immensely. I don't know if this helpful or even off the mark, but it is basically what I have been through in answering similar questions.

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I have to throw in some of my comments here, only because I went through the same thing as Redman 2 years ago. Anyone that has read my story in the intro section can see a story similar to what he is saying.

I wanted to believe, but just as I wanted to be 100% committed to the church if it was true, I had to be 100% out of the church if I found out it wasnt. No matter what anyone says, if you follow your heart and stick by whatever decision you make, you have nothing to worry about. If there is conflicting evidence, and that is enough to make you doubt, I don't see how any God could be upset that you did what you felt was right. If I am wrong there, then this is not a god I would want to worship anyways.

Charity has given you some good advice, she is truly a great lady, she and I have emailed and I can assure you that she has thought about you many times since this post was started, she really does care. The reason I bring this up is that she mentioned what can happen to a family if you decide to leave and your wife decides to stay. My advice is to do this together. Let her know that this needs to be a choice that the two of you make together through much study (both sides of the story!) and much prayer. My wife left the church shortly after I did and we have been able to give each other strength and support, my family is as strong as it has ever been because we did this together.

Who knows, this may be the time you get an undeniable answer, or both of you get nothing at all. That is what happened to my wife and I and now we can say that we know that the church is not true, at least not for us.

Good luck in your journey, but do not fear whatever path you follow. If you are a good person, you and your family can live a very happy, fulfilled life.

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Ave and Dill, When you say Redman's wife should love him above the Church, you are making another of those "would you rather marry an adulterer or a non-believer" arguments.

We should all love Jesus and our Heavenly Father above anyone else. When Redman's wife married him in the temple, she doubtless thought she was in a situation where there would never be such a choice.

The idea that love of an individual exceeds everything else is romantic nonsense. We love God, and we hold to principles which may dictate who we can or cannot love. Richard Lovelace, "I could not love thee, dear, so much, Lov

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Ave and Dill, When you say Redman's wife should love him above the Church, you are making another of those "would you rather marry an adulterer or a non-believer" arguments.

We should all love Jesus and our Heavenly Father above anyone else. When Redman's wife married him in the temple, she doubtless thought she was in a situation where there would never be such a choice.

The idea that love of an individual exceeds everything else is romantic nonsense. We love God, and we hold to principles which may dictate who we can or cannot love. Richard Lovelace, "I could not love thee, dear, so much, Lov

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Charity:

The idea that love of an individual exceeds everything else is romantic nonsense. We love God, and we hold to principles which may dictate who we can or cannot love.

Thought I usually dislike her & her ideas, I like Dr. Laura's emphasis on the children.

If a man makes a mistake & commits adultery or looks at porn, is this really enough justification to break up a family?

I hear of divorces provoked by pornography & I wonder what the real priorities are. I see mixed LDS families with the kids very much confused about their place in this life & where they will be in the afterlife.

IMO if you get married & have kids, you really need to stick it out for the children, as much as you possibly can. That goes for changes in the parents' religious feelings, too.

People bail out of marriages all the time for all kinds of superficial, selfish reasons. I would count wanting out because your spouse changes their feelings about religion to be one of those.

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Redman my feeling is if you want the church to be true, but don't believe you try & work for a believing solution. The book If I Really Believe Why Do I Have Thse Doubts by Lynn Anderson I feel should be read & pondered before a chronic doubter gives up on their faith.(Amazon.com) Jumping to another faith unless one learns how to deal with painful doubts & questions will only lead to nothingism. This is because you will soon find reasons to doubt that faith as well.

I have a friend who has been in several faiths. He finds error & then moves on. Some people want no faith at all.

Nothiningism is a lonely faith to hang out with.

You need to pause on the idea of leaving the LDS Church right away. Take a year or two to read faith promoting books to give reasons for faith. Be inactive LDS & don't try again until you feel you can believe. I don't see a lot of liberated Ex-Members of faiths. The worlds one religious or non-religious movement after another. Whether athesist agnostic, or Catholic, Evangelical it's all a system. Why jump a basically stable cruise ship into a wet life boat? Most faiths arn't sinking.

My other thought is it's ok to have doubts & questions as long as they are being handled in a healthy manner.

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Corky, I was not suggesting that Redman's wife should divorce him if he leaves the Church. I believe people should put their selfish feelings aside and stay together for the sake of the children. Unless abuse is invovled.

But why should it be her responsibility to "stick it out" any more than it is his? When they married, they made commitments, not just to each other but to God. Now, he wants to make a material change that commitment. He isn't going to stick it out. (I'm not talking about the marriage, but the commitment to God in their marriage covenant.) And she is expected to lump it, but he isn't?

I really hope that Redman can take some of the suggestions offered to help him find his faith again.

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And for the record: The church is not God, nor were the two ever meant to be synonymous. And yes, I think married people should love each other more than they love the church.

that sums it up very well...GOD = CHURCH???? not at all.

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When they married, they made commitments, not just to each other but to God.

from the Pickle jar: the Pickle agrees with you, charity! The covenants were made between Redman and Mrs Redman, between God and Redman, and between God and Mrs Redman. Where is the covenant between Redman and the church, in the sealing? If I remember my own sealing correctly, the church is not in that covenant at all. But then, it was 35 years ago, that I married my dear Sweet Pickle, so maybe things have changed or I'm remembering incorrectly.

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Dill, I am sorry, but as a TBM, I cannot see how we can say that the Kingdom of God on earth, the Church, is not the representative of God. How would there have been a temple to marry in without the Church? How would there have been an authorized representative of God to perform the sealing without the Church?

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Nothiningism is a lonely faith to hang out with.

Whats good for the goose may not be good for the gander. I have for a religion what you would call "nothingism" and I am not lonely or unhappy in any way. I know many others similar to me that feel the exact same way. This almost seems like a fear tactic to me.....

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Dill, I am sorry, but as a TBM, I cannot see how we can say that the Kingdom of God on earth, the Church, is not the representative of God. How would there have been a temple to marry in without the Church? How would there have been an authorized representative of God to perform the sealing without the Church?

from the Pickle jar: where did I say that the church was not the representative of God on the earth today? Please point that out, because I thought I said that the church is not God. I don't remember saying anything about the church not being the representative of God. To be God's representative on earth is not the same as being God. Do you think it is?

I don't remember any covenant that even mentioned the church, when I last witnessed a sealing (my daughter's), but I was pretty emotional at the time, so maybe I missed it?

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