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LisaALu

So, I like to drink

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Born and raised LDS, married in the Temple...the whole 9 yards.  Well....except I like to drink, sometimes socially, other times to "make things go away".  My husband and I started on a vacation 17 years ago, and justified that since it was out of the country....we went every other year, came back, prayed for forgiveness and moved on.  But in the last 2-3 years we have become far more involved.  We can go 4-5 months and then binge for 2 weeks.  Then we set a new time frame and start over.  We don't go to the Temple because we feel that we shouldn't.  So here is the thing...our recommends are 3 days from expiring and the counselor is bugging us to schedule.  STUCK!  TO be clear, neither of us have an issue with doctrine, Joseph Smith or Priesthood....or any of the other usual things.  We have always clung to our faith.  So what we have  in a sense going on, is that we want our cake and to eat it too.  The dilemma is what to do about the counselor.  If we don't go within a certain time for a renewal, we hit the Bishops radar...if we get called in, he's going to want to know why. I am not ready to come clean, I don't want help.  But I don't want to lie in a sacred interview.  To add to the mix, we are going to Europe and plan on drinking a lot of wine.  Later this year another vacation where we will be drinking a lot.  If you are wondering, no, it's not alcoholism on either side...it's that binge thing.  We hold out and then binge in our "off" time.  Knowing that we have no intention of quitting this year...I feel I am stuck with 2 choices.  First, come clean to the Bishop, and deal with consequences, such as being removed from our callings (we have limited our other activities such as Temple and off and on with Sacrament) OR we lie...(it's hard to write that).  If we just get through those interviews, we are off anyones radar while we continue to seek our way through this mess we made.  I want the whole Eternity thing.  My husband is more of a closed book and can't say what he wants.  He wants me...for ever, but he is hurt by the church....I should say WE are hurt by people in the church...their cultural stupidity and not doctrine..  Our 4 children have all opted out, my husband says "if they aren't going to be there, why would I work so hard to be there" of course he doesn't mean that about me.  So it's complicated.  We know the people aren't true, but the church is.  But boy can they do damage.  So I am looking for thoughts. Ps, anyone know how to ask the counselor for time without it going on the Bishops agenda?

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Since you and your husband don't want to stop, that doesn't leave much room for any solution short of finding a nice church where it isn't forbidden.  You may even want to consider Judaism.  Whatever makes you most comfortable.  Drinking won't prevent you from salvation.  After all, Jesus and his apostles certainly drank wine regularly.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Lisa,

I think I can understand your predicament. There is a degree of the unknown - what will happen if I am honest and let others know who I really am - and maybe a little bit of pride put in to boot. If you are really looking for an easy answer then just be honest and stop dodging the interview with the Bishop. In fact, just schedule it yourself with him and tell him what is up. Also, be very clear in your meeting - "Bishop, we enjoy our callings and we love to serve, but we are not comfortable holding a temple recommend right now. Further, we are not interested in being a project for you or the ward leadership. This is where we are, we know where we should be, and we are working it out on our own schedule."  Then move on. 

You both have a lot of thinking and understanding to do. Drinking is certainly not the problem - it is the cover of what is more important. Your relationship with Jesus Christ and his gospel is not built through your children. This divine relationship is personal and will always be personal. 

Oh, the dishonest choice is just not worth it - it should not be a choice. 

Edited by Storm Rider
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1 hour ago, mnn727 said:

.......................... Drinking is only a sin because we made a Covenant not to drink (actually to obey D&C 89) when we were baptized.............................................

If you are LDS and can't qualify for a Temple Recommend you won't qualify for the Celestial Kingdom, we have no kids to be there with (the Lord never blessed us with kids) but I don't want to lose my wife or my many friends and family when we leave this world...................

So, having become LDS, one is then obligated to forever abstain or lose the Celestial Glory?

If a Jew takes a Nazirite vow (which includes no alcohol) then is he forever obligated to abstain or lose Celestial Glory?

I assume you realize that one does not have to be LDS to be celestialized -- all ordinances are done for those on the other side, conditional on their acceptance.

Jesus and his apostles were not Nazirites and were not LDS, and are in no way threatened with loss of Celestial Glory for drinking.

You said it yourself,  for us "Drinking is only a sin because we made a Covenant not to drink."

Similarly, among Jews there is a covenant to keep kosher, which does not apply to LDS members.

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7 hours ago, LisaALu said:

Born and raised LDS, married in the Temple...the whole 9 yards.  Well....except I like to drink, sometimes socially, other times to "make things go away".  My husband and I started on a vacation 17 years ago, and justified that since it was out of the country....we went every other year, came back, prayed for forgiveness and moved on.  But in the last 2-3 years we have become far more involved.  We can go 4-5 months and then binge for 2 weeks.  Then we set a new time frame and start over.  We don't go to the Temple because we feel that we shouldn't.  So here is the thing...our recommends are 3 days from expiring and the counselor is bugging us to schedule.  STUCK!  TO be clear, neither of us have an issue with doctrine, Joseph Smith or Priesthood....or any of the other usual things.  We have always clung to our faith.  So what we have  in a sense going on, is that we want our cake and to eat it too.  The dilemma is what to do about the counselor.  If we don't go within a certain time for a renewal, we hit the Bishops radar...if we get called in, he's going to want to know why. I am not ready to come clean, I don't want help.  But I don't want to lie in a sacred interview.  To add to the mix, we are going to Europe and plan on drinking a lot of wine.  Later this year another vacation where we will be drinking a lot.  If you are wondering, no, it's not alcoholism on either side...it's that binge thing.  We hold out and then binge in our "off" time.  Knowing that we have no intention of quitting this year...I feel I am stuck with 2 choices.  First, come clean to the Bishop, and deal with consequences, such as being removed from our callings (we have limited our other activities such as Temple and off and on with Sacrament) OR we lie...(it's hard to write that).  If we just get through those interviews, we are off anyones radar while we continue to seek our way through this mess we made.  I want the whole Eternity thing.  My husband is more of a closed book and can't say what he wants.  He wants me...for ever, but he is hurt by the church....I should say WE are hurt by people in the church...their cultural stupidity and not doctrine..  Our 4 children have all opted out, my husband says "if they aren't going to be there, why would I work so hard to be there" of course he doesn't mean that about me.  So it's complicated.  We know the people aren't true, but the church is.  But boy can they do damage.  So I am looking for thoughts. Ps, anyone know how to ask the counselor for time without it going on the Bishops agenda?

Question I'd be asking if I was in your position, what do you stand to lose?  Will it cost you your family, career and what not.  People get nasty to others in religion, it's one of the main reasons why I never committed to one here stateside, it's too easy to ruin someone and religious people tend to be some of the worst people out there.  Friend of mines brother was excommunicated for marrying his BF, he was lucky in that the family was still there and didn't disown him like many families here do.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, LisaALu said:

I want the whole Eternity thing.

Do you think you can find it with including the drinking in your lifestyle?

If you lie about your behaviour in the interview, kind of negates any eternal benefit of having a recommend imo.  If you believe being worthy to go to the temple is needed for the eternal blessings, seems to me you need to make choices in line with that.

If you don't, you can make other choices.

But surely, tellings lies to avoid problems with others...that just doesn't seem worth it to me.  And it appears you more or less feel that way too if it is even hard to write.

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

So, having become LDS, one is then obligated to forever abstain or lose the Celestial Glory?

I would say the intent needs to be at least until God says the covenant is fulfilled.  And if one isn't living the covenant for a time, one will need to repent and come back to it, but I see that option as always being there.  If one chooses to put off repenting until the next life thinking it will be easier in some fashion, it may not turn out that way, it may even be much harder and more painful because it just isn't mortal habits one has to deal with, but qualities that are now part of a more eternal identity.

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I really want to thank each of you for shedding light on at least one aspect/fallacy to my post.  I appreciate the honesty.  My husband and I are going to ask for more time.  That is step one.  I am trying to step back from the "what if" game and let the chips fall.  Every night in my prayers, I pray to please "hold space for me".  I have some work to do.  I won't be lying in an interview.  I'm pretty sure I'm not going to become a Jew Robert, but I understand the point you were making, thank you for that.  Storm Rider, you made a powerful impact with your response...quite possibly answer to prayer. A tender thank you to bluebell, I could feel the love. And mnn727, thanks for the logistics part of my question, that really helped.

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19 minutes ago, LisaALu said:

Every night in my prayers, I pray to please "hold space for me".

This is what matters in my view.

Lord, I believe.  Help thou my unbelief.

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Thank you Calm, well put!

(ps, can I like or respond to individual post, new to the forum and can't seem to figure that out)

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Posted (edited)

You get to rep/like posts at 25 posts...also start threads in other forums and edit.

There should be a quote button on the bottom left of posts, not under the profile, but under the comment part. That brings up the entire post.

If you want to quote part of a post, selecting may bring up a pop up button saying "quote selection".  But it doesn't do that on my phone, and options at the top of the reply box end for me at the strikeout on my phone as well, so unless I quote the entire post, I have to use old style "   " with copy/paste.  On my bigger tech, after the link option at the top of the reply box (second one in second section) is the quote button, so I can copy/paste into a quote box like this

Quote

respond to individual post

Corrected to "posts" instead of "reply box" and then add a bit more detail.  Head isn't where it should be today.

Edited by Calm

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This is what using the quote selection option will look like.  It has the advantage of including a name and link back arrow.  

1 hour ago, LisaALu said:

new to the forum and can't seem to figure that out

 

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8 hours ago, Calm said:

I would say the intent needs to be at least until God says the covenant is fulfilled.  And if one isn't living the covenant for a time, one will need to repent and come back to it, but I see that option as always being there.  If one chooses to put off repenting until the next life thinking it will be easier in some fashion, it may not turn out that way, it may even be much harder and more painful because it just isn't mortal habits one has to deal with, but qualities that are now part of a more eternal identity.

What I keep wondering is whether these vows or covenants are set in stone, for all time.  Or is it possible to make other accommodations in the course of this life.  Obviously, drinking wine is not a moral or ethical wrong like adultery or murder.  In fact, wine (or other alcoholic beverage) has been perfectly O.K. for the legitimate followers of God and his Christ for thousands of years.  A special vow must be adhered to, of course, but there is a very different sort of consideration for such vows set over against actual moral or ethical wrongs -- seems to me.

So, may a person leave that covenant community and faithfully fulfill a different set of expectations?  Or are they forever barred from such wider possibilities?  Is that in fact how God runs things?  I have always thought of God as being far more capacious than that, far more understanding, gracious, and merciful.

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

What I keep wondering is whether these vows or covenants are set in stone, for all time.  Or is it possible to make other accommodations in the course of this life.  Obviously, drinking wine is not a moral or ethical wrong like adultery or murder.  In fact, wine (or other alcoholic beverage) has been perfectly O.K. for the legitimate followers of God and his Christ for thousands of years.  A special vow must be adhered to, of course, but there is a very different sort of consideration for such vows set over against actual moral or ethical wrongs -- seems to me.

So, may a person leave that covenant community and faithfully fulfill a different set of expectations?  Or are they forever barred from such wider possibilities?  Is that in fact how God runs things?  I have always thought of God as being far more capacious than that, far more understanding, gracious, and merciful.

God has softened the immediate penalties for not adhering to what could be considered "lesser" trespasses than in the days of the Mosaic law. And LDS theology with it's different degrees of glory pretty much aligns with your thoughts on the subject, or maybe rather your thoughts align with LDS theology. To me this is something of a personal decision about how closely one wants to choose to be obedient to the spirit of the law. Is it more in the spirit to indulge one's desires occasionally or is it more in the spirit of the law to seek to understand what the Word of Wisdom is all about and try to understand how each of us as individuals would best be following that spirit. This is in the realm of personal progress, as I understand it. I would not want to be the one who's advice, however well intentioned, steered someone the wrong way. I personally as a friend and neighbor would recommend that each individual when faced with such situations take the matter to the Lord in fasting and prayer to gain the perspective and answers they need.

Glenn

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I would just tell the counselor that I would set up an appointment when I wanted to, and to quit asking.   You may not know that Word of Wisdom issues cannot result in church discipline --- officially in the handbook (neither can porn).   And I've known bishops who do not pull recommends for word of wisdom addiction  issues (though I wouldn't expect to get a renewal in the circumstances you describe either).

(As about your dh's not wanting to be there anyway ---- if he isn't there, then the promises sealing them to him cannot be fulfilled.  He'd be the one breaking those connections, not them.   No one can break another person's sealing promises.   And your kids, just like you, have a lifetime to figure out your discipleship.  I wouldn't give up --- or set a bad example for---on them.)

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3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

What I keep wondering is whether these vows or covenants are set in stone, for all time.  Or is it possible to make other accommodations in the course of this life.  Obviously, drinking wine is not a moral or ethical wrong like adultery or murder.  In fact, wine (or other alcoholic beverage) has been perfectly O.K. for the legitimate followers of God and his Christ for thousands of years.  A special vow must be adhered to, of course, but there is a very different sort of consideration for such vows set over against actual moral or ethical wrongs -- seems to me.

So, may a person leave that covenant community and faithfully fulfill a different set of expectations?  Or are they forever barred from such wider possibilities?  Is that in fact how God runs things?  I have always thought of God as being far more capacious than that, far more understanding, gracious, and merciful.

This is what I don't get. When members substitute with opioids because they can't drink a glass of wine at night. Then they are taking far worse substances. And instead of tea, using high energy drinks, which IMO are worse. I'm at the point in my life that I don't know if I'm much of a believer so that I easily can drink, but you know what, I can't. It's too ingrained in me not to. And coffee/tea don't win out against my Diet Dr. Pepper habit either. But I think they'd be better for me. Those drinks have been taboo for so long, I guess. 

Thanks for your input Robert. You're right that God seems bigger than what we drink, or sorry if I put words in your mouth. But I can see how some LDS that want to drink, it can be a problem, if they don't know how to social drink or it becomes an addiction. Maybe that's why I don't dare go there.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

So, having become LDS, one is then obligated to forever abstain or lose the Celestial Glory?

There is always repentance available to us. There are also 3 degree's of Glory, not just the one.

If a Jew takes a Nazirite vow (which includes no alcohol) then is he forever obligated to abstain or lose Celestial Glory? 

Ask the Lord on that one

I assume you realize that one does not have to be LDS to be celestialized -- all ordinances are done for those on the other side, conditional on their acceptance. 

Once having become LDS we are under different obligations. In some ways it would be better to never hear of the Church of Jesus Christ in this life, in other ways its not, but once having an honest chance to learn and join, there are no second chances. The key words in the previous sentence is "HONEST chance".

Jesus and his apostles were not Nazirites and were not LDS, and are in no way threatened with loss of Celestial Glory for drinking.

Different times, different Covenants, different obligations.

You said it yourself,  for us "Drinking is only a sin because we made a Covenant not to drink."

I stand by it, I also stand by repentance. I also stand by letting God judge what is in our hearts as to our final disposition.

Similarly, among Jews there is a covenant to keep kosher, which does not apply to LDS members.

I never said it did, nor do I know a lot about the Covenant they make. Thankfully (to me) we LDS do not Covenant to give up Bacon.

 

Edited by mnn727
clarification

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35 minutes ago, mnn727 said:

 

You missed the point I was getting at, which is that we are not discussing moral or ethical rules, but rather special vows or covenants -- which do not need to be kept to become celestialized if one has not made that vow.  Your comment is that, once one is LDS it is too late to back out.  For those born Jewish there is an even more immediate problem of having to keep kosher, even though the Jew did not actually agree to that covenant (oddly born in the covenant, bic).  Just how stringent is God going to be at the final judgment?

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LisaAlu,

I am that counselor that we try to get to renew your temple recommend in my ward.  Two of my kids have stopped going to church and one is getting a divorce.  My two younger ones are doing well at this point.  I think it is fine to say that you need more time or that you don’t feel ready right now.  You probably have to decide whether you want to then follow up with the bishop.  We try to respect people needing space.  There are worse things then drinking, but it does hinder the spirit.  

I don’t think we ever know when our children are truly lost.  God loves them and loves you.  Our bishop is the most loving man around and honestly that is how bishops have treated me for the last 57 years.  The path and life does seem to go easier when we live the commandments, even though we don’t live them perfectly.  I certainly have my faults, but for me the WoW has not been one of them.  My children are good people/descent human beings.  We don’t know their path or what happens in the spirit world when we get there.  Make sure that you are doing the basics like reading the scriptures and praying morning and night.  Come Follow Me has been great for me.  This will help you feel the spirit and be able to be strengthened.  None of us actually knows how this is all works after this life, but I testify that Christ is real and that through his powerful atonement, we will all be made whole.  

I really respect your being real and sincere, even if it is anonymous.  I hope you and your husband will feel His love as you find your way.  

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

You missed the point I was getting at, which is that we are not discussing moral or ethical rules, but rather special vows or covenants -- which do not need to be kept to become celestialized if one has not made that vow.  Your comment is that, once one is LDS it is too late to back out.  For those born Jewish there is an even more immediate problem of having to keep kosher, even though the Jew did not actually agree to that covenant (oddly born in the covenant, bic).  Just how stringent is God going to be at the final judgment?

I'll refer you to the Bible on Covenant (or Oath) breakers to answer that.

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3 hours ago, mnn727 said:

I'll refer you to the Bible on Covenant (or Oath) breakers to answer that.

So it doesn't matter what the content of a covenant is?  A vow not to drink alcohol is exactly the same as a vow not to violate the Ten Commandments?  Everything is always all black and all white, no matter the content?  What happened when Peter and Paul disagreed on whether Jewish Christians should keep kosher or be circumcized?  Suddenly Peter found a lifetime commitment to certain formal rites was no longer valid.  How could that happen?  The Ten Commandments were still in effect, but something had utterly changed.  Does that mean anything?  The Bible requires interpretation, and it contains a diversity of claims.

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I find when I know who I am and what I believe.... when I live life consistently within the lines that belief sets, I have high self esteem. 

Sounds like you are on a learning journey.  God be with you along the way- or, should I say, He will be.  You be with Him! ❤️

 

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