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Rivers

Worthy

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Posted (edited)

 

 

What exactly does the church mean by the use of the word  “worthy?” 

It seems like a lot of people equate the word “worthy” with having worth.   Thus I hear some complain that we need to stop using the word in reference to meeting qualifications to enter the temple.  But I really don’t think being worthy has anything to do with having worth.  I had never made that kind of connection.   Do we need to find a better word to use than “worthy?”

 

Edited by Rivers
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8 minutes ago, Rivers said:

 

 

What exactly does the church mean by the use of the word  “worthy?” 

It seems like a lot of people equate the word “worthy” with having worth.   Thus I hear some complain that we need to stop using the word in reference to meeting qualifications to enter the temple.  But I really don’t think being worthy has anything to do with having worth.  I had never made that kind of connection.   Do we need to find a better word to use than “worthy?”

 

worthy

adjective
wor·thy | \ ˈwər-t͟hē

 

\
worthier; worthiest

Definition of worthy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : having worth or value : estimable a worthy cause
b : honorable, meritorious worthy candidates
2 : having sufficient worth or importance worthy to be remembered

worthy

noun
plural worthies

Definition of worthy (Entry 2 of 3)

: a worthy or prominent person

Definition of -worthy (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : fit or safe for a seaworthy vessel
2 : of sufficient worth for a newsworthy event
 
 
The second to the bottom definition would seem to fit how it's used in the church in connection with the temple.
 
I don't know if changing the word would do anything.  The qualifications would still be the same and if people don't like those they won't like the new word either.
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8 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

worthy

adjective
wor·thy | \ ˈwər-t͟hē

 

\
worthier; worthiest

Definition of worthy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : having worth or value : estimable a worthy cause
b : honorable, meritorious worthy candidates
2 : having sufficient worth or importance worthy to be remembered

worthy

noun
plural worthies

Definition of worthy (Entry 2 of 3)

: a worthy or prominent person

Definition of -worthy (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : fit or safe for a seaworthy vessel
2 : of sufficient worth for a newsworthy event
 
 
The second to the bottom definition would seem to fit how it's used in the church in connection with the temple.
 
I don't know if changing the word would do anything.  The qualifications would still be the same and if people don't like those they won't like the new word either.

Saw this on reddit. It fits in nicely on this thread, but sad at the same time. 

uf5977wru8r31.jpg

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1 minute ago, Tacenda said:

Saw this on reddit. It fits in nicely on this thread, but sad at the same time. 

uf5977wru8r31.jpg

How does it fit in?

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Interesting question given that none of us are--or can be--worthy, or else the Atonement is of no effect.

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Posted (edited)

Our choices can sometimes make us less worthy, but we are never worth less.  

The scriptures are extremely clear.  Because of the Atonement our choices determine our worthiness when it comes to receiving certain blessings from God.  God blesses those who are sincerely trying to follow Him and obey His commandments.  That's true for our mortal lives and also for our immortal ones. 

However, our choices have no bearing or affect upon our worth, in God's eyes or the Savior's.   

Edited by bluebell
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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, etana said:

Interesting question given that none of us are--or can be--worthy, or else the Atonement is of no effect.

How do you figure we're not worthy (speaking as a people in general)?  The temple recommend questions outline the minimum needed to enter the temple.  Perfection is not required to enter the temple, nor expected.

Edited by ksfisher

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58 minutes ago, Rivers said:

What exactly does the church mean by the use of the word  “worthy?” 

It seems like a lot of people equate the word “worthy” with having worth.   Thus I hear some complain that we need to stop using the word in reference to meeting qualifications to enter the temple.  But I really don’t think being worthy has anything to do with having worth.  I had never made that kind of connection.   Do we need to find a better word to use than “worthy?”

I think in practice it is supposed to mean "suitability," conveying "preparedness". This may be a older use of the word, but I think if you draw upon several reputable dictionaries it is still worthy.

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I view "worthy" in a gospel sense as a term related to "obedient to conditions".
All laws have conditions attached if we want the blessing.  Worthy in the gospel to me means compliant with the conditions of the law.

It has nothing to do with value, or sinless perfection.

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1 hour ago, Rivers said:

 

 

What exactly does the church mean by the use of the word  “worthy?” 

It seems like a lot of people equate the word “worthy” with having worth.   Thus I hear some complain that we need to stop using the word in reference to meeting qualifications to enter the temple.  But I really don’t think being worthy has anything to do with having worth.  I had never made that kind of connection.   Do we need to find a better word to use than “worthy?”

 

I think it ties in with what was talked about later about being "holy".  It is a holy house and we are to show that we are holy enough to enter into the holy house of the Lord.  Not that we need to be perfectly holy but we should at least be working on it.

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11 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

How do you figure we're not worthy (speaking as a people in general)?  The temple recommend questions outline the minimum needed to enter the temple.  Perfection is not required to enter the temple, nor expected.

i expect you're working with a version of worthy in your idiolect that has slightly different semantic range than mine. We are all unprofitable servants i.e. unworthy, but the atonement makes it possible for us to receive rewards we haven't fully earned. That is, rewards whose worth our efforts can never fully offset.

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, etana said:

i expect you're working with a version of worthy in your idiolect that has slightly different semantic range than mine. We are all unprofitable servants i.e. unworthy, but the atonement makes it possible for us to receive rewards we haven't fully earned. That is, rewards whose worth our efforts can never fully offset.

The context I'm using the word is connected to worthiness to enter the temple, as introduced in the OP.  If you're speaking of worthiness to enter the celestial kingdom then that would seem to be a different discussion.

Edited by ksfisher

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IMO- the term worthy or worthiness in a religious context seems to suggest that there are things a person can do to earn rights and privileges, such as going to the temple. The term leans heavily on the works part of the faith/works dichotomy. I think that's what many people are opposed to. By being deemed "unworthy" to do something a person is literally being told they have not done enough and are therefore worth less than those who have done more. It doesn't mean they are "worthless" but it does mean they are "worth less" at that point in time.

The church and its leaders can set whatever conditions they want on a person's ability to participate, but it can feel very exclusionary and even antithetical to the gospel of Jesus.

For example, if a person is deemed "unworthy" of baptism, or unworthy of partaking of the sacrament, that designation withholds from them the grace of God since those things are necessary for receiving eternal life. IMO things like the sacrament/communion offers the grace of Christ to all who are willing to accept it, and therefore shouldn't be withheld because another person deems a person unworthy. Every person is a sinner, and therefore unworthy of God's grace in various ways, yet he still offers that grace because as a child of God we are all worthy.

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3 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

The context I'm using the word is connected to worthiness to enter the temple, as introduced in the OP.  If you're speaking of worthiness to enter the celestial kingdom then that would seem to be a different discussion.

it is the same discussion. My point being that the word is likely misleading (at best )and inappropriate (at worst) for use in any interviews unless we adopt a very specific subset of its semantic range to replace what the word actually means (or used to).

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1 minute ago, HappyJackWagon said:

IMO- the term worthy or worthiness in a religious context seems to suggest that there are things a person can do to earn rights and privileges, such as going to the temple. The term leans heavily on the works part of the faith/works dichotomy. I think that's what many people are opposed to. By being deemed "unworthy" to do something a person is literally being told they have not done enough and are therefore worth less than those who have done more. It doesn't mean they are "worthless" but it does mean they are "worth less" at that point in time.

The church and its leaders can set whatever conditions they want on a person's ability to participate, but it can feel very exclusionary and even antithetical to the gospel of Jesus.

For example, if a person is deemed "unworthy" of baptism, or unworthy of partaking of the sacrament, that designation withholds from them the grace of God since those things are necessary for receiving eternal life. IMO things like the sacrament/communion offers the grace of Christ to all who are willing to accept it, and therefore shouldn't be withheld because another person deems a person unworthy. Every person is a sinner, and therefore unworthy of God's grace in various ways, yet he still offers that grace because as a child of God we are all worthy.

You are on the right track I think, mostly, except for your idea that deeming people unworthy is in and of itself somehow wrong.  The priesthood is the governing power of the universe and by it we can seal things as well as loose things both in heaven and on this planet.

Bishops act as judges to judge people to be either worthy or unworthy.  They are at least as much of a judge as any judge who sits as a judge in a secular court room, more of a judge actually since they judge eternal things and not just secular things of this world.

Our Lord doesn't do the judging all by himself. He appoints and delegates his power to judge to other people.  You can think it is wrong for anyone to judge as much as they do, but you will be judged by how you think of how judges should act, too.

The power of the priesthood is greater than any power you can imagine.

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Imo:

 If you’ve been a member your whole life,  it is likely that you equate the word worthy to meaning you have followed all the rules to allow you to participate in church ordinances. If you have not been a member of the church, the word worthy suggests intrinsic worth. No wonder other Christian churches criticize us for constantly chasing after something we perceive we can never attain. This is a semantics conflict. That is all. For that reason it would likely be good to toss the word worthy And possibly replace it for qualified.

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Posted (edited)

The word worthy does connote worth, but I don’t think that is the way it is used today.  

I don’t like the word for the reason that it literally connotes worth, especially considering that the worth of all souls is “great” in the sight of God.   While we may be of great worth, we are not all of great value to God.  There is a difference.  The worth of a sunken treasure may be great, but it is of no value to anyone when it is lost at the bottom of an ocean being unused.  There really should be an equivalent word for “worthy” which connotes value instead of worth.

We are of great worth but of little value to God when we are not in His service and are in enmity with Him.

Edited by pogi

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Just now, MustardSeed said:

Imo:

 If you’ve been a member your whole life,  it is likely that you equate the word worthy to meaning you have followed all the rules to allow you to participate in church ordinances. If you have not been a member of the church, the word worthy suggests intrinsic worth. No wonder other Christian churches criticize us for constantly chasing after something we perceive we can never attain. This is a semantics conflict. That is all. For that reason it would likely be good to toss the word worthy And possibly replace it for qualified.

Qualified, yes, that is pretty much what the word "worthy" is supposed to refer to.  But now all we've done is shift the question to what does it take to be qualified?  Holy enough to enter the temple, I think.  With holy meaning to be set apart from the world.  In the world but not of the same type as those in the world, generally.  A people who have shown by their actions that they are willing to obey the commands of the Lord.  A people qualified to enter a holy house of the Lord.

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5 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Qualified, yes, that is pretty much what the word "worthy" is supposed to refer to.  But now all we've done is shift the question to what does it take to be qualified?  Holy enough to enter the temple, I think.  With holy meaning to be set apart from the world.  In the world but not of the same type as those in the world, generally.  A people who have shown by their actions that they are willing to obey the commands of the Lord.  A people qualified to enter a holy house of the Lord.

I think there are two entirely different issues at hand. 

One is the idea that we deem ourselves as unworthy beings- unworthy of love and value. 

Other religions reject this self view and criticize us even more than necessary on this issue due to semantics. 

Another is the difficulty many have in following the rules required to participate. Changing the word will never resolve this issue , obviously. 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

The context I'm using the word is connected to worthiness to enter the temple, as introduced in the OP.  If you're speaking of worthiness to enter the celestial kingdom then that would seem to be a different discussion.

As with anything worthiness to enter the temple isn't about personal perfection, it's about meeting the conditions.
Being baptized for instance.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I think there are two entirely different issues at hand. 

One is the idea that we deem ourselves as unworthy beings- unworthy of love and value. 

Other religions reject this self view and criticize us even more than necessary on this issue due to semantics. 

Another is the difficulty many have in following the rules required to participate. Changing the word will never resolve this issue , obviously. 

 

 

I look at it this way.  Anyone who feels a sense of self worth is going to say "Yes" when asked by a judge of Israel if they feel worthy to enter a holy house of the Lord. 

If they don't feel that sense of self worth, at least not after first hearing the question, then they would be right there to hear from that common judge of Israel and he could talk to them about whatever is troubling them.

Also note that saying "Yes" to the worthy question comes after answering a lot of other questions the judge of Israel has asked to help determine whether someone feels worthy, and I would think a person who would say "Yes" to all of those would also say "Yes" to the last question.

Edited by Ahab

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30 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

IMO- the term worthy or worthiness in a religious context seems to suggest that there are things a person can do to earn rights and privileges, such as going to the temple. The term leans heavily on the works part of the faith/works dichotomy. I think that's what many people are opposed to. By being deemed "unworthy" to do something a person is literally being told they have not done enough and are therefore worth less than those who have done more. It doesn't mean they are "worthless" but it does mean they are "worth less" at that point in time.

The church and its leaders can set whatever conditions they want on a person's ability to participate, but it can feel very exclusionary and even antithetical to the gospel of Jesus.

For example, if a person is deemed "unworthy" of baptism, or unworthy of partaking of the sacrament, that designation withholds from them the grace of God since those things are necessary for receiving eternal life. IMO things like the sacrament/communion offers the grace of Christ to all who are willing to accept it, and therefore shouldn't be withheld because another person deems a person unworthy. Every person is a sinner, and therefore unworthy of God's grace in various ways, yet he still offers that grace because as a child of God we are all worthy.

Exactly, seems to me, the rest of Christianity get baptised no matter what, just so they can revel in Jesus' sacrifice and turn their lives over to Him. 

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perhaps the final question could be given as something like: "are you satisfied with your efforts in striving to be worthy to enter the temple."

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1 minute ago, etana said:

perhaps the final question could be given as something like: "are you satisfied with your efforts in striving to be worthy to enter the temple."

Okay, where did somebody put the Suggestion Box ?  I suppose you could ask the person who decides which questions to ask to rephrase their questions a little bit.  That would probably start with asking the bishop as he asks you the questions.

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4 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Exactly, seems to me, the rest of Christianity get baptised no matter what, just so they can revel in Jesus' sacrifice and turn their lives over to Him. 

He wants their free will obedience, not their lives.  He already has a life of his own and just wants everyone else to follow his example of following our Father in heaven's commandments.

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