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Advice? Taking Marriage Advice From Rls Prez...


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Hi, all! This is my first post here and by the end of this you will probably know a little more about me than you wanted to but please hear me out and give me advice, if you can. =)

 

I am a recent convert to the church. My boyfriend is a 4th/5th generation Mormon on both sides of his family. He didn't serve a mission but he did go to byu-idaho. He's semi-inactive and does not live the WoW. We have been dating for a year and living together almost as long. I did, however, move out of his house and moved in with a friend so that I would be eligible for Baptism a few months ago. After Baptism, we are now having sex again but not living together- although, living together again sooner rather than later is a goal. I am 26 and he is several years older than me so recently I have been trying to tell him I want to get married and have kids but he refuses to even engage in the conversation and sometimes even gets irritated with me when I bring it up to him.

 

before I was baptized he would joke that I was going to become a  Molly Mormon and leave him for a better Mormon man. I'm fearing this might be what really happens unless he buckles down and starts at least *trying* to talk to me about our future together. 

 

I talked a little about this to the RLS president. I didn't tell her we were having sex but she's a smart woman, ha. She knows. She told me, "I am going to be very blunt: as long as he is getting sex, there is no reason for him to marry you." When I gave her some other details she told me she didn't think he was a very good guy and that I should keep looking because I could do better. However there is so much more to our relationship. He's really the man of my dreams and he is who I want. 

 

So, my question is: how can I warm him up to the idea of settling down and starting a family or at least get him to have the conversation with me? Should I really start observing the law of chastity and stop having sex with him? How can I stop having sex with him without a) making it look like a punishment b) without him breaking up with me and c) still be a "good" girlfriend and maintain the specialness of our relationship?

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

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Welcome to the Glass Menagerie. Fornication is a serious sin in the Church, and can subject you to Church Discipline. I would advise you to not use demands of change as a condition for friendship, let alone marriage. I can't tell you what to do, that is between you and your conscience. but your boyfriend has expressed no desire to become active in the Church, and no desire to marry you. If you really want those things for yourself. It is time to move on.

Edited by thesometimesaint
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I'm sorry but I agree with the RS president in a way.  Not totally about the sex, but about his attitude that you'll be a Molly Mormon and find a better LDS guy.  That statement to me sounds like he really could care less about life in the LDS church.  Therefore making it a question to you.  Do you want the church or the guy, well I'm sure of your answer, probably both.

 

Maybe you need to discuss this in a serious way after you decide what it is you want more.  To me it feels like he doesn't have a conscience about it.  There are plenty of good men out there that will love you w/o the sex before marriage.  But do understand the feeling that someone can be the man of your dreams.  

 

But If I were you, and of course I'm much older I'm guessing, so a different perspective, I'd take a big step back and take yourself out of that mode of thinking and look at the big picture.  The way to tell if he's the "man of your dreams" is to test that love, not in a conniving way, but to see if he has a genuine concern for your feelings of leading a chaste life, that the church has always espoused.  Your feelings count for something, now see if he cares about those feelings and do what your heart tells you.  Sorry to be preachy.   

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I guess I find it strange that the "man of my dreams" for someone who recently made covenants in the church, is a man who is not only not interested in living those covenants, he's not even interested in marriage. Nor does it seem that he is interested in your welfare or feelings, either here or in eternity.

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Hi, all! This is my first post here and by the end of this you will probably know a little more about me than you wanted to but please hear me out and give me advice, if you can. =)

 

So, my question is: how can I warm him up to the idea of settling down and starting a family or at least get him to have the conversation with me? Should I really start observing the law of chastity and stop having sex with him? How can I stop having sex with him without a) making it look like a punishment b) without him breaking up with me and c) still be a "good" girlfriend and maintain the specialness of our relationship?

 

Hello book...

 

I'm not about to try and give you advice... but... I'll just make some observations.

 

So you have a "special relationship"... Let's see now... he's the man of your dreams, but he gets "irritated" if you try to bring up the idea of marriage and settling down and starting a family... gasp...

You've just been baptized, which washed away all your sins... yet your dream man is perfectly willing to allow you to continue to fornicate, i.e., break the Law of Chastity, even though you both should know and understand how serious that is... if you don't, you need to read Apostle Jeffrey Holland's talk "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments" about WHY it is so serious.  It's one thing for people to be told "No, No, No" when it comes to fornicating... quite another to understand just why it is a serious offense in the eyes of Heavenly Father.

Starting to live the Law of Chastity is something individual that we do because we know it is the way Heavenly Father wants of his children... Living the LoC is something we do for ourselves and should be respected by others, not viewed as punishment.  What does it say about someone who would allow the person they "loved" to commit such a sin, just so they can be gratified sexually, with little thought about the consequences to the other person...

Your dream man is in his late twenties, yet is not willing to discuss marriage and family, even while partaking of your physical favors?  What does that speak of that person's character and view of life... what is important in life... and frankly what he thinks of the person he is using...

Well, you get the idea...

 

My hope would be that  you would take your baptism and the gospel seriously, and do yourself a favor and turn your life around...  Apostle M. Russell Ballard gave this counsel...

"Of this you may be certain: The Lord especially loves righteous women -- women who are not only faithful but filled with faith... women who are optimistic, and cheerful because they know who they are and where they are going... women who are striving to live and serve as women of God."

 

Sometimes we must make choices that may seem at the moment to be sacrifices... but in which we will find peace and blessings as we make the right choices. 

 

GG

Edited by Garden Girl
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If you are going to stop having sex with him, do it because you choose to live the commandments because you love God, not some ploy to get him to marry you.   Value yourself enough to do what is eternally best for both of you.   My question (please don't answer here) would be What made you start having sex again? 

 

I was struck by your description that he doesn't live the word of wisdom.  If I were selecting a mate, I would be concerned about people using mood altering substances, and what they get out of it (ie whether it is a crutch and what about the missing stuff that flames the need)..  But more I'd want to know how much of their lives is about service to others, and whether they love God. 

 

And you should know that breaking up doesn't have to be forever.   If you decide you want to be married and he just doesn't want to be, then go find someone who does want to be married.   Maybe he'll come to his senses before you finish that, maybe he won't.  Either way, you cannot get from someone a relationship that they do not equally want.

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I do want to live the LoC and if I ever enter into a new relationship I am going to stick to it and not break down. But right now it's a balancing act of trying to get him to take me seriously so that I can assert that I want to live the LoC without him thinking I am just doing it to punish him somehow. He is really a great guy. When I say he doesnt live the WoW I just mean he drinks tea and has a cigarette once in a blue moon- he isnt doing heroin or something insane. And he does want to become active in the church again. He has been attending and talking to the bishop about getting his endowments. Obviously, if he makes that leap- we will have to quit having sex but i think maybe he's waiting for someone to make it easier for us to stop having sex. I don't know, I can't explain it. I just needed to know how I can warm him up to the idea of marriage and how I can cut him off from sex as nicely as possible until that happens.

 

Tacenda, I really appreciated your answer- and everyone else, I really appreciate your feedback as well!

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I do want to live the LoC and if I ever enter into a new relationship I am going to stick to it and not break down. But right now it's a balancing act of trying to get him to take me seriously so that I can assert that I want to live the LoC without him thinking I am just doing it to punish him somehow. He is really a great guy. When I say he doesnt live the WoW I just mean he drinks tea and has a cigarette once in a blue moon- he isnt doing heroin or something insane. And he does want to become active in the church again. He has been attending and talking to the bishop about getting his endowments. Obviously, if he makes that leap- we will have to quit having sex but i think maybe he's waiting for someone to make it easier for us to stop having sex. I don't know, I can't explain it. I just needed to know how I can warm him up to the idea of marriage and how I can cut him off from sex as nicely as possible until that happens.

 

Tacenda, I really appreciated your answer- and everyone else, I really appreciate your feedback as well!

Thanks thebookisblue...

 

I really love your honesty girl.  I hope you'll be that honest with your boyfriend.  And I hope you'll stick around here on this board or visit often.  Take care and don't feel it selfish to know you are important, the only way for you to have a good relationship is if you are your best self.

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For the purposes of this conversation I will put the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ aside.  

 

My mother always taught our family, "Why pays for milk if you are giving it away?"  I think she had her head on straight and the teaching remains as true today as it did so many years ago.  

 

Relationships are strange beasts; they are demanding and require a lot of work by both parties involved.  I learned a long time ago that words are meaningless and actions are what is most important to observe and watch.  Forget about what he says and focus on what he does; how does he treat you?  Do his actions demonstrate that you are his one and only or just a relationship that meets his needs today?  

 

You are 26 years old.  You are an adult and know the difference between right and wrong and you are responsible for your own actions.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  Learn from mistakes and stop making the same mistake over and over again.  

 

You are meant to be happy; choose to be happy by making choices that bring peace and joy.  

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I do want to live the LoC and if I ever enter into a new relationship I am going to stick to it and not break down. But right now it's a balancing act of trying to get him to take me seriously so that I can assert that I want to live the LoC without him thinking I am just doing it to punish him somehow. He is really a great guy. When I say he doesnt live the WoW I just mean he drinks tea and has a cigarette once in a blue moon- he isnt doing heroin or something insane. And he does want to become active in the church again. He has been attending and talking to the bishop about getting his endowments. Obviously, if he makes that leap- we will have to quit having sex but i think maybe he's waiting for someone to make it easier for us to stop having sex. I don't know, I can't explain it. I just needed to know how I can warm him up to the idea of marriage and how I can cut him off from sex as nicely as possible until that happens.

 

Tacenda, I really appreciated your answer- and everyone else, I really appreciate your feedback as well!

 

It is about him. It is not about you. I know I know if he'd only change i know we'd be so happy together. That is a little girl talking, and not a grown woman. What do you really want? Do you really want a man who can't/won't live up to the commitments he already has made? Do you really want to add more commitments that he has no intention of keeping? Single life is hard, but marriage life is much harder. Add in fundamental disagreements on how you live your lives is a BIG RED FLAG.

Hate to put it crudely but why should he buy the cow when the cream is free?

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So, my question is: how can I warm him up to the idea of settling down and starting a family or at least get him to have the conversation with me? Should I really start observing the law of chastity and stop having sex with him? How can I stop having sex with him without a) making it look like a punishment b) without him breaking up with me and c) still be a "good" girlfriend and maintain the specialness of our relationship?

I don't think he can take you seriously until you take yourself seriously. What is the most serious (significant, vital) thing for you?

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As any psychologist or family counselor will tell you, you need to want marry the man he is, not the man you hopehe will become.

Even if he changes because of you pushing, there is a huge chance he will slip back into older habits.

The attitude towards children is a huge red flag to me. If he is indifferent now, even if he agrees to have a child with you, he is unlikely to want to be much involved emotionally with that child and that will hurt and it isn't something you can make up for. My dad is a great and loving guy, but he just wasn't interested much in connecting with kids. I don't remember him ever playing with us, we went on vacations that he was interested in (I remember being about 11 and he too k us skiing for the first time, he took us up to the top of the beginners' hill and then went down. My older siblings were able apparently to keep doing it, but I made it down probably with the help of a cousin and then went and sat inside and pretty much tried to stop myself from crying for the next few hours. Don't think it ever even occurred to him to check or ask why. He is a good man, just oblivious to others needs in some ways. It is hard for kids, don't make it harder for them to feel they have value by giving them a father who doesn't want to be with them more than he wants to be at work or playing video games whatever.

I know several women who thought their guy would grow up or change once they got married because they loved them. Not one of them was happy in their marriage decades later.

It is your choice but don't delude yourself that you can change him through your own faith or love. You can only change yourself and manipulation of others (trying to change them without their awareness or desire to change) is selfish besides not working. It is not love to think you can trick or force someone into changing, changing your behaviour so they will change...when they don't you will end up resenting them and they will resent you.

If he is the man of your dreams, it is who he is right now that you want to be with forever...without the kids along, without marriage, without any changes.

I don't think you would be here asking this question if you were completely happy with your situation. So something is off for you somewhere. Find out what that is and then decide if it is something you want to let go of or not. I am not trying to convince you to leave him. I am trying to convince you to find out what you want for reality...not dreams...so that you will be happy, whether that's your current boyfriend or something else.

My man of my dreams wants not only to help me become the person I want to be by supporting me in the decisions I make about myself, he wants to change himself so that he will be at my side working with me for the rest of our lives and beyond. I lucked out and got such a man..and marriage is still very, very hard and I wanted to walk out a few times and I am sure he did to. The reason I had confidence to stay and make it work was because I knew he was willing to do the same even if somethings came hard to him or he didn't have a clue why something mattered so much to me.

If you are basing your future happiness and your children's happiness on what kind of man you are certain he will become and not on what kind of man he is right now, you are setting yourself and your children if you talk him into that (assuming that is what you choose) into a life that will be filled with sadness and disappointment even if there is a lot of wonderful things about it.

Ask yourself would I be happy in fifty years if I looked back on my life and saw I had lived this way or do I believe I would feel I missed something? Do you want to live in an environment that promotes living the WoW or would it you prefer not having it? Will you prefer the childless lifestyle or will you miss having that chance to live a child of your own? Don't make decisions about what you want on what you think you should want even as a new member but don't discount those desires if they are your own either.

And talk to your boyfriend. If he won't talk about it or acts like it is a hardship, you must ask yourself is this how you want to interact for the rest of your life? Not having a man who wants to talk to you about what is important to you? Men and women think differently, it is hard to communicate for real understanding even when each are trying their hardest. If one doesn't care to try, it won't happen.

I hope you find what will bring you true happiness. I am not going to tell you if you choose to give up your boyfriend simply so you can have a better man come along that for sure in this lifetime a better man will come along. Life isn't like that. There are a lot of good men and women who have chosen to trust the Lord and live by the standards he has told us will bring us true lasting joy and happiness who have not found a partner to live that covenant life with them. Their faith is strong and their willingness to sacrifice for promised blessings continues because they know what they want is an eternal life with God and with a family with an eternal companion and they know God will bless them if this is their choice.

Others choose to live their lives in such a way that exaltation is not their goal and they are happy and satisfied in that. That is not wrong. God wants us to choose and be the kind of people we want to be, he will not force us to accept all the blessings he is willing to give us.

What is wrong is making a choice for less than you want now out of fear of never having what you really want or for another reason...perhaps because you feel it is good enough for now and you have all the rest of your life to find other ways to get what other things you might desire....and settling for less.

You should take your time and even put some distance between you and your boyfriend (if he loves you he will allow you to do this and won't pressure you not to take the chance) so the emotions and physical attractions that are strongest when you are together don't confuse your underlying, more persistent feelings. I would suggest a month's separation (I am not talking just physical stuff, but not seeing or talking to him) with you being the kind of person you really want to be...whether that is living the covenants you made or otherwise, going out with friends and doing things you want to do, experience life as close to your ideal minus a man and then sitting yourself down and writing down what you want and don't want in life without thinking about him as much as possible...then see how well you think he fits those desires and having him in your life will allow you to pursue them. If you can't manage a month, then two weeks, if you can't manage that you need to really talk to yourself about why and if that is healthy or not. And if he can't understand why you need this, why it is important for you to know you really want to be with him, then you need to consider if you want to be with a man who doesn't care enough about your feelings to allow you freedom to choose and puts his own needs ahead of yours so much.

Do you value yourself to try and figure out if your dreams are the reality or if your dreams are clouding your vision of what he is, who you are and what you really want? If you are afraid to take that step to find out, you need to figure out why.

In all of this, the real answers won't be from someone else, but yourself. Best advice I can give you is to pray constantly for the Spirit's help in seeing clearly, of what God knows is best for you and to receive the peace of that assurance of real and eternal love he has no matter what else s happening in your life. 1 Corinthinans has a verse about seeing through a glass darkly....we don't know ourselves now as well as God knows us, but he promises us this will come to us if we continue to seek him out and then we will know ourselves, God and others as he has know us so well for our lives from way before we even came here to earth. I find this verse of great comfort when I feel uncertainty in my life. Let me know if you don't recognise it and I will link to it if you want.

Sorry for the preaching, but not only my education in psychology and how people behave over the years and change and o not change as well as personal experience and observations of a lot of people's lives including way too many who have gone through divorces is causing me great concern as I read your words. I believe you can make the right choices for you whatever those will be, but it will take work and some personal stubbornness you are going to do this for yourself (and if not for you then for future children and for the man you want to be with..whoever that turns out to be) and probably even some pain. But what is easy now just may be hell later on if you stay true to yourself in your feelings and if it isn't, it may be because you have allowed a part of yourself to go to sleep or even die and that would be a huge loss to those who care about you, those who will care about you and those whose lives you may briefly touch.

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Caught up with stuff posted while writing. Is he trying to live a more covenanted life to please you or be ause he wants it.

"I can assert that I want to live the LoC without him thinking I am just doing it to punish him somehow"

Does he really think so little of you that he thinks you would play those kinds of games with him? Think about years later...what happens to your relationship if he doesn't trust you and think you are trying to push him into something he doesn't want? Huge resentment for the both of you unless you and he aren't really human. No matter how much he loves you, if he doesn't respect and trust you and try to understand you without you having to ease him into it or warm him up to the idea, life is going to be so hard and dissapointing.

Do you want to look forward to trying to figure out how to warm him up to working with you the rest of your lives together...what a lot of work, what a burden in my view..for both of you. That is treating him like a child and you as his mother, in my opinion and not as equals.

Don't make excuses for yourself and for him. This is way, way too important. If you can't get him to love something now you need badly, do you really want to force him into that love if he ever gets there...more likely it will be a grudging acceptance or a sincere effort but he will never feel he is where you really want him to be and he will...if he cares about you...he will see himself as a failure, never measuring up, never able to give you what you really want. Do you want someone you love to feel that way about himself so you can get what you want?

No couple's desires for what they want in life will match perfectly, but at the very least at the starting point they shouldn't interfere with each other and each should naturally want (and not just because they think they should) to help the other reach those goals.

I am not saying give up on him now, you need to reach out to him without games, just being you and being honest with your feelings. Maybe it will help him to wake up to what is really important to him and he will take control of his own life and not keep waiting for someone else.

If he doesn't though and if he is already in his 30s or close to it, you are most likely looking at a man who is going to have problems being a real adult and taking personal responsibility for himself for the rest of his life. Now some women like that, they want to have a man to mother and make something of...but he most likely won't appreciate it, will resent it in the end...and do you want to be his caretaker the rest of your lives? If not, you need to decide what you want to be and if that can work now.

Edited by calmoriah
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When God asked who would come to earth to prepare a way for all mankind to be saved and strengthened and blessed, it was Jesus Christ who stepped forward and said, simply, "Here am I, send me" (Abraham 3:27).

 

Just as the Savior stepped forward to fulfill his divine role, we as Latter Day Saint women (and men) have challenges and responsibilities to do likewise.  When we are baptized, we in essence said... Father, if you need a woman (or man) to rear children in righteousness, Here am I, send me...

 

If you need a woman to make a house a home, filled with love, Here am I, send me...

 

If you need a woman who will shun vulgarity and speak with dignity and show the world how joyous it is to keep the commandments, Here am I, send me...

 

If you need a woman who can resist the alluring temptations of the world by keeping her eyes fixed on eternity, Here am I, send me...

 

(from "As Women of God" by M. Russell Ballard, 2001 BYU Women's Conference)

 

The question is, are we willing to be one of those women (or men)?  Am I?  When we entered the waters of baptism, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost... this is essentially what we were saying to Heavenly Father. 

We cannot disregard our standards and values and expect the Holy Ghost to abide with us.  We need men and women to heed the counsel of our prophets... to stand for truth and righteousness... to follow the commandments...  and simply say, Here am I, Lord, send me.

 

I don't care if this sounds preachy or not... it is truth...  

 

GG

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Relationships get much more complicated when there is Marriage and more so Children.

 

The Mormon's probably have the best system for the growth, nurturing and support of functional families anywhere.

 

Changing both people as well as relationship dynamics gets more difficult with time.

Edited by johnNewingtonn
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Maybe what he needs is you to tell him that you believe in the law, and want to live the law, and starting X date, you ARE going to live the law.   When he says "you're just punishing me"   Respond with   I beleve it.  I've made covenants.  I want the blessings of Heaven and to be square with God.  And I also don't want to be helping you break sacred covenants with God.  You can look at it as punishment or you can let me be and live what I love.  This might help you understand and grow in testimony about why it matters. http://www.familylifeeducation.org/gilliland/procgroup/Souls.htm

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Relationships get much more complicated when there is Marriage and more so Children.

 

The Mormon's probably have the best system for the growth, nurturing and support of functional families anywhere.

 

Changing both people as well as relationship dynamics gets more difficult with time.

John, what you said the first time was great too.  Just thought you should know.

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Hope we are not overwhelming you, bookblue.  This board has a lot of people with very strong ideas…apparently specially on marriage and dating.

I agree, bookblue... I was remiss in not welcoming you to the Board and encouraging you personally... this is a good board with lots of good people who post here.  All I want is for you to ponder your baptism and the covenants you made, and find strength to go forward in the Lord's church and kingdom...

 

from the beautiful central Oregon coast... GG

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Didn't read everyone's comments. But this is your life. You only get one shot at it. Make the most of it.

 

This guy is not interested in what you want. It is seriously time to move on and find a guy that wants the same thing you want. And no more moving in with a guy until you are married. Marriage vows do mean something even though society at large thinks they don't. They do, and that stand for a commitment that otherwise was never made.  Best of luck to you and may your dreams come true. After all you make them or break them.

 

 

BTW, what you want is probably not going to happen. THere were no marriage vows and when the goods stop he will move on.

Edited by Mola Ram Suda Ram
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I do want to live the LoC and if I ever enter into a new relationship I am going to stick to it and not break down. But right now it's a balancing act of trying to get him to take me seriously so that I can assert that I want to live the LoC without him thinking I am just doing it to punish him somehow. He is really a great guy. When I say he doesnt live the WoW I just mean he drinks tea and has a cigarette once in a blue moon- he isnt doing heroin or something insane. And he does want to become active in the church again. He has been attending and talking to the bishop about getting his endowments. Obviously, if he makes that leap- we will have to quit having sex but i think maybe he's waiting for someone to make it easier for us to stop having sex. I don't know, I can't explain it. I just needed to know how I can warm him up to the idea of marriage and how I can cut him off from sex as nicely as possible until that happens.

 

Tacenda, I really appreciated your answer- and everyone else, I really appreciate your feedback as well!

Here's the thing... this isn't ON YOU.  This is a decision he needs to make, knowing from where you stand.  If he wants you he will want all of you.  If not....move on.  You need to be honest with yourself and him.  There is no other way to work in a relationship.  Sorry it's not what you want to hear, but sometimes you just need to rip off the bandaid..... good luck!

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Bookblue... and everyone...

I just noticed that in post #17 rpn linked Elder Holland's talk that I referenced... "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments"

Please read and ponder it... one of the most reasoned  explanations as to why it is important to keep our covenants and the LoC... 

Thanks, rpn...

 

GG

Edited by Garden Girl
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Bookblue... and everyone...

I just noticed that in post #17 rpn linked Elder Holland's talk that I referenced... "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments"

Please read and ponder it... one of the most reasoned explanations as to why it is important to keep our covenants and the LoC...

Thanks, rpn...

GG

I have the VHS tape, I ordered it from the distribution center several years ago to show the youth one Sunday.
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      - I figure we have maybe two years until the BSA program (love it or hate it) will be replaced
      - Several years ago, maybe 10+ years, there was talk about mini-Temples being created in levels other the main entry level of stake centers; wondering if this idea might come back?  Really I'm just looking for an excuse to goto Ireland and a Temple openhouse seems to be that opportunity; slainte!
      - Wondering if any of you have written to General Authorities and asked about topics like these; anyone received a response?  Since "marriage" has been legally "redefined," I'm curious to ask the GA's if redefining marriage in the vein of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and many others defined marriage.  Waiting for SCOTUS to "redefine marriage" again (before reinstituting), would be more palatable no doubt, but aren't we on kind of an accelerated time schedule/ last days etc.?  And when you attend the Temple, don't the Sisters outnumber the Brothers by a factor of 3 to 1, on average?
    • By MeeMee
      My question as I am still a new convert is how many times can you be sealed to someone or others. Say for example you were sealed to your current husband but he pass away. Years later down the line you meet someone and want to get sealed with the new husband instead. How does it work in the end. I never understand this and every time I ask someone nobody seems to really want to explain it. Please clarify only if you truly have the answer.
      Thank You
       
    • By Five Solas
      Related to the “Baptisms for the Dead in the Second Temple?” thread – but now the question is whether LDS-style “temple marriages”/”eternal marriages” were performed in the Second Temple (prior to its destruction in 70 AD).
      In the previous thread we established vicarious ordinances for the dead were not authorized until after Christ’s resurrection.  Therefore it would have been a very short window of opportunity (from a historical perspective) for any such proxy work to have been performed in the ancient temple.  And no one on that thread made any argument in favor of such work being done there.  So I think we succeeded in getting that answer.
      So now I want to shift gears and focus on ordinances for the living, using marriage as an example.   Is there any evidence to suggest temple marriages/eternal marriages were performed in the Second Temple?
      If so, what is that evidence?  What do folks think?
      --Erik
      PS.  I remember a stake fireside, back in my LDS days, where the recently-released temple president (Seattle temple) came and spoke.  (This would have been early in the last decade.)  He was old and frail and strikingly tall and thin – but he had a strong voice and expressed himself clearly.  He had held the position for a long time and was much admired and respected, and I recall a sort of hushed reverence in the room.
      I came motivated by some mix of loneliness (I didn’t have anything else to do on a Sunday evening) and some curiosity (I had never met a temple president before).  So I didn’t have quite the same sentiment as others.  And as a result, I undoubtedly gave his words a more critical reception.
      He talked about being asked numerous questions in his capacity at the temple, participating members sometimes looking to him for guidance and clarity on difficult questions—and how he would always admonish questioners to seek out the answers themselves through a combination of prayer and meditation while there.  He didn't answer questions, he redirected questioners--that was an important part of his calling. 
      But what really caught my attention was his expressed belief the temple was carrying on “the same” practices and tradition that had been done at the time of Christ—and indeed all the way back “to Adam.”  How exactly that last bit was possible—no one asked, and I dismissed it as a bit of hyperbole (although he gave us no reason to think he considered it such).  The LDS temple and what transpired therein was connected to antiquity.  He wanted us all to understand he had played his part in a truly ancient play.
      Afterwards with a few folks who were left I made a small joke that the City of Bellevue (where the “Seattle” temple is actually located) probably wasn’t appreciating their growing herd of feral goats (referring to the ancient Israelite practice of “scapegoating” – where one goat would be sacrificed and the other banished to the wilderness, Leviticus 16:8).  But as was not infrequently the case, my humor fell flat.  (Yet another spiritual moment soiled, dang it!)
      So it was particularly interesting to me to read the replies on that other thread.  The old gentleman would have disapproved.
    • By Rivers
      In the same-sex marriage debate, I have heard it argued that the government should have no involvement whatsoever.  Let individuals and churches define marriage for themselves.  Its an intriguing idea and seems ideal from a libertarian perspective.
      I don't see this ever happening, but if it did, I am curious about how the LDS church would handle such a situation.  The church currently recognizes all legal heterosexual marriages as valid.  How would the church decide what or what is not a valid marriage if marriage were privatized?
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