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Doctrinal Query Regarding Part-member Families


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@Calm, with regards to the infinite punishments for finite crimes, we teach of the "unpardonable sin."  That's a one-time infraction that leads to an eternity of punishment from which one will not be offered the ability to repent.  Much like you alluded to earlier, people's words/actions/thoughts are a culmination of varying factors over which they may not have full control/awareness, so I'm slow to judge those who are sons of perdition.  Through the principle of applied charity, it seems beyond my understanding to think that a son of perdition can never, ever feel sorrow for his sin and want to repent.  Some posit that the Atonement's redemptive powers are somehow powerless to redeem the costs of justice for that particular infraction (which would indicate that the "infinite" atonement is not "infinite"), but I suppose that's just speculation.  

"we can still repent (which means learn and change) for things we are held accountable for."

I agree...to a point (setting aside true apostasy which cannot be repented of).  If you end up in one of the lower kingdoms, that's the result of your spiritual state pursuant to a finite period of time to make mistakes and repent of them.  And, as you referenced earlier, mistakes made can very often be the result of conscious/subconscious physical/psychological/sociological factors mixed with temptation and an imperfect knowledge.  And yet, our performance in this finite time period, with these disadvantages, will determine our eternal outcome.  Lesser degrees of glory are ineligible for benefits of exaltation, including the presence of one's eternal family, with no possibility of increase (at least if D&C is accurate).  Therefore, infinite punishment for finite crimes.

If the Savior, within a finite time period, could pay the penalty of justice for every sin (outside true apostasy) ever committed, I'm not sure how a Telestial/Terrestrial spirit couldn't make up the cost of their own shortcomings throughout the course of an eternity if they wanted to do so.  Viewing through my earthly-father prism once more, even if I would never take him up on an offered path of redemption, he would still see to it that one was there for me if ever I changed my mind.  My dad would always wait with open arms to take me back.  He's the kind of father I hope to be someday.  So, it's difficult to understand how a God who loves me even more than my dad does would not have a similar system of mercy in place after judgment day.  I have to assume it's because He can't, for some reason, but I can't comprehend what reason that could be.

@Tacenda, you may be correct regarding my unfamiliarity with the history behind D&C 132, so I'll take a look at your resources and read up on it a bit.  However, I was under the impression that the revelations in the Doctrine & Covenants were inspired scriptures from the Lord.  I had (perhaps mistakenly) assumed them to be the direct words of God, therefore bearing truth even if there were alternative agendas being suited simultaneously by them.  I can't imagine we're to simply dismiss the section's teachings since they were meant as a convincing mechanism for Emma Smith, but I could be wrong about that.  I'll look into your links for further consideration. 

And, to be fair to Emma Smith, I can certainly understand a predisposition of denial regarding that topic.

@Jane_Doe, to address the notion that your husband's acceptance of the church and its saving ordinances in this life won't matter in the big picture, that statement is predicated upon whether or not the opportunity will be afforded to you two in the next life.  I hope that it will, of course, but the textual doctrine we have on-file in the Doctrine & Covenants and apostolic commentary specifically indicates the opposite.  That's what's giving me pause for concern in my situation.  I just haven't found a source of refutation to that standard yet, and apostles like Bruce R McConkie appear to uphold its rigidity, and Spencer W Kimball's haunting words listed at the bottom of this post...

@Rain, thanks for clarifying your position, I think I understand it a bit better now.  Like you say, the divorce for eternal marriage option is not something I'm seriously considering at this point, but it's not the easily-dismissed absurdity that it appears to be since our doctrine on this point is...disheartening, to say the least.

"If one divorced his wife ONLY to pursue a relationship with a woman who could be sealed to him then I think the Savior would not look positively on that."

I guess I see it differently than that.  I'd see it as a man who was attempting to be obedient to God's commandments and pursue his saving ordinances (a requirement for Celestial Glory).  In the scriptures and in church history, we have seen instances of God demanding harsh sacrifices in pursuit of obedience.  If the person were acting upon that perspective, and they sincerely believed it was out of obedience, I don't see how anyone could fairly fault that person for trying to follow God's plan in light of the strict wordings of the scriptures.  Once you read Spencer W Kimball's remarks on this topic below, you might be able to see how someone might be shaken to this kind of drastic action.

"So my feeling is a person would need to do a whole lot more repenting for the divorce than for marrying in the first place.  And no, I don't think that the marriage was a sin, but I think divorce only to get the chance of eternal life very well could be."

I'm not sure that's true, can divorce be a sin?  If it can, I'd better warn some of the ward couples who are going through it right now.  I'm unfamiliar with the church's metrics for judging whether a divorce was sinful or not, and/or how much repentance is required to atone for it.  It could very well be the case that it's directly outlined in the priesthood leader manuals somewhere, I just don't remember it being taught is all.  I'm a bit surprised that BYU/Deseret News reported a 25% divorce rate among temple-married LDS couples in light of that fact.

"If one makes a mistake in choosing a spouse who is not a member and continues to repent and improve I can't imagine God snatching back his hand and saying, "only 1 chance for you!"

And if the atonement is there to cover sins then why can it not cover mistakes as well?"  

Great question.  If the atonement could cover our mistakes in this regard, I would think it important to make that clear shortly before or after this section:

"15.  Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.

"16.  There, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.

"17.  For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever."

Verse 4 of that section also clarifies the following:  "For behold, I reveal unto you a new and everlasting covenant; and if yet abide not that covenant, then ye are damned."

Or at any time within the 180 years since it was written.  Instead, we have apostles and prophets who have doubled-down on its teachings and urge members to marry within the faith in this life as a result.  The prophet Spencer W Kimball had this to say regarding the rigidity of this section for member who lack a temple sealing:

"...We promise you that insofar as eternity is concerned, no soul will be deprived of rich and high and eternal blessings for anything which that person could not help, that the Lord never fails in his promises, and that every righteous person will receive eventually all to which the person is entitled and which he or she has not forfeited through any fault of his or her own."

And there's the rub.  I forfeited those blessings by choosing to marry outside of the covenant.  But it gets much more dire, by his own words, SPECIFICALLY regarding my case.  In his Ensign article "Temples and Eternal Marriage" (which is referenced specifically in our current Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual), Kimball states the following plea to members like me:

"[The Lord] then continues concerning these excellent people who lived worthily but failed to make their contracts binding:

(He recites verse 17 listed above)

"How conclusive! How bounded! How limiting! And we come to realize again as it bears heavily upon us that this time, this life, this mortality is the time to prepare to meet God(I guess that sort of refutes the alternative interpretation of "life" not meaning mortality in this case)  How lonely and barren will be the so-called single blessedness throughout eternity! How sad to be separate and single and apart through countless ages when one could, by meeting requirements, have happy marriage for eternity in the temple by proper authority and continue on in ever-increasing joy and happiness, growth and development toward godhood...

Are you willing to jeopardize your eternities, your great continuing happiness, your privilege to see God and dwell in his presence? For the want of investigation and study and contemplation; because of prejudice, misunderstanding, or lack of knowledge, are you willing to forego these great blessings and privileges? Are you willing to make yourself a widow for eternity or a widower for endless ages—a single, separate individual to live alone and serve others? Are you willing to give up your children when they die or when you expire, and make them orphans? Are you willing to go through eternity alone and solitary when all of the greatest joys you have ever experienced in life could be ‘added upon’ and accentuated, multiplied, and eternalized?"

I think that sums up the level of risk I'm engaged in by "hoping" that a ram will be provided against the prescriptions of the scriptures and our church leadership.  I'm honestly not sure how much clearer that can be in outlining the dire nature of my situation.  Are we to argue with the definitive statements of a modern-day prophet?  I've read Kimball's whole address to make sure there wasn't any clarifying context, and nowhere in it are there any stipulations or points of comfort for "excellent people" like me who "lived worthily" (a specific measure of mortality, as the prophet clarified) but failed to make their contracts binding in this life.  I've only included a part of it, his entire address is a heart-felt plea to non-sealed members to consider their depressing state of their eternal outlook.  Nowhere does he indicate that those "excellent people who lived worthily" will be given another chance.  He even references a personal story of a couple he knew who died an hour after their civil wedding, without any comment as to the temple work which can supposedly seal them.  

The manual also quotes Elder James E Talmage, who states: "in the resurrection there will be no marrying nor giving in marriage; for all questions of marital status must be settled before that time, under the authority of the Holy Priesthood, which holds the power to seal in marriage for both time and eternity.For all I know, the resurrection could happen next week.  Are part-member families like mine really able to afford contentment under these circumstances when the prophet himself is pleading us to take worry?  

If anyone has any official church resources that provide hopeful context refuting the finality of Spencer E Kimball's pleas, I'm desperate to see them.  

2 Nephi 28: 22-23:  "Therefore, wo be unto him who is at ease in Zion.  Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!"

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I can see you are experiencing quite a bit of pain.  I'm really sorry you are going through this. I also know through experience that what we say here may mean nothing to you.  Sometimes there is this strong urge to search what is written, but it isn't till we hear the Spirit that anxiety can be calmed.  My prayer is that you can feel the Spirit soon.

Divorce is not a sin, but the reasons for it could be.  If I divorce my husband so I can marry my wealthy coworker for his money then it would be not only sinful, but very hurtful to him.  If one divorces a spouse ONLY to gain the the celestial kingdom THEN I think most likely it is out of more concern for self than for the spouse which may be selfish, uncharitable or prideful and hurtful.

I'm on my phone and I have much to do today so I am just going to tell you what I have found and let you look through it.  

You quote a lot of President Kimball. Elder Scott in conference talked about The Miracle of Forgiveness.  He talked about reading it, but reading the last 2 chapters first.  

I just skimmed through those chapters and they talk much about the hope of forgiveness. He has quote after quote after quote about being forgiven.

You can find it at Deseret Book and read it through their app. I THINK it might be free.  (I have the plus membership and it wasn't labeled as plus on my app and didn't cost me anything so I think it may be free to all who download the app.)

He has a number of stories about those who have broken covenants through adultery that have been forgiven. It is inconsistent for a God who loves his children to say those who have aldulterously broken their sealing covenant and repent can go to the celestial kingdom, but those who have not made the covenant and married, possibly at a young age cannot.  It is just not logical not does it fit the plan of salvation.

When we are taught of repentance we are often also taught of consequences.  Obviously in marrying a non member the consequences are that you are not sealed...yet.  And you have not attained the celestial kingdom...yet.  But how many of us can say we are truly ready to live in the celestial kingdom yet? I suspect all of us will go through more change before we are ready.

Here are my concerns and I think I share them with others.  

1. You seem so stuck from a few quotes that you are, well stuck, and you can't move forward that you ignore the thousands of quotes and scriptures teaching that there is always forgiveness except for denying the Holy Ghost.  

2. My bigger concern is that this may be more in your mind than the daughter of God who is your wife.  I can only imagine how hurt I would feel if I had any idea he was thinking along the lines of what you have written.  It would be terribly hard to not have that spill into actions in some way. That is why I talk about Christ saying to love your wife.

Treat as if you were already eternal companions.  There is not anything I can think of that could be a better restitution for marrying outside of the temple that loving your wife as Christ loves us.  

I'm not saying to give up on the doctrine, but allow yourself to feel the Spirit as you read about forgiveness and love your wife and I think the doctrine will fall into place for you as you seek it.

 

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"I also know through experience that what we say here may mean nothing to you."

@Rain, your responses are worth more than you know.  I really mean it.  Thank you.  I hope I do not come across as dismissive, perhaps I simply bring the baggage of preconceptions which cloud my ability to see what you see.

"If one divorces a spouse ONLY to gain the the celestial kingdom THEN I think most likely it is out of more concern for self than for the spouse which may be selfish, uncharitable or prideful and hurtful."

Perhaps this is an area where my preconceptions have clouded my perspective.  Is our pursuit of Celestial Exaltation and eternal families separate from our self-interest?  It seems to me that I have self-interest in seeing to it that I qualify for the blessings of exaltation to spend eternity with my family.  The beauty of that eternity is the most compelling thing about our doctrine (to me, at least). 

By practical necessity, I think one has to consider the conditions required to qualify for that blessing, so as to see to it that you meet those criteria.  Unfortunately, regarding specific covenants like eternal marriage, there's more fine-print involved than there is regarding other instructions from the Lord.  When seeking forgiveness for a standard sin (let's say, lying, for example), the process of restitution is fairly straightforward.  Forsake the sin, go and sin no more, "try your best and the Lord will do the rest."  Forgiveness for that infraction only requires your broken heart, contrite spirit, and the will to change.  Perhaps I'm mistaken in this perception, but I seem to consider covenants as something that bears more attachments.  Covenants are specific, non-pliable, and not negotiable.  In practical terms, no matter how much I say I'm sorry for not going through the Temple sealing ordinance, God can't allow me into exaltation on an exception because I sought forgiveness.  If I don't accept or undergo that sealing ordinance process myself, no matter how much I beg the Lord for mercy, He can't ignore that I didn't do it.  

And, since the conditions outlined in regards to this covenant specifically say that it will be denied to those who bypass the opportunity in this life...well, you can see the dilemma.  While I agree with you that it is likely more selfless of me to remain with my spouse despite the eternal risks, I'm essentially gambling my eternal family out of consideration for my spouse's feelings.  As far as that is concerned, sadly, she believes I'm going to the Christian Hell after I die anyway since I'm not the right brand of Christian, haha.  

"You quote a lot of President Kimball.  Elder Scott in conference talked about The Miracle of Forgiveness.  He talked about reading it, but reading the last 2 chapters first.  I just skimmed through those chapters and they talk much about the hope of forgiveness. He has quote after quote after quote about being forgiven."

Sorry, the quotes from President Kimball were actually sourced from the Doctrine and Covenants Study Manual put out by the church, so I assumed that his comments were considered doctrinally-sound.  As for reading The Miracle of Forgiveness, I'll see if I can pick it up and give it a read, regardless of whether it's free or not.  Perhaps I can learn more about the limits of forgiveness (or the lack thereof) and can see it as you do. 

"It is inconsistent for a God who loves his children to say those who have aldulterously broken their sealing covenant and repent can go to the celestial kingdom, but those who have not made the covenant and married, possibly at a young age cannot.  It is just not logical not does it fit the plan of salvation."

I think this is where I'm getting a bit confused.  The difference between the two is that the sealed members actually underwent the sealing.  And since the sealing is required for Celestial exaltation, they can restore their commitment to the ordinance because they've undergone the sealing.  An un-sealed couple doesn't have the sealing criteria that God requires, so they can never gain celestial exaltation.  No amount of repentance can make up for missing ordinances of salvation.  That's why the logic works out on a technical level, but on a purely-moral level, I do agree that it seems strangely-arbitrary.  

"Obviously in marrying a non member the consequences are that you are not sealed...yet.  And you have not attained the celestial kingdom...yet.  But how many of us can say we are truly ready to live in the celestial kingdom yet? I suspect all of us will go through more change before we are ready."

I agree entirely.  The problem is, the written sources I've seen seem to indicate that the sealing will be withheld from me since I'd be (theoretically) bypassing it in this life if things remain the way they are.  And since forgiveness cannot make up for a missing ordinance, no matter how hard I work to attain the celestial kingdom, I won't be allowed in since I'd be missing that ordinance.

Regarding your concluding remarks, I'll attempt to be brief (well, relatively brief).  The reason I'm stuck on certain quotes is because I was under the impression that they conveyed eternal truths.  If Spencer W Kimball and Joseph Smith/God say I should be terrified for the state of my family prospects in my given circumstances due to the conditions of this covenant, I find little foundation to disagree with their conclusions.  If the prophets conclude that you won't receive a chance to accept missing ordinances if you bypass your chance in this life to obtain those saving ordinances, I'm not sure I can argue the point and feel confident in that position.

In my mind, the bottom line is this - it's not a sin to be missing saving ordinances.  You just won't be eligible for celestial exaltation without them.  That's why the concept of forgiveness does not seem to apply directly to it.  I can repent and receive forgiveness for telling a lie, but I cannot repent and receive forgiveness for missing a saving ordinance.  Hence, my horror at the discovery that I fit the description of someone who "had the chance" in this life.

Regarding my wife's potential reaction to these notions, I'm not sure.  After all, I'll be going to the Christian Hell because I'm the wrong brand of Christian.  In her belief structure, the value of marriage is solely for this life, to facilitate a God-approved context for intimacy and purposes of child-rearing.  Our marriage bears no eternal value to her, unfortunately.  I do agree that the most Christlike thing would be to love her as much as I can. 

Thanks for your time and your thoughts.  I really do appreciate your comforting comments and loving advice.  My prayers are what brought me here, and I've been given much to think and pray about (and read, thanks to your recommendation :) ).    

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3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

"I also know through experience that what we say here may mean nothing to you."

@Rain, your responses are worth more than you know.  I really mean it.  Thank you.  I hope I do not come across as dismissive, perhaps I simply bring the baggage of preconceptions which cloud my ability to see what you see.

I do not feel you are dismissive at all.  The bolded pretty much sums up how I personally feel about what you are saying.  

3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

"If one divorces a spouse ONLY to gain the the celestial kingdom THEN I think most likely it is out of more concern for self than for the spouse which may be selfish, uncharitable or prideful and hurtful."

Perhaps this is an area where my preconceptions have clouded my perspective.  Is our pursuit of Celestial Exaltation and eternal families separate from our self-interest?  It seems to me that I have self-interest in seeing to it that I qualify for the blessings of exaltation to spend eternity with my family.  The beauty of that eternity is the most compelling thing about our doctrine (to me, at least). 

One thing to remember is that your family here IS part of your family after this life.  Whether your wife is your eternal companion in the next life or your sibling since God is our Father she is still a part of that family though the relationships may be vastly different. 

God also never said you have to be perfect right now.  This life is a time to grow into that.  And it just isn't possible to change everything at once.  So since you already got into this marriage then maybe it is time to work on other parts of your self and trust Heavenly Father to guide you on the sealing part.

3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

By practical necessity, I think one has to consider the conditions required to qualify for that blessing, so as to see to it that you meet those criteria.  Unfortunately, regarding specific covenants like eternal marriage, there's more fine-print involved than there is regarding other instructions from the Lord.  When seeking forgiveness for a standard sin (let's say, lying, for example), the process of restitution is fairly straightforward.  Forsake the sin, go and sin no more, "try your best and the Lord will do the rest."  Forgiveness for that infraction only requires your broken heart, contrite spirit, and the will to change.  Perhaps I'm mistaken in this perception, but I seem to consider covenants as something that bears more attachments.  Covenants are specific, non-pliable, and not negotiable.  In practical terms, no matter how much I say I'm sorry for not going through the Temple sealing ordinance, God can't allow me into exaltation on an exception because I sought forgiveness.  If I don't accept or undergo that sealing ordinance process myself, no matter how much I beg the Lord for mercy, He can't ignore that I didn't do it.  

I think you may be applying a covenant to yourself that does not exist.  The covenant that promises that if you don't get sealed in this life then you don't have exhalation. You can't break a covenant that the Lord has not entered in with you. There is no attachment to non covenants.

So you have a "broken heart, contrite spirit, and the will to change" yourself into the man God wants you to be.  If your wife should die or the two of you divorce at some time then you "forsake the sin, go and sin no more, "try your best and the Lord will do the rest." '

 

3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

  

And, since the conditions outlined in regards to this covenant specifically say that it will be denied to those who bypass the opportunity in this life...well, you can see the dilemma.  While I agree with you that it is likely more selfless of me to remain with my spouse despite the eternal risks, I'm essentially gambling my eternal family out of consideration for my spouse's feelings.  As far as that is concerned, sadly, she believes I'm going to the Christian Hell after I die anyway since I'm not the right brand of Christian, haha.  

My personal feeling is that ignoring a spouse's feelings would be when a person was gambling.  " Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved" - Thomas S. Monson

Please know that I recognize I know nothing of your relationship with your wife.  It may be that you get along terribly or she treats you badly etc.  But if you have a good marriage  then it really doesn't matter if she thinks you are going to hell in this on this topic.  It matters what you are doing to progress. 

3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

"You quote a lot of President Kimball.  Elder Scott in conference talked about The Miracle of Forgiveness.  He talked about reading it, but reading the last 2 chapters first.  I just skimmed through those chapters and they talk much about the hope of forgiveness. He has quote after quote after quote about being forgiven."

Sorry, the quotes from President Kimball were actually sourced from the Doctrine and Covenants Study Manual put out by the church, so I assumed that his comments were considered doctrinally-sound. 

Some of the quotes from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball are from The Miracle of Forgiveness.  That doesn't mean that everything is doctinally sound of course, but at least looking at those last 2 chapters which Elder Scott suggest he has tons of scriptures quotes etc from doctrinally sound sources which you can look up easily if you are unsure of them.

3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

As for reading The Miracle of Forgiveness, I'll see if I can pick it up and give it a read, regardless of whether it's free or not.  Perhaps I can learn more about the limits of forgiveness (or the lack thereof) and can see it as you do. 

"It is inconsistent for a God who loves his children to say those who have aldulterously broken their sealing covenant and repent can go to the celestial kingdom, but those who have not made the covenant and married, possibly at a young age cannot.  It is just not logical not does it fit the plan of salvation."

I think this is where I'm getting a bit confused.  The difference between the two is that the sealed members actually underwent the sealing. 

Yes, so they bare more responsibility than someone who didn't. That is one thing we talk about over and over again in the church.  Where much is given, much is required.  

3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

And since the sealing is required for Celestial exaltation, they can restore their commitment to the ordinance because they've undergone the sealing.  An un-sealed couple doesn't have the sealing criteria that God requires, so they can never gain celestial exaltation.  No amount of repentance can make up for missing ordinances of salvation. 

We also believe that those who don't have the chance to do it will have the chance to do it in the next life.  With your/my lack of understanding of this life and the next (we really know nothing about the next life how can you know that you've had your chance?  

 

3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

 That's why the logic works out on a technical level, but on a purely-moral level, I do agree that it seems strangely-arbitrary.  

Yep. Again, where much is given then much is required except where marriage is concerned where the person under a sealing has less responsibility than a person who has never made a covenant about marriage - essentially what you are saying.   

3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

"Obviously in marrying a non member the consequences are that you are not sealed...yet.  And you have not attained the celestial kingdom...yet.  But how many of us can say we are truly ready to live in the celestial kingdom yet? I suspect all of us will go through more change before we are ready."

I agree entirely.  The problem is, the written sources I've seen seem to indicate that the sealing will be withheld from me since I'd be (theoretically) bypassing it in this life if things remain the way they are. 

Yes, but even assuming that you dies while in your marriage you have no idea if things will remain the way they are.  

3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

 And since forgiveness cannot make up for a missing ordinance, no matter how hard I work to attain the celestial kingdom, I won't be allowed in since I'd be missing that ordinance. 

Forgiveness DOES make up for missing ordinances.  It is exactly the reason we have temples.  

But even without temple work, if a person under 8 who dies does not need baptism, if a person who is mentally disabled does not need to go to the temple then obviously there are sometimes when it is ok to have a missing ordinance.  

So if you were spiritually disabled at the time you were looking for a wife - maybe God takes account of that? 

3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

Regarding your concluding remarks, I'll attempt to be brief (well, relatively brief).  The reason I'm stuck on certain quotes is because I was under the impression that they conveyed eternal truths.  If Spencer W Kimball and Joseph Smith/God say I should be terrified for the state of my family prospects in my given circumstances due to the conditions of this covenant, I find little foundation to disagree with their conclusions.  If the prophets conclude that you won't receive a chance to accept missing ordinances if you bypass your chance in this life to obtain those saving ordinances, I'm not sure I can argue the point and feel confident in that position. 

And yet Spencer W. Kimball, Joseph Smith (side note: he was quoted in the 2 chapters as well) and so many others have said things over and over that refute the idea that someone in your position has one and only one chance and that you definitely took it. It's all over the scriptures.  All through conference.  

The only way to know for sure if this was your only chance is to ask God if that was the case. 

3 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

In my mind, the bottom line is this - it's not a sin to be missing saving ordinances.  You just won't be eligible for celestial exaltation without them.  That's why the concept of forgiveness does not seem to apply directly to it.  I can repent and receive forgiveness for telling a lie, but I cannot repent and receive forgiveness for missing a saving ordinance.  Hence, my horror at the discovery that I fit the description of someone who "had the chance" in this life.

Regarding my wife's potential reaction to these notions, I'm not sure.  After all, I'll be going to the Christian Hell because I'm the wrong brand of Christian.  In her belief structure, the value of marriage is solely for this life, to facilitate a God-approved context for intimacy and purposes of child-rearing.  Our marriage bears no eternal value to her, unfortunately.  I do agree that the most Christlike thing would be to love her as much as I can. 

Thanks for your time and your thoughts.  I really do appreciate your comforting comments and loving advice.  My prayers are what brought me here, and I've been given much to think and pray about (and read, thanks to your recommendation :) ).    

 

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21 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

I'm an LDS Christian lady married to a non-denominational Christian dude. ...

 

Best wishes to you and your Dude! :D  He must be a great guy to have attracted someone of your caliber! :D;)

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Hi @Fiveofclubs, full-disclosure: I'm an atheist now who grew up in the church and believed until I was forty years old.

I can recognize your pain and it is a subject that I struggled with in my twenties when the brother of my close friend died. He died within the same year of my sister almost dying. At my relatively young age, I was completely disoriented by these events. The feelings of safety and comfort I had in my youth were exposed as illusory when my sister almost died. When I attended the funeral of my friend's brother, there was further pain. He was an inactive member at the time and was living unmarried with his girlfriend. Mourners at the funeral expressed their regret at the state of this young man's soul, as a person who had had the opportunity to continue on in the gospel but had left that path.

I could see their remorse as genuine and based on their gospel testimonies, but I also knew my friend and how much she not only loved her brother but admired him. It did not seem correct that he would be cut off from exaltation forever because of these types of life choices. I struggled with this for several years and pleaded on many occasions for a better understanding. Finally I came to a hopeful conclusion based on my experience with personal revelation. I felt strongly that her brother was in the care of God and would be given every opportunity to continue his eternal progression.

This was consistent with the impressions I felt on the day years previous, when my sister laid dying in the hospital. My two brothers and I were a thousand miles away at BYU and we circled up in prayer for her. At this moment I was deeply impressed that, whatever happened to her body, she would be okay through Christ. 

I think that, despite my changes in belief since these experiences, I can still take valuable lessons from them. I can continue to hope. I can continue to seek goodness. In a world where God may or may not exist, and in a world where there may or may not be a next life, I still believe in hope, and the engine for hope is cleaving to goodness.

Edited by Meadowchik
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You will be granted all the righteous desires of your heart. This is not negated by a mistake that is repented of.  

You will get a chance in the Spirit World to rectify you error.

Edited by mrmarklin
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As I understand it, the decision on which Kingdom we inherit is made after Christ's Millennium Reign on the Earth. (I'm sure that those who are better versed in our principles will correct any errors in this post). During that time Temple work will be done for billions of people and, as part of life in general, people will continue to marry and be married.  Most of the people on the Earth will be there having been resurrected from the Spirit World.  During that time, we will have the opportunity to continue to grow in the Gospel and to learn. And, I believe, to make the covenants not made in this life, eg to get sealed to one's spouse.  No one can say how this new knowledge - of life after death and of Christ - will affect our decisions and actions during the Millennium or affect how the Final Judgement will be applied to any one of us (whether a member now or not).  Personally, I think our actions in the Millennium will have a greater effect on our choice of the Eternal Kingdom than our actions in this life where we live by faith rather than knowledge.  I'm not married and it seems very unlikely I will be in this life!  Friends have told me it can happen during the Millennium. I hope and have faith that it can be, if I want it.   I think that you will be able to be sealed then, if you haven't before.  It may seem like a "get out", a last ditch, but that time period is to be made available to us.  We are told that every blessing will be made available to us and the Atonement of Christ is infinite.  At times, our choices are limited by our circumstances and our knowledge.  The Atonement of Christ provides opportunities in our future to make new choices in the light of new knowledge. The Millennium period is, I believe, a period where we will be able to use our new knowledge to make new choices or make choices we weren't able to make in this life.  All we can do now is try our best to live righteously and try to keep the commandments and the covenants we have made, often failing and starting again! (Which we can do because of the Atonement of Christ). Fiveofclubs, maybe study what has been revealed about the Millennium?  However, we don't always get answers to our questions and dilemmas, at least not always in the way we want or when we want them!  I hope you find peace, if not answers.

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OP, I think you are missing the power of atonement --- your personal best and quick repentance of sin is always enough to make you perfect in Christ.   If I were in your shoes, I'd stop thinking of it as hopeless and make sure I was as perfect an example of discipleship of Christ that I could live (no matter how far from objectively perfect it is and that distance always shortens as we work on things), on the chance that my family might want to accept the gospel in this life.   If Heavenly Father and Jesus can come to earth to talk to mortals, it is a pretty safe bet that anyone who is in the celestial kingdom can spend time with family no matter where they are living as they want/need to.  It is clear that there is nothing in godhood that precludes association with those who do  not have the same glory.

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11 hours ago, sheilauk said:

 I'm not married and it seems very unlikely I will be in this life!  Friends have told me it can happen during the Millennium. I hope and have faith that it can be, if I want it.   I think that you will be able to be sealed then, if you haven't before.  It may seem like a "get out", a last ditch, but that time period is to be made available to us.  We are told that every blessing will be made available to us and the Atonement of Christ is infinite.  At times, our choices are limited by our circumstances and our knowledge.  The Atonement of Christ provides opportunities in our future to make new choices in the light of new knowledge. The Millennium period is, I believe, a period where we will be able to use our new knowledge to make new choices or make choices we weren't able to make in this life.  All we can do now is try our best to live righteously and try to keep the commandments and the covenants we have made, often failing and starting again! (Which we can do because of the Atonement of Christ). Fiveofclubs, maybe study what has been revealed about the Millennium?  However, we don't always get answers to our questions and dilemmas, at least not always in the way we want or when we want them!  I hope you find peace, if not answers.

Numerous Church leaders, including my favorite M. Russell Ballard, have assured us that if we are living the gospel and faithfully keeping our covenants, the blessings of heaven will not be held back from us.  I remember how happy I was when I learned that now women could go to the temple to receive their own endowment... when I was inactive that was not possible but was later changed... so I didn't have to wait and could happily attend the temple even though being married to my dear non-LDS husband.  

GG

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17 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

You will be granted all the righteous desires of your heart. This is not negated by a mistake that is repented of.  

You will get a chance in the Spirit World to rectify you error.

There should not be any connotation of error of anyone's marriage. He did nothing wrong, men who speak for God do the wrong.

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5 hours ago, rpn said:

OP, I think you are missing the power of atonement --- your personal best and quick repentance of sin is always enough to make you perfect in Christ.   If I were in your shoes, I'd stop thinking of it as hopeless and make sure I was as perfect an example of discipleship of Christ that I could live (no matter how far from objectively perfect it is and that distance always shortens as we work on things), on the chance that my family might want to accept the gospel in this life.   If Heavenly Father and Jesus can come to earth to talk to mortals, it is a pretty safe bet that anyone who is in the celestial kingdom can spend time with family no matter where they are living as they want/need to.  It is clear that there is nothing in godhood that precludes association with those who do  not have the same glory.

How could his choice of someone to marry be a sin? This whole conversation would be ludicrous to a non-member, I hope to high heaven that his wife doesn't read this thread, or parts of it. But you can't help what you've been taught. I think it's dangerous, because there are so many affected deeply by the notion that their families won't be with them, so much pain. But I know you mean well.

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38 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

How could his choice of someone to marry be a sin? This whole conversation would be ludicrous to a non-member, I hope to high heaven that his wife doesn't read this thread, or parts of it. But you can't help what you've been taught. I think it's dangerous, because there are so many affected deeply by the notion that their families won't be with them, so much pain. But I know you mean well.

Perhaps I missed it, and, surely, someone who is as dedicated as you are to reading for comprehension, to giving the most charitable reading possible to a poster's words, and so on, could point it out to me: Where did rpn suggest that someone's choice of whom to marry be considered a sin?  Thanks in advance!

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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

There should not be any connotation of error of anyone's marriage. He did nothing wrong, men who speak for God do the wrong.

 

3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

How could his choice of someone to marry be a sin? This whole conversation would be ludicrous to a non-member, I hope to high heaven that his wife doesn't read this thread, or parts of it. But you can't help what you've been taught. I think it's dangerous, because there are so many affected deeply by the notion that their families won't be with them, so much pain. But I know you mean well.

Amen!!

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7 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Perhaps I missed it, and, surely, someone who is as dedicated as you are to reading for comprehension, to giving the most charitable reading possible to a poster's words, and so on, could point it out to me: Where did rpn suggest that someone's choice of whom to marry be considered a sin?  Thanks in advance!

c/p

OP, I think you are missing the power of atonement --- your personal best and quick repentance of sin is always enough to make you perfect in Christ

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Greetings friends, thanks for sharing your varied perspectives on this matter.

Regarding @Tacenda's comments about the "error" or sinful choice of anyone's marriage, I don't believe that the church position that my non-member marriage was a sin.  Through applied logic, if forgiveness and the atonement are the means by which to repent from sin, where does one derive that it can also fix non-sins?  Unless, someone can assert that people can repent from non-sins through the Atonement.  I'm unfamiliar with this having happened before, but I could be mistaken since we so frequently say that "Christ suffered in Gethsemane for our sins."  Also, as an aside regarding the church's position, I do believe that the church recognizes the choice of someone to marry as sinful if it's a same-gender marriage (though, technically, it may be the case that the church simply doesn't "count" same-gender marriages as being recognized marriages due to our definition of what a marriage is).  I'm admittedly a little unfamiliar with the specifics on that issue in regards to church policy, but I seem to recall that we do not uphold it within our membership.  If I'm mistaken about any facet of that, please offer corrections.

Additionally, as you pointed out, if my non-member wife were to read this thread, she would likely find its premises ludicrous, as you suggested.

@Kenngo1969, I'll let @Tacenda confirm the validity of her assessment for herself, but as for how I would come to the same conclusion from that statement is through a premise progression.  It goes like this:  I'm currently living in a state that will make me ineligible for Celestial Glory due to my un-sealed status -> the Atonement offers redemption from sins so as to allow imperfect sinners the opportunity to renew their eligibility for Celestial Glory through repentance -> therefore, application of the Atonement's is how a sinner can receive Celestial Glory.  So, if the Atonement can fix the issue of my un-sealed status as people here claim it can, that must mean that my un-sealed status is a sin.  If the Atonement treats the stains of sin, and it is able treat an un-sealed status, it logically follows that the un-sealed status (and therefore, the marriage that caused it) is a sin.  However, this premise is based on the understanding that the Atonement was implemented to offer repentance for sin, with no mention of it being able to amend non-sin.  If anyone has any examples of how the Atonement has treated non-sin (and, preferably, a scriptural precedent supporting that it can), I would be very interested to see it.

@Meadowchik, thank you for your secular words of hope.  Like you, I believe hope can be pervasive outside the context of religion.  I shall try my best to focus on the hope that surrounds me during my return to church activity.

@Garden Girl:  "Numerous Church leaders, including my favorite M. Russell Ballard, have assured us that if we are living the gospel and faithfully keeping our covenants, the blessings of heaven will not be held back from us"

Correct.  It's a conditional statement predicated on two conditions - 1) living the gospel and 2) faithfully keeping our covenants.  In order to faithfully keep one's covenants, one needs to have those covenants to begin with.  

I think I've failed to explain my regard for covenants accurately.  For the sake of visualization, let's pretend that the engaging in a sealing ordinance for oneself turns his/her eyes into rainbow colors.  Now, let's say that I know of this covenant and its necessity for salvation, but I choose not to do it and eventually die with my unchanged eyes.  Thankfully, we have ordinances for the dead which are supposed to offer me that chance later, right?  Well, according to various scriptural and prophetic sources, if you bypass the chance in this life to do it, you won't be given that second chance in the next.  So, for someone like me, when it comes time for the resurrection, one of the qualifications to be able to apply for Celestial Glory will be to have those rainbow-colored eyes.  Since my eyes will not be rainbow-colored, I can't be permitted to enter, regardless of my penitence in the Spirit World.  I can be sorry all I want, but that won't change the fact that my eyes are not rainbow-colored.  In order for me to dismiss the fear of that outcome, I have to accept that the scriptures and prophets who said I wouldn't have a second chance to gain these covenants in the next life by bypassing them in this one were all wrong.  If history is any teacher, it's generally a bad idea to treat the words of the scriptures and the prophets as wrong.

And now to my friend, @Rain,

"One thing to remember is that your family here IS part of your family after this life.  Whether your wife is your eternal companion in the next life or your sibling since God is our Father she is still a part of that family though the relationships may be vastly different."

Hmm, that's a good point.  Unless we end up in different kingdoms, then we'd be separated even as siblings.  Regardless, let's explore the spirit siblings angle a bit more, shall we?  I'm curious about the mechanics of this notion.  For other un-sealed couples who refuse their sealings, will they recognize each other up in heaven?  Will they remember their relationship from earth?  Will they still feel their love for one another?  If so, wouldn't it pain them (eternally) to know that they will never be able to share that love again?  I'm not sure how this is going to work in the next life, but perhaps you might be able to share what you know about it?  Without a different perspective to explain otherwise, I can't imagine that being spirit siblings will be anywhere near as fulfilling or joyful as being eternal companions.  What are your thoughts on this?

"So since you already got into this marriage then maybe it is time to work on other parts of your self and trust Heavenly Father to guide you on the sealing part."

I agree.

"I think you may be applying a covenant to yourself that does not exist.  The covenant that promises that if you don't get sealed in this life then you don't have exaltation. You can't break a covenant that the Lord has not entered in with you. There is no attachment to non covenants."

I think I might not have explained myself very well.  I didn't mean to imply that the scriptures and prophetic warnings telling me that I won't get a second chance at this were covenants themselves.  These were just stipulations to the sealing covenant.  Rules regarding the covenant, if you will.   God commanded that I get my rainbow eyes, and since I know he commanded me to do it, I'll be held accountable for not getting it done (or not trying to get it done).  It's exactly like you said - "to whom much is given, much is required."  Since I've been "given" the knowledge of God's sealing covenant, and I know that it is a commandment of his for me to get one in this life, I'm "required" to act upon that knowledge before the "night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed."  Unlike someone who never found out about it - they'll be given that chance in the next life.  Hopefully this clears up the misconception as to why I consider myself bound by the stated rules surrounding the covenant even though I haven't entered the covenant itself.

"If your wife should die or the two of you divorce at some time then you "forsake the sin, go and sin no more, "try your best and the Lord will do the rest."

Yes, those are two options of the options I started with (aside from her miraculous conversion).  2 of those options are gambles of chance, 1 is seemingly the only option that shows initiative of action.  I guess that's what faith is, huh?  But, on the other hand, "faith without works is dead" and the Lord has a great regard for sacrifice...

"My personal feeling is that ignoring a spouse's feelings would be when a person was gambling.  "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved" - Thomas S. Monson"

That's a great quote, what a loving gesture!  Thomas S Monson was a great prophet, wasn't he?  Such a humble, caring, and funny guy.  Interestingly, during his 181st General Conference Priesthood Session address, he also said for priestshood holders that "there should be no other option than marrying in the temple", concluding by saying "Be careful, lest you destroy your eligibility to be so married."  

With such abundant forgiveness and second chances in the Spirit World and the Atonement's infinite power, how could it be possible to "destroy [one's] eligibility to be so married?"  It seems that such destruction of eligibility is possible after all (even with the "infinite" Atonement), and one of the conditions that other prophets and scriptures said can destroy one's eligibility is to knowingly bypass the opportunity in this life.  Like you said "To whom much is given, much is required."

"We also believe that those who don't have the chance to do it will have the chance to do it in the next life.  With your/my lack of understanding of this life and the next (we really know nothing about the next life how can you know that you've had your chance?"

If I haven't had my chance yet, that would be great!  Problem solved!  But, I think the more troubling question is - "how can I know that I haven't had my chance?"  If I did have my chance and lost it through my current actions, I'll be very disheartened to learn that I already had my chance when I thought that maybe I didn't really have it yet.  It seems more likely that, since I know it's a commandment and a requirement for exaltation, and I had the chance to marry within the faith, that I knowingly threw that chance away.  I had enough knowledge to be held accountable for it.  In fact, reading back through my Patriarchal Blessing for the first time since I was 14, it explicitly instructs me right in there to find a member and marry her in the temple (I never want to read through it again, unless I'm feeling sadistic and want to see how terribly I screwed up my adolescence, haha).  That's why it seems safer to assume that I did have my chance in this life.  Regarding our lack of true understanding, Neal A Maxwell reaffirmed that we're held accountable regardless of our understanding when he said:  "Of course it isn't fair.  If it was fair, it wouldn't be a trial."

"Yep. Again, where much is given then much is required except where marriage is concerned where the person under a sealing has less responsibility than a person who has never made a covenant about marriage - essentially what you are saying."  

Hopefully I cleared it up previously that I'll simply be held responsible for not getting an eternal sealing because I know I'm supposed to have pursued it.  

"Yes, but even assuming that you dies while in your marriage you have no idea if things will remain the way they are."

You're right.  I don't know if I'll die before my wife.  I don't know if she'll die tomorrow, or we'll both die simultaneously next week, or if a meteor will take our everyone in our metropolitan area.  We live life with great uncertainty and are subject to the whims of fate over which we have little control.  However, for self-determinate decisions like who we marry, it seems likely that we'll be held accountable for the decisions and situations over which we do have control, especially if we had knowledge that it was wrong.  

"Forgiveness DOES make up for missing ordinances.  It is exactly the reason we have temples."

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your statement.  I presume you're referring to the reason we do ordinances for the dead in the temples. right?    In which case, it's my understanding that we do ordinances for the dead to offer those who did not have a first chance in life to accept those ordinances, which is the key distinction.  If you did have your chance and chose not to take it, according to prophets and scripture, you will not be given the opportunity again later.

"But even without temple work, if a person under 8 who dies does not need baptism, if a person who is mentally disabled does not need to go to the temple then obviously there are sometimes when it is ok to have a missing ordinance."

I could be mistaken, but I thought that children under 8 did not need baptism (in life) yet is because they were under the age of accountability - that is to say, their sins do not count against them yet.  Baptism, like all other temple ordinances, are all required for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom, so they'll have to have those done eventually if they want to be eligible for exaltation.  If a child dies at age 6, he would fall under the category of "not having a chance in life" to get his ordinances, so he would be offered that chance in the Spirit World.  The same is said of those with mental disabilities - since ordinances are required for entry into the Celestial Kingdom, they'll have to get those ordinances, most likely through temple work in the next life when they do not have a congnitively-compromising condition.  Everyone will have to get those ordinances to enter into the Celestial Kingdom, including children and those with mental illness in this life.  It's a non-negotiable rule.

"So if you were spiritually disabled at the time you were looking for a wife - maybe God takes account of that?"

I think it would likely be fairer to say that I spiritually-mutilated myself through the choices I made to engage in sin.  I usually think of disabilities as conditions that the host was blameless in acquiring, whereas letting go of the Iron Rod and wandering in the darkness is generally a consequence of agency.  If I hadn't let go of that Iron Rod, I wouldn't have been wandering in darkness at the time I was picking someone to marry.  I don't think it will be of much defense to say "I did that while I was inactive, so it shouldn't count against me" since I'm the one who chose to go inactive (regardless of whether or not that was apparent to me at the time).  I'd like to think that the Lord's mercy could apply to me, but since it's my fault that I'm in this position...well, I don't have much of a leg to stand on.

"The only way to know for sure if this was your only chance is to ask God if that was the case."

This question, among others, is what kickstarted this whole journey.  Sometimes, God answers prayers through other people.  That's what led me here, to other people with other perspectives and insights.  I was hoping I'd have found a quote by Gordon B Hinkley or someone who said something like "Of those who grow to desire a temple sealing, yet are unable to acquire one due to their marriage outside the covenant, the Lord has not abandoned you.  As long as you live a worthy, Christlike life, regardless of whether or not you are able to be sealed in this life, the Lord will provide you an opportunity for eternal marriage in the life to come."  We have countless references regarding the forgiveness offered by the Atonement, but I cannot find the precedent that proves that one can receive forgiveness for something that's not a sin.  Instead, I found multiple definitive statements from prophets and scripture that explicitly tell the fate of those specifically in my situation.

If God speaks through the prophets and the scriptures, and they said that my situation is in eternal jeopardy of missing out on the blessings of exaltation, it would seem he's already given His answer to these notions.  And yet, I stumbled upon a quote from Dallin H Oaks in his 2019 conference address, where he states:

"Trust in the Lord is a familiar and true teaching in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That was Joseph Smith’s teaching when the early Saints experienced severe persecutions and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. That is still the best principle we can use when our efforts to learn or our attempts to find comfort encounter obstacles in matters not yet revealed or not adopted as the official doctrine of the Church.

"That same principle applies to unanswered questions about sealings in the next life or desired readjustments because of events or transgressions in mortality. There is so much we do not know that our only sure reliance is to trust in the Lord and His love for His children."

Upon reading that, it might seem to indicate a potential for "wiggle-room" regarding the definitive statements of scriptures and past prophets, but I can't determine if this applies to me or not.  It's nondescript, and the surrounding context from that talk seems to address those who cannot, despite their will or effort, obtain a sealing in this life due to pre-existing challenges of mortality.  To be frank, I'm not sure I can trust the validity of my own personal revelation on this topic since I'm so emotionally-invested in this topic.  If I felt inspired that God would provide a way to obtain a sealing in the next life (if I live worthy to earn it) regardless of whether my spouse accepts the sealing or not, I'd worry that the answer was confirmation bias and would doubt its validity given that we have un-biased prophets and scriptures that say the opposite.  I don't think I could feel confident that God would reveal new revelation to me that he hasn't revealed to our modern-day prophets yet.  Inversely, if I felt inspired that God confirmed that my one chance is bound to this life...well, I'd be unsettled by what I'd have to do not to waste that chance and would wonder why this abysmal situation is not treated as the tragedy that it is.

That's why I seem to obsess over specific quotes, as they would be the most valid source of refutation to specific quotes in opposition.  I want to believe that the Atonement will be sufficient to help me gain this righteous desire of my heart.  I want to believe that my situation is not as dour as it appears.  But, I've learned that just because something sounds nice and I want it to be true doesn't mean that it is true.  Brad Wilcox gave a talk at BYU titled "My Grace is Sufficient", which told a hopeful message about the Atonement and how judgment day may not be how we tend to think it will be.  He said:

"In the past I had a picture in my mind of what the final judgment would be like, and it went something like this: Jesus standing there with a clipboard and Brad standing on the other side of the room nervously looking at Jesus.

"Jesus checks His clipboard and says, “Oh, shoot, Brad. You missed it by two points.”

"Brad begs Jesus, “Please, check the essay question one more time! There have to be two points you can squeeze out of that essay.” That’s how I always saw it.

"But the older I get, and the more I understand this wonderful plan of redemption, the more I realize that in the final judgment it will not be the unrepentant sinner begging Jesus, “Let me stay.” No, he will probably be saying, “Get me out of here!” Knowing Christ’s character, I believe that if anyone is going to be begging on that occasion, it would probably be Jesus begging the unrepentant sinner, “Please, choose to stay. Please, use my Atonement—not just to be cleansed but to be changed so that you want to stay.”

I find that to be a very hopeful message that resonates with me emotionally.  The entire talk is a treatise on the hope offered by the Atonement (I recommend it to anyone needing a pick-me-up), and I really liked it a lot.  I wanted it to be true...but does that mean that it is true?  Is his view of judgment day doctrinally-sound?  No, or at least not from what our canonized sources seem to indicate.  If I lived my life based on hopeful platitudes such as those shared in this talk, I'd fall short of the requirements for Celestial Glory.  We know that the Atonement alone is not sufficient to get into heaven.  You need those ordinances.  No matter how Jesus might beg of us to use his Atonement, it won't matter without those ordinances.  The Atonement can't change your eyes into rainbow colors, and you need those rainbow-colored eyes to get into heaven.  Those are the rules.

In any case, I really do appreciate all that's been said by the various users of this forum.  I greatly appreciate your time and consideration.  I hope and pray that those of you in part-member families ultimately find that your trust in the Lord pays off.  This issue will not deter my return to the faith, and perhaps I'll grow warmer to the idea of being an un-exalted servant angel with mroe time to ponder on it.  I won't make any rash decisions, rest assured.  

Take care, everyone.

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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

c/p

OP, I think you are missing the power of atonement --- your personal best and quick repentance of sin is always enough to make you perfect in Christ

Fine, but neither the post in question as a whole nor your cut-and-paste indicate that marriage is a sin.  rpn is welcome to clarify, but I believe she is speaking simply of sin and repentance in general.  She's not suggesting that marriage is a sin.

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10 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Perhaps I missed it, and, surely, someone who is as dedicated as you are to reading for comprehension, to giving the most charitable reading possible to a poster's words, and so on, could point it out to me: Where did rpn suggest that someone's choice of whom to marry be considered a sin?  Thanks in advance!

 

3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

c/p

OP, I think you are missing the power of atonement --- your personal best and quick repentance of sin is always enough to make you perfect in Christ

 

3 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Fine, but neither the post in question as a whole nor your cut-and-paste indicate that marriage is a sin.  rpn is welcome to clarify, but I believe she is speaking simply of sin and repentance in general.  She's not suggesting that marriage is a sin.

In any case, I don't have anything more to contribute to the thread, so I think I'll bow out.  Thanks.

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I know I said I would bow out.  I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. :huh::rolleyes::unknw:

Forgive my skepticism.  If it is ill-founded, feel free to upbraid me.  For someone who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you seem to have a very Evangelical take on the Doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ: Yew Marminz [sic] are works-based!  Yew believe in da law!  Yew don't believe in da Atonement!

US:  No, no.  Really.  It really is all, or most all, about God's mercy, and about his Atoning power.  God loves you.  Love your wife.  Do the best you can to keep your other covenants and commitments, and it will all work out in the end.

YOU: Nope!  Sorry!  It's black-letter Latter-day Saint doctrine.  I must be sealed to my wife in this life, or I ... we ... will be damned* forever.

*Using that word as Latter-day Saints use it, in terms of an inability to progress beyond a certain point.

BRAD WILCOX: Yes, God really does know your heart, and, in the end, that's what it all boils down to.

YOU:  Nope!  Sorry! Black-letter Latter-day Saint doctrine ...

And around, and around, and around and around, and around and around and around, and around and around and around and around, we go!  [Please forgive me, but all of this going around and around and around and around and around and around and around ... has me getting nauseated! 🤮

The trustees of Brigham Young University are the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Do you really think they are going to tolerate blatant false doctrine being preached to a student body 30,000 strong from the pulpit of an organ of the Church of Jesus Christ?  Do you think Brother Wilcox's heretical [according to you] views simply ... somehow escaped their notice? :huh::unknw::rolleyes:  Do you really think such "false doctrine" would be allowed to ring in the ears of those 30,000 students without a member of the Twelve, or perhaps even a member of the First Presidency, ascending to that very same pulpit no more than a week later, and saying, in essence (if, hopefully, a little more charitably), "Nope!  Brother Wilcox, God love him and God bless him, but, last week, he got it wrong ..."?]

Here's another question for you: Why do we Latter-day Saints perform proxy ordinances for the dead?  If, Heaven Forbid, your wife were to pass on, the nanosecond you were to qualify for a Temple Recommend, you could take your wife's information to the nearest Temple, and some lovely lady from your ward (or even a lovely lady who's a complete stranger to you, if it came to that) could act as a proxy ... a "stand-in" or "kneel-in" ... for your wife, and you could be sealed to her for time and for all eternity.  You've heard from people in this thread who've done exactly that, and yet, still, you cling tenaciously to that alleged Black-Letter-Latter-day-Saint Doctrine.

What will it take?  A personal visit from President Russell M. Nelson?  A personal visit from the Lord Himself?

Please, by all means, tell me I'm wrong.  In any case, if you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you need to be talking, not to a bunch of mostly-anonymous posters on a message board, but to your bishop ... or if your bishop has given you the sorry-but-your-only-way-out-is-to-convince-your-wife-to-convert-and-to-be-sealed-to-you-or-you-are-both-doomed-or-to-divorce-her-and-be-sealed-to-someone-else line, to your stake president, or if not him, to a member of the Area Presidency, or if not him, to a member of the Twelve, or if not him, to a member of the First Presidency.

I can never remember a time when I've said too little, but, boy, I'd like a dime for every time I've said too much.  I could've retired ago, and this is one of those times!  Now I really am out!  See ya!

 

Edited by Kenngo1969
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@Kenngo1969, not at all!  Feel free to share anything that comes to mind, skeptical or otherwise!  Exposure to differing perspectives can help me moderate my own :).  You brought up a few good points here, hopefully I'll be better understood by explaining my interpretation of them.

"Forgive my skepticism.  If it is ill-founded, feel free to upbraid me.  For someone who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you seem to have a very Evangelical take on the Doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ: Yew Marminz [sic] are works-based!  Yew believe in da law!  Yew don't believe in da Atonement!" 

While, of course, I accept that we believe in the Atonement, I think we are works-based:  Temple works-based.  Temple ordinances are essential for exaltation, otherwise we wouldn't need to do temple work.  I had always assumed that when people claim that Mormons are works-based, they were referring to the fact that our doctrine requires you to get temple ordinances if you want to be eligible for exaltation.  Most other Christian denominations do not believe that there are any asterisks and fine-print behind qualifying for exaltation, but we do.  And, I don't think it's too heretical to suggest that God would expect something like that from his children.

"US:  No, no.  Really.  It really is all, or most all, about God's mercy, and about his Atoning power.  God loves you.  Love your wife.  Do the best you can to keep your other covenants and commitments, and it will all work out in the end.

YOU: Nope!  Sorry!  It's black-letter Latter-day Saint doctrine.  I must be sealed to my wife in this life, or I ... we ... will be damned* forever."

I actually agree with your original statement entirely.  It is mostly all about God's mercy and the power of the Atonement.  However, the factor that makes it "mostly all" about mercy and the Atonement instead of being all about those things are the rules behind temple ordinances.  Furthermore, it's not solely my assertion that it's "black-letter Latter-Day Saint doctrine", it's the stated positions of Spencer W Kimball, Elder Bruce R McConkie, and Joseph Smith dictating direct revelation from God in the Doctrine & Covenants.  If those guys are all saying that this subject is about black-letter Latter-Day Saint doctrine, and I don't have any other sources that refute it in specific terms, I'm not sure how I can be expected to ignore their warnings.

To draw a demonstrative parallel, that would be like me saying "Yeah, I know you keep telling me about this flood, Noah, but it's okay!  Through the power of the Infinite Atonement, I'll be spared."  Spencer W Kimball and the others warned those like me of the flood headed our way that will (as Thomas S Munson put it) "destroy [my] eligibility to be so married."  Am I expected to simply set aside their warnings and assume that they were speaking falsehoods?  My usual default position is that the scriptures and the prophets are speaking divinely-inspired truth, so I try to regard what they say as true.  I'd think future prophets or God himself would have corrected Spencer W Kimball, Bruce R McConkie, and Joseph Smith if they were speaking false doctrines on this matter.  Instead, according to the official, church-published Doctrine & Covenants Study Manual, they validate those comments and use them to uphold the rigid standards that the late prophets and apostles spoke about.  If the church-published Study Manual for the Doctrine & Covenants contained false doctrines, do you suppose the church would let that stand without correction?

"BRAD WILCOX: Yes, God really does know your heart, and, in the end, that's what it all boils down to.

YOU:  Nope!  Sorry! Black-letter Latter-day Saint doctrine ..."

Right, since God requires temple ordinances for exaltation, that means it's about more than the state of your heart.  I think Brother Wilcox was working from the premise that if someone works to form a righteous heart, they will desire righteous things as a result - leading to the acceptance of temple ordinances.  So, in a way, he's technically right.  If you don't even bother to cultivate a heart that desires righteousness, that will likely impact your desires for temple ordinances and gospel principles.  Having a heart that desires righteousness is a great starting point, but it's not the finish line, and that's why I disagreed with his overly-generous view of judgment day proceedings.  Doctrinal disagreements aside, it's a fantastic talk, and I can't recommend enough that people should read or listen to it.

"And around, and around, and around and around, and around and around and around, and around and around and around and around, we go!  [Please forgive me, but all of this going around and around and around and around and around and around and around ... has me getting nauseated! 🤮"

Haha, my apologies.  I had hoped by clarifying my position and attempting to explain my predispositions, it would help those seeking to engage with the ideas and questions an understanding of my analytical framework.  Help to demonstrate where I was coming from, and why I think and see things the way that I do on this subject.  Whenever I restated something, it is usually because I feel that the initial premise had not been addressed or refuted and tried to explain why I felt that way.  Perhaps this simply came across as dizzying repetitiousness however, for which I'm sorry.  

"The trustees of Brigham Young University are the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Do you really think they are going to tolerate blatant false doctrine being preached to a student body 30,000 strong from the pulpit of an organ of the Church of Jesus Christ?  Do you think Brother Wilcox's heretical [according to you] views simply ... somehow escaped their notice? :huh: :unknw: :rolleyes:   Do you really think such "false doctrine" would be allowed to ring in the ears of those 30,000 students without a member of the Twelve, or perhaps even a member of the First Presidency, ascending to that very same pulpit no more than a week later, and saying, in essence (if, hopefully, a little more charitably), "Nope!  Brother Wilcox, God love him and God bless him, but, last week, he got it wrong ..."?]"

In short, yes.  Regarding some of the more offensive or outlandish comments from past prophets and apostles, we say that a church leader's words only "count" as doctrine if they are given to us when the individual is acting as a prophet.  That's why we tend to dismiss some of the problematic claims from the Journals of Discourse, for example - we view those recordings as personal opinions, and not necessarily doctrine.  I could cite a few infamous examples, but I'm confident that you're aware of the concept.  But as for one example specific to BYU and the church's lapsed doctrinal-policing, I refer you once more to Bruce R McConkie's "Seven Deadly Heresies" BYU address.  The church currently owns the copyright for that speech (it's available on BYU's website) and has already edited it to bring it into line with current church doctrine regarding the theory of evolution and a few other points.  However, despite combing over it to correct its doctrinal deviations, every word of Bruce R McConkie's original position regarding temple ordinance availability for people who bypass their chance to obtain them in this life are all there.  

So, that leaves us with one of two possibilities: 

1)  The church does allow BYU speeches from church leaders to contain unanswered false doctrine:  If you all are correct and you believe there is more nuance to second-chance temple work after death for those like me, then you disagree with Bruce R McConkie's stated position on that matter as given in his BYU address.  That means that he was speaking false doctrine on that point, and the church hasn't seen fit to correct that point of false doctrine in the 40 years since it was given.  There's actually an interesting forum about this specific speech and how much of it is doctrinally-accurate, and it seems that most everyone who commented has a different opinion regarding which parts were doctrine and which parts were personal opinion.

Or 2) The church doesn't allow BYU speeches from church leaders to contain unanswered false doctrine.  If you are correct that the church answers doctrinal inconsistencies in BYU addresses from church leaders, the fact that Bruce R McConkie's positions on this matter remain unanswered/unchanged mean that the church is complicit with its doctrinal soundness.  The speech has already been edited once by the church after they obtained the copyright to correct some of its counter-doctrinal claims, but it left the rest unchanged.  By your estimation, that means the church must be in tacit doctrinal alignment with the positions stated therein (as evidenced by our own Study Manual's inclusion of it).  

It's a general position of the church that comments made by church leaders in Stake Conferences, in TV Interviews, in BYU Firesides, personal memoirs, inspirational books, and sometimes even in church-published magazines like the Ensign do not necessarily constitute doctrine.  Instead of engaging in the exhaustive process of combing over every comment that the leadership makes and correcting it all for exact doctrinal accuracy, it's simpler to have a disclaimer in the church that states "The comments expressed by the individuals in authority do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal views of the church" for speaking events outside of General Conference.  It all circles back to "whether the individual was speaking/acting from prophet/apostle mode or not.  Generally, I've been taught to believe that BYU addresses fall under the "personal opinion" section of prophetic wisdom and counsel.  

So, the safest thing to assume (without granting that the church officially upholds McConkie's condemnation of my position as confirmed doctrine) is that the church does not specifically-address every doctrinally-inconsistent point shared by church leaders in BYU speeches.  If you believe they do, then you concede that McConkie's comments are doctrinally-sound, and that means I'm "doomed."

"Here's another question for you: Why do we Latter-day Saints perform proxy ordinances for the dead?  If, Heaven Forbid, your wife were to pass on, the nanosecond you were to qualify for a Temple Recommend, you could take your wife's information to the nearest Temple, and some lovely lady from your ward (or even a lovely lady who's a complete stranger to you, if it came to that) could act as a proxy ... a "stand-in" or "kneel-in" ... for your wife, and you could be sealed to her for time and for all eternity.  You've heard from people in this thread who've done exactly that, and yet, still, you cling tenaciously to that alleged Black-Letter-Latter-day-Saint Doctrine."  

You're absolutely right, my friend.  IF my wife dies before me, I can have her temple work done like you said.  I'm not worried about that possibility, I'd be able to get my ordinance before I die if it happens that way.  My worry is primarily regarding the possibility that I die first (which, statistically speaking, due to my gender and age difference, is very likely).  If I die first, while still married, I'll have missed that window for the sealing to occur.  I hope that I can get her temple work done before I die one way or another.  But if I don't, I don't have sufficient sources to expect that I'll have a second chance in the life to come.

"What will it take?  A personal visit from President Russell M. Nelson?  A personal visit from the Lord Himself?"

Haha, that would be awesome!!  I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to meet President Nelson!  But seriously, to answer your question, I'd need a like-to-like source that claims the opposite.  Since Spencer W Kimball and the others made specific statements regarding my position, I'd need someone of equal rank within the church to specifically refute them.  I posted a hypothetical example above, if Gordon B Hinkley (or someone of similar rank) had said something like "Of those who grow to desire a temple sealing, yet are unable to acquire one yet due to their marriage outside the covenant, the Lord has not abandoned you.  As long as you live a worthy, Christlike life, regardless of whether or not you are able to be sealed in this life, the Lord will provide you an opportunity for eternal marriage in the life to come."  It's specific, it explicitly addresses the fate of those in my shoes as outlined by D&C 132, and it offers further nuance and context of hope compared to previous comments from his predecessors.  I could place confidence in a statement like that to refute the rigid standards spoken of by previous prophets, whereas generic statements about forgiveness don't apply as convincingly (since, as far as I know, you can't receive forgiveness for a non-sin).

"Please, by all means, tell me I'm wrong.  In any case, if you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you need to be talking, not to a bunch of mostly-anonymous posters on a message board, but to your bishop ... or if your bishop has given you the sorry-but-your-only-way-out-is-to-convince-your-wife-to-convert-and-to-be-sealed-to-you-or-you-are-both-doomed-or-to-divorce-her-and-be-sealed-to-someone-else line, to your stake president, or if not him, to a member of the Area Presidency, or if not him, to a member of the Twelve, or if not him, to a member of the First Presidency."

I disagree with some of your conclusions and assertions, as I explained, but I think we're in quite a bit of agreement otherwise :).  Regarding your comments of speaking to church leadership, that would be great!  If only we weren't midway through a pandemic that has kept us from gathering with church members (at least here in my local area), haha.  That aside, the anonymity of the responders here is part of what I was hoping for.  You don't come in with preconceptions about me, my past, my history, or my character.  I thought I would get answers unbiased by past history here, and I'd say that I have done so.  However, I think you do raise a valid point.  Perhaps it is time to escalate the issue to spiritual leadership.  They're very busy, so I hate to take up any of their time unless I've expended my local resources and capability to field the concern on my own, but maybe I've reached that point.  Indeed, I think that will be my next avenue of exploration.

Nonetheless, I really appreciate your comments as well as the comments of everyone else who thought to share them.  Take care, good friend.

 

  

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I cannot consign @Garden Girl and her spouse to the fate that you're suggesting; I cannot consign @juliann and her spouse to the fate that you're suggesting; I cannot consign @Jane_Doe and her Dude to the fate that you're suggesting ... and so on, ad infinitum.  And I return to my original question: If you, along with your interpretation of all of these other brethren, are right, then Why do we even DO Temple work in the first place?  This'll be my last post on the subject.  And the only reason why I threw in any sort of a caveat when speaking about God's mercy is, God, even as powerful and as merciful and as loving (and so on) as He is, cannot overcome someone's will.  He will not exalt someone, or seal a person eternally, to someone else against that person's will.  (Frankly, that's one aspect of the culture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that drives me nuts: We all say, "Ahem, well, yes, it does take two to tango, and all that," and yet there's still a small subset of people in the Church of Jesus Christ who would hold me, and me alone, responsible for my long-term bachelor status in the Church, along with all that such a status ... at least to them ... implies.)

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  It's very clear that you want to persist in your interpretation.  I have no idea why. :huh::unsure:  I don't find it very encouraging, and, in light of the fact that the moment someone's non-member spouse dies, once other ordinances preliminary to the sealing have been performed, s/he then can take the necessary information, along with a suitable stand-in, to the Temple (or, if necessary s/he can even recruit a suitable stand-in at the Temple), to have the ordinance performed, I even find it nonsensical.

But, if, for whatever reason, a nonsensical, discouraging interpretation is what floats your boat, I'll leave you to it.  As I said, this will be my last post in the thread.  I wish you well.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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9 hours ago, Fiveofclubs said:

@Kenngo1969, not at all!  Feel free to share anything that comes to mind, skeptical or otherwise!  Exposure to differing perspectives can help me moderate my own :).  You brought up a few good points here, hopefully I'll be better understood by explaining my interpretation of them.

"Forgive my skepticism.  If it is ill-founded, feel free to upbraid me.  For someone who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you seem to have a very Evangelical take on the Doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ: Yew Marminz [sic] are works-based!  Yew believe in da law!  Yew don't believe in da Atonement!" 

While, of course, I accept that we believe in the Atonement, I think we are works-based:  Temple works-based.  Temple ordinances are essential for exaltation, otherwise we wouldn't need to do temple work.  I had always assumed that when people claim that Mormons are works-based, they were referring to the fact that our doctrine requires you to get temple ordinances if you want to be eligible for exaltation.  Most other Christian denominations do not believe that there are any asterisks and fine-print behind qualifying for exaltation, but we do.  And, I don't think it's too heretical to suggest that God would expect something like that from his children.

"US:  No, no.  Really.  It really is all, or most all, about God's mercy, and about his Atoning power.  God loves you.  Love your wife.  Do the best you can to keep your other covenants and commitments, and it will all work out in the end.

YOU: Nope!  Sorry!  It's black-letter Latter-day Saint doctrine.  I must be sealed to my wife in this life, or I ... we ... will be damned* forever."

I actually agree with your original statement entirely.  It is mostly all about God's mercy and the power of the Atonement.  However, the factor that makes it "mostly all" about mercy and the Atonement instead of being all about those things are the rules behind temple ordinances.  Furthermore, it's not solely my assertion that it's "black-letter Latter-Day Saint doctrine", it's the stated positions of Spencer W Kimball, Elder Bruce R McConkie, and Joseph Smith dictating direct revelation from God in the Doctrine & Covenants.  If those guys are all saying that this subject is about black-letter Latter-Day Saint doctrine, and I don't have any other sources that refute it in specific terms, I'm not sure how I can be expected to ignore their warnings.

To draw a demonstrative parallel, that would be like me saying "Yeah, I know you keep telling me about this flood, Noah, but it's okay!  Through the power of the Infinite Atonement, I'll be spared."  Spencer W Kimball and the others warned those like me of the flood headed our way that will (as Thomas S Munson put it) "destroy [my] eligibility to be so married."  Am I expected to simply set aside their warnings and assume that they were speaking falsehoods?  My usual default position is that the scriptures and the prophets are speaking divinely-inspired truth, so I try to regard what they say as true.  I'd think future prophets or God himself would have corrected Spencer W Kimball, Bruce R McConkie, and Joseph Smith if they were speaking false doctrines on this matter.  Instead, according to the official, church-published Doctrine & Covenants Study Manual, they validate those comments and use them to uphold the rigid standards that the late prophets and apostles spoke about.  If the church-published Study Manual for the Doctrine & Covenants contained false doctrines, do you suppose the church would let that stand without correction?

"BRAD WILCOX: Yes, God really does know your heart, and, in the end, that's what it all boils down to.

YOU:  Nope!  Sorry! Black-letter Latter-day Saint doctrine ..."

Right, since God requires temple ordinances for exaltation, that means it's about more than the state of your heart.  I think Brother Wilcox was working from the premise that if someone works to form a righteous heart, they will desire righteous things as a result - leading to the acceptance of temple ordinances.  So, in a way, he's technically right.  If you don't even bother to cultivate a heart that desires righteousness, that will likely impact your desires for temple ordinances and gospel principles.  Having a heart that desires righteousness is a great starting point, but it's not the finish line, and that's why I disagreed with his overly-generous view of judgment day proceedings.  Doctrinal disagreements aside, it's a fantastic talk, and I can't recommend enough that people should read or listen to it.

"And around, and around, and around and around, and around and around and around, and around and around and around and around, we go!  [Please forgive me, but all of this going around and around and around and around and around and around and around ... has me getting nauseated! 🤮"

Haha, my apologies.  I had hoped by clarifying my position and attempting to explain my predispositions, it would help those seeking to engage with the ideas and questions an understanding of my analytical framework.  Help to demonstrate where I was coming from, and why I think and see things the way that I do on this subject.  Whenever I restated something, it is usually because I feel that the initial premise had not been addressed or refuted and tried to explain why I felt that way.  Perhaps this simply came across as dizzying repetitiousness however, for which I'm sorry.  

"The trustees of Brigham Young University are the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Do you really think they are going to tolerate blatant false doctrine being preached to a student body 30,000 strong from the pulpit of an organ of the Church of Jesus Christ?  Do you think Brother Wilcox's heretical [according to you] views simply ... somehow escaped their notice? :huh: :unknw: :rolleyes:   Do you really think such "false doctrine" would be allowed to ring in the ears of those 30,000 students without a member of the Twelve, or perhaps even a member of the First Presidency, ascending to that very same pulpit no more than a week later, and saying, in essence (if, hopefully, a little more charitably), "Nope!  Brother Wilcox, God love him and God bless him, but, last week, he got it wrong ..."?]"

In short, yes.  Regarding some of the more offensive or outlandish comments from past prophets and apostles, we say that a church leader's words only "count" as doctrine if they are given to us when the individual is acting as a prophet.  That's why we tend to dismiss some of the problematic claims from the Journals of Discourse, for example - we view those recordings as personal opinions, and not necessarily doctrine.  I could cite a few infamous examples, but I'm confident that you're aware of the concept.  But as for one example specific to BYU and the church's lapsed doctrinal-policing, I refer you once more to Bruce R McConkie's "Seven Deadly Heresies" BYU address.  The church currently owns the copyright for that speech (it's available on BYU's website) and has already edited it to bring it into line with current church doctrine regarding the theory of evolution and a few other points.  However, despite combing over it to correct its doctrinal deviations, every word of Bruce R McConkie's original position regarding temple ordinance availability for people who bypass their chance to obtain them in this life are all there.  

So, that leaves us with one of two possibilities: 

1)  The church does allow BYU speeches from church leaders to contain unanswered false doctrine:  If you all are correct and you believe there is more nuance to second-chance temple work after death for those like me, then you disagree with Bruce R McConkie's stated position on that matter as given in his BYU address.  That means that he was speaking false doctrine on that point, and the church hasn't seen fit to correct that point of false doctrine in the 40 years since it was given.  There's actually an interesting forum about this specific speech and how much of it is doctrinally-accurate, and it seems that most everyone who commented has a different opinion regarding which parts were doctrine and which parts were personal opinion.

Or 2) The church doesn't allow BYU speeches from church leaders to contain unanswered false doctrine.  If you are correct that the church answers doctrinal inconsistencies in BYU addresses from church leaders, the fact that Bruce R McConkie's positions on this matter remain unanswered/unchanged mean that the church is complicit with its doctrinal soundness.  The speech has already been edited once by the church after they obtained the copyright to correct some of its counter-doctrinal claims, but it left the rest unchanged.  By your estimation, that means the church must be in tacit doctrinal alignment with the positions stated therein (as evidenced by our own Study Manual's inclusion of it).  

It's a general position of the church that comments made by church leaders in Stake Conferences, in TV Interviews, in BYU Firesides, personal memoirs, inspirational books, and sometimes even in church-published magazines like the Ensign do not necessarily constitute doctrine.  Instead of engaging in the exhaustive process of combing over every comment that the leadership makes and correcting it all for exact doctrinal accuracy, it's simpler to have a disclaimer in the church that states "The comments expressed by the individuals in authority do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal views of the church" for speaking events outside of General Conference.  It all circles back to "whether the individual was speaking/acting from prophet/apostle mode or not.  Generally, I've been taught to believe that BYU addresses fall under the "personal opinion" section of prophetic wisdom and counsel.  

So, the safest thing to assume (without granting that the church officially upholds McConkie's condemnation of my position as confirmed doctrine) is that the church does not specifically-address every doctrinally-inconsistent point shared by church leaders in BYU speeches.  If you believe they do, then you concede that McConkie's comments are doctrinally-sound, and that means I'm "doomed."

"Here's another question for you: Why do we Latter-day Saints perform proxy ordinances for the dead?  If, Heaven Forbid, your wife were to pass on, the nanosecond you were to qualify for a Temple Recommend, you could take your wife's information to the nearest Temple, and some lovely lady from your ward (or even a lovely lady who's a complete stranger to you, if it came to that) could act as a proxy ... a "stand-in" or "kneel-in" ... for your wife, and you could be sealed to her for time and for all eternity.  You've heard from people in this thread who've done exactly that, and yet, still, you cling tenaciously to that alleged Black-Letter-Latter-day-Saint Doctrine."  

You're absolutely right, my friend.  IF my wife dies before me, I can have her temple work done like you said.  I'm not worried about that possibility, I'd be able to get my ordinance before I die if it happens that way.  My worry is primarily regarding the possibility that I die first (which, statistically speaking, due to my gender and age difference, is very likely).  If I die first, while still married, I'll have missed that window for the sealing to occur.  I hope that I can get her temple work done before I die one way or another.  But if I don't, I don't have sufficient sources to expect that I'll have a second chance in the life to come.

"What will it take?  A personal visit from President Russell M. Nelson?  A personal visit from the Lord Himself?"

Haha, that would be awesome!!  I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to meet President Nelson!  But seriously, to answer your question, I'd need a like-to-like source that claims the opposite.  Since Spencer W Kimball and the others made specific statements regarding my position, I'd need someone of equal rank within the church to specifically refute them.  I posted a hypothetical example above, if Gordon B Hinkley (or someone of similar rank) had said something like "Of those who grow to desire a temple sealing, yet are unable to acquire one yet due to their marriage outside the covenant, the Lord has not abandoned you.  As long as you live a worthy, Christlike life, regardless of whether or not you are able to be sealed in this life, the Lord will provide you an opportunity for eternal marriage in the life to come."  It's specific, it explicitly addresses the fate of those in my shoes as outlined by D&C 132, and it offers further nuance and context of hope compared to previous comments from his predecessors.  I could place confidence in a statement like that to refute the rigid standards spoken of by previous prophets, whereas generic statements about forgiveness don't apply as convincingly (since, as far as I know, you can't receive forgiveness for a non-sin).

"Please, by all means, tell me I'm wrong.  In any case, if you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you need to be talking, not to a bunch of mostly-anonymous posters on a message board, but to your bishop ... or if your bishop has given you the sorry-but-your-only-way-out-is-to-convince-your-wife-to-convert-and-to-be-sealed-to-you-or-you-are-both-doomed-or-to-divorce-her-and-be-sealed-to-someone-else line, to your stake president, or if not him, to a member of the Area Presidency, or if not him, to a member of the Twelve, or if not him, to a member of the First Presidency."

I disagree with some of your conclusions and assertions, as I explained, but I think we're in quite a bit of agreement otherwise :).  Regarding your comments of speaking to church leadership, that would be great!  If only we weren't midway through a pandemic that has kept us from gathering with church members (at least here in my local area), haha.  That aside, the anonymity of the responders here is part of what I was hoping for.  You don't come in with preconceptions about me, my past, my history, or my character.  I thought I would get answers unbiased by past history here, and I'd say that I have done so.  However, I think you do raise a valid point.  Perhaps it is time to escalate the issue to spiritual leadership.  They're very busy, so I hate to take up any of their time unless I've expended my local resources and capability to field the concern on my own, but maybe I've reached that point.  Indeed, I think that will be my next avenue of exploration.

Nonetheless, I really appreciate your comments as well as the comments of everyone else who thought to share them.  Take care, good friend.

 

  

You come across as someone unwilling to accept church teachings so that you can justify your desire to leave your wife. 

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On 9/12/2020 at 2:13 AM, Tacenda said:

How could his choice of someone to marry be a sin?

I didn't say or think that.   The atonement covers a lot more than sin.

Edited by rpn
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1 minute ago, rpn said:

I didn't say or think that.

What did you mean by this in your response to fiveofclubs? "OP, I think you are missing the power of atonement --- your personal best and quick repentance of sin is always enough to make you perfect in Christ."

I'm sorry if I misunderstood. Very sorry!

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