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Divorce - changing viewpoints


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18 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

With some temerity , may I suggest that all covenants entered into here are subject to worthiness and also require being " sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise " before they are eternally in force. That should help with the divorce problem. 

I would suggest that there are many divorced couples who are otherwise completely worthy in every other way.  In which case the divorce has no justification for breaking of the covenant or prohibition being confirmed in the eternities by the Holy Spirit of Promise.  No justification other than the law of agency.  God will always allow us to choose our path, but I don't think he will allow covenants to be discarded that were never broken.

Edited by JLHPROF
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1 minute ago, Ahab said:

Who do you mean by "we" ?  I would.  Wouldn't you?

When a man and woman are sealed as husband and wife together that means they are bound/sealed to each other as husband and wife forever, according to God and God's authority and God's law. 

So to get out of it they would need God or people with God's authority to get them out of it.  People without God's authority would have no power to do it, either way, either to get them into it or to get them out of it.

Is this not as clear as crystal to you now, already?

 

By we I mean the general body of the Church.  Do you not have any divorced members who have remarried civilly but not been resealed in your circle of acquaintances?

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5 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

By we I mean the general body of the Church. 

Members of the Church believe all kinds of things, right or wrong.  We are not all united in our opinions.

5 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Do you not have any divorced members who have remarried civilly but not been resealed in your circle of acquaintances?

My answer applies to the issue at hand regardless of personal applications.  Men and women who are sealed together as husband and wife are still husband and wife after a civil divorce if they are still sealed to each other as husband and wife.

Do you not know or not understand what adultery is?

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5 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Members of the Church believe all kinds of things, right or wrong.  We are not all united in our opinions.

My answer applies to the issue at hand regardless of personal applications.  Men and women who are sealed together as husband and wife are still husband and wife after a civil divorce if they are still sealed to each other as husband and wife.

Do you not know or not understand what adultery is?

I'm not disagreeing with you.  I am however positing that the views of the general Church membership may not match you on this (or many other issues ;) ).

I think civil divorce today is often seen as being effective in cancelling a sealing due to the agency principle.  I may be wrong.
But I agree with you.  Unless a cancellation happens or a covenant is broken by sin they are still husband and wife and remarriage is adultery.

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1 minute ago, JLHPROF said:

I'm not disagreeing with you.  I am however positing that the views of the general Church membership may not match you on this (or many other issues ;) ).

Yeah I'm already well aware of that, and that is what I was saying.  We are not all united in our opinions or beliefs and the "views of the general Church membership" cover a very wide range of beliefs and opinions. 

1 minute ago, JLHPROF said:

I think civil divorce today is often seen as being effective in cancelling a sealing due to the agency principle.  I may be wrong.

Whoever thinks that is wrong because that is not how it works.  When a man and woman are sealed to each other as husband and wife that means they are sealed to each other as husband and wife forever or until God annuls that sealing, if he ever does.

They can't just decide for themselves that they are no longer married or sealed to each other.  They need to petition someone else to undo what was done when they got stuck together as husband and wife.  Someone with the power to undo, as well as do it.

1 minute ago, JLHPROF said:

But I agree with you.  Unless a cancellation happens or a covenant is broken by sin they are still husband and wife and remarriage is adultery.

It depends on what you mean by remarriage, I think.  A man may have more than one wife without committing adultery.  And a woman can have more than one husband, in her history, without committing adultery, too.

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On 3/3/2021 at 3:21 PM, JLHPROF said:

I am looking at the doctrinal teachings available on the principle and how the view of divorce has changed among members over the years.

Some additional Brigham Young quotes on divorce:

Quote

G.A.S. called on the Prest. Bishop Callister was present, to make application for a divorce in behalf of Nicholas Groosbeck from his second wife. 

Prest. Young said that when a man marries a wife he took her for better or for worse, and had no right to ill use her, and if she **** in bed and laid in it until noon, he must bare it, until he gets power over her to learn her better; and that a man that would mistreat a woman in order to get her to leave him would find himself in the worlds to come alone. 

He said he knew of no law to give a man a divorce. He had told the brethren that if they would make him break the law they should pay for it. But he did not want them to come to him for divorce. It was not right. He appealed to G.A.S. if he was not right. G.A.S. said “Prest Young it is with you as it was with Moses. There is no law authorizing divorce, but through the hardning of the hearts of the people, you are obliged to permit it.” 

https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets?id=d824e940-ef09-4475-8802-d4e9920109a2&crate=0&index=16

 

Edited by Nevo
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On 3/3/2021 at 9:12 PM, JLHPROF said:

I'm sure you're right.  But I've been reading about marriage in the early Utah period and there were plenty of divorces then.  So many Brigham threatened to quit sealing.  If anything women had more divorce rights in the Church at that time.  The question is how do we justify our increased comfort with it from a gospel perspective?

If there were a lot back then can we really say we are growing increasingly comfortable.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/3/2021 at 5:02 PM, JLHPROF said:

Yes, that would be a changing viewpoint.  I can see how divorce would be preferable to a lot of marriage situations.
But can we provide any gospel or doctrinal support for it?  Is there anything in scripture or revelation to back that up?

 

There is no doctrinal support for divorce beyond adultery. The Savior made that clear in Matt 5:31. But, the Pharisees and others had concocted their own way around the word of God, as they had done for a thousand years, just to continue to feel "justified" (righteous) in their sin. They wanted to get a divorce for any reason. 

At the root of divorce there is ALWAYS sin. And, unfortunately, we are ALL acquainted with sin in one way or another, be it sexual immorality or selfishness. The saints have been swallowed up by the world; the sins of the world, the pride and lusts of the world and thus the selfishness that is driven by sin is also made evident by the rate of divorced in the Church.

So we are infected and continue to absorbe the value system of the world with total disregard for the eternal implications. The Law of God has not changed not will it ever change, and that is what Jesus pointed out. . They dragged God down to their social imperatives, they invented their own code of ethics, and He unmasks them, and then to make it worse they misinterpreted the Bible to fit their own view. Which is what anybody does who wants to do that, you make up your own view and you find a verse to go with it. And it's exactly what they did, they decided that any one ought to be able to dump his wife (or husband) whenever they want. You ought to be able to have a divorce whenever you "can't live with him/her", and so they just twisted around the Scripture to fit that. And the Scripture they twisted around was Deuteronomy 24:1 to 4.

God never intended for divorce to happen. He made them "and they shall be one flesh". What happens is that many, regardless of their verbal claims to faith, do not really understand the word of God and His intent for marriage; temporal and spiritual. They are driven by the flesh rather than the Spirit. So when the going gets tough, they bail. And that has no justification in scripture. Realize that, even after adultery, there is a good chance to salvage the marriage if they are both humble, repentant and willing. And for that there is support 1n the Bible.

Rest assure, God does not bend to social mores and values, regardless of the age.

 

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Do you think one of the contributing factors of divorce is the Mormon cultural influence to early young and without really knowing the person they are marrying?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/21/2021 at 12:43 PM, JLHPROF said:

Regardless of whether I agree with you on divorce one day your black and white approach to the gospel is going to bite you in the backside.  The older I get and the more I study the gospel the more I realize God isn't as black and white as I thought in my youth.

"Our Heavenly Father is more liberal in his views, and boundless in his mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive.". Joseph Smith

The 19th century definition of "liberal" was: “generosity” and “bounteousness.” Absolutely nothing to do with the modern definition.

An almost constant error of modern Christianity is the belief that somehow God has to accommodate our whims and desires. That is the origin of the prosperity gospel that so much has infected the Church. It has turned God into a valet or gene that lives to serve our wants and needs. But this is what God says about our hearts: Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Romans 1:21 - "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." Romans 8:7 - "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot."

We continue to indulge and all kinds of evil disobedience while attempting to find justification in social and cultural mores and values. We have legislated wickedness and some, even in the Church, have been swept by the ways of the world;  "having the appearance of godliness" and outwardly claiming to know God. The fact is that at the end, the Lord will reaffirm what He has always said. And of what He spoke 2000 years ago not one dot has He changed when it comes to His moral law.

The alleged "flexibility" of God first, it can not be supported in scripture, and second: it is always a pretense to accommodate sin. It always has been. 

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On 3/21/2021 at 12:55 PM, Islander said:

There is no doctrinal support for divorce beyond adultery. The Savior made that clear in Matt 5:31. But, the Pharisees and others had concocted their own way around the word of God, as they had done for a thousand years, just to continue to feel "justified" (righteous) in their sin. They wanted to get a divorce for any reason. 

This is just silly. Of course there was. The Pharisees were using the Torah and even Jesus allowed that Moses allowed divorce for other reasons. It was because of their weakness but the idea that the Pharisees made something up to justify it is ludicrous.

When I woke up this morning I did not think I would end up defending Pharisees. What a strange day.

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On 3/21/2021 at 1:33 PM, 2BizE said:

Do you think one of the contributing factors of divorce is the Mormon cultural influence to early young and without really knowing the person they are marrying?

Yes. 

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On 3/30/2021 at 9:29 AM, JLHPROF said:

That doesn't change the meaning of the quote.
God will be more "generous" in his views, and boundless in his mercies and blessings still teaches us that unlike you God may be more forgiving and more patient than your hardline approach would allow.
Yes, divorce is wrong except in extreme circumstances.  No, I don't believe a civil divorce has ANY effect on eternal sealing any more than a civil marriage does.
And yes, sometimes I think we as members violate temple covenants when we divorce/remarry.
But God lets us make our own journey through life and will give every opportunity to change course, learn from our mistakes, and restore our covenants - seventy times seven or more times.

You are reading into the scripture what you want to accommodate your philosophical position. God can not look upon sin with ANY degree of allowance. Forgiveness and grace can not be an excuse to sin. It has been tried before. All it does is lulls you into a false sense of security. Some people profess to know the Gospel and go through the motions of the outward performances but their daily life does not evidence that they KNOW Christ and are really, truly His. 

What I am attempting to express is that people sin, and "move on" convinced it is all well. On that day they will cry and: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matt 7:22-23. Sure they went through the ritual, motion, liturgy and pretense. But what they did and how they lived outwardly says noting about who they really were. But the Lord knows what was in their hearts. And there was no real relationship with Him, no true change of heart. They lived convinced all was well in Zion; all forgotten, all forgiven; business as usual.

In the case of infidelity (which often leads to divorce), a truly repentant man (or woman) bows him/herself low before God and Maker, pleads for grace and forgiveness from Him for breaking an oath and holly covenant. And them pleads for an opportunity to bring forth fruit meet for repentance to his/her family for the deep wounds, the chaos, the trampled trust and the offense and shame that has come in the aftermath of such transgression. What most ignore is that there is no true forgiveness without true repentance, restoration and restitution. But that takes time, energy, resources and especially humility that many lack. They rather divorce and marry the object of their transgression and "make their own journey". The passage in Hosea 3:1 is the perfect illustration. It rather serves as a parable as well. The Lord took back Israel after her many transgression because He had sworn a covenant and He meant to uphold it.

In sum, we are free to do as we please and believe as it better suits our fancy. But, the Lord has spoken.

 

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On 3/21/2021 at 1:33 PM, 2BizE said:

Do you think one of the contributing factors of divorce is the Mormon cultural influence to early young and without really knowing the person they are marrying?

No. People divorce today because it is easy and they are selfish. There is no longer a stigma associated with divorce (no long ago it was seen as a huge moral failure) and socially is acceptable, even in the Church. In decades past people dated (celibate) for a few months and married. Long courtship was always a shield for other complexities. The world its ways has swalloped up many in the Church. Divorce is just one aspect of this malady.

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7 minutes ago, Islander said:

No. People divorce today because it is easy and they are selfish. There is no longer a stigma associated with divorce (no long ago it was seen as a huge moral failure) and socially is acceptable, even in the Church. In decades past people dated (celibate) for a few months and married. Long courtship was always a shield for other complexities. The world its ways has swalloped up many in the Church. Divorce is just one aspect of this malady.

I used to think this way.  Now I see that while this is true for some, that I know so very little about anything and that I’m grateful divorce is an option for those who really need it. 

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21 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

I used to think this way.  Now I see that while this is true for some, that I know so very little about anything and that I’m grateful divorce is an option for those who really need it. 

Who need divorce? Like I mentioned before, adultery marks the high note when comes to reasons to dissolve a marriage. I grant you that abuse, addiction or abandonment are grounds for separation as to protect the innocent from potential harm and to allow for the "offender" to repent, seek help, counsel and attempt to heal the relationship. Because, again, even under those circumstances it is possible to heal a marriage if both parties are willing. I have witnesses many times; primarily in other Christian couples/families that are not members of the church necessarily. 

At the end, the decision to end the marriage is ALWAYS about how one (or both) spouses "feel". It is a decision based on selfish reasons, for the most part. Be it that lust hast made a home in someone's heart or the wounded party not being willing to forgive. Rebuilding a struggling marriage takes lots of energy, dedication, resources, humility and FAITH that many simply do not have or are not willing to invest. It is easier to just "move on". And of course, divorce, being a very socially acceptable and much easier "option" than the grueling work required to restore the relationship, many opt for it. 

Many, even within the true Church of the Lord, no longer believe and hold fast to His word. They have bought the counterfeited version of "love" that the world sells and promote. And that "love" can die, is driven by self-interest, comfort and it completely averse to pain. Thus when the going gets tough it just takes a tangent; the path of least resistance aka divorce. 

But, I know that many will refuse to be confused by the facts. They already made up their minds. But God's truth stands.

 

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On 3/4/2021 at 1:21 AM, JLHPROF said:

I know there are many members on this board who have probably experienced divorce.  My parents divorced, I hope I never have to face that.  Many of the leaders of the Church have also had spouses leave and issued divorces including most of the early prophets.
But another thread just got me thinking about our ongoing attitude change in the Church.

 

I think that when a couple are married in the temple and then experience problems and misery in their marriage, a divorce is probably a good thing. I don't think that the temple marriage would be valid between two people who are miserable. Why be miserable in the eternities? I think that couples who are miserable with each other need to divorce for the children's sake. No child wants to see mom and dad arguing. and unhappy with each other. Children want to see their parents peaceful.

One problem with divorce is the bitterness. And this causes problems. But when there is not bitterness and the parents can have a good relationship after divorce is wonderful for all.

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