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How to answer/address a comment made by my Daughter-in-law


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So I have shared before that of all my 6 kids, we have 4 that want nothing to do with the church, one that has been sealed in the temple, but seem to struggle with activity, WOW, garments, etc. and one couple that talks as if they have a testimony, but have never chosen to attend the temple, or church since being married.  

This weekend, I had the good fortune to spend time with all my kids and have some good conversations.  My DIL, who is the wife in the last couple I mentioned was talking about how she has a 'strong testimony the gospel is true' but doesn't like the 'culture'.  I mentioned we all struggle with various aspects of the culture, and then felt to ask her if they ever saw themselves choosing to be sealed int he temple.  She said she didn't think so - when I asked why, she said it was because she "doesn't feel bad about having chosen to live with André (my son) before they were married."  She said she feels that was the right choice for them, and that because of this, she doesn't think she would be able to get a recommend.  

I know that they are faithful to each other, so chastity is not a current issue, but it got me to thinking - how would a bishop respond if such a young woman came in asking for a recommend, admitted that she lived with her husband before they married, but have now been married for a few years.  Would the issue of regret come up if she didn't bring it up?  What if it did and she said she didn't regret the choice?  I'm glad I am not a bishop. 😉  Of course, I know the mantle and the spirit are with bishops so they are fit for the task.

So, is there any advice I could or should offer my son and DIL?  Should I not follow up on the conversation at all?  It's hard with adult kids to know where to draw the line between being a parent and giving them a wide enough birth to be free-agents and adults.  

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

So I have shared before that of all my 6 kids, we have 4 that want nothing to do with the church, one that has been sealed in the temple, but seem to struggle with activity, WOW, garments, etc. and one couple that talks as if they have a testimony, but have never chosen to attend the temple, or church since being married.  

This weekend, I had the good fortune to spend time with all my kids and have some good conversations.  My DIL, who is the wife in the last couple I mentioned was talking about how she has a 'strong testimony the gospel is true' but doesn't like the 'culture'.  I mentioned we all struggle with various aspects of the culture, and then felt to ask her if they ever saw themselves choosing to be sealed int he temple.  She said she didn't think so - when I asked why, she said it was because she "doesn't feel bad about having chosen to live with André (my son) before they were married."  She said she feels that was the right choice for them, and that because of this, she doesn't think she would be able to get a recommend.  

I know that they are faithful to each other, so chastity is not a current issue, but it got me to thinking - how would a bishop respond if such a young woman came in asking for a recommend, admitted that she lived with her husband before they married, but have now been married for a few years.  Would the issue of regret come up if she didn't bring it up?  What if it did and she said she didn't regret the choice?  I'm glad I am not a bishop. 😉  Of course, I know the mantle and the spirit are with bishops so they are fit for the task.

So, is there any advice I could or should offer my son and DIL?  Should I not follow up on the conversation at all?  It's hard with adult kids to know where to draw the line between being a parent and giving them a wide enough birth to be free-agents and adults.  

 

 

Probably little would be done. Probably no temple recommend though if you say you don’t see anything wrong with it. If they admit it was wrong it would probably come to little or nothing. Depends on bishop and voice of Spirit and all that fun stuff.

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11 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

So I have shared before that of all my 6 kids, we have 4 that want nothing to do with the church, one that has been sealed in the temple, but seem to struggle with activity, WOW, garments, etc. and one couple that talks as if they have a testimony, but have never chosen to attend the temple, or church since being married.  

This weekend, I had the good fortune to spend time with all my kids and have some good conversations.  My DIL, who is the wife in the last couple I mentioned was talking about how she has a 'strong testimony the gospel is true' but doesn't like the 'culture'.  I mentioned we all struggle with various aspects of the culture, and then felt to ask her if they ever saw themselves choosing to be sealed int he temple.  She said she didn't think so - when I asked why, she said it was because she "doesn't feel bad about having chosen to live with André (my son) before they were married."  She said she feels that was the right choice for them, and that because of this, she doesn't think she would be able to get a recommend.  

I know that they are faithful to each other, so chastity is not a current issue, but it got me to thinking - how would a bishop respond if such a young woman came in asking for a recommend, admitted that she lived with her husband before they married, but have now been married for a few years.  Would the issue of regret come up if she didn't bring it up?  What if it did and she said she didn't regret the choice?  I'm glad I am not a bishop. 😉  Of course, I know the mantle and the spirit are with bishops so they are fit for the task.

So, is there any advice I could or should offer my son and DIL?  Should I not follow up on the conversation at all?  It's hard with adult kids to know where to draw the line between being a parent and giving them a wide enough birth to be free-agents and adults.  

 

 

She may not need to mention what happened before she was married.  "Did you have sexual relations with your spouse before you were married" is not one of the questions involved in a temple recommend interview.  It's an over and done with type thing and she has made it right by marrying him, as he did with her.  There is nothing to feel bad about now except for not being able to wait until she was married but now that they are married all in that regard is right now.  

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1 minute ago, bOObOO said:

She may not need to mention what happened before she was married.  "Did you have sexual relations with your spouse before you were married" is not one of the questions involved in a temple recommend interview.  It's an over and done with type thing and she has made it right by marrying him, as he did with her.  There is nothing to feel bad about now except for not being able to wait until she was married but now that they are married all in that regard is right now.  

Here we go……..

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28 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

So I have shared before that of all my 6 kids, we have 4 that want nothing to do with the church, one that has been sealed in the temple, but seem to struggle with activity, WOW, garments, etc. and one couple that talks as if they have a testimony, but have never chosen to attend the temple, or church since being married.  

This weekend, I had the good fortune to spend time with all my kids and have some good conversations.  My DIL, who is the wife in the last couple I mentioned was talking about how she has a 'strong testimony the gospel is true' but doesn't like the 'culture'.  I mentioned we all struggle with various aspects of the culture, and then felt to ask her if they ever saw themselves choosing to be sealed int he temple.  She said she didn't think so - when I asked why, she said it was because she "doesn't feel bad about having chosen to live with André (my son) before they were married."  She said she feels that was the right choice for them, and that because of this, she doesn't think she would be able to get a recommend.  

I know that they are faithful to each other, so chastity is not a current issue, but it got me to thinking - how would a bishop respond if such a young woman came in asking for a recommend, admitted that she lived with her husband before they married, but have now been married for a few years.  Would the issue of regret come up if she didn't bring it up?  What if it did and she said she didn't regret the choice?  I'm glad I am not a bishop. 😉  Of course, I know the mantle and the spirit are with bishops so they are fit for the task.

So, is there any advice I could or should offer my son and DIL?  Should I not follow up on the conversation at all?  It's hard with adult kids to know where to draw the line between being a parent and giving them a wide enough birth to be free-agents and adults.  

 

 

The main problem as I see it is that our best argument should not be that a sealing can best insure we'll be together after this life but rather, a temple sealing potentially puts us in the best space to manage the ongoing challenges that couples face in this life. And the problem with that is, is there evidence of this benefit? Or are the majority of us struggling just as much as those who are not sealed?

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1 minute ago, The Nehor said:

Here we go……..

I say she may not need to mention it because she may feel a need to mention it.  The bishop would likely not ask her about it because he would have no need to bring it up.  So if she did not mention it, the meeting with the bishop would go something like this:

DIL:  Hi, bishop, my husband and I are here to see about getting a temple recommend so that we can be sealed together as husband and wife.

Bishop:  Fantastic!   Well, I know you are married.  Have you been married for at least a year now?  We like to see members attend worship services for at least a year after marriage before they are sealed in a temple. Do you have any children to be sealed?

And then on they would go discussing what else is involved, mentioning a temple prep class and the interview involved before getting a recommend. 

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36 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

So I have shared before that of all my 6 kids, we have 4 that want nothing to do with the church, one that has been sealed in the temple, but seem to struggle with activity, WOW, garments, etc. and one couple that talks as if they have a testimony, but have never chosen to attend the temple, or church since being married.  

This weekend, I had the good fortune to spend time with all my kids and have some good conversations.  My DIL, who is the wife in the last couple I mentioned was talking about how she has a 'strong testimony the gospel is true' but doesn't like the 'culture'.  I mentioned we all struggle with various aspects of the culture, and then felt to ask her if they ever saw themselves choosing to be sealed int he temple.  She said she didn't think so - when I asked why, she said it was because she "doesn't feel bad about having chosen to live with André (my son) before they were married."  She said she feels that was the right choice for them, and that because of this, she doesn't think she would be able to get a recommend.  

I know that they are faithful to each other, so chastity is not a current issue, but it got me to thinking - how would a bishop respond if such a young woman came in asking for a recommend, admitted that she lived with her husband before they married, but have now been married for a few years.  Would the issue of regret come up if she didn't bring it up?  What if it did and she said she didn't regret the choice?  I'm glad I am not a bishop. 😉  Of course, I know the mantle and the spirit are with bishops so they are fit for the task.

So, is there any advice I could or should offer my son and DIL?  Should I not follow up on the conversation at all?  It's hard with adult kids to know where to draw the line between being a parent and giving them a wide enough birth to be free-agents and adults.  

 

 

The former Bishop in me thinks that since she has "repented" by marrying, and it has been a period of time, and now wants to progress and is now living the law of Chastity and has been, she would qualify for a recommend. ( Assuming of course all else is in order- BUT she might be hiding more factors from her FIL.)

That is the real question here.

The other- be careful. Should you be involved in this at all?

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13 minutes ago, Vanguard said:

The main problem as I see it is that our best argument should not be that a sealing can best insure we'll be together after this life but rather, a temple sealing potentially puts us in the best space to manage the ongoing challenges that couples face in this life. And the problem with that is, is there evidence of this benefit? Or are the majority of us struggling just as much as those who are not sealed?

We already make both arguments.

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43 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

So I have shared before that of all my 6 kids, we have 4 that want nothing to do with the church, one that has been sealed in the temple, but seem to struggle with activity, WOW, garments, etc. and one couple that talks as if they have a testimony, but have never chosen to attend the temple, or church since being married.  

This weekend, I had the good fortune to spend time with all my kids and have some good conversations.  My DIL, who is the wife in the last couple I mentioned was talking about how she has a 'strong testimony the gospel is true' but doesn't like the 'culture'.  I mentioned we all struggle with various aspects of the culture, and then felt to ask her if they ever saw themselves choosing to be sealed int he temple.  She said she didn't think so - when I asked why, she said it was because she "doesn't feel bad about having chosen to live with André (my son) before they were married."  She said she feels that was the right choice for them, and that because of this, she doesn't think she would be able to get a recommend.  

I know that they are faithful to each other, so chastity is not a current issue, but it got me to thinking - how would a bishop respond if such a young woman came in asking for a recommend, admitted that she lived with her husband before they married, but have now been married for a few years.  Would the issue of regret come up if she didn't bring it up?  What if it did and she said she didn't regret the choice?  I'm glad I am not a bishop. 😉  Of course, I know the mantle and the spirit are with bishops so they are fit for the task.

So, is there any advice I could or should offer my son and DIL?  Should I not follow up on the conversation at all?  It's hard with adult kids to know where to draw the line between being a parent and giving them a wide enough birth to be free-agents and adults.  

 

 

If you want to maintain a healthy and long lasting relationship with your grown children I would suggest not offering advice unless asked. Especially when it comes to religion & politics. Oh, I forgot, also grilling/Barbecuing, never give advice on how to cook meat for an extended amount of time. 

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1 hour ago, Maestrophil said:

So I have shared before that of all my 6 kids, we have 4 that want nothing to do with the church, one that has been sealed in the temple, but seem to struggle with activity, WOW, garments, etc. and one couple that talks as if they have a testimony, but have never chosen to attend the temple, or church since being married.  

This weekend, I had the good fortune to spend time with all my kids and have some good conversations.  My DIL, who is the wife in the last couple I mentioned was talking about how she has a 'strong testimony the gospel is true' but doesn't like the 'culture'.  I mentioned we all struggle with various aspects of the culture, and then felt to ask her if they ever saw themselves choosing to be sealed int he temple.  She said she didn't think so - when I asked why, she said it was because she "doesn't feel bad about having chosen to live with André (my son) before they were married."  She said she feels that was the right choice for them, and that because of this, she doesn't think she would be able to get a recommend.  

I know that they are faithful to each other, so chastity is not a current issue, but it got me to thinking - how would a bishop respond if such a young woman came in asking for a recommend, admitted that she lived with her husband before they married, but have now been married for a few years.  Would the issue of regret come up if she didn't bring it up?  What if it did and she said she didn't regret the choice?  I'm glad I am not a bishop. 😉  Of course, I know the mantle and the spirit are with bishops so they are fit for the task.

So, is there any advice I could or should offer my son and DIL?  Should I not follow up on the conversation at all?  It's hard with adult kids to know where to draw the line between being a parent and giving them a wide enough birth to be free-agents and adults.  

Before they would even qualify, they would have to become active again and it would be important to commit to staying active, or the sealing is of little to no benefit anyway.  I am guessing they are probably not paying tithing either if they are not active.  That can be a big hurdle for some.  I think activity would naturally lead to a sealing.  Maybe you could host a zoom FHE for any of your kids who want to participate where you all can discuss that weeks come follow me lesson.  Anything to prime the pump of activity can help.  Start small. 

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51 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

It's hard with adult kids to know where to draw the line between being a parent and giving them a wide enough birth to be free-agents and adults.  

VERY hard. Were I the husband here I might say  "DAD we love you, but please stay out of it."

It is very hard to watch your kids go the wrong way, but you cannot live their lives for them.

That is the best thing I ever learned when I was "father" of the ward.

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1 minute ago, Mike Drop said:

If you want to maintain a healthy and long lasting relationship with your grown children I would suggest not offering advice unless asked. Especially when it comes to religion & politics. Oh, I forgot, also grilling/Barbecuing, never give advice on how to cook meat for an extended amount of time. 

You seem to think admonition and criticism are not signs of a healthy and long lasting relationship.  All is good as long as everybody communicates with each other while trying to work out any perceived difficulties.  In truth, it's all easy.  Even taking criticism. 

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53 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

So I have shared before that of all my 6 kids, we have 4 that want nothing to do with the church, one that has been sealed in the temple, but seem to struggle with activity, WOW, garments, etc. and one couple that talks as if they have a testimony, but have never chosen to attend the temple, or church since being married.  

This weekend, I had the good fortune to spend time with all my kids and have some good conversations.  My DIL, who is the wife in the last couple I mentioned was talking about how she has a 'strong testimony the gospel is true' but doesn't like the 'culture'.  I mentioned we all struggle with various aspects of the culture, and then felt to ask her if they ever saw themselves choosing to be sealed int he temple.  She said she didn't think so - when I asked why, she said it was because she "doesn't feel bad about having chosen to live with André (my son) before they were married."  She said she feels that was the right choice for them, and that because of this, she doesn't think she would be able to get a recommend.  

I know that they are faithful to each other, so chastity is not a current issue, but it got me to thinking - how would a bishop respond if such a young woman came in asking for a recommend, admitted that she lived with her husband before they married, but have now been married for a few years.  Would the issue of regret come up if she didn't bring it up?  What if it did and she said she didn't regret the choice?  I'm glad I am not a bishop. 😉  Of course, I know the mantle and the spirit are with bishops so they are fit for the task.

So, is there any advice I could or should offer my son and DIL?  Should I not follow up on the conversation at all?  It's hard with adult kids to know where to draw the line between being a parent and giving them a wide enough birth to be free-agents and adults.  

 

 

Couple thoughts:

- If she feels no guilt for sinning in the past, she is not ready for the temple

- My wife had 5 siblings. All but one has left the church behind. Her SIL is the only one who holds on. She talks a lot about wanting to marry a good man. She goes to church when family is around, and all her kids got baptized. Yet she now has two baby-daddies, and is currently dating a non-member and is having sex with him. This has caused a ton of stress for myself and my wife. It is extremely frustrating and hard seeing her say she wants X and asking for advice to get there… but when push comes to shove, she is doing things that are going to give her Y. And when she gets Y, she gets angry, frustrated, woe is me, and says the mantra “God makes things happen for a reason” as if it wasn’t her fault, but God’s plan. We decided to stop believing that she wants what she is saying. This has helped a lot. Changing our view on what kind of life she really wants has helped us not be so stressed. We stopped giving her advice, we stopped having gospel conversations, and we talk to her like she has the sam goals as her other siblings.

It seems you children that attend church don’t really want what they say they want. Or maybe it’s your interpretation of what they say that is not in alignment with what they want.

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4 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

VERY hard. Were I the husband here I might say  "DAD we love you, but please stay out of it."

It is very hard to watch your kids go the wrong way, but you cannot live their lives for them.

That is the best thing I ever learned when I was "father" of the ward.

A good Dad will not stay out of it, though.  He will know what to say and when to say it even if what he says is not well received. His input is vital, just as much as the input of the good Mom.  You haven't lived well until you get deep into every emotion.

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2 minutes ago, pogi said:

Maybe you could host a zoom FHE for any of your kids who want to participate where you all can discuss that weeks come follow me lesson.  Anything to prime the pump of activity can help. 

His first sentence tells us 4 of the 6 kids want nothing to do with the church. A zoom FHE is probably a terrible idea. If Maestrophil is actually interested in trying to convince his/her children the church and its teachings would be beneficial in their lives, the best thing to do would be to live a happy and positive lifestyle for all 6 children to see. Push absolutely nothing on them. Never bring up any subject about the church unless asked. Shower them with unconditional love and make sure you’re always in a position to answer questions when asked. 

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24 minutes ago, bOObOO said:

A good Dad will not stay out of it, though.  He will know what to say and when to say it even if what he says is not well received. His input is vital, just as much as the input of the good Mom.  You haven't lived well until you get deep into every emotion.

Danger Will Robinson, Danger! 
 

Relationships are built upon the healthy navigation of boundaries. When my family respects my boundaries, I respect theirs. When they interfere with my boundaries I kinda just slowly disassociate myself from them altogether.

Nothing turns ya off from listening to grandma like when she calls to deliver a tongue lashing sermon because (& while) you’re attending your first Pride.

Edited by Canadiandude
We’ve mended things since
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31 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

We already make both arguments.

Mine is a case of best argument - not whether either is already being made. For someone who struggles in the way that has been presented, arguing that they need to be sealed in order to be together forever many times is not a convincing argument in the least. IMO the better argument is how much a benefit a temple sealing can be in this life. And again, how well are we faring as compared to those who are not sealed?

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46 minutes ago, Mike Drop said:

His first sentence tells us 4 of the 6 kids want nothing to do with the church. A zoom FHE is probably a terrible idea. If Maestrophil is actually interested in trying to convince his/her children the church and its teachings would be beneficial in their lives, the best thing to do would be to live a happy and positive lifestyle for all 6 children to see. Push absolutely nothing on them. Never bring up any subject about the church unless asked. Shower them with unconditional love and make sure you’re always in a position to answer questions when asked. 

You are entitled to your opinion, but I don't believe that hosting a zoom FHE and inviting all of your children - letting them know that anyone is welcome to attend pressure free - is not a "terrible idea".  I completely disagree that silence is best.  One must be careful not to be overbearing, but unless they specifically say "never talk to me about the church again", we need not hide the gospel under a rock.  We shouldn't feel ashamed or afraid to express an important part of who we are.  That is important in open healthy relationships, even if we disagree with each others beliefs.  Let the spirit guide in how to approach open and healthy dialogue.   

Even if 2 out of the 6 attend, or even 1 out of the 6, it would be worth it.  The others might join purely for the opportunity to connect with the family weekly.  My parents do this.  While most of the kids are active, my little sis doesn't want anything to do with the church either.  She attends every week.  We use it as an opportunity to keep up with everyone.

Edited by pogi
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#1 - Nothing is beyond the reach of the atonement.  She and her husband can qualify for a temple recommend and sealing.

#2 - A broken heart and a contrite spirit is necessary.

#3 - It is okay for her to believe that living together was best for her, but that doesn't mean there is no need for repentance.  We all learn differently.

#4 - Trust in the bishop's keys as a judge in Israel and follow his direction in humility and it will all work out well.

#5 - If she doesn't want your input, this may have to wait until she is ready.

Edited by T-Shirt
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Wow!  Thanks for all the great thoughts - I don't have the time to respond to each idea one by one, but have read them all and have a lot to think about.  

As far as the subject coming up in a recommend interview if she ever has one, I was thinking of "are there any other serious transgressions that should have been resolved but weren't" type question.  I suppose she could say 'no' and that's that.  But if someone were honest and said - I did such-and-such, but I don't feel bad - is that a non-starter?  Is regret part of 'forking' or is just not doing it forsaking?

 

 

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52 minutes ago, pogi said:

silence is best

I never said be silent. In fact, just the opposite. The way we live our lives everyday can speak volumes about the gospel without ever having to actually have a discussion. I’m saying live loud and proud! Let the gospel shine. Soon or a later, if they’re actually interested in why you seem so happy and content, you can tell them how the gospel has helped you understand why we are here. It’s been my experience that trying to push or persuade someone you love into believing the gospel never works. Trust the gospel and you’ll speak volumes through your actions.

 

Gordon B Hinckley said, “ The lives of our people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore the symbol of our worship.”

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54 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

Wow!  Thanks for all the great thoughts - I don't have the time to respond to each idea one by one, but have read them all and have a lot to think about.  

As far as the subject coming up in a recommend interview if she ever has one, I was thinking of "are there any other serious transgressions that should have been resolved but weren't" type question.  I suppose she could say 'no' and that's that.  But if someone were honest and said - I did such-and-such, but I don't feel bad - is that a non-starter?  Is regret part of 'forking' or is just not doing it forsaking?

 

 

Generally you have to at least acknowledge it was a sin but that would be the call of the bishop and God. 

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14 minutes ago, Mike Drop said:

I never said be silent. In fact, just the opposite. The way we live our lives everyday can speak volumes about the gospel without ever having to actually have a discussion. I’m saying live loud and proud! Let the gospel shine. Soon or a later, if they’re actually interested in why you seem so happy and content, you can tell them how the gospel has helped you understand why we are here. It’s been my experience that trying to push or persuade someone you love into believing the gospel never works. Trust the gospel and you’ll speak volumes through your actions.

 

Gordon B Hinckley said, “ The lives of our people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore the symbol of our worship.”

This is why I hesitate to share the gospel.

”You can be like me!”
(nervous chuckle as they back away slowly looking for a way to run)

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1 hour ago, Vanguard said:

Mine is a case of best argument - not whether either is already being made. For someone who struggles in the way that has been presented, arguing that they need to be sealed in order to be together forever many times is not a convincing argument in the least. IMO the better argument is how much a benefit a temple sealing can be in this life. And again, how well are we faring as compared to those who are not sealed?

IMO the other argument is better.

Last I read we are doing better than average but not as good as we’d like.

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