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Funeral questions


Rain

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The church handbook says:

"If a member of the stake presidency, an Area Seventy in his area, or a General Authority attends the funeral, he presides. The person conducting consults him in advance and recognizes him during the service."

Why does he need to be recognized at a funeral?

"Where possible, deceased members who were endowed should be buried or cremated in temple clothing."

The clothing is going to burn or rot away.  Why does it matter that the person is in temple clothes?

"If the grave will be dedicated, he consults with the family and asks a Melchizedek Priesthood holder to perform the dedication. Instructions are provided in 18.16. If the family prefers, a graveside prayer can be offered instead."

Why would someone want a dedication over a prayer?
                    

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Because in a church funeral the presiding person is in charge. By recognized they mean the standard blurb about “President Whatsisface is presiding and I have been asked to conduct this meeting.”

 

If the corpse does not have temple clothing on the person’s spirit will be dumped into hell. It is only preferred because eventually they will fix the paperwork and move the soul over but it prevents a bit of torment and is less work for the bureaucrats on the other side.

 

Some people prefer a dedicatory prayer over a graveside prayer.

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7 hours ago, Rain said:

The church handbook says:

"If a member of the stake presidency, an Area Seventy in his area, or a General Authority attends the funeral, he presides. The person conducting consults him in advance and recognizes him during the service."

Why does he need to be recognized at a funeral?

"Where possible, deceased members who were endowed should be buried or cremated in temple clothing."

The clothing is going to burn or rot away.  Why does it matter that the person is in temple clothes?

"If the grave will be dedicated, he consults with the family and asks a Melchizedek Priesthood holder to perform the dedication. Instructions are provided in 18.16. If the family prefers, a graveside prayer can be offered instead."

Why would someone want a dedication over a prayer?
                    

 

1. I disagree that the presiding authority should be "recognized".  Funerals are family affairs, not Church ones, even when ordinances are involved.  I suppose if it's in a chapel then it's a bit more appropriate - they do preside in Church meetings.
2. Dressing for the afterlife has been a part of numerous religions.  I wouldn't want to be buried in anything else - what better to wear?
3. A dedication is a prayer of protection and dedication of the person's final resting place sealed by priesthood authority and therefore binding.  That's like saying why would someone want a priesthood blessing when sick?
 

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7 hours ago, Rain said:

The church handbook says:

"If a member of the stake presidency, an Area Seventy in his area, or a General Authority attends the funeral, he presides. The person conducting consults him in advance and recognizes him during the service."

Why does he need to be recognized at a funeral?

"Where possible, deceased members who were endowed should be buried or cremated in temple clothing."

The clothing is going to burn or rot away.  Why does it matter that the person is in temple clothes?

"If the grave will be dedicated, he consults with the family and asks a Melchizedek Priesthood holder to perform the dedication. Instructions are provided in 18.16. If the family prefers, a graveside prayer can be offered instead."

Why would someone want a dedication over a prayer?
                    

Personally, I don’t like funerals being used as ‘missionary’ opportunities. Some presiding, at times, go overboard on the plan of salvation talk. I let the presiding authority at my moms funeral know, my moms sister would cover it and it would be helpful if he talked very little. All the talks discussed my moms great faith in the gospel. 
 

My brother was still irritated he spoke at all even though he did take a very sensitive approach. It was also irritating he had to approve the song, with lyrics by my mom, the grandchildren sang. He read every word and seemed hesitant but did approve it. 
 

If you want to plan the service yourself without needing approval for everything and without a plan of salvation talk, it might be best to have the service at the funeral home. 
 

We are not alone in these type of things though. Many faiths have rules for funerals.
 


 

 

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

 

1. I disagree that the presiding authority should be "recognized".  Funerals are family affairs, not Church ones, even when ordinances are involved.  I suppose if it's in a chapel then it's a bit more appropriate - they do preside in Church meetings.
2. Dressing for the afterlife has been a part of numerous religions.  I wouldn't want to be buried in anything else - what better to wear?
3. A dedication is a prayer of protection and dedication of the person's final resting place sealed by priesthood authority and therefore binding.  That's like saying why would someone want a priesthood blessing when sick?
 

1. If they want it to be a purely family event they can. Just don’t expect to use the church building for it.

2. I want to be dressed to go surfing as soon as I am resurrected.

3. Pretty much agree.

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I think its productive to share our reason for the hope that is in us. A comfort at that time of death with children and unbelievers to talk about some of our beliefs about immortality.

Maybe it should be said in passing, rather than a full talk. Maybe they should be talking about the life of the departed,  with a conclusion of the confidence that they will be seen again.

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I struggle with this one, because I've been in family funerals where the person hadn't been active in decades, with very little active family (but who still considered themselves to be members) and the bishops always used it as an opportunity to teach a really long sermon on our beliefs and it NEVER went over well.  The people where there to mourn and the person and be with family.  Not take the investigator lessons all at once in a 45 minute 'final talk".

I get that when a funeral happens in the chapel then the presiding authority is in charge but I struggle with using someone's funeral as a way to force people (people mourning a loss) to learn about our religion.  It just comes off as tacky more times than not.

Yep. I have a mixed faith family and it makes things tricky.

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4 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

 

1. I disagree that the presiding authority should be "recognized".  Funerals are family affairs, not Church ones, even when ordinances are involved.  I suppose if it's in a chapel then it's a bit more appropriate - they do preside in Church meetings.

If I remember right that was only talking about in a church house.  I get the authority thing and that is why the bishop or one of his counselors conducts.  It just struck me as a little odd to recognize higher authorities at a funeral (unless maybe if one speaks). I just didn't understand a real reason for it.

4 hours ago, JLHPROF said:


2. Dressing for the afterlife has been a part of numerous religions.  I wouldn't want to be buried in anything else - what better to wear?

 

 

I get people wanting to wear their temple clothes. I just don't understand a reason the church would direct people to do it when it's not like the clothes will still be there years down the road.

4 hours ago, JLHPROF said:


3. A dedication is a prayer of protection and dedication of the person's final resting place sealed by priesthood authority and therefore binding.  That's like saying why would someone want a priesthood blessing when sick?
 

I'm not asking why someone would want one, but what is there about it that it would mean more than a prayer?

Would you explain a little more about what you feel it does, how it protects etc please?

Edited by Rain
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12 hours ago, Rain said:

The church handbook says:

"If a member of the stake presidency, an Area Seventy in his area, or a General Authority attends the funeral, he presides. The person conducting consults him in advance and recognizes him during the service."

I'm pretty sure this applies only when a funeral service is in one of our Church buildings, not in any Presbyterian or Methodist or whatever other church it-may-be building, or at the cemetery, or non-church funeral building.

12 hours ago, Rain said:

Why does he need to be recognized at a funeral?

Just a general announcement to let everyone there know who is the head pastor in our Church building at that time.  

12 hours ago, Rain said:

"Where possible, deceased members who were endowed should be buried or cremated in temple clothing."

The clothing is going to burn or rot away.  Why does it matter that the person is in temple clothes?

It's just something we do.  Like wearing our best dress-up clothes on Sunday.  Just something we do as a show of respect.  In this case the last clothes we will choose to wear or have put on us before we leave to meet our maker.

12 hours ago, Rain said:

"If the grave will be dedicated, he consults with the family and asks a Melchizedek Priesthood holder to perform the dedication. Instructions are provided in 18.16. If the family prefers, a graveside prayer can be offered instead."

Why would someone want a dedication over a prayer?
                    

I want both a dedication of the ground in which I am buried and a prayer for however much it might help me to have a more peaceful rest while I wait to be resurrected.  Other people's reasons may vary. 

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12 hours ago, Rain said:

The church handbook says:

"If a member of the stake presidency, an Area Seventy in his area, or a General Authority attends the funeral, he presides. The person conducting consults him in advance and recognizes him during the service."

Why does he need to be recognized at a funeral?

"Where possible, deceased members who were endowed should be buried or cremated in temple clothing."

The clothing is going to burn or rot away.  Why does it matter that the person is in temple clothes?

"If the grave will be dedicated, he consults with the family and asks a Melchizedek Priesthood holder to perform the dedication. Instructions are provided in 18.16. If the family prefers, a graveside prayer can be offered instead."

Why would someone want a dedication over a prayer?
                    

He needs to be recognized so they don't bury the wrong person.

Clothing: Clothing optional funerals are frowned upon by he health department.

Dedication (to the one we love): Some people like their favorite Top 40 tune playing in the background.

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

If I remember right that was only talking about in a church house.  I get the authority thing and that is why the bishop or one of his counselors conducts.  It just struck me as a little odd to recognize higher authorities at a funeral (unless maybe if one speaks). I just didn't understand a real reason for it.

Honestly, I don't care either way as long as the focus is on the family and the deceased, not on the Church itself.  It's not a missionary meeting.

Quote

I get people wanting to wear their temple clothes. I just don't understand a reason the church would direct people to do it when it's not like the clothes will still be there years down the road.

It's symbolic of their faithful keeping of temple covenants when passing through the veil.  Much of the endowment teaches us how to pass through the veil, pass by the sentinels, and identify us as a covenant son/daughter.
It may not be necessary to be buried in temple clothing, but given our beliefs it makes perfect sense.  Do we know what happens to clothing when we are called forth in the resurrection?

Quote

I'm not asking why someone would want one, but what is there about it that it would mean more than a prayer?
Would you explain a little more about what you feel it does, how it protects etc please?

Do you believe that when the priesthood seals something that it becomes binding?
My father was a diligent genealogist and raised me to believe that cemeteries are sacred ground.  To me this means they should be dedicated places, like a temple is a sacred ground.
I was taught that just like we dedicate a temple to God we should dedicate the burial place to protect it from the elements, to preserve the person until the resurrection, and then seal it by priesthood authority.

Joseph taught:

  • I would esteem it one of the greatest blessings, if I am to be afflicted in this world, to have my lot cast where I can find brothers & friends all around me. but this is not thing referred to it is to have the privilege of having our dead buried on the land where god has appointed to gather his saints together.—& where there will be nothing but saints, where they may have the privilege of laying their bodies where the Son will make his appearance. & where they may hear the sound of the trump that shall call them forth to behold him, that in the morn of the resurrection they may come forth in a body. & come right up out of their graves, & strike hands immediately in eternal glory & felicity rather than to be scattered thousands of miles apart.
    There is something good & sacred to me. in this thing. The place where a man is buried has been sacred to me.—this subject is made mention of In Book of Mormon & Scriptures.  To the aborigines regard the burying places of their fathers is more sacred than any thing else. When I heard of the death of our beloved bro Barns it would not have affected me so much if I had the opportunity of burying him in the land of Zion. I believe, those who have buried their friends here their condition is enviable. Look at Joseph in Egypt how he required his friends to bury him in the tomb of his fathers.—see the expense & great company & which attended the embalming and the going up of the great company. to his burial. It has always been considered a great curse not to obtain an honorable burial. & one of the greatest curses the ancient prophets could put on any one was that man should go without a burial.
    Those who have died in Jesus Christ, may expect to enter in to all that fruition of Joy when they come forth, where they have possessed here. so plain was the vision I actually saw men, before they had ascended from the tomb, as though they were getting up slowly, they took each other by the hand & it was my father & my son. my mother & my daughter, my brother & my sister when the voice calls, suppose I am laid by the side of my father.—what would be the first joy of my heart? where is my father—my mother—my sister. they are by my side I embrace them & they me.

How do we mark sacred places?  We dedicate them to the Lord.

  • After the large crowd of people had dispersed save a few, Elder John L. Smith, brother of the departed, and others remaining, knelt around the grave while he offered up a heart-felt, soul moving, prayer, dedicating the ground and the remains, that they might rest undisturbed till the morning of the resurrection. (Funeral of George A. Smith.  Millennial Star vol. 37 pg. 638 & Deseret News, Sept. 6, 1875)

I also find it honestly comforting to believe that these grounds would be undisturbed until the resurrection, and I believe that heaven recognizes the authority of the priesthood in pronouncing that blessing.

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2 hours ago, SkyRock said:

 I had to quickly get my recommend renewed, as the dedication requires a current recommend.

Huh?  Really?  That's weird.  As far as I know, that would make it the only Melchizedek priesthood ordinance (performed outside of a temple) that requires a temple recommend to perform. 

Is there any handbook citation on this?  Did one of your local leaders make a mistake by requiring the recommend? I'm really quite baffled.

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Honestly, I don't care either way as long as the focus is on the family and the deceased, not on the Church itself.  It's not a missionary meeting.

It's symbolic of their faithful keeping of temple covenants when passing through the veil.  Much of the endowment teaches us how to pass through the veil, pass by the sentinels, and identify us as a covenant son/daughter.
It may not be necessary to be buried in temple clothing, but given our beliefs it makes perfect sense.  Do we know what happens to clothing when we are called forth in the resurrection?

Do you believe that when the priesthood seals something that it becomes binding?
My father was a diligent genealogist and raised me to believe that cemeteries are sacred ground.  To me this means they should be dedicated places, like a temple is a sacred ground.
I was taught that just like we dedicate a temple to God we should dedicate the burial place to protect it from the elements, to preserve the person until the resurrection, and then seal it by priesthood authority.

Joseph taught:

  • I would esteem it one of the greatest blessings, if I am to be afflicted in this world, to have my lot cast where I can find brothers & friends all around me. but this is not thing referred to it is to have the privilege of having our dead buried on the land where god has appointed to gather his saints together.—& where there will be nothing but saints, where they may have the privilege of laying their bodies where the Son will make his appearance. & where they may hear the sound of the trump that shall call them forth to behold him, that in the morn of the resurrection they may come forth in a body. & come right up out of their graves, & strike hands immediately in eternal glory & felicity rather than to be scattered thousands of miles apart.
    There is something good & sacred to me. in this thing. The place where a man is buried has been sacred to me.—this subject is made mention of In Book of Mormon & Scriptures.  To the aborigines regard the burying places of their fathers is more sacred than any thing else. When I heard of the death of our beloved bro Barns it would not have affected me so much if I had the opportunity of burying him in the land of Zion. I believe, those who have buried their friends here their condition is enviable. Look at Joseph in Egypt how he required his friends to bury him in the tomb of his fathers.—see the expense & great company & which attended the embalming and the going up of the great company. to his burial. It has always been considered a great curse not to obtain an honorable burial. & one of the greatest curses the ancient prophets could put on any one was that man should go without a burial.
    Those who have died in Jesus Christ, may expect to enter in to all that fruition of Joy when they come forth, where they have possessed here. so plain was the vision I actually saw men, before they had ascended from the tomb, as though they were getting up slowly, they took each other by the hand & it was my father & my son. my mother & my daughter, my brother & my sister when the voice calls, suppose I am laid by the side of my father.—what would be the first joy of my heart? where is my father—my mother—my sister. they are by my side I embrace them & they me.

How do we mark sacred places?  We dedicate them to the Lord.

  • After the large crowd of people had dispersed save a few, Elder John L. Smith, brother of the departed, and others remaining, knelt around the grave while he offered up a heart-felt, soul moving, prayer, dedicating the ground and the remains, that they might rest undisturbed till the morning of the resurrection. (Funeral of George A. Smith.  Millennial Star vol. 37 pg. 638 & Deseret News, Sept. 6, 1875)

I also find it honestly comforting to believe that these grounds would be undisturbed until the resurrection, and I believe that heaven recognizes the authority of the priesthood in pronouncing that blessing.

Thank you.

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4 hours ago, Rain said:

I get people wanting to wear their temple clothes. I just don't understand a reason the church would direct people to do it when it's not like the clothes will still be there years down the road.

I think they plan on being resurrected with their reconstituted Temple cloths on, in the exact same particles, garb and tomb they were buried. However, I'm not one to pretend that cloths do nothing for the dead.

For example of a spirit wearing his temple cloths he was probably buried in. The Witch of Endor saw the spirit of the dead Samuel, she described him to Saul the way he was in life, as an “old” man in a “coat” or priestly robe. It was these priestly robes that made her think she was seeing "gods" rising "up" (from sheol), as the gods (elohim-angels) wear the priestly robes, or rather the other way around, the priests wear the robes of the gods, are made in the image of the gods. Saul knew by this description of his clothes, it "was Samuel" (Samuel 28:3-18).

But even believing people generally don't think spirits have any similar properties of their physical counter parts. Paul accounts of his being caught up to the "third heaven", "whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell," (2 Corinthians 12:3). Why is Paul so unsure if he were a disembodied spirit traveler; no sign? He's not naked? Its apparently hard to tell the difference between experiences in one's body and in one's spirit body.

Christ accounts the deaths of a rich man and Lazarus who go to "[Hades]" (Luke 16:19-31). Some try to say this is nothing more than a parable by reason that the spirits are depicted as still having a physical form, a tongue, a finger, a thirst for water, and must therefore be figurative. While some elements maybe figurative, it is also promoting the spirit indeed has form, in a spiritual would with spiritual analogs of life on earth. The rich man can either see what he recognizes, or simply remembers, his spiritually lost brothers. He asks of Abraham to send Lazarus' spirit to warn his brothers. Abraham's reply, is not that sending Lazarus back from the dead is impossible, only that sending Lazarus would do no good, if not even the prophets couldn't convince them. Rather than a simple parable, it seems more like a prophecy, as Lazarus did come back from the dead (in the same cloths and tomb he was laid in), and the Pharisees still don't believe.

th-1978645778.jpg

Edited by Pyreaux
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After further reflection, I think a temple recommend would be required for performing an ordinance that 1) requires keys AND 2) is performed outside of one's home ward or stake. If that's the case, the ordinance could have been performed without the recommend if it had occurred in your home stake. It wasn't the ordinance per se that required the recommend, but the circumstances in which it was performed. 

Even then, the recommend is only a convenient shortcut, I think.  Back in the 1990s, before teenagers received limited use temple recommends, I had to get a special recommend (not a temple recommend) from my home-ward Bishop in order to go to a neighboring stake to ordain my best friend to the Aaronic Priesthood.  (He was a convert and his father was not a member, so he chose me to do it).  I suppose that a temple recommend can be used in that same manner.  

Long story short: Today I learned that a grave dedication is a priesthood ordinance requiring keys.  Hadn't known that before.  I thought it was more akin to a home dedication or a father's blessing, neither of which are priesthood ordinances that require keys.  

Moving on now.  As you were... 

Edited by Stormin' Mormon
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2 hours ago, SkyRock said:

My temple recommend expired in 2020 and I didn't renew it right away as the temple was closed and we were doing zoom church. 

My aunt died and I was asked to dedicate the grave. I had to quickly get my recommend renewed, as the dedication requires a current recommend.

It technically requires a temple recommend or a recommend to perform an ordinance (which a bishop can provide) to perform the ordinance outside their own ward.

52 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

Huh?  Really?  That's weird.  As far as I know, that would make it the only Melchizedek priesthood ordinance (performed outside of a temple) that requires a temple recommend to perform. 

Is there any handbook citation on this?  Did one of your local leaders make a mistake by requiring the recommend? I'm really quite baffled.

There is another method but if you are endowed a temple recommend is the norm. You can do it with a recommendation if you are not endowed. Technically you can do it with a recommendation without a temple recommend if endowed but that would probably be rare.

You are right that it only requires the Priesthood and not having received temple ordinances.

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15 minutes ago, Pyreaux said:

... even believing people generally don't think spirits have any similar properties of their physical counter parts.

Who gave you that idea?  Most believers I know and have known... believers in life after death... believe they will look like ghosts of themselves.  Are you thinking most believers believe they will look like Casper the ghost, or what ??? 

15 minutes ago, Pyreaux said:

Paul accounts of his being caught up to the "third heaven", "whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell," (2 Corinthians 12:3). Why is Paul so unsure if he were a disembodied spirit traveler; no sign? He's not naked? Its apparently hard to tell the difference between experiences in one's body and in one's spirit body.

I think when he said he "cannot tell" he meant exactly what he said.  He could not tell.  As in: forbidden to tell, or did not have God's permission to tell, or was not able to convey it in words.  Something like that.  Our spirit is a body too.  So which body?

15 minutes ago, Pyreaux said:

Christ accounts the deaths of a rich man and Lazarus who go to "[Hades]" (Luke 16:19-31). Some try to say this is nothing more than a parable by reason that the spirits are depicted as still having a physical form, a tongue, a finger, a thirst for water, and must therefore be figurative. While some elements maybe figurative, it is also promoting the spirit indeed has form, in a spiritual would with spiritual analogs of life on earth. The rich man can either see what he recognizes, or simply remembers, his spiritually lost brothers. He asks of Abraham to send Lazarus' spirit to warn his brothers. Abraham's reply, is not that sending Lazarus back from the dead is impossible, only that sending Lazarus would do no good, if not even the prophets couldn't convince them. Rather than a simple parable, it seems more like a prophecy, as Lazarus did came back from the dead (in the same cloths and tomb he was laid in), and the Pharisees still don't believe.

th-1978645778.jpg

Yeah I've wondered a lot about what Jesus told Lazarus.  Get out of there!  OR MAYBE Come here, please.  OR MAYBE Rise and shine!!!  OR MAYBE Wakey Wakey OR MAYBE Umm hmm You know what I want you to do.  To me right, please.  OR MAYBE

???  I wonder if I will ever find out.

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1 hour ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

Huh?  Really?  That's weird.  As far as I know, that would make it the only Melchizedek priesthood ordinance (performed outside of a temple) that requires a temple recommend to perform. 

Is there any handbook citation on this?  Did one of your local leaders make a mistake by requiring the recommend? I'm really quite baffled.

I know that a lot of times the bishop has to see the temple recommend of anyone who blesses a baby who's not from that ward.  At least, I've heard of that happening.  

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28 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

After further reflection, I think a temple recommend would be required for performing an ordinance that 1) requires keys AND 2) is performed outside of one's home ward or stake. If that's the case, the ordinance could have been performed without the recommend if it had occurred in your home stake. It wasn't the ordinance per se that required the recommend, but the circumstances in which it was performed. 

Even then, the recommend is only a convenient shortcut, I think.  Back in the 1990s, before teenagers received limited use temple recommends, I had to get a special recommend (not a temple recommend) from my home-ward Bishop in order to go to a neighboring stake to ordain my best friend to the Aaronic Priesthood.  (He was a convert and his father was not a member, so he chose me to do it).  I suppose that a temple recommend can be used in that same manner.  

Long story short: Today I learned that a grave dedication is a priesthood ordinance requiring keys.  Hadn't known that before.  I thought it was more akin to a home dedication or a father's blessing, neither of which are priesthood ordinances that require keys.  

Moving on now.  As you were... 

Do all endowed men hold keys?

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3 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Do all endowed men hold keys?

I keep my keys to my truck and house and quads and storage unit in the locker room when I'm in the temple, otherwise usually in my pocket.  I have no other keys and I am endowed. (means gifted, FYI)

Edited by Obehave
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13 minutes ago, Obehave said:

Who gave you that idea?  Most believers I know and have known... believers in life after death... believe they will look like ghosts of themselves.  Are you thinking most believers believe they will look like Casper the ghost, or what ???

Yeah, I guess, general believers do have more intuitive sense than theologians, which I suppose I need to make a distinction. Some theologians have the idea the spiritual, by some definition, is the opposite of physical in every way. Having no substance of any kind, and cannot be seen at all. Where as people in the Bible have seen spirits, theologians claim the Witch of Endor is a liar and the tale of Lazarus is just a parable, for theological reasons. Where on the other hand, I know many an atheist who have seen ghosts.

Edited by Pyreaux
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