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The bare minimum.


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7 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

You know, I was really annoyed with your posts above, suggesting to jkwilliams that he could lie to get a temple recommend, and then you say something like this, which I find to be totally true.

You had to have been playing devil's advocate above.

Have you ever entered the temple free of sin?

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6 hours ago, Rivers said:

Let’s say, hypothetically, that I wanted to switch from garments to boxer briefs,  stop paying tithing, and drink wine at Olive Garden.  Obviously this would keep my from holding a temple recommend.  But could I still be an an active church goer and worthily take the sacrament?    Or in other words, what is the bare minimum I need to do stay in full fellowship?  I know there are lots of active members without temple recommends,  but where do we draw the line with the sacrament, holding callings, etc?

I would rephrase the question by asking, “what’s the bare minimum one can do as a member of the Church in order to still be counted worthy to at least inherit the terrestrial kingdom and not be relegated to the telestial kingdom in the resurrection?”

Edited by teddyaware
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9 minutes ago, Jerry Atric said:

Have you ever entered the temple free of sin?

That's a hard question to answer. If the question is "Have I ever sinned?" the answer is "Yes, absolutely." If the question is "Have I ever entered the temple having sincerely and fully repented of all my sins and having been forgiven for all of them to that point?" the answer is "Certainly." I will freely admit that this has not been the case every time.

Some people seem convinced that their sins remain regardless of repentance and forgiveness. Examining myself since Sunday when last I partook of the Lord's Supper at Sacrament Meeting, having as far as I can tell fully repented of all the evil I have done to this point in my life, I cannot say that I have committed any sin since then. Maybe I will commit some sin between now and next Sunday and will need to repent anew (highly likely). But right at this moment, I feel that my conscience is clear. 

This is not to say that I do not regret past indiscretions, for I do. Some of them I regret most deeply, and keep a sharp lookout to ensure that I never stumble in the same way again.

I think that too many members go through their lives thinking at all times that they are unworthy, regardless of their place along the path of repentance. And that too many members who have resolved all their sins, either privately with the Lord, or if some sins required intervention by church authority, were resolved in that way, still beat themselves figuratively about the head over their unworthiness. 

Just like I am a computer programmer, despite the fact that I am retired and haven't written any computer code lately, I am a sinner. My status as a sinner has not changed, but I might from time to time find myself in the condition of having nothing to repent of at one moment or another. It is something that I strive to maintain for longer and longer periods at a time. 

Christ's Atonement is more powerful than most Saints seem to give it credit for. We will stumble from time to time, but as long as we refrain from stubborn pride, recognize our weaknesses, and strive to repent for the evil that we do, there will be times when we can look at ourselves and truthfully say "At this moment I am forgiven, thanks be to Christ!" 

We also need to keep in mind that personal faults (like dropping our dirty socks on the floor instead of putting them in the laundry basket, and suchlike) are not sins. Being annoyed with our husband for the socks, or our wife for installing the toilet roll the wrong way, is also not a sin. Let it annoy you too much and it might lead to a sin, however! So we need to stop multiplying sins, like the Pharisees loved to do: "The pot must be washed clockwise, not counter-clockwise, you sinner!" 

My apologies for splatting all this text out at you unexpectedly. I tend to overexplain things -- which is not a sin, even if it is annoying.

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9 hours ago, ksfisher said:

That's a tough one.  There are so many things I've done well, but could have done better.  So many commandments I've kept, but could have done so with more of a pure heart (except for that one about not killing anyone.  Never done that.  Yet).

It does not really what we have done, except for maybe murder, but what direction we are going.  If one is doing the bare minimum and just stays there, they are not improving or progressing.  I think the Lord is more concerned with what direction we are going than where we are at.  Even if we are below the bare minimum but moving towards the bare minimum that is better than being above the bare minimum but moving in the opposite direction to be below the bare minimum. 

Edited by carbon dioxide
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10 hours ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

What are you talking about?  Who's "we"?

 

"We", members of the Mormon church. 

There was once a woman who knew her life was about to end. She was surrounded by a huge crowd and her condemners held stones. Filled with shame and helplessness, all she could do was stare at the ground. She wasn't alone, there was a man, a very different man amongst the crowd. Her accusers asked him about her punishment. Expecting him to agree and cast the first stone, she cowered. But instead he remained silent and wrote this in the dust at her feet. "Let the one who has never sinned cast the first stone"

I find myself feeling a little depressed as I drive into a Temple's parking lot. The temple is perhaps the most effective conversion tool we have out of all the tools the church possesses. However, those who would benefit the most from entering the temple are not allowed inside. 

I believe that if Christ were present on earth, he would allow everyone to enter our temples. Christ made it a point to walk with sinners, break bread with sinners, so he could help them understand repentance and forgiveness were available. 

Mormons like us have lost our way. For those of us who feel justified in our accomplishments and are able to enter the temple. We utilize the temple as a reward these days. Almost like the temple is a safe space from the daily grind of life. Christ wouldn't allow a safe space for the "righteous", the "chosen" the "elect." He would remind us why we're here on Earth, and remind us we will have plenty of time to feel safe once we're dead.       

      The cafeterias in the temple need to be crowded with people who are eager to accept the gospel and who are potential converts. The halls of the temple should be filled with alcoholics and adulterers so they can observe what the gospel is really about. In my opinion, we have lost sight of the purpose of our existence on Earth. The Pharisee shunned the non-Pharisee as being unclean, thereby keeping themselves separated from those they considered to be the common people. I'm worried we are possibly doing the same.

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Almost like the temple is a safe space from the daily grind of life. Christ wouldn't allow a safe space for the "righteous", the "chosen" the "elect." He would remind us why we're here on Earth, and remind us we will have plenty of time to feel safe once we're dead.”

Christ is all about safe spaces if we let him be…the temple is in part a refuge for those intent on seeking God and scripture is full of language relating the two.

O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart."

“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.”

”And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and a covert from storm and from rain” (2 Nephi 14:6).”

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God” (D&C 88:119).”

Read the rest of sec 88 about the requirements for the school of the prophets if you don’t think Christ would ever exclude someone from his house, his place of learning or if you think he never appointed places of safety for his saints. 

Edited by Calm
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19 hours ago, Rivers said:

Let’s say, hypothetically, that I wanted to switch from garments to boxer briefs,  stop paying tithing, and drink wine at Olive Garden.  Obviously this would keep my from holding a temple recommend.  But could I still be an an active church goer and worthily take the sacrament?    Or in other words, what is the bare minimum I need to do stay in full fellowship?  I know there are lots of active members without temple recommends,  but where do we draw the line with the sacrament, holding callings, etc?

We take the sacrament in order to renew covenants and pursue repentance. Seems to me that if we deliberately go out of our way to violate the Lord’s commandments with no intention to keep the commandments or to repent, we are taking the sacrament unworthily. 

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19 hours ago, Rivers said:

Let’s say, hypothetically, that I wanted to switch from garments to boxer briefs,  stop paying tithing, and drink wine at Olive Garden.  Obviously this would keep my from holding a temple recommend.  But could I still be an an active church goer and worthily take the sacrament?    Or in other words, what is the bare minimum I need to do stay in full fellowship?  I know there are lots of active members without temple recommends,  but where do we draw the line with the sacrament, holding callings, etc?

We take the sacrament in order to renew covenants and pursue repentance. Seems to me that if we deliberately go out of our way to violate the Lord’s commandments with no intention to keep them nor to repent, we are taking the sacrament unworthily. 

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19 hours ago, Rivers said:

Let’s say, hypothetically, that I wanted to switch from garments to boxer briefs,  stop paying tithing, and drink wine at Olive Garden.  Obviously this would keep my from holding a temple recommend.  But could I still be an an active church goer and worthily take the sacrament?    Or in other words, what is the bare minimum I need to do stay in full fellowship?  I know there are lots of active members without temple recommends,  but where do we draw the line with the sacrament, holding callings, etc?

We take the sacrament in order to renew covenants and pursue repentance. Seems to me that if we deliberately go out of our way to violate the Lord’s commandments with no intention to keep them nor to repent, we are taking the sacrament unworthily. 

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Duplicate

Edited by Bernard Gui
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Duplicate

Edited by Bernard Gui
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15 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

We take the sacrament in order to renew covenants and pursue repentance. Seems to me that if we deliberately go out of our way to violate the Lord’s commandments with no intention to keep them nor to repent, we are taking the sacrament unworthily. 

Repeating for emphasis? 🙂

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One of the things the Church's emphasis on covenants do is better help us understand God's design for us, His invitation.

There are some basic commandments we all agreed to before/by coming to earth. We are accountable for them (e.g. no murder, care for your children, etc.).
Other activities that would help to become more like our Heavenly Parents are things that we voluntarily submit to. God invites. We choose to accept or not. This is done in stages (e.g. baptism, endowment).

And heaven follows the same pattern. We choose to go to the degree of glory according to the laws that we are willing to abide, that we willingly choose to accept (as expressed by our character, desire, and actions).
And what's the bare minimum of exaltation? Perfection. We don't have a lot of details on the other "levels".

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and a covert from storm and from rain” (2 Nephi 14:6).”

You kinda proved my point by using 2 Nephi 14:6. 2 Nephi is actually the words of Isaiah 4, written 500 years before Christ walked the earth. Billions of Christians, Muslims and Jewish read Isiah. Should they disregard the words of Isaiah 4:6 because they're not Mormon, and they're unable to enter the temple right now? 

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32 minutes ago, Jerry Atric said:

Should they disregard the words of Isaiah 4:6 because they're not Mormon, and they're unable to enter the temple right now? 

Clarify please.  I don’t understand what you mean by disregard if you mean something else than to prepare oneself and seek God as a refuge, including within his house.

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14 hours ago, LoudmouthMormon said:
16 hours ago, Jerry Atric said:

100% of the people in a temple are sinners. What saddens me is far too often we exclude the "sinners" that need the temple the most. 

What are you talking about?  Who's "we"?

3 hours ago, Jerry Atric said:

"We", members of the Mormon church. 

[shares story from the NT about stoning sinners]

 

Ok, hold up.  Let's take a breath here.  

Maybe you don't know this, but the folks in your ward don't have any say in whether someone has a temple recommend or not.  No matter what your and my fellow ward members think of you and me, they are unable to exclude us from temple attendance.  You interview with the bishop, who signs your recommend.  You interview with the Stake, they also sign.  Then you go to the temple.  Doesn't matter if everyone else thinks your a jerk, they don't get a say.

I'm casting about for a reason why you might think otherwise.  Just a random guess - are you a teenager or early '20's?  I'm wondering if you may struggle with separating the social aspects of communal religion from the doctrine and practice.  

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21 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

I'm casting about for a reason why you might think otherwise.  Just a random guess - are you a teenager or early '20's?  I'm wondering if you may struggle with separating the social aspects of communal religion from the doctrine and practice.

There seems to be a confusion as to the purpose of temples and that of chapels.  Also, perhaps a misunderstanding (or maybe disregard) for holiness.

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18 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Maybe you don't know this, but the folks in your ward don't have any say in whether someone has a temple recommend or not. 

The only person who can keep you out of the temple is you, not a bishop nor a stake president. 

 

19 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

  You interview with the bishop, who signs your recommend

Ok

 

21 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Im casting about for a reason why you might think otherwise.  Just a random guess - are you a teenager or early '20's?  I'm wondering if you may struggle with separating the social aspects of communal religion from the doctrine and practice. 

The opening post asked about the bare minimum to stay in full fellowship. Rivers said "obviously this would keep me from holding a temple recommend. " That's if he started drinking or not wearing garments. 

I agree, you should take a breath. Because I don't think you realize even when you're in the temple, you're surrounded by sinners. Sinners who lied to get in the temple. Sinners who beat their wife the night before. Sinners who cheated on their spouse. Do you believe this to be true? 

 If you do believe there's sinners in the temple on any given day, does that mean they drive the Holy Ghost from the lord's temple while they're in there? If ordinances are performed by a sinner while attending the temple,  are the ordinances null and void because they're not performed by a "worthy member?"     

     

 

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Clarify please.  I don’t understand what you mean by disregard if you mean something else than to prepare oneself and seek God as a refuge, including within his house.

We both agree it's the God's house. We differ in believing who's worthy to enter. I think it's selfish to exclude 99.97% of Heavenly Father's children from his house. If you consider only 30% of Mormons are "worthy" to enter the temple,  it's more like 99.99% of God's children are banned from entering the temple. Why?

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5 hours ago, Jerry Atric said:

We utilize the temple as a reward these days. Almost like the temple is a safe space from the daily grind of life. Christ wouldn't allow a safe space for the "righteous", the "chosen" the "elect." He would remind us why we're here on Earth, and remind us we will have plenty of time to feel safe once we're dead.       

4 hours ago, Calm said:

”And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and a covert from storm and from rain” (2 Nephi 14:6).”

3 hours ago, Jerry Atric said:

You kinda proved my point by using 2 Nephi 14:6. 2 Nephi is actually the words of Isaiah 4, written 500 years before Christ walked the earth. Billions of Christians, Muslims and Jewish read Isiah. Should they disregard the words of Isaiah 4:6 because they're not Mormon, and they're unable to enter the temple right now? 

Jerry, I think she was addressing your point that the temple should not be used as a "safe space" or refuge.  Clearly, her passages refute that claim.  Can you at least acknowledge that point?

Do you consider all Abrahamic religions to be God's covenant people?  Clearly, the Isaiah passages make clear that is who the temple is for, and no one else.   What about Hindu's, atheists and other non-Abrahamic people?  They don't read Isaiah.  Should they be allowed in our temple too for missionary purposes (contrary to what Isaiah said)?

5 hours ago, Jerry Atric said:

Mormons like us have lost our way.

5 hours ago, Jerry Atric said:

In my opinion, we have lost sight of the purpose of our existence on Earth. 

Those are some pretty serious accusations.  If the church has lost sight of the purpose of our existence on Earth, then it either serves no purpose, or serves a purpose that is leading us astray.  Do you think the Lord would permit His church to go astray as to the very purpose of our existence on earth?  How could the authority of the priesthood endure such an apostacy from intended purpose of our existence?  Do you think we are in apostasy, or heading to another one? 

 

 

 

Edited by pogi
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