Therefore Shall a Man Cleave Unto His Wife

sealing-room-altarOn September 13 2014, I submitted a letter of resignation from the LDS Church to my local leader. I had thought long and hard about my decision and confirmed it in prayer several times. What I did not do was to tell my wife in advance of my action, but I think she saw it coming. If you understand what the LDS Church teaches about temple marriages, you will agree with me Carol is indeed a wonderful woman.

For those who don’t know, the LDS Church teaches the most important thing a man and woman can do in this life is to marry in an LDS Temple and remain married throughout their mortal lives. Carol has the advantage in this situation. She did not resign from the LDS Church, therefore, it is believed and taught she will be given to or allowed to choose any worthy man who remains faithful in the kingdom of Heaven.

I, on the other hand, am damned forever, according to LDS doctrine, unless I repent, renounce what I have done, subscribe again to the baptismal requirements, am baptized again as a member of the LDS Church, and eventually, after a long period of probation, have my temple blessings restored, a process which requires authorization from the First Presidency or the highest leadership of the LDS Church.

Traditions of Their Fathers

SaltLakeTempleNightI have detailed this previously, but to summarize, Carol is a fifth-generation member of the LDS Church. On the other hand, my family are converts from the 1960’s, with only two out of the eight considered active today, my parents having passed on in the last decade. They had informally left the church earlier. Tradition is a powerful influence in Carol’s spiritual life, which I believe I understand and deeply respect.

Sometimes I am simply amazed at the depth of Carol’s love of the Lord and tolerance for me. If you can put yourself in her shoes for a moment, I’m sure you can understand the loss she has suffered. On ward temple night, she goes alone. She knows I partake of the sacrament using wine. The very idea of wine in her home has deep personal repugnance, her grandfather having lost his legs and died as an alcoholic.

She often comments, wondering aloud really, why those who leave the church are so vocal in their comments about how anyone could belong to such a deluded organization. It hurts her to hear or read such material. She has seen it firsthand from some of the people I have chosen to associate with in various fellowship groups. I feel similarly about some things said by LDS members and Church leaders.

Study, Ponder, Pray


I still attend our main church meeting with Carol each Sunday. She asked this of me and I still dearly love so many of our friends we have associated with over the years. It is difficult at times to hear what I now consider subtle innuendos and even outright lies from the pulpit (I don’t attend classroom activities), from good people who have NOT studied things out and are simply repeating what others have said.

I considered myself an orthodox Mormon for all my life. I served an LDS mission at age nineteen. I met my wife through the LDS Church Young Single Adult program and married in the temple shortly after. As is fairly normal, I served for over twenty-five years in various teaching and leadership positions and did my best to make my private worship practice something that would give me spiritual strength each day.

I am a computer professional and spend almost all day every day on the Internet. It is a part of my job. When I take breaks I would go read what others were writing about the LDS Church and participate in the ongoing dialog on many of the blogs and chat groups. I like to consider myself well-read, or at least I can say I have contributed a lot of money to Deseret Book over the years in building my well-stocked library.

Hearing the Voice of the Lord

ezekial-chariotThe subjects of my blog were almost always on my mind for eight years. I thought about, studied about and wrote about the basic history and doctrines in a manner I hoped would be helpful to those who were serious about learning more about the LDS faith. Of course, as anyone can tell you who has done a serious study of Mormon history, the LDS Church white-washed, covered up and lied about much of it.

I have been pondering the idea of seeking re-admittance to the LDS Church. Why would I do such a thing? Mainly to strengthen my marriage. “Don’t do it for me,” Carol says. She is right. So I continue to ponder, pray and study. My greatest desire is to do the will of the Lord. We each have spiritual gifts. I like to think I have at least some sensitivity to the voice of the Lord. In other words, I hear His voice.

This is not a unique claim, one that has certain requirements of course, but is highly sought after by most members of the LDS Church I know. If a Mormon says to you, “I don’t want to hear the voice of the Lord,” I would translate that to mean, “I don’t want to do what I’m afraid I might hear,” Likewise, it is, or was, a long-time aspiration of faithful Mormons to come into the presence of the resurrected Lord.

Receive the Second Comforter

carl_bloch_the_christThis idea – embracing the Lord as a mortal – is a hot topic of debate today, at least among those who think it has significance. Some have told me, “It doesn’t matter. Just endure to the end and all will be well.” Did we not at one time teach it is worth any sacrifice to embrace the Lord while yet in this life? That’s the debate: Should we seek to come into the presence of the Lord? Or simply endure to the end?

Those who quote Joseph (and I’m certain I’ve shared this quote a dozen times on this blog), are looked upon by most as being quacks. The correlated material found in the LDS manuals today does not include this doctrine of seeking an audience with the Lord. This is the main doctrine I studied for two years before I decided I didn’t want to be part of an organization that almost NEVER brought this up.

“Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him,

“Potshots at the Brethren”

quorum-twelve-april-2016“and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions–Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn.”  TPJS, 149-151

Well, actually, there was much more to my decision that this. I met with my Bishop for a year to discuss my concerns. I was serving in the Stake Presidency at the time. He didn’t seem to have any problems with my questions. I figure he just accepted such things as part of my private gospel study. One time I quoted a General Authority saying we needn’t be concerned with this specific doctrine. My bishop reacted.

I won’t say he was upset. He’s a good man in control of his emotions. His statement, as I recall and recorded it, is that I was “taking potshots at the Brethren.” That got me thinking. Why is this doctrine so divisive? Is it not desirable? Does it not motivate? I will say, without a doubt, the idea of coming into the presence of the Lord is a thousand times more motivating to me than the idea of regular temple service.

Teaching the Word of the Lord

LDSChurchOfficeBuildingI want to have the Lord abide with me. That is the promise of the Second Comforter. I will do anything asked of the Lord to obtain this goal. It befuddles and amazes me when good brethren in my High Priest group told me I was wrong to bring this subject up, that enduring to the end is ALL that is required. That was the last time I attended a High Priest Group meeting. It seems their minds are made up forever.

I am saddened by the reports I read of husbands writing they will no longer be participating in some of the online groups that are out there – the ones Elder Ballard said in which we should be involved. I have also made that decision. I do not comment on the blogs anymore and I rarely write one. The reason given? The wife holds the upper hand. Divorce is threatened. “You teach correlated stuff or you’re out of here.” * See my comment below. This is NOT quoting Carol but was shared by an online friend in sorrow.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife. He has a responsibility to lead his family in righteousness. It is a sad thing we have relegated that responsibility as to what we believe to those who write the correlated doctrinal manuals that are used in the LDS Church today. The word of the Lord should come from God and the head of the family, not from some committee writings.


23 thoughts on “Therefore Shall a Man Cleave Unto His Wife”

  1. What, one wonders, does it mean to “endure to the end”?

    1 Nephi 22:30-31
    30 Wherefore, my brethren, I would that ye should consider that the things which have been written upon the plates of brass are true; and they testify that a man must be obedient to the commandments of God.

    31 Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the commandments, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is. Amen.

    And by so doing we shall be taken into the presence of the Lord in this life, if the scriptures are true.

  2. Additional light on “enduring to the end.”

    Mosiah 4:6-7
    6 I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body–

    7 I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world.

    Man, that “commandments of the Lord” thing again.

    2 Nephi 31:14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

    To deny the Lord is to fail to do what he has asked.

    Mosiah 2:40-41
    40 O, all ye old men, and also ye young men, and you little children who can understand my words, for I have spoken plainly unto you that ye might understand, I pray that ye should awake to a remembrance of the awful situation of those that have fallen into transgression.

    41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

    Huh. Again with that “commmandments of God” thing.

    It’s almost like that’s all that matters.

  3. And who loves the Lord?

    KJV John 14
    15 ¶If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

    18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

    19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

    20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

    21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

    22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

    23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

    24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

    For what is the world but them who do not keep his commandments, and, therefore, love him not?

  4. In fact, the faith of Christ, seen for what it truly is, puts a rather fine point on “who’s on the Lord’s side, who?”, doesn’t it?

    Maybe it is “quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of the joints and marrow, soul and spirit; and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (D&C 33:1)

    For it puts one’s apparent religiosity aside and asks: if you say you take Jesus for your Lord, and if you say you love him, are you doing what he said to do?

    D&C 29:12-13
    12 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, and it hath gone forth in a firm decree, by the will of the Father, that mine apostles, the Twelve which were with me in my ministry at Jerusalem, shall stand at my right hand at the day of my coming in a pillar of fire, being clothed with robes of righteousness, with crowns upon their heads, in glory even as I am, to judge the whole house of Israel, even as many as have loved me and kept my commandments, and none else.

    13 For a trump shall sound both long and loud, even as upon Mount Sinai, and all the earth shall quake, and they shall come forth–yea, even the dead which died in me, to receive a crown of righteousness, and to be clothed upon, even as I am, to be with me, that we may be one.

    There’s the House of Israel – those who love Jesus and keep his commandments, and none else. Apparently, tribal assignments in patriarchal blessings may not be worth the paper they’re printed on, if we do not keep all Jesus’s commandments.

    D&C 42:29 If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments.

    D&C 43:35 Be sober. Keep all my commandments. Even so. Amen.

    D&C 136:42 Be diligent in keeping all my commandments, lest judgments come upon you, and your faith fail you, and your enemies triumph over you. So no more at present. Amen and Amen.

    All of his commandments.

    Those who are interested in being one of thoes who come forth to be even as Jesus is might ought to examine their scriptures to discern what Jesus actually commanded us to do – and go and do them.

    What else matters?

  5. Tim, I am so sorry you are going through this. I actually understand how difficult it can be. I feel your words like a cry in the night. You are caught between a rock and a hard place. But not only is this a lesson for you to learn from, but your wife also.

    I would ask, if she truly loves you, would she demand this of you? Threaten divorce if you don’t re-join the church? There was a time at the beginning of my marriage where I was being just like your wife. My husband had joined the church for me. He wanted me. That was my requirement. I was an RM for Pete’s sake! A short while after we were married, he went inactive. Go figure!

    I made a huge deal about what I felt was a betrayal until my sister pointed out to me one day that it was ME ruining my marriage. Not my husband. I was being selfish, demanding, and unforgiving. As soon as she pointed it out I could see it. I felt terrible. It was a huge slap in the face.

    I told my husband that I loved him no matter what. I respected his beliefs which were all about high integrity, working hard, and being the best he could be. He’s a wonderful man and I felt terrible for making him feel less than.

    From that time on I gave him the freedom to believe as he chose and he no more forced me to agree with him than I did with him.

    Now, we are both on the same page about the church. Things have come full circle, and the things he didn’t like about the church, I came to see as they are. In my opinion, he was right all along.

    The moral of the story is this. Be true to who you are. You love your wife, but you aren’t the only one who needs to bend, to meet in the middle. Your wife needs be true to who she is, but she can also give you the freedom to believe as you wish to.

    You can still have a long and beautiful marriage, meeting in the middle.

  6. If I’m not mistaken, all that material quoted in my comments above is correlated, too – with the exception of the JST sections cited in “Your Bill is Coming Due.” However, the KJV is close enough to land at the same teaching: if you are diligent in keeping all the commandments of Christ, the Lord will come to you in this life.

    I can’t think of too many reasons for teachers, priests, or elders to not teach these things, and of the reasons I can think of, none reflect well on them who do not teach them, and certainly not in a Church purportedly built upon the gospel of Christ.

  7. Hi Tim,
    I feel for you and Carole.

    In the meantime, I would remind you that rejoining the LDS church would require you to pledge allegiance to President Monson, or whoever it may be when you make the plunge, as well as accept an ordinance performed in the name of the Lord that you know is not recognized by him. So, you have to commit at least 2 idolatrous affronts to the Lord.

    No where in scripture does it say that you ought to listen to your wife when your understanding of God’s commands differs from hers. Actually, what you will find is quite the opposite. Adam was punished for the sole reason that he “hearkened unto the voice of thy wife” (Moses 4:23). Jesus taught that “every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” (Matthew 19:29). He also said that “a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:36).

    So how do you reconcile all that with the command to cleave to your wife? What does it mean to cleave? Doesn’t it mean to love her? Can you love someone by reinforcing suboptimal behavior? Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Christ doesn’t engage in idolatry just because the members of his church choose to do so. Instead, he patiently attempts to persuade them over and over, knowing that by doing so he might eventually help them (see D&C 121).

    “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

    Just food for thought.

    1. Jean Piere Peralta

      Well said. Thank you for telling it like it is, with the exception of “Instead, he patiently attempts to persuade them over and over, knowing that by doing so he might eventually help them.” If a person doesn’t doesn’t want to be “persuaded” to a different point of view or course of action, it is trampling on their agency, if one attempts to “persuade” them “over and over.” Exhortation without invitation is a form of harassment (or unrighteous dominion,) albeit a bit a small, but it can build up and cause strains in relationships, in my opinion. I believe D&C 121’s principles are given in the context of serving in righteous to those who want to be ministered to in righteousness, or, in other words, not be abused: It is a guide on serving without unrighteously hurting others, which is how Jesus served.

      1. “If a person doesn’t doesn’t want to be “persuaded” to a different point of view or course of action, it is trampling on their agency” I’m sure glad God doesn’t abide by your policy–we’d all be done for.

        1. Jean Piere Peralta

          I repeat: “Exhortation without invitation is a form of harassment (or unrighteous dominion,)…” I might further add “Exhortation, once declined, and hence without invitation, is a form of harassment (or unrighteous dominion.)” God is not going to keep nagging us to accept truth or shove truth down our throats. God’s dominion over his children is “without compulsory means,” thus allowing our hearts to (gradually) “flow unto (Him) forever and ever (D&C 121:46.)” I think the example of father Lehi in teaching Laman and Lemuel in 1 Ne. 8: 38 illustrates the point I am trying to make: “And after he had preached unto them, and also prophesied unto them of many things, he bade them to keep the commandments of the Lord; and he did cease speaking unto them.” God’s objective towards imparting truth to his children is not seeing how much truth we can accept in and of itself, but in allowing choice, because of agency, of how much truth we accept, at our own pace, at our own terms.” Since we have to choose truth, of ourselves, “with a sincere heart, with real intent” (Moroni 10:4,) the opposite of hypocrisy or guile, he grants us a state of “probation” (D&C 49:23,) where WE have time to CHOOSE between good and evil, and choose between Him and his ways or some other path. This is how he “bring(s) to pass the…eternal life of man (Moses 1:39) – by creating environments where truth is available to us, and giving us time in that environment to choose it. (D&C 93:30.) God’s primary objective is in allowing us to choose. His primary objective is not even in us choosing the right. His primary objective is in giving us choice, or agency, in order to give His children a shot at eternal life. His objective is not in exalting all his sons and daughters. His objective is to “bring to pass” or making it possible. His objective is not in actually making it happen at all costs; that would be empirical and compulsory, some other way, which is the adversary’s plan (Moses 4:3.)

          The heavens, and God, are content staying perfectly silent until we come knocking for more truth. It is not our prerogative to seek or exercise a different pattern towards our mortal brothers and sisters regarding imparting truth. This is all because he holds our choice, our agency, whether we choose the good or the evil, the bitter or the sweet, open or closed minds, as sacred.

          Now, if you are an administrator of some sort of business one could argue you have to use the method described above in reverse to keep your enterprise and it’s members running efficiently and producing empirical results. However, for the most part, the things of God regarding the souls of men can’t be measured empirically, or brought to pass using compulsory means.

          That’s how I look at it.

        2. For a scriptural example of what Jean Piere is talking about, see John 6. Note well that Jesus did not call them back, nor explain things – but doubled down and let them walk without nagging or interference.

  8. My wishes for the LDS Church, its leaders and members…

    1. Less focus on dogma, doctrine, rigid conformity, CHI, judging one another, etc
    2. Greater tolerance and love for one another
    3. More emphasis on charity, service, etc

    Charity is the “pure love of Christ.” Moroni 7:47

    Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

    See also: Matthew 25:31-46

    – Tom Irvine

  9. “Can you love someone by reinforcing suboptimal behavior?”

    Would giving someone what they ask for be considered reinforcing suboptimal behavior?

    If so, the answer is yes, you can love someone by reinforcing suboptimal behavior.

    Is not the idea, implicitly expressed in the quote above, that Tim should sit in judgement of Carol, and seek to alter her behavior rather than focus on his own walk with God, paternalistic?

    D&C 121
    41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

    42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

    43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

    44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

    45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

    46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

  10. [Truly Corrected Comment (I think…It would be nice to be able to edit a comment, WordPress!) Please delete former 2 comments.]

    Tim, read these scriptures to your wife.

    JST 1 Peter 3:

    1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conduct of the wives;

    2 While they behold your chaste conduct coupled with fear.

    3 Let your adorning be not that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel;

    4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

    5 For after this manner in old times the holy women, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands;

    6 Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do will, and are not afraid with any amazement.

    JST 1 Corinthians 7:

    10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband;

    11 But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband; but let not the husband put away his wife.

    12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord; If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

    13 And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

    14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

    If this is the attitude she is taking with you:

    I do not comment on the blogs anymore and I rarely write one. The reason given? The wife holds the upper hand. Divorce is threatened. “You teach correlated stuff or you’re out of here.”

    then she is guilty of iniquity and needs to speedily repent; otherwise that exaltation she thinks she is going to get from her membership and the temple marriage sealing promises you both received will not be there at the last day. In fact, despite your actions, if you have acted in good faith, then you have a better chance than her at inheriting those promises at the last day, if she continues in this iniquity. The scriptural command of a man to “cleave unto” his wife does not mean you are to submit to her. No, she is to submit to you, and you are not to put her away. If you are submitting to her and she is threatening divorce over this religious split, both of you are violating God’s commandments and neither one of you will find, at the last day, that the temple promises were ever given to either one of you. It will be a “I never knew you” kind of thing, in which the Lord will say, “I never gave you any such promises” and you will look back over your memories, and sure enough, those promises won’t be found to ever have been given to you. So, regardless of whatever stance your wife takes, keep the commandments of God and rule over her, and it will be well with you at the last day:

    Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

    Best of luck to both of you.

  11. The quote, ““You teach correlated stuff or you’re out of here” was taken from another source. It caused me sadness to read. The individual was young (well, young to me – I’m nearly 60, and had seven young children.) I could never imagine carol saying something like that but according to LDS teachings (or is it tradition?) she would be justified.

  12. My parents were divorced and I never thought that fate would be mine, until I found out it was not totally up to me. When my first wife left (partly, I believe, because of my changed gospel understanding), there was nothing I could do to stop her.

    If I had advice for you it would be to follow God, be true to yourself and love your wife. My new wife (of almost 10 years!) knew I understood the gospel differently from most, but never forced me to to believe as she did. Nor did I impose my beliefs on her. In the process we have both grown and drawn closer together.

    As an aside, it would be interesting to ask wives in the church if they are willing to obey their husbands ;-). Thanks, LDS Anarchy.

    God bless you both, Tim.

  13. Here are the baptismal requirements as found in Preach my Gospel. When I met with my Bishop on my one-year anniversary of having resigned I told him I could not in good coconscious accept the second half of the second one in the traditional orthodox definition – so many act as if he is infallible.

    We still pay our tithing, just no longer on the gross. AND I have asked Carol to simply keep it in the bank until the Lord directs us what to do with it. I believe it is for the poor or to help build a temple someday. This was a very hard adjustment for her – to not give each paycheck.

    And of course there’s the part about wine and the sacrament. I have STRONGLY changed my beliefs in this area. I believe in SMALL fellowship groups. and have had some wonderful experiences simply discussing the gospel for several hours at a time in such groups which I will be reporting on in Moab next weekend.

    Baptismal Interview Questions

    1. Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?

    2. Do you believe the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Do you believe that [current Church President] is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?

    3. What does it mean to you to repent? Do you feel that you have repented of your past transgressions?

    4. Have you ever committed a serious crime? If so, are you now on probation or parole? Have you ever participated in an abortion? a homosexual relationship?

    5. You have been taught that membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes living gospel standards. What do you understand of the following standards? Are you willing to obey them?

    6. The law of chastity, which prohibits any sexual relationship outside the bonds of a legal marriage between a man and a woman.
    The law of tithing.
    The Word of Wisdom.
    The Sabbath day, including partaking of the sacrament weekly and rendering service to fellow members.

    7. When you are baptized, you covenant with God that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ and keep His commandments throughout your life. Are you ready to make this covenant and strive to be faithful to it?

    Source: Preach My Gospel, Chapter 12, page 206

    1. Tim, You may be overthinking this. Sometimes we just have to humor people and smile and nod our head “yes.” This is a good strategy for marriages, family, workplace, neighborhood, and yes, even church 🙂 Anyway the question seems to be that President Monson is “a prophet” will a small p. That does not seem to preclude other prophets present on this Earth. Moses wished that all men could be prophets. (Numbers 11:29)
      – Tom Irvine

      1. Saying that you believe a man is a prophet who has never once claimed to have a message from God is idolatry.

        1. Harland David Sanders (1890-1980) founded the restaurant chain known as “Kentucky Fried Chicken.” Sanders served a brief stint in the army as a teamster but never achieved the military rank of colonel. In 1935 the governor of Kentucky, Ruby Laffon, bestowed Sanders the title of Colonel “in recognition of his contributions to the state’s cuisine.” Using a “term of endearment” for someone is not necessarily worship of that person.

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