Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Dark Side of Agnostic Mormon Mom--Part 2

In my last post, I admitted that my hope testimony doesn't necessarily include a hope for everything the LDS gospel encompasses. As I discussed there, I don't hope this is the "one and only true church". Well, guess what, guys? There's more I don't hope for. There's more to my dark side.

 
 
This is where I got married. Isn't it gorgeous? And look at that handsome guy!

Mormons believe that if they are "sealed" to their families in the temple, then they will be "together forever", meaning they will not be separated after death. This is one of the very best doctrines of the church. Who doesn't want to be with their loved ones for eternity?

So we're taught that we can have this wonderful blessing IF we're worthy, and that means a few things. First of all, we have to get to the temple and be sealed to each other to begin with. After that, we have to keep all the commandments, AND we have to hope that all of our loved ones do the same thing, because guess what? If they aren't worthy to go to the celestial kingdom, they won't be there, regardless of how righteous you are. If your dad or husband or child decides that he doesn't want to pay tithing, or he likes a cup of coffee in the morning, or maybe he just straight up doesn't believe this stuff, you're kind of out of luck. It doesn't matter if he is an honest, loving, hard working, giving, wonderful person. You will not be with him after you die. That's according to the doctrine the way it is strictly laid out.

Now, I understand that there have been a lot of statements from church leaders that soften this doctrine. There's a popular one from Joseph Smith. I particularly like this one from Brigham Young:

“Let the father and mother, who are members of this Church and Kingdom, take a righteous course, and strive with all their might never to do a wrong, but to do good all their lives; if they have one child or one hundred children, if they conduct themselves towards them as they should, binding them to the Lord by their faith and prayers, I care not where those children go, they are bound up to their parents by an everlasting tie, and no power of earth or hell can separate them from their parents in eternity; they will return again to the fountain from whence they sprang." (quoted in Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:90–91).

What I do hope is that Brigham Young's idea applies not only to children, but to spouses and parents and the whole human race. And pets! Because what I really hope is that there is a life after this one and families will be together there. I hope this is true regardless of what they believed here, or what building they were or were not in on Sunday (or Saturday) mornings. The loving Father I hope exists as our God would never separate people from their families based on choices they had little to no control over. He wouldn't separate families based on what belief system they happened to be born into or randomly encountered in this enormous world and throughout our very long history.

He wouldn't separate families. Period.

Being agnostic, I believe that we can't really know any of this one way or the other (at least not in this life). And since I believe that hope/belief is a choice, this is what I choose to hope:

Families are forever. No conditions.

6 comments:

  1. Maybe in the core, the very basics of who we are as creations of God, we are unalterably whole and worthy. Our Soul Cores can not be broken. Our darkness is merely a correspondence to our loss of sight, our loss of awareness, of this unalienable law of God - as children of God we are and always have been worthy and whole. When separate from this law we are lost. Not from God, just lost from our Self.

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  2. Not to tell you that you are wrong is improper of me. I have viewed many things and researched much without taking a Mormonazi approach to anyone who doesn't agree with doctrine. What I have found is that those who simply follow as sheep and condemn those who don't really do not or have not done their research and contemplation. There is much I have found that does not take a black and white approach from the past and present leaders of the church. It is impossible to obey all of the commandments all of the time. We make mistakes, repent, and continue to do the best we can. My opinion is that if we treat others with love particularly our families, try our level best which is different with everyone, and try to improve our relationship with God, then He will do the rest. There is also the Law of Eternal Progression that says we can progress in the next life as well. Also, Father knows what we will do and how our lives will finish up. We just don't know what that is. That is why there is revelation because Father knows what is going to happen. Otherwise He would cease to be God. Is this predestination? No. We are here to learn from this life what we need to in order to teach our future children just as we did with the veil in place relying on personal revelation and on God.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! I agree with what you say, that if we treat others with love and be our best selves, things can only turn out well for us in the end, whatever the end looks like.

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    2. Yes, thank you for your comment. That was just what I needed today. I love the quote agnostic mormon mom posted too. Through my own life experiences I have learned to trust Heavenly Father and somehow I just know he isn't going to let me down. This doesn't mean I don't have hard days and don't ever question or doubt, but in my heart in the deepest part of it, I know if I wake up every day and try with whatever mental ability I am capable of that day, in the end Heavenly Father will come through for each us in ways so amazing we really can't even imagine or dream it up on our own.

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  3. I don't know if this will make you feel better, or the same, or what, but not being worthy to have a temple recommend is NOT the same thing as breaking the sealing covenant. I don't know if you remember the specific promises you made when you were in the temple, but if you ever find yourself available to go back and hear the sealing ordinance again, I think it will help clarify this matter. With all due respect (really), it is impossible for all of us to keep all the commandments, so with your logic, we are all out of luck. Fortunately for me, I've never felt that this is what the church was teaching when it encourages us to keep our Temple Covenants.

    I know it takes a lot of guts for you to write your personal thoughts, and I wish more people did because then we all could have helpful discussions like this and people with questions wouldn't feel so isolated. Thanks for your post!

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  4. I'm with Elise--thanks for being honest! I read a really helpful book, Remembering Wholeness, last year and it answered so many questions for me. It's written by an LDS woman who has invested herself in finding truth in the metaphysical community. I find it fascinating that there are so many people shouting the same truths in different words and because everyone's so busy shouting to be understood, they don't see how many people are agreeing with them. We're all here. We all want the right thing. We're all trying to figure out what that is, veil and all. What I'm saying is that I'm here for you and I support you. You inspire me. (Btw, I'm in NoVA, too. Happy hoping, neighbor! :) )

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