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I even had a professor email me their phone number saying they wished to speak over the phone. December 17, at 5: Photographic Evidence for the Authenticity of the Book of Mormon archived copy. It includes definition 5. I am not equating these men to God. I would just as soon the church gave the priesthood to women and have these issues work themselves out by having women in leadership positions that could influence change.
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There are lots of stories to be taught to our children about different women and the contribution that they made. There is an interest by Latter-day Saints to visit 'Book of Mormon lands' and consequently a business has emerged which takes people to various places in Central and South America to some places that certain church members believe that the peoples of the BOM lived. Why would this commandment be given? Michael Coe who has been writing about Book of Mormon archaeology since he was asked to write an article on the subject for Dialogue Magazine in I was taught in my childhood and early years as a youth through the Scouting program how to protect myself from molestaters and bullies.
Most of this list seems to either have to do with leadership positions or what happens because of those leadership positions. My opinions have never looked down upon, nor have any emotions been attributed to my gender. In my ward the RS president is held in the highest esteem and my seminary teacher was very influential in my life and SHE was never thought of less because of her gender.
Most of my Sunday school teachers were women and then of course YW leaders. They run everything in the youth programs, the priesthood is just there to keep us safe. Men respect women in this church and to think otherwise is crazy. They can do blessings, but our prayers do not just fall on deaf ears. Calling the experience and opinions of others ridiculous is rude, whether you meant it to be or not. All the men who have mistreated me were LDS. The church gives them the right to preside, a right that women never have.
RS and YW leaders must get permission from and answer to the bishop. That is not a ward roblem but a church wide policy that goes all the way to the top. Your opinion may be taken seriously, but policy allows bishops, stake presidents and presidents of the church to leave women out f meetings and ignore their opinion.
Again, that is church-wide because of how church structure is set up, with decision-making power in the hands of men. That decision-making power is given because they hold the Priesthood, therefore women will never have decision-making power in the current structure. The can give advice. I agree that Gd loves all of us. I question whether the church is doing what it can and should to reflect that.
Like I said at the end I am sorry if I offended anyone. The Bishopric, Stake President, and all the way up the ladder have the ability to deny women from these meetings. However, I have never seen it happen. Yes, priesthood blessings are more powerful, but the way it was said made it sound like women had zero power.
God hears all of our voices. Many of the women on this site and others have experience with seeing exclusion. Does it happen all the time, no. But it does happen and policy allows it to happen. Since not everyone chooses to include women, policy needs to change.
So you believe blessings are more powerful, i. So you are okay with women being barred from that? You are okay with God listening to women and a bit more to men?
I can sustain and support someone without agreeing with everything they do. I can support them by telling them how to make people like me feel welcome.
I can show them a different perspective. You equate church leaders with God. I see men who are trying to listen to and follow God, like everyone else, who need support and information, not blind acceptance and obedience. As for why do we stay? Today was my last Sunday in church because of questions like that, because that question says that God only wants those who agree. Gd only wants those who fit a certain mold. And members only want people like them sharing their meeeting. That questions says that we need to justify our faith to someone with no authority over us, have to prove we are worthy to be a member with them.
It says we are unwelcome. So, I will not be returning because it matters more that I fit in than that I am seeking Christ. I never said anyone was ridiculous, I said the idea was ridiculous. I am not equating these men to God. I am saying that God called on them to be leaders of the Church and by sustaining them you are saying that you support them and the decisions they make. I am just confused as to why you feel like this. Honestly, your faith is your business.
What I don;t understand is why all of you guys are on here talking about this, when you should be talking to people in your ward about it. You are the only one who can make a difference in your area. Not all of these problems are local. There is also no promise that local leaders will listen, which is kind of the point. And often the answers we get are like yours; women are different from men and have different roles; you need to sustain your leaders, etc.
I redefined sustain, and you refuse to accept my definition. If my leaders do the same, then I have no recourse. So, how do we fix the problems we have, taking all that into account? You act like it is an easy fix. I have had a home teacher be both spiritually, emotionally abusive and he said he was allowed to act the way he was acting towards me because he was once a Bishop. That was abusive on their parts. I am sorry that this happened to you and he of course had no right to do that.
He abused his power and he does not have any right to do that. If you had a good friend who had male leaders, who you sustained, abuse their authority, what would you do? I really appreciate seeing this list. I had no idea that some women in the Church felt this way about these particular issues.
I can see how increased sensitivity, understanding, planning and organizing, along with changes could go along way to show more value for what women do in the Church and can do with their talents and abilities. I would also like to add my opinion that many things on this list are clearly issues in society and only loosely connected to anything in the Church.
As I read I found some of them to be very profound and serious while others were unfortunately untrue. I was just talking to my husband about this list as well. But, when they are all put together, the weight of patriarchy is really present. I hope it will be out by March. It is just as likely that I do not have many if any spiritual leaders or mentors of the opposite gender. I understand that there is inequality in gender roles in the Church.
Notice that inequality does not mean that some soul is worth more than another. It just means they have different roles. The church is not a democracy. If you truly believe revelation is received from Heavenly Father, why are you trying to council Heavenly Father to change His ways? For instance, why be so concerned about the priesthood being received only by men?
If women were supposed to receive the priesthood now, Heavenly Father would reveal that to us. I am just concerned that this movement is missing the point at times. While having healthy discussion in some of the topics above is healthy, some of them make me question the testimony of the person that questions the point.
Women are supposed to have the priesthood, and it has already been revealed. In the temple ceremony, women are called to be priestesses, and administer priesthood rites to other women. How is that not a statement that women are called to minister? And so, we are questioning. And hoping that the rest of the church is ready to respond. Thank you for proving the point so succinctly. Priesthood was first given to men in a time period when women were basically seen as the possessions of men.
Throughout the Bible, women were almost invisible as spiritual leaders and almost all of our scriptural texts are written by men. Women are still seen in many countries as possessions. Women in the U. Past cultural ideas about women definitely bled into past religious practices, and still color LDS doctrine. God does not teach principles to mankind that they have not the ability to comprehend. He teaches line upon line. I believe in bible times the cultural ideas about women were so rudimentary that many men could not even comprehend Heavenly Father having a truly equal female companion, our Heavenly Mother, and could not comprehend women as spiritual equals, let alone authorities.
We know that we have a Heavenly Mother, we know from temple ordinances that women are to become priestesses. Hi, I am a male. I feel most of the points made are true. Number 78 could be written better. Throughout the Bible men are designated as the presiding authorities of the home, and throughout LDS church history in sermons and conference talks starting with Joseph Smith, men have been instructed to preside, and women to obey.
The temple covenants and much of canonized scripture still designates men as the presiding authorities in the home, and women instructed to obey. Thankfully society is a bit ahead of LDS doctrinal teachings in that regard so that many male LDS members already treat their wives as equal partners.
I have seen many of these points. My experience Whoa-man, thanks for taking the time to chronicle your concerns. My dear mother, in the middle of a successful career, decided to stay home with her family, and that made all the difference for us—a family where the sons and the daughters have received doctorate degrees, are all active in the church, and are trying to make a difference in the world.
If I am anything today, it is because of my dear mother who taught me right principles and sacrificed worldly fame and glory for me. She was a lawyer, and I am currently in law school. Seeing many people who would cut off their right ear to get a job like she had out of law school is a poignant reminder of how much she sacrificed. Does the formal church organization ever send her a thank-you note or recognize her in church because she has a full family that remained entirely active?
Has she ever been relief society president? Does that make her a failure in life? Does her sacrifice make all the difference in the world to me, and mean more than any job, any amount of prestige and power, any worldly acclamation, or any calling ever could?
I will honor and thank her for eternity for what she has done for me. She is my hero, and if I can be half as good and loving of a parent as she has been, I will consider my life a success.
In terms of 1 and 2 , they are both entirely true assessments of the way the Church of Jesus Christ works. I believe that Jesus Christ is our savior and redeemer, that He came to earth to help us and teach us how to be perfect, as He is. I believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet of the Lord, who restored the true church with the proper authority to act in His name, and that it is only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we can repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure faithfully to the end.
That said, there are imperfect people within the perfect church organization, and some people may have improper attitudes. Many of your comments, though, strike not at insensitive men but at the organization of the church. As for 3 , there seem to be two causes. One, if men have the priesthood and are properly called and ordained of God, then they have been given the authority to receive revelation for their stewards.
If they properly execute their stewardship, then their words as moved upon by the spirit are the words of God. Any man that marginalizes or does not accept women as equal does not follow the teachings of the gospel. I hear you saying that the Lord has created an inappropriate process for decision making. Your points about specifics primarily revolve around clothing standards. As a side note, I was rejected from stake dances growing up because of dress and grooming issues.
The garment issue is a real one, I understand. Women tend to be less shallow. I think a lot of your comments are more about the differences between men and women, regardless of which church they go to, than they are about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
It was basically a non-issue. Any lack of financial autonomy on the part of single women stems from their own life and career decisions. Shame on those men. Any imbalance in numbers of singles comes from the fact that while there are roughly equal numbers of men and women born in the church, the sad truth is that men go inactive at a faster rate than do women, probably indicating that women have more spiritual strength than men do, on average.
There are individuals who are sexist in the church. There are a lot of imperfect people in the church. Women ought to learn to be more independent, to think for themselves, to not need validation from men to make their own life decisions, to not judge self-worth based on callings or prestige.
Men ought to love the women in their lives and support them in following their dreams and passions, to not judge or lash out at women for making decisions they would not have made, and generally stay active more and be more involved in the church. If you stick around, do the work, and read through comments you will find answers to many of your questions as to what many of us believe.
You will also find many of the points you take issue with explained. And yet, here we are. Read my response to Cameron two comments up. I agree with that. You seem to think women who work towards gender equality are too concerned with power and prestige. Is that really what you believe or is it a way to try to talk women out of thinking for themselves? I believe the work of fathers and mothers is equally important. Frankly, I think there is something to what both of you are saying. The priesthood hierarchy theoretically respects women, and feminists who portray it as a massive conspiracy to subordinate women are bit off.
On the other hand, too many men especially older men do view themselves as superior. You see this in the gay community, among blacks, and among feminists. Solidarity should not be blind. The hierarchy does subordinate women. My Mom is trying to teach my sisters to push back more when appropriate, and I think it makes wards and ward leaderships stronger when women are confident enough to speak for their own interests.
These are facts, indeed. But I find humor in recognizing most of them. I do not see inequality in the church. I see order, respect and perfect function as God intends when those who participate have a testimony of the gospel and its organization as a whole.
I respect all of my priesthood leaders for the positions which they hold and love the roles that the brethren accept as I continue to see how they are inspired callings. I am not in anyway intending to question the testimony of any soul but I do know that my own testimony is what gives me peace, even joy in the organization that might be perceive as inequality. And there are many. Wonderful, you have managed to do the mental, emotional, and spiritual gymnastics that are required to avoid the minefield of pain in which our circumstances see list above put us.
But some women again there are many, many of us have different experiences, where they must do some pain management or go crazy with depression. Why not have some compassion for the rest of the women not as fortunate to be able to handle this on testimony and prayer alone, yet who love the Lord and want to be in his household, and want to respect their priesthood leaders too?
Sydney, I see order, but not as God intended. Women re supposed to have equal power and authority- priestess to priest- but we do not. I tell my children that someday the church will listen to God on that.
The church is a place of order and peace but it is a negative peace, as described by Martin Luther King Jr, where the people can imagine a better and more just world but do not want to spend effort to achieve it. Forgive me if I duplicate something previously said,.
I was taught in my childhood and early years as a youth through the Scouting program how to protect myself from molestaters and bullies. My female counterparts were given no such training even though they are more likely to be the victims of pedophiles, bullies and abusers.
I was given extensive training in life skills and was introduced to several career options through Scouting that is considered hand-in-glove with the priesthood. My female counterparts were given passages of scripture to memorize and were given nowhere near as extensive training in career options. I have the privilege of seeing my gender reflected in God. I can speak about, learn about, pray to, and aspire to be like a God who is my own gender without being perceived as apostate.
I always see my gender represented in the imagery and artwork that fills churches, temples, and scriptures. The Lord speaks through his mouthpiece, the Prophet, and through his appointed channel, the Prieshood. We would be foolish to spurn the guidance that comes through this particular channel. When many were offended and stopped following Jesus because Jesus called himself the bread of life, Jesus asked his disciples if they would leave him too. It is a humbling experience to be in the Church.
The Lord requires a humble, teachable people. My take on the matter: Then we can determine if men and women alike in His church are doing His will. The Lord exemplifies the mentality He inspires in others: His power comes from His goodness, His humility, and His service to others. Men and women alike have ample opportunities to emulate Him; such opportunities are far from exclusive to supposed positions of privilege in His church.
I believe roles of stewardship that Christ has allotted to women are those of service to others. I believe the roles of stewardship that Christ has allotted to men are those of service to others. If men or women anywhere have construed the different roles of men and women as an indication of superiority one over another, then they do not understand the mind of God.
Men and women are to be valued equally, endowed with specialties and responsibilities of sometimes different but complementary purpose. If women in the church fulfill their roles with faith and humility, they will be blessed and be a blessing to others.
If men in the Church fulfill their roles with humility and faith, they will be blessed and be a blessing to others. The same promise is given to men and women alike who live faithfully and magnify their respective stations. If men or women view activity in the church of Christ in terms of power, privilege, prestige, or visibility, or if they insist in pitting the genders against each other, then I believe they are not interested in what the Lord has to offer.
I believe it is as simple as that. The most common sins that members of my gender are accused of whether by action or by association due to immodesty are not also synonymous with apostasy and corruption of religion. Whore of all the earth. The most iconic biblical persons of my gender have not historically had suspicion thrown on them regarding their sexual promiscuity.
Mary Madgelene, Eve, and virgin Mary. Mary Magdelene, Eve, and virgin Mary. Also, I will never experience being honored in fulfilling my divine role during a sacrament meeting and simultaneously told its inappropriate to publicly function as a mother during that sacrament meeting breast feeding. This discussion is fascinating to me. I have had little exposure to this issue. My wife has a graduate degree, a career and loves being a mom.
It is interesting to me that her mother is a university professor who also is very strong and leads a fulfilling life and also has no feminist activist feelings. I have no idea why not. My own mother is a stay at home uneducated mom and is more of a feminist than either my wife or MIL. Having said that, I wonder if one reason many mormon males have a hard time understanding this is that so many of us have no interest in the privileges.
Since so many men would rather not have the privileges, it makes sense that many would not recognize the inherent problems associated with it that you point out here. I would just as soon the church gave the priesthood to women and have these issues work themselves out by having women in leadership positions that could influence change.
This article helped a bit to see maybe why from a systemic standpoint it is desirable to have that bag of privileges, even if an individual woman might not want to exercise any of them ever. Men and women are different, yes — welcome to life. Welcome to the Plan of Salvation.
The differences between men and women strengthen, not weaken, the Church. There will always be things that men can do better than women, and that women can do better than men. The Church is true. I know it with my whole heart. I know President Monson has been called as a prophet to act as Christ would if he was on the earth today, and I trust that God knows what He is doing far better than we do.
That the man least qualified to be a bishop for example is still more qualified than the most qualified woman? That is just obviously false. And taking an average difference assuming you could even pin down that there was an average difference and codifying it in policy that categorically denies one sex access to some position? I know of several wives who followed their husband on service or specialty missions, in which their husband specifically called to serve in some type of capacity that was related to his profession.
The wife was a tangential member to the calling, which was really reserved for the husband. Could we also add:. And his relationship status is not part of the consideration law of chastity consideration aside.
This is saddening to me, but not for the same reasons as most of those who have posted. Why in the world do you want to be the same as men? In my opinion this is a testament to your lack of understanding of the gospel. I see those differences as strengths. Those differences in roles do not mean that women are lesser in any way.
There is something wonderfully connecting and precious about physically placing your hands on someone. We want to serve. I still hold to my opinion as stated above.
Good luck to you both. The privilege to approach God in special prayer without veiling your face. The essays contained in this issue run as wide a spectrum in feelings about the temple as the art that we found to accompany them.
Readers are sure to find at least one essay that does not sound anything like their experience with the temple. It is strange and wonderful and somehow deeply satisfying that a ritual that is so standardized can be interpreted in such magnificently varied ways. I hope that you read this issue with deliberation. I hope that as you read you imagine looking into the eyes of the women who wrote about their experiences. If you have ever read the proclaim to the family it is clear the the LDS church and our Heavenly do in fact believe men and women have different roles to play on earth but most definitely do not put more value on either role.
The worlds view does. As a woman you can do powerful things and make powerful influences without holding a certain title. God has given woman the most important role and that is to create life and care for his children. You do not always gain more respect because of your title, it comes from your character.
So much if your list is not a LDS problem. It is overall society problem and targeting the LDS church does nothing but degrade it. For example, I got called into the yw presidency a month before I had my second baby, then a month after I had my third baby I was called to be the president. I did in fact have final say on what our yw organization did and how we spent our money.
The Bishop asked me what I thought was best for the yw and wanted nothing more than the yw to feel loved and empowered from God. Just last week a member of our Bishop was released because his wife had a baby and was needed at home. But it does depend on the family circumstances. I have never felt like my husbands spirituality or personal revelation is more important than mine and neither does he.
He has to hear ken to his father as well. I have always felt encouraged to gain education and develop my personal interests and talent to enhance my life. The whole list looks at life negatively instead of looking at the blessings and opportunities we do have as women.
It makes me sad that there are so many woman that can only see and feel the negative and it makes me even more sad when those that feel it share it and convince others of the negativity especially in a church that fosters love and does have the deepest respect for women.! He is a good person. But he did not promise or covenant with God to be that way. Because I have not been abused by a trusted person, does not mean that someone else who has been abused by a trusted person must be lying, vindictive or a bad person bent against all things good.
Look for the good that can come from people actually learning from people who see patterns that are invisible to those unaffected by them. April, it is such a blessing that you have never felt the inequality that the author of this post and many women in the Church have felt. I have never experienced ecclesiastical inequality; therefore, ecclesiastical inequality does not exist. In the temple you will never be required to veil your face, promise to follow your spouse and give yourself submissively to someone else.
You will not have to wait for a male to bring you though the veil and your salvation is not contingent on someone else. If I divorce or if my spouse dies I can remarry in the temple. I do not have to worry about my spouse being sealed to both me and another man in the event of my death. I am not told that I will have brother-husbands in heaven.
I do not even close to agree with everything in this […]. The tradition of having men speak last in sacrament meetings. See here for a long […].
At the Pulpit Available for Free Online. Here are links to all of our winners. Exponent II Call for Submissions: Mormon Women and Food. Exponent Holiday Gift Guide. Find Gospel Principles lesson plans at the Exponent website! The Sabbath is a day to remember what God has done for us. Three Sisters, by Dieter F. As a Mormon Male: My odds of receiving a leadership calling compared to females of my same age, experience and spirituality are skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the calling, the larger the odds are skewed.
My odds of being asked to speak at church functions compared to females of my same age, experience and spirituality are skewed in my favor. The larger the forum, the more my odds are skewed. My church leaders are people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the calling, the more this is true. The higher-up in the organization the person is, the surer I can be. I can go home from most leadership meetings feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.
I can be pretty sure that a disagreement with a woman is more likely to jeopardize her chances for advancement in leadership positions and her reputation as a good Mormon than it will jeopardize mine.
I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my gender on trial. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my gender. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my gender is not the problem. I can watch general conference and see people of my gender widely represented in visage and voice. I can see many diverse examples of different career choices, personalities and representations of my own gender in leadership positions.
I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my gender present, more than a single woman in a group of men would be heard.
I can participate in meetings and share my opinions without colleagues suspecting that I am only here to represent my gender. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of the opposite gender and not feel any penalty for such oblivion more than women can ignore male patterns of behavior and communication.
I can critique the church and talk about how I fear its policies without being seen as much of a cultural outsider as women who have the same thoughts. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the opinions, perspectives and powers of people of the opposite gender. I do not have to educate my sons to be aware of systemic sexism for their own daily physical protection and positive child development.
As a child, chances are I was encouraged to pursue interests, goals and ambitions beyond parenthood more often than my sisters. I can be pretty sure of finding people in my church community who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps professionally. I can think of many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my gender would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.
I can drive poorly, be late to a meeting, cry and mismanage my financial affairs without it reflecting on my gender. I can be sure that my children will be taught materials that testify about the works, words, existence and deification of people of my own gender. I can find entire church manuals, lessons, talks, religious texts and historical scholarship which give attention only to people of my gender.
I can expect figurative language and imagery in most of our religious texts and arts to testify to the experiences of my gender. If I am emotional or upset chances are that it will be attributed to the problem I am facing rather than my gender. I can be pretty certain that my opinions will be taken seriously and not assumed that I am over exaggerating.
I can be pretty sure that no one will ever go over my head to speak to my wife about an issue or ask permission of my wife for something pertaining to my life.
If my day, week or year is going badly, I do not need to ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had gender overtones. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of dismissal or condescension owing to my gender. I will never have to confess sexual sins to someone of the opposite sex.
I will never have to sit in a disciplinary council and discuss sexual matters with an all-female court. I am far less likely to face sexual harassment and even sexual abuse in my church community than my female counterparts.
I am far more likely to be asked about masturbation from a religious leader. Chances are I was not taught about sex and chastity from someone of the opposite gender. I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability or virtue. I will never have someone of the opposite sex ask me about my underwear habits on a regular basis for temple recommend interviews.
Chances are that if I work and provide for my family I will never be called selfish or a bad father. Chances are if I do the same exact parental tasks as a woman I will receive praise for them and told that I am a good father more than she will receive praise for everyday parental tasks and told that she is a good mother.
The grooming regimen expected of me is relatively cheap and consumes little time. Chances are I never had youth activities devoted to grooming habits, style or trying on tuxedos for my future wedding.
Chances are no one comments about my clothing or body in leadership conversations and I am less likely to be scrutinized and turned away from a dance or program because of my clothing. If I am not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore compared to my female counterparts.
In general, I am under much less pressure to be thin and attractive than my female counterparts. If I am fat, I probably suffer fewer social and economic consequences for being fat than fat women do. I probably have less social pressure to alter my body in extreme ways weight loss, cosmetic surgery, hair color, etc. Whether or not I am attractive is not as closely aligned with whether or not I am intelligent, competent and worthwhile as it is for women. I can wear nice clothing similar to what I wear in my everyday professional life to church.
I can wear pants without any social repercussions. I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch. I can be opinionated with no fear of being accused of trying to be like a female. I can desire to hold the priesthood, serve in leadership positions and expect respect and praise without being called power hungry. On average, I am not interrupted by women as often as women are interrupted by men.
I can be confident that the ordinary language in all of my scriptural texts, church materials, manuals, talks and prayers will always include my sex, i. I will never get fired from a church affiliated organization if I choose to have children. Chances are that my mother, sisters and wife do more of the cooking and household labor and in particular the most repetitive and unrewarding tasks, including tasks for my own family like remembering birthdays, buying presents, sending cards, etc.
Chances are my mother, sisters and wife do most of the childrearing and in particular the most dirty, repetitive and unrewarding parts of childrearing. I am certain that I will be considered for positions, callings and jobs both within the church hierarchy and in the larger church-affiliated employment and that I will never be turned down based on my gender. I can assume that I will usually be addressed by the proper deferential title of my calling.
I can be certain that when I want approval for callings, ideas and decisions in my calling that I will be communicating with someone in my own gender. I can be certain that most talks about my gender do not refer to my reproductive capacity. It is assumed that I will have interests and career goals outside of my family. I do not face any community recriminations or public sanctions for these. It is highly likely that most of my spiritual leaders and mentors are of my same gender.
I will have the opportunity for more prominent, prestigious and public roles in the church than my female counterparts. I can be pretty sure that women will never teach me about sex, how to be a good man, what my divine role is, how to fulfill it and how I should feel about it.
As a child I received more funding for youth programs in affiliation with the scouting program and was allowed to do more elaborate, varied and skills based activities than my female counterparts. I am aware of the existence and role of the Heavenly Parent of my same gender, their position in the godhead and have some sense of my future role in the eternities.
I can be certain that people of my gender provided input to official church declarations and proclamations. I can be certain that I will never be asked to obey or hearken unto my wife in religious ceremonies. All things being equal, it is assumed that my spiritual revelation and stewardship trumps that of my wife and female counterparts. I am allowed to pray in general conference, bless my children and handle church finances. I have the opportunity to become a deacon, teacher, priest, elder, bishop, stake president, area authority, apostle, member of the seventy and prophet that my female counterparts do not.
I can hold the priesthood and pass that along to my sons. I can give blessings and heal others. People grant the words I use authority and authenticity. I rarely seek approval or validation about my life choices from members of the opposite gender in my church community.
I can be pretty sure that I can walk into any room or meeting in my church community and I will have more financial autonomy, decision making power and religious authority than anyone of the opposite gender. I preside over my family. I have the privilege of being unaware of my Mormon male privilege. I can be certain that there are people of my same gender conducting, presiding, speaking and sitting on the stand at all of my meetings.
She Ate the Fruit. December 14, at December 14, at 1: January 16, at 4: May 12, at 9: June 19, at September 13, at That is wrong - and fact made even more clear by the next point below. I believe it is this implication that perhaps led Joseph Smith to inquire of God about the meaning of this passage. Joseph left two records about what he learned by revelation in answer to his question.
The first is a summary statement about the story, which comes from the minutes of a meeting where he told a questioner that he learned that a man must marry for eternity or else he would be single in heaven. The most pertinent verses are 7, Verse 7 explains that for a marriage to be eternal it must meet four conditions which are: Now verses explain that the reason the woman and her seven husband were not married eternally is because they did not meet these four requirements.
Verses make clear the distinction between being eternally married and being an angel. If the story in Matt. Temple marriage, like baptism, is an ordinance of change and covenant making that must occur prior to entering into heaven. They are ordinances intended for mortals to prepare them for the endless state of Eternal Life in God's presence by bringing mortals into unchanging, eternal covenants.
Christ did not say that the married state does not exist, nor that husbands and wives will not be sealed in the heavens, but he said that marriages aren't performed in heaven. Neither baptism nor marriage is performed in heaven, but must be done on earth.
Temple marriage is also called "sealing" since a husband and wife are sealed together. It is an ordinance that can only be done on earth, like baptism, but if done with proper authority and if the terms of that covenant are fulfilled, then the sealing will be valid in the heavens and the husband and wife will be heirs together of the grace of life 1 Pet. Thus, in a generic sense, Christ explained that after we are resurrected, there would be no confusion about relationships because marriages aren't performed there.
Marriage, baptism, and some other covenants are handled on earth, either by the living themselves or by the living vicariously for the deceased, and sources of confusion will need to be ironed out and resolved with God's help before we enter into Eternal Life in His presence.
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them in the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Adam and Eve, before they fell, were immortal and were joined by God. There is no indication that God said "until death do you part" in joining them. They were married in an immortal state and were intended to remain joined together. Those who have experienced the rich joy of true love between a husband and wife - as I have - should marvel that God would want it any other way.
Marriage is one of the greatest and most divine gifts - a gift that is not eradicated in the resurrection. The world has lost this knowledge, but I'm grateful for the Restoration of the fullness of the Gospel and for the restoration of the Temple, where such sacred ordinances are performed. There are indications of eternal marriage and eternal families in the Bible.
One of the earliest comes from Job. At the end, Job is blessed with double of all the things he had lost Job We are then given a lost of these things, and indeed we see that he was blessed with double the number of sheep, camels, oxen, and asses. But "he had also seven sons and three daughters" Job The implication is that he still had the original children, consistent with the LDS view that families can be eternal.
Another suggestion of eternal marriage comes from the word of Christ about the sealing power he gave to Peter Matt. And of marriage, Christ said "What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" Matt. Also, in the Lord possibly meaning in heaven or in the eternities , the man is not without the woman and vice versa, according to 1 Cor. The Bible is admittedly incomplete in its teachings of eternal marriage, as it is for many doctrines and practices had by early Christians, including baptism for the dead 1 Cor.
But that doesn't mean that these concepts were not taught clearly by the Lord. Christ taught his apostles for 40 days after His resurrection, and we hardly have a word recorded of what He taught. John says his record just scratches the surface of all that Christ did and taught John And we have abundant evidence that there were books of scripture treasured by the ancients that are no longer available see my LDSFAQ page about the Bible.
How do you know that eternal marriage was not known and taught? It's existence is not obvious in the current canon of books that were written and preserved, but there are evidences from early Christian sources that eternal marriage was known. See Mormonism and Early Christianity archived , an excellent site by Barry Bickmore, for more information. Not all do, but it's definitely best to marry within the Church. It makes life simpler the more you have in common. Further, from a religious perspective, we are commanded to marry within the faith.
For example, Paul in 2 Corinthians 6: It really hinders progress. Verse 17 of that chapter says to "come out from among them" and "be ye separate" - warnings against adopting the ways of non-believers. Likewise, Moses warned strictly against marrying outside the faith Deut. I can imagine many good reasons for this wise counsel. And to make sure that one marries within the faith, one really should date within the faith, for people tend to marry those they date.
Ending in , there was a nearly year period in which polygamy was sanctioned and encouraged by the Church. It is now strictly forbidden. The practice commenced in the same way it ended: I don't know why the Lord commanded it, just as I don't know why there was polygamy among some of the greatest prophets of God in the Bible Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others. It is at odds with my cultural views and I'm grateful that it is no longer in force. Adultery involves having sex with someone who is not your wife.
Brigham Young and other past LDS polygamists were properly married to their wives - just the opposite of having extramarital relations. If having more than one wife is inherently sinful, then we also have to condemn the Bible which teaches that the old polygamist Abraham was a great and righteous prophet.
Christ even spoke about God as being the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" - giving tribute to flagrant polygamists.
Polygamy is unacceptable unless the Lord authorizes, but it is not inherently sinful. After the Manifesto, the government eased up on the persecution of polygamists. It was generally understood that men would not be required to abandon their wives and families as the government had tried to make happen before. Clemency came in several steps, with a fairly general clemency given to those who had not engaged in new plural marriages since Modesty is about respecting our bodies and not causing inappropriate attention to them.
It is about not trying to tempt others to think inappropriate thoughts. Modest dress depends on the occasion, to a degree. What is modest at a beach might be immodest in a classroom. As a minimum, modesty entails keeping our bodies properly covered. Modesty is important for both men and women. Speaking from the male perspective, I really appreciate women who dress modestly.
Immodest dress is selfish, calling undue attention to one's body, and it makes life a little harder for the males out there that really want to keep their thoughts clean. Of course, what guys think is their responsibility, not yours. What about the details? Call me old-fashioned, but I recommend knee-length dresses, high necklines, and avoidance of tight-fitting clothes. I also recommend keeping the midriff covered. As for sleeveless dresses, I personally discourage them.
Sometimes women don't realize the problems that some types of clothing can cause. I vote against sleeveless dresses and recommend a little thought when selecting attire. If that's offensive, I'm sorry. As for details that the Church teaches it's members, you may wish to consider the Church's booklet that it gives to young people and their parents, For the Strength of the Youth. The "Dress and Appearance" section states the following:. The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" 1 Corinthians 3: Your body is God's sacred creation.
Respect it as a gift from God, and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Prophets of God have always counseled His children to dress modestly. The way you dress is a reflection of what you are on the inside. Your dress and grooming send messages about you to others and influence the way you and others act. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and can exercise a good influence on those around you.
Never lower your dress standards for any occasion. Doing so sends the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval and that modesty is important only when it is convenient.
Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire. Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. All should avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle. Always be neat and clean and avoid being sloppy or inappropriately casual in dress, grooming, and manners.
Ask yourself, "Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord's presence? Someday you will receive your endowment in the temple. Your dress and behavior should help you prepare for that sacred time. Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. If girls or women desire to have their ears pierced, they are encouraged to wear only one pair of modest earrings. Show respect for the Lord and for yourself by dressing appropriately for Church meetings and activities, whether on Sunday or during the week.
If you are not sure what is appropriate, ask your parents or leaders for help. Macmillan Publishing Company, Modest dress serves as a physical and spiritual guard against immoral behavior and its inherent physical, emotional, and spiritual harm. Because modesty in dress cannot be reduced to a matter of particular styles, individuals are encouraged to use discretion to determine appropriate dress in varying situations.
While we do have general standards, we must not get judgmental about those who seem immodestly dressed. They usually don't understand our perspective. When I was in high school, a very nice non-LDS girl I associated with came to school with a deep, plunging neckline that embarrassed a number of us guys.
One of my LDS guy friends talked with her privately and talked about guys and hormones and the problems that women can inadvertently cause.
She was surprised and started carrying her notebooks in front of her chest, and never wore that dress again. Well, sometimes our youth need a helpful reminder of that sort - but it should be done privately and with sensitivity. One Church leader, expressing his personal opinions on the matter at a local youth conference in my town, talked about the strike zone in baseball - from knees to shoulders - and said that we shouldn't throw strikes against those we date, explaining that we should not touch others in this strike zone.
I found that helpful, though I don't think he really meant that one can't put one's arms around someone's waist or give someone a hug. We encourage our youth not to get too serious too early e. Anything that stirs passions or sexual thoughts should be avoided. Being all alone late at night is just not a good idea, in my opinion. I recommend getting home early, staying out of parked cars try the 2. Hand-holding and brief, non-passionate kisses are O. And touching someone else in the "strike zone" - especially in private areas you know, the places you need to keep covered with a swimming suit at a "decent" pool or beach - is wrong.
Touching that stimulates sexual excitement often called "petting" is wrong. Dating is about getting to know other people and eventually about finding someone that you can grow close enough to that successful marriage is a possibility. Developing that kind of relationship requires growth through communication, thoughtfulness, understanding, maturity, sacrifice, and tenderness. Growth in these areas prepares a couple to enter into the covenant of marriage and add the dimension of physical intimacy to what should by then be a deep and growing relationship.
Sadly, many couples in this world quickly jump ahead to a sexual relationship without building the foundation that is needed for a successful relationship. They bypass the growth that is needed and base their relationship on shallow physical attraction. It often becomes a house of cards that collapses into divorce or adultery or abuse or sorrow. The dimension of physical intimacy should only be added to a relationship after the couple has been legally married.
Marriage is a covenant that the Lord has given. Sex outside of marriage is morally wrong. Even for purely social reasons, the risk that a woman takes in uniting with a man and possibly bearing children requires some legal recognition and protection, lest women be exploited this still happens all too often as it is. But the Lord's perspective makes it especially important the sex be only within marriage, as emphasized in the LDS Proclamation on the Family.
For Latter-day Saints, the ultimate goal of dating is to find a spouse that can take you to the Temple to receive the blessings of eternal marriage - marriage that is not just "till death do you part," but one that can last eternally. This sacred blessing requires that the couple be living the Gospel and be worthy to enter into the Temple. Sexual activity prior to marriage makes a couple unworthy to enter the Temple. Repentance of such sins can take quite a while and is not a trivial thing.
I urge you to remain morally clean and do things the way the Lord has specified, waiting until marriage to enjoy the blessings of physical intimacy. Even from a purely secular perspective, sexual intimacy or living together before marriage is still harmful - especially to the woman - as she is being "taken advantage of" without the legal protection of marriage. Sexuality without commitment has proven to be harmful to the parties involved, with millennia of social evidence to confirm that.
Marriage as a social institution is their to protect the woman and society from the abundant harms of sexuality without commitment. Back to the LDS perspective, we are grateful that a loving Heavenly Father has told us how to live to be happy, and sexual morality is at the heart of that.
Sounds terribly old-fashioned - of course it is - but that doesn't take away the truth of the matter. Physical intimacy outside of marriage is wrong, unjust, and unkind. It's taking advantage of another person's body for our own benefit, and even if they are willing, there is spiritual, social, and sometimes even physical harm done to both parties.
Keep the commandments of God to have a decent life! The consequences of sin and real, and, with the help of statistical analysis, sometimes even measurable. There is genuine harm done to the participants of sexual immorality, such as a greatly increased tendency toward depression or suicide.
These and some other factors are discussed on a page in my "Snippet" section entitled, " A Plea for Morality: Good Reasons to Wait until Marriage. Stay away from it. It is sexual activity outside of marriage. And quite unlike legitimate sexual activity, it is not a form of expressing love to a spouse or strengthening a relationship with that spouse, but is an activity that is based entirely on self and selfishness.
For those that fall into this sin, it can hinder healthy and normal sexual development in marriage, hinder one's self-control and ability to sacrifice for others, and hinder one's spiritual relationship with Heavenly Father.
Many men that become involved with the great evil of pornography also become involved with masturbation, leading to patterns of behavior that are most unhealthy and destructive. The sexual misinformation of pornography can destroy a sexual relationship in marriage, and the additional sin of masturbation and its inward, selfish focus only exacerbates the problem. The early apostles and prophets mention numerous sins that were reprehensible to them.
Many of them were sexual sins - adultery, being without natural affection, lustfulness, infidelity, incontinence, filthy communications, impurity, inordinate affection, fornication. They included all sexual relations outside of marriage - petting, sex perversion, masturbation, and preoccupation with sex in one's thoughts and talking. Included are every hidden and secret sin and all unholy and impure thoughts and practices.
For our lives to have the greatest joy possible, we need to be in control of our bodies and yield to the Spirit of God. Conquering all sins of the flesh should be our zealous goal as we strive to follow Christ. I'm in favor of it. But if you're talking about kissing people you date, be cautious in how you use this form of affection.
Don't throw kisses around - treat them as something valuable to be used with discretion. And keep them short! Under a second or two could be a useful rule, I suppose. Long, passionate kissing definitely should be avoided. And French kissing is out--it's purpose is to be passionate and suggestive, not to express pure affection plus, the stuff with the tongues just seems tacky, in my opinion.
All of us can communicate loud and clear without using words. In fact, as the old saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words. If you put your arm around someone on a date, what are you saying without using words? How about, "I like you. What if you hold hands with your date? That's a notch or two higher, isn't it? Maybe that's like saying, "I really like you. What are you saying?
What do kisses mean, anyway? My seminary teacher tried to explain that to a bunch of us sixteen-year-olds one day. Generally speaking, when a girl is being kissed, she may be thinking, 'Oh. I'd like to do this again very soon. Can you see the potential for problems? Different people interpret kisses differently. Can you see how easily a miscommunication or a misunderstanding can happen? We communicate loud and clear with our actions, and if we're not careful, we could be telling lies!
Listen to Elder Marvin J. A lie can be effectively communicated without words ever being spoken. You mean, you can be dishonest by kissing someone? If putting your arm around someone means "I like you," and holding hands means "I really like you," than maybe kisses mean "I love you. Some will say, "I don't know about that; I don't think kisses mean I love you. That makes the point even better. Maybe kisses mean something different to you than they do to me, or to him, or her. And that's exactly why we have to be careful - because we could be telling lies with our actions.
This is a major reason why people get hurt, and why there's heartache. Kisses are wonderful, but they are powerful and should be handled with great care. I read about a young man who bragged that he had kissed more girls in one day than anyone else in his stake. He felt he had set a "record. I wonder how the girls felt about this. At the time they may have thought, "Wow. This boy really cares for me. Did they realize that each girl he kissed was only a notch on the way to his "goal"?
Do you think it would have hurt their feelings to know that? Monson said, "Men, take care not to make women weep, for God counts their tears. What has happened to kissing? Doesn't it mean anything anymore? Listen to President Spencer W. Kissing has been prostituted and has degenerated to develop and express lust instead of affection, honor, and admiration.
To kiss in casual dating is asking for trouble. What do kisses mean when given out like pretzels, and robbed of sacredness? Finally, the answer from a prophet: Kisses are sacred, and are meant to express affection, honor, and admiration.
In contrast, if you give out your kisses like free samples at the grocery store, what are they worth? About the same as free samples at the grocery store! One of my friends had an interesting experience at a wedding reception.
The bride pulled her aside and said, "Do you know what I regret? I asked my husband, 'How many girls have you kissed? This bride was embarrassed, because she had given out kisses like pretzels. When you go to your wedding, you don't want regrets to go with you.
You just want bridesmaids and flowers and cake and a clean, worthy young man or young woman who stuck to his or her standards, as you did. Save your kisses; you may need them one day. Look forward to that wedding day, and plan for it. How do you want to feel as you kneel at the altar? How do you want to feel about your past when you're looking into the eyes of your new husband or wife?
Well, you can make it happen just the way you want if you plan it now! In describing moral transgressions, the words that adults use sometimes confuse youth. When I was 16, I remember a Church leader talking to a number of the young men and telling us not to neck or pet when we went on dates. I nodded my head, and then went home to look up "petting" in the dictionary. It said something about affectionate fondling.
Then I looked up "fondling" and read something about touching. Then I wondered if that included hand holding or putting my arm around a girl. I think I figured out that it must mean touching certain places other than hands or shoulders, but I was confused.
Petting is a formal word that refers to touching of private areas, particularly breasts or genitals in the latter case, it's often called "heavy petting". Necking, another word that confuses some youth, refers to heavy kissing, passionate kissing, or "making out.
Here are the words of President Spencer W. Kimball on the topic, taken from The Teachings of Spencer W. Instead of remaining in the field of simple expressions of affection, some have turned themselves loose to fondling, often called "necking," with its intimate contacts and its passionate kissing. Necking is the younger member of this unholy family.
Its bigger sister is called "petting. Too often, young people dismiss their petting with a shrug of their shoulders as a little indiscretion, while admitting that fornication is a base transgression. Too many of them are shocked, or feign to be, when told that what they have done in the name of petting was in reality fornication.
The dividing line is a thin, blurry one The devil knows how to destroy our young girls and boys. He may not be able to tempt a person to murder or to commit adultery immediately, but he knows that if he can get a boy and a girl to sit in the car late enough after the dance, or to park long enough in the dark at the end of the lane, the best boy and the best girl will finally succumb and fall. He knows that all have a limit to their resistance Almost like twins, "petting"-and especially "heavy petting"-and fornication are alike.
Also like twins, the one precedes the other, but most of the same characteristics are there. The same passions are aroused and, with but slight difference, similar body contacts are made. And from it are likely to come the same frustrations, sorrows, anguish, and remorse.
The Church has prepared an important website on this topic: Mormons and Gays at MormonsandGays. The Church's position, as highlighted there, is this:. The Church still teaches the ancient principle that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God" and that those with homosexual inclinations can be full participants in the Church, provided that they do not act on those inclinations in ways that violate LDS standards no sex outside of marriage.
See President Gordon B. Our views on the importance of gender and the divinely appointed institution of marriage between a man and a woman are also affirmed in the LDS Proclamation on the Family. This is a difficult and sensitive topic, but the Church appears to be growing in appreciating the challenges faced by those who are gay or, more broadly, who experience same-sex attraction to different degrees. Regarding the difficult issue of same-sex marriage, for those who are wondering about possible reasons for the Church's position, I would suggest considering some of the relevant social issues as discussed by a non-LDS advocate of traditional marriage in the article " Marriage: Directly download the PDF report on marriage here.
The Church has released instructions to Church leaders regarding the same-sex marriage issue. That document may be helpful in understanding the LDS position and the approach of the Church.
The scriptural principles of sexual morality teach that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. This is a complex and sensitive issue and one can easily disagree with those teachings. However, the LDS position is not based on hate. Being opposed to smoking does not make one hateful toward smokers, though some anti-smoking fanatics can be hateful and angry.
Likewise, many ministers can strongly oppose alcoholism or other forms of alcohol use or alcohol abuse, yet can and should feel no hate for alcoholics. They are our brothers and sisters struggling with a heavy burden. Indeed, for a minister to condone alcohol abuse as just another lifestyle would be a grave disservice to his flock and to alcoholics in particular. Compassion is needed, for many alcoholics suffer greatly and feel that they have little choice in the matter. Ultimately, though, all of us can gain self-control over our bodies with the help of God.
Fortunately, Christ does more than simply define what is right and wrong. Christ offers the power to change. His love leads to newness of life as we follow Him, empowered by His grace. As sons and daughters of God, we are happiest and most free when we follow Him, even when great personal sacrifices are required along that truly straight and narrow path.
Those are oriented toward homosexuality face complex challenges that demand sensitivity and kindness. What may seem like an easy answer--"don't have sexual relations outside of legal, traditional marriage"--may be a far more challenging and painful burden than most of us can possibly realize.
While we may lack answers, especially easy answers, we can recognize the need to be understanding and compassionate. Here are some related readings that may help clarify why loving Christians may justly oppose same-sex marriage, for example, without being motivated by bigotry or hate:. Having same-sex attraction is not a sin. It's a challenge that we can cope with, though it can be difficult and painful. But it is possible to live the Gospel and find great joy in the Gospel regardless of our attractions.
The experience of Ty Mansfield, a gay Mormon, may be of value to you in understanding this issue. At the FairMormon Conference, held Aug. So much of the controversy happens around unexamined premises and conclusions drawn, often simply accepted without any real critical thought at all. Once we can understand how these have harmed our understanding, we can then move to a better place to articulate a reasonable response to those who question or criticize the Church's teachings…. The popular cultural myths that either people are "born gay" or that they chose to be homosexual or that their homosexuality is caused by parental nurturing or lack thereof are all reductionistic and cannot explain much, if anything, about the development of sexuality and sexual desire.
It's interesting to me that our popular and media culture seems to be so sure about something that science and the academy are not. The American Psychological Association's official pamphlet addressing sexual orientation concedes this point, noting that ultimately, "There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation.
Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles. He also addresses issues of identity and the shackles my term that we can impose on ourselves or others with terminology that pigeonholes people into an "identity" based on the attractions they feel.
As noted above, the Church has shown increased awareness of the unique challenges and pain that may be experienced by those with same-sex attraction, and is reaching out to help. However, ultimately they key to success in one's faith will depend on turning to God and the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to give us strength to cope with our challenges and to choose Christ above all.
It's the combination of God's love and our willingness to choose Him that can propel us past all the burdens and challenges in our way. Never an easy journey, but truly worth it. Below are excerpts from e-mail to me by an offended former boyfriend of an LDS girl.
Before he broke up with this girl, he had already sent me antagonistic e-mail condemning Mormons as an evil cult and indicating that he was going to gradually introduce his views to his girlfriend to wake her up. You know, sort of the wolf in sheep's clothing approach my spin on the matter. Summarizing his multiple messages to me, his two-month relationship with his new girlfriend quickly went sour because she would not accept his arguments that LDS religion is evil.
He tried to help her by attacking her faith with standard anti-Mormon arguments, and guess what? She wouldn't leave the Church, and he wouldn't leave his anti-Mormon mindset. Based on the nasty tone of messages I got from him, I can understand that she didn't want to put up with this guy - but he ascribes her reaction to Satan and the evil influence of the Church.
Here are selected excerpts:. I fell deeply in love with [a Mormon woman]. I even went with her to her LDS ward one Sunday not long ago because I felt a responsibility to show her I was open minded Jeff, the Mormon people are good people. They may have the best values, morals and outlook on physical living of any people I know.
Even the pastor at my church said so If everyone lived as Mormons physically do the world would indeed be a better place.
The Mormons won the battle. Joseph Smith and all his followers have raised their flag of victory over me. You see, although [my girlfriend] and I spent two of the most beautiful, precious months of our young lives together, once she saw that I was rock solid in my faith and that I would not convert she suddenly lost interest in our relationship.
It was at that point just last week that I knew it was time for me to witness to her concerning the truth that is our mighty and loving God. Her response has led me to believe that I have seen Satan in his highest and most terrible form.
She left an angry message on my answering machine, telling me not to contact her again and to leave my vehicle unlocked so that she could return every single thing I had given to her She interpreted my sharing the true gospel of Christ as sheer and utter hate for her and her church.
And now I've lost her. As I said before, I obviously didn't know what I was dealing with. What kind of church would evoke such hatred from such a gentle human being? I would have given her the love and respect that such a beautiful, special woman warrants. And i never got the chance because of the cruel, blasphemous lie that is Mormonism. Please - it's unfair to blame the Church for the very human reactions that occur when an emotional relationship breaks up.
Maybe this is the first time you've been jilted by someone, but those are pretty normal female reactions to some males, anyway, when things go awry. Especially when those males insult that which is sacred to them. And based on the anti-Mormon insults I've read from you before you broke up, it's very easy to understand why she would be upset with whatever you told her.
And look, it's hard for those in any religion to change or abandon it when they are deeply committed to it. Haven't you ever noticed the conflicts that arise when faithful Catholics date faithful evangelical Protestants, or Jews date Protestants? When the relationship doesn't work out, do we accuse the religion and call it anti-Christian because we didn't get our way?
Come on - be respectful of other people's beliefs. Your few words to me show strong bigotry and antagonism - of course a faithful person of another religion is going to have a problem with that. Before you set foot in the Church, you had preconceptions of major evil - preconceptions based on fear and ignorance - and these preconceptions clearly flavored your emotional response.
What was there that was evil? Didn't the Savior say by their fruits you shall know them? And you've already pointed out how exceptional those fruits are. Is the devil promoting high values, Christian service, love, strong families, and so forth, to trick people? When we go to the one Church with the most consistently praiseworthy fruits, do we suddenly find that Christ's test no longer applied?
Ignore the fruits of the tree with the best fruits, for that's really Satan's horribly evil sham? It's Satan getting all those people to pray and serve and have happy families and stay away from drugs and immorality? Didn't Christ already point out that good works are not Satan's, that a house divide against itself cannot stand?
As for the question, "what kind of church would evoke such hatred from such a gentle human being," I, too, would like to know. Where did you get all that hostility toward Latter-day Saints? Finally, if being dropped after a two-month relationship leads you "to believe that I have seen Satan in his highest and most terrible form," you might want to follow the evening news.
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The picture of this hemisphere…presented in the book has little to do with the early Indian cultures as we know them.
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them in the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: For health care, the church provides missionaries with limited medical care. Thus, in a generic sense, Christ explained that after we are resurrected, there would be no confusion about relationships because marriages aren't performed there.
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