New Order Mormon

(A New Hope)
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:29 am 
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People often say that the doctrine that God will allow families to be together forever is the most important and most comforting doctrine in the church.

I would argue that many people outside of the church believe this. How often, while someone is dying, do they make reference to seeing their loved ones after they die? Seems like this is even common in traditions where there is no clear outline of what life is like after death.

However, the church doesn't really teach that people will be with their families for the most part. What it actually teaches is that God will separate you from your family if you do not remain worthy. And it's not a question of whether you're a good person. It's whether you get your temple ordinances.

Inasmuch as the celestial kingdom is the "top" kingdom, reserved only for the most faithful, and inasmuch as the "default" status of humanity is no temple ordinances, our teaching is not so much families WILL be together as it is that most families will be separated. Not a particularly loving plan if you ask me.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:18 am 
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yeah, LDS assume that no one thinks they'll be with their family in the afterlife. They think it will blow investigator's minds. They always say " You love your family? Want to be with them forever? "

But anyone I ever taught already thought they would see their family in heaven, we were the only ones attaching conditions to it.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:36 am 
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First of all, the church teaches that it is not automatic that you will see your loved ones. It teaches people who assume they will, that their assumption is wrong. Then it hands them the solution to the problem it just created. " see, you thought God loved you enough to let you be with your family, but you were wrong. God only allows you to be together if you are sealed. And Guess what? Our church is the only one who can do that sealing for you."

It is like advertising for any other product. First you have to create a need. I noticed the other day that television adds were creating a new need by creating a new insecurity. It was telling a "story" about this young woman who had a scar and was afraid that the scar was the only thing people ever saw when they looked at her, ever. So, after creating this huge insecurity in anyone who also has a scar, they could then offer the solution. See, we have this magic cream that will make the scar go away so then people will all like you. Because now you are not a human being, just a walking scar, but we can fix that. Send us money.

The church is no different and it is all marketing. Create a need, and then fill that need. You have to start by telling people that they are not good enough, then you offer to fix them.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:39 am 
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What a wonderful God we would have if He would break families eternally apart due to actions in this mere short mortal life based on "faith".

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:21 pm 
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I have heard it said that many religions believe families will be together in the next life, what makes the LDS Church unique is that it believes families will be separated in the next life unless they do what the Church tells them. Add to that the caveat that you have to give the Church 10% of your income before you can even get sealed to your family in the first place, and it starts to seem real fishy real quick.

Besides, "Families are Forever" isn't even scriptural. There isn't a single scripture outside of D&C 131 and 132 that mentions eternal marriage (and the latter is really mostly about polygamy), and not one single scripture anywhere that talks about being with your children forever. For all the hype, there is little scripturally to support "Families are Forever". But members are scared silly to lose their families in the eternities, hence all the hand-wringing if a family member decides the Church isn't what it is cracked up to be. Never has so much fear of losing your family for the eternities been based on so little scriptural support. So much fear, but so little scripture. It's mind-boggling really.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:58 pm 
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Thank you for this thread. This is a big hairy monster in my family, and the main reason I haven't come out to my grown children. Before we could (maybe) get to the point where they might understand that the church is the only one that threatens you with separation--instead of the only church that teaches we can be together--we'd have to go through a lot of awful drama based around why I must want to throw away my family. Bleah. I especially like the point made that the only way the church knows to keep families together is keenly tied to the payment of filthy lucre.

It was very nice the day my husband and I agreed we both believe we'll be together after death. After all, how does it make sense that death filters out all the good stuff, like loving family ties, but keeps all the bad stuff, like that cocktail you had at your friend's wedding, or the unpaid tithing? I don't think it does.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:32 pm 
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Even if you are 100% faithful and receive the highest degree of exaltation you are going to be busy creating your own planets, so it's not like you see your family even if you are faithful!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:45 pm 
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I contend that the church is one of the least family friendly organizations. It rips families apart both in the now and the hereafter. It is such a crock to claim they care so much about the family. Sure if your entire family is TBM you can all float along in ignorant bliss and it works. But have any family member slip outside and the hurt starts.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:53 am 
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Dr. Doe wrote:
Even if you are 100% faithful and receive the highest degree of exaltation you are going to be busy creating your own planets, so it's not like you see your family even if you are faithful!


Kind of like going to all of the meetings now for those in leadership eh?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:37 pm 
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Yeah I wish the church would be more specific about what being together as a family forever really means.

D + C 130: 2 "And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy." I assume that "there" refers to the Celestial Kingdom.

So, that makes me think that we'll get to spend eternity with our friends and neighbors, not just our family members we're sealed with.

Does spending eternity with your family mean that the only people you see for all of eternity are your family members, and maybe the Godhead now and then?

Does being together with your family forever mean your immediate family, or your extended family, or your spiritual family of fellow Latter-Day Saints, or the whole saved family from Father Adam down to the present time? D + C 128: 18 seems to point to a giant web of sealed people. I don't see why anybody in the giant sealed web couldn't hang out.

I've also heard it taught in Sunday School that those in the Celestial Kingdom can go down and visit people in the lower kingdoms. Well, how long can they visit? Can they visit their friends in the Terrestrial and Telestial kingdoms for a long time... maybe even more than they visit with the family members who are sealed to them in the Celestial Kingdom? Well, what's the point of being sealed to your family forever if you can choose to visit with whoever you want, family or not?

The church just doesn't give very many details. They just keep repeating vague things like, "Because of the covenants we've made in the temple, we'll see each other again one day," and "families can be together forever."

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:30 am 
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telemoonka wrote:

The church just doesn't give very many details. They just keep repeating vague things like, "Because of the covenants we've made in the temple, we'll see each other again one day," and "families can be together forever."


When you keep things vague, and emphasize personal revelation (TM) people can come to their own conclusions and the church minimizes the risk of people complaining or leaving or pointing out a logical flaw in a particular doctrine.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:50 pm 
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I'm pretty sure that when Joseph Smith was first teaching the doctrine of eternal sealing, it was really only focused on spouses being sealing for eternity. Sealing wasn't a method of staying with that person forever, but rather it was keeping the same type of marital relationship for eternity (i.e. sex and procreation). The idea that people not sealed together would be separated from each other in the eternities would have sounded absurd to church members during Joseph's day. The idea that you could continue to have sex and children forever was something new and appealing to some people.

The idea of sealing children probably became first popular with the early LDS women that had lost children either to early childhood death or miscarriage (which were very frequent during that time). Joseph used the idea of sealing yourself to children as a way of telling those women that one day they would be able to continue to raise those children up. I don't think that Joseph really thought through the doctrine as it has a lot of logical holes in it. Eternal sex and procreation was more appealing to men (especially polygamous men that were collecting trophies and didn't want death to take those trophies away), and having your children again appealed to the women saints.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:49 pm 
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True Believer wrote:
The idea of sealing children probably became first popular with the early LDS women that had lost children either to early childhood death or miscarriage (which were very frequent during that time).


I don't know. Both Joseph and Brigham had non-biologically related adults sealed to them as adopted sons and daughters. I think it was just more dynastic stuff early, then when polygamy went away, the idea of sealing biological children to parents became more important.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:58 am 
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But the beautiful doctrine! Temple work for the dead! All those families that did not have the advantage of temple work are gonna make it!
Now, those of you who DID do the temple thing, and now do not believe because of your blind minds and hard hearts, you are SOL...

Gonna be empty seats at your heavenly family reunion!

Please bear with the above sarcastic rant, this whole temple/eternal family concept is ridiculous, manipulative, and painful to observe. I see the feelings of my DW, who believes that if we are faithful, we will get to "keep our kids" , even if they are not faithful, but if ax-murdering, baby-killing apostate, me (sorry, there I go again) is not faithful, the celestial reunion is history. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:43 am 
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I don't know. I see it as yet another safety device put in place to get the congregation in line. Maybe a selling point too. Like someone mentioned above, it seems most people understand that when we die we return to live with loved ones anyways. So when did that change?

Here's the sell: you jack up the after life and make it sound bad (think sexless angels). Then, if you "join us, we'll make it good again".


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:06 pm 
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seeker56 wrote:

Gonna be empty seats at your heavenly family reunion!


A leader of mine whom I love and respect uses the "no empty seats" business as his family mantra. I have come to feel sorry for the immense pressure it is on all of them to stay the course or lose the family. It's very manipulative. In my truest TBM days I never believed so much of this nonsense to be literal, but I excused the tactic by saying "if the Lord had the brethren teach the truth it wiould diminish faith and nobody would bother." I refuse to view God as this kind of trickster any longer. My God wouldn't do that, and if He would we won't have a very close relationship anyhow.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Released wrote:
seeker56 wrote:

Gonna be empty seats at your heavenly family reunion!


A leader of mine whom I love and respect uses the "no empty seats" business as his family mantra. I have come to feel sorry for the immense pressure it is on all of them to stay the course or lose the family. It's very manipulative. In my truest TBM days I never believed so much of this nonsense to be literal, but I excused the tactic by saying "if the Lord had the brethren teach the truth it wiould diminish faith and nobody would bother." I refuse to view God as this kind of trickster any longer. My God wouldn't do that, and if He would we won't have a very close relationship anyhow.


Yeah, I've tried "running the tape" in my head on that one... There I am waiting in line at the pearly gates. I get to the front of the line. "Over this way, sir." Some dude to me - "Uhh, I'm so very sorry. You were doing so well. But then, let's see, checking the notes here.. you hardened your heart and quit believing, not good, not good. Yeah, right here and here were some pretty blatant demonstrations of cynicism and sarcasm. It's that whole mocking god thing, it just does not sit well with the administration.." So I'm led away somewhere and my file has a "not eligible for vicarious ordinances" sticker on it. Meanwhile, in another kingdom there is an empty seat and my fam wonders who was the last one who got on down to visit dad.

It doesn't strike me as very reasonable to believe in a god like that...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:20 pm 
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Iamdis Gusted wrote:
I have heard it said that many religions believe families will be together in the next life, what makes the LDS Church unique is that it believes families will be separated in the next life unless they do what the Church tells them. Add to that the caveat that you have to give the Church 10% of your income before you can even get sealed to your family in the first place, and it starts to seem real fishy real quick.

Besides, "Families are Forever" isn't even scriptural. There isn't a single scripture outside of D&C 131 and 132 that mentions eternal marriage (and the latter is really mostly about polygamy), and not one single scripture anywhere that talks about being with your children forever. For all the hype, there is little scripturally to support "Families are Forever". But members are scared silly to lose their families in the eternities, hence all the hand-wringing if a family member decides the Church isn't what it is cracked up to be. Never has so much fear of losing your family for the eternities been based on so little scriptural support. So much fear, but so little scripture. It's mind-boggling really.


Much of the Families are Forever comes from the King Follett discourse.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:48 am 
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document wrote:
Iamdis Gusted wrote:
I have heard it said that many religions believe families will be together in the next life, what makes the LDS Church unique is that it believes families will be separated in the next life unless they do what the Church tells them. Add to that the caveat that you have to give the Church 10% of your income before you can even get sealed to your family in the first place, and it starts to seem real fishy real quick.

Besides, "Families are Forever" isn't even scriptural. There isn't a single scripture outside of D&C 131 and 132 that mentions eternal marriage (and the latter is really mostly about polygamy), and not one single scripture anywhere that talks about being with your children forever. For all the hype, there is little scripturally to support "Families are Forever". But members are scared silly to lose their families in the eternities, hence all the hand-wringing if a family member decides the Church isn't what it is cracked up to be. Never has so much fear of losing your family for the eternities been based on so little scriptural support. So much fear, but so little scripture. It's mind-boggling really.


Much of the Families are Forever comes from the King Follett discourse.


True - but that wasn't even a talk at General Conference, just Joseph Smith's talk at some random guy's funeral. Hardly something to hang your hat on doctrinally. If the King Follett discourse is scripture, they should make it scripture, but it has a lot of "I don't know that we teach that" (in the words of President Hinckley) stuff in it, so I doubt they ever will.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Iamdis Gusted wrote:
document wrote:
Iamdis Gusted wrote:
I have heard it said that many religions believe families will be together in the next life, what makes the LDS Church unique is that it believes families will be separated in the next life unless they do what the Church tells them. Add to that the caveat that you have to give the Church 10% of your income before you can even get sealed to your family in the first place, and it starts to seem real fishy real quick.

Besides, "Families are Forever" isn't even scriptural. There isn't a single scripture outside of D&C 131 and 132 that mentions eternal marriage (and the latter is really mostly about polygamy), and not one single scripture anywhere that talks about being with your children forever. For all the hype, there is little scripturally to support "Families are Forever". But members are scared silly to lose their families in the eternities, hence all the hand-wringing if a family member decides the Church isn't what it is cracked up to be. Never has so much fear of losing your family for the eternities been based on so little scriptural support. So much fear, but so little scripture. It's mind-boggling really.


Much of the Families are Forever comes from the King Follett discourse.


True - but that wasn't even a talk at General Conference, just Joseph Smith's talk at some random guy's funeral. Hardly something to hang your hat on doctrinally. If the King Follett discourse is scripture, they should make it scripture, but it has a lot of "I don't know that we teach that" (in the words of President Hinckley) stuff in it, so I doubt they ever will.


I really believe that the reason that the church avoids making more scripture is because it would lock them into something they couldn't wiggle out of when questioned about belief.


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