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little_dog

Unworthy Temple Work

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4 Ye are also commanded not to cast any one who belongeth to the church out of your sacrament meetings; nevertheless, if any have trespassed, let him not partake until he makes reconciliation.

Which is the Bishop's call and responsibility. The assumption here is of non-stewardship, obviously if there is stewardship that changes things.

For those wondering what the full reference for AG's verse is (not just the verse number) it's Doctrine and Covenants 46:4

Edited by Dravin

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Which is the Bishop's call and responsibility. The assumption here is of non-stewardship, obviously if there is stewardship that changes things.

Doctrine and Covenants section 46 summary.

1–2, Elders are to conduct meetings as guided by the Holy Spirit; 3–6, Truth seekers should not be excluded from sacramental services; 7–12, Ask of God and seek the gifts of the Spirit; 13–26, An enumeration of some of these gifts is given; 27–33, Church leaders are given power to discern the gifts of the Spirit.

Listen, I am not advocating passing judgements upon our brethren and sisters but acknowledging in our minds that someone shouldn't be going to the Temple simply because they could not answer the Temple recommend questions how they should is not sinful.

Edited by AGStacker

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Why do we need to recognize the problem? Do we have some responsibility if we observe or know someone not keeping temple covenants and then see them in the temple?

I think we should never SEEK out this kind of information. I know people that just want to find something bad about whom ever they can. But should we stumble upon it, and have an absolute knowlege of it, then it should be mentioned to the bishop, then don't ever inquire about it again. He will do his job and follow up as he sees the need. It's not our business past that. We need to trust the bishop. Perhaps we think we are 100% sure, but somehow still wrong or don't know the circumstances of what we think we know.

Going to the basicics of not spreading gossip, never spread any "news" you hear, assume it it is hearsay and don't judge. :)

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AG, since you aren't answering the questions directly, but instead are using scriptures, I can only assume your thoughts. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that if I know Bro X fornicated on Tuesday and saw him taking the sacrament on Sunday, that I have a responsibility to stop him?

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I think we should never SEEK out this kind of information. I know people that just want to find something bad about whom ever they can. But should we stumble upon it, and have an absolute knowlege of it, then it should be mentioned to the bishop, then don't ever inquire about it again. He will do his job and follow up as he sees the need. It's not our business past that. We need to trust the bishop. Perhaps we think we are 100% sure, but somehow still wrong or don't know the circumstances of what we think we know.

Going to the basicics of not spreading gossip, never spread any "news" you hear, assume it it is hearsay and don't judge. :)

I am not advocating at all that we mention it to the bishop.

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Listen, I am not advocating passing judgements upon our brethren and sisters but acknowledging in our minds that someone shouldn't be going to the Temple simply because they could not answer the Temple recommend questions how they should is not sinful.

Then why did you quote Beefche? She asked about our responsibility, what we are supposed to do if we encounter such a situation. That's a separate issue from from the above. If that's the issue you really are addressing you'd have been better off quoting someone like Ryanh.

Vort's response is a good example of someone addressing Beefche's question.

This does not mean it is our responsibility to police everyone else, of course. But if for whatever reason we have actual knowledge of unworthiness and we see that person performing duties for which we know him/her to be unworthy, I believe we are duty-bound to let our leaders know what we know. Once we have given them the knowledge, the onus is on them and our duty fulfilled.

I'm inclined to agree with you here. I want to reiterate though how important it is that we aren't rumor mongering, and as long as we report to the proper priesthood authority and drop the issue. With that in mind I feel it's akin to raising your arm in opposition when a sustaining vote is called . You make your concern known to, and leave it in the hands of, those who have the calling and authority to decide and act on the information given.

Edited by Dravin

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I am not advocating at all that we mention it to the bishop.

Never said you were. Just giving my opinion. I think we should mention it, if we are sure. Then let it go after we mention it to the bishop. If we judge past mentioning it, we are doubting the bishop and his judgement.

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AG, since you aren't answering the questions directly, but instead are using scriptures, I can only assume your thoughts. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that if I know Bro X fornicated on Tuesday and saw him taking the sacrament on Sunday, that I have a responsibility to stop him?

I don't believe that people should be policing others and telling the bishop about ward members sins. I don't think it is sinful to recognize that someone should not be in the Temple. I think in Joseph Smith's time it would be easier to confront someone about a particular issue.

I shouldn't have replied to your particular post. I think I read through your post to quickly without realizing that my reply wasn't a proper response. It happens.

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I don't believe that people should be policing others and telling the bishop about ward members sins. I don't think it is sinful to recognize that someone should not be in the Temple. I think in Joseph Smith's time it would be easier to confront someone about a particular issue.

I shouldn't have replied to your particular post. I think I read through your post to quickly without realizing that my reply wasn't a proper response. It happens.

I think we should not even mention to the bishop that they were doing anything unworthily. Perhaps he already knows of the situation and that person is fine in what they are doing. (My ex was told to go to the temple just after he had seen the bishop while drunk. He thought it would help him.) I am suggesting that if you hav e s sure knowlege of a major sin, just to mention it to the bishop and move on. Something like, "I just wanted to make sure you are aware of this such and such situation." NO NEED TO SAY, 'I saw so sand so in the temple and I know they shouldn't be there." That is judging. We are not to do that. And let it go at that. Everything else is up to the bishop and the person. I think we do have that amount of obligation. But we are, in turn, obligated to move on past that. Do judge the person, assume the bishop knows what he is doing.

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Unless you were there when the sin was supposedly committed you just dont know anything. Some people just have dirty minds and see everything in that light. Gossip and supposition is not knowledge.

Oh and oddly enough people have been known to brag to friends about doing things they never did but think it will be impressing. Stupid yes but they still didnt do that particular sin.

Edited by annewandering

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Guest mormonmusic

This I just do not understand. I know people do it, that there are people who are dishonest in their interviews, but I don't understand it. Where is the joy of serving in the temple of the Lord when one must lie or be deceptive in some way to do it? Is it that they just don't want anyone to know their weaknesses or sins? Is it that they don't care about being dishonest? Is it that they want to maintain an image? I mean, don't let me in, please! If I cannot be truthful to do it! I just don't understand. :(

Without condoning the behavior....some people lose their faith in the gospel, or even the efficacy of the temple. There are many reasons why -- I've heard many. However, with how entwined the gospel is with family life, social position, status in the Church, the ability to participate in important family ordinances, etcetera, some people continue maintaining ties for social or cultural reasons. They no longer see the temple as necessarily the thing the traditional believer sees -- more of a cultural experience, or part of being a Mormon -- at least outwardly. So, they go, and feel OK about it.

Personally, I think it's a blow to personal integrity to go unworthily, although there are circumstances in which it isn't clear cut if you're worthy or not, or even need to confess, so for some, they might feel they are worthy when others might not think so...

At one time, I was really frustrated when I would sit next to certain people in the temple. they were members of my quorum, wouldn't do home teaching, would never be available when help was needed, yet they participated in all the higher ordinances and held a temple recommend -- while I sat there totally unsupported as a local leader.

I no longer feel that way -- everyone is at different levels, and I saw that the Bishop and SP were not prepared to do anything about these people who basically lived the commandments -- so what means worthy to one person, may well not mean worthy to another person.

Ultimately, it's not our position to judge.

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Guest gopecon

Why do we need to recognize the problem? Do we have some responsibility if we observe or know someone not keeping temple covenants and then see them in the temple?

In my earlier posts I was using recognize in the sense tha AG seems to be. That being if I saw someone in my ward drinking at a restaurant I would be surprised to see them at the next ward temple trip. As to your questions...I don't know that we "need" to recognize the problem, but I also don't think there is any unrighteousness in seeing it. We don't want to turn into pharisees who so zealously guarded the law that they entirely lost the spirit of it. I would almost worry about someone who was not bothered at all with people who knowingly enter the temple unworthily, defiling it in the process. That said, as I am not a bishop I do not want to worry about other people's worthiness. I have enough problems of my own that I'm working on. As a couple of others have said, if I had actual knowledge of some serious issue that I thought the bishop might not also have I think it would be appropriate to bring it to him as an FYI and then let it go. Whatever happens would not be something I should ever hear about, so I can assume it was taken care of and not concern myself any further.

As an example I have friends who had pirated numerous movies and video games. This was an actual knowledge case with the potential for criminal action if an aggressive prosecutor found out. I mentioned it to the BP and let it go. I don't know if they continued, or what if anything happened from that.

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4 Ye are also commanded not to cast any one who belongeth to the church out of your sacrament meetings; nevertheless, if any have trespassed, let him not partake until he makes reconciliation.

3 Nephi 18:28

28 And now behold, this is the commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it;

Doctrine and Covenants section 46 summary.

1–2, Elders are to conduct meetings as guided by the Holy Spirit; 3–6, Truth seekers should not be excluded from sacramental services; 7–12, Ask of God and seek the gifts of the Spirit; 13–26, An enumeration of some of these gifts is given; 27–33, Church leaders are given power to discern the gifts of the Spirit.

I prefer to take a more hollistic view in determining our responsibilities, and not selectively choose scriptures out of context. The above scriptures and non-scripture (chapter/section summaries are not scripture) need to be balanced with an understanding of other commandments, such as the beatitudes (see Matthew 7:1-5).

D&C 46 and 3 Nephi 18:28 are both situations where direction was being given to Church leadership - those who have stewardship or organize and conduct meetings.

In contrast, Matthew 7:1-5 was given to the masses:

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Given the very clear interpretation of Elder Oaks in regards to when/what is righteous judging (and he is a former UT supreme court judge - one who has had to carefully consider when judging is appropriate), and the direct commandment of Jesus to not judge lest we be judged, I don’t see it as any lay person’s responsibility to make any assessment of worthiness. In fact, I believe when we are in the process of making any such determination, we are proving we still have the beam in our eye the Savior was referring to.

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As an example I have friends who had pirated numerous movies and video games.

I hope the Savior is not so nit-picky with me. As I make many mistakes stumbling my way through parts of life, I work very hard to not be judgmental of others, so that I may receive such mercy in kind.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged . . .

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Guest gopecon

Ryanh - what if you had a friend or family member confide in you that they had just seriously violated the law of chastity, but they did not want you to tell the bishop so that they could attend a family member's sealing the next week?

With what I have read from you, you think that as long as I'm not the bishop it shouldn't even cross my mind that this is wrong. I don't evaluate my friends and acquantances for worthiness. I don't know who have current recommends. I would only care because I care about their welfare, but I have more than enough of my own faults to worry about. In the case mentioned above, I was the EQP and he was a quorum member, so there was some stewardship there, and they were actively committing a felony that is also a violation of the 8th commandment. They were fairly open about what they were doing, and it made me uncomfortable. If you want to call that nitpicking, you are free to do so. I don't know if the BP ever did anything, I still count them as friends and am very happy that they are active, valued members of the unit. We never stopped allowing our kids to see their kids. As the Savior said, "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again". I'd have no problem with a friend "judging" me like this.

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Guest gopecon

Mrcharlie, you are correct, but recommends are good for 2 years, and discernment does not mean that bishops are able to catch everything.

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My friend (really, he's a guy in my old singles ward) does temple work every Thursday afternoon. But my friends and I all know that he is not worthy.

What I don't understand about this is: A> Were these sins committed a month ago? a year ago? Maybe things have been already cleared up with the bishop? and B> if it's a law of chastity issue, I can't possibly see how somebody would 100% know that that happened unless they were actually right there in the bedroom/backseat of car/or wherever it took place with the person involved. Anything outside of that I'd put straight in the gossip category and chalk it up to MYOB. If it's a WOW situation, than I go back to letter 'A' again where, in most cases, that can be resolved rather quickly with the bishop. Gossip is one sin that the devil loves to snare people into and unfortunately, it's happening more and more in the church. I've even witnessed it with my girlfriends family who she now has a brother that, as of a year ago, has completely disowned her whole family all over some stupid crap that some relatives accused him of. NOTHING good has ever come from gossip or snitching. And to the people that do it, GET A LIFE!

Edited by Carl62

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B> if it's a law of chastity issue, I can't possibly see how somebody would 100% know that that happened unless they were actually right there in the bedroom/backseat of car/or wherever it took place with the person involved. Anything outside of that I'd put straight in the gossip category and chalk it up to MYOB.

I was never in the bedroom when my roommate was breaking the law of chastity, but there was plenty of evidence with which I could have gone to a bishop and suggested he talk to the roommate.

I'm not sure how I would handle this particular situation though. I suspect it would vary depending on the strength of my friendship with the person and the attitude I have to such matters at the time (my propensity to care varies over time).

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I was never in the bedroom when my roommate was breaking the law of chastity, but there was plenty of evidence

Plenty of evidence is NOT the same as actually knowing 100%. Lawyers have gone into court already thinking they had plenty of "evidence" to convict somebody only to end up sending some innocent person to prison. I still stand on the premise that unless you actually see it happening, then don't concern yourself with it. What a person thinks is happening and what really could be going on could be two different things.

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Gopecon, if my posts gave the impression that one should not “recognize”, ever have thoughts “cross [their] mind”, or be flatly apathetic, that was not at all my intent, and it certainly isn’t how I think.

First, I would encourage you to spend a few minutes reading Elder Oaks’ talk I linked to earlier? I don’t have either the time, or the ability to convey the understanding he provides regarding where it is appropriate to see and recognize a situation for what it is, and where it turns the corner into the act of judging the person.

I am not at all interested in lining up to cast stones at anyone that discretely takes their concerns to the proper priesthood authority. Yet, I can recognize such action as a terrestrial-ish response, and that there are better, more Gospel-centric, ways of thinking and acting.

When I have impulses to report something to the Bishop, rarely do I find my motivation to be Charity for the individual. That doesn’t mean that my motivations are inherently bad. Thoughts of keeping the temple from being defiled are not wrong. But I feel strongly that where my motivations in relation to others is not driven by Charity, I am failing to live the higher law (we are all at different places, and we are all striving [hopefully] to improve, so that anyone is failing to live the higher law is not a condemnation). For without Charity we are nothing. Without Charity being the major factor in my decision process, then I have a beam in my own eye, and am unprepared to be able to help another remove the mote from their eye.

I will readily concede there are many times when sufficient knowledge may exist to bring a concern to priesthood leadership. Yet, I also feel those time are FAR more rare than most people think.

Where we fail so miserably in our judging is in thinking we have sufficient information, when it is not even remotely possible for any of us (without the gifts of the Spirit – which likely won’t be fully engaged if motives are non-charitable) to be able to have sufficient information to judge. Yes, there are some minimum standards for temple attendance, but by and large, true evaluation of worthiness is relative, not absolute. See the parable of the divers I posted on another thread to illustrate that point.

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You know, in my 48+ years in the Church, from infancy to middle age, I do not believe I have ever felt the need to report anyone else's activities to the bishop -- except for one time on my mission, which I detailed in a post a month or two ago. In retrospect, I wish I had not told the district presidency member what I did. I wish I had kept my mouth shut and written a letter to the mission president, letting him deal with it. Definitely not my greatest moment, but I did the best I knew how at the time.

I admit to my own naivete and the blessings of having lived in really exceptional wards, so my experience may not generalize as well as others. But except for that one occurrence on my mission, I have never found need of sharing my concerns with the bishop about anyone else's spiritual state, in almost a half century of active Church membership. If this is something that some people feel the need of on a regular basis, my own suspicion is that the problem lies with them and not with the people they're reporting on.

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