NeedleinA

Help please. Doctrine concern & counsel needed...

Recommended Posts

Hello All,
Looking for some thoughts/ideas/counsel for a lovely Sister I know. She presented a concern to me and we both would REALLY appreciate your help addressing it and providing correct doctrine. I have my own personal insight, but would appreciate to hear from you first please. I realize that there are Brothers and Sister on this very forum in the same boat and I know we would appreciate your thoughts as well.

Actual Scenario:

Sister (soon to be baptized) and married to a non-member spouse, who is devote in his other religion. Non-member spouse is supportive/happy for her and their kids being raised in the LDS Church.

Her concern: She is concerned that her husband may never accept LDS temple ordinances, either here in this life as a member or in the spirit world. If he elects to not accept these ordinances, what ultimately will become of her and the kids?

To compound her concern, little birds have told her that: "My husband probably won't accept them (ordinances in the spirit world) then I get the choice of being a servant to people who did have a temple marriage or I can be some ones 50th wife or something."

Because of this concern, she is hesitant to proceed with baptism.

Thank you all in advance for your thoughts. I will have the Sister actually read the forum once enough posts have accumulated. - Needle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We do not know the doctrine surrounding this. Wild speculation on anyone's part to say something to her at all regarding it.

She needs to ignore it. If she believes that God is true and just then things will work out in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She need not worry. We don't have all the answers, yet, but God loves her, and will make her choices work to her best good, even if others' choices might make that difficult. See Mosiah 4:9. 

There are two separate issues here. First, what will happen to her husband if he does, indeed, reject the Gospel in the Spirit world and what will happen to her.

Brigham Young once told a sister whose husband had been harsh (we might say abusive) that "the grave is a mellowing place. You will be proud to be associated with him." Methinks that a lot of people who aren't inclined to accept the Gospel, and who even say they won't later, just might be "mellowed" beyond our expectations. I reject her little birds.

As to whether she would be forced to choose, yes, I believe that to be true. However, and this is critical, nothing she chooses would be coerced, and whatever she chooses would make her happy, happiest even. If she were given the choice of being alone forever, or being John Taylor's 50th wife, I'd see the latter as being preferable. Her mileage might vary.

 

Lehi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

There are really several different conditions at play here.

  1. Will the husband ever accept the gospel in this life?  Don't know.  But we always hope and pray, don't we?
  2. Will her life in the Church prohibit him from "having a chance" in the Spirit World?  Don't know.  Only Christ can answer that question.
  3. If the answers to those questions place her as a "single" person in the Celestial Kingdom, what is to become of her and her family?  We do indeed have a lot of speculation on this matter.  But most of it is Mormon Lore.  We don't really know what the deal will be.  But we can have full confidence that with Christ as the Judge, He will do what is right by a perfect balance of justice and mercy.

Here is a Q&A I had with a patriarch (who had a reputation for being the reigning doctrinal scholar in the stake) and which I asked again to a temple president.

What if my father is so unrighteous that he will never inherit the Celestial Kingdom? Does that invalidate my sealing?  How does that affect me in my sealing to the entire family of Adam?  Does it affect me in my inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom?

We're essentially part of a web, not just a single chain.  I belong to my grandparents as much as my parents.  If my father drops, I move up one link and I'm sealed to my grandfather.  Other links in the chain include my mother's side.  My parents were converts.  My mom never got to see her parents baptized in this life.  And we don't really know what will happen to them in the next.  I also have brothers and sisters and many children who will form other links into the family of Adam.

I do have to add that this type of question is apparently one where there is no clarity in all of our doctrines.  Neither of these two men (who are quite well versed in the doctrines of the faith) seemed completely confident in their answer.  But I did find the logic to be reasonable.

Nevertheless, that may not be exactly the same as her situation.  But has some similar elements.  

Does she truly feel she has received a witness from the Spirit?  That should be all that matters.  I'd think that if she does feel this is the true church, then the odds are that he has a better chance of accepting it if she moves forward, than if she refuses.  I'll pray that she does find the courage to proceed with her baptism.

Edited by Guest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NeedleinA said:

 

Actual Scenario:

 

Sister (soon to be baptized) and married to a non-member spouse, who is devote in his other religion. Non-member spouse is supportive/happy for her and their kids being raised in the LDS Church.

 

Her concern: She is concerned that her husband may never accept LDS temple ordinances, either here in this life as a member or in the spirit world. If he elects to not accept these ordinances, what ultimately will become of her and the kids?

 

To compound her concern, little birds have told her that: "My husband probably won't accept them (ordinances in the spirit world) then I get the choice of being a servant to people who did have a temple marriage or I can be some ones 50th wife or something."

 

Because of this concern, she is hesitant to proceed with baptism.

 

 

I'm so sorry, Sister, that your little birds have expressed such unkind and untrue thoughts to you.

First, covenants are between the individual and God. So, your first priority is to determine if the Spirit is instructing you that Jesus is our Savior, that this is the true Church, that the Book of Mormon is scripture, and that God leads by prophets today. If so, then you should be baptized to begin your covenants with God and receive a wonderful gift, The Gift of the Holy Ghost. This gift will help you find answers and bring solace to your soul in a deeper sense than you feel now.

Then, you live the Gospel as best as you can. We don't coerce anyone to join the church. We don't belittle anyone for their beliefs. We don't think of your husband as somehow "lesser" because he is not a member. Teach your children, love and serve your husband.

God is merciful and fair. We simply don't know if your husband will accept the Gospel in this life or the next. We don't know. What happens to you if your husband chooses to reject the church? Well, first of all, rejecting the church is subjective. Because we are not God, we don't know if rejecting it in this life is the ultimate rejection. We believe that the next life will have opportunities to hear the Gospel, accept or reject it and accept or reject ordinances. But, we don't know what judgment your husband will receive. One of the blessings we have is hope. Hope in Jesus Christ and His atonement. Hold onto that hope for your husband. Treat him with love and respect and don't despair. 

I truly believe that these fears are unfounded at this time (for anyone). This life is short when we think of eternity. There is so much that we don't know and must trust in the Lord. That is true faith--that God is who He says He is and that He can truly save us and that we can be truly happy in this life.

Focus on what you do believe/know about God. Focus on becoming closer to Him and serve your family. You can be a tremendous example of God's love to your family. Love your husband, support him, encourage him, serve him, respect him. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I just realized that I don't quite understand why she would want to call off the baptism for this.

Scenario A: The church isn't true.  She's just going to go to heaven like everyone else because she's a basically good Christian woman (I'm guessing) whether she joins or not.  No, I just can't accept that Mormons are not going to heaven just because other faiths don't consider us Christians -- even if the Church weren't true.

Scenario B: The church is true.  She needs to decide whether she'll

  1. Give up on the Celestial Kingdom for herself and her kids because she's "afraid" that her husband will never accept it. OR
  2. Do everything she can to ensure it for herself and her children and proceed with faith that her husband will eventually come around.

I'd think the choice would clearly be the latter.  But what do I know.

The little birds thing -- that's just a bunch of hoo-hah (yes, you can quote me on that).  Whatever happens, the Celestial Kingdom is not a place of slavery or servitude in the earthly sense.  We will all serve GOD and Him only will we serve.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful information so far everyone. I could have just shared my own single thoughts with her, but felt it best to involve everyone else for a wider range of help. Everyone has given some really good ideas/perspectives/thoughts. Through it all so far, there is one obvious consensus about what the "little birds" were trying to feed her:

1 hour ago, bytebear said:

We don't know.  There is a lot of speculation.

 

1 hour ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

We do not know the doctrine surrounding this. Wild speculation on anyone's part

 

1 hour ago, LeSellers said:

She need not worry. We don't have all the answers, yet, but God loves her,

 

38 minutes ago, beefche said:

I'm so sorry, Sister, that your little birds have expressed such unkind and untrue thoughts to you.

 

25 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

The little birds thing -- that's just a bunch of hoo-hah (yes, you can quote me on that).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Carborendum: She wouldn't be the first person to think that maybe limiting her husband's exposure to truth will mean it will go easier on him later.  There are plenty of people who think that way.  Also, she loves her husband and is scared.  That doesn't always help with logical analysis.

1 hour ago, NeedleinA said:

To compound her concern, little birds have told her that: "My husband probably won't accept them (ordinances in the spirit world) then I get the choice of being a servant to people who did have a temple marriage or I can be some ones 50th wife or something."

Whoever told her this should be walloped upside the head!

One thing is certain, they won't be together if she rejects the gospel, regardless of whether he does.  The wise thing is to get as close to the ideal as possible and trust God to take care of the rest.

While we may not know the details, we do have promises that people who are worthy but who didn't have opportunity in this life will not be denied any blessing in the eternities:

"The Role of Righteous Women", Spencer W. Kimball, October 1979 General Conference

"Eternity Lies Before Us", James E. Faust, April 1997 General Conference

I know there are more recent GC talks saying the same things, I just haven't taken the time to go find them.

Now, a personal story, in case it might help her (though I don't want to give her false hope, as it doesn't always work out this way): When I got married, my husband was not a member of any church and did not believe in organized religion though he believed in God and to some degree in the Bible.  We talked about this extensively and he made it clear he had no intention of joining the church and didn't want to be "preached" to.  He also made it clear that he would support me fully in my membership in the church and my spiritual life.  He came to church with me every Sunday.  We rarely talked about religious things - only if he brought them up, and that was very rare.

After about 5 years of this, a mutual friend sat down beside us before church one day and said to my husband (to my surprise and I assume his): "I think it's time for you to be baptized."  I believe my husband's response was something like "maybe".  Then the next week (or so) our friend asked my husband if he was willing to hear the missionary discussions and (still to my surprise) my husband agreed.  He took the discussions and was baptized shortly thereafter.

It wasn't me the Spirit inspired to bring this up, it was a mutual friend.  (After the initial "maybe" answer, our mutual friend talked to me separately, explained that he'd felt a strong impression to do what he'd done, and asked if I thought he'd made a mistake.  I told him it's never a mistake to do as the Spirit directs.)

FWIW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

My husband probably won't accept them (ordinances in the spirit world) then I get the choice of being a servant to people who did have a temple marriage or I can be some ones 50th wife or something.

Everyone has covered the point that any answers are speculative, so instead let me address the above point.

Do we, or do we not, believe that God loves and values his daughters?

Do we, or do we not, believe that God's plan is a plan of happiness?

Do we, or do we not, believe that exaltation is the ultimate expression of joy and fulfillment?

Are we to believe that "be[ing] someone's fiftieth wife" is somehow demeaning or degrading? Is it a lesser fate, to be shared only by women who gain a less favorable exaltation?

There is no such thing as "a less favorable exaltation." If a woman is exalted, then she is a god. There is no asterisk beside that.

If this good sister's exaltation lies in "be[ing] someoene's fiftieth wife," then she should happily embrace that exaltation when the time comes. In the meantime, worrying and fretting about it does no good at all, and might do a lot of harm.

Do what is right. Let the consequence follow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
14 minutes ago, Vort said:

Do we, or do we not, believe that God loves and values his daughters?

This is a point I had to put to a lot of prayer, for a lot of the same reasons as this sister (and especially listening to the tittering of silly little birds). I got that confirmation for myself, and I'd encourage her to seek the same. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
51 minutes ago, zil said:

@Carborendum: She wouldn't be the first person to think that maybe limiting her husband's exposure to truth will mean it will go easier on him later.  There are plenty of people who think that way.  Also, she loves her husband and is scared.  That doesn't always help with logical analysis.

Like I said -- I just don't understand, and what do I know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have her consider this: God wishes her to have the maximum amount of joy and happiness she is willing and able tor receive. If she receives baptism and the temple covenants, then God is able to give her the maximum joy in the celestial kingdom. Exaltation is promised to all those who faithfully accept and keep the temple covenants. The promises extend way beyond being sealed to family members.

If she accepts the fulness of the gospel, she opens the door for her husband to someday also accept it. If she closes the door on herself, she closes it on her husband, also. My non-member uncle was married to my LDS aunt for 40 years. When she died of cancer, he began to think about his family, children and grandchildren, and decided he did want to be with them for eternity. He joined the Church and was sealed to his deceased wife and his living children. He gained the blessing, because his wife did the right thing and never gave up hope, even in death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will say something that we do know for CERTAIN:

If this sister follows the will of God and is baptized, then she and her family will be blessed in this life and the next.  Regardless of what her husband does, in the next life she will be 5000000000 percent filled with joy and wonder beyond her imagination, thoroughly wrapped in the arms of Christ.

Now, all the particulars of that joy- like whom else is involved, that we do not know at this time.  And we can't know- we're not Christ.  What does that heavenly paradise exactly look like or how it works, that again we don't know--- even if we did see it, English doesn't remotely have the vocabulary to even comprehend that wonder, let alone articulate it verbally.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She needs to have faith that God is fair and just. She will not be held accountable for circumstances beyond her control. Paul addressed that very issue to the early saints:

 

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

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

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

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?" (1 Corinthians 7:12-16)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, bytebear said:

But what we do know is everyone will end up where they are most happy and joyful.

If you need me after I die, I'll be in the land of bacon between the Dublin Dr Pepper river and the Big Red pond.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it seems to me that there's a few possibilities. 

  • She accepts the gospel, an her husband does (eventually) too.  Best possioble outcome
  • She accepts the gospel and husband never does
    • She becomes a "servant to those who did have temple marriages"  (not sure this is phrasing the doctrine accurately)  Probably will still have great joy.
    • She becomes someones "50th" wife.  Sounds bad given our current culture, but might not be as bad as you think once the veil is fully removed.
    • Someone who's wife didn't make it makes her is first wife.  Could happen easily. 
  • She rejects baptism and eventually becomes a servant (or whatever is done) in a lower kingdom also without marriage. Here she's in no better position than the previous option, but in a lower kingdom.  

It seems to me that a truly merciful or just God wouldn't condemn someone simply because someone else does not accept the gospel. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an update to everyone that has added their comments thus far - thank you! The Sister has been reading this thread, with understandably mixed feelings on certain subjects.

I will leave this one quote from the Church: 
" Avoid sensationalism and speculation when talking about plural marriage. Sometimes teachers speculate that plural marriage will be a requirement for all who enter the celestial kingdom. We have no knowledge that plural marriage will be a requirement for exaltation."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/31/2016 at 9:37 AM, NeedleinA said:

Hello All,
Looking for some thoughts/ideas/counsel for a lovely Sister I know. She presented a concern to me and we both would REALLY appreciate your help addressing it and providing correct doctrine. I have my own personal insight, but would appreciate to hear from you first please. I realize that there are Brothers and Sister on this very forum in the same boat and I know we would appreciate your thoughts as well.

Actual Scenario:

 

Sister (soon to be baptized) and married to a non-member spouse, who is devote in his other religion. Non-member spouse is supportive/happy for her and their kids being raised in the LDS Church.

 

Her concern: She is concerned that her husband may never accept LDS temple ordinances, either here in this life as a member or in the spirit world. If he elects to not accept these ordinances, what ultimately will become of her and the kids?

 

To compound her concern, little birds have told her that: "My husband probably won't accept them (ordinances in the spirit world) then I get the choice of being a servant to people who did have a temple marriage or I can be some ones 50th wife or something."

 

Because of this concern, she is hesitant to proceed with baptism.

 

Thank you all in advance for your thoughts. I will have the Sister actually read the forum once enough posts have accumulated. - Needle

 

This is one of those things where you're going to have to trust the LORD not to shaft anybody. I'd tell something along the lines of we can't see the future and don't count anyone out till it's all over and done with. We do know that God is Just and Merciful- If our children want to have blessings of the gospel and your family, and do their best to get them, then they will recieve them.
In cases where an individual is stubborn about not recieving all the gospel the best we can do is continually pray over them and do our best to be a light and an invitation to them.... you never know, people change all the time.

If for some reason the husband doesn't ever repent, the wife will be able to eventually find another that will be worthy of love and the togetherness of a marriage and all the blessing that flow from it. The children will be able to choose to stay or not in the family unit based on both their desire and what they have striven for.

We may not know exactly how every case will be handled but we do know that in the end God will be Just and no one will denied of any reward that they have been faithful and true in seeking it. I would emphasize that we cannot be held responsible or recieve the punishment or reward for anyone else's choices beyond how we've used our influence on that person (supposing we have any).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

I will leave this one quote from the Church: 
" Avoid sensationalism and speculation when talking about plural marriage. Sometimes teachers speculate that plural marriage will be a requirement for all who enter the celestial kingdom. We have no knowledge that plural marriage will be a requirement for exaltation."

I agree with you and with this quote, Needle. Let me point out only that it was your friend who brought up the context of plural marriage; we were just responding to her thoughts. In that context, I stand by what I wrote: If plural marriage is required of all or any celestial beings, it will be to their great benefit and rejoicing, and they (both men and women) will be very, very happy indeed that things are the way they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

è tutto bellissimo Vort! (I attempted google translation:huh:)
I agree and believe she understands exactly what you and others were saying. In addition to the help of this thread, she says she just read her Ensign that arrived today in which there was a, "massive article about recognizing Satan's counterfeits or using the Bom to know when you are being spiritually duped.  That is what I love about the Church". She is looking forward to General Conference this weekend. 

Life is even better for her since my post 3 hrs ago. Thank you everyone!

 

Edited by NeedleinA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NeedleinA said:

 

...Ensign that arrived today in which there was a, "massive article about recognizing Satan's counterfeits or using the Bom to know when you are being spiritually duped. ....

Cool. I'll have to check that out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

 

è tutto bellissimo Vort! (I attempted google translation:huh:)
I agree and believe she understands exactly what you and others were saying. In addition to the help of this thread, she says she just read her Ensign that arrived today in which there was a, "massive article about recognizing Satan's counterfeits or using the Bom to know when you are being spiritually duped.  That is what I love about the Church". She is looking forward to General Conference this weekend. 

Life is even better for her since my post 3 hrs ago. Thank you everyone!

 

Ensign arrived today? Where is my mailbox!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now