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You no longer have to wait a year between civil marriage and temple marriage in the US

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4 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

So the point I'm getting at, in short, is that maybe we put too much value on the good of mortal marriage in our minds. It's not to say that there is no value in it (for sure), or that there is less value than there actually is. But simply that maybe its value is somewhat overestimated at times.

I, personally, have a moderate amount of distaste for mortal marriage. That isn't relative to non-marriage (I have distaste for that too). But relative to eternal marriage. Mortal marriage leaves a foul taste in my mouth. It is shallow and worldly and corrupt.

That's where the idea stems from.

You see, @Vort wants to use facts and stuff. But I'm using feelings to make my point. So...you know...

Ok, in this light, this is why I specified that civil marriage is a result from "sin" or "weakness" because if we all (all sons and daughters of God) had been living according to the commandments civil marriage wouldn't even be a thought. All would desire and live eternal marriage.

The only exception I can think of is found in the Old Testament, pertaining to a husband who died and then a brother or another takes his brother's wife as wife (only temporal ceremony). There appears to be a temporal and spiritual purpose that is taught in the Old Testament. I think it interesting also that according to Old Testament God took the life of a son because he was not willing to give seed unto his brother. That is another story though.

So, due to human weakness (the flesh is weak, spirit is strong), we now place Heavenly Father with decisions that otherwise would not be so. But I would say, civil marriage is better than cohabitation as it keeps with a public statement of vows/oaths that two people are now one flesh.

 

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Keep in mind that this was nothing but a thought exercise. So take my responses accordingly:

1 hour ago, Vort said:

I like your "what does that even mean?" question, because I think that's the crux of the argument. I note that you used the term "wholesome", which I think is exactly appropriate.

Fair enough. Marriage is more "whole" than non-marriage. But not always. Definitely not always. Maybe "should be" works better.

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If we are to be whole or complete—"perfect" is the Biblical term—we must understand what that wholeness looks like. And here's what it looks like, to some degree at least: A man and a woman bound together as one, each acting in his or her part, producing an output that has eternal worth, namely: A base of social interaction, a network of reliable couples that depend on each other and consecrate themselves to each other's well-being, and perhaps most importantly, children (and, by extension, parents), creating an order of inheritance and accountability that we call the patriarchal order.

If only this were what mortal marriage typically looked like.

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Here in our fallen state, we are cut off from God. In that sense, we are spiritually dead (again, by definition). Our duty is to regain our spiritual life and find a way to make it everlasting. That way is, of course, through the atonement wrought by our Savior. While walking blind here below, we find and emulate eternal principles and actions, or at least we do when we're trying our best. The union of man and woman into a single unit, the basis of the family, is perhaps the most fundamental of those eternal principles we seek to emulate.

And how is that done? Within the kingdom of God, it is done by making sacred covenants before God. Note that in this system, you can't even get married without consecrating yourself fully to God's kingdom. The consecration necessarily precedes the sealing! To me, this is both amazing and (ultimately) obvious. But I don't want to go down that rabbit hole at this time.

I'm with you...

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So how does this work for those who are not members of God's kingdom, or for those members who, for whatever reason, are unable or unwilling to make the necessary preconditional covenants in order to receive the sealing? The answer is marriage, as we understand it today: A legal contractual obligation that unites man and woman as a single recognized unit, justifies (we say "legitimizes") their producing children, grants to those children all the rights of inheritance and other protections that are normally recognized in society, and so forth.

Once again, I have to go back to the reality that a great majority of people who get married probably don't see it this way. It is, rather (there's that word again ;)), a self-fulfillment, passion-based, "feelings" based action. And in that regard, probably equivalent to the "living-together" they'd been doing the 10 years prior to the "marriage" party they decide to have.

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 and is recognized by God himself as a legitimate entry into the entire marriage relationship

This gets messy pretty quick. What aspect of mortal marriage is, exactly, recognized by God? Forced marriages? Party marriages? Common law marriages? Legal marriages only? By who's legality? Iran? China? Timbuktu? The village shaman?

And what about plural marriages? Why aren't those recognized in the same way outside of God's approval as other non-eternal marriages?

There's just too much complication, I feel, to simply say that God recognizes anything but eternal marriage in the end. I know there are policies and what-have-you in place regarding what counts as per entry to the church via baptism. But even that gets messy when you start looking at it from a world-wide view.

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Not at all. Accountability requires knowledge. Divine law simply is. Divine law is reality. Gravity works. You can't just step off a cliff and claim that gravity has no hold on you because you don't know about it. (Well, you can claim so, but it won't do you any good.)

A bit picking at the nits of my poor wording here. I meant that accountability to divine law requires knowledge. Which is the only real relevant point.

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But lacking accountability doesn't mean gaining joy.

Hmm. When I parse this relative to my full understanding of agency and accountability I'm not seeing it. Children who die under 8, as an example, have no accountability, and are thereby promised a fullness of joy.

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Marriage is better than no marriage because it more closely reflects the ultimate eternal reality. God is a husband, and his Wife is our Mother. They are married, eternally so, a unit that survives death and even survives eternity.

Once again I have to go back to accountability though. All who choose other than eternal marriage will be accountable. So is he/she who chooses mortal marriage instead of eternal more, less, or equally accountable than he/she who chooses no marriage at all? Obviously this would be a case by case thing and we can't really generalize application to the individual. But in principle, all things considered, I wonder.

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Mortal marriage has only ever been valuable insofar as it reflects divine reality.

Agreed. And oh how it does not so often.

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When we start talking about "homosexual marriage", then of course that doesn't even mean anything.

Yeah...we may as well talk about whether being married to a horse is more valuable than being married to a pig is.

And yes, I meant that to be as offensive as it's going to come across to some people.

A sham is a sham.

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I would say that "uncommitted marriage" is an oxymoron. Given the choice you offer above, I would suggest that "truly committed non-married cohabitation" is more of a "real marriage" than "uncommitted marriage".

Then we agree here. Though your definition of "marriage" doesn't necessarily seem to be synced up with the way the world views it.

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Not really sure what you mean. As Paul taught, traditional "[m]arriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled."

Yeah. Paul said some other interesting stuff that I struggle a bit to reconcile as absolute truth as well.

Example: some LDS guy who gets a quick Vegas marriage so he can "legally" get it on with a girl, followed by a quick annulment did not defile the bed and was honorable?

I'm not saying Paul was wrong. But maybe there's some translation flaws, pieces missing, or context that needs to be applied.

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My sense is that we agree in all or most of our thoughts, but that we are having a philosophical discussion about the nature of our verbal tokens.

Like I said, the whole thing I brought up was by way of a thought excercise for me. When push comes to shove, I'm playing a bit of devil's advocate on the matter. If really pushed I would likely argue pretty much the same as you are. Marriage is more wholesome. But I think it worth considering the ideas I'm suggesting where that may not be a perfect reality.

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Which is exactly what philosophy is, by the way: A discussion of how we use words. Many will thus dismiss our discussion as "only semantics", but I don't. I think semantic arguments are important, as long as we are not merely trying to impose our definitions preferentially over others. Semantic arguments allow us to tease out deep relationships between things that might not be obvious on the surface.

My problem with semantic arguments has always been when people define something according to their own personal perceptions (often without clarifying) and then demand that I or others are wrong based on that.

Well, and the childish sort of: "This means that!" "Nuh uh! This means that!" sort of debates that often occur.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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2 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

So the point I'm getting at, in short, is that maybe we put too much value on the good of mortal marriage in our minds. It's not to say that there is no value in it (for sure), or that there is less value than there actually is. But simply that maybe its value is somewhat overestimated at times.

I, personally, have a moderate amount of distaste for mortal marriage. That isn't relative to non-marriage (I have distaste for that too). But relative to eternal marriage. Mortal marriage leaves a foul taste in my mouth. It is shallow and worldly and corrupt.

Since the idea of mortal marriage was a made up idea, I'm inclined to agree with you.  Marriage anciently (and even somewhat recently) has always been a religious concept.  Anything else was what we'd call a common-law marriage or shacking up.  But people still made a declaration of being together.

I'll say a statement that will set feminists in an uproar.  But oddly, it is exactly what they are asking for.  The common-law marriage was really a man declaring to the world that this woman was his property.  A religious marriage meant that there were certain conditions and responsibilities between the man and woman (in most religions).

So, feminists see marriage as a patriarchal institution even though it requires concessions (responsibilities) on the part of the man, favoring shacking up in which a man doesn't have to buy the cow to get the milk for free.  That makes so much sense.

Now back to the mortal marriage thing.  As latter-day Saints, the Church's official position is that any marriage outside the temple is a civil marriage.  While we see things differently today, the parallel to ancient thought would be that even religious marriage in other churches are simply common-law marriages.  So, yes. they could be considered less valuable than they are.

But today's marriages in general are simply different in so many ways.  And even accepting that premise, we must also allow for the fact that each individual couple takes it to mean something different. So, I just think about things like this and say,"Meh.  Whatever."

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4 minutes ago, Mores said:

So, feminists see marriage as a patriarchal institution even though it requires concessions (responsibilities) on the part of the man, favoring shacking up in which a man doesn't have to buy the cow to get the milk for free.  That makes so much sense.

Yes.  Radical feminists condemn marriage as a form of prostitution, and seek to abolish it in favor of a free-love situation where women still act like prostitutes but don’t even get compensated for the services they provide to men, who are laughing about this new arrangement all the way to the bank.

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As I’ve been reading all the posts I am reminded of the wording in The Proclamation on the Family: “We the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve...solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God...”. Note, that the wording does not say that only eternal sealings are ordained of God, but that marriage is ordained of God. I take that to mean all civil marriages between a man and woman are ordained of God, which means they have merit. Most societies/cultures have some form of marriage. I believe it is a fundamental institution that comes from God. Perhaps it is wired into our DNA? I don’t know the answer to that, but it is interesting to me that marriage is a recognized institution across almost all cultures. I believe that our Father in Heaven has planned it this way.

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23 minutes ago, classylady said:

As I’ve been reading all the posts I am reminded of the wording in The Proclamation on the Family: “We the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve...solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God...”. Note, that the wording does not say that only eternal sealings are ordained of God, but that marriage is ordained of God. I take that to mean all civil marriages between a man and woman are ordained of God, which means they have merit. Most societies/cultures have some form of marriage. I believe it is a fundamental institution that comes from God. Perhaps it is wired into our DNA? I don’t know the answer to that, but it is interesting to me that marriage is a recognized institution across almost all cultures. I believe that our Father in Heaven has planned it this way.

Hmm.

I don't disagree with you. But just for thought: What if something was said along the lines of "We the Etc...solemnly proclaim that baptism is ordained of God..." Would that make all baptism ordained of God?

Like I said...I think I tend to agree with you that marriage between men and women, as a general institution, is ordained of God. But not "all" civil marriages -- just considering how broad that idea is.

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3 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Hmm.

I don't disagree with you. But just for thought: What if something was said along the lines of "We the Etc...solemnly proclaim that baptism is ordained of God..." Would that make all baptism ordained of God?

Like I said...I think I tend to agree with you that marriage between men and women, as a general institution, is ordained of God. But not "all" civil marriages -- just considering how broad that idea is.

I agree with you. “All” is a rather broad idea.

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Reading through (most) of this thread has made me wonder if I drastically underthink things, am too naive or am just plain dumb. 

 

Answers on a post card please 

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14 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Hmm.

I don't disagree with you. But just for thought: What if something was said along the lines of "We the Etc...solemnly proclaim that baptism is ordained of God..." Would that make all baptism ordained of God?

Like I said...I think I tend to agree with you that marriage between men and women, as a general institution, is ordained of God. But not "all" civil marriages -- just considering how broad that idea is.

I do think all baptisms are ordained of God.  While they aren't all done with Priesthood authority and won't work as a gate into the Celestial Kingdom, I do think that when a person makes that commitment to be baptized, God is pleased. 

Of course, as I write that I think of infant baptisms. Moroni 8 is pretty clear about how the Lord feels about that.  So maybe I should adjust my 'all' like @classylady.  Anyone who chooses for themselves to be baptized and make that commitment to dedicate their lives to God, pleases Him.

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18 minutes ago, dprh said:

I do think all baptisms are ordained of God.  While they aren't all done with Priesthood authority and won't work as a gate into the Celestial Kingdom, I do think that when a person makes that commitment to be baptized, God is pleased. 

Of course, as I write that I think of infant baptisms. Moroni 8 is pretty clear about how the Lord feels about that.  So maybe I should adjust my 'all' like @classylady.  Anyone who chooses for themselves to be baptized and make that commitment to dedicate their lives to God, pleases Him.

I agree with this, to the extent that mainline Christians consider there to be a covenant aspect to baptism.  But my experience is that most of them don’t.  

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4 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I agree with this, to the extent that mainline Christians consider there to be a covenant aspect to baptism.  But my experience is that most of them don’t.  

Most Christians I've talked to about it look at baptism as "an outward expression of an inward commitment."  I think that is the most common view of baptism, and I believe that God appreciates that declaration from anyone who is sincere.

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6 hours ago, dprh said:

I do think all baptisms are ordained of God.  While they aren't all done with Priesthood authority and won't work as a gate into the Celestial Kingdom, I do think that when a person makes that commitment to be baptized, God is pleased. 

Of course, as I write that I think of infant baptisms. Moroni 8 is pretty clear about how the Lord feels about that.  So maybe I should adjust my 'all' like @classylady.  Anyone who chooses for themselves to be baptized and make that commitment to dedicate their lives to God, pleases Him.

There's a difference between God being pleased with someone for doing their best and a counterfeit ordinance.

God is please with those seeking God. That doesn't mean God is pleased with the false paths claiming to lead to Him.

It's an interesting thought though. But if you're using the word "ordained" then what you're saying is flat out wrong. Only authorized baptism is "ordained" of God.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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41 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

There's a difference between God being pleased with someone for doing their best and a counterfeit ordinance.

God is please with those seeking God. That doesn't mean God is pleased with the false paths claiming to lead to Him.

It's an interesting thought though. But if you're using the word "ordained" then what you're saying is flat out wrong. Only authorized baptism is "ordained" of God.

I agree; but I think a distinction may apply for those who sincerely don’t know that the ordinance is a counterfeit of something higher.  If you know, from (incomplete) scripture or the Spirit, that baptism or marriage or blessing/christening or anointing of the sick is righteous and desirable; but you sincerely don’t know that the authority to do those things is not held by the people you’ve entrusted to do it—I think the Lord values and to some extent honors those good-faith efforts to comply.  But His smiling at a persons’s baptism into a Protestant sect, is different than the full cleansing and endowment of Spirit that comes with baptism and confirmation in the New and Everlasting Covenant.  His telling a newlywed couple “well, at least you aren’t fornicating, and good luck to you, and I’ll help you along as much as you’ll let Me” is very different than promising them thrones, kingdoms, powers, principalities, and eternal increase.  And so on . . . 

Obviously, I don’t think this principle has much application to folks who have grown up in the Gospel.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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On 5/10/2019 at 5:14 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

I think a distinction may apply for those who sincerely don’t know that the ordinance is a counterfeit of something higher.

This brings up an interesting point that opens commentary for Protestants.

Catholics completely believe theirs is the authorized baptism.  Protestants don't believe in authorization at all*.  So, how can it be "ordained" of God without even acknowledging the need for authorization, much less claiming that theirs is the authorized version?  In fact, to many baptism and other ordinances are optional anyway.

*I understand that authorization can be considered by some to be an informal authorization of "feeling called" or some such.  But certainly the concept of sacerdotalism is absent.

-- Then with regard to marriage, I don't believe civil marriage is considered a salvific ordinance.  So, why would it need to be under that umbrella?  Civil marriage is simply an earthly agreement.  And for the sake of establishing enduring family bonds on earth, that is all that is needed.  Government enforcement of marital rights is merely an earthly guarantee of a contract.

I don't see how one can consider this a violation of the law of chastity to exercise marital prerogatives with an earthly contract vis-a-vis an eternal covenant.

Edited by Mores

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39 minutes ago, Mores said:

I don't see how one can consider this a violation of the law of chastity to exercise marital prerogatives with an earthly contract vis-a-vis an eternal covenant.

You mean, from an LDS perspective?  Or from a Catholic/Protestant one?

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34 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

You mean, from an LDS perspective?  Or from a Catholic/Protestant one?

From an LDS one.  TFP seemed to be saying that civil marriage is... in some way... kinda sorta... a violation of the law of chastity.  Something like that.  I couldn't really make out the line of reasoning for that.

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