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Grunt

What makes you a member?

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What makes one a member of the Church?  Is it simply a matter of being baptized then you're a member for life?  Are you still a member if you don't keep your covenants, don't attend Sacrament, and have no intention of doing so?   At what point, if any, are you no longer considered a member of the Church?

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48 minutes ago, Grunt said:

What makes one a member of the Church?  Is it simply a matter of being baptized then you're a member for life?  Are you still a member if you don't keep your covenants, don't attend Sacrament, and have no intention of doing so?   At what point, if any, are you no longer considered a member of the Church?

Being a member of Jesus Christ's Church is a covenant we each make at baptism.   This covenant remains throughout your life and into the next.  "Bob" who isn't honoring his covenants still has them-- he's just choosing not to honor them or receive God's blessings.   But the covenant still remains. 

There are two possible ways for these covenants to be revoked: 

1) "Bob" chooses to formally resign from his covenants and the Church.

2) "Bob" is excommunicated from the Church due to some grievous sin.  

In all cases, Bob is still welcome to come to Church, receive counseling from members, with the hope of repentance and once again honoring those covenants. 

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1 hour ago, Grunt said:

What makes one a member of the Church?  Is it simply a matter of being baptized then you're a member for life?  Are you still a member if you don't keep your covenants, don't attend Sacrament, and have no intention of doing so?   At what point, if any, are you no longer considered a member of the Church?

To me, there’s the administrative church, and the spiritual church.

If your name is on the church records, you’re in the administrative church.  

Members of the administrative church who are keeping their covenants have the seal of the Holy Spirit of Promise—the “earnest” Paul spoke of—and are members of the spiritual church, or Church of the Firstborn as it’s sometimes called in scripture.  I would venture to suggest that we each drift out of and back into the spiritual church as often as we are alienated from God through sin and then become re-reconciled to God and His Holy Spirit through the continued exercise of faith and repentance.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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I was excommunicated in March.  My name is no longer on the records of the church.  But I am working to bring forth the fruit of my repentance and be baptized again.  I am praying and studying the gospel more now than I ever have in my life, except maybe on my mission.  If asked, I would still identify as a member because I still attend and hold the same beliefs, doctrines, and practices.  

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Thanks for the responses.  I ask because I've had several experiences that I found "odd".  I guess, perhaps, I just take my faith too seriously?   The last experience was meeting someone while out that was having a beer and while discussing religion said he was a "Mormon".  He loved the faith, it seemed.  However, he hadn't been to Church, read the scripture, or apparently cared about his covenants in years.  Nice enough guy.  Had a good talk.  But it was just odd to be sitting there with him while he told everyone else in the group about how great "Mormonism" is.  

 

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10 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Thanks for the responses.  I ask because I've had several experiences that I found "odd".  I guess, perhaps, I just take my faith too seriously?   The last experience was meeting someone while out that was having a beer and while discussing religion said he was a "Mormon".  He loved the faith, it seemed.  However, he hadn't been to Church, read the scripture, or apparently cared about his covenants in years.  Nice enough guy.  Had a good talk.  But it was just odd to be sitting there with him while he told everyone else in the group about how great "Mormonism" is.  

I find that part of life is learning that everyone is on a different spot walking with God.  The man you describe: it's great that he at least enjoys some cultural aspect, but he should be taking his covenants more seriously.  That is is spot.  And I need to move forward with my spot, focusing on Christ, without any change based on where other folks are.

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15 minutes ago, Grunt said:

about how great "Mormonism" is. 

Not saying this is the case, but there are splinters of "Mormonism" where drinking a beer might not be frowned upon. Similar to splinters of "Mormonism" who accept Polygamy.
I think another vote for using The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints vs. Mormon (Mormonism). Mormonism can at times simply be too vague.

Edited by NeedleinA

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2 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

I find that part of life is learning that everyone is on a different spot walking with God.  The man you describe: it's great that he at least enjoys some cultural aspect, but he should be taking his covenants more seriously.  That is is spot.  And I need to move forward with my spot, focusing on Christ, without any change based on where other folks are.

I absolutely agree.  I think I was more concerned, perhaps wrongly, with the misrepresentation of the Church.

 

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6 minutes ago, Grunt said:

I absolutely agree.  I think I was more concerned, perhaps wrongly, with the misrepresentation of the Church.

 

It's... sad, but we all fail about representing the Savior.  Some more than others....   For example, I'm thinking of LDS Christian man I know who's an active member, BYU grad, temple married, and serial adulterer.  He's... on some levels a downright horrible example of someone who's supposedly having taken on Christ's-- the very Son of God!-- name.  On one hand, it makes me furious, but on the other... I know that Christ is the Judge not me.  I know that He knows this man's journey better than I: if this man is working on repentance to some degree, Christ is working with him.  Or if he's not, Christ will Judge and condemn him way more effectively than I ever could.

Edited by Jane_Doe

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39 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Thanks for the responses.  I ask because I've had several experiences that I found "odd".  I guess, perhaps, I just take my faith too seriously?   The last experience was meeting someone while out that was having a beer and while discussing religion said he was a "Mormon".  He loved the faith, it seemed.  However, he hadn't been to Church, read the scripture, or apparently cared about his covenants in years.  Nice enough guy.  Had a good talk.  But it was just odd to be sitting there with him while he told everyone else in the group about how great "Mormonism" is.  

 

It's hard to say who is a good "Mormon" and who is not in many instances.  The only person that we can really work on being "good" is ourselves.  We can have an idea of what our close friends and family members are like in their beliefs, but the further we go from ourselves, the harder it can get.

Most of us in this life have our beams in our eyes that affect us in our righteousness.  Others may have motes or other difficulties, but the main focus for us should be whittling down those beams in our own eyes and perfecting ourselves so that we can be received into the Celestial Kingdom rather than trying to point out the motes in others eyes.

The Word of Wisdom stands at a very interesting spot in many ways.  We have been commanded in our day to follow it but this was not always so.  It was a word of wisdom or advice for people to follow, but in the past it was not something they had to adhere to.  In this, it is not a longstanding commandment such as the commandment to 'Keep the Sabbath Day Holy'.

There have been apostles and even prophets in the past that enjoyed a good brew.  One favorite among people is J. Golden Kimball.  Elder Kimball was especially known for drinking coffee and cussing.  He tended to have extremely colorful language, so much so that at times it was hinted that the prophet tried to help him overcome such things.  I think some people enjoy listening to Elder Kimball's talks even now because he was a decent speaker, but also in many ways was relatable to each of us by showing us very clearly how apostles are not necessarily infallible but are like us...struggling to overcome temptations of the world.  They have a special calling and election of which they fulfill, but they are still human and Elder Kimball was a very visceral reminder of this.

There are things that I struggle with greatly, in fact it's many things that I struggle with.  Some would think them no big deal while others may consider them extremely bad problems.  One that I struggled with in the past and still struggle with is being good with a budget.  Many Boy Scouts from the Church would bring up the Scout Law which points to one being thrifty.  I have had difficulty with this to the point that I don't see how I can ever fully retire...I simply need to keep the money I am a prime example of not being thrifty.

I think it is great that the man you met still had such a great feeling towards the Church.  It sounds like he, like the rest of us have things we need to work on and it would be even greater if he could overcome these things.  It seems his difficulties (though he may not see them as such) are a little more visible than many others.  It would be terrific if he could overcome some of these and attend church meetings more often (and perhaps he is aware that drinking alcohol is frowned upon and is self conscious about this and thus avoids coming to church because he feels he would be judged about it, or many other things that people stop coming to church for).  It can be hard for someone to take the first steps in this and sometimes they do not even feel they need to.  However, I feel they can still have strong beliefs in the Church and perhaps be better than us it just tends to be that their difficulties are more visible than our difficulties.

I have another difficulty which is not so visible at first.  I KNOW I need to focus first and foremost upon myself and my own salvation, but at times I also tend to be judgmental .  This is probably why I can write a little about this because I suffer from this fallibility in my own life.  I think at times the best path is to know that we need to try to work on our own flaws and become better followers of the Lord first, and then encourage our fellow brothers and sisters in their efforts to follow the Lord.  It perhaps is hypocritical for me to say this knowing my own flaws, but at times focusing on trying to be better people ourselves can be the better path. 

Sometimes seeing the flaws of others can help us realize our own flaws and help us to also focus on what we need to do.  We also need to try to be good examples, and if we can be good enough examples, perhaps we can help others and encourage them through our example to be able to also work on their own difficulties and overcome whatever sins they may favor or problems in following the gospel they may also have.

Edited by JohnsonJones
Got Elder Kimballs name wrong at first and corrections of that sort

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5 hours ago, Grunt said:

Thanks for the responses.  I ask because I've had several experiences that I found "odd".  I guess, perhaps, I just take my faith too seriously?   The last experience was meeting someone while out that was having a beer and while discussing religion said he was a "Mormon".  He loved the faith, it seemed.  However, he hadn't been to Church, read the scripture, or apparently cared about his covenants in years.  Nice enough guy.  Had a good talk.  But it was just odd to be sitting there with him while he told everyone else in the group about how great "Mormonism" is.  

 

This is not unusual.  There are many believers that due to personal reasons don't attend church.  But they do consider themselves believers.  We had a member in our ward that was a life long smoker, couldn't give it up.  He came to church every Sunday, and was a very faithful home teaching companion. Oddly, his wife was not a member.

I belong to a club of several hundred people.  Because of past leadership roles, I know many members personally.  Some have not been to a club meeting in years, but still consider themselves to be loyal members.

And they are.

Edited by mrmarklin

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On 11/21/2019 at 12:55 AM, Grunt said:

What makes one a member of the Church?  Is it simply a matter of being baptized then you're a member for life?  Are you still a member if you don't keep your covenants, don't attend Sacrament, and have no intention of doing so?   At what point, if any, are you no longer considered a member of the Church?

Yeah this has always confused me. I was baptised when I was 8 or 9, but since I was 14 until I was 19 I didn't go to church and I didn't keep any covenants and I had no intention of ever going back. Yet lots of people would still refer to me as a member, especially my mom even after I told her I am not religious anymore, but that's probably just to make herself feel better. It is weird and it used to annoy me a lot, even when I would say I don't identify as a member people would still refer to me as an inactive member. Probably, unless you request to have your name removed or are excommunicated you will still be considered a member 

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Guest MormonGator

The writer Evelyn Waugh had a great quote about this. When caught in his latest act of hedonism, someone said "How can you call yourself a Catholic?" Waugh replied, "Just think how bad I'd be if I wasn't Catholic?" 

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19 hours ago, Grunt said:

Thanks for the responses.  I ask because I've had several experiences that I found "odd".  I guess, perhaps, I just take my faith too seriously?   The last experience was meeting someone while out that was having a beer and while discussing religion said he was a "Mormon".  He loved the faith, it seemed.  However, he hadn't been to Church, read the scripture, or apparently cared about his covenants in years.  Nice enough guy.  Had a good talk.  But it was just odd to be sitting there with him while he told everyone else in the group about how great "Mormonism" is.  

 

I understand, interactions like that can be confusing! Some people still have an abiding testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel even if they are struggling to live it. It's like how a lifetime smoker may struggle to drop the habit, but still truthfully tell their children that their lives will be better if they don't smoke. I've met many less active members that still hold a testimony of the truth of Christ's restored gospel in their hearts. All of us fall short of the glory of God,  and even if someone is not actively trying to live that gospel right now, it doesn't mean they don't want to or that they will never come back and try again. 

Edited by Midwest LDS

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1 minute ago, Midwest LDS said:

Some people still have an abiding testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel even if they are struggling to live it. A lifetime smoker may struggle to drop the habit but still truthfully tell their children that their lives will be better if they don't smoke. I've met many less active members that still hold a testimony of the truth of Christ's restored gospel in their hearts. All of us fall short of the glory of God,  and even if someone is not actively trying to live that gospel right now, it doesn't mean they don't want to or that they will never come back and try again.

I guess I just don't understand that.  It's not in my personal ability to grasp that concept.  

I understand fighting addictions.  I understand failing to impulses.  I understand falling short in your attempts.  I don't have addictions, but I fall short in countless other ways.  What I can't wrap my brain around is someone wanting to try to live the gospel and not TRYING.  What I don't understand is knowing that the is the restored Church;  knowing that your loving father in heaven, your creator, your ancestors, ALL want you to attempt to be as Christ-like as you can; knowing that you made COVENANTS to do these things AND knowing you should do these things, that the salvation of you and your family depend on you doing these things, and making no attempt to try to do them.  

I just can't understand that mindset.  

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1 minute ago, Grunt said:

I guess I just don't understand that.  It's not in my personal ability to grasp that concept.  

I understand fighting addictions.  I understand failing to impulses.  I understand falling short in your attempts.  I don't have addictions, but I fall short in countless other ways.  What I can't wrap my brain around is someone wanting to try to live the gospel and not TRYING.  What I don't understand is knowing that the is the restored Church;  knowing that your loving father in heaven, your creator, your ancestors, ALL want you to attempt to be as Christ-like as you can; knowing that you made COVENANTS to do these things AND knowing you should do these things, that the salvation of you and your family depend on you doing these things, and making no attempt to try to do them.  

I just can't understand that mindset.  

I understand and I feel as you do. I also have a myriad of weaknesses and failings, but I know this is Christ's restored church, if I stop going that won't change. It's kept me active personally, but I know some people struggle with that. I'm just grateful God takes the long view, and many people like that guy you met will one day use that core of testimony still burning in their hearts to help them overcome their weaknesses and come back.

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Just now, Midwest LDS said:

I understand and I feel as you do. I also have a myriad of weaknesses and failings, but I know this is Christ's restored church, if I stop going that won't change. It's kept me active personally, but I know some people struggle with that. I'm just grateful God takes the long view, and many people like that guy you met will one day use that core of testimony still burning in their hearts to help them overcome their weaknesses and come back.

I hope.  I just can't imagine the reward, and thus eternal happiness, of someone who says "I know it's true, but this is just so much more fun right now" will be the same as someone who strives daily to be like Christ.  Maybe it will, though.  Maybe I'm the sucker following the rules when it really doesn't matter.

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5 hours ago, Grunt said:

I hope.  I just can't imagine the reward, and thus eternal happiness, of someone who says "I know it's true, but this is just so much more fun right now" will be the same as someone who strives daily to be like Christ.  Maybe it will, though.  Maybe I'm the sucker following the rules when it really doesn't matter.

I wouldn't say following the rules doesn't matter. You need to follow them to reach the Celestial Kingdom after all! But remember God set things up specifically because he knew his children would fall short, specifically the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The eternal rewards are the same for all who choose to follow his commandments and who repent of their sins. You're not a sucker. All of those people living away from God are suffering or will suffer the consequences of their sins. Would you trade the knowledge of where you stand with God for a beer or the chance to sleep around or the chance to embezzle money from your employer etc? There is a penalty for not living according to the will of God (broken marriages, STD's, broken friendships, destruction of health and self worth etc.) even if eternal forgiveness is gained. And don't let God's mercy detract from the joy you gain from living God's commandments! 

Edited by Midwest LDS

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If you're on the rolls of the church, you're a member.  You get on the rolls of the church through a naming and blessing when you're a baby, or when you get baptized.   The only way you get off the rolls of the church, is by having your name removed, or by being excommunicated.    Neither are things that just casually happen.

Every clerk's office in the world has the same thing happen - we receive someone's records nobody knows.  It's some older gentleman listed as a Deacon, or some such.  The bishop has someone go check on these people, and they're not interested.  Not interested in anything - either coming to church or having their name removed.  Sometimes they're angry enough at a visit to yell and get mad.  Someone's mom or aunt or ex-spouse ratted them out, and now here come the Mormons to bug them.  I've personally encountered half a dozen or more of these folks over the years.  We tell 'em about the name removal process, they rant and rave about how they'll send in their letter right now.   6 months later, the bishopric reviews their inactive list again, and say "did we ever get a letter from this or that angry guy?"  Never saw a single letter.

So yeah, we're not Once Saved Always Saved Christians.  We don't believe just because you were baptized means you'll go to heaven.  It's not grace only in this church.  You still gotta walk the path of a disciple in order to avail yourself of the work done by Jesus Christ.  But yeah, you get to stay a member unless you formally quit or we kick you out.  And we're not in any big hurry to kick you out, unless we learn you did something horrible, and aren't interested in repentance.

And as someone who went inactive for 6 years, I'm kind of glad it's that way.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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6 hours ago, Junior said:

Yeah this has always confused me. I was baptised when I was 8 or 9, but since I was 14 until I was 19 I didn't go to church and I didn't keep any covenants and I had no intention of ever going back. Yet lots of people would still refer to me as a member, especially my mom even after I told her I am not religious anymore, but that's probably just to make herself feel better. It is weird and it used to annoy me a lot, even when I would say I don't identify as a member people would still refer to me as an inactive member. Probably, unless you request to have your name removed or are excommunicated you will still be considered a member 

Its just formalism, if you re not active, in practical terms you are not a member.

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1 hour ago, Grunt said:

 I just can't imagine the reward, and thus eternal happiness, of someone who says "I know it's true, but this is just so much more fun right now" will be the same as someone who strives daily to be like Christ.  Maybe it will, though.  Maybe I'm the sucker following the rules when it really doesn't matter.

Yeah but when you're young you don't think about eternity or blessings you may receive, you only care about what the deal is for the night. To be honest even now when I think about only living a sanctimonious life it's kind of depressing and makes me want to go have fun, I just try not to think about it. 

Edited by Junior

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3 hours ago, Grunt said:

I hope.  I just can't imagine the reward, and thus eternal happiness, of someone who says "I know it's true, but this is just so much more fun right now" will be the same as someone who strives daily to be like Christ.  Maybe it will, though.  Maybe I'm the sucker following the rules when it really doesn't matter.

Well, are you measuring by

A) whether or not you are technically listed as a member on the Church rolls, or

B) Whether you are a person whom honors their Lord and Savior, walking in His ways and being glorified with Him in the eternities ?

Because walking the walk is critically important for option B.

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1 minute ago, Jane_Doe said:

Well, are you measuring by

A) whether or not you are technically listed as a member on the Church rolls, or

B) Whether you are a person whom honors their Lord and Savior, walking in His ways and being glorified with Him in the eternities ?

Because walking the walk is critically important for option B.

I wasn't very clear in my original post.  I understand that technically, if you're on the rolls, you're a member.  I guess I was more asking what YOU (royal you) consider to be a member.  The real question  I have isn't one that can be answered, except by a few.  That's "why do you consider yourself to be a member when you don't do anything that is expected of members, except be listed on the rolls?" 

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5 hours ago, Grunt said:

I guess I just don't understand that.  It's not in my personal ability to grasp that concept.  

I understand fighting addictions.  I understand failing to impulses.  I understand falling short in your attempts.  I don't have addictions, but I fall short in countless other ways.  What I can't wrap my brain around is someone wanting to try to live the gospel and not TRYING.  What I don't understand is knowing that the is the restored Church;  knowing that your loving father in heaven, your creator, your ancestors, ALL want you to attempt to be as Christ-like as you can; knowing that you made COVENANTS to do these things AND knowing you should do these things, that the salvation of you and your family depend on you doing these things, and making no attempt to try to do them.  

I just can't understand that mindset.  

Which covenants is he breaking though?

Has he been to the temple?

If we go scripturally, no where does it say if one drinks an alcoholic drink they are going to hell.  It doesn't even say that if one drinks alcohol, coffee, or tea that they can't go to the temple.  Instead it is a matter of policy that the church enforces today.  The Lord drank wine (though I have heard many say it was instead grapejuice and there is a good argument to that matter, but the Bible does say wine).  I would imagine he is NOT going to hell (or we hope not or we all will be there together).

Where does it say we have to go to church every Sunday?  It says to meet often as members, but I don't think it ever specifies that one has to do that via going to Church every Sunday.

Where does it say we must read the scriptures everyday in the Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C, or Pearl of Great Price?  90% of the people of the world in the past (actually it's more than that, but I'm giving the benefit of the doubt) could not even READ, much less study books of scripture.

Even if you do such things as drink alcohol or smoke, once you've been to the temple, if you do not feel you need to go again, you can be a faithful member for the most part and still disobey the word of wisdom.  You won't be able to pass a temple recommend (which is unfortunate for them, but it is what it is today with our policies), but there is nothing held against them within the church. 

Now, there are other covenants and promises he made which he may be breaking, but that's not what I want to point out here.

Many times people confuse modern traditions and policies as commandments.  Like the Pharisees we put too much emphasis on policies and cultural aspects rather than what the Lord truly tells us to do.

We worry FAR more about others than ourselves and what is pertinent for our OWN salvation. 

Now, this individual you mentioned seems to be very happy and thrilled with the gospel even if they are not keeping all the covenants they have made (perhaps they are doing other things such as breaking the law of chastity, or other such items which would probably not be following the Lord exactly).

Some time ago I had a young man come to talk to me about a new member in the ward.  He had no interest in the Church itself, but did wish to try to persuade others to not be baptized.  He came in confidence and informed me that the young individual that was a new member had broken the law of chastity with him since their baptism.  I had no doubt that he was telling me the truth.  This young man believed that we should excommunicate this new member.  However, I did not punish the new member for this.  I did bring it up and tried to clarify how much the new member understood about the Law of Chastity and counseled with them, but when I considered all the things in relation to this, I felt any Church punishment at this stage for this new member would be detrimental. 

They did not have as good an understanding of the gospel as many others.  In some ways, though they knew it was wrong, they did not realize how much of a sin it may be, especially what they were participating in.  The young man who had visited me had one intention, to drive this new member out of the church by any means possible.  Yes, the new member had been involved with sin, but they were at a different level of understanding with the gospel and the seriousness of certain sins in their life. 

Now this may bring condemnation from some here, but I did nothing towards the new member in regards to church discipline or any other matter except discuss the issue with them privately.  I felt greatly impressed that they were still progressing and learning.

In that same light, many new members become inactive very shortly after their baptism.  In some instances they have a great understanding of the church, but in others they do not.  In some of these instances these new members become older members that have not gone to church in decades and when they did...it was for only one or two Sundays.  However, I find with a few of them that they still have a strong testimony of the gospel.  They read parts of the Book of Mormon and were touched by the Spirit. They may be actively doing the best they can as they understand the gospel. 

Sometimes they have other issues which they have problems with.  I knew an older lady that was committing adultery.  She was inactive.  For whatever reasons she had a difficult time getting a divorce from her husband.  From what I understand he was rather abusive towards her and at one point she had escaped to police protection at a woman's shelter.  In the intervening years she had fallen in love with another individual.  She KNEW what she was doing was not in accordance with the laws of the Lord, the covenants she made in the temple, nor the rules of the Church.  However, she actually still loved the Gospel and the Lord. 

Now, I could have condemned her in this situation or demanded a Church court.  I did not.  She was already inactive and suffering from the consequences of her actions.  She knew others were probably judging her from it and I felt this was also a reason she was not going to church.  Once again, I took no actions in regards to Church discipline.  Instead, I got to know her better and invited her to come back to church. 

As she felt the love and fellowship of the leadership and eventually other sisters in the Relief Society she grew in her own desire to follow the Lord more fully.  She eventually got a full divorce and marriage to the man she was living with.  She returned to full activity in the Church. 

I feel that the Lord inspired the path we took with her as I feel it helped her far more in this instance than if we had decided to simply install Church punishment upon her. 

I see the Church as being a vessel to deliver the gospel.  It is a way to help it's members return to their Heavenly Home.  We are here to save souls, not drown them.  In the above circumstances I did not feel as if Church discipline was the answer.  In both of these one could say that they were quite actively breaking their covenants they had made.  I know some may say I was a bad leader and condemn me for these actions.  However, in both of these I feel we did the right thing under the inspiration of the Spirit.  This is not to say this is the only way things go, I have seen many undergo Church discipline including the unfortunate situations of excommunication.  These too are done with love (though I think many in the latter circumstance will disagree at times) in the hope that such a decision will drive home the seriousness of what they are about and drive them (hopefully) to their knees in repentance and return to the Lord and the Gospel in the Church.  However, there are also times when the situations are catered more towards the individual needs rather than what a strict adherence to law and judgment may decree.

I know another man in a similar situation as the individual you talk about above.  I love this member.  He is wonderful.  He loves everyone.  He is so charitable and friendly.  He has strengths in charity and caring that I can only dream of.  He never has a bad word for anyone and tries to help anyone who is in need if he can...including giving the clothes off his back and needing to buy more.  He is an absolutely wonderful individual in regards to loving his fellowman.

He is also a smoker and drinks heavily.  He is not always at Church.  He acknowledges these difficulties and at times I think he has given up even trying to overcome them and has instead settled down to a life where he has decided to enjoy it while he can. 

However, who is the better man, me or him?  I, with my judgmental attitudes (not always, but at times) and pride, or him with his more temporal problems?  I think he is probably a better person than I am.  I think the Lord loves him dearly and appreciates the great love the man exhibits.

So, I can see how one could love the gospel and still be doing things that are not in accordance with it.  Actually, we ALL do such things. 

This does not mean I will condone someone for drinking, smoking, inactivity, or disobeying the commandments...but that I can understand how one can love the gospel and yet be involved with activities which may not be in synch with the gospel.  I think we ALL have our own pet sins we participate in, some more visible than others, but ones that we need to overcome and work on to be perfected nonetheless.

There is only one perfect man who has ever lived on this Earth, and that is the Lord. 

PS: Sorry for the long reply, but I am trying to explain how one could be of this mindset and still love the gospel and love the Church.  It may have instead just made people think I am a bad judge of character and a bad leader, but hopefully at least one can understand the idea how one may not be keeping all their covenants but still love the gospel.  In fact, come to think of it, except for the Lord, we all are basically in that situation to one degree or another depending on our understanding and advancement in faith and adherence to the commandments.

 

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