Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Please join us RIGHT NOW for the "Questions About Mormonism" Live Chat!

Good Day and thank you so much for joining us for our "Questions About Mormonism" Live Chat! I will be sitting right here by my computer today from 10:00 AM to 11:45 AM MST to answer any questions you may have about Mormon beliefs, lifestyle or doctrine. To participate, just scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post, and click the "__COMMENTS" link, then, when the comment window opens, leave your question or comment in the comment box. If you're too shy to comment, please feel free to "lurk" and learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or "The Mormons".



In case you are not familiar with Mormon beliefs, today I'd like to share an official document of our church entitled:

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

"We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."

Please uphold the following guidelines while participating in this chat:

1. This chat should be positive and uplifting, gentle and kind, so as to invite The Spirit of The Lord. We are all trying to emmulate the life of Christ and let's demonstrate that here today.

2. Please refrain from criticizing others beliefs, religions or religious leaders. This can cause contention and ..."fools lips enter into contention." Proverbs 18:6.

3. Name-calling, sarasm, insulting, and slander have no place here and will cause the offending participant to be banned from the discussion.

4. If a comment takes away from the spirit of the meeting, I, as the blog author, reserve the right to delete it.

Thank you for your visit today!

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66 comments:

Keesler Chaos said...

Hi Jen,

Thanks so much for hosting this!! My in-laws were here this weekend, and I told them all about this (they are LDS). They were impressed. Here's my question:

Whats with the magic underwear?

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Hi Beth! Haha, you crack me up! Mormons wear symbolic undergarments we call "garments". For women, it is usually a white cap sleeve t-shirt and bottoms that go down to the knees. For men, it is a white t-shirt, much like a Haine's and also shorts that go down to the knees.

Beth, Mormons are given these sacred garments when we make covenants with God in our Holy Temples. These are a reminder of our covenants and they also help us to keep the standards of modesty we believe God wants us to uphold. It's actually similar to how a priest wears his collar or a nun wears her habit. Our is just more of an inward show of our commitment.

Contrary to a belief I heard out there, we do change our "garments" everyday, and we wear they day and night.

Thanks for your question!~

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Sorry, there were a lot of typos in my last comment. If it's too confusing, let me know!

Fruitful Vine2 said...

Do all Latter Day Saints practice their faith the same way world over or does it change according to locality?

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Fruitful Vine, that is a great question! Latter-Day Saints practice their religion in the same way all over the world. If I go to church in Copenhagen, or Madrid, or Johannesburg, or Boise, I will know that the same lesson from the manual is being given in Sunday School all over the world. It is a very comforting feeling and probably one of the reason Mormons feel such a kinship one with another. If you meet another Mormon on the street, you know that you immediately have an deep set of beliefs in common and it gives you a connection to one another immediately. I love it!

Keesler Chaos said...

Thanks. That's a lot less mysterious than "magic underwear" sounds!

When do you receive these garments? Do you believe the garments will protect people from injury?

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Beth, we receive these garments when we make covenants with God in the temple as adults. We make these covenants when we are married of if we serve a full-time mission for our church.

Beth, I have heard that some people have gotten in accidents and were not injured in the places their garments were protecting, but I am sure many people have been in accidents or even killed while they were wearing their garments. We do believe it is a source of spiritual protection to wear them, but they do not make us infallible.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, we can have on hand as many pairs of garments as we would like, just as you would own many sets of regular underwear.

Keesler Chaos said...

So if a member doesn't go on a mission, and doesn't marry in the temple, they don't get any?

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Beth, exactly. One must make the covenants in the temple in order to have the privilege of wearing them.

Janelle Bartlome said...

Also those who are not married but feel they are ready to make those covenants may also go to the temple and then wear the the garments. Any adult who is worthy may go to the temple.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Janelle, yes, you are right. I am so sorry I didn't add that. I don't know how I could have omitted that fact, as I, myself, was not married in the temple, as my first husband was a non-Mormon, but I did make the covenants in the temple 8 years later on my own and was able to begin wearing the garments.

Janelle, thank you so much for that correction!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

So, to make sure there is no misunderstanding, those who are not married as well, but who make the covenants in the temple also receive the privilege of wearing the garments.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Might I ask all of your a question? Where did you hear about this chat? I am trying to discover the ways that have been effective at getting the word out. Beth, I know you came from MckMama's, right? Would you have come had I not posted the reminder there?

Beth said...

Just popping in to say "Hi", :) and of course I'm sitting here smiling over the "magic underwear".

Keesler Chaos said...

Sorry, I know this is coming in past the end time. I got caught up in the waterfall of school questions that happens every time I sit down.

Is there a scripture reference you could refer me to regarding garments? I have BOM, (and a bible, of course)but not the D&C or PoGP.

And yes, I came over from Mckmama

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Hey Beth! Thanks for being here! Hey, I think it would be cool if we started calling them "magic underwear"!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Hi Keesler Chaos, it's a little confusing now that we have another Beth in here! Okay, yes I will look up a scripture if there are any on that, or some other quote by one of our prophets and I will get back to you next week. Or would you rather me email you or post it in the "Questions About Mormonism 10/6" thread?

So, you home school? Cool! I did that for 13 years and have never regretted it! Kudos to you for taking your kids' education into your own hands!

Keesler Chaos said...

Does a quote from a prophet carry the same weight as scripture? I guess I was assuming it would be in the big books.

If you add it to this, I will check back later.

Thank you again!

Oh, and Hi other Beth!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Keesler Chaos, yes, to me, a modern-day prophet's words carry the same weight as written scripture by early church prophets or prophets of old in The Bible and Book of Mormon. I really enjoyed your visit and questions today and I look forward to talking to you again later!

Keesler Chaos said...

Thanks for doing the research for me!

And no, I wouldn't have remembered to come if you had not posted at blogfrog.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Keesler Chaos, okay here is one quote I found by one of our current apostles which was written one of our church magazine called The Liahona,, therefore I would consider it scripture...

"Wearing the temple garment has deep symbolic significance. It represents a continuing commitment. Just as the Savior exemplified the need to endure to the end, we wear the garment faithfully as part of the enduring armor of God. Thus we demonstrate our faith in Him and in His eternal covenants with us."

Elder Russel M. Nelson

Here is another link regarding the proper use of the temple garments addressed to members of the church...

http://tinyurl.com/y8e8fs6

Please let me know if this answers your questions and thank you, again, for being here.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Oh, and Keesler Chaos, did you read the correction I made after Janelle's posts about who is able to wear the garments?

Keesler Chaos said...

Woa! A MAGAZINE is scripture??? That's a bit mind blowing to me!

Yes, I went back and looked. My BIL was unable to do his mission because of a mental illness, and was recently married, but not in the temple, which would exclude him for garments, right? How does that affect his salvation? Does he go into a lower heaven?

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Okay Keesler Chaos, thank you for coming back! So, let me explain why we feel a magazine would be considered scripture first, then I will address your question.

Christians accept the word of prophets in The Holy Bible as scripture, as do we. We also accept the word of prophets who lived on the American continent between 600 BC and about 400 AD as scripture as well, whose revelations are written in The Book of Mormon.

Mormons also accept the words of latter-day prophets to be the word of God. The Doctrine and Covenants is a book of revelations given by God to Joesph Smith in the early days of our church, but now, in current times, we can find the words of our prophets in the monthly church magazines. This is how we stay in touch with what the prophet has to say to us, as well as listening to semi-annual conferences send around the world via satellite from Salt Lake City. It is to this conference my family traveled just last week, to hear the words of a modern-day prophet.

So, does that make sense as to why we would consider our official church magazines scripture?

Okay, now to answer your question. Your BIL, who could not complete a mission because of mental illness, did he go through the temple to make covenants and receive his garments in the expectation of going on a mission? Or did he never go through the temple at all?

If he went through and made the covenants, then he is one step closer to having partaken of the ordinances we believe will help him attain eternal life, or "The Celestial Kingdom", which is the highest level, and also, he should be still wearing his garments. However, one has to be married and sealed in the temple in order to attain The Celestial Kingdom. If a person was not able to marry in this life, and remained single throughout, that person would have an opportunity to marry in the temple in the next life, therefore enabling that person to enter into The Celestial Kingdom.

So, to summarize, if I understand your BIL's situation correctly, he would still need to go through the temple and make those covenants with his wife in order to be able to gain eternal life, or entry into The Celestial Kingdom. If he remains in the current state he is in, we do not believe he will be able to live with his family as a family unit in the next life. Again, I say all this hoping I have a correct understanding of your BIL's situation.

I know that sounds pretty confusing. Tell me if I stated it clearly....

Momza said...

Again, I am impressed with the clarity and spirit of your participation in this dialogue about the Church & Gospel, Jen.
You done good, missy!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Thank you, Momza! I don't know how clear I really was today, but you can't know how much I appreciate your support! Come back next week!

Keesler Chaos said...

Thanks for answering, it was sorta clear.

My BIL did not go to the temple before his mission, because he was never stable enough to be considered for one. So all he's out is being a "forever family" with his wife, right? Not out of heaven?

Wow, this is mind blowing to me! I never knew how complicated it all was! I already have my questions ready for next week!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Keesler Chaos,

I can certainly see why this whole thing seems so complicated as it does differ from traditional Christian beliefs.

I need to give you a bit of background before I answer your question.

Mormons believe in 3 degrees of glory, rather than Heaven and hell. The 3 degrees of glory are different kingdoms called The Celestial Kingdom, The Terrestrial Kingdom and The Telestial Kingdom. We believe this is referenced in The Bible in two places, of which I will post links if you'd like me to. I can also post a link to where is it described in depth in The Doctrine and Covenants, another book of scripture we use, as you know.

We believe that all of these kingdoms are more desirable than earth, but in only The Celestial Kingdom can one dwell with God The Father, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost. This is also where families can live out eternity together.

We believe that unless a husband and wife are sealed together in the temple, they cannot enter into The Celestial Kingdom, which is the highest level. As I stated earlier, if a person does not have a chance to marry in this life, they will receive a chance in the next life.

Also, we believe that God will judge everyone according to their knowledge. If your BIL is mentally disabled, I am sure he will be judged by God according to his circumstances. I certainly can't know how God will judge everyone, but I know He will judge fairly.

Keesler Chaos said...

So, essentially, he'll be in the same level of heaven as, say, me, a christian, but non-mormon? How is this affected by his being "sealed" to his parents? Will he be returned to them? Separated from his wife, but with his parents and sisters? (Neither of his sisters is "sealed to their husbands either.)

Thank you again for putting all this time into answering these questions.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Good Morning, Keesler Chaos! So, to tell you the truth, it makes me a little uncomfortable trying to imagine what kingdom you or your BIL will go to because then I have to judge you and I don't know you hardly at all, and even if I did, it still wouldn't be my place to judge. Only God will know what opportunities you had in this life and where you heart is. We believe that all who did not have the chance to hear his gospel in this life will receive the opportunity in the next life, and that all will be judged according to what their faith and how they acted on the knowledge they had.

As far as your BIL being sealed to his parents, I'm not sure really how it will work if he doesn't become sealed to his wife. I will research that further and ask Mormon scholars I respect and see what I can find out. What other questions do you have?

Beth said...

Ohhhh "magic underwear"..I like the sound of that! Too bad they don't have glittery stuff on them,hehehe. :) I just refered to them as my "g's".

Beth said...

Oh..Hi to the other Beth! :)

Keesler Chaos said...

I have 2 further questions. One: Why is there a need for a living prophet? The prophets were here to be God's mouthpiece, to tell man what God wanted them to hear, yes? At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was given to man, and now we can communicate directly to God without an intercessor. We no longer need a prophet, as God speaks directly to us through the Holy Spirit, right?

The second: According to LDS scripture, very few people are sent to hell, those being really bad guys, and those who've left the church, right? What if they leave to become christians? Are the still going to hell, or do they get to go to lower heaven?

And the magic undies? Maybe you could add some sparkles, just to make them look more magical-LOL!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Keesler, in the Old Testament we read...

Amos 3:7 "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."

I don't know if you have read many of the previous threads I've posted to, but we believe that Christ established His Church when He was here on earth. However, as each of the apostles was killed as were subsequent followers of Christ, there came a "falling away" or an apostacy of the church, as per this scripture referring to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ...

2 Thessalonians 2: 3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"

We believe that this was a time of darkness and lack of understanding among the human race. During the time Joseph Smith was growing up, there were miriad different priests and preachers trying to bring people to their churches, but each of them had a different dogma, and it was very confusing for Joseph Smith, at the tender age of 14, to decide which church to join.

It was during this time that he went to The Lord in prayer, in a quiet grove of trees, to ask which church he should join and he received a visitation from God The Father and His Son Jesus Christ. He was told that none of the churches were right and that he would be instrumental in restoring Christ's original church in the last days.

This is how our church began, and because Jesus had restored His original church here upon the earth, it was necessary to continue for Him to speak through prophets, as he always had done.

Mormons enjoy receiving God's word from a living prophet today because times are different and we have different problems than those who lived in days of old. For instance, we struggle with influences from multi-media, severe immorality, pornography and mothers murdering their own children by the hundreds every day. These were not problems which were faced in Bible times, or at least not to this extent. We, as Mormons, feel so blessed to be able to receive God's revelation about how to overcome these assaults by Satan and we receive specific instruction on how we can avoid their evil effects. And, we truly wish for all the world to receive this prophetic revelation as well, thus our efforts at missionary work all over the world.

Okay, for your second question, the only souls who will be cast into "Outer Darkness", which in not a Kingdom of Glory, are those "sons of perdition" who have seen God, but still deny him. That is my understanding. It is also my understanding that this is a widely held Christian belief, not just among Mormons. Because very few people actually see God, I believe very few people will be cast into Outer Darkness.

Keesler Chaos said...

OK, I get why you'd need a living prophet. Thanks.

So, I googled Son of Perdition and got this:

#1 The pre-mortal hosts (or followers) of Satan.
#2 Those who "deny the Holy Ghost," which is generally interpreted as leaving and fighting against the LDS Church after receiving a personal witness of the truthfulness of the Gospel from the Holy Ghost.

I'm specifically looking at #2. If someone who leaves the LDS church, after knowing the truth, being baptized, etc. and chooses to say that the church is wrong, they meet the definition. Yes? They go to hell, yes?

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

K, Ms. Keesler, I had a whole long response drafted up, then my power went out! Arghh! Starting over...

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Okay, Ms. Keesler, thank you for looking that up! So, again it is really hard for me, personally, to judge who will go to outer darkness. I can't know how irrefutable the evidence a particular person received of The Holy Ghost was. For instance, there are a few in my close family who have fallen away from the church, and who chose to fight against it and prove it wrong at every turn and opportunity they have. Are they going to be cast to outer darkness? I hope not, as I cannot be sure of what level of certainly they had that the church was true. I imagine if someone had 100% assurety by The Holy Ghost that the church was true, then they went about trying to destory it, still knowing that it was true, I would imagine they would be in a pretty bad place.

Again, it's very hard for me to judge what is in a man's (or woman's) heart and whether or not The Holy Ghost testified irrefutably. I really don't know what God would consider irrefutable evidence.

Keesler Chaos said...

Thank you SO much for your time in answering all my questions! As my DH's family is all members, I really strive to understand the culture. Thank you for giving my an insight to their beliefs. I am now reading up on the church, and finding MANY interesting things, but your very willingness has been a catalyst to my study. Thank you!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Ms. Keesler, you are so welcome! I have had fun and even learned much while studying for your questions. I hope you come back again, hopefully next Tuesday or even sooner with more questions! I have a question for you....do you talk to your in-laws about these things? If so, how does it go?

Keesler Chaos said...

I'm glad you learned something new! I'm a big fan of learning new stuff, hence the homeschooling!

I don't like to talk to my FIL about religion or politics. He is out to prove he's right and I'm wrong, and none too gentle about it. I'm not the kind of person who enjoys those type of discussions, so I avoid them with him.

My StepMIL is sweeter, but not very knowledgeable about her church. We discussed the differences between christianity and the LDS church, and she agreed with me that they are not the same. When I ask her a question, she talks about feelings, not facts.

My BIL And SILs are not practicing, and know less than I about church doctrine. I think they are just going through the motions, but not believing. They pretty up on Sunday, then go home for a beer and cig.

I will certainly return if I have a question you might help me with, but I must confess that I'm reading up now, and it's a bit frightening to read church history! There were some very strange teachings back at the beginning!

Thanks again!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Ms. Keesler, I agree, some of the early teachings are strange, not that I don't believe them, but even so. I was speaking with my father-in-law, who is the most righteous, humble, spiritual person I know, about this very matter recently. If you would like to learn some very beneficial information that is more applicable to this day and age, and could really be applicable to your life, whether you are Mormon or not, I would recommend viewing some of the recent conference addresses. All you have to do is go to http://lds.org, click under the General Conference bold print (near the top of the page) on "archives of the Conference", and quickly download the new media player. I have to say I am super-impressed with the video quality of the player the church now uses. Never seen better. Anyway, let me know what else you come across that you have questions about!

jrt175 said...

I never get to join live on Tuesdays, so I'm leaving a comment. I want to add my two-cents on a few things. The garment is a daily, private reminder of personal covenants made with god. It's really not so strange, others wear sacred clothing: Some Jews wear a type of apron with prayer strings (sorry, don't know the name), Muslims cover the head for modesty, and if I'm not mistaken, it also shows covenant/commitment (?). Even wearing a cross pendant is an outward expression of an inward commitment. We aren't the only ones wearing something, ours is just worn under our everyday clothing, so silly, secret, magical things have been made up about them.
Regarding the celestial kingdom and everything: In a nutshell, we will go where we are most comfortable and happy, spiritually. God is as merciful as possible and as just as necessary. We do believe in degrees of glory,and it gets confusing when you read the doctrine. I take solace in the idea that God will judge me perfectly and I will be where I deserve to be, and will be completely happy there. In church a guy gave a talk on this and tried to explain marriage and the celestial kingdom like this: "My friend and his wife were in 'The Quilted Bear'. She was in heaven, he was in eternal torment. The Celestial Kingdom is not like this. You will go where you are both happy together." I thought that was a clever way to explain a deep concept. "In my Father's house are many mansions.." We are all at different levels of spiritual maturity and our Heavenly Father will deal justly with each of us. Having gone through the temple isn't a 'golden ticket'. We still strive to keep covenants, commandments and to live a christ like life until the end.
I want to add that sons of perdition are not run of the mill mormons who leave the church. We can't judge that, because people can always repent and stop being hateful, etc. Sons of perdition have to have a personal witness of Jesus Christ, as in not just believe, but KNOW, because they have seen him and have had the priesthood and deny it all. We're talking about Judas Iscariot and that sort----a prophet or apostle who can have no doubt.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

jrt175, beautiful way of explaining this doctrine we have been discussing. Thank you so much for this addition and I surely do hope you can return again next week or some time thereafter!

jrt175 said...

I'm thinking I sounded gruff and know-it-all-ish. Please re-read that with a smile and a happy voice, as I meant it. I really enjoy the discussion and usually lurk, but had some time tonight....

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

jrt175, no worries! I always worry myself about how I sound because it is hard to put forth voice inflection in typing. You sounded great!

Keesler Chaos said...

JRT,

Read with sunshine!

Thanks for adding your thoughts.

"Sons of perdition have to have a personal witness of Jesus Christ, as in not just believe, but KNOW, because they have seen him and have had the priesthood and deny it all."

Please clarify "the priesthood". Is that the one at age 13?

Keesler Chaos said...

Forgot to say-Yes, I know that Orthodox Jews and Muslims wear special clothes, but they are not secret. Seems like the "magic underwear" is. This makes it more susceptible to speculation.

PS-The Jewish thing is called tallit, and the tassels are called tzitzit. The tassels are knotted five times to remind Jews of the five books of Moses. The four spaces between these knots represent the letters of God's name, YHWH. And the knots along the prayer shawl edges use exactly 613 knotted strings, representing the 613 laws of the Torah.

Your new knowledge for the day!

Now I have the song from Veggie Tales Jonah in my head
"Do what's right.
Don't provoke.
Put four tassels on your cloak.
Do not laugh, it's not a joke.
A message from the Lord!"

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Ms. Keesler, I guess the Mormon garments are more "secret" because they are underwear and, in general, people don't talk about their underwear too much, especially if it's "magic"! :)

And thanks for the tidbit about the Jewish religion. I love to learn something new every day!

jrt175 said...

Ms. Keesler: from the LDS point of view, that would be the Melchezidek (highest) priesthood. Sorry, forgot to clarify. At age 12 boys are ordained to the Aaronic priesthood. It is sometimes referred to as a "lesser" priesthood. Not lesser, as in less important, only that it deals with more temporal duties, like blessing and passing the sacrament, collecting fast offerings, serving the poor. The Melchezidek priesthood is the priesthood men hold who have the "keys" (authority) to perform saving ordinances, sealings in the temple,laying on of hands to confer the Gift of the Holy Ghost, etc. Also, thank you for refreshing my memory about the meaning of the Jewish clothing. I appreciate diversity and love to see/learn about the things different cultures and religions hold sacred. I suppose we could wear something outwardly that shouts "MORMON", like a funky hat or something :) but I personally like the idea of something private as I go about my daily life.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

You know jrt175, these days, with the extreme fashions coming about as they are, the way a Mormon dresses almost does shout MORMON! We don't wear tank tops, short shorts or short skirts, tattoos, body piercings, extreme hair styles, etc. so as fashion changes, we stand out more and more. I this way of standing out as a Mormon will continue to be more noticeable as time goes on and fashion becomes more extreme and more immodest. What do you think?

Beth said...

So, just to clarify, if a man has received the priesthood, been a true believer, and leaves he church, he is a son of perdition? Does it matter if he left to attend a christian church? Does that then just bump him down a heaven level, or does he go straight to hell for believing and leaving?

And a young mad who is unable to do his mission, and therefor unable to be married in the temple, he is resigned to lower heaven too?

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Beth, no I don't believe that a man who believes the Mormon church, then leaves to become a mainstream Christian is a son of perdition. As far as I understand it, a man (or woman) has to have had irrefutable evidence of God, and then has to go about trying to destroy the church to become a son of perdition. As I said to Ms. Keesler earlier, I can't really judge who might be a son of perdition, because only God knows what level of belief a person has.

About your question about a man who is unable to serve a mission. A man does not have to serve a mission to be married in the temple. Also, a man does not have to marry in order to make covenants in the temple. However, we believe that a man must seek to become married and sealed in the temple to attain entrance into the Celestial Kingdom. If he cannot marry because of circumstances beyond his control, then he will be given that opportunity in the next life. However, if he chooses not to marry because of reasons of selfishness, such as not wanting to start a family, we believe he will be held accountable for this. In the case of mental illness, of course God will judge fairly.

Question: Beth, are you the same Beth who posted earlier here? I was under the impression you were LDS. Just wondering...

Keesler Chaos said...

Sorry-That Beth was me-I was logged into my e-mail right before and forgot to switch accounts!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Oh, I see! That was really confusing to me, but then again, I become confused easily!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Let me just clarify that a person who does not have a chance to marry in this life, WILL receive the opportunity in the next, according to our beliefs.

jrt said...

Ms. Keesler, I took some time after work to look stuff up. I found a quote from Joseph Smith, and I copied and pasted a statement from a website where people were discussing the same thing we are. First the quote:
The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 358).

Now the question and answer from another website:
Are all excommunicated members of the Church classified as Sons of Perdition? Are all nonbelievers?

No. First, in order to become a son of perdition, a person must hold the true priesthood of God. Since only male members of the Church can even hold the priesthood, only apostate Church members have the possibility of being classified as Sons of Perdition. Second, in order to be a son of perdition, a person must rebel against God with full light and knowledge that he is in fact doing so. Succumbing to temptation or a lack of faith is not sufficient. One must defy God with full knowledge that he is indeed God. It is impossible for us to name anyone as a son of perdition, barring any revelation from the Holy Ghost, for only God truly understands the intentions of a person. While most men and women will suffer the pains of hell for their wickedness, precious few have descended to the depths of open depravity which would classify them as Sons of Perdition.

Ms. Keesler, I guess we don't dwell so much on whether or not we'll be sons of perdition because in all honesty, it seems few in all humanity will actually receive it. I'm anticipating you might ask about the statement: "only apostate Church members have the possibility of being classified as Sons of Perdition". That would be apostate priesthood holders who have had all knowledge of God revealed to them, not an average joe who goes inactive or even sins and gets excommunicated. To declare people lost as sons of perdition takes away their opportunity to repent. We can't make that judgement. If being "inactive" or leaving the church by free will or excommunication makes one a son of perdition, then that includes a lot of my family members. I don't see them that way, so I'm sure a loving Heavenly Father doesn't, either. I know they have the opportunity to choose for themselves---free agency. I know they also have the opportunity to repent. I'm grateful for that. "Son of Perdition" is a heavy subject, and we might end up just splitting hairs. I'll end with my 'summary opinion' :o and a link to a talk about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon from General Conference a few days ago. I think that it would take someone like Joseph Smith--who had a vision as plain as day of God the Father and Jesus Christ---to become a son of perdition if he denied it. He never denied it. Had he been a false prophet, I think he would have caved. Why keep up a lie from the time you are 14 until death (because of that lie) at age 33? Why put your family and others through that? Sealing that testimony with his blood and not denying the vision he had and the witness of the Holy Ghost that he had, even to death tells me something about him. It is better explained by an apostle, Jeffrey R. Holland
http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1117-28,00.html

God Bless you.
P.S. Jen, I stand corrected on anything if other LDS out there know something I don't about our doctrine.

Beth said...

Wow, my eyes about popped out of head there for a moment..thought somebody hacked my account and was posting as me (Beth)..whewwwww, :)

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

jrt, thank you so, so much for looking that up for us. That explains the sons of perdition very clearly.

Was not that talk by Elder Jeffery R. Holland the most amazing thing you have ever heard? It gives me chills just to think about it, literally.

And I'm not sure who said it, maybe it was him, but something that struck me as so real and true was when someone said that an evil man could not have written The Book of Mormon and a good man wouldn't have. If anyone who wants to know if that statement is true, read The Book of Mormon, and you will see that that statement is indisputable and if you pray and ask with a sincere heart, it will be manifest to you by The Holy Ghost that it is the word of God, and not false scripture.

jrt said...

Ms. Keesler, the link I gave was for text. The following is the video of that talk, which would be more powerful:
It is in 2 parts on youtube, or you can go to lds.org and choose the audiovideo for general conference and scroll to the sunday p.m. session and watch it there. I hope you'll take time to listen to his testimony. This is about as fiery as it gets over the pulpit in our church. It motivated me to be a better person, to stand by my beliefs, to defend the prophet and to study the scriptures more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld0_7fKGdRM&feature=rel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulwDBslMcR4&feature=related

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

I know, I was totally confused earlier today, Beth, whether you were Beth or Ms. Keesler!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

jrt, that is awesome that you posted the link to that talk on youtube! Thank you! I really hope everyone who reads this will go and listen to it.

jrt said...

mom2my9:
Yes, I loved that talk so much. I just listened to it again while posting the link to it for Ms. Keesler. Really inspired me, as did all of conference.

jrt said...

mom2my9:
I carried on so about the sons of perdition that I forgot to answer your question about what I thought about changing styles and modesty, etc. I've lived in happy valley so long, when we ventured out across the country this summer, I was absolutely stunned at how women dress. I've seen more boobs and armpits and hot pants than.....I don't know what. My sister in law commented when she visited here how women were more modest in their choices of swimming suits but that it looked nice because people weren't all hanging out....

Keesler Chaos said...

Sorry about the name mix up! Too many Beths involved here! I guess you can't hijack your own name, though.

All three of you Ladies,

Thanks for the info about Sons of Perdition (and the garments). I can now reassure my MIL that her step son does not qualify for that title. I'm sure that will ease her heart quite a bit.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Ah, I thought you might be asking about this because of your husband. Let me know how the conversation with your MIL goes! (if you want)