Beefster wrote: ↑
13 Oct 2017, 20:08
I am not sure what to think about this perpetual moving of the goalposts. I don't know where to go personally because of this. I'm not sure I can trust the church due to their track record and it does not seem like a good personal investmen
t, as I have mentioned elsewhere. Even looking at it as a "membership fee" for temple admittance makes it not seem worth it since I don't really care for the temple experience
. My mom sort of expects me to get married in the temple, but I need to do it for me, not for her.
These are my thoughts exactly, although I hope they change over time.
I have a few additional thoughts. First, I agree that the moving of the goalposts is a concern. I know that religion, doctrine, knowledge grows over time, and this is the likely reason GA's will give for the "moving of the goalposts". But when I read similar passages in Michael Quinn's "Extensions of Power", it really influenced my willingness to pay. That book has a chapter on the origins and evolution of tithing. To me, tithing seemed like a tax. When the tax collectors use the reasoning of the tax "your house went up in value by X percent, so you pay more in tax", many people respond "come on -- it's not a principle, it's a way of collecting money". I see tithing policies the same way. And tying it to family events like marriages to me is invasive and in many cases, divisive.
And I don't see the spiritual or temporal ROI from it either -- except the apparently quality, affordable education at BYU. That is worth something, but the benefit is largely to the young adults who go there. This is based on our family model of education where we only pay so much of the education anyway. There is a stop loss, a cap.
In terms of getting married outside the temple, I think it represents a wonderful opportunity to show inclusion of many, many people. When I attended my sisters wedding it was VERY spiritual. It was held in a log cabin at a campground. She is a non-member.
I would strive to make it as spiritual as possible and memorable like everyone else in the world -- even the people who aren't members. A musical selection, expressions of love to each other, an officiator who gives touching advice. Heck, you can find people who are allowed to marry other people who are without religious affiliation -- they could even have you take vows to be faithful to each other through the eternities. Sure, Mormons will believe the marriage is not eternal, but your promises to each other will be, to the extent possible in the next life. And I suspect our family relationships are more eternal than Mormons will have us believe.
And then, prepare yourself for a sealing someday in the temple to make your parents happy. Having done it the way you want, they will be thrilled to see you married in the temple at that time. I can imagine all the spiritual theorizing that would go on about it....
I do think that marriages, funerals, baptisms, and baby blessings are for more than just the actors in them -- it's for everyone. The way I proposed above is inclusive of everyone -- people without TR's, non-members, TBM's, youth, everyone!