Consequences of not being sealed

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Daeruin
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Consequences of not being sealed

Post by Daeruin » 25 Jan 2014, 13:22

My wife and I got married outside the temple. I was borderline inactive at the time and she knew about some of my troubles, but she thought I would "come around" with time. After a while she gave up on me changing and went to the temple on her own. We didn't talk much about it for a long time. It's now been 10 years, and we are finally starting to talk more about it and trying to figure things out.

Getting sealed is a big deal to her. Bigger than I thought. I have recently started to feel a tiny kindling of potential desire to go back to the temple, and I think it's mostly because I want to be able to do that for her. I know it would make her so happy and would probably improve our marriage. But I don't know if I will ever reach a state where I want to go for myself and where I feel honest and comfortable with it. I've been reading some old threads on the forum, and some of the recent threads have helped me a lot, but I just don't know if I'll ever reach that state.

My question is this. What do you personally think the consequences are of not being sealed? Is there some perspective on this that might ease my dear TBM wife's fear of being separated in the hereafter?
"Not all those who wander are lost" —Tolkien

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Consequences of not being sealed

Post by Curt Sunshine » 25 Jan 2014, 14:47

I see sealing as a practical embodiment of an important concept - but I believe people can be sealed in a very real way (become one) without the ordinance. However, if it's important to your wife, it might be necessary in practical terms for the two of you.

My advice is to go and get sealed in the temple. Whether or not you return after that's up to you.

I am on a device where it is impossible for me to cut and paste, so go to my blog and read the current post. I wrote
And posted it before reading your post here, and it is about this topic. (Click on my name to go there.)
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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mercyngrace
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Re: Consequences of not being sealed

Post by mercyngrace » 25 Jan 2014, 16:12

I agree with Curtis.

The ordinance is symbolic, like everything else in the temple, and designed to teach principles which will lead to the state of being "sealed" (i.e. reconciled, at-one, unified). The sealing ordinance is the culmination of the endowment. In other words, the principles which make any sealing effective are priesthood - not the authority but the power, as described in the latter part of D&C 121.

Some people take the ordinance as literally binding. I don't see that as theologically sound simply because there are sealed marriages in which the principles of priesthood are not practiced. I don't see the cancellation of a sealing as anything more than a comforting symbolic act for the same reason. We gravitate toward those with whom we have cultivated certain relationships. According the Mormonism, virtue cleaves to virtue, etc. and the same sociality exists between us here as exists on the other side.

My experience is that charity and virtue bind us. The ordinance is what we hang our hopes on while we struggle through life learning to be charitable and virtuous.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

LDSThomas
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Re: Consequences of not being sealed

Post by LDSThomas » 25 Jan 2014, 16:57

Daeruin wrote:My question is this. What do you personally think the consequences are of not being sealed? Is there some perspective on this that might ease my dear TBM wife's fear of being separated in the hereafter?
I do not know the consequenses eternally of NOT being sealed. . . . and I don't know what perspective would ease your wife's fear of not being sealed. . . . and I know this ins't exactly what you asked, but my response is --- get your butt to the temple and get sealed -- not for you (since you said it's not too important to you), for your wife. Of course, I say that assuming that you don't have to make any major lifestyle changes (but perhaps even if you do). Hey, I've seen nearly every dang chick flick movie that's been made in the last 20 years cause that's what my wife wants to see -- same principle. The things we do for love . . . .

Seriously, I know you asked important questions and I've responsed in a less than serious way -- but I think if it's important to your wife and it's something you can do, it would be a wonderful gesture and in her heart and mind you will be closer -- which is the most important thing.

LDSThomas

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Daeruin
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Re: Consequences of not being sealed

Post by Daeruin » 25 Jan 2014, 17:29

I appreciate all the advice to go to the temple. I am trying to get my engine chugging that direction. I want badly to do this for my wife—but if it's at the expense of my own authenticity, I'm not sure if it's a great tradeoff. I'm working on the authenticity part.
Curtis wrote:I am on a device where it is impossible for me to cut and paste, so go to my blog and read the current post. I wrote
And posted it before reading your post here, and it is about this topic. (Click on my name to go there.)
I actually read your blog post before posting this. I believe I understand your take on sealing, and it makes sense to me. But I had trouble how your explanation really connects with the typical TBM perspective.
mercyngrace wrote:The ordinance is symbolic, like everything else in the temple, and designed to teach principles which will lead to the state of being "sealed" (i.e. reconciled, at-one, unified). The sealing ordinance is the culmination of the endowment. In other words, the principles which make any sealing effective are priesthood - not the authority but the power, as described in the latter part of D&C 121.

Some people take the ordinance as literally binding. I don't see that as theologically sound simply because there are sealed marriages in which the principles of priesthood are not practiced. I don't see the cancellation of a sealing as anything more than a comforting symbolic act for the same reason. We gravitate toward those with whom we have cultivated certain relationships. According the Mormonism, virtue cleaves to virtue, etc. and the same sociality exists between us here as exists on the other side.

My experience is that charity and virtue bind us. The ordinance is what we hang our hopes on while we struggle through life learning to be charitable and virtuous.
Thank you for this! It spoke to me and helped me understand something I should have known but hadn't ever quite made explicit in my own mind, which is that sealing is just a physical representation of something that is truly in your heart—just like baptism and conversion to Christ itself. I don't believe that a couple that has been sealed in the temple but then lacks mutual respect, or actively harms one another, is truly sealed in the hereafter. It follows that a couple that does have mutual respect and love are cleaving unto one another and forming a bond (a sealing) that ought to continue in the hereafter. The ordinance itself can always be performed by proxy.

I think the more troubling idea is that my lack of belief might keep me out despite anything else we do.
"Not all those who wander are lost" —Tolkien

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SilentDawning
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Re: Consequences of not being sealed

Post by SilentDawning » 25 Jan 2014, 20:01

The immediate consequence of not getting sealed is that you forgo the opportunity to make your wife happy through the sealing.

Long term -- I am not sure anymore. I don't feel worried about such things any more for myself, personally. I am not sure if that is good or bad, either.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

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Cadence
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Re: Consequences of not being sealed

Post by Cadence » 25 Jan 2014, 21:26

Daeruin wrote:
My question is this. What do you personally think the consequences are of not being sealed? Is there some perspective on this that might ease my dear TBM wife's fear of being separated in the hereafter?
There are no eternal consequences if that is what you are asking. It is a just a thing Mormons do and try to attach an eternal perspective. Now as far as this life is concerned if you are a church going member then it may have consequences if you continue to avoid it. Your wife may be unhappy and you will never get anywhere in the church. It is sort of a requirement for those that believe.
Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope. Thomas A. Edison

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

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DarkJedi
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Re: Consequences of not being sealed

Post by DarkJedi » 26 Jan 2014, 07:25

This whole idea of consequences of not being sealed or rewards of being sealed is something I'm still trying to work out in my mind as well. I tend to agree with Cadence, that it's a church belief/teaching but not necessarily part of the gospel - it is, after all, not directly mentioned at all in the Bible or the Book of Mormon. I only partially buy into the idea of a restoration of the gospel through the church anyway, but how can something that wasn't there before be restored?

That said, I also agree that the ordinance in symbolic and to ease your wife's concerns and keep the peace go ahead and do it. If it really does turn out to be meaningless in an eternal sense you've lost nothing but a tiny bit of time. If it does actually turn out to be necessary, then you're covered. You win either way.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Consequences of not being sealed

Post by Curt Sunshine » 26 Jan 2014, 08:17

Don't try to reconcile many of my views with a typical traditionalist view. It can't be done. :D

Having said that, my view is not out of line in any way with our theology. Not one bit.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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On Own Now
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Re: Consequences of not being sealed

Post by On Own Now » 26 Jan 2014, 09:51

Daeruin,

I think it is a great idea to go to the temple to be sealed with your wife as a way of committing to each other.

However, I would recommend being very careful not to set aside "authenticity" toward her. If she believes that you are finally "coming around" or seeing the light or finding God, or whatever and that is not the case then you will be doing both yourself, and more importantly her, a disservice. You'll be setting both of you up for a fall. Look, I'm no marriage counselor. But I firmly believe that both partners in a marriage have to accept each other for who they really are and for who they really are as a couple together. You have to be totally and completely in love with her even though she is a faithful member. On the flip side, she has to be just as much in love with you even though your faith is different from hers. In marriage, pretending to be something we are not, is condescending, unfair, and unfaithful. In my own case, years after my FC, my wife and I were talking about it, which until then had been a rarity. I was really surprised to learn that she had a wrong view of my situation. To hear her describe it to me made me sad, because I realized that I had inadvertently left her clinging to hopes that were never going to be realized. I'm so sorry that I did that, and I wish I could go back and undo it. My wife is my biggest ally. I mistreated her by stringing her along.

I think the best approach is to be a straight-shooter. I'd recommend sitting down together and having a conversation between the two of you to get the topic on the table. I would recommend being honest that there are some things you do believe, but some you don't and some you are not sure about, but there is one thing you know above everything else, and that is your love for her and your desire to be with her as long as possible.

Thinking about my own wife and me, if we hadn't been sealed in the Temple, but she wanted to, I'm fairly certain I'd approach it from the standpoint that sealing in the Temple would be wonderful for us, but that we would both have to understand that my faith isn't changing, that I could go for US, but not for the Church. I would use phrasing like I want US to be sealed for US, and I would stay away from I want to do this for YOU. I'd let her know that I would like for us to go forward to be sealed with that understanding, and ask how she would feel about it. This can't be a "talking to"... it has to be something that you come to together. Part of what I'd want to talk through, though, is that I would want it to be a private thing; just the two of us, because I wouldn't want to set up inauthentic expectations with family and friends. As long as we are both OK, then great... let's work toward it.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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