2012 Temple Recommend Question Survey

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wayfarer
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2012 Temple Recommend Question Survey

Post by wayfarer » 03 Dec 2014, 22:32

In 2012, members of the StayLDS forum responded to a survey about Temple Recommend questions. As this survey provides a wide variety of approaches to each of the temple recommend questions, it may be helpful in those who are struggling with faith and "worthiness" in the LDS church.

This message summarizes the comments in that survey, outlining a process to follow about the Temple Recommend, with links to all the threads with answers.

About the Temple Recommend Interview

The Temple Recommend interview is not the time to discuss faith issues before the Priesthood. The questions are simple, and should be answered "yes" or "no" as appropriate. Because many of us are in a faith transition or hold unorthodox beliefs, our answers are often more complex and nuanced than the typical true believing, white-or-black response. As well, we often think we need to answer the question according to what we impute the intent of the question to be according to the interviewer or standard church definition of things. This is not the case.

There are multiple approaches to finding a faithful way within the church -- one does not have to be orthodox or to believe standard doctrines in order to be worthy for a temple recommend.

- If you want to have a temple recommend and be authentic and honest, then basic observance to the behavior norms is in order.

- If you do not feel that basic observance (chastity, WoW, Tithing...) is in the stars for you, then perhaps it might be a good idea not seek a temple recommend.

- Faithfulness requires integrity -- no one surveyed would recommend outright lying.

Before the interview, preparation is in order.

1. Determine what you personally believe regarding each point--not yet how you would answer the question, nor what the church's intent is with the question, but what do you really think and feel about it.

2. Determine whose rules you live by and reconcile yourself to your eternal judge's standards.
a. If you believe that the church determines your worthiness before god, then you should reconcile the areas of difference between your level of compliance to the questions and the church's standards, by repenting of any area of noncompliance - If you're not sure whether the church would agree with your level of compliance, then you can ask your bishop about whether your sins have risen to the level of church discipline. This involves something called "Priesthood Roulette", in that Bishops do not uniformly treat faith questions from ward to ward.
b. if you believe that only the Lord determines your worthiness, then you should reconcile yourself before the god of your understanding, and repentance/reconciliation may also be necessary.

3. once you have reconciled yourself to whose rules you live by, then prepare to confidently and authentically answer the questions as asked.

With this preparation complete, you are ready for the interview, should you freely decide that you want a TR.

During the interview, consider the model of accountability used in the temple, where the interviewer represents the Lord. Answer the questions as asked authentically and confidently as if your own personal judge were at the other side of the table. There is no deception or subterfuge: answer truthfully according to your judge's expectations and definitions of terms.

This may not work for everybody. We recognize that many of us have unorthodox views, and there are many who may believe that we are unworthy of holding a TR. But we have to believe, firmly, that we have squared our worthiness with the god of our understanding, and that our judge fully accepts each one of us, warts and all.

The outcome may or may not be temple recommend. The process is very useful in helping us determine our priorities and our individual position vis-a-vis church and god.

In working through these questions, we can find a new freedom: once we anchor our practice and understanding in what we truly believe, then we can move forward unapologetically with authenticity. In spight of our seeming lack of orthodoxy and orthopraxy, we can be completely square with our personal judge, and that is all that matters.

on StayLDS, we proposed a Temple Recommend survey, allowing participants to express how they address each question.

Here are the responses to each question:

1a. God
1b. Jesus Christ
1c. The Holy Ghost
2. Atonement
3. Restoration
4. Sustaining LDS Leadership
5. Law of Chastity
6. Family Conduct
7. Affiliating with Apostates
8. Keeping Covenants
9. Honesty
10a. Tithing
10b. Word of Wisdom
11. Divorce Obligations
12. Temple Covenants
13. Unresolved Sins
14. Worthiness

Summary

I hope this helps.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
My seat in the bloggernacle: http://wayfaringfool.blogspot.com

Ray DeGraw
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Re: 2012 Temple Recommend Question Survey

Post by Ray DeGraw » 03 Dec 2014, 22:36

Thanks, wayfarer.
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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Minyan Man
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Re: 2012 Temple Recommend Question Survey

Post by Minyan Man » 04 Dec 2014, 07:56

I want to give my thanks to wayfarer & all who responded to this survey too. This was my start back.
Some of my responses have changed over time. It's a great way to organize your thoughts & beliefs.
And do it on your own terms. I highly recommend the process.

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mom3
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Re: 2012 Temple Recommend Question Survey

Post by mom3 » 04 Dec 2014, 09:23

Wayfarer - Thank you so much. I miss seeing you around as much. Reading your name here is like having a GA for regional conference. I am loving it. Sincere thanks for the post just reading it brought me a feeling of calm and peace. Ray is there anyway to make this post more permanent?
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Ray DeGraw
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Re: 2012 Temple Recommend Question Survey

Post by Ray DeGraw » 04 Dec 2014, 09:42

mom3, we made it a sticky topic, so it will stay at the top of the History and Doctrine section.
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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Sheldon
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Re: 2012 Temple Recommend Question Survey

Post by Sheldon » 05 Dec 2014, 15:04

The Mormon Matters podcast on Question 7 of the Temple Recommend. is very good and goes along with your conclusions. Question 7 is “Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” I highly recommend this podcast, it is very good in framing not just this question, but all of them for people struggling to stay in the church.

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wayfarer
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Re: 2012 Temple Recommend Question Survey

Post by wayfarer » 08 Jul 2015, 05:32

Bumping this. I have had a number of people on other sites continuing to seek guidance on how to authentically answer temple recommend questions.

If anyone here has more to add, please go to the various topics referenced in the original post on this thread.

thanks!
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
My seat in the bloggernacle: http://wayfaringfool.blogspot.com

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