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Re: We can't get married

Posted: 03 Feb 2020, 11:37
by Roy
TinSoldier wrote:
03 Feb 2020, 00:49
My personal situation with temple sealings is a little different than most. In addition, I can't be sealed to my father. My mother was widowed on her 21st birthday, during WW2. Several years later my parents were married in the temple, for time only. It took a number of years before I found someone who could tell me how this situation works out for me; apparently I'm sealed to my mother's first husband, who died 15 years before I was born. I don't know what sort of relationship I'll have with my earthly father after this life, but I have to have faith it will work out. I have to wonder how it will work out in the end for him, too.
Fascinating. What brought me here was the stillbirth of our third child. I had thought that my children would be blessed protected because of my faithful dedication to the church. I also discovered that it is unknown whether my child counts as a soul (united spirit and body), if she will be resurrected and if she will be part of our family. No ordinances are done, nor church records kept for stillborn children.

Anyway, I found myself in a situation where, since the church had no defined position on stillborns, I was able to decide for myself what should happen. No covenantal "binding of the Lord", no priesthood power and promises, just what I feel is right in my heart.

This can be really scary but also freeing. I have an eternal family because I decided that I have an eternal family. I don't know what form that will take but I am comfortable trusting in a loving HF - leaving tomorrow for tomorrow and focusing on showing love for my family today.

That is all well and good but we also live in a society where what other people think matters. Having a marriage certificate matters in this context. I am sorry for the difficulty with your ward and the feelings of being judged that you are experiencing. I think that I would weigh the benefits that I am currently receiving from attending the ward and contrast that with the stress and effort - a cost/benefit analysis. If the costs are too high then maybe it might be time for a break. It sounds like this situation may not be permanent. You could just take a break until the situation changes. You might also try visiting other churches if the desire to have a weekly worship service is important to you.

Even if you decide to keep attending the LDS ward- just knowing that it is your choice can be liberating. You are not forced to go to church with these people. You are a free agent!

Re: We can't get married

Posted: 03 Feb 2020, 15:00
by Minyan Man
TinSoldier wrote:
03 Feb 2020, 00:49
I was talking about finding a way for us to be sealed by proxy after we die, without us being married in this life. I've only heard of one instance of that happening, but I'd love to hear about others or if anyone knows of this being possible.

My personal situation with temple sealings is a little different than most. In addition, I can't be sealed to my father. My mother was widowed on her 21st birthday, during WW2. Several years later my parents were married in the temple, for time only. It took a number of years before I found someone who could tell me how this situation works out for me; apparently I'm sealed to my mother's first husband, who died 15 years before I was born. I don't know what sort of relationship I'll have with my earthly father after this life, but I have to have faith it will work out. I have to wonder how it will work out in the end for him, too.

Yes, we live in the U.S.
First of all, TinSoldier, I'm sorry for the challenges your going through. Secondly, I've been doing family history for a number of years. This is my personal opinion: at some point through our journey through eternity. all of us will be sealed together in one big family. Don't ask me to quote scripture or a General Conference talk. There is software that looks at your family tree in FamilySearch & compares the trees of other people in the site. It shows you all the people you are related to. Famous & Infamous. This assumes that the work is correct. For example, I found out my wife & I are 9th cousins. This maybe of some comfort. I hope it is at some level. It does help me to look at my various relationships in life with a different perspective.

God Bless & keep coming back.

Re: We can't get married

Posted: 03 Feb 2020, 19:30
by TinSoldier
Minyan Man wrote:
03 Feb 2020, 15:00
First of all, TinSoldier, I'm sorry for the challenges your going through. Secondly, I've been doing family history for a number of years. This is my personal opinion: at some point through our journey through eternity. all of us will be sealed together in one big family. Don't ask me to quote scripture or a General Conference talk. There is software that looks at your family tree in FamilySearch & compares the trees of other people in the site. It shows you all the people you are related to. Famous & Infamous. This assumes that the work is correct. For example, I found out my wife & I are 9th cousins. This maybe of some comfort. I hope it is at some level. It does help me to look at my various relationships in life with a different perspective.

God Bless & keep coming back.
That brings an interesting question to my mind. Since I'm not sealed to my earthly father, I wonder how else I'm related to him. Anyone who's used the "find relatives around you" feature knows it's very common to be ~8-12th cousins with people, but I don't know how I could search for a separate connection to my dad other than "father."

Re: We can't get married

Posted: 03 Feb 2020, 19:43
by TinSoldier
DarkJedi wrote:
03 Feb 2020, 06:35
I have faith/hope all the sealing stuff will work out in the end, but I also see it a little differently than most members do. That part is difficult to explain, so I just leave it at the hope it all works out. I don't have anything to add to the marriage/sealing part because even if you were allowed to be sealed it's not really the plan today.

Motivation to go to church can be hard. Psychologically speaking everything we do we do because we are motivated to do so, either intrinsically or extrinsically (but mostly intrinsically). I'm not a psychologist or therapist and I didn't even sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night so that is my basic understanding of the idea of motivation. Lots of people here struggle with motivation to go to church, including me. I am usually not engaged nor fulfilled by the experience and only on occasion am I uplifted (although I do find some meaning in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper). I have few real social connections at church, although there are people there I talk to and sometimes even talk to outside church (very few of the latter) and I have come to consider the ward my "tribe" (although I'm on the fringe of said tribe). I do partly go to placate/appease my wife, but that was not always the case. I don't believe the "truth claims" of the church and I can see how our worship services could be improved to be more meaningful but I still like, or at least don't adamantly dislike, the way our meetings work (especially since it went to 2 hours). Long story short and speaking from the experience of having been away for 10+ years and having returned, the motivation has to be yours and may not be obvious to you or anyone else.
I can really relate to most of what you said. I think you did a good job of spelling it all out. Heaven knows I've gone to church for various "wrong" reasons at times, from knowing I'll have to ask the bishop for financial assistance, to being worried about making some sort of impression by simply showing up. Even though I'm not in an area where many of my neighbors are members, we have an older missionary couple who lives next door in a rental house and I admit to feeling a little self-conscious if I don't attend just because of worry about them being judgemental. And yes, they can do that sort of thing.

I've had a variable relationship with the church. When I was a teenager, I was often the quorum leader and active helping organize stake youth activities. That changed when I went on my mission. It took nearly 3/4 of my mission before I was made a senior companion. Eventually it got me pretty discouraged and I contacted the mission president to ask if there was some reason for that. He said he hadn't realized my situation and there wasn't any particular reason I was still a junior. I finally became a senior companion for a few months, then a "joint" companion for the last month or two with another elder who was going home at the same time as me. Then when I got married and started a family, I was assigned to the nursery. Over the net ten years, when with moves or changing boundaries I was in about six different wards or branches, I was constantly assigned to the nursery almost as soon as I got into the ward. It was challenging because I never had a chance to get to know anyone. I could attend every Sunday and be in a ward for a couple of years, and still have people come up to me before church and ask if I was visiting because most members never saw me and I didn't get out of the nursery after church until most of them were gone. After that, for other reasons as well, my activity level dropped and I didn't go at all for a few years. After I split with my ex and got to know MJ as she was becoming a member I attended much more for several years, but now I'm pulling back again.

Re: We can't get married

Posted: 03 Feb 2020, 20:19
by TinSoldier
Roy wrote:
03 Feb 2020, 11:37
Fascinating. What brought me here was the stillbirth of our third child. I had thought that my children would be blessed protected because of my faithful dedication to the church. I also discovered that it is unknown whether my child counts as a soul (united spirit and body), if she will be resurrected and if she will be part of our family. No ordinances are done, nor church records kept for stillborn children.

Anyway, I found myself in a situation where, since the church had no defined position on stillborns, I was able to decide for myself what should happen. No covenantal "binding of the Lord", no priesthood power and promises, just what I feel is right in my heart.
My younger sister was born with Down syndrome and physical limitations from a damaged heart and lungs. I was told she didn't have to be baptized and just accepted that. In my ward now there's a young man (maybe around 30?) who must have been baptized because I know he goes on temple trips to do baptisms. I admit I don't have any idea about formal policy on this sort of thing.
This can be really scary but also freeing. I have an eternal family because I decided that I have an eternal family. I don't know what form that will take but I am comfortable trusting in a loving HF - leaving tomorrow for tomorrow and focusing on showing love for my family today.

That is all well and good but we also live in a society where what other people think matters. Having a marriage certificate matters in this context. I am sorry for the difficulty with your ward and the feelings of being judged that you are experiencing. I think that I would weigh the benefits that I am currently receiving from attending the ward and contrast that with the stress and effort - a cost/benefit analysis. If the costs are too high then maybe it might be time for a break. It sounds like this situation may not be permanent. You could just take a break until the situation changes. You might also try visiting other churches if the desire to have a weekly worship service is important to you.

Even if you decide to keep attending the LDS ward- just knowing that it is your choice can be liberating. You are not forced to go to church with these people. You are a free agent!
Marriage is a bigger deal for me than for MJ. She just has more faith that it will all work out or something else, but when I've asked her if she'll marry me she generally responds "I hope to be able to one day." I want to be married to her because I value her more than anyone I've been with and I can't imagine not being with her as my companion for eternity. I also hate not simply being able to legitimately call her my wife.

Re: We can't get married

Posted: 03 Feb 2020, 21:42
by Minyan Man
TinSolder wrote:
That brings an interesting question to my mind. Since I'm not sealed to my earthly father, I wonder how else I'm related to him. Anyone who's used the "find relatives around you" feature knows it's very common to be ~8-12th cousins with people, but I don't know how I could search for a separate connection to my dad other than "father."

If you go into relativefinder.org and go to the tab: Connect , you will see another tab: with deceased person.
You enter the 7 digit/character alpha &/or number of the dead person (your Father), it will show you the relationship to you.
It is referred to as the PID.

Re: We can't get married

Posted: 04 Feb 2020, 06:24
by DarkJedi
Minyan Man wrote:
03 Feb 2020, 15:00
This is my personal opinion: at some point through our journey through eternity. all of us will be sealed together in one big family.
This in a nutshell is what I alluded to in my earlier post. I also believe we will all be sealed together in one huge "family" in the "end" (understanding of course that eternity has no end). I think that's the whole point of the Abrahamic Covenant. It's more complicated than that in my mind and thus difficult for me to explain - but I'm not sure it works like most people think it does.

Re: We can't get married

Posted: 04 Feb 2020, 06:53
by DarkJedi
TinSoldier wrote:
03 Feb 2020, 19:43
I can really relate to most of what you said. I think you did a good job of spelling it all out. Heaven knows I've gone to church for various "wrong" reasons at times, from knowing I'll have to ask the bishop for financial assistance, to being worried about making some sort of impression by simply showing up. Even though I'm not in an area where many of my neighbors are members, we have an older missionary couple who lives next door in a rental house and I admit to feeling a little self-conscious if I don't attend just because of worry about them being judgemental. And yes, they can do that sort of thing.
By that definition I think almost everybody at church is probably there for the "wrong" reason. I have contemplated that before as I've looked around my own small ward - "Why is she really here? She clearly doesn't get it." I don't think that's judgmental (but I'm sure it could be construed as such), it's just me trying to figure out motivations.
I've had a variable relationship with the church. When I was a teenager, I was often the quorum leader and active helping organize stake youth activities. That changed when I went on my mission. It took nearly 3/4 of my mission before I was made a senior companion. Eventually it got me pretty discouraged and I contacted the mission president to ask if there was some reason for that. He said he hadn't realized my situation and there wasn't any particular reason I was still a junior. I finally became a senior companion for a few months, then a "joint" companion for the last month or two with another elder who was going home at the same time as me. Then when I got married and started a family, I was assigned to the nursery. Over the net ten years, when with moves or changing boundaries I was in about six different wards or branches, I was constantly assigned to the nursery almost as soon as I got into the ward. It was challenging because I never had a chance to get to know anyone. I could attend every Sunday and be in a ward for a couple of years, and still have people come up to me before church and ask if I was visiting because most members never saw me and I didn't get out of the nursery after church until most of them were gone. After that, for other reasons as well, my activity level dropped and I didn't go at all for a few years. After I split with my ex and got to know MJ as she was becoming a member I attended much more for several years, but now I'm pulling back again.
Interesting. I think for the most part the idea of senior/junior companion has gone by the wayside in most missions these days. None of my three sons really talked about that idea, and one even laughed at me one time when I mentioned it. Things like trainer, district leader and zone leader still seem to carry some weight though and one of my sons was concerned that he wasn't a district leader as quickly as some others. Honestly I don't think God cares, but when I was a missionary I didn't understand that either.

I kind of aspire to nursery teacher, actually (that's 2 kids in my ward). I have never been, but I was in a ward where I had been called directly in to Primary after moving there and didn't get much association with the men in the ward (I was the only male in Primary, this was a long time ago). I didn't really forge any male bonds there because I wasn't around them. I ended up being inactive for a few months (I was also a YSA then) and when I came back was the first time I turned down a calling - they were going to call me to Primary again. I told them no and I told them why, that I needed adult interactions. I ended up being SSP.

Interesting little story that just happened last Sunday. I am an introvert and I don't go to church to socialize. That doesn't mean I'm rude or anything, I do talk to people, some of which I have known for 30 years. But I prefer to sit on the back bench and blend in. That said, I also have a calling that at times is visible and that takes me to other wards. I had missed three consecutive Sundays in my own ward before last Sunday. So, I'm sitting there in our usual place and my wife was off socializing (she does go to church to socialize). A missionary, who I recognize, came over and shook my hand and asked if I were a visitor. I got a huge chuckle out of it. I should have played with him and told him I was interested in the church or something.

Sometimes I'm a little blunt, and sometimes I think things just need saying. I do disagree with your bishop although as someone already pointed out more than 99% of the time two people of the opposite sex living together are doing the do. But that's not the only thing keeping you from going to the temple. There are other issues as well, including motivation. You're not even motivated to going to Sunday meetings, what would your motivation be for going to the temple when marriage isn't even actually on the table? Off the top of my head in addition to chastity concerns (even though that may not be a real concern) you haven't been attending church (which is one of the questions) and it's pretty unlikely you're paying tithing (another biggie). This isn't about your bishop or the temple - it's about you. What do you really want other than what you can't have?

Re: We can't get married

Posted: 05 Feb 2020, 01:22
by TinSoldier
DarkJedi wrote:
04 Feb 2020, 06:53
Sometimes I'm a little blunt, and sometimes I think things just need saying. I do disagree with your bishop although as someone already pointed out more than 99% of the time two people of the opposite sex living together are doing the do. But that's not the only thing keeping you from going to the temple. There are other issues as well, including motivation. You're not even motivated to going to Sunday meetings, what would your motivation be for going to the temple when marriage isn't even actually on the table? Off the top of my head in addition to chastity concerns (even though that may not be a real concern) you haven't been attending church (which is one of the questions) and it's pretty unlikely you're paying tithing (another biggie). This isn't about your bishop or the temple - it's about you. What do you really want other than what you can't have?
I don't mind you bluntness and there's some truth is what you say. I know good and well what people assume about our living situation. I imagine I'd probably be inclined to do the same if I wasn't in the middle of it. All I can say is that I know the truth of the situation. Given my medical situation, with damaged nerves (the ones that make erections possible) from my surgery at the beginning of our relationship, the radiation treatments that caused more damage there, or the hormone blocker injections for the past nine years, sex is firmly out of the picture.

As for tithing, this is likely to be an area where some will disagree with me. My only income is SSDI, which are benefits I receive from contributions I made for many years from income on which I paid tithing. If I live a sufficient number of years I may exceed my contributions someday, but in the meantime I feel the modest benefit I receive is from money on which I have already tithed. I have made it a matter of prayer and study and I"m comfortable with my decision. I know I am not the only one who has reached this decision.

Last year I attended church more often than not. The past couple of weeks I haven't been there, but that has had more to do with how well I felt, or not, than anything else. I freely admit I feel pretty discouraged at times about not being able to fully participate in the church and receive it's blessings. It feels like I've practically been disfellowshipped, other than being able to take sacrament. Since I have stopped working I've spent a lot of time working on genealogy which I enjoy, but it also drills home the fact that it's likely I'll never be able to go to the temple again to do their work. For starters, my father had a short marriage during WW2 and I'd like to have him sealed to his former wife, especially since he can't be sealed to my mother. There are a number of others I'd really like to do myself if I can.

Perhaps my issues could go away with a different bishop, or maybe not, but there's no telling whether or not I'll still be around. Well, not all of my issues at church. There will still be judgemental attitudes from some of the other members. As a footnote, I know others are in similar situations. For example, a couple of years ago MJ said another woman in Relief Society admitted her ex was in need of help and moved in with her and her husband.

Re: We can't get married

Posted: 05 Feb 2020, 06:07
by DarkJedi
I misunderstood and thought you had been inactive for a longer period of time. I was just kind of going through the questions in my head and recognizing that the chastity thing might not be the only one you couldn't answer. My stance has always been if someone says yes they are a full tithe payer then they are a full tithe payer, period. That probably extends to all the other questions as well, and that's why I disagree with your bishop (IOW, if you say you live the law of chastity and he has no hard evidence that that isn't true or the other half is saying the opposite, then you live the law of chastity). Even church attendance can be subject to the idea because it is possible you regularly attend a different ward for whatever reason, although that's more verifiable by calling the other bishop (and I know bishops who do such things).

Even with all that and even if you can answer all the questions appropriately, the bishop is not stopping you from getting married because you're not at that point. You can't get married because marriage is not currently an option because of other circumstances. If you want a TR for some other reason, yes, the bishop could be standing in your way and is wrong - leadership roulette.