Unconditional vows and temple marriage

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Tom Haws
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Unconditional vows and temple marriage

Post by Tom Haws » 01 Feb 2010, 13:37

Rix mentioned facilitating a LUV (Love = Unconditional Vows) program. That reminds me of a recent appreciation I have had for the traditional christian marriage ceremonial words "do you take John/Mary to be your lawfully wedded spouse ... in health and sickness, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, until death shall part you?" Compare that to the temple ceremony that says, "do you give yourself ... and receive him/her to be your lawfully wedded spouse with a covenant and a promise that you will observe all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to ... marriage?"

In the LDS Church, due (I believe) to the temple wording, there is a concept of having a spouse who has breached the agreement by "breaking" the unspecified "laws, rites, and ordinances" of marriage. In the otherwise worded ceremony, though, I see no such wiggle room. I see a stick-to-it-ivity in the "for better or for worse 'til the day of your death" that I don't find in the Temple wording.

Does the temple ceremony lend itself to the idea of unconditional vows? As well as other common wording? Is there anything that we can do to propagate the idea of unconditional love and unconditional vows in light of cultural currents in the opposite direction (Brother Nelson's talk about Conditional Love, for example)?
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

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Heber13
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Re: Unconditional vows and temple marriage

Post by Heber13 » 01 Feb 2010, 17:20

Tom Haws wrote:In the LDS Church, due (I believe) to the temple wording, there is a concept of having a spouse who has breached the agreement by "breaking" the unspecified "laws, rites, and ordinances" of marriage. In the otherwise worded ceremony, though, I see no such wiggle room. I see a stick-to-it-ivity in the "for better or for worse 'til the day of your death" that I don't find in the Temple wording.
I'm not sure I see it that way, Tom.

I see the temple wording it as a covenant to God of what I will do, with no release clause based on what my spouse does, but just focused on what I commit to do. I do not see conditions on that covenant to God. Furthermore, there is no end to the covenant, I am not released from its binding force when death occurs, where as the non-temple wording, the condition is life.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Rix
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Re: Unconditional vows and temple marriage

Post by Rix » 01 Feb 2010, 19:25

Tom Haws wrote: ... Compare that to the temple ceremony that says, "do you give yourself ... and receive him/her to be your lawfully wedded spouse with a covenant and a promise that you will observe all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to ... marriage?"

In the LDS Church, due (I believe) to the temple wording, there is a concept of having a spouse who has breached the agreement by "breaking" the unspecified "laws, rites, and ordinances" of marriage. In the otherwise worded ceremony, though, I see no such wiggle room. I see a stick-to-it-ivity in the "for better or for worse 'til the day of your death" that I don't find in the Temple wording.

Does the temple ceremony lend itself to the idea of unconditional vows? As well as other common wording? Is there anything that we can do to propagate the idea of unconditional love and unconditional vows in light of cultural currents in the opposite direction (Brother Nelson's talk about Conditional Love, for example)?
Good points, Tom! Regardless of the original intention (and it may be like you say, but I can see the ambiguity there), the wording "with a covenant" may mean to some that the person "comes" with a specific covenant to live and be a certain way. In my experience, many TBMs do take the stance that when one "disaffects," that is grounds for divorce. It is unfortunate, and certainly not the way most leaders approach the situation...but it does become a means that one can say the other is at fault.

What I have found to be necessary to salvage a marriage is for each to accept the other as equal, despite the evolving spiritual beliefs. If that can be done, there is chance for success. Like Heber, I don't see the wording that way, but it is often interpreted that way.
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Unconditional vows and temple marriage

Post by Curt Sunshine » 01 Feb 2010, 19:46

In my experience, many TBMs do take the stance that when one "disaffects," that is grounds for divorce.
In my experience, SOME members take that stance - but I personally don't know any who actually divorced over their spouse losing a testimony and not attending. In all the cases of which I know personally enough to state with conviction why the divorce occurred, the disaffected spouse rejected the still active spouse as much as, if not more than, the disaffected spouse was rejected by the believing spouse.

It's easy to see situations or hear one side and forget that there are two equally valid stories in MANY divorces.

As far as the original post question, I believe the ties that bind are FAR stronger generally than the covenants that might separate.
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

swimordie
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Re: Unconditional vows and temple marriage

Post by swimordie » 02 Feb 2010, 00:48

Ray Degraw wrote:In all the cases of which I know personally enough to state with conviction why the divorce occurred, the disaffected spouse rejected the still active spouse as much as, if not more than, the disaffected spouse was rejected by the believing spouse.
In my personal experience, I have to agree with Ray. I have a lot of extended family that have gone through disaffection and, though it's unfortunate that religion plays any role at all, it's not always the TBM that follows through with the divorce. It's as much the disaffected.

To be gentle, the disaffected often feel the pangs of emotional abuse and, in their TBM spouse's "defense" of their own faith, they may feel that same emotional abuse. It's such a tricky, sensitive thing. But, it does take two...

My own TBM in-laws, though they essentially dis-owned me, never out-and-out encouraged my DW to get a divorce. Maybe they sensed that this was not really an option in her case or, they just didn't "feel" it. Hard to say, since every situation is so different.
Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it. -Poppyseed

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Rix
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Re: Unconditional vows and temple marriage

Post by Rix » 02 Feb 2010, 15:20

Ray Degraw wrote:In my experience, SOME members take that stance - but I personally don't know any who actually divorced over their spouse losing a testimony and not attending. In all the cases of which I know personally enough to state with conviction why the divorce occurred, the disaffected spouse rejected the still active spouse as much as, if not more than, the disaffected spouse was rejected by the believing spouse.
Yes, this is common too. I do know of many that did divorce when one disaffected, but of course, there are many changes in attitudes when that happens -- on both sides. Remember that people came to my support group that were having problems, so of course my exposure was skewed. Ray brings up a good point that the "disaffected" just as often rejects the other. That is true.

I find a common theme that many LDS couples married when they were (of course) young, and often early in their relationship with the other, often driven by hormones (guilty!), and perhaps marrying with a life perception that is quite different than years later. The "change in testimony" is but one of many factors for most of the couples I worked with. But it did seem to be the one they latched on to the most. Frankly, I think it is a bit of a scapegoat for much deeper problems that have been stewing for a long time by the time they talk divorce...and it is possibly the easiest to blame for all the problems in the marriage (and maybe the safest to focus on).

It's always quite sad for the many children that are hurt by it. I wish couples would develop better relationship skills when young...but it's a challenge when many start families right after marriage, and school/work commitments keep them apart so much. It is what it is.

:(
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

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