Objectionable Quote -- does this bother you?

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SilentDawning
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Objectionable Quote -- does this bother you?

Post by SilentDawning » 06 Nov 2017, 19:25

I was asked to read this in a Gospel Doctrine lesson recently:
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught that without sealing power no family ties would exist in the eternities and indeed the family of man would have been left in eternity with neither ancestors nor descedents. Inasmuch as a sealed, united, celestially saved family of God is the ultimate purpose of mortality, any failure here would have been a curse indeed, rendering the entire plan of salvation utterly wasted. (Christ and the New Covenant,297-298).
I thought the goal for God was the immortality and eternal life of man, while the object and design of our own existence was happiness. That means people who didn't enter into the covenant of marriage eternally can still be saved in the celestial kingdom, thus achieving both immortality and eternal life (life with God).

As someone who chose not to go through the temple with my daughter for her wedding recently, the part in bold is particularly searing and seems harsh. I also find it hard to believe that my decision not to renew a TR means the entire plan of salvation is utterly wasted.

I also find it hard to believe that God will logistically separate those of us who chose not to get TR's and are in say, the terrestrial kingdom together. You may not have official family ties, but I think it must be darn hard to prevent people from being friends, and therefore, family in spirit....

Does this quote above seem harsh and egocentric to you? Or is it generally and agreeable statement to you?
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Beefster
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Re: Objectionable Quote -- does this bother you?

Post by Beefster » 06 Nov 2017, 21:36

The scriptures seem to suggest that it would be the case, however I can't imagine why a loving God would do such a thing. The CK isn't really supposed to be a country club IMO.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Objectionable Quote -- does this bother you?

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Nov 2017, 06:20

Yeah, I think this is just Holland's opinion and I happen to disagree. Holland is hot or cold IMO - I either really like what he says or strongly disagree. He's very Old Testament in some things, or at least the way he frames some things.
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nibbler
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Re: Objectionable Quote -- does this bother you?

Post by nibbler » 07 Nov 2017, 06:30

That quote would steer me more towards universal salvation, and here's why.

We "know" that the entire plan of salvation cannot be utterly wasted. If Holland wants to stick by that statement I think it would imply that eventually everyone will be sealed and united as a celestially saved family... because otherwise the plan of salvation would be wasted... which we "know" can't happen.

I mean, god came up with a super secret, unbeknownst to mortals plan to solve the lost 116 pages fiasco. People thought all was lost then too but god showed them the path that was prepared to move forward. If god cares enough to bail people out of a problem of few missing pages of a book surely god cares enough to have a plan for people that we, from our limited perspective, deem to be equally "lost."

I'm going to switch gears a few times, bear with me.

1) That's a very black and white interpretation of salvation. But that's how I arrive at my universal salvation interpretation. If it's all a success or all a failure, which one of those two options are you going to chose to believe?

2) This feels more like a motivational speech to get people to do temple work than a pronouncement of actual doctrine. The only real carrot is you get to be with your family, which means the stick is that you don't get to be with your family. JRH comes out strong because that's pretty much all he's got to motivate people to do temple work.

3) "...as a sealed, united, celestially saved family of God is the ultimate purpose of mortality..."

Why? Why is the ultimate purpose of mortality to ensure I'll have the exact same familial bonds in heaven?

What of "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." If eternity is going to be anything like what makes most people (Americans at least) happy, you're going visit family every once in a while, not hang out in the same room with them for eternity. I don't know about most people but if heaven is going to be hanging in the same room with family for eternity that would be hell for me.

Wouldn't we, as adults, all just loooooooove to move back in with our parents?

4) Let's imagine we're in heaven. I'm standing beside my earthly father and I recognize him as such... but god says he isn't my dad anymore. What does that achieve? I'm going to go on with the relationships that I want to maintain, what's god going to do about it? Throw a temper tantrum until I say, "Okay, okay, he's not my dad anymore. Calm down."

5) I believe that "sealings" are more of an emotional bond that we form outside of any ordinance, rules, or temples. The ordinances, rules, and temples were given to humans to shore up our faith in our existing emotional bonds. I think humans started to worry whether love was enough to keep us all together in heaven and sealings were invented to sooth our fears. Now we "know" that the bonds are eternal because of our belief in something we call "sealings" but the original pre-sealing bonds are equal in every way. We created the deficiency which created the need for a solution but the answer was always there.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Objectionable Quote -- does this bother you?

Post by SilentDawning » 07 Nov 2017, 06:43

nibbler wrote:
07 Nov 2017, 06:30
2) This feels more like a motivational speech to get people to do temple work than a pronouncement of actual doctrine. The only real carrot is you get to be with your family, which means the stick is that you don't get to be with your family. JRH comes out strong because that's pretty much all he's got to motivate people to do temple work.
Totally agree. I know that he puts a lot of time into saying things in his speeches that will motivate and touch people. He said so when he visited our Stake some time ago. And sometimes, out comes these extreme statements. Also, the idea of this whole plan being utterly wasted is just too much hyperbole to be true.
3) "...as a sealed, united, celestially saved family of God is the ultimate purpose of mortality..."

Why? Why is the ultimate purpose of mortality to ensure I'll have the exact same familial bonds in heaven?
Same question on my part. It's to be happy -- right? On my past path I would've been a grumpy old God that's for sure, miserable making people set up chairs and move people when they aren't physically or mentally cut out for it.
4) Let's imagine we're in heaven. I'm standing beside my earthly father and I recognize him as such... but god says he isn't my dad anymore. What does that achieve? I'm going to go on with the relationships that I want to maintain, what's god going to do about it? Throw a temper tantrum until I say, "Okay, okay, he's not my dad anymore. Calm down."
I think that is what I was trying to say earlier. He could, being all powerful, sequester us so we can't see each other, the same way people doing time are sequestered from the rest of society. But a drag that goes on too long is a real drag. Imagine having to keep your subjects in such permanent servitude/isolation for eternity. Given how social we are, wouldn't we just form new bonds and relationships? Whether "official" or not?

I view the eternal family concept as a way of heightening commitment within families to avoid marriage breakups, single parenthood, the economic problems associated with single parenthood, and to strengthen the advancement of the church.

And in my case, it worked (so far).
5) I believe that "sealings" are more of an emotional bond that we form outside of any ordinance, rules, or temples. The ordinances, rules, and temples were given to humans to shore up our faith in our existing emotional bonds. I think humans started to worry whether love was enough to keep us all together in heaven and sealings were invented to sooth our fears. Now we "know" that the bonds are eternal because of our belief in something we call "sealings" but the original pre-sealing bonds are equal in every way. We created the deficiency which created the need for a solution but the answer was always there.
I think plural marriage is evidence of the purpose of the sealings -- it was to fuel population growth to achieve rapid population growth. That can happen better, and easier, with fewer financial drainage on the church's resources if there are families with more than one parent working to raise good LDS children.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

Roy
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Re: Objectionable Quote -- does this bother you?

Post by Roy » 07 Nov 2017, 10:05

Love the thoughts so far.

It can also be helpful to remember that a sealing is like the notary paperwork to witness the "oneness" of a relationship. We believe that people with a sealing but with an awful marriage will not be forced to stay together in the afterlife. It is the "oneness" that matters, the sealing only confirms or notarizes what was already there.

It is also helpful to understand that this sealing notary will visit literally everybody eventually. Our temple work for the dead is symbolic of that but is only a drop in the bucket compared to how expansive the entire vision needs to be.

Yes, many in the church do not see it this way and may even use fear tactics like taking your family away. The good news is that their fear tactics do not have to work on you.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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Re: Objectionable Quote -- does this bother you?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Nov 2017, 11:22

At the macro, cosmic level, I have no problem with this quote. At the micro, personal level, I hate it.

I am positive Elder Holland meant it from the macro viewpoint, given so many of his other statements.
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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.

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mom3
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Re: Objectionable Quote -- does this bother you?

Post by mom3 » 07 Nov 2017, 14:09

I am with DJ - Elder Holland and I have an on off relationship. This is an off for me on multiple levels. I also know that 15 years from now this will be gone and some new twist will step in.

The God I am hoping after, isn't going to separate a family over a thing like this. If that were the case the Celestial Kingdom is going to be on dysfunctional kingdom.

In a way, it's our version of Evangelical Heaven and Hell. In their world if you don't do the 4 steps to claiming Christ, you're going to hell. Simple as that.
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dande48
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Re: Objectionable Quote -- does this bother you?

Post by dande48 » 07 Nov 2017, 16:36

This quote can easily be resolved by the belief that God will fix everything in the end; As with most LDS teachings. Everyone will be baptized, sealed, initiated, endowed, and married. Everyone will hear of and accept the gospel, unless they are evil. Gays will become straight, and become hetero-polygamists. Etc.
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Re: Objectionable Quote -- does this bother you?

Post by Heber13 » 08 Nov 2017, 01:51

There is way too much we don't know about the next life to think anyone can make a quote that applies to all situations and all people.

I like the Mormonism doctrines of fairness and eternal progression and damnation comes by choice not restrictions.

I'm still sealed to my ex wife. I can't imagine any loving God requiring we have to be together for eternity...that sounds like hell to me.

Likewise, any living good moral couples that live honest lives but don't get sealed...well...I can't imagine a just God denying them any blessing in the next life.

Everything gets worked out in the eternities.

Just be a good person and don't sweat the details that are hid from our eyes in this life.

Church leaders have an agenda to teach urgency and black and white rules and consequences. I get it. They have to. I just don't think it matters. Privately, I bet most agree that personal circumstances vary greatly...so...live the gospel and be happy. Don't worry about church administrative mumbo jumbo. It makes no sense to me for so many reasons.

You can quote any prophet you want to me...I can't imagine it changed my experience and my beliefs on the subject. Families are forever. For everyone who wants that. How that happens...i frankly don't think anyone has a clue.
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."
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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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