The Church's Obsession with "Worthiness Interviews"

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hawkgrrrl
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The Church's Obsession with "Worthiness Interviews"

Post by hawkgrrrl » 04 Sep 2019, 10:27

This is something that seems to have gotten completely out of control during my lifetime. It used to be that once you had been to the temple, you didn't have to carry a current temple recommend. There was less social stigma for people not having one, and a lot of people didn't for various reasons, but let's be honest, it was usually for not paying tithing. People held high ranking callings without a current TR (not bishop, but teacher callings and auxilliaries).

An Ecclesiastical Endorsement was required to get into BYU, but we didn't have to have annual interviews, and our BYU bishops had no say in our endorsement, which in my case was good because my home branch president actually cared whether I lived or died, and I can honestly say I don't remember a single BYU bishop by name or even face. I was just one in hundreds in those huge student wards.

We had regular youth interviews when I was a teen, but they were more like "check-ins" than the current structured ones. I didn't love them, and as an adult I think they are very ill-advised, but I didn't suffer abuse or sexual fishing expeditions like so many have reported.

I used to believe that the worthiness interviews were a way for us to reflect on our own worthiness, but I believe they have become something different entirely, morphing and growing like the Blob into something that is taking over the Church, the requirement of the Church itself being the gateway to our salvation rather than the Savior. It feels like everywhere I turn, the Church is the focus, not the Savior. I really didn't feel like this was the case a few decades ago.

There's a Buddhist analogy about a finger pointing to the moon. The moon is what you are supposed to look at, not the finger. The finger is only supposed to make you look at the moon. But it feels like we are spending all our time at Church talking about the finger, not the moon.

Here's a little post (with poll) I did on the worthiness interviews. https://wheatandtares.org/2019/09/04/wh ... nterviews/

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Heavy_Laden
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Re: The Church's Obsession with "Worthiness Interviews"

Post by Heavy_Laden » 04 Sep 2019, 10:37

To prevent those who are impure due to sin from sacred places and from performing or participating in sacred rites.
I'm surprised that this has such a low vote count. I would argue that these interviews are a check valve for callings and other duties.
I'm an Independent Mormon and it's okay.

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Cadence
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Re: The Church's Obsession with "Worthiness Interviews"

Post by Cadence » 04 Sep 2019, 11:35

Worthiness interviews will stop when members stop allowing them. It is sad in a way how much power many are willing to concede to the church leadership. Just get enough members to say no and the leadership will change in a blink to keep members from leaving.


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Roy
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Re: The Church's Obsession with "Worthiness Interviews"

Post by Roy » 05 Sep 2019, 13:17

I believe that worthiness interviews function somewhat differently at different points in an individual's life.
1) the worthiness interviews for youth and unmarried young adults serve primarily as a way to discourage premarital sexual behavior and perhaps to a lesser extend WoW experimentation. In my experience as a youth, it seemed that the greatest emphasis was on the chastity question. In my pre-mission TR interview I confessed to not being a full tithe payer and my bishop shrugged his shoulder's and said "nobody is perfect". I assume some leadership roulette in my favor here but I also believe that young people are given leeway in most things except chastity.
2) I believe that after temple marriage, the tithing question takes on increased significance and it seems to me to be the primary reason why we have worthiness interviews. Even for those that choose to forgo a TR, we separate this question out for its own little interview in the tithing settlement meeting.
"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

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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PazamaManX
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Re: The Church's Obsession with "Worthiness Interviews"

Post by PazamaManX » 05 Sep 2019, 17:47

hawkgrrrl wrote:
04 Sep 2019, 10:27

... but I believe they have become something different entirely, morphing and growing like the Blob into something that is taking over the Church, the requirement of the Church itself being the gateway to our salvation rather than the Savior. It feels like everywhere I turn, the Church is the focus, not the Savior. I really didn't feel like this was the case a few decades ago.
This is how I'm beginning to feel the more I think about it. Not only with just worthiness interviews but the church as a whole. It seems like Christ or even a scripture is barely mentioned in my ward unless it's packaged in a GA's quote.
"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness, even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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