Monday, September 09, 2013

Some clarifications

Here are some clarifications to some questions that had been floating around:
--Our temple recommends were not revoked because of the blessing I gave my son or for Angela holding him. Our stake president was very clear in saying that I had every right to do this as a father's blessing and that Angela had every right to hold Durden as we performed it. He said he had not problem at all with the blessing or how it was done. Instead, he felt we were partly unworthy of the temple because we did not obey the advice he had given us (to only do it as an official ordinance in sacrament meeting). Confusingly, when I asked him if he would have taken our recommends if we had decided to not bless Durden at all, he said he would not have. In his view, if I say that I sustain my leaders, then I am obligated to obey all advice and counsel they offer.
--The vast majority of our meeting yesterday involved the Stake President instructing me on the true understandings of the First Vision (the JS-H version is the true version, and it means that Joseph physically saw the fleshy bodies of God the Father and Jesus "in reality" with his biological eyes), what it means for The Brethren to be called prophets, seers, and revelators (EVERY thing they say or write are revelations from God), the doctrines of the Church (everything taught by The Brethren, which happens to always be true and unchanging), the true understandings of gender (blah, blah, blah), the true understanding of homosexuality (it's a choice!), the true understanding of blacks and the priesthood (blah, blah, blah, the ban was because of revelation, god wouldn't let a wrong ban happen, blah, Egyptus, blah), and other things.
--I have no idea why he brought up half of the stuff he did. Angela and I tried to change the subject a few times, but he was determined to make sure we understood the Truth. However, he made it clear that for me, the only two doctrines that he felt made me unworthy of a temple recommend were that I did not have a testimony of the true understanding of the First Vision and that I did not have a testimony of the truth that everything The Brethren say and write are actually revelations from God.
--Of the two hours of the meeting, virtually none of what the SP said was directed at Angela. In fact the only time he brought up something explicitly about why Angela's temple recommend was revoked was when she was out of the room nursing Durden. He said that it was because of a single comment on my facebook status (which he had a full print-out of). It said:

In my opinion, we asked the bishop out of politeness and formality. Kind of like when Loyd asked my father for my hand. If my father said no we still would have been married. Not rebelliousness, just a silent acknowledgment that the question was only out of politeness and a nod to tradition. We are not being rebellious if we go forward with the blessing in our own way. But by doing so we are acknowledging that no one but Loyd and I have the authority to make this decision. So no, no letters, no fan fare. Loyd wants to tell the bishop our still talking to my father about our wedding even if he had said no to Loyd.
According to him, this was evidence of "a little rebelliousness," which made her unworthy of a temple recommend. I told him he would have to talk to Angela about this. He didn't (though to be somewhat fair, by the time Angela came back it had been nearly 2 hours and our daughter was very eager to leave.
--When we asked him why he went against the handbook and revoked our recommends without notifying us, he apologized for the harm it caused, saying that he wanted to speak to us in person and not notify us by phone, and simply hoped that we wouldn't try to go before our meeting with him. He said that there were protocols for being able to cancel a recommend without notification if he found out a member was engaged in something like adultery or child abuse.
--When asked why he went beyond the question given to him for the temple recommend, he said that as a judge he was inspired to understand what the question is really trying to ask.
--When I pointed out to him that we initially spoke to the bishop and him because we had known so many others who had been allowed to do the official naming ordinance at home, he said that those leaders were going against what The Brethren have instructed and that they would have to answer to God.
And to answer your question, yes, I gave or tired to give that response you are thinking of.


  1. JS-H 25: "Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation"

    It says he saw a "vision." We refer to it in the Church as the "First Vision."

    It was likely through "spiritual eyes"--according the the scriptures anyway:

    "But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him. (Moses 1:11; Pearl of Great Price)"

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