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Question and Answer 17
"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (The Book of Mormon; Moroni 10:4-5)
by W. John Walsh
Visitors are invited to send any Questions via Email. We try to respond to questions as quickly as possible, but are limited by time constraints. Therefore while we will eventually answer every letter we receive, there may be a period of delay due to the amount of research required and/or our personal circumstances.
The questions answered in this section concern the basic beliefs and practices of the Latter-day Saints. Answers to accusatory questions are given in the Response to Criticism section. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions are maintained separately.
All questions concerning Family History or Genealogy should be addressed to The Genealogy Lady at the New Jerusalem web site.
NOTE: Dates are posting dates
Please note that the answers given are not official statements of doctrine, but interpretations by the author for which he is alone responsible.
443: On 05/15/98, Chris asked: What if you can't afford tithing because you are a new convert have debts and the tithe was unexpected and can't be worked in until later. If you can't pay it for a while can you still enter and marry in the temple or do you have to pay no matter what?
Tithing is a prerequisite for obtaining a temple recommend. Therefore, if you do not tithe, then you would be unable to enter the temple. President Joseph F. Smith taught:
"... one of the best ways that I know of to pay my obligations to my brother, my neighbor, or business associate, is for me first to pay my obligations to the Lord. I can pay more of my debts to my neighbors, if I have contracted them, after I have met my honest obligations with the Lord, than I can by neglecting the latter; and you can do the same. If you desire to prosper, and to be free men and women and a free people, first meet your just obligations to God, and then meet your obligations to your fellowmen. Bishop Hunter used to put the matter in these words: "Brethren, pay your tithing and be blessed", and that is just what I mean" Apr. C. R., 1903, p. 2.
President Heber J. Grant taught:
"A man will say, "I owe my neighbor and must pay him before I can settle my tithing." Well, I know I owe lots of my neighbors, and they try to collect from me. But I owe God an honest tithing. He has given me a testimony of Jesus and a hope of eternal life, and I intend to pay Him first, and my neighbors afterwards. It is our duty to settle with the Lord first, and I intend to do it, with the help of my Heavenly Father. And I want to say to you, if you will be honest with the Lord, paying your tithing and keeping His commandments, He will not only bless you with the light and inspiration of His holy Spirit, but you will be blessed in dollars and cents; you will be enabled to pay your debts, and the Lord will pour out temporal blessings upon you in great abundance." (Gospel Standards, p.59)
"I have never made a dollar on which I did not pay tithing. A president of the stake begged and pleaded with me to quit paying tithing. He said I did not owe any tithing until I got out of debt. Would not that have been a fine record for a man who now stands as president of the Church, not to have paid tithing for thirty-two years? I have had friends beg and plead with me to take bankruptcy, saying that I would never live long enough to pay my debts.
If there is any man living who is entitled to say, "Keep out of debt," his name is Heber J. Grant. Thank the Lord that I was able to pay it all, and pay it all without asking a dollar discount from anyone.
I do not believe I ever would have paid it if I had not been absolutely honest with the Lord. When I made any money, the first debt I paid was to the Lord. And I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if the Latter-day Saints as a people, had taken the advice of the prophet of the Lord, and had been efficient tithe payers they would not be in the condition they are today. If they were honest and conscientious in the payment of the equivalent of two meals for themselves and their families once a month, the amount of money actually saved (and they would benefit physically by fasting two meals) would take care of every person in distressed circumstances in this Church--with the fast day donations alone. There would be means also in the hands of the Church, to furnish employment for every Latter-day Saint needing it. I believe what I have heard Bishop Partridge say, "Pay your tithing and be blest." I believe that had the Latter-day Saints on an average been honest and conscientious with the Lord in the payment of tithing, and had they followed the advice of President Joseph F. Smith, they would not be in distress today. I am a firm believer that faith without works is dead, and I am a firm believer that the Lord meant what He said when He promised to open the windows of heaven and pour down a blessing on us if we would pay our tithing." (Gospel Standards, p.60)
"I believe, and believe it firmly, that among all the people of the Latter-day Saints who are in financial distress there are hardly any who have been honest tithe payers. Somehow or other God enlarges the capacity and ability of those who are liberal. 'It is more blessed to give than to receive,' and we want to cultivate the spirit of giving." (Gospel Standards, p.60)
442: On 05/15/98, Chris asked: If your body is cremated when you die will it be put back together when you are resurrected or will it be lost forever?
The Church teaches that the "elements are eternal." (D&C 93:33). Therefore, while the elements may pass from one state to another, they always still exist. In the resurrection, the elements which comprise our mortal tabernacles will be reunited again to form our eternal, permanent tabernacles. For example, the Book of Mormon teaches:
"The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt." (Alma 11:43)
The Church teaches against cremation, not because it would affect someone's resurrection, but because we believe the body is sacred and should be treated as such. (See Resurrection)
441: On 05/15/98, Melanie asked: I am a member of the church and I have a friend who is a return missionary who just got a tattoo that has a shield and the CTR logo. I, personally don't think it is right, but I was wondering if the church has taken a stand on this issue. I am having a hard time accepting this and that is why I am asking.
While the Church as an institution has not issued any specific directives on tattoos, Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught:
"[Tattoos are] a desecration of the human body and should not be permitted, unless all that is involved is the placing of a blood type or an identification number in an obscure place." (See Tattoos)
440: On 05/10/98, Sidney asked: Do you believe that a person on their death bed can reach salvation?
President Hugh B. Brown said:
"We believe that the doctrine of death-bed repentance or instantaneous salvation is unscriptural, unreasonable, and unjust. Salvation, like education, is an ongoing process, a lifetime endeavor, an eternal quest. We believe in the efficacy of the atonement of Christ, that He did for us what we could not do for ourselves; that through His atoning blood all men will be raised from the dead, but our individual exaltation will, through the atonement of Christ, be achieved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. A man cannot be saved in his sins. He may be saved from them." (The Abundant Life, p.316; See Teachings About the Afterlife home page)
439: On 05/10/98, a visitor asked: I was wondering? I have been a member for just over a year, and was unaware that on Sunday you are encouraged not to watch t.v., listen to the radio, or clean the house. Of course, you are encouraged for your first priority to go to church, but after that, what are you encouraged to do? For as long as I could remember in my family, we went on road trips, or out to a movie, or rented a movie to watch at home. Sunday was basically the day we spent together, but it was always cleaning, or doing our grocery shopping, or just relaxing watching a movie. I just got married a few months ago, and have a 3 year old son, and I am trying to do everything right, so that he will be brought up right, but I am a little confused I guess on what is the right thing to do?
Visit our Teachings About the Sabbath home page to learn many of the wonderful things that can be done on the Sabbath!
438: On 05/09/98, Joe asked: I have read repeatedly on your site that you emphasize that the LDS are a Christian faith and the general gist seems to be that LDS and other Christians are the same. However, if this is true, then why is it on your dating and marriage page young people are encouraged not to marry outside the LDS faith?
While Latter-day Saints are certainly Christians (See Are Mormons Christians?) and therefore share some common beliefs with other denominations, we have a number of important gospel truths uniquely our own. One of those truths is the concept of eternal marriage. Latter-day Saints are encouraged to only date and marry faithful members of the Church because only faithful members of the Church can enter a holy temple and be married for time and all eternity. In other words, Latter-day Saints believe that when two people enter into temple marriage (i.e., eternal marriage) and are faithful to their covenants, then they will rise in the resurrection as a married couple and live together forever in the married state. Members are encouraged to stay away from any path which might take them away from this great blessing. If a Latter-day Saint were to marry a nonmember, they would not have the blessings of a temple marriage, especially its continuation after death. Therefore, their marriage would only be "until death do you part." While this may be sufficient for some people, Latter-day Saints are taught that the eternal continuation of the family unit is a blessing beyond price. (See Dating and Marrying Nonmembers; Teachings About the Family home page)
437: On 05/09/98, Roy asked: Why are Mormon women expected to wear dresses to Sunday meetings?
While the Church does encourage women and men to dress appropriately for their gender [as defined by their culture], there is no formal requirement for women to wear dresses at Sunday meetings. (See Church Meetings)
436: On 05/09/98, Tony asked: I was interested in the Mormon Church's attitude towards Jews and Judaism in general. As a Jew I am curious, and a bit concerned, as to LDS official position on my religion. Thanks for your time!
Generally, relations between members of the two groups have been characterized by mutual respect and goodwill. (See Jewish Interfaith Relationships; Judaism)
435: On 05/07/98, Pat asked: I have a question about the ordinances? Would they be at all similar to the sacraments of the Catholic church?
While there are some similarities between LDS priesthood ordinances and Roman Catholic sacraments, there are many differences as well. I suggest you read the articles on the Priesthood Ordinances home page and draw your own conclusions. (Also see Catholicism and Mormonism)
434: On 05/07/98, Joe asked: does LDS consider Baptism in the Holy Spirit to be an experience which accompanies salvation, or a second experience separate from salvation? Also, I know the LDS believes in speaking in tongues, but is that considered the initial evidence of Baptism in the Holy Spirit? Any insight you can provide would be helpful. I am most interested in how you (LDS) define these terms and not Christian churches.
Latter-day Saints are Christians. (See Are Mormons Christians?) I don't know how the various Protestant and Catholic denominations use the term, but I will attempt to summarize how Latter-day Saints use it. We believe that to inherit eternal life, a person must be baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost through the priesthood ordinance of confirmation. After a person has received the confirmation ordinance, then he or she is entitled to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost based upon their personal righteousness and obedience to God. Through the companionship of the spirit, the person has their sins burned away and enters into a state of sanctification. (See Remission of Sins) A sanctified person is also known as one who has been Born of God (i.e., Born Again, Born of the Spirit) A person born of God has the assurance of eternal life. The gift of tongues is one of the many gifts of the spirit and is not necessary to be born again.
433: On 05/07/98, Brian asked: I have a question concerning the white undergarments worn by mormons. Are the garments obtained only after a couple are sealed to each other in a Mormon temple?
The white undergarment is worn by those members who have received the ordinance of the temple Endowment. (See Sacred Garments)
432: On 05/07/98, Johnric asked: I was wondering if Mormons think technology is a sign of god and if it's good? And if it is good for the world to have computers and the mars rover ? If these aren't seen as a sin then are nuclear bombs and cloning of animals and maybe humans, are these seen as good also.
President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:
"Those who make [inventions and conveniences] are inspired of God or they would never make them. The Lord gave inspiration to Edison, to Franklin, to Morse, to Whitney and to all of the inventors and discoverers, and through their inspiration they obtained the necessary knowledge and were able to manufacture and invent as they have done for the benefit of the world. Without the help of the Lord they would have been just as helpless as the people were in other ages." (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, p.147)
However, this does not mean that the uses to which men put technological advances are always in accordance with the will of the Lord. Unfortunately, men often misuse the gifts that God has granted unto his children and put them to evil purposes. For example, President Ezra Taft Benson taught:
"The inventors of these wonders were inspired by the Lord. But once their good works were introduced to the world, the powers of darkness began to employ them for our destruction." (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.325-326)
431: On 05/07/98, a visitor asked: I have a friend who will be performing her missionary work in San Bernardino California. This is a much larger area than she is used to living in, and although she does not seem to be worried in the least about her safety, I am. Many people are not receptive to others approaching them and/or their personal property. I was wondering if anyone knows how people in San Bernardino generally react to the Mormon faith and their missionary work? I know the answer will not deter her from her work, but I am curious. Also, does the faith allow for her to carry any kind of protection for herself while she is performing her work? Thank you for your time :)
The Church has a very large presence in California (e.g., almost 1 million members) and I don't believe that missionaries are treated any worse in San Bernardino than anywhere else. In fact, San Bernardino City was founded in 1851 by Latter-day Saints as part of a plan for a series of outposts to the sea. Therefore, she should feel right at home in this old LDS community. Regarding personal protection, the rules vary by mission. (See Missionary Work home page)
430: On 05/07/98, Tim asked: I'm not very religious and I was interested in becoming a member of the church......what must I do?
Your first step should be attend services at a local LDS congregation. The members should be able to teach you the steps involved. (Also see Joining the Church)
429: On 05/07/98, a visitor asked: I read that only high priests are allowed into the celestial room of the temple. Since the wife and husband share the husbands priesthood, can she enter as well? Can the wife of a man who does not yet have the high priesthood enter into the celestial room? Thanks for your time!
In order to enter the Celestial Room of the Temple, it is necessary for a man to be ordained to the higher priesthood which is commonly titled the Melchizedek Priesthood. This higher priesthood is distinguished from the lower priesthood which is commonly called the Aaronic Priesthood. It should be noted that there is no requirement that a man be ordained to the specific office of High Priest in the Melchizedek Priesthood, or higher priesthood. All men and women who hold full temple recommends are allowed full access to the Celestial Room, including unmarried people. To hold a full temple recommend, a man must have been previously ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. There is no such priesthood requirement for women. (See Teachings About Temples home page; Temples: A Virtual Tour of Celestial Rooms)
428: On 05/06/98, Wendy asked: What is the foundation of the church?
April 6, 1830, is the date on which The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized. (See April 6) Jesus Christ is the central figure in the doctrine of the Church. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that:
"the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it" (TPJS, p. 121).
Latter-day Saints believe that complete salvation is possible only through the life, death, resurrection, doctrines, and ordinances of Jesus Christ and in no other way." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism; See Teachings About Jesus Christ home page)
427: On 05/06/98, Joe asked: Where can I find the JST translation of the Bible? Is there any text on-line? Please help. Thanks Joe
The Joseph Smith Translation (JST) can be downloaded at http://www.enol.com/~infobase/index.html. In adition, the LDS edition of the King James Version of the Bible has extensive portions of the JST available in footnotes and in an appendix in the back. (See LDS Publication of the Bible) For a free copy, call 1-800-408-4343. The JST in its entirety is published by the RLDS Church under the title Holy Scriptures Inspired Version. It is available from Deseret Book at http://www.deseretbook.com/~DBP13098~
426: On 05/06/98, Marlon asked: In the Church meetings , what musical instruments are permitted to use? Is it possible to play the guitar, the flute in a sacrament meeting? if not, what is the position of the Church about worship through music? Can I have a Mormon group of gospel music ? What meetings are allowed to have other musical instruments?
The Church encourages the development of musical talents. The Bishopric will may invite members of the congregation to display their musical talents in Church meetings and devotionals. As long as the music is reverent and appropriate for the occasion, any type of instrument can be used. (See Music)
425: On 05/06/98, Jim asked: My question: does your web site, or any other associated LDS web site, contain Mr. Newell's weekly message? I would submit that his weekly "Spoken Word," addressed to the world at large and not just the LDS community, has as much spiritual relevance as do the excerpts from the General Conferences and other sources.
424: On 05/06/98, Edward asked: Hi, I have a question: our teaching saying that family members will be together after life if we believe in Christ faithfully. But there are three level of glories and if the family members are separated to different places according to their deeds, then are we not going to be together again?
When the Church teaches that families will be together forever, it has specific reference to those children of God who qualify for eternal life. While there will be some interaction between members of different kingdoms (see D/C 76), those who do not receive the gift of eternal life from our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, are not part of this family. Since the Lord desires every one to choose to be part of this eternal family, "after all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel." Only by living the teachings of the gospel and following Jesus Christ will our family last forever. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.112) (See Patriarchal Order of the Priesthood for a deeper explanation of the eternal family)
423: On 05/06/98, Edward asked: Why eternal marriage must be done at the temple (please help me to refer to the scripture)? How about ancient prophets and their wives who married without temple proceedings?
There are no scriptures which require eternal marriages to be solemnized only in the temple. In fact, during various time periods when temples were unavailable to Church members, the Lord has allowed eternal marriage ordinances to be conducted in other places. However, the temple is the preferred setting because the eternal marriage ordinance is the culmination of all the other temple ordinances.
Since we have temples available to us today, the Lord has instructed his servants to conduct eternal marriage ordinances only in consecrated temples. A similar situation arose in connection with baptisms for the dead. When there were no temples upon the earth, the Lord allowed the Saints to conduct baptisms for the dead in other places. However, the Lord made it clear that this was only a temporary exception until a temple could be built:
"For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be baptized for those who are dead--For this ordinance belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me. But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me. But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God. For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me; For therein are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained, that you may receive honor and glory.And after this time, your baptisms for the dead, by those who are scattered abroad, are not acceptable unto me, saith the Lord. (D&C 124:29-35, emphasis added)
(See Endowment Houses; Teachings About Temples home page)
422: On 05/06/98, Dana asked: I have been taught that the wife can exercise the priesthood when her husband is unable to (sickness etc., not worthiness). I remember hearing stories of pioneer women who did this. I was talking with some friends in the church and they thought that this was way off base. Could you let me know what the church's stand is on this to help me and my wife better prepare for the use of the priesthood? Thank you!
President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:
"If a man and his wife were alone with a sick person, could he anoint with the oil and then seal the anointing with his wife assisting using the priesthood she holds jointly with her husband? President Joseph F. Smith answered this question as follows:
"Does a wife hold the priesthood with her husband, and may she lay hands on the sick with him, with authority? A wife does not hold the priesthood with her husband, but she enjoys the benefits thereof with him; and if she is requested to lay hands on the sick with him, or with any other officer holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, she may do so with perfect propriety. It is no uncommon thing for a man and wife unitedly to administer to their children."
When this is done the wife is adding her faith to the administration of her husband. The wife would lay on hands just as would a member of the Aaronic Priesthood, or a faithful brother without the priesthood, she in this manner giving support by faith to the ordinance performed by her husband. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, "Respecting females administering for the healing of the sick, . . . there could be no evil in it, if God gave his sanction by healing; that there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on and praying for the sick, than in wetting the face with water; it is no sin for anybody to administer that has faith, or if the sick have faith to be healed by their administration." Such an administration would not be by virtue of the priesthood, but a manifestation of faith.' (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.3, p.177; See Blessing the Sick; Priesthood Organization home page)
421: On 05/04/98, Adam asked: Is it possible for a person to "move up" to a higher degree of heaven. i.e. if a person is in the Terrestrial kingdom, can he move up to the Celestial kingdom?
President Spencer W. Kimball taught:
"[There is no] progression between kingdoms. After a person has been assigned to his place in the kingdom, either in the telestial, the terrestrial, or the celestial, or to his exaltation, he will never advance from his assigned glory to another glory. That is eternal! That is why we must make our decisions early in life and why it is imperative that such decisions be right." (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.50)
420: On 05/04/98, Mike asked: I am told that Eldridge Cleaver had joined the church at one time. Since There are, from time to time, rampant rumors of all sorts of things like this, i.e. (President Eisenhower secretly joins church in 1962, a rumor that was rampant among the missionaries at that time) I would like to know if there is any truth to this. I have searched the web and can find nothing except an oblique reference to Cleaver and the 'Mormons', in his search for what he was looking for. Thanks to you, the web site is great.
Mr. Cleaver joined the Church in 1983, and remained a supporter, although he later became inactive.
418: On 05/04/98, Anna asked: I respect the Morman faith and would like to know if there is any reason why this faith believes, as did [my friend], that comic books are not suitable for young children.
The Church has no specific teachings against comic books per se. However, some comic books promote lifestyles which are not consistent with the teachings of the gospel. These types of comic books should be avoided. In addition, the Church encourages its members to spend their time wisely. Instead of spending all of their time reading comic books, children should be encouraged to spend some of their time acquiring a taste for good literature at their age level. Parents can even read such material to their children. Comic books may be appropriate for children, if the pictures and scripts are consistent with the teachings of the gospel. Parents should always be aware of what their children are reading, watching, or listening to. (See For the Strength of Youth; Parenting home page)
417: On 04/26/98, Tim asked: Is it possible for nonmembers of the LDS to subscribe to the Ensign? If so what is the cost and the address and is it possible to purchase a sample copy?
Yes, nonmembers are welcome to subscribe to the Ensign, the official monthly magazine for the English-speaking adult members of the Church. To order the Ensign, call U.S. 1-800-453-3860, ext. 2947 for U.S., ext. 2031 for Canada. Credit Card orders (American Express, MasterCard, Visa) may be taken by phone. Or send $10.00 check or money order to Church Magazines, Salt Lake Distribution Center, Church Magazines, P.O. Box 26368, Salt Lake City, Utah 84126-0368, United States of America.
416: On 04/26/98, a visitor asked: I am going to be a new convert to the church. I am planning to get baptized in July. By that time I will already be nineteen years old. I am dating a girl who is a Mormon. We are planning on getting married. And now that I am going to be a member of the church as well, we are looking into marrying in the temple. Right now I do not feel that I am "personally" as well as "spiritually" ready to serve a mission to the church. I just do not feel that I will contribute enough. What I would like to do is wait until I am retired and serve a mission with my wife. Would it be possible for me to be given a temple recommend, let's say in a couple of years even if I don't serve a mission? If not, then should I just go ahead and serve now, even though I feel I may not know enough to properly serve the lord?
Your decision is best discussed with your Bishop who will be more familiar with your individual circumstances. However, having issued this disclaimer, I believe that you should serve a mission as soon as you are eligible [typically one year after baptism]. During the next year, you will be able to prepare yourself spiritually. Your mission will set the foundation for the rest of your life. You will develop a deep and personal relationship with the Lord and be much better prepared to be an excellent husband and father. Don't be afraid of not knowing enough. The Lord qualifies those whom he calls. All you will need is the companionship of the Spirit and a desire to serve your Heavenly Father. If you choose not to serve a mission, then it will be a burden you will have to carry throughout mortality. If you choose not to serve a mission, then your eligibility to enter into temple marriage is not affected (i.e., the Church does not issue penalties for not serving a mission). (See Missionary Work home page)
415: On 04/26/98, a visitor asked: Can a non member visit the Mormon church? I'm a Methodist, but in my town the children visit the Baptist, Catholic and Methodist (The main churches in town.) A lot of the youth rotate through all of them and enjoy different youth groups. My family is moving up to Utah and I would like to find a good youth group. But I don't really want to join any church until I'm sure of which one.
Nonmembers are always welcome to attend Church services and activities. In addition, the Church has a very strong youth program. (See Meetings and Conferences home page)
414: On 04/26/98, Jeffrey asked: I was told that your headquarters is in New Orleans. It this true?
Church headquarters are in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States.
413: On 04/26/98, Lena asked: I was reading about Mormons and transplantation and got a little bit confused. Let's say that someone donates his heart to someone. Then what happens when to body is going to resurrect?? Without a heart?
President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:
When we come forth from the dead, our spirits and bodies will be reunited inseparably, never again to be divided, and they will then be assigned to the kingdom to which they belong. All deformities and imperfections will be removed, and the body will conform to the likeness of the spirit, for the Lord revealed that "that which is spiritual" is in "the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created." (Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol.1, p.42)
In your specific example, each person would receive a heart which corresponds to the spirit (e.g. celestial, terrestrial, or telestial spirit) that he developed during mortality. (See Organ Transplants and Donations; The Resurrection of Jesus Christ home page; Teachings About the Afterlife home page)
412: On 04/26/98, Frank asked: If I'm Mormon 1) Why must I tithe in order to have everlasting life? In the gospel of John it says believe in me and you will have eternal life. 2) Can I pay a portion of my 10% tithe to the LDS church and the other portion to the Catholic church and still receive a temple recommend?
The first principle of the gospel is faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is an active principle which motivates a person to fulfill all the requirements of serious Christian discipleship. If a person does not have enough faith to pay tithing, then he or she does not have the faith necessary to enter into eternal life. A person can make donations to other Churches and charitable organizations and still receive a temple recommend [assuming that such organizations are not actively opposed to the LDS Church]. However, a person is counted as a tithe payer by the Church only if he or she donates 10% of their increase to the LDS Church. (See Tithing; Financial Contributions)
411: On 04/26/98, Douglas asked: I have been a member of the Church all my life and have a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. One doctrine which I cannot explain is the two commandments given to Adam and eve in the garden of Eden. The first was to multiply and replenish the earth, the second was to not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve could not fulfill the first commandment without violating the second commandment. They did have their free agency and as a result partook of the fruit. It would however be contrary to the plan of guide to give conflicting commandments. If someone could help explain how these two commandments go hand in hand rather than conflicting as it appears on the surface, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your time.
By giving our first parents two conflicting commandments, our Heavenly Father allowed them to exercise their agency and prove they understood which commandment was of higher importance. In addition, due to the dangers inherent in mortality, Heavenly Father would not force Adam and Eve to bring about the Fall. Instead, they would be allowed to choose their own course of action. Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught:
Having thus shown why men must be endowed with agency, Lehi bears his own witness that such is, in fact, the case. "There is a God," he says, "and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon. And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other." (2 Nephi 2:11-16.)
Thus we see why the Lord gave two conflicting commandments -- one to become mortal and have children, the other to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil out of which mortality and children and death would result. The issue is one of choosing between opposites. Adam must choose to become mortal so he could have children, on the one hand; on the other hand, he must choose to remain forever in the garden in a state of innocence. He chose to partake of the forbidden fruit so that the purposes of God might be accomplished by providing a probationary estate for his spirit children. Adam must needs fall so that he would know good from evil, virtue from vice, righteousness from wickedness. He could not have done this without breaking a law and becoming subject to sin. He chose the Lord's way; there was no other way whereby salvation might come unto the children of men. (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p.91; see Fall of Adam home page)
410: On 04/26/98, a visitor asked: I understand that Adam had to "eat of the fruit" or he and Eve could not have had children. Why? Was it because he would have been in the garden and Eve would have been cast out (separation) or was it because the eating of the fruit made them mortal so they could have relations or ??? I am not a Mormon but would appreciate the answer, thanks.
In order to bring forth mortal children, it was necessary that Adam and Eve enter the state of mortality by "eating of the fruit." Obviously, once Eve became mortal, it was necessary for Adam to join her since both a father and a mother are necessary to have children. (See Fall of Adam home page; Teachings About the Family home page)
(See Question and Answer home page)
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