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Question and Answer 33
1274: On 09/01/99, Dawn asked: I have a question and i might have been misinformed or i may have misunderstood what i was being told but i would greatly appreciate an answer. Is there a certain age requirement for entrance into a temple? I also have another question about the temple, I have also heard that if you get married in a traditional wedding before being sealed in the temple you will have to wait a year to get sealed afterwards. My question is if you get sealed in the temple and then had a traditional wedding to appease your parents and other stubborn family members would there be a "punishment"?
Youth can start going to the temple for Baptisms for the Dead at age 12. Adults can receive their endowments when they are called to serve a mission (beginning at age 19 for men and age 21 for women) or in preparation for a temple marriage. Members can request to be married in the temple at any time as long as they meet all government requirements for a legal marriage, including age requirements. Children may enter the temple to be sealed to their parents at any age.
If someone marries in a civil ceremony or "traditional" wedding, they are required to wait at least one full year before having their union sealed in the temple. The Church instructs members not to have a second wedding ceremony after a temple sealing because it shows disrespect for the sacredness of the temple ordinances. If a member disobeys these instructions, there is no direct punishment as far as the Church is concerned. However, without complete and full repentance, the temple sealing will not be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, and it will be of none effect, leaving the couple with no promises of eternal family living. (See Eternal Marriage)
The "Why is a Temple Recommend Required to Enter the Temple?" article states:
"At this point, I would like to make a few comments regarding temple marriages, the most common source of strife on this issue. While some people can understand why only Latter-day Saints can participate in most temple ordinances, they do not understand why an exception cannot be made for marriages. Usually, these people assume that temple marriages are similar in form and purpose to those of other religions. However, this is simply not the case.
A temple marriage is not a public celebration [as with the weddings of most other religions], but the most private and sacred of all religious events in the life of a Latter-day Saint. It is the culmination of all the other temple ordinances. There are no large crowds, bridesmaids, parties, or joyous outbursts. In a temple marriage, while kneeling at an altar in a temple, a man and woman make covenants with God and each other in a marriage ceremony that is to be binding both in mortality and in the eternal world. Since the endowment ordinance is necessary to understand the religious nature of the marriage ceremony, the only witnesses allowed are those members of the Church who have completed it. In temple marriages, it is very common for siblings and close friends to not be invited to the marriage ordinance because they have not yet been endowed. For example, at my temple marriage, my bride's only sister, a faithful Latter-day Saint, waited outside until the marriage ordinance was completed because she had not been endowed. She was not offended or bothered in the least by her exclusion because she understood the reasons for it. To summarize, a temple marriage is not a public celebration, but a private religious experience only shared with spiritually mature members of one's own faith.
The sacredness and solemness of the temple marriage ordinance does not mean that an LDS wedding is not a festive occasion. However, all the festivities occur outside of the temple. While LDS wedding receptions are often more reserved than non-LDS ones, it is here that the public celebrations will occur. It should be noted that all friends and family members, including nonmembers, can be invited to the reception to participate in the public celebration of the day.
Here are a few suggestions to make those who did not attend the temple ceremony feel included: 1) Have them tour the temple grounds with other family members while the ceremony occurs. My nonmember mother did so with my bride's LDS sister and they had a wonderful time. 2) Have the Temple Sealer come out and talk with them about what happened in the temple. 3) Have them drive the bride and groom to the reception so they have a few moments of personal time with the couple on their special day. My mother did so and it was a special experience. 4) Have them help plan the reception.
These are just a few things. There are many, many things that can be done to ensure that nonmember family members know that they are loved and valued even though they do not share our faith."
1273: On 09/01/99, Janet asked: Could you please tell me if Mormons believe that God lives on a planet named Kolob?
No, Kolob is the nearest planet to the residence of God, not the residence itself. (See Kolob)
1272: On 09/01/99, Stephanie asked: I am a Mormon looking at coming back to church, however, I am having difficulties locating the church for my area and times that they meet. help!!!!
To find the ward or branch nearest you (in the U.S. and Canada), search at http://www.deseretbook.com/Locate/home.html
1271: On 09/01/99, Allessandra asked: do you have anything on Adversity?
See Suffering in the World
1270: On 09/01/99, David asked: I am without a belief in god. I read that Mormons believe in many gods and that we are evolving to be gods. Is that true? I find that very interesting.
See Do you believe in one God or many Gods?; Godhood
1269: On 09/01/99, Dennis asked: How can I obtain a copy of my Patriarchal blessing?
All Patriarchal Blessings are recorded and transcribed; copies are preserved in official Church archives and by the recipient. They are held sacred by those receiving them. If a recipient's copy is misplaced, he may request an additional copy from Church headquarters (Bishops have the address).
1268: On 09/01/99, Adam asked: Why would God send an angel to this man Joseph Smith and give him theses tablets? And then he gets convicted of conspiracy.
Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844), often referred to as the Prophet Joseph Smith, was the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Latter-day Saints call him "the Prophet" because, in the tradition of Old and New Testament prophets, he depended on revelation from God for his teachings, not on his own learning. It should be noted that in the early Christian Church, the enemies of God also told many false, distorted, and slanderous stories about Jesus and his early apostles. (See Character of Church Leaders) However, although plagued by bad advice and misfortune in business matters, the Prophet was never found guilty of any misconduct. (See Legal Trials of Joseph Smith)
1267: On 09/01/99, Adam asked: Do you believe that there is only one way to heaven and that is by Jesus Christ by having faith in him and asking him into your heart??
The Articles of Faith state:
"We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."
(See The Gospel of Jesus Christ home page)
1266: On 09/01/99, Adam asked: Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God?
Yes, the Articles of Faith state:
"We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." (See Only Begotten Son of God).
1265: On 09/01/99, Brandon asked: A non-member friend asked me why I thought God created everything. Why did he create the universe, and why did he create us. He said that he believes it was because God wanted to be worshipped. I didn't really know how to answer his question. It's not something I've put allot of thought into. I would appreciate your opinion.
Why do people have children? Many people choose to have children because they desire to share their love and companionship with others. God created man for the same reasons. Our Heavenly Father lives in a state of perfect happiness and joy. He created man and gave us the plan of salvation because he desires us to become like him and also live in a state of perfect happiness. Our Heavenly Father wants to have our companionship for all eternity. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught:
"The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 184344, p.354)
The earth was created so that we might have a place to work out our salvation.
(See The Creation home page)
1264: On 09/01/99, Mark asked: and why are there pentagrams on your holy undergarments? the pentagram is a satanic symbol, that is why i am wondering about it.
Latter-day Saints, who have been to the temple, wear sacred garments under their regular clothing to remind them of the sacred covenants that they have made with God. There are no pentagrams on our garments. (See Sacred Garments)
1263: On 09/01/99, Mark asked: why do u all believe in spirit babies? (please explain what they are)
Latter-day Saints do not use the term "spirit babies", in our theology. This is an example of redefining our beliefs using offensive and bizarre terminology (See A Sci-Fi Connection in LDS Theology?; Critique of the Godmakers Terminology). We do believe that all men and women are literally the offspring of Deity. The Family: A Proclamation to the World states:
"All human beingsmale and femaleare created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of Heavenly Parents. And, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny."
For more information on the premortal existence of mankind, see The Premortal Existence home page
1262: On 09/01/99, a visitor
asked: What language was the book of Mormon written in? I heard
hieroglyphics had some play in the book of Mormon, is this true and if so can you explain how and why ?
See Book of Mormon Language
1261: On 09/01/99, a visitor asked: I am currently writing a paper about the Mormon religion. I am interested in what a typical service would consist of. I am of Protestant faith and we declare our sins and ask for forgiveness through the ritual of reciting passages together and praying silently. We begin our services as such and then proceed to a sermon followed by offering, and a benediction. Does your faith have similar practices?
See Outline of a Typical Service in the Visitor's Guide
1260: On 09/01/99, Ally asked: I'm confused. If The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day saints believes in the bible as the true word of God and believe what it says to be true why does it contradict what the bible says...... I understand it The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints believes that the angel Moroni, brought the Book of Mormon on golden plates to Joseph Smith. But the bible says that there is only one true gospel???
Latter-day Saints believe the Bible is the word of God, but like most Christians, we do not consider it inerrant and all sufficient. While many religions teach portions of God's truth (e.g. it is wrong to murder), there is only one true path to salvation: the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ is taught in the scriptures (e.g., The Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price) and through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Your question presupposes that one gospel is taught in the Bible and another, different gospel is taught in the Book of Mormon. This is incorrect. The gospel taught in the Book of Mormon is the same one contained in the Bible and also the same one taught by Jesus Christ when he lived upon the earth. (See Bible Accusatory Questions; The Holy Bible home page)
1259: On 08/31/99, Alex asked: Can I be Mason and Mormon? Is it against the Church rules?
Latter-day Saints are allowed to join any fraternal organizations that they desire.
1258: On 08/31/99, Lindsay asked: What I am wondering is: assuming historically that there were roughly equal numbers of men and women in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, and if (in the past) men were able to take more than one wife, what happened to the'spare' men who were unable to marry?
Plural Marriage has only been practiced in times where righteous unmarried women exceeded the number of righteous unmarried men. It has never been practiced when there were "spare" unrighteous men who were available for husbands. (See Plural Marriage home page)
1257: On 08/31/99, TS asked: I was wondering what was the big difference between a Christian and someone who believes in the Mormon faith, and that would it be all right for a Mormon to marry a Christian?
Latter-day Saints are Christians (See Are Mormons Christians?). Members of the Church are discouraged from dating members of other denominations because 1) religious differences often lead to divorce, and 2) only Latter-day Saints are able to marry for all eternity. (See Dating and Marrying Nonmembers)
1256: On 08/31/99, David asked: Do you know how to get a copy of your priesthood line of authority?
There is a department at Church headquarters with this information. Your Bishop can give you the address.
1255: On 08/31/99, Josh asked: How long do converts have to wait before receiving the malchezedek priesthood and going to the temple,then serving a mission?
The present policy of the Church states that a man must be ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood before he is allowed to serve a mission. In addition, both men and women must receive the endowment ordinance in the temple before they serve missions. All adult converts, including prospective missionaries, typically have a one year waiting period after baptism to receive these ordinances. This year of preparation helps ensure the candidates understand the serious nature of these ordinances and are truly prepared to accept the responsibilities embedded in them. (See Missionary Work home page; Teachings About the Temple home page)
1254: On 08/31/99, Andreas asked: Why don't Mormons believe that man is saved by grace through FAITH ALONE?
See Grave vs. Works
1253: 08/31/99, Eileen asked: [Do you believe in the Trinity?]
Dr. Stephen E. Robinson has stated:
"If by 'the doctrine of the Trinity' one means the New Testament teaching that there is a Father, a Son, and a Holy Ghost, all three of whom are fully divine, then Latter-day Saints believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. It is as simple as that. The Latter-day Saints' first article of faith, written by Joseph Smith in 1842, states, "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost....However, if by "the doctrine of the Trinity" one means the doctrine formulated by the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon and elaborated upon by subsequent theologians and councils--that God is three coequal persons in one substance or essence--then Latter-day Saints do not believe it. They do not believe it, because it is not biblical. Words central to the orthodox understanding of the Trinity --words like coequal, consubstantial, and circumincession, or the word trinity itself, for that matter--are not found in scripture." (See The Doctrinal Exclusion: Trinity and the Nature of God)
1252: On 08/31/99, a visitor
asked: I have a question, after reading the article, "The Birth of Jesus
Andrew C. Skinner. In his article there is a sentence as follows: "He was the literal, biological son of an immortal, tangible Father and Mary, a mortal woman." What do you mean by "biological son"? ....These phrase, "biological son", "normal and natural course of events", remind me of "sexual intercourse", which, of course, you cannot use for this kind of sacred context. Could you kindly teach their meaning for "us", who are interested in the teachings of Mormon in Japan?
See Was Mary a Virgin?
1251: On 08/31/99, Alisa asked: i know the church believes that Christ was married....my young women's counselor said that it can be found in the Joseph Smith History, but i can't find it in the TG....can you tell me where it is, and what the Churches official teaching is??
The Church has no official teaching on whether or not Jesus was married. However, many Church leaders have given their opinion that he was indeed married during his life. (See Was Jesus Married?)
1250: On 08/31/99, a visitor asked: Anyway, I was wondering why, when someone dies and has the veil removed and can remember their pre-existence, would they not want to accept the gospel then? It seems that once those memories of knowing Heavenly Father would be an undeniable incentive to accept the gospel. I've asked others and they've suggested maybe the veil is only partially removed, but that doesn't sound right. Thanks much for any comments!
At the final judgment, every human soul (except the sons of perdition) will accept the gospel and acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, God, and King. President Brigham Young taught:
"The time will come when every knee will bow, and every tongue confess to and acknowledge him, and when they who have lived upon the earth and have spurned the idea of a Supreme Being and of revelations from him, will fall with shamefacedness and humble themselves before him, exclaiming, "There is a God! O God, we once rejected thee and disbelieved thy word and set at naught thy counsels, but now we bow down in shame and we do acknowledge that there is a God, and that Jesus is the Christ." This time will come, most assuredly. We have the faith of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus." (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.112 - p.113)
However, the key test of mortality is the timing of such acceptance. Our Heavenly Father sent us down to earth with a veil over our premortal memories so that we could learn to live by faith instead of actual knowledge (See Premortal Existence home page). People who reject the gospel in mortality, but accept it afterwards in the spirit world or on judgment day will not receive eternal life and exaltation. Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught:
"There is no such thing as a second chance to gain salvation by accepting the gospel in the spirit world after spurning, declining, or refusing to accept it in this life. It is true that there may be a second chance to hear and accept the gospel, but those who have thus procrastinated their acceptance of the saving truths will not gain salvation in the celestial kingdom of God." (See Second Chance Theory for his full comments)
If we want to live in the celestial kingdom in eternity, we must accept and live the gospel through faith. Those who accept the gospel only after standing face to face with God will live in the terrestrial or telestial kingdom.
(See Teachings About the Afterlife home page)
1249: On 08/01/99, Robert asked: I know that most Latter-day Saints exclusively use the King James Version of the Bible. Is this an official church doctrine, or merely a widely-accepted practice.
The King James Version of the Bible is the official LDS Bible in English-speaking countries. (See The Holy Bible home page)
1248: On 08/01/99, Robert asked: And are all church doctrines believed to be mandated by God? I know that the Roman Catholic church considers itself to be infallible (even when the church contradicts herself), but what about the LDS church? I am aware that church LEADERS are considered fallible (aren't we all), but is the church doctrine given by God? for instance, if there is an official church stance on which translation of the bible is best, is that a proclamation from God or from the leaders of the church?
While official LDS doctrines are considered true, they are not considered perfect in an absolute sense. Mortal beings are simply not capable of understanding the truth as God understands it. Therefore, God gives us partial truth in imperfect language, according to our ability to receive it. When we give our obedience to the truth that we do have, the Lord then gives us better and more complete knowledge:
"And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him. And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full." (The Book of Mormon, Alma 12:9-10)
We believe true safety and happiness can only be found by following the teachings of the prophets and apostles. (See Following the Prophets home page)
1247: On 08/01/99, Vince asked: I am a member of the Baha'i Faith, and was wondering what the Mormon position is on the Baha'i Faith. Are Mormons encouraged to study other Faiths, discouraged from it, or just kind of neutral?
See Interfaith Relations home page
1246: On 08/01/99, Sandy asked: I would like to know how to submit names to the temple in order to have the ordinance work performed.
Your local Family History Center can tell you the procedures for submitting names for temple work. (See Family History home page)
1245: On 08/01/99, a visitor asked: Where did the Book Of Mormons come from?
See An Overview of the Book of Mormon
1244: On 08/01/99, a visitor asked: Do Mormons force anyone to tithe?
No, while Latter-day Saints are encouraged to use their time talents, and resources in building up the Kingdom of God, it's completely within an individual's discretion whether or not to make financial contributions to the Church. (See Tithing)
1243: On 08/01/99, a visitor asked: Do Mormons believe in having more than one wife?
No, Latter-day Saints can presently be married to only one woman at a time. However, during the nineteenth-century, LDS men were allowed to marry more than one wife under certain conditions. (See Plural Marriage home page)
1242: On 08/01/99, a visitor asked: Is it true that the Mormons believe that they can pray a person into heaven?
No, Latter-day Saint do not believe someone can pray someone else into heaven. (See Teachings About the Afterlife home page)
1241: On 08/01/99, a visitor asked: Can you please provide me with Biblical verses that support the belief in more than one God and that humans can become Gods.
See Biblical Support for Deification
1240: On 08/01/99, James asked: Would President Monson become the next Prophet if President Hinckley were to pass through the veil?
Yes, President Thomas S. Monson is next in apostolic seniority to President Hinckley. The most senior apostle serves as President of the Church. (See Succession in the Presidency)
1239: On 08/01/99, Dan asked: I have a friend who asked me, why does chapter 7 of Moroni contain an exact quote from 1john3, and some paraphrasing from 1cor13? Could you help me explain this?
See Why are many verses exactly same in the Bible and the Book of Mormon?
1238: On 08/01/99, Brent asked: I'm a member of the Church and have recently been studying the Last Days prior to the Millennium and the Second Coming. I know that the earth has a temporal existence of 7,000 years, however, I'm not sure if the Millennium and "Satan's little season" are included in this 7,000 years. I'm aware of one Doctrine and Covenants Commentary that claims that this is so, but I'm wondering if there are any official statements made by the First Presidency regarding this matter.
The Church has no official doctrine on the exact lifespan of the earth. (See The Creation home page; What is Official Doctrine?)
1237: On 08/01/99, Brent asked: Is it official church doctrine that Adam fell in 4000 B.C.? I know that the Chronology in the Bible Dictionary (now published in the LDS scriptures) says that this is so, but the preface of the Bible Dictionary claims that it is not to be taken as official doctrine. Are there official statements made concerning this matter?
The Church has no official doctrine on the exact date of the Fall of Adam. (See What is Official Doctrine?)
1236: On 08/01/99, Robert asked: Does the President of the Church actually see and talk to Heavenly Father/Jesus Christ? Is that what the "special room" in the Temple is for?
President Hinckley has never discussed whether or not he has received a personal visitation by the Savior. (See Prayer, Fasting, and Revelation home page)
1235: On 08/01/99. Robert asked: When did the priesthood officially leave the earth? If it was when the apostles died, how would prophets such as Moroni have the priesthood?
The priesthood never completely left the earth. For example, many translated beings (e.g., John the Beloved, the Three Nephites) have ministered unto the children of men during the great apostasy. The Nephite prophets lived under a different gospel dispensation than the people of the Old World. Likewise, the lost tribes of Israel lived under yet another dispensation. (See Restoration of the Gospel home page)
1234: On 08/01/99, Robert asked: Could you explain why some spirits were resurrected when and after Christ died?
1233: On 08/01/99, Robert asked: what will happen in 2nd coming to the people who have never heard of the true gospel (or Jesus Christ) in this life or never accepted it? Will they be resurrected with the Just?
All those who live a celestial or terrestrial law, whether members or not, shall survive the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Those who live a telestial law, whether members or not, will be destroyed. Those good people who have never heard of the true gospel will have the opportunity to hear it during the Millennium. Everyone will get a fair chance at salvation and no one will be damned for lack of opportunity. (See Teachings About the Afterlife home page)
1232: On 08/01/99, Linda asked: I understand that at the time of the Millennium the Savior will reign and will be the one who stands at the head of the government. I also understand that there will be many here on the earth who will not be members of the Church. Is it a true statement that many who are not members will help direct the government, under the leadership of the Savior. Is there some place that I might read more about the things that will happen after the second coming? I appreciate any help that you might be able to give.
At the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Savior will assume direct control over the earth. Regarding the presence of nonmembers on the earth, President Joseph Fielding Smith has taught:
"Some members of the Church have an erroneous idea that when the millennium comes all of the people are going to be swept off the earth except righteous members of the Church. That is not so. There will be millions of people, Catholics, Protestants, agnostics, Mohammedans, people of all classes, and of all beliefs, still permitted to remain upon the face of the earth, but they will be those who have lived clean lives, those who have been free from wickedness and corruption. All who belong, by virtue of their good lives, to the terrestrial order, as well as those who have kept the celestial law, will remain upon the face of the earth during the millennium. Eventually, however, the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters do the sea. But there will be need for the preaching of the gospel, after the millennium is brought in, until all men are either converted or pass away. In the course of the thousand years all men will either come into the Church, or kingdom of God, or they will die and pass away." (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, p.86 - p.87)
During the Millennium, members of the Church of Jesus Christ from any era of time will help in the government of the earth under Christ's direction (Dan. 7:27; D&C 103:7; cf. Matt. 5:5). However, there is nothing to indicate nonmembers of the Church will be part of the Savior's governing organization. Instead, the government will be run through priesthood channels. (See Priesthood Organization home page)
In my view, the best source of information we have on life during the Millennium is Elder Bruce R. McConkie's book, The Millennial Messiah, which can be purchased at http://www.deseretbook.com.
1231: On 08/01/99, Doug asked: The baptismal prayer in D&C20:73 and 3Nephi11:25 are the same except one having authority and the other commissioned. The first edition that is used by the Reorganized church of the D&C had the word authority. Why was it changed in the1935 edition to commissioned? Did the Lord in 3Nephi not give the correct word? Even though the two words have the same meaning I am having a very difficult time with why this change was needed.
See Changes to the Book of Mormon
1230: On 07/30/99, a visitor asked: I was also wondering what do you believe is the only way to heaven? Do you have to believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, or do you concentrate more on good works? I was just curious because I am a Christian, and I believe that the only way to heaven is too believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins. I believe in a true commitment to faith. I have been taught to believe that knowing that Jesus died on the cross for your sins at no cost even though we didn't deserve it, also known as grace, is the only way to heaven and not good works.
For an explanation of what it takes to be saved, see The Gospel of Jesus Christ home page. For an explanation of the LDS view of the interrelationship of grace and works, Grace vs. Works.
1229: On 07/30/99, Sarah asked: Why didn't any of Joseph Smith's prophesies come true? Or any of the other prophets for that matter?
See Didn't Joseph Smith deliver some prophecies that didn't come true?; Fulfilled Prophesies of Joseph Smith
1228: On 07/30/99, Jeanny asked: Let's say [a couple] both live a good worthy Mormon life and they get there (Celestial), does the husband at any time have the right not to call her? I assume that this would make him unworthy since he needs a wife to be in the celestial kingdom (and correct me cause I am sure I am messing up royally as far as how this goes....). But, what about the husbands who have more than one wife? Can they refuse to call one and still be considered worthy enough to be in the celestial kingdom because they have other wifes? And if that could ever happen, can anybody else call the one wife that the husband chosed not to call? I mean , if she was a worthy member, then she should be called I think.....Is it important for the wife to get called by the husband in order to make it to the celestial kingdom even though she has lived a spotless life?
See In the temple, do you teach that husbands get to decide if their wives will be resurrected and enter the celestial kingdom?
1227: On 07/30/99, Shannon asked: If I were to join, and say I was the best and when I died I went to the celestial kingdom, could I still be able to see my non member parents and relatives that didn't go to the celestial kingdom? Do only Mormons go to the celestial??
Latter-day Saints believe that all accountable persons must accept the restored gospel to receive entrance into the celestial kingdom. Unaccountable persons do not have to be baptized into the Church. (See Salvation of Children) The Lord has not given us specific information about who can visit whom in the afterlife, if they live in different degrees of glory. We do know that those of higher kingdoms have some ability to minister to those of lower kingdoms (See D/C 76). We trust in God and have full confidence that his Plan of Salvation is the most beneficial for all concerned. (See Do Only Mormons Go to Heaven?)
1226: On 07/30/99, Shannon asked: some of my non member friends where cross necklaces to show that they have faith. I even have one. What do Mormons wear or use to show that they are faithful??
Latter-day Saints don't use an outward symbol of our faith. President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
"[Someone] asked: "If you do not use the cross, what is the symbol of your religion?" I replied that the lives of our people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship." (See The Symbol of Christ)
1225: On 07/30/99, Heather asked: Do you believe in one level of Hell? From what I understand, you don't believe in Hell at all. You have your levels of heaven, and from what I understand, the lowest one is considered Hell in your religion. So you are basically saying that even if you don't believe in Christ, you still go to heaven?
Latter-day Saints believe in both Heaven and Hell. We believe Heaven is comprised of multiple degrees of glory and even the lowest degree is supernally wonderful. In Heaven, regardless of the degree of glory a person enjoys, he or she lives in a redeemed state of happiness. In Hell, one lives in an eternal state of misery. The Lord has never revealed whether there are multiple degrees of Hell. The Doctrine and Covenants states:
"Wherefore, [God] saves all except them--they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment--And the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows; Neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof...." (D&C 76:44-46)
Latter-day Saints believe one of the prerequisites of receiving any degree of happiness in Heaven is to acknowledge Jesus as Lord, God, and King. A person cannot be released from Spirit Prison into Heaven if he or she has not recognized the authority of the Savior.
The most important thing a person can do in life is to accept the restored gospel during mortality. If a person rejects the gospel during mortality, then he or she can still inherit a lower degree of heaven, but cannot receive the fullness of salvation. There are certain wonderful blessings (e.g., living in the eternal family unit) that the person will have forever forfeited. There will be no second chances for the fullness of salvation. If a person never had the opportunity to receive the gospel, then he or she will receive a first chance in the afterlife. No one will be deprived due to lack of opportunity. However, the rule is the same for all. You must accept Jesus and truly follow him to be saved. The Book of Mormon states:
"O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world." (Helaman 5:9)
If someone rejects the gospel in mortality, but accepts it in the afterlife, then he or she may receive a lower degree of glory after suffering for their personal sins in Spirit Prison, but will be ineligible for the Celestial Kingdom, the highest degree of glory. (See Teachings About the Afterlife home page)
1224: On 07/28/99, Alex asked: How do Mormons feel about other religions like Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism? Do you feel that these religions are false, especially the latter three since they are totally different from religions who's basis was in the Middle East? Do you think they worship false Gods?
Latter-day Saints believe that truth is found in many religions, but the fullness of the gospel is found only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While it could be said that we believe that some other religions worship false Gods, it would be more correct to say that we believe they worship the true God in a false manner. (See Overview of World Religions (Non-Christian) and Mormonism; Interfaith Relations home page)
1223: On 07/28/99, Angie asked: Is there anything doctrinal that says that the bishop should take the sacrament before the members? I have looked at your pages on the sacrament, but can't find an answer to this specific question.
No, there is no doctrine requiring the Bishop to partake of the Sacrament before the rest of the congregation. However, it's a common practice in many wards for logistical reasons. If the Sacrament Prayers are improperly performed, the Bishop is responsible for ensuring that the ordinance is redone in a correct manner. If the Bishop partakes of the sacrament first, no one else is endanger of partaking of an improperly blessed sacrament before the Bishop has a chance to stop the administration. (See The Unwritten Order of Things by President Boyd K. Packer)
1222: On 07/28/99, Marty asked: what is the church's stand on wearing garments while exercising? I've heard so many different opinions that I just don't know what is correct. If you have any answers I'd appreciate it.
Elder Cree L. Krofford stated:
"Frequently, people will want to know if it's all right to take off the garment to mow the lawn, wash the car, or participate in other household or business activities. The answer in one word is no. What if you are participating in athletics? It is possible to wear the temple garment properly while participating in a large number of athletic activities. In those situations where that is not possible, then, as we've been instructed, it would be permissible to remove the garment during that period of time you are engaging in that particular activity. I would not, however, remove my garment for a long time prior to participating, and I would replace it as soon as I could appropriately do so after I had completed participation. Activities such as swimming, competitive basketball, and competitive tennis may fall in this category." (July 1998 Ensign, p. 22)
(See Sacred Garments)
1221: On 07/28/99, Marty asked: I am a member of the church and have a question about euthanasia. Basically, where does the church stand?
A person who participates in euthanasiathe deliberate, intentional putting to death of a person suffering from incurable conditions or diseasesviolates the commandments of God. There is a difference between allowing a terminally ill person to die of natural causes and the initiating of action that causes someone's death. The application or denial of life-support systems must be decided reverently, usually by competent and responsible family members through prayer and the consultation of competent medical authorities. It is not wrong to ask the Lord, if it be his will, to shorten the physical suffering of a person whose afflictions are terminal and irreversible. Your Bishop can discuss specific guidelines on this subject that are found in the General Handbook of Instructions. (See Murder; Suicide; Death and Dying; Prolonging Life)
1220: On 07/27/99, Alex asked: What do Mormons think about things like geologic dating, carbon dating, and fossil records, since these things tend to come into conflict with the story in Genesis? (Please just don't just refer me to a quote from the Bible or the Book of Mormon). Do you think scientists are wrong?
See Science and Religion
1219: On 07/27/99, Denise asked: I have been a church member for 20 years. Our Stake President challenged us to read the BOM again, and I decided to take up the challenge. One thing has struck me hard while reading this morning. While reading 1Nephi Cht.18 it speaks of them finding horses in the Promised Land. Unless they have archaelogical proof of this, I have a major problem. Horses became extinct in the Americas right after the landbridge was lost.(to the Old World). They were not re-introduced until the Spaniards came to the New World. How could Nephi & his family find animals extinct in this land for hundreds of thousands of years? And where could I find an answer to this question?
See "Missing" Plants and Animals in the Book of Mormon
1218: On 07/27/99, Joe asked: Why do do so many christian churchs keep the 1st. day of the week, Sunday, as the Lord's Day, instead of Saturday, the 7th day, that the 4th. commandment, says to "Remember"?
See Is Saturday the True Sabbath?
1217: On 07/27/99, a visitor asked: my question is......if a morman member was intending on devorse and fell in love with somebody else and made love is that concidered adultery and if yes what is the repenting procedure for that ??
The law of chastity forbids all sexual relationships outside of marriage. A person who engages in this type of illicit behavior must confess their sins to their Bishop. Depending upon the exact circumstances of the incident(s) and their level of contrition, some form of Church disciplinary procedure may be part of their repentance process. (See Teachings About Sexuality home page)
1216: On 07/25/99, Linda asked: Is Gladys Knight a Mormon?
Yes, recording artist Gladys Knight is a Latter-day Saint. In fact, she performed at the 1999 Women's Conference at Brigham Young University.
1215: On 07/25/99, Sara asked: If the Book of Mormon is true, it should have true archeological facts of the Americas in earlier times. Why have the Smithsonian and other institutes such as that never used it as a scientific guide?
See Didn't the Smithsonian Institute prove the Book of Mormon was false?
1214: On 07/25/99, Sara asked: Jarom 1:8; 2 Nephi 5:15- ".....fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manners of tools....." Ether 9:17-19- ".....grain...cattle...oxen...cows...sheep...swine...goats...horses...asses...elephants..." None of the principal Old World domesticated food plants or animals, except for the dog, occurred in the New World in Pre-Colombian times. Native Americans had no wheat, barley, oats, millet, rice, cattle, pigs, chickens, horses, donkeys, or camels before 1492. (Camels, bison, and other such mammals became extinct around 10,000 B.C. due ot big game hunters in the Americas.) Iron, steel, glass, and silk were not used in the New World before 1492, except for unsmelted meteoric iron. How do you explain this?
See Metals, Weapons, and the Book of Mormon; "Missing" Plants and Animals in the Book of Mormon
1213: On 07/25/99, Steve asked: Why does the Book of Mormon have the Jaredites using steel? Or Nephi, for that matter? Steel wasn't first created until the late middle ages, as far as I know.
See Metals, Weapons, and the Book of Mormon
(See Question and Answer home page; Question and Answer 32)
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