My Mormon friend affiliates with someone who is anti-Mormon, is he breaking his temple covenants?

As asked by Ann Mere here.

My question: I have a mormon friend whose husband is an anti-mormon Christian active in a ministry to save people out of mormonism. When he asks his mormon wife about the mormon church she will never have a discussion with him. Would she be able to get a temple recommend when she is married to someone who actively opposes mormonsm?

Also would she be able to go to the Celestial Kingdom living with this dogmatic non-believer in the LDS church and opposition to the mormon prophets, apostles, presidents?

Ann later posted this:

I asked a question on 6/6 about my Christian friend who is anti-mormon, but married to a mormon. I have subsequently found out that his wife does have a temple recommend and does go to the temple. This sounds like an oxymoron or should I say oxymormon because there is one temple recommend question that her life violates, that is she is closely affiliated with and married to a rabid anti-mormon Christian who has his own Christian ministry on the internet and goes to mormon events to hand out Christian literature.

Can bishops just violate the temple recommend questions anytime they want to? Are the questions meant to be followed or can anyone just decide which questions they will answer truthfully and which questions they will ignore?

I answer these questions with no authority to do such, and based solely on what I think is a logical conclusion.  If anyone has a different opinion they’re welcome to chime in.

1. Yes, someone who is married to an anti-Mormon can get a temple recommend.

2. Yes, someone who is married to an anti-Mormon can still go the Celestial Kingdom. It’s possible the anti-Mormon could too.

3. Yes, bishops can violate the temple recommend questions. Are they supposed to? No, but they could.

4. Yes, the questions are meant to be followed. Are they always followed? No, although I think 99% of the time they are.

5. Yes, anyone can decide which questions they will answer truthfully and which they will ignore, just as people can choose whether they want to maintain the speed limit or ignore it. What can’t be ignored are the eternal consequences of one’s decisions.

But I think the real question here is with regards to the question Ann referred to that goes something like “Do you affiliate with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?”

One could read this question and come to the conclusion that if someone is married to an anti-Mormon, then they are not worthy of holding a temple recommend. However, this depends on what the meaning of “affiliate” is. Again, I speak with no authority, just logic and common sense (I hope), but I assume the implied meaning of the word “affiliate” in this context is to join oneself to, agree with, support, etc. I don’t believe it means associate with, converse with, live with, sell services to, etc. In other words, you can be married to an anti-Mormon, and you’re perfectly worthy of holding a temple recommend unless you agree with him and help him distribute his pamphlets. Heck, maybe it’s even more lenient than that. I mean, if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s temple recommend is valid, then I’m not sure what it would take to be found on the wrong side of this question.

Ok, I’m joking, of course. I believe the question is not meant to cast a wide net and include a large group of people, but rather is in the interview questions in order to call out those who are actively working against the Mormon church in an organized manner. Although many of the general tenets of the Democrat Party are decidedly at odds with Mormon doctrine (not to say some Republican beliefs aren’t contrary to Mormon doctrine either), the Democrat Party does not have it as its goal the destruction of the LDS Church. There are individuals and groups that do have this as their express intent, and it would be affiliating yourself (i.e. actively supporting) to those individuals and groups that would put you on the wrong side of the question.

Comments

  1. Well said, Josh. You answered this as well as is possible.

  2. Thanks Josh, but I gave more specific information than you addressed, so I will be even more specific. The anti-mormon spouse not only is anti-mormon, but has a website that states that mormons are deceptive about what they tell non-mormons. In other words, he states that most mormons either lie to non-mormons about mormon doctrine & history, or equally bad, they are ignorant of mormon doctrine & history.

    He also takes his ministry group to mormon events to handout anti-mormon literature for trips that are 30 to 40 days long. He has written and printed the literature.

    To live with this spouse, provide encouragement & love, seems to me to be aiding & abetting.

    This mormon also agreed with her spouse not to ever have any children to avoid a dispute.

    Am I being too legalistic?

    I don't want to violate either the spirit or letter of the law.

  3. Ann Mere – You made me remember a good point, which is that the temple recommend interview is more of a self-screening process than a chance for the bishop to "catch" someone and make sure they stay out of the temple. If someone lies during the temple recommend interview, it doesn't hurt the LDS Church, per se. It doesn't hurt the bishop. It doesn't hurt the temple. It hurts the person who lies. They're only doing damage to themselves, if we ignore the idea that when any one of us doesn't live up to his or her potential then we all suffer, but hopefully you get what I mean.

    In truth, nobody can judge your friend other than herself and God. She is not doing anything that is obviously or clearly violating her temple covenants or the questions in the temple recommend interview. If she is answering the questions honestly, according to her own understanding of what the questions mean, then she's doing all that can be expected of anyone. But that's between her and God. The bishop is there to give your friend the opportunity to answer the questions, and to help her if she needs help, but she judges her own worthiness more so than he does.

  4. So maybe there are no rules, no commandments just guidelines or suggestions.

    A Jewish liberal friend of mine thinks the 10 commandments are really

    just the 10 suggestions.

  5. There are commandments and covenants, and then there are guidelines, suggestions, etc. There is no commandment to not affiliate with individuals or groups that are anti-Mormon, and inside the temple no specific covenant, commitment, or promise is made to not affiliate with anti-Mormon groups.

    Of course if someone is involved in an anti-Mormon group, then what legitimate reason do they have for being in the temple, unless they're just trying to cause problems?

    Your friend, on the other hand, could have all sorts of good reasons to be in the temple. Just because her husband is anti-Mormon doesn't mean she is. Maybe she hopes he'll turn around and change his mind. Maybe she feels that the better she lives her religion, the more of a good influence she can be on him. Why would the LDS Church want to discourage that?

  6. Your answer is thought provoking. I wonder what LDS prophets would say about this situation–today and in former day (like the earlier prophets). Do you have any quotes from the leaders of the church, say General Authorities, about consorting with and being in close contact with the enemy.

    It's obvious this anti-mormon has declared himself to be an enemy of the LDS church and Mormon doctrine?

  7. Here is a link to an official LDS Church publications addressing this topic, although I'm not sure it directly answers your questions. It's also 20 years old.

    When Your Spouse Isn’t a Member

    Here's another link to a blog that may be of interest. It is not an official source:

    Thoughts on Part Member Families

    Another link to a non-official source:

    When only one is active in gospel

    I haven't read any of these, so I'm not endorsing their views. I just did a quick search and from skimming them they looked somewhat relevant and if not helpful then not designed to do any harm.

  8. This question is actually very specific and most people, even LDS, do not understand the genesis and reason for it in the temple reccomend interview. In some areas of the western US, polygamist groups actively try to infiltrate the church and tell recruits to stay in the church, hold positions, and try to influence other members. This was more of a problem a few decades back, and someday the question might be obsolete, but it is still in there for now.

  9. Marvin, surely if a PROPHET of GOD, caleld by GOD to pass on revealed knowledge and continual revelation, speaks on the NATURE of GOD how this NOT BE REVELATION?Especially when it recorded in the Standard Work Journal of Discourses 26:368

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