Saturday, September 29, 2012

LDS Marriages

Non-LDS marriages are fun and joyous occasions. The bride and groom are able to enjoy their engagement anyway they want without all the pressure to “stay worthy”. If they did have sex before marriage, it is not a big deal. Even if people know they “did it”, no one cares and no one judges. They are still allowed to have a happy wedding. It is a happy occasion.

In a Mormon marriage, it’s just the opposite. If the couple has “fooled around” at all (and we know that 99% of them have), they must keep it secret and have to lie to their bishops in order to get a recommend to get married in the temple. After all, if they confess their sins, the bishop will deny them their recommends and since they aren’t getting married in the temple, everyone will know they “did it”. Since sexual sin is very serious in Mormonism, it is kept secret. I suspect that many “unworthy” couples go through the temple anyway, because confessing brings a ton of public shame on them.

In the wedding itself, only worthy family members can attend and there is not a Bride’s Maid or a Best Man. There are no rings exchanged and there are no flowers. There is no special music. There is no giving away the bride and there are no vows. The ceremony takes place with the bride and groom fully dressed in their temple garb; the bride’s gown is not even visible. The ceremony is verbatim and is preformed while the couple kneels across from each other at an altar, holding each other’s hand in one of the secret handshakes they learned earlier in the endowment ceremony. Afterward, there is no “you may kiss the bride” and there is no applause from those in attendance. The couple is hurried out of the sealing room, and the next couple is hurried in.

This cookie cutter ceremony is the pinnacle of Mormon existence. It is your purpose for living, literally. There is a great deal of shame and gossip if someone’s kid is married outside of the temple. For the couple, especially if they have done “anything” before hand, there is a great deal of guilt. If they lied to their bishop to have a temple wedding, they feel guilty. They feel dirty and wicked.

On top of that is the tremendous pressure to marry as soon as possible. So many Mormon youth rush to the temple for their marriage before they are mature enough for marriage (that would be me) or financially ready (that would be me too). The LDS council to marry young and pop out babies before you are financially ready is STUPID ADVICE!

As a side note, members of the LDS church are taught that their leaders have what they call “the gift of discernment”. This means that if you go into an interview, the bishop will know if you are lying to him. They can see into your soul and tell if your “light” is very bright or very dim. Interestingly enough, every time I fibbed to a bishop, he never figured it out. But this is one of the “scare tactics” they use to keep the members in line.

No, a Mormon wedding is not a happy experience*. When I got married in the temple, my fiancĂ© and I fooled around a little before. She used to cry and we would pray together for forgiveness. We decided together that we would not confess our sins. After all, what would the family say if we announced that we were having a “civil” wedding?

*On the surface a Mormon wedding is happy. Everyone is thrilled that another "celestial family" has been created. But under the surface, it is sad, depressing, and lonely.

To a non-member it is difficult to explain just how serious this is. Your existence for the rest of eternity depends upon this one event. If you do not carry it out (or if you carry it out unworthily), you will be alone for eternity. You will be cut off from all your worthy loved ones. You will live in guilt and shame forever!

A Mormon temple wedding is not performed as “until death do you part”, but “for time and all eternity”. A couple married in the temple is only temporarily parted by death. In the hereafter, they will be married for eternity and will progress together to godhood. This is called a “sealing” or being sealed. It is one of Mormonism’s main selling points: Eternal Families. This idea by itself is not a bad one. It’s just that the process to get there is so full of stress and sacrifice.

Every Mormon home has at least one picture of the temple on the wall and the children look at it adoringly, looking forward to the day when they will go inside and learn about its marvelous secrets. The only thing they really know is that they will go inside and make special covenants with god. Before a person goes to the temple, they have no idea what those covenants are. In the ceremony, they are presented and the receiver must commit to live them on the spot.

Even in a blessing of a new infant born into Mormonism, the child is blessed that he or she will someday marry in the temple. It is the ultimate goal of Mormonism. The only thing that must be done after that is staying worthy and enduring to the end. If you die faithful, you have passed the test. Those who leave the church and fall away, “It will be better for them had they never been born”.

That’s the way it is in Mormonism.


Tyson Devereux said...

Wow - you nailed it! 99% was right on - and since you like to just through out random, non factual meaning-less percentages - I thought I would join you. When I say 99% I really mean 1%. I think I'm going to have to address each section if you don't mind. Starting with your quick five sentence intro so overly generalized. Yes, weddings in general are joyous. But to propose that non Mormon weddings are care less and guilt free ceremonies where everyone is happy and gets along all the time is just 100% ignorant. I've had a sibling (inactive) who rushed their wedding. We were all concerned, and we all voiced those concerns. But when they made the decision, we put on happy faces and supported them. Another sibling (inactive) got married while expecting. It wasn't rushed, and she wasn't far long, but everyone knew. The ceremony was good and had a great time, but there was again some concern on both sides. Fortunately, i have a family who arent easy to get offended and dont offend, but i know several who put on smiles just to be supportive. I've experienced and have heard worse, where some family members disagreed with the wedding and failed to attend hurting the bride, or groom - creating tension and malice within the family. So to say that non Mormon weddings are all perfect and happy is a one sided statement. Just because it's joyous doesn't mean there's concern or guilt or issues. We as people tend to put on smiling faces to make everything seem alright. We do it at funerals - not the smiling part, but no matter how the deceased person lived, it's rare to hear one bad statement about that person. That's just how it is - Mormon or non Mormon - its just at a non Mormon wedding - everyone is just too drunk to care - lol, sorry I just had to throw that in there. I don't mean to argue the point, I certainly agree weddings are generally a joyous and happy occasion -

Tyson Devereux said...

Yes, non Mormon weddings are joyous and therefore Mormon weddings are doom and gloom. Got it. Most of this section is just accusation and assumption. Not really worth making a comment about, except that sexual sins are very serious. Unfortunately this is prevelant in the young adults of the church. But there is forgiveness through the atonement. It takes humility to admit mistakes and seek forgiveness of any kind - but there is great relief and hope to feel forgiveness. And I'm not talking about the bishop saying your forgiven, but to feel the spirit of forgiveness. It is a burden lifted off. Unfortunately, many prefer and think they can hide their mistakes. They focus on what other people will think and fear others opinions rather then fearing their own well being. For those about to get married, If they do admit their faults seeking forgiveness, their wedding will probably be postponed (that is also assumption on my part, but that is based on experience and understanding) but it does not prevent them from being married in the temple when the time is right. There is no shame in postponing your wedding date until you and your spouse are spiritually ready

Tyson Devereux said...

In the Wedding itself - even though what you described isn't necessarily false- the tone made all those things equate a Mormon wedding as some emotionless ritual. It is quite the contrary. It is secluded, with close family and friends. True, there are no Brides Maids or Best Man - but is that really a bad thing? But that is not so true - I don't know if there is a name for it - but there is one chosen to go through the ceremony with you - usually a family member or best friend to be there for you. There are also two witnesses chosen for the ceremony. It is done in a small white room with your closest friends and family members there around you as you kneel in front of your soon to be spouse, holding hands and seeing each other eye to eye as blessings of a strong faithful family is given from a Temple sealer. Yes, the sealing blessings are the same - but the sealer then provides his own insight and wisdom. I thought we were aloud to kiss afterward, but there was so much - I honestly cant remember. Afterwards, you are embraced with joyous hugs. The feeling is amazing. No kind of music, clapping, or shouts can replace the quiet deep, joyous love you feel at that moment.

As I mentioned earlier - the only difference between our accounts is the tone. All these things that make up a temple wedding is amazing - beyond words. It truly is a humbling experience. But here's the difference. The temple sealing is a sacred and special ceremony - but it is just part of a joyous occasion. There is often later a reception afterwards, open to everyone to attend. Yes, I've been to some receptions that was quite dull and not really the joyous celebration, and I've been to some receptions that was a lot of fun. But it is a time for everyone to greet and congratulate the married couple. This is the flowers, the dancing, the clapping, the joyous celebration you failed to mention.

Now - myself being a convert to the church, along with my wife - we both have several family and friends not members of the church. We chose - just as anyone can - to have a ring ceremony for everyone. It was held in a church chapel. My father walked my wife down the isle. We exchanged rings and had our "fist" kiss. This helped involve my father who is not a member, and other family members to be a part of the traditional ceremony. We did the same thing in Florida where my wife's family is from. Probably the best reception ever- riding in a limo - having a three tiered hand made cake - having a live dj and dancing - having the bouquet toss. We did it all. (after all these ceremonies - you may realize now why I don't remember the details of some things). The Temple sealing is the core and the everlasting part of a long enjoyed celebration of a young couple getting married. There's nothing better -

Tyson Devereux said...

As for the pressures of getting married in the Temple - I do understand the pressures are there. I never felt pressured myself - I've always known I wanted to get married in the Temple. My wife as a young woman took a trip to the temple and when she saw it - she knew for herself that's where she wanted to get married. That's how it should be -

If all this was true - if this gospel was true and it was essential for eternal life and salvation. Bare with me - i know its hard for you to fathom - but if eternal families existed through temple sealings - wouldn't you do everything in your power to make sure that happens? Wouldn't you raise and teach your kids to understand this importance that they may live worthy and choose to marry in the temple? If it was that essential - wouldn't you do everything you could to see your family was together?

The pressures are there - I understand - because we truly believe through temple sealings and through the gospel of Jesus Christ we can be an eternal family.

But here's the issue - if someone is doing something because they felt "pressured" - then they are probably aren't ready. If you are getting married in the temple only for the sole purpose of being pressured - then it is obviously not your choice to do so - and aren't ready. No one should get married - in the temple or anywhere if they are feeling pressured - but rather should take the time with your fiance and work things out until you feel ready and that it is your choice to do so -

Your admittance of lying to get married is just the prime example. How can you start any marriage - let along a temple marriage on a lie. I mean, its one thing to have that guilt (and at the time it was guilt for what you had done) but to make a conscious decision to hide it. And now you look back and wonder why your temple marriage never worked out? wow - you sit there and claim a temple marriage is a sad and depressing time - well from your experience of lies and hiding guilty feelings - I can see why you were so sad and depressed. I truly shake my head trying to make any sense of that at all -

If a young couple feels the pressure of getting married enough to feel like they have to cover up or lie - they are not truly ready. Maybe they should get married civilly first or wait until they feel spiritual ready to make that choice. It's happened before - and the world didn't come to a complete stop. It's not the end of the world As parents and guidance in the church - we need to be more encouraging and open to these young people and help them understand the importance of making their own decision and being worthy and ready for such important things -

Tyson Devereux said...

As for the "gift of discernment" - wow- I've never heard of it described so . . . eh - anyway. True - Bishops do have the gift of discernment - but this isn't a super power - its not a lie detector - its not their job to be a lie detector. There are other positions that have the gift of discernment. I believe mothers have a sense of this gift of discernment as well for their kids. They have these moments of feeling and being aware of situations with their kids - like that statement of "mother's always know" - They don't really know - but they can discern of there may be something they need to be aware of. Its the same with the Bishop. He doesn't know your lying - except that probably most people are bad at it, and its probably obvious - but its more of an awareness - such as feeling the need to ask more into something than he probably would otherwise. But this "The Bishop couldn't tell" is a farse and a complete lack of understanding of an interview process.

An interview with the Bishop is not a lying detector session. It is not the Bishop's I guess "job" to say yes or no. He does not determine your worthiness. You are the only one that determines your worthiness. The interview is to answer honestly in front of a priesthood holder - to answer for yourself if you are worthy or not. The Bishop only presents the questions - it is really you giving yourself the Yea or Nay - if you are being honest. There is no tricking the bishop - you are only tricking yourself if you can't even be honest with yourself -

Joe Sixtop said...

Interesting and informative as always. Reading it made me think of 2 questions: how about guys who already have a wife that they've had sex with and are marrying another wife, who might presumably be a virgin? Did Ann Romney and Willard "Mittens" Romney get married in the temple thing and if so would they have to lie (unless they never actually "did it") so they could do that?

Brad said...

Tyson, you're the perfect example of cognitive dissonance

Tyson Devereux said...

Thanks Brad - I appreciate the complement. I'd rather be thinking, than not thinking at all -

Family said...

My heart breaks when I see things like this. Im sorry for whatever happened to you to make you believe this but the church is true. I am willing to bet that at one point in time, you did feel the spirit and you did know it was true but now that time has gone by and life has gone on you have chalked it up to something else. But it wasnt something else!! It was real and the spirit it real, I beg you to pray and I hope you find the spirit again!

Family said...

Is it any coincedence that the earth sits perfectly on its axis to give us the seasons? or at the right distance from the sun so we dont freeze or dont burn up? or that the natural source, water, that we and all life needs is covered on the earth? by the way, all the theory of evolution stuff about cro-magnon and neandrathals, have now been proven false and all those so called "human apes" were actually modern day humans with diseases that gave them deformities. Please come back! We try because we care and we know what is at stake!

Brad said...

Family, I would like to encourage you to go to your local university or even a community collage and take a few classes in anthropology, geology or possibly visit a archaeology dig site. The things you will learn is absolutely wondrous. Also, a visit to your local Natural History Museum is always fun and there always something new to learn.

Mormon411 said...

Tyson, that's a lot of comment there and I won't address most of it. You love putting words in my mouth. I never said non-Mormon weddings are wonderful, so therefore Mormons weddings are terrible. You have done that same word putting in other comment areas too. Mormon weddings are awful because they are all based on extreme pressure to be worthy, worthy, worthy. It's not about the love of two people... it's just about whether or not they've had sex.

The wedding itself that I described is not false at all. I experienced it first hand and witnessed a few others.

Your question of would I do anything in my power to go to the temple and teach it's saving ordinances to my children if it all really was true: of course I would. But it's hogwash. The founder of Mormonism was a fraud. There are court records of him being found guilty for glass looking. He was a creative and charasmatic dude. He was not a prophet.

You talked a little about my marriage and how we hid our sins from everyone. I have news for you: that's the fruits of Mormonism. Appearances. The appearance of righteousness. The appearance of happiness. It's all an illusion. To be Mormon is to be a liar.

I've never heard your description of the spirit of discernment as a "lie detector", but in short, that is precicely what the members are taught that it is! PRECICELY!

Mormon411 said...

Joe, thank you. I'm not quite sure I understand your question so I will answer as best I can. The idea of going through the temple is not necessarially that one is required to be a virgin, but just that they have not sexually sinned. So a man who was previously married can marry again in the temple, provided that his priesthood leaders find him worthy to do so.

As far as "Mittens" Romney, he's a politician, so what do you think?

@Tyson: Sorry to break it to you, but Brad's comment to you was not a compliment. When I hear a religious person claim that they are thinking, I split my side laughing. Believing in magic spells to cure illness (priesthood blessings) is not thinking... it's wishful thinking.

@Family: Yes, I felt the "spirit". But then when I started THINKING, I realized that the "spirit" is nothing more than my own emotional reaction to a stimulus. I felt it at church; I felt it at a touching movie; I felt it listening to a delighful piece of music genius.

The earth has seasons, and is exactly the right distance from the sun. In a universe, with billions of stars, most of them having a system of planets, what are the odds that just one would happen to be in exactly the right place? Pretty good. Why would "god" create a universe with billions of stars and trillions of planets, just to make one for us? Isn't that a slight case of overkill? You are looking at a one-in-a-billion planets with the right "stuff" and giving god the credit. Reality would dictate that, yes, it is just a coincidence, but not a far fetched one, given how many planets there are in the universe.

And while you're at the library checking out books, get one on astronomy too. You will find that the grandeur and splendor of the universe, and what mankind has learned about it, is far more splendid than ANYTHING religion can drum up!

And I just laugh when another religious fanatic comes in here saying "It's all been proven false!"

Religion has not been proven at all, so you can't use logic and reason when trying to debate me.

Haha! I win! Score one for Satan (who really doesn't exist)!

Heather said...

I'm wondering why people like "Tyson" and "Family" even comment on an exmo blog. The conversation between religious and non religious can be awesome at times, but testimony sharing and rambling on and on doesn't' prove a point what so ever. Maybe they are just trying to convince themselves of its "truthfulness," but in turn look like they are grabbing at straws.

Keep lurking here you two. Maybe you'll be starting your own exmo blog shortly!

Tyson Devereux said...

Heather - If you're so curious why I comment on here, I don't know why you don't just ask me - that's the problem - I'm here to give my honest insight - and instead of asking me, and having an actual conversation - you throw the question up in the air with no reasoning.

I am baffled by your comment though. You wonder why I am here? Isn't this not an open forum? Am I not welcome? I didn't realize atheists were so seclusive and closed minded -

Look, I like you from our conversations before, and I have no malice or hard feelings towards anyone. I'm not afraid what I read on here. I do find it interesting, hearing the evolution of anti-Mormon rants. I've looked at others, and they were either not updated and abandoned or they made no sense. This one isn't great, but its updated and at least readable. However, I find it very one sided (yes - I know this is an exmo site) but when mormon411 starts misrepresenting the truth or stretching it - I'm just here to provide the other side of the story. I don't mind the overly done, "Mormons are bad" - that's opinion and whatever - but to make up stuff - seriously - in this post he seriously claims that 99% of Mormons had sex before marriage- really? Just because he did - he then assumes everyone else did - and he then presents it as fact - and the sad thing is that people here read it and say how right he is - really? People really gotta think about what they read -

Look, I'm open minded, tolerant, not offended. I tell it how it is. I don't apologize for anyone. I don't make excuses. If I'm wrong - I'll admit I'm wrong. If you want to talk about how bad Mormons are - go ahead - I'll listen. I'll chime in every now and again if I feel it needs explanation. I don't argue or disagree just because it isn't the same as what I believe. I'm accepting to other ideas. I just ask others to be the same. I'm being very serious - wouldn't it be nice to have both sides of the argument instead of just one rant? Wouldn't be nice to hear from both and get a more objective idea? Wouldn't it be nice to get the whole picture? We can have that . . . Or, you can sit there like before and wonder why?

Mormon411 said...

Wow, Heather, you go girl! That was awesome!

Tyson, you are always welcome here and are free to say anything you want. Heather was just pointing out that testimony sharing is never going to do any good in a ex-Mormon forum. We all willingly gave up on that type of thinking so she was just pointing out that you're wasting your time, and have the danger of being deceived by our carefully crafted lies.

The problem, as I see it, is that you are far too quick to read into what I am saying. I didn't claim it's a fact that 99% of them have had sex. It was a random statistic, yes, but can you honestly tell me that most people in love have not fooled around to some degree? In the magic bubble world of Mormonism, none of them have. But in reality, most of them have.

Case in point.. I said my fiancee and I fooled around. I never said we had sex. We did not have sex until we were married. Our "sins" were minor but in Mormon culture, minor is major. There's really no difference.

Final point. I have never said Mormons are bad. EVER! I believe MORMONISM is bad. Mormons are my friends and family and I love them. They are not bad people; it is the system. I know this will be hard for you to understand, but if I didn't care about Mormons, would I bother trying to show them the reasons I feel it is evil?

Tyson Devereux said...

A testimony has no effect on an exmo site? Wow - do you not even know the definition of testimony? It is a personal witness to the truth of a matter - don't you provide your personal witness? Isn't this what this whole blog is about? Think about it

The reality is that I read more into what you write more than anybody. Sure, I have a different mind set when reading it then others - but if your not salivating over anti Mormon rant - then it's easy to stop and say - wait a minute, that doesn't make any sense. You presented the 99% as fact. You said "We Know" - not I believe, or it maybe - you said we know - and I can honestly answer that no everyone in love don't fool around. My wife and I never did. I can't talk for others, but I can suspect just as well as you can that most people don't, or have and have repented. Not everyone lies their way through life - sorry. I know that immorality is becoming more prevelant in the youth of the church. I'm not saying every youth is perfect, but 99% is beyond exaggeration. I would rather say that maybe 50 - 60% have done something sexual of nature, but I knew of people who have done things and repented of them - so just because they have made a mistake and done something - doesn't make them eternal unworthy liars.

Just saying

Heather said...

A testimony doesn't work on a blog like this because as an exmo, we tend to view testimonies differently now. As for myself, they are just a way to manipulate emotion into bringing the "spirit" around. Testimonies usually have zero evidence... they are usually just faith promoting and emotional devices, nothing more.

And I just need to say as well, I don't hate Mormons. (can I give a statistic here?) about 90% of my extended family is LDS and I love all of them so much. It's the organization that I hate, and its the organization that makes smart people illogical. I don't see Mormon 411 spew hate about the people, just the church.

Mormon411 said...

Tyson, I could go with 50 or 60%. We have no way of knowing the exact number, of course, but I really do believe it is higher than most people think.

Yes, a testimony is a witness of truth. However, a Mormon testimony is not really a testimony by definition, because it's just a personal feeling. Personal feelings are not evidence for the truth of something. Yes, I do provide my personal witness, but I do not call it a testimony because it isn't one.

Do lawyers get up in court and tell the jury, "I believe so-and-so committed the crime, but I have no evidence to support my beliefs."? That is not a testimony, and it will not hold up in court. It is a personal opinion and there is a huge difference.