Date: August 09, 2012 10:31AM
How do I respond to this? This has been picking away at me and I'm infuriated inside, and I don't know how to answer this without making myself look like I've left the church so I have an excuse to sin.
My TBM mother, who was and is very saddened by our very unambiguous declaration that we no longer believe the church to be true and that we've decided to distance ourselves permanently from the church. She says in a nearly teary eyed plea "just remember to keep your covenants".
I tried explaining to her that Joseph Smith was a highly immoral man and that lies upon lies have been perpetuated by the church since its foundation and that its history has been altered and sanitised to promote faith building aspects only. This fell immediately on deaf ears.
I'm just burning inside that there's still a hope, or expectation placed on me, which I have absolutely no intention of aligning myself with, to keep covenants made at baptism and temple endowments. Understanding the origin of these covenants, and what they really represent, makes me truly, deeply despise them, with every fiber of my soul (in mormon lingo).
Date: August 09, 2012 10:48AM
I've gotten that from TBM family on a few occasions, and I have several points of response I use.
1) A covenant made under durress without full prior knowledge of the details is an amoral covenant and akin to secret combinations detailed in the Book of Mormon such as that established by Akish in the Book of Ether.
2) A covenant is a two-way promise, meaning just as God is under no obligation to fulfill his end if I fail in mine, I am also under no obligation to fulfill my end if He fails in His. Failure to provide me with credible knowledge of His existence is just one area in which He has failed. Failure to provide reasonable evidence that He intends to ever fulfill His end of the covenant, through His very existence or otherwise, is more than enough reason for me to acceptably back out of a covenant.
3) Most covenants that mormons think they make in the temple are not actually covenants. I know the wording and I know exactly what the covenants are, and when they tell me I have a broken a covenant that is not explicit in the temple, I challenge them to give me the exact wording of the covenant I have broken. Almost always they will refuse, even though they're not aware that they never made any covenant not to reveal the wording of the covenants. One non-temple example is the idea that one baptismal covenant is to bear one another's burdens, as per the wording in Alma. Even as a TBM I would open up the Book of Mormon to people and show them exactly how this can in no wise be conceivably thought of as a baptismal covenant. If I press these points hard enough I can always get mormons to admit that most of their covenants are implied and not explicit.
4) Mormons don't even keep their own covenants. For instance, in the law of consecration we explicitly covenant to give everything to the church. It does not contain the word "willing," but is a direct and specific covenant. It doesn't matter what we are willing to do or not, nor does 10% cut it. Anyone who has not given everything they possess to the church has not yet fulfilled this covenant. If they can prolong it indefinitely, so can I.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/2012 10:49AM by kimball.
Date: August 09, 2012 11:20AM
One rebuttal I did give to my mother was exactly as you pointed out in your 4th point, law of consecration. I explained that I had no intention of giving anything to the church, let alone everything. Reflecting back as a TBM, I understood the law of consecration as a promise to comply with what was expected of me in the church, and that in the millenium, the full version of the law would be restored. Interesting that the law of consecration when implemented during a brief era during JS's time, was a complete flop.
Also, as you mentioned, discussing the wording of the specific covenants outside of the temple is not forbidden. TBM's are hesitant to discuss any part of the temple ceremony, but as I understand it, the only stuff too "sacred" to discuss outside the temple, things that we are forbidden to discuss are all the masonic elements. Ironically. Interesting also that mormons don't call it secret, it's "sacred". The took the "secret" wording out of the temple ceremony some time ago, because they didn't want people viewing it that way, or having an image of secrecy. Funny thing is, sacred does not in any way mean secret. The signs and tokens etc, are in every sense of the word, secret.
Date: August 10, 2012 11:15AM
> One rebuttal I did give to my mother was exactly
> as you pointed out in your 4th point, law of
> consecration. I explained that I had no intention
> of giving anything to the church, let alone
> everything. Reflecting back as a TBM, I
> understood the law of consecration as a promise to
> comply with what was expected of me in the church,
> and that in the millenium, the full version of the
> law would be restored. Interesting that the law
> of consecration when implemented during a brief
> era during JS's time, was a complete flop.
If the contract is based on fraud, then it is unenforceable. T
Probably actionable, too. Although I'm not sure exactly what the "valuable consideration" is on the part of the church or the person receiving the endowments..
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/10/2012 11:15AM by mtgrizzly.