Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Monday, March 13, 2006

On Marrying Outside the Church: Asenath and Other Lessons

Temple marriage is wonderful, one of the greatest blessings of the restored Gospel, but we Latter-day Saints need to remember that many of our members are in happy and wonderful marriages with spouses outside the Church, some of whom are tremendously supportive of their LDS mate and are even helping to raise their children in the Church. I hope we can do more to express our support and appreciation of such people and avoid offending them needlessly by making comments that imply it's a tragedy to marry outside the Church. Some of the non-LDS spouses in our midst have a lot to teach us about faith and diligence and especially patience, though they may not be interested in official membership in the Church.

In dealing with this issue, I think that Asenath, the wife of the great patriarch and prophet, Joseph, is someone we should keep in mind. Genesis 41:45 tells us that "Pharaoh . . . gave him [Joseph] to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On." She was not a sweet Hebrew girl picked by Joseph's father, but a foreigner picked by the Pharaoh. She was raised in a different culture, with a different language and a different religion (even had a pagan priest for a father). There is no record of her conversion, but surely she was at least supportive of Joseph's faith, and I presume that she helped raise her boys in her husband's faith.

In verse 50, we read that "unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him." Today, the tribe of Ephraim plays a major role in the restored Gospel. Most members of the Church are, at least by adoption, gathered into that tribe. And at the head of that tribe stands one of the greatest prophets of all times, who accepted a non-member wife. If your real or adopted roots go to Ephraim, they go to Joseph and Asenath. Perhaps she joined after their marriage or converted for the marriage - but as far as I can tell, it appears that Joseph married outside the faith.

The eternal status of Joseph's marriage to Asenath is between them and the Lord, and I hope they have been or will be sealed for eternity. But Joseph's story reminds us that the Lord can smile upon exceptions to the rule, and that we should be tremendously grateful to the non-LDS spouses among us who support their spouse in their faith and even go so far as to help raise their children LDS.

When the patriarchs of old warned against marrying outside the faith, I think the main concern was marrying someone who would lead the spouse or the children away from the Lord. When we have non-member spouses who support their spouse and teach their children faith in Christ, we should rejoice and admire their kindness and support, and be awfully cautious of what we say when we discuss the importance of Temple marriage. Let us speak of it as a blessing, but acknowledge the blessings of the Lord in other wholesome marriages and the success that such marriages can be.

Of course, I agree that Temple marriage is best, and that in most cases it will be best to marry within the Church. I hope our young people will prefer to date other LDS young people and plan on Temple marriage. But none of us mortals got to where we are today by officially recognized perfect pathways at every step of our lives. But let us support and nurture every marriage among us and help our members and their non-member spouses, if such be the case, find joy and fellowship in our midst.

42 comments:

Walker said...

This has been a very tough call for me. Part of it is because of the constant hounding I received growing up about how to always date members of the church. If you didn't, you were almost bound to get tired, withering looks from your youth leaders. of course, i was in an area that had no want for lds members, so that was not a problem. Yet, I know that if i were to ever mention the possibility of marrying a non-member, even if i knew it were an inspired decision, i would face all kinds of grief from family members and friends.

on the other hand, on my mission, i had a companion whose mother told him that her marriage to his non-member father was indeed inspired. what do you say to that? no...your mother was wrong? come now. The father has yet to join the church (that's not to say that he won't though)

i don't have an answer to it. i can certainly agree that temple marriage is best, in any case.

why would the Lord inspire us to shoot for something sub-par, especially when dealing with a "salt-of-the-earth" member? I should keep Isaiah 55:8-9 (my ways are not your ways), though that doesn't really provide a solution.

Mormanity said...

One of the best LDS couples I know began as a part-member couple. The woman told me that her decision to marry this man - one of the best men I know, clearly - came as an answer to prayer, and that she had no doubt it was right. Now she is married in the Temple to a man who is an example to me and my family. How can I argue with that?

ltbugaf said...

This post is a good example of the principle that we shouldn't define a rule by its exceptions. There's a general rule, or teaching, that we should always marry in the temple. But the examples you gave may be exceptions to that rule. However, the reasons for the rule are so powerful and so obvious that I'm sure you realize why we should not stop teaching the rule, nor teach our members to look upon themselves as possible exceptions.

I think marriage outside the temple, to a nonmember, may indeed be the right decision in cetain specific circumstances. But we hope that most of our people will not find themselves (or put themselves) in those circumstances.

glengray said...

Back to the example of Joseph, I think the record is unclear as to whether or not he married outside the covenant. An interesting quote from the first Old Testament student manual applies:
"Many scholars speculate that Joseph came to power in Egypt while the nation was under the dominion of the Hyksos people. The ancient historian Manetho called the Hyksos the shepherd-kings and told how their conquest and dominion were bitterly hated by the Egyptians. The Hyksos were Semitic peoples from the lands north and east of Egypt. Since Jacob and his family were also Semitic, it is understandable how Joseph would be viewed with favor by the Hyksos and also how, when the Hyksos were finally overthrown and driven out of Egypt, the Israelites would suddenly fall from favor with the native Egyptians." (pg 103)
In the scriptures, Asenath is always referrd to as "Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On." It doesn't say that she or her father were native Egyptians. It seems plausible that they could have been one of the Hyksos. I was wondering if Mormanity could comment.

annegb said...

There are so many active jerks in the church that if one of my daughters married a good guy of another faith, I wouldn't be quick to despair.

I think a marriage to a non member can indeed be inspired. Look how many good faithful members weren't. Members, that is. And there will be more and more. Look at south America and Asia.

A rule, not a commandment. Because ultimately, we are all God's children. I think a lot of solid advice (as opposed to a rule, I mean, whose rule?) will have to evolve as our church evolves and grows. And we will be more careful to judge by the "content of their character, not by the genealogy of their fathers."MLK, paraphrased.

ltbugaf said...

annegb, I don't understand the apparent equation of membership in the Church with the genealogy of one's fathers.

RCH said...

I think she's referring to those who are Mormon by social pedigree, rather than any particular love of the Savior or the restored gospel. That a sincere and committed Protestant who tries his best to follow Christ would be a better choice than a Mormon who doesn't really mean it, even if he goes through all the motions, but is only Mormon because his family always has been.

Did I interpret that correctly, annegb?

Sister in Indy said...

When I was a youth, my entire bishopric consisted of men who, while they were not LDS, dated and married LDS women. Obviously, they later joined the Church and were sealed in the temple.

Due to the astounding increase in divorce rates from temple marriages, I think parents and youth leaders would do well to drive home the fact that you have to make a marriage, any kind of marriage, work, and that a temple marriage is not an end unto itself, but rather a beginning.

bettybetty said...

Good to hear about this often 'forgotten topic' Sometimes we can all use some more guidance in regard to nonmemberfamilymembers. I am on my second marriage to a 'nonmember' who is against any kind of organized religon. Having a second child who is his little princess has however softened his heart. It is REALLy a challenge especially when there is kids involved. His family forced their Catholic believes upon him and his siblings. They are pretty messed up but I am glad to be with him despite the trials and difficulties we are faced with. I think sometimes we make decisions on our own and when they're done Heavenly Father may not approve but he helps us be as happy as we can be and to lead those we love to the truth. I wouldn't recommend it to any of the youth but when my husband actually steps back and remembers what I am all about and tries to help me achieve my goals it gives both of us tremendous satisfaction, when it doesn't end in a fight. Slowly but surely he's realizing the church has shaped me into something he wanted. One day he may be ready to recognize the truth. Wish my friends could get it sometimes. Nonmember family members often find the LDS social scene a bit overwhelming. Literally we could be busy every night of the week if we wanted. Continuing to read and to pray....betty

annegb said...

Yes, that's what I meant, thanks.

Tracy M said...

Jeff-
Thanks for the timely and pertinent post. As someone who fell into the group of "married to a non-member" I had plenty of experience with this.

Most people have the best of intentions, but it can become like a mouthful of sand when folks would insist on always introducing, talking to (or about), or in any way refering to my husband alway with the moniker NON-MEMBER, as though it were part of his given name.

We would all do well, as Anne says, to look more at the character and qualities of the person, rather just the status of "membership". We would also scare off a lot less good people. Just my opinion, but one I have lived.

quandmeme said...

I grew up LDS is a land of many gods. When it was time for Dwali, we could sample the Hindi delicacies and during Eid we where happy not to have school. For me Halloween was a holiday like those, candy was cheaper, but it was a holiday for other gods.

This was not a big issue for my wife and I initially. We could celebrate autumn rather than Halloween. But then when the kids arrived, how could she resist dressing them up? For me there is still no redeeming value in Halloween traditions, but our parental roles are different, and she “wins.” My feelings are not so strong on this that I feel I have abdicated my role as a priesthood leader in the home, but it highlights for me the way that harmony wins over principles.

I think that most of our spiritual teaching occurs informally when questions come up, so if my wife and I differed on fundamental spiritual issues, it is more likely that here beliefs would “win.”

annegb said...

quandmeme, this is off topic, but I'm with you on holidays. I think they're all over rated, mostly a tribute to capitalism as companies just holidays to get people to buy more stuff. Americans, anyway. You would not believe Wal-Mart the day before Valentines.

Anonymous said...

I am actually not mormon but am an african american who is spiritual and a christian.I have been talking to a young lady who is mormon and it has been difficult at times.It has been difficult because she states that she wants her husband and children to be mormon with which I disagree.I stated that she has a problem accepting me when we are all suppose to be HIS children, and I found myself to be extremely distant at times with this kind of behavior.Just to paraphrase she made it seem as if I wasn't good enough because I didn't want to be mormon, but I steadfastly believe that if she was truly in love then it wouldn't be conditional. I believe she could marry someone who is mormon for the simple fact that he/she is mormon but that is no guarantee of happiness and genuine love. Acting vs. really loving are two different things and love can't be used as a facade or it simply just going through the motions to pacify. I have never torn down her beliefs but the fact that she wants all those things without studying the basis(character) of which we are formed through experience, then that is a form of spiritual neglect and self degradation.One can't help who they love no matter what race, creed,religion, size, etc. Especially being african american man I have had girlfriends who are white leave because they don't want to disappoint their parents and black women leave because I am preppy. After saying all that if one can easily find a reason not to date someone they could be making a huge mistake.Thank you

Anonymous said...

I posted the last comment. I am the african american.
matt

Walker said...

Anon--

A good start to answering your question will be found in some Mormon scriptures (Doctrine & Covenants section 132).

And I wholly respect your plight. It's also unfortunate to hear that some people choose to turn away from you because of your race. To those not of the faith, some practices might seem a bit exclusionary. Now, I'm certainly not in a place to comment on your specific situation; that would be like pretending to know all the intelligence info that Pres. Bush gets in a day and, in sum, be going against the entire spirit of this post.

That being said, I would comment on Mormons' views of marriage. I'm not sure if she has mentioned temple marriage to you or not (it might make for awkward first date material!). In sum, marriage isn't something for this world only. It's not just a diplomatic nicety for the nation-state of mortality! However, such marriages are valued by Father as being good, just like other mortal institutions that do generally good things (the Red Cross, Christian Charity Fund, etc). Families are the core of Father's plan, not just a "death til you part" deal.

Covenants are the key to this doctrine. A covenant, like the covenant made with Abraham, isn't part of the mortal scheme. It's a blessing directly from God to his children--untouched by mortal hands. Indeed, families are the means by which he carries out his work--that is, bringing to pass life and hence, the eternal life of his children.

So when a potential spouse does not want to become a member, it is not just a socio-cultural preference. It's an eternal decision, one that could affect their eternal life. Granted, that's not to say that a happy marriageable is impossible or even implausible. As stated above, there are certain circumstances in which that course ought to be pursued. But we are left to our judgment and our claims to revelation as to whether that is indeed the course we should take.

Hopefully this is of some help to you.

Read D&

ltbugaf said...

Matt, I hope you'll talk to the woman you love about her feelings in regard to temple covenants and Priesthood in her home. There are blessings that a faithful Priesthood holder can give her, and her children, that you can't give her unless you make the covenant of baptism and receive the Priesthood. I hope you'll listen carefully and consider carefully what she has to say. I hope you'll invite missionaries to give you greater understanding.

little bear said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
meems said...

Thanks for this sensitive post. As a married to a non-member person, I get one of several reactions at church when i say this: Mild exclusion, Pity, or excitment at a chance for missionary work. On occasion people have been thoughtful and kind, like you Jeff. Thanks!

meems said...

And that Wiccan link kind of threw me at first...

Anonymous said...

I appreciate all of the comments from my post.I find it hard to believe that individuals who call themselves of GOD can be so judgemental. The mentality is one that bounds equality to a racist attitude, because keep in mind blacks once and still aren't considered equal to their counterparts. With that being said it a separatist attitude because one chooses not to believe how oe why we came about or where we are all going is the lowest form of flattery.EXAMPLE: If my parents taught me to date someone black but I meet a woman who is white and I am in love, then it will be worth the tribulation to do as I please. In regards to Anon we are all taught that tommorow is not promised, therefore spending time being indoctrinated by someone who tries to foretell what's beyond is incredible. No one on earth is all knowing, and if you know them please let me know."Matthew states that worry not about the past or tommorow for it has its own worries, but focus on the present which has its own troubles". To say some one is not like you because they don't follow what another believes is so farfetched and I pray for the souls who choose thoughts over love. Also in regards to ltbugaf, what would you do if your child married someone black who isn't mormon and left the church what would you do, say she is going to hell? I firmly believe that we have no say in where others are headed, and to prophess that is a gross understatement to you fulfilling your own purpose in life. Anon, I believe we miss out on some great people by creating a form of conditional love for people based on what we believe. Example: If a man is in water drowning and GOD sends a helicopter, or a boat but you pass and then when you are called up, what do say then,why didn't you send help? The moral to the story is if you spend your time asking for things on your time or how you prefer them then happiness will be short lived.Feelings among people are all too deceptive at times, so just because they are mormon doesn't exclude them from being human or going through the motions to pacify a spouse.I find it more distasteful to false flag as believing in something for the sake of being with another. If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything. As a black male it's hard enough to be perceived as not equal, but to say that if I don't marry a certain person a certain way that I am not going to heaven not (hence celestial,telestial,terrestial) is strictly anothers belief. So if I am on a train to hell then let me go. Lastly I am so happy that at least we all believe in something but hardened not the heart for we all are not intended to believe or think the same way.The only question I have is if she really wants to be with someone mormon or is taught that this is the only way in, then why interact with me. I have also had a conversation with her in regards to whites dating blacks in the church which she is hesitant about because she knows that most won't marry for fear of the dark skin. so she has alot of questions as do I can anyone reasonably answer without passing judgement?

Matt----

ltbugaf said...

Matt, I'm sincerely trying to understand what I've said that makes you think I've judged you, or that I've encouraged you to put up a false front, or said you or your beloved is on a train to Hell. What could make you think I'm saying any of those things?

ltbugaf said...

Jeff, surely you're not going to let that bit of nonsense from Little Bear continue stinking up our screens, are you?

Mormanity said...

I deleted the nasty comment, as you suggested. I also deleted the link to the Wiccan blog that showed up.

Walker said...

"In regards to Anon we are all taught that tommorow is not promised, therefore spending time being indoctrinated by someone who tries to foretell what's beyond is incredible. No one on earth is all knowing, and if you know them please let me know."Matthew states that worry not about the past or tommorow for it has its own worries, but focus on the present which has its own troubles". To say some one is not like you because they don't follow what another believes is so farfetched and I pray for the souls who choose thoughts over love."

I'm assuming you addressed this to me since I started out my post with "Anon." (I mistakenly addressed you as Anon--my bad).

I don't understand how you interpret what I said this way. I would hope that at least some tomorrows are promised (the "tomorrow" of Christ's love, of his commandments, of his prophecies) or else Christ's gospel is more like a crap shoot--throwing the dice, hoping it turns out with a lucky seven. I believe Christ is referring to those apostles who worried needlessly about their calls as apostles: "If I spend ALL my time serving you, how will I eat? How will I even live?" If he were saying that we really don't know about tomorrow, why would he even call apostles? The implication would be that NOTHING is certain, that even his church could fall. Of course, I believe Father has bigger things for us.

so just because they are mormon doesn't exclude them from being human or going through the motions to pacify a spouse.I find it more distasteful to false flag as believing in something for the sake of being with another. If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything. As a black male it's hard enough to be perceived as not equal, but to say that if I don't marry a certain person a certain way that I am not going to heaven not (hence celestial,telestial,terrestial) is strictly anothers belief.

It sounds like the issue here isn't so much marriage as it is your belief in the Church's claims (or any church's claims for that matter). The real question is: is there truth, a --more specifically-- THE plan of salvation laid out for all men? If so, is that plan found in Mormonism? Again, these "beliefs" are not just mere postmodern musings. It's not a "perhaps" gospel. We believe these things to be TRUE, as real as you or me.

I'm not saying you're any less than human, man. I promise. I have friends--good friends--of all ethnicities. Hispanic, Hmong, AFrican-American, you name it.

Just because two people are human and like each other, though, does not automatically make a good match. Other factors--such as religious preference (all the studies show it)--play a huge role in the familiy. When children come, what religion will they be? Jewish? Mormon? Catholic? This could be a major point of contention and anger. And anger is seldom, if ever, good in a marriage relationship.

I would suggest that you determine if Mormonism is what we say it is. If you determine it is, learn more. And learn about it because YOU want truth, not because this woman wants you to be a Mormon.

Anonymous said...

anon-- I will keep it short and sweet. You continually talk about truth or stating that you have friends of other etnicities which is of no concern or for that matter of comfort, so for you to make that point brings about no solace to me. One must be perfectly fine in their own skin. May i remind you at one time that yes your church saw black as inferior if that is not still true(sons of cain).Secondly we are all gods children and the only way to the father is through his son Jesus Christ. So you tell me how is it that at one time black were seen as inferior but are now okay.That should have never even been a focus of religion because if were are all HIS children then no distinction should have to be made about who has more authority then another, last time I saw that kind of behavior was when somebody was a slave and another a slave master. Now that I have that out of the way I am always searching for truth and knowledge because one must know for self what is good. Just because we know what right and wrong is, the challenge comes upon us in using free will to do what's right. I am sure there are people of the mormon faith who do much like others because we are all human. It all comes down to choice and what one believes, because essentially just because people tell you doesn't mean it's true it's all in how you interpret it. For Example the Bible states that jesus was like a bird with wings, taken literally that doesn't mean he is a chicken. I also must say that if you know what's true then you are perfect man and I wish you all the best. I am happy that I at times am wrong because it enables me to put my life and perspectives at the mercy of those who have comes before me and have some knowledge because in the end religion doesn't matter, one must just follow according to the seed he has planted within your soul. Also I never said that all humans are perfect for each other but when you find a small reason and I mean reason to demolish a persons worth based on what you believe thats a problem.I also know that not many people of the church are interracial meaning that if your child were to consder marrying a black man how would you feel? Don't worry about answering because I firmly believe that I can't know your heart and am not looking for an answer or explanation, but looking for you to search thine own heart. Wouldn't it be a shame to commit to something or let the beast(the tongue) commit a heinous crime such as judging. I believe there is good in everyone but if you cease to move forward based on where people think your going then it's your fault bc in the end we answer to someone higher. Last but not least GOD/the father I believe is not interested in religion because if he was then what about the handicapped who are unable, the people in africa,somalia, mozambique,zimbabwe or other indiginous peoples.There are people in destitute situations and have nothing but a belief and your concern is going to a certain heaven based on marriage or religious sect, that automatically shrinks the gene pool of people one is to talk to. Also a point of reference did you know that many people at one time deemed black and whites who marry unequally yolked? You see being born into this life is like walking into class late or room where a conversation is taking place and you walk in, knowing not where to sit or who to talk to. The only problem is that your naivete or newness to the situation only puts one at the mercy of the experienced or shall I say elders of life. That is a difficult pill to swallow because anyone who has lived longer has knowledge but can abuse by means of superiority over one does not know. Next thing you know you become consumed by something rather challenging the paradigm set before you. Anon I enjoy the conversation with you but I am from an urban area where I have been shot at, seen friends die in my arms and a friend commit suicide, to me sprirtuality doesn't get any closer then that. You must remember that we are placed in a time with people who themselves lack the ability to follow authority even though GOD has auspiciously blessed us with the opportunity to take care of and lead his seed. I guess all I am saying is thta ine can't merely begin to say that one person is more true then the other because in the end we are all judged accordingly.Like I said before if I am on the train to hell because I am not mormon then so be it, but scriptural arguments are tasteless because none of us were alive but I most ceratinly believe in it because it brings us to a form of repentance and leads us back to jesus christ when we stray. Lastly I wanted to say one must see the good in all people and be an example because just by saying something is true it doesn't make people adhere although it does peek there curiosity.Leading by example lets people seehow one does things. I believe we all have childish tendencies to look up ton people who are older or right at our age for wisdom.But the most important things is to decipher what works for us.I believe in the saying As you once were we are now, as you are now we someday may be.Meaning we all have the opportunity to embellish each other young and old , black and white. Anon I appreciate the conversation with you because it makes me think alot and explore corners of my mind that I never have, but much like I seek truth amongst a world full of people who compromise it with their own perception I hope that you learn from me much like I learn from you and you keep seeking truth also. Have a great day and weekend!

Walker said...

Thanks for your thoughts Matt. I don't claim to know all of the answers; there is still plenty more for me to learn. I am fully aware of the problems that african-american brothers have had to face, in and out of the church. It is unfortunate and sad that these things happened. But as you said (and I think this applies to our forebearers as well): we do not know their hearts.

And I agree: we are judged accordingly. If someone, for some reason or another, did not have a a fair shot at hearing the gospel, Father will have mercy on them in his own way. Similarly, I do not believe (nor can I know) that you are going to hell for not being a Mormon. Only the Father knows the desires of your heart.

Walker said...

just a clarification: "their hearts" refers primarily to those forebearers who held racist views

Laura said...

Finding a companion outside of the church is a wonderful thing. I should know... I was not a member when I met a very nice LDS boy, and soon began dating him. As we got to know each other better, he shared his religion with me. A year later, I was baptized. This wonderful boy changed my life for the better by taking a chance and dating a non-member. He introduced me to the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me.

Natasha said...

This is primarily in response to Matt. I joined the Church just over a year before I met my husband and just under two years before we were married. I am the only member of the Church in my family, while my husband's family history in the Church dates back to Nauvoo. My husband is white. I am black. To be more specific, I am mixed - my mother is white and my father was black.

I cannot speak for others, but I have never felt discriminated against within the Church or made to feel inferior because of my race. (Or tried to make me feel inferior. I have to agree with Eleanor Roosevelt that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. I have my faults, but I know myself as a daughter of God too well to let the bigotry of others affect me in that way.) If I were insulted, and my husband were not around, I know that my in-laws would be the first ones to my defense. One of my brothers-in-law has a particuarly hot temper, and I'm afraid someone might have to hold him back.

My family and my in-laws get along famously. Although they are members of different religions and come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, they enjoy each other's company and are concerned about each other's well-being. When my brother-in-law was serving in Iraq, my mother (a pacifist) prayed for him and asked about him constantly. When we get together for holidays, we all play games, laugh and both grandmothers dote on their granddaughters.

Before my husband and I began dating, we talked a lot. We knew each other and liked each other, but we wanted to know more about each other - whether we were headed in the same direction - before we allowed ourselves to fall completely. We didn't say right out loud that that was what we were doing, but we both did it. He asked me if I was planning on going on a mission. I was considering it, but hadn't completely decided. I wanted to be sure it was what the Lord wanted for me. He told me later that he didn't want to hold me back if I had my heart set on going. He also wanted to get married sooner than the four years it would take for me to return if I did serve a mission.

But there was also a balance between our planning and the point when we put it in the Lord's hands. We dated. We fell in love. We had some hesitation about getting married immediately because of my emotional problems. I deal with clinical depression, and it is difficult both for me and for those that love me. But after sincere prayer, we knew that the time was right, that Heavenly Father approved our decision to marry and did not want us to wait.

I love my husband and children more than anyone on earth. They are worth any sacrifice to me except the sacrifice of principle. I am married to a man who I know loves the Lord as much as I do. In following God, we show our love for each other. In loving each other and our children we grow closer to God because we are moving in the same direction.

This comment is long and somewhat rambling. I hope it can be understood.

Walker said...

Excellent post. Well said. Gives all of us hope, not matter what ethnic situation our is (or will be) in.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this thoughtful post Jeff. My wife is not a member, but has attended church with me regularly since before we were married. Your comments are timely and well said.

Talon said...

Sorry, didn't mean to post anonymously.

Jean said...

Some great discussions here. My blog is directed at church members. I do not make judgement on those who are not of our faith. Yes God will judge us on what we have been taught and what has been available to us whether we used it or not. What I see here is "some" members who have posted blogs here do not understand the doctrine of marrying in the covenant. God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the same covenant that he offers to us today. That is the oppotunity to become as he is now. We can and only can receive the fulness of his glory by accepting Jesus Christ's atonement. We accept his atonement by accepting and receiving and living the "New and Everlasting Covenant". This convenant consists of baptism, priesthood (for males), and the encompassing sealing to spouse in the House of the Lord. If we want to preach about how we can have a safe and happy marriage here on earth, by all means, we can make the comments that have been said in previous blogs. But if we want to be exalted in God's kingdom and live with him forever, then there is only one path. That is partaking of the 3 steps of this covenant. To be sealed in the temple to our spouse, we need to choose an eternal companion who is equally yoked in this belief. To choose someone who does not have this belief shows our own disbelief in this doctrine. Of course there is always room for repentance. No where in the scriptures of has Prophets ever said that it is a good idea to find someone (who is not a member)to marrry and then see if it will work out and if they will join and hopefully eventually be sealed to you in the temple. We have always been taught to simply "marry in the covenant". To God, there is only one marriage and that is by his law. so when he says marry, he means the first only time in the temple. If we want to be as God is, then we will live our lives according to what he requires of us and find a companion who lives this way also. This shows our faith. If we start looking for people who have not at least began to partake of this covenant then we show God that we think our way is better than his ways and he doens't know what he is talking about. This is called pride, which leads to sin which we must quickly repent of. Now of course in the church there are "unworthy males and females" who would make your life a living hell if you chose them as a companion but this is what using the spirit to guide us is for. I read some stories and it is wonderful that some were converted and married in the church. This is called doing missionary work. The point of my blog is that, there is not room for your interpretation on the matter of marrying in the covenant. God does not want us to find companions that will love us and "allow" us to worship how we please. He has said... if we want to become as he is... That we must marry in the covenant end of story. If we do not choose to do this first off, we choose a hard road that by statistics does not end up at the temple or therefore on the straight and narrow path and very very very few have spouses that join the church after marriage. And the ones that do join the church, very very few of them are ever equally yoked the the gospel with the initial member spouse. We can have all our say, which is the point of this blog, but I am saying that for those of church members should seek harder and understand gospel doctrine so that their say is in line with true church doctrine so the world is not misled as to what Christ doctrine consists of.

MistaBen said...

Thanks for the post. While I support the spirit in which it was written, I thought you'd all be interested in this article. John Pratt invokes extra-canonical sources and logic while proposing that Asenath, in fact, was of the covenant.

Anonymous said...

nhdxHi all!

I am writing from Johannesburg, South Africa and my search for some answers lead me to your site and forum.

I am a non member, but devoted Christian. I am friends with a wonderful man who is a devoted LDS member.

We met by accident and became good friends. I weekly attend church activities with him.

We have developed feelings for each other but I must confess that we find it hard to discuss these. I do not want to stand in his way of having a wonderful marriage, sealed before God.

But, I am left with a deep sense of loss at the thought that I have to turn my back on this man because I am a non member.

Any advise?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this article and post. I have had such a difficult time as of late and I am an LDS Member and my husband is not. I have just had one of those " Loss paitence" moments and I was ready to give up but your words have helped so much. He supports me in the church and supports our 5 beautiful children as well. I think it is a true test of faith when you know this is the truth and the right way but you must wait on the other half of you to find out for himself. I have hope and faith that this will happen but in the mean time you have shown me a better way to handle my life. I should see the good in him and celebrate his love and support for us. Thank you so much for this help. I can convey how much it has meant to me at this time in my life. God be with you. Angela

George said...

Firstly let me say I am a non-member (just doing some reading out of pure curiosity). I have read a lot of commentary that approves of Mormons marrying outside their church. What if the children are raised in the other spouse's faith? How is that viewed?

Rodrigo said...

Why should we be concern look at the women ancestor of Jesus Christ beginning with Tamar who is a Canaanite who bore twins to Judah Pharez and Zarah. Rahab of Jericho who married Salmon of the tribe of Judah. Ruth who is definitely a Moabite. Then Bathsheba who is Hetite come to think of it.It shows that the outcome may not be always as we supposed.

Asenath is not a foreigner there are articles in the internet which says that Asenath is the daughter of Dinah fathered by Sechem thru force.
Asenath then is half Canaanite

whatdayathink said...

Ummm... I am an Atheist and it just seems very strange to me that you guys are missing some of the obvious things here. I have read a lot of Egyptian Mythology and can tell you that there is no god called On in their mythos. Nothing even comes close. This whole chapter where Joseph is in Egypt is written like the writer knows nothing of Egyptian culture and is just making things up to fit a story. I can't have faith in something that is so inaccurate.

The Pharaoh, in Egypt, WAS god on earth. He was raised as a child thinking he was a god. He would never have said, especially in front of his servants, that something else could be more powerful than he. This is just plain nonsense.

whatdayathink said...

By the way... There is no record, other than the bible, of even a town named "On". The Egyptians kept very good written records.

Anonymous said...

I am LDS. At the time I married my husband, I was a member but not an active one. I smoked, drank, and made bad decisions. My husband is a member but is like how I was, smokes and drinks and doesn't exactly believe everything about our church. I turned my life around and am now a worthy member, but my husband has not changed. I did not marry him in the temple, obviously, but I want that eyeball and celestial marriage now more than anything. And as we are taught, without it I can not be permitted to enter the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. I love my husband, but often I have thoughts that if I divorce him, I can start over and find a man worthy of the temple. What are your thoughts?