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

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Barbaric Practice: Honor Chillings

Religion can be such a powerful force for good, but some, in misguided zeal, corrupt their religion and use it as an excuse to hurt others. Occasionally we hear about the horrors of honor killings, but a much more widespread barbaric practice among many faiths is honor chillings--cold treatment due to religious differences. Parents chilling their children, husbands chilling their wives, former best friends chilling each other--all because they are angry that someone has changed their religious views. Many LDS converts have been chilled by those who despise their new religion. But too many LDS folks have turned to honor chillings when a loved one leaves the Church and is viewed as an apostate or even just a non-committed Mormon. Many Christians have struggled when a loved one becomes an atheist or joins a different religion, and folks from many other religions have had similar problems.

Yes, there are verses in the Bible which can be used to justify chilling. When one wants to justify bad behavior, the Bible can be a great resource (ditto for the other LDS scriptures--this may be true of all sacred texts in all religions). But for those looking for a guide on how to do good and please God, the Bible teaches us to love even when that love is not returned, and teaches us to reach out to those of other faiths rather than chilling them. The Book of Mormon likewise teaches us that there are times when unrepentant people may need to be excommunicated from the Church, but the purpose is not to justify chilling. In fact, for those who are excommunicated, we are explicitly commanded to reach out to them and not fall into the temptation to chill. From 3 Nephi 18:
30. Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him unto the Father, in my name; and if it so be that he repenteth and is baptized in my name, then shall ye receive him, and shall minister unto him of my flesh and blood.

31. But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered.

32. Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.

May we all avoid the cruelness of honor chillings, and follow the example of the Savior in loving and ministering to all around him.

13 comments:

Clean Cut said...

Hear, hear!

pops said...

And I thought this was going to be a complaint about how the thermostat at chapels is always set by guys wearing coats...

Anonymous said...

Our experience has been that when someone in our family has left the Church, they feel a "chill" that was never there, and they CHOOSE to leave their family as well, in spite of our best efforts to love them no matter what.

Mormanity said...

Chillings cuts many ways.

BHodges said...

Agreed, chilling occurs from many directions. But it is important not to return in kind, as best we can.

Thanks for a thoughtful and insightful post, Jeff. You have coined a phrase I am likely to use for years to come to house an important concept.

Mike said...

And then there is the chilling amongst people who are divided politically, I've recently experienced quite a chilling and didn't know what to call it. Thanks for giving me the new vocabulary!

Anonymous said...

Someone should send a copy of this to Elder DH Oaks! His bone-chilling screed in GenConf. justifies & encourages this devestating, un-Christian tendancy to "chill",which is so pervasive among BIC Mormons.

twitterpated said...

"Chilling" can occur when a member is fully active. I think a lot of Mormons forget that their attitudes and treatment of people drive them away from the church. Then these people get a double treatment of "chilling," because now they're "inactive."

P.S. I have to admit that the thermostats in our buildings are in and of themselves "chilling." The temperature in our Relief Society room is like the inside of an icebox ... no exaggeration.

Flavius Noseephus said...


For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. - II Corinthians 11:4


Great piece. The sentiment is a good one. We're told that in the last days, even the "very elect will be deceived", yet seldom do we really address the significance of this warning. We often refer to people being led to the wrong church, or the false prophets being among some other denomination other than LDS.

Seldom do we wonder if the false prophets could come from within, or that the "elect" who would be deceived would in fact be ourselves. I'm drawn to the references from the bible and the BOM to the "great whore who sits on many waters" or that great and abominable church. There have been many speculations as to the meaning of this passage from the BOM, (although its generally believed the NT reference refers to Rome), from money to the Catholic church. But suppose for an instant that this great and abominable church is the bastardization of Christianity itself from what was taught by Christ, to the modern version we see of Christianity (unfortunately including even some Mormons, i.e Glenn Beck, etc) which has turned a belief in Christ into war, and worse, war for hire?

Think about it. What sin is unforgivable in this life per Mormon doctrine? Adultery? Apostasy? Nope. The unforgivable sin is murder, and the worst sin we learn from Mormon theology is "murder to get gain".

Today what we see and hear from many Christian pulpits, (particularly the evangelical denominations) is the replacing of Christs gospels with a war cry, and a call to persecute the Muslim nations. Every day I receive in my email from well meaning friends and family, chain letters originating from Christian leaders and groups decrying the evils of Islam and how I and the rest of us should hate and fear them. I also see a myriad of emails telling me why I should hate and fear our new "Socialist President" for wanting to take part of our tax dollars, and use it to provide health care for the poor. These people calling themselves Christians, and telling me I will go to hell for not hating who they tell me to hate, have no problem seeing their tax dollars used to wage offensive war in foreign lands but not for helping the poor and the sick, and those less fortunate than themselves.

This runs counter to the gospel as it was taught by Christ, whether you're reading it in the NT or the BOM. These people are full of pride and warlike arrogance, a far cry from the humility and "meekness" demanded by the Christ we read about in the Scriptures, LDS included.

Flavius Noseephus said...

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. - Matt 24:12

It does seem to me, as the "love of many" has waxed very cold.

Christ did not teach us that blessed are the mighty. He taught blessed are the meek. He did not teach us that we should have pride, but humility. He did not teach us if our neighbor strikes us on the right cheek to occupy and invade any country remotely resembling them. He taught us to turn to them the other, and to agree with our enemies quickly. He did not teach us "blessed are the warmongers". He taught instead, blessed are the peacemakers.

Yet today we hear nothing from the evangelicals and unfortunately, from many Mormons, that war is the answer, and that waging offensive war on these tiny nations in the holy land and surrounding areas, are what Christ wants of us. It seems somehow they've confused his predictions that these things "would" come to pass with the notion that they "should" come to pass. And that is very troubling.

Especially from the Mormons.

Being a ex Mormon who was a convert as well, I expected more from the church. While I no longer belong to the church, and do not necessarily posses a testimony of truthfulness of the church, I likewise have no knowledge that the church is not true. Which is why I worry when I see the "very elect" pushing war from the pulpit, and wars which seem to be based on little more than revenge and "to get gain".

Wolves in sheeps clothing came to us and attested to their Christianity and piety, while simultaneously advocating the invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation based on what was already at the time contested evidence to any affront to us. Yet we all pinned on our flag pins, and chanted the war song as we genuflected our way into blood and horror.

True, blood and horror.

Indeed we "bought up armies" to wage blood and horror on a people most of us knew little about, and who had done nothing to us. And we did it based on the words of these false prophets. These wolves in sheep's clothing.

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
- Matt 24:11

Many say "how could we know", and claim they are blameless for their votes. Perhaps. Yet we know that Jesus gave us signs and means to identify these false prophets.


Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.


They told us we needed to "adopt the tactics of the evildoers", in order to beat them. But logic tells us that adopting the tactics of the evil doers, will do little more than make us the evildoers. We're told that its our right to kill the Arabs and Muslims, because they attacked us. Yet we know the master told us that it was no longer "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", but instead gave us a new, higher law.

Yet no one wants to hear that.

No one wants to talk about that.

Flavius Noseephus said...

In fact we are warned of returning "evil for evil".

See that none render evil for evil unto any man;
-THESSALONIANS 5:15

Yet so many "Christians" including Mormons sleep quite well at night, while voting and cheering on war during the day.

Indeed, to this lowly heathen, it seems that the very elect have been deceived.

Even Joseph Smith warned us that America would lose any "aggressive war" it engaged in and prevail when war was in defense. Even the Book of Mormon taught this concept.


Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.
- Alma 48: 14-16


In fact, Mormon himself set a strong example outlining a telling warning to those people who see vengeance from the sword, and who are willing to engage in offensive or vengeful war.


And now, because of this great thing which my people, the Nephites, had done, they began to boast in their own strength, and began to swear before the heavens that they would avenge themselves of the blood of their brethren who had been slain by their enemies. And they did swear by the heavens, and also by the throne of God, that they would go up to battle against their enemies, and would cut them off from the face of the land.

And it came to pass that I, Mormon, did utterly refuse from this time forth to be a commander and a leader of this people, because of their wickedness and abomination. Behold, I had led them, notwithstanding their wickedness I had led them many times to battle, and had loved them, according to the love of God which was in me, with all my heart; and my soul had been poured out in prayer unto my God all the day long for them; nevertheless, it was without faith, because of the hardness of their hearts.

And thrice have I delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and they have repented not of their sins. And when they had sworn by all that had been forbidden them by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that they would go up unto their enemies to battle, and avenge themselves of the blood of their brethren, behold the voice of the Lord came unto me, saying: Vengeance is mine, and I will repay; and because this people repented not after I had delivered them, behold, they shall be cut off from the face of the earth.

And it came to pass that I utterly refused to go up against mine enemies; and I did even as the Lord had commanded me; and I did stand as an idle witness to manifest unto the world the things which I saw and heard, according to the manifestations of the Spirit which had testified of things to come
- Mormon 3: 9-17

Note how Mormon illuminated their boastful arrogance and pride.

All one has to do today is stand outside of any chapel post services to hear the same boastful bragging and pride in our slaughter in the Muslim lands.

It seems that today we no longer want to hear the Gospel of Christ, but instead seem to embrace the gospel of Constantine, i.e war sold as dogma, or if you will, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Christ warned his words were simple, thus many would not hear them and today that's what we see. Millions of "Christians" with Christ no where in sight.

It would be encouraging to see the elect once more acting like it, because if people like me are the only ones who "get it", then we're all in really bad shape. And that's a pretty chilling thought.

Flavius Noseephus said...

BTW, I really enjoyed your "Book of Mormon Evidences" site. There's a lot of good information there that is often overlooked by anti-Mormon critics. In fact, the Catholic website "Catholic.com" is full of incorrect and discredited theories and claims.

I did have a disagreement with your interpretation as to the references to hierarchical cities in the BOM and the likelihood that Smith had he been fabricating it based on his own knowledge and experience would have likely defined a Federal system. In my estimation this was Pre Civil war, thus the country was more like a hierarchical order of states, with Washington being at the top and other states, (i.e New York, Penn, Virginia, etc) running down the chain. The war ultimately defined our federal system, and empowered the Federal govt in ways never before realized as is evident by the subtle but poignant transformation from "These United States" to "The United States".

Thus it is arguable that Smith could have simply substituted States with "cities", although that doesn't of course mean he did. But just to be fair I wanted to address my views on that supposition.

Other than that minor disagreement I found your site to be informative and actually somewhat helpful. (I can't believe I overlooked Kings reference to the "land of Jerusalem, great catch). There's something to the LDS church, that's for sure. I'm not sure what that something is but you do a good job at cutting through a lot of the anti Mormon nonsense we're bombarded with out there.

Alan said...

Flavius,

You make excellent points and I agree with them. I hope you come back to the Church someday.