Discussions of Book of Mormon issues and evidences, plus other topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Great New Temple Recommend Questions

The Church has announced a revision in the temple recommend questions. These are the questions that priesthood leaders are instructed to be ask members seeking recommends to participate in Temple ordinances. Of the fifteen questions, eleven have been modified. Here are the questions from the announcement:
  1. Do you have faith in and a testimony of God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost?
     
  2. Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and of His role as your Savior and Redeemer?
     
  3. Do you have a testimony of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
     
  4. Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator and as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?

    Do you sustain the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators?

    Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local leaders of the Church?
     
  5. The Lord has said that all things are to be “done in cleanliness” before Him (Doctrine and Covenants 42:41).

    Do you strive for moral cleanliness in your thoughts and behavior?

    Do you obey the law of chastity?
     
  6. Do you follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ in your private and public behavior with members of your family and others?
     
  7. Do you support or promote any teachings, practices, or doctrine contrary to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
     
  8. Do you strive to keep the Sabbath day holy, both at home and at church; attend your meetings; prepare for and worthily partake of the sacrament; and live your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
     
  9. Do you strive to be honest in all that you do?
     
  10. Are you a full-tithe payer?
     
  11. Do you understand and obey the Word of Wisdom?
     
  12. Do you have any financial or other obligations to a former spouse or to children?

    If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
     
  13. Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple, including wearing the temple garment as instructed in the endowment?
     
  14. Are there serious sins in your life that need to be resolved with priesthood authorities as part of your repentance?
     
  15. Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord’s house and participate in temple ordinances?
Church leaders will begin using these questions immediately.

I like the changes. For example, instead of simply asking, "Do you live the law of chastity?," the revised question invites members to consider their thoughts and behavior in terms of the principle of moral cleanliness. The question on honesty is also clarified with the phrase "in all that you do," which is helpful in reminding us of its importance.

These questions are not calling for perfection, but ask us to prepare carefully to be able to enter the Lord's house in good faith.

The Temple has been a significant blessing in my life. It is the powerhouse of the Lord's kingdom, giving purpose and meaning to many aspects of our lives and of the Gospel. To understand its purpose, its beauty, its ancient roots and its covenant nature centered on Jesus Christ can help make our Temple experiences be more meaningful and can give us strength in many of the challenges we face in mortality.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Mormons on this website insist there is nothing in their temple covenants that is not already in the baptismal / sacrament covenants. But in the list above there is something about covenanting to wear garments, so it appears they have violated number 9, being honest.

Also, how can a person covenant to wear garments if they don't know there is a covenant to wear garments until after they have gone through the ceremony? Also, isn't a covenant a one way street, where someone gets nothing in return. Why would any sane parent teach their children it is a good idea to covenant?

Jeff Lindsay said...

The recommend questions aren't meant to be cover every detail, but some general principles to ensure that the person is ready. But there is a section on the printed question sheet for the local leader to read that reviews the temple garment as part of the Temple. Further, those going to the Temple should have been given adequate instruction to understand the temple garment and the basic covenant approach of the temple. For example, members planning on going to the Temple will generally go over the booklet, Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple, which discusses garments.

Anonymous said...

People striving to be honest in all things they do do not discussed covenants until after the ceremony, the way your Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple link advocates. The link does NOT discuss what the covenants are.

Anonymous said...

https://www.reddit.com/r/MormonDoctrine/comments/82g8cv/is_the_wearing_of_the_temple_garment_a_covenant/

Anonymous said...

There is no point in the temple ceremony where you vocally or mentally agree to wearing the garment. Rather, you are instructed to wear it

Anonymous said...

And your last questions, "isn't a covenant a one way street, where someone gets nothing in return."

No, it is not. A covenant is an agreement between two people or parties. God requires certain behavior and in fulfillment of that behavior, God bestows blessings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenant_(Latter_Day_Saints)

Steve

Anonymous said...

Exactly Steve. Jermeny runnells has done all those things so he will receive the promised benefits.

Anonymous said...

His stake president has not though, and it is not looking like his stake president is showing contrition so far, so it unlikely he will be forgiven, but that is between God and his stake president.

With all this clarified it looks like most every Christian can pass those questions honestly

Anonymous said...

I don't think these questions are an improvement. No one is worthy to enter the "Lord's House." That is the whole point of Christianity. We aren't worthy. Jesus is. Mormons declare their own worthiness, and thus kick the Lamb of God off the altar.

And now, you can be denied a temple recommend for supporting any teaching, practice, or doctrine contrary to the LDS Church. It is really not quite clear what the doctrines of the church actually are. And this means that those who support same-sex marriage can be denied a temple recommend, even if they aren't practicing it.

Not an improvement.

Here would be my temple recommend interview:

Bishop: "Are you worthy to enter the House of the Lord?"
Individual: "Only through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Bishop: "Great...enjoy your visit."

EBU

Kiwi57 said...

Unfortunately, Mister Runnells fails almost every one of those questions.

If his Stake President did anything wrong, with regard to Mister Runnells, it was only in tolerating him far too long.

Anonymous said...

Kiwi - explain, unless you are just making stuff up, I then don't bother

Anonymous said...

Kiwi - I see, no explanations. Your attacks on Mister Runnells were pure badgering and harassment for rhetorical effect. If you had anything specific to accuse Mister Runnells of you would have done so with relish. You appear to be proud of your unChristlike attitude.

Anonymous said...

Not being familiar with Runnels’ story previously, nor any debate surrounding it, I read his account of events last night. First impression is that it is extremely repetitive. He says he had questions and was honestly seeking answers. I believe this may have been true initially—those of us who have had a faith crisis with the church can identify with his stated thought process and feelings. What I think is disingenuous is his statement that he desires to retain his membership in the church. First, his reasons seem pretty flimsy to me. He knew where this was all leading, otherwise why secretly record his conversations with the stake president? It seems he was playing it all out for effect and to be able to document it on his website. The stake president made some errors in his handling of the situation, but was extremely patient and always offered help, though many times those offers seemed a bit hollow.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what Jeremy Runnells has to do with temple questions but superficially he appears to not accept questions 3, 4, 6, and possibly 7 so I would guess that he does not pass all the questions.

In the end, it is Jesus who is our advocate before the Father.

Steve

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:28 - if the prez was "extremely patient and always offered help" there have never been a court and the prez would have gone to runnells house first to engage in dialogue and would have never requested secrecy. The recording clearly clearly shows it the prez's insincerity and kangaroo court.

Anonymous said...

Steve 8:30 - not sure how you came to your orbital assessment on 6 and 7. If runnells fails 6 and 7 then everyone does. With 3 if runnells fails then so does Jeff with his description of the terribly incomplete restoration and fantastic characterization of long long standing dearly dearly held utterly errant beliefs.

That only leaves 4. The question its self acknowledges many others have priesthood, but obviously God is a God of order and each congregation of the body Christ has a principal leader, for the lds congregation that is the lds prez, and runnells is no different than Jeff in declaring the prez's decrees as being purely administrative and fallible.

But like you say Steve it is not your place and only Jesus will judge in the end . For now we all have strong strong evidence of the falliabilty of the stake prez and out of love for the prez we can only pray he will humble himself to seek redemption from the savior which will require the prez to seek runnells forgiveness in this life or the next

Anonymous said...

3. Do you have a testimony of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Jeremy Runnells' dialog with his stake president demonstrated that he did not.

4. Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator and as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?

Jeremy Runnells' publication and subsequent dialog with his stake president demonstrated that he did not.

6. Do you follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ in your private and public behavior with members of your family and others?

I guess this one is pretty broad but part of the teachings is that the President of the Church is the only one authorized to exercise all currently revealed priesthood keys. Part of the teachings of the Church is sustaining local authorities as well as believing in the divine nature of the Book of Mormon. We all fall short of perfection but there is a broad gray area and then past that broad gray area it is clear that one does not "follow the teachings of the Church..." I believe that Jeremy Runnells demonstrated that he is beyond that broad gray area.

7. Do you support or promote any teachings, practices, or doctrine contrary to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

I guess Jeremy's CES letter was a letter full of questions and not teachings that is why I said maybe to this question.

But educate me why Jeremy passes these questions. "Orbital assessment..." I have no idea what you mean by this phrase.

Steve

Anonymous said...

3 and 4 - If that is true, then Jeff's dialog here demonstrates that he does not have a testimony.

6 - "I believe". What you believe says more about you and your unChristlike attitudes than Jeremy.

7 - If CES letter is contrary then so is Jeff's site here.

I did educate you. Most all Christians pass these questions. You the great accuser here and the burden is on you to educate others.

Orbital assessment, not grounded in assertions of solid evidence that does not also apply to others who you claim pass these questions

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad we're talking about Jeremy Runnells. The more the name Jeremy Runnells gets out the more people will go looking to see what the deal is with this Jeremy Runnells. That will lead them to Jeremy Runnells' work, which is very compelling. Sure, some Mormon apologists, including our dear Jeff here on this very blog, will dismiss Jeremy Runnells' work as a "big list fallacy," which is an incorrect use of the term. It's certainly a big list, but it's not a "big list fallacy." They aren't the same thing, as Jeremy Runnells and many others know.

Ramer said...

I dunno, I didn't find Runnells's work very compelling. And no, it's not because I'm already LDS, or stuck in cognitive dissonance, or any other buzzwords antis like to throw around. It's because I prefer to research issues before making conclusions. My research indicated that Jeremy's work is very biased towards critical sources, poorly researched, ridiculously and pointlessly repetitive, and perhaps even deliberately deceptive; and at times he seems to display low reading comprehension almost on the level of fellow commenter Mormography. Add to that the constant condescending barbs and jabs sprinkled throughout his works, and I just cannot take any of it seriously, much less find it compelling.

Jeremy's work is really only compelling to people who are only willing to see one side of the story, or are just looking to confirm their biases or suspicions. Those who approach with a more analytical eye will be more capable of seeing the problems in his work.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what the "work" or "conclusions" of Jeremy is. If we are going to call an unoriginal compendium of items "a work", then yes, Ramer's miscomprehension is the source of his vitriol. As Steve comprehends, Jeremy didn't have conclusions, but questions. Anon 9:25 correctly comprehends, that despite Jeff's deceptive denials, Jeff's recycling of "big list" commentary is a direct attack on Jeremy. Unlike Ramer, the LDS church found the movement around Jeremy's compendium of questions so impacting, undeniable, and strong, they were compelled to produce an unprecedented series of essays to address it. Rejecting this reality with never defined buzzwords like "anti" only displays how afraid Jeremy's haters are.

Guys like John Dehlin take an air of credit for the work of others, but humble folks like Jeremy were people who never asked for credit and bravely stood up to an onslaught of arrows. Those with maturity and comprehension challenges confuse Jeremy's valiance to attacks of ridiculously, repetitive arrows barbed with condescending jabs as Jeremy being one-sided, biased, and lacking analytical capacity. Their comprehension challenges are the source of their delusions but are not a problem for them, just as most alcoholics are functional.

Anonymous said...

More like the delusions cause the comprehension challenges.

Anonymous said...

Ramer you're too indoctrinated to understand the meat the CES letter contains. Stick with your milk, I guess, and keep dividing the world into members and antis. That kind of closed minded thinking doesn't lead to happiness, in spite of what you've been raised to believe.

Ramer said...

you're too indoctrinated
Ah, THAT'S the buzzword I couldn't remember!

Anonymous said...

Buzzword is my favorite of Ramer's buzzwords.

Anonymous said...


Ramer -

Thank you for your powerful 10:29 testimony. It demonstrates how the LDS gospel can take many people, such as yourself, further from Christ, bringing into question its "truthfulness". Thank you for acknowledging that humble folks such as Jeremy, who read, researched, ponder in their hearts, prayed, and diligently did everything the LDS Church asked, such as go on a mission for fear of going to LDS hell, will not find the happiness and conclusions the LDS church falsely promised.

Your 10:29 generalities offered no specifics, so we are all curious, on what are they based? Unofficial responses to Jeremy, after much misdirection, usually conclude agreeing with him. For example, the CES Letter's first item was the italicized portions of the KJV in the BoM. After responding with persistent misdirection, Fairmormon eventually concedes "we cannot answer this question". This persistent hand-waving and (Catholic-esque) its-just-faith are recurring themes in the anonymous Fairmormon's responses. Extending on this, 2 Nephi 19:1 incorrectly uses Red Sea instead of sea. Again, Jeff agrees. Jeff blames Oliver Cowder for the imperfection. Jeff thereby agrees that fallible prophets, seers, and revelators such as Joseph Smith and his successors have never seen fit to address what Jeff considers most certainly an error. The big list of agreement goes on and on ...

Jeremy has proven when he receives more research and analysis he is capable of modifying beyond the one-sided, its-just-faith position. In fact, he has a historical record of dramatically moving from one side to another. Fairmormon and Jeff Lindsay do not appear to have such a clear history of dramatic position modification but have a record of extreme one-sidedness, emphasized in their frequent denial of prior positions.

So please, share your claimed analytical eye with us and what your generalities are based on.

Anonymous said...

I have two brothers who live on opposite sides of this great country of ours. My brother on the west coast emailed his bishop and asked how question number 7 will be applied when dealing with people who are in support of gay marriage. This was over a week ago. And even after seeing each other face-to-face in church yesterday, the Bishop still has failed to respond. No acknowledgment at all.

My east coast brother emailed and asked the same question of his Stake President, with whom he has shared many email conversations. The Stake President responded, completely avoided the question, spent a few lines talking excitedly about all the great changes in the church and the new Youth Sunday School curriculum, and then invited my brother to lunch. My brother responded saying he would like to take him up on that offer. That was days ago. So far...crickets.

I am not at all confident that "all is well in Zion." I think that church is in major crisis mode.

EBU

Anonymous said...

Steve 10:36 - that is nice, but unfortunately you have not linked to an LDS webpage or unofficial LDS webpage. Furthermore, the table in the link you provided has zero references. The removal of this comment indicates there is some sort of slieght of hand occuring. Other websites contradict your assertions that there exists a quid pro quo and what the quid pro quo might be. You may have a personal opinion of the his covenant means for yourself, but that is all

Jared Livesey said...

Extending on this, 2 Nephi 19:1 incorrectly uses Red Sea instead of sea.

Upon what criteria is 2 Nephi 19:1 pronounced "incorrect"?

Anonymous said...

You will have to ask jeff

Anonymous said...

Jared - I see your silly quible of "possibly" incorrect which of course, if you were a sincere person you would simply clarified being you already know exactly what is being referred to. Someone such as Jeremy is suggesting it couldn't "possibly" be incorrect, because true prophets seer revelators would have corrected it. So apologist who suggest or quote other apologist that suggest it is possibly incorrect are agreeing with Jeremy, ergo you will have to ask Jeff why suggests there are uncorrected dictation errors in the current bom. The continuation of such possible errors is a question that appears only to be answered by declaring such divine leadership to be indistquishable from englightened but uninspired leadership, something Jeff has repeatedly agreed with.

Jared Livesey said...

Upon what grounds do you know 2 Nephi 19:1 should have said "sea" instead of "Red Sea?"

We can ask that question - upon what grounds do you know - for each of the alleged "errors" said to be in the Book of Mormon. Whether or not any "apologist" has agreed the Book of Mormon to be in error on any or even all of these items is irrelevant - after all, to only accept the opinions of apologists when they are agreed with is not to accept their opinions at all, but is instead to simply use them as a rhetorical hammer against one's real target.

It would be helpful to make your assumptions both explicit and to state them plainly.

Anonymous said...

Jared - it would be helpfully to display sincerity and to not only seek to invent things you disagree with and seek out false division.

Jared Livesey said...

I didn't invent the claim that 2 Nephi 19:1 should have said "sea" instead of "Red Sea."

I haven't said whether I agree or disagree with the claim.

I have simply asked "upon what criteria is 2 Nephi 19:1 pronounced 'incorrect'?". Equivalently, I have asked "upon what grounds do you know 2 Nephi 19:1 should have said 'sea' instead of 'Red Sea?'".

If making the truth known is the purpose of making the claim that 2 Nephi 19:1 is in error, then I do not understand why my asking these basic questions should be met with accusations, scorn, ire, or mockery. If someone can explain the criteria upon which 2 Nephi 19:1 is pronounced "incorrect," wouldn't it be better to plainly state them?

Anonymous said...

You didn't sincerely ask a question you didn't already know the answer to. As you already knew the apologist claim should have been "possibly" incorrect. Why so much insincerity?

But nice to see that was the only minor thing bg you could quible with

Anonymous said...

Anon,

You are inconsistent in your arguments and it sounds like you just want to bait.

Steve

Anonymous said...

Steve - I will take your bait, What inconsistency?

Anonymous said...

Steve - it appears your bait surrounds my observation that the official and unofficial conversations regarding covenants lack consistency and given your demonstration that you just want to bait, you appear to be deliberately mis-attributing the lack of consistency to myself, validating my argument that you are merely attempting to manipulate others by imposing your highly private and personal (sacred?) interpretations on others.