Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Eternal Families

As my belief in Mormon doctrine diminishes, I sometimes think about what might take their place. The doctrine that families can be sealed together for time and all eternity is a benefit that is greatly touted by the church in order to gain members. Only those who have been baptized, pay 10% tithing and have gone to the temple can be sealed together. It makes no difference to them if the husband verbally or physically abuses his family. It makes no difference to them if the wife is a gossip and lies to everyone she meets. None of that matters, as long as you show that you are following a few requirements.

Of course the Lord will judge you properly after you die so what happens here doesn't matter much to the members of the church. Everything will be sorted out later, so if someone cheated the system and got to the temple, so what. They will get their punishment later on. What about those people in the world who are 300% percent better than mormons, but who have never gone to the temple to be sealed. We all know families who are better than ours who are not members of the church. They love each other completely. They are a model of what a perfect family should be. Yet according to Mormon doctrine, they can't be together after they die.

The question I have for you is, why not?

I'm not sure if there is a god or not. But I do know is that I love my wife and my children more than myself. I will do anything for them. I cannot imagine my life without them and I will not put up with the idea that just because I don't beleive in the church any more, I cannot be with them after I die.

I beleive 100% that I will be with my family after I die. Why do I beleive this? Because I want to. Can you tell me that I am wrong? Sure. Go ahead. I won't listen to you unless you have some irrefutable evidence to the contrary. I've been told by the church that I am wrong, but they have yet to convince me. I'm still not sure how it all works, but I doubt I ever will know. There are plenty of people out there who claim to know, but I've found that their reasoning is bad and their evidence non-existent or completely false.

So, until someone can prove to me that I won't be with my family after I die, I'm going to beleive that I will.

Love is the most important thing in my life and if there is anything in this world that crosses the boundary between life and death, that thing is Love. After all, love conquers all! Even death!

/paranoidfr33k

10 comments:

Interested said...

I am not a true believer in the afterlife, however, as a child my Parents taught me that in heaven that all would be equal. No mother, father, sister, brother just souls who exist in perfect harmony. It seems a pretty picture because I have to think of those who have had more than one spouse. My mom died and my dad remarried a wonderful lady whom we all loved. How would that work in a heaven where families stay together?

paranoidfr33k said...

yes. I can see the problem. I'm not sure what to say about that, except that that mormons might have an answer for you... polygamy. I'm joking of course. Well... kind of.

I'm not sure how all of that will play out, or even if there is an afterlife. I've pretty much decided to be honest about what I do and don't know for fact and where we came from and where we go after this life are things that religion claims to have answers to but can't prove. The main point of this post was to say that I can beleive anything I want to. My wanting to be with my family after I die is a result of my love for them here and now. And if that doesn't give me hope, I don't know what else does.

/paranoidfr33k

Interested said...

Yes I agree. I'm sorry I did not acknowledge that in the beginning. Each of us must make our own bed...yours is beautiful and full of hope.

JulieAnn Henneman said...

When people leave this earth, the thing that keeps them alive is family memories and love. I agree with you that love is the most powerful thing in the Universe and it will transcend anything 'down here'. Of course, if you're really worried, maybe they'll dunk you after your gone...jk

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Nice post, PF.

paranoidfr33k said...

interested, Another typical mormon answer to your question about marrying after a spouse dies is "we don't really know, but don't worry, it will all be sorted out after we die and everything will be OK."

julieann, I'm not worried... yet. But you are right. If I resign my membership, I'm sure my family would dunk me quicker than I could get to the pearly gates.

SML, Thank you.

Kullervo said...

I wrote a long blog post about this. In my opinion, the Mormon doctrine of eternal marriage falls completely apart under scrutiny.

http://byzantium.wordpress.com/2007/02/24/incoherent-eternal-families/

paranoidfr33k said...

Kullervo,

Thanks for the link. You've thought it through a little more than I, but I followed your thought process and I must agree with your conclusion.

In my evaluation of religion, this is the first time I have actually evaluated it, I am dumbfounded by the vagueness of the explanations of heaven. We could say that the LDS church provides a few more details, but that doesn't really clean anything up. The idea's of heaven are far from explaining anything that makes sense in my mind. Many will say "at least we have something to think about", because their religion gives them a few ideas about what to expect, but the idea of heaven is usually combined with the need to follow all of the church's commandments in an effort to get them to be dependent on the church.

In the end, religion provides us with a few hints at what the afterlife will be like. And if a religion provides a few more hints, such as the LDS church, the hints only confuse the matter further.

Its an interesting exercise to contemplate the afterlife without the blinders of religion.

Emerson said...

Thanks for your thoughts. As a person who considers myself both an "intellectual" and a "faithful" member of the LDS church, independent thinking is a good attribute, and I have never felt looked down upon because of that. I consider myself a bit of a "feminist" as well. These are not bad words to me, even though my testimony of the gospel is also very strong.

That said, I just wanted to say that the church has never said that abusive parents will be together forever with their children. We'll all live forever, whether you live as best you can or not, but only those who LIVE the gospel are temple-worthy. My sister was in an abusive marriage for years, and even when no one knew about the heartache and anguish that was going on behind closed doors, her husband would not have been worthy to live together with her in heaven. If one lies about the way they live just to be sealed in the temple, they will not still be able to have those blessings. The Lord knows their hearts.

Similarly, the Lord knows the hearts of all who are good people and trying their best, whether they go to the LDS church or not. I am the first to admit that I don't have all the answers, but I seek out knowledge daily, and I know these few things to be true.

paranoidfr33k said...

Emerson, thank you for your comments. I didn't clarify it properly in my post, but when I mentioned abuse I was talking about what church leaders think, not what God thinks. A lot of people are hurt due to seemingly good people doing bad things to their family. The family sees how their abusive parent is treated by church members and church leaders and they feel betrayed. Don't church leaders have the power of discernment? If so, what good is it if it isn't used by church leaders to stop the unknown sins of bad people from hurting innocent people? Thats just another sore spot with me, so please excuse my small rant.

You might also enjoy Kullervo's post on this subject. He thinks through it quite more than I did.

http://byzantium.wordpress.com/2007/02/24/incoherent-eternal-families/