The life-changing magic of tidying up Mormon theology

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clutter closetFor a book club I’m part of, I’ve been reading the popular organizational manual The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – and purging the obligatory old toys, clothes, and books.

The author, Marie Kondo, argues that when we don’t love something and relegate it to the back of a drawer or closet, it still burdens us in ways we don’t always recognize. The object may be invisible to others, but we know it’s there, and this makes us less free than we would be if we had simply let it go.

She recommends sweeping out such clutter in several steps:

  1. Consider every item you own. Touch each one. Reflect on it.
  2. Ask yourself: Does this item spark joy? Do you love it?
  3. If not, say a ritual thank you to the item, remembering what good fruit (if any) it brought into your life at one point, and then discard it.

My closets and medicine cabinets are cleaner to be sure, but what if we applied Kondo’s wisdom to less tangible things—like those pesky old Mormon doctrines that have never been repudiated and are technically still on the books, even though they’re unloved and rarely, if ever, taught?

So I canvassed some friends and we came up with a list of “What were we thinking?” pieces hiding in the very back of the LDS theological closet:

  1. the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-upKolob is like those orange tie-dye pants you still have from the 1970s: it’s kind of groovy, but also pretty Out There. Recently, the LDS Church quietly disavowed the idea of Mormons having our own planets. (But if we do get them, I am totally calling Pluto. Back off. It’s mine.) So a literal interpretation of Kolob is already on its way to Goodwill; let the rest of the closet purging continue in earnest.
  2. Blood atonement. People, this malingerer stains every single other thing in the Mormon wardrobe. It’s the kind of mistake that requires not just letting go of it but also begging forgiveness that our ancestors ever thought it might have been a valid wardrobe choice.
  3. The Adam-God doctrine. No. Just, no. Adam and God have never belonged together as a viable outfit.
  4. Folkloric explanations of the priesthood and temple ban for Latter-day Saints of African descent. I know we tried to accessorize this terrible ensemble in various ways throughout the years, but those embellishments only made it worse. This was never anything but wrong, no matter how we dressed it up.
  5. Polygamy. We haven’t worn this outfit in well over a century, but it’s still hanging on in the back of the closet, threatening Mormon women who worry they’ll have to wear it FOREVER, even against their will. Just lay the thing to rest already.
  6. Jackson County. As a Midwesterner, there’s a part of me that loves the heartland-centric notion that the Garden of Eden began in Missouri, and that Christ will base his return right there in Jackson County. But it’s a bit parochial to imagine Jesus zooming down from the sky in a Mizzou sweatshirt. Just sayin’.
  7. Heavenly Father as the literal father of Jesus through actual sexual intercourse. A friend alerted me that this particular fashion disaster was tucked away in our closet; I’d actually never heard. Despite my lack of awareness, the idea isn’t even that old: in Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie affirmed that Christ was the “literal son” of Heavenly Father, continuing a longstanding tradition from the nineteenth century. “There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events . . .” Oh dear. Can we just put Mary in the blue veil and leave it at that?
  8. Barring children of same-sex marriage from baptism. We only acquired this piece very recently, but it already has “What Not to Wear” written all over it. We will be embarrassed by this outfit in years to come when our kids and grandkids stare, dumbfounded, at any evidence that we once clothed ourselves in it.

But here’s the best part of the life-changing magic of tidying up: being free of what is old and never utilized brings you space to recognize what you are using and loving.

When you’re unfettered by the past, you’re able to recognize what’s beautiful and life-giving all around you. Such as:

  • Belief in Christ’s atonement. This is evergreen, a wardrobe staple. It’s the indispensable little black dress of theology. Wear it every day.
  • Grace. We’ve been donning this beautiful item a good deal more in the last few years. It covers every single sin in our closets, everything we’ve been hiding away.
  • Heavenly Mother. This was front-of-closet for decades, but then gradually shoved to the back. It’s time to highlight this distinctive and marvelous item once again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Jane

    I have been praying for God to teach me truth. This is a slam dunk for me.

  • Anon

    I would like to discard the idea that any discussion of our Heavenly Mother is inappropriate and that respecting her sacredness requires silence, as if to speak of her is to risk offending God the Father.

    The folklore that we don’t speak of our Mother in Heaven so as to protect her name from the kinds of slander that people direct toward the names of the Father and the Son is hogwash.

    After two years of researching, David L. Paulsen and Martin Pulido wrote in “‘A Mother There’ a Survey of Historical Teachings About Mother in Heaven,” that never were we counselled by any general authority to observe a “sacred silence” where our Heaven Mother was concerned.

    So let’s speak of her with the same reverence we accord our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

  • JBB

    Amen.

  • Well said. This whole concept of not uttering HM’s name because we imagine we are somehow protecting her fwagile widdle feewings . . . it’s ridiculous. She is not a child. If we’re to believe our own theology, she is a deity who has progressed through all of the stages of faith to achieve a knowledge and wisdom we can barely imagine. I’m pretty sure she can handle hearing her name spoken in something other than sotto voce. 😉

  • christiankimball

    First of all, “just no” on all these. No trunk in the attic for maybe later. No rationalization or “true in its time.” Just no.
    Second, I’d add the “safety” version of the gospel. No to “Do x, y, and z (finite and short list) and you are safe.” No to “Follow the prophet and you are safe.” No to “sealing in the temple => exaltation” (see D&C 132:19 and the folk religion around that verse).

  • Robert Versluis

    Brilliant!

  • A Happy Hubby

    This book seems to be goin’ round in Mormondom. I heard that at one book club meeting in my Sister’s ward said, “this was an interesting book until I learned that the author was a single woman that had not had to deal with several kids and a pack rat of a husband!

    And Jana you have hit several of the bigger ones, but there are SOOO many more – often unwritten. But getting this few biggies would be a great start and might give us confidence that we can have revelation in these days – REAL revelation – and not just quote leaders from the past constantly for some sort of authority.

  • memba

    Great post again, Janna!

    One I would love to see on this list actually is clothing and appearance. I think the current unwritten rules, norms and pressure in this area are unsupportable doctrinally, or even from a policy point of view. The B of M is full of comments about divisions arising from apparel.

    So, no more pressure for women to not wear pants. No more pressure to wear white shirts and dark suits for men. No more rules about beards, moustaches, sideburns and hair length for men as a requirement to attend church schools or to serve in leadership callings.

    I don’t know why some people have thought any of this stuff has something to do with righteousness, reverence or worthiness??? And more importantly, I think it creates a totally unnecessary hurdle for investigators and people coming back to the church after a period of inactivity.

    Where did this strange, pseudo-doctrine, pseudo-policy come from. Let’s clean the closet and send it to DI!!

  • Ben in oakland

    Well, I’m confused. So all of the stuff that Joseph smith said was true may not be true at all? His magic seeing stones in the hat made some errors?

  • I would respectfully suggest that until the items on this list are OFFICIALLY and publicly renounced by the LdS Church then they can’t be considered OFFICIALLY null and void.

    And of the items in the above list I see only one that meets that criteria: the priesthood and temple ban for Latter-day Saints of African descent via OD-2.

    OD-1 can’t be included because the language keeps the door cracked open to a future re-institution of polygamy. Sorry.

    And Kolob can’t be jettisoned because it’s canonized scripture: The Book of Abraham.

    So, sorry, all this clutter remains. Bummer.

  • SL

    Isn’t a little black dress always in style? Guess I need to start re thinking this modern day prophet stuff.

  • ponderingemma

    Love this. But I did just read that the polygamy dress is sticking around, whether or not we all have to wear it:

    https://www.lds.org/ensign/2015/12/the-new-and-everlasting-covenant

  • Heidi

    I love this, Jana. 🙂

  • Yes, a very good point! Sometimes the things we need to get rid of, that are weighing us down, are the unwritten, cultural expectations.

  • Mortimer

    Jana,
    #7 doesn’t make sense and isn’t supported by the quotes linked. I’ve never seen the doctrine of immaculate conception (Mary being immaculately conceived by God, who then immaculately conceived Jesus), in Mormondom. Never. Ever. Ever. Immaculate conception to a mormon means that Jesus was the son of God and Mary, and Joseph was his step-father. Mormons are unique in our beliefs about mortal bodies. That belief permeates essentially every other mormon doctrine. I often think I’d be happy without a body- if I had kinetic powers, but evidently bodies are super important. Christ’s body was important in life, in death, and as a resurrected being. Yes, it’s weird to think about a literal conception, but wouldn’t it ‘make reason stare’ to suppose it to be otherwise?

  • AKA PMAN

    This is what the reorganized church of LDS (aka Community of Christ) and they had to put the BOM on the chopping block too. I agree that those clothes are tacky…or not fashionable. But I feel like the church would be undercutting what makes it unique…mystical profetic pronouncements. It’s like getting a nose and boob job just to fit in with the popular Christian moms. We already started doing this to ourselves and it probably is for the best. But it just feels wrong. Maybe for us intellectuals it would be better if we just keep all these clothes in the closet as a reflection of eternal possibilities. Yes it’s clutter. But who is saying God prefers no clutter?

  • Kevin JK

    Kolob, polygamy, Jackson County – Sorry, they’re in the scriptures and therefore stay.
    Blood atonement, The Adam-God doctrine, Heavenly Father as the literal father of Jesus (not Mary) through actual sexual intercourse, Barring children of same-sex marriage from baptism – All wilda$$ theories that some thought were good but were never sustained as doctrinal via Common Consent. Just crazy ideas that can/should be ignored.
    Folkloric explanations of the priesthood and temple ban for Latter-day Saints of African descent. – Since the Church basically admitted that the ban wasn’t doctrinal, any opinions justifying the policy are sheer speculation and not worthy or serious consideration.

    Others should include –
    * the 1 year marriage probation on sealings if a couple marries outside of the temple. It’s anti-family and anti-missionary work.
    * women not being allowed to serve in callings that require no exercise of the priesthood (ward clerk, exec, sec., SS pres., ward mission ldr,…

  • That was my mistake. It was supposed to say Jesus, not Mary. I have corrected it — sorry about the error.

  • Kevin JK

    Regarding Heavenly Mother, her existence is a logical conclusion. Nothing is mentioned about her in scripture and therefore anything anyone has to say about her is 100% pure speculation and NOT doctrine. We are free to discuss her, but since we have absolutely NOTHING to go on, it’s futile. She could be the Father’s 3rd wife. She could have been a convert. She could have died in infancy but was sealed to the Father. We just don’t know and none of it makes a difference. Why bother discussing it? Just know that she exists and that women have the opportunity to be just like her.

  • Michael Layne

    Let me clean those up as best I can in 1000 chars:
    1. Lack of understanding about a doctrine doesn’t mean we should get rid of it.
    2. There are some crazy ideas out there about blood atonement, but the only blood atonement I believe in, which is the most essential part of our doctrine, is Christ’s atonement for us.
    3. Whoa! This is not now, nor ever was LDS doctrine (though some apostate groups believe it). It was clearly repudiated by (if I remember right) President Joseph F (or was it Fielding) Smith. It is merely a strange interpretation of poorly taken notes of one single talk by Brigham Young. Nothing more.
    4. Quite nicely repudiated in a recent essay on lds.org.
    5. Only applied when commanded by God (Jacob 2:27,30); and all parties had to consent..
    6. I can’t say anything without more study.
    7. Misinterpretation. Yes, Jesus is the literal son of God born to Mary, but the doctrine is clear that she conceived Him as a literal virgin.
    8. I understand the concern, but…

  • Kevin JK

    the white shirts/dark suits. clean shaven are all cultural and have no doctrinal standing. On my mission in europe in the 70s, there was a bishop with a full beard. men in the Pacific islands wear long skirts (lava lavas?). in the MTC, a Navajo language instructor had a ponytail. Who cares?

    I like the idea of wearing your best as a way to honor God, but to say that that has to be defined by American culture doesn’t make sense.

  • Michael Layne

    Somehow the end got cut off.

    8. I understand the concern, but pray about it.
    Since I have more room with this new post, I’ll also add that this policy is not to block these children from our church. When you are baptized, you make sacred covenants, and the leaders of the church intend to ensure all who make them can keep those covenants. Allowing these young children to be baptized would put them in an awkward position where the teachings in the home are in direct conflict with the covenants they have made.
    Also note that all children (and adults) are still welcome to attend regardless of their circumstances. And if I remember right, the policy also allows for some exceptions.

    Point 5 could perhaps use more explanation, but I’ll leave it as is.

  • Lee Poulsen

    As for moving Heavenly Mother back to the front of the closet, I like what Patrick Mason (chair of the Dept. of Religion at Claremont Graduate University) said at the most recent Miller-Eccles. He said that he feels completely free to talk about her whenever the subject comes up at Church and in Sunday School or Priesthood lessons because the existence of the official essay about her on the Church’s website in effect “gives him permission” to do so. If anyone questions him about talking about Her, he just points out the essay to them.

  • Elder Anderson

    Awesome article, Jana. It’s about time for some serious house cleaning. A major cause of all the weirdness is confusion about the LDS Church’s message among rank and file members between policy, doctrine, revelation, theology, culture, custom, legend, etc. Of course, everybody on the Internet is an “expert” and all too happy to “explain” to the unwashed masses, usually in patronizing and condescending tones. That just adds to the mess. Really, there are no consistent explanations for most of these points. Furthermore, as with the recent Handbook changes, there’s no documentation of President Monson’s exact wording of this latest revelation, so members resort to pontificating on the Internet. If only the General Authorities were more authoritative.

  • jojo

    #7. Yes Jesus was the literal son of God in the flesh, but No, God the Father did not have sex with Mary. She was still considered a virgin.
    Elder James E. Talmage wrote: “That Child born of Mary was begotten of Elohim, the Eternal Father, not in violation of natural law but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof; and the offspring from that association of supreme sanctity, celestial Sireship, and pure though mortal maternity, was of right to be called the ‘Son of the Highest'” (Talmage, 81).
    The phrase “not in violation of natural law, but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof”, suggests that it was not done in the traditional way as mortals would, but by some other means we can not now understand.

  • Ben in oakland

    The immaculate conception does not refer to what you just said.

    Mary was born without the taint of original sin– literally, the spot or stain of original sin. Immaculate– without a spot. Jesus was so less beciase Mary was, and because God was his father, not Joseph.

  • Elder Anderson

    @jojo
    On the other hand, “Christ was begotten by an immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.” (McConkie, 1966, “Mormon Doctrine”, p. 547)

    And that’s the problem for all of the issues Jana raises: different sources say different things and “experts” on the Internet just confuse everybody even more.

  • jojo

    Yes, the egg of Mary was conceived by the seed of God, the same as by mortals, but not through sexual intercourse.

  • Paul J Elliott

    Once you clean out your closet of all the misfit Mormon attire, you realize you can never wear that stuff again. It’s like Jesus saying, you can’t put a new you in your old Mormon clothes.

  • Elder Anderson

    I see. It was divine artificial insemination. Appreciate you clearing that up for us.

  • James Anthony Weller

    Jana, as always, betrays a novice understanding of the Restored Gospel. Even Wikipedia is more accurate, by far. She discounts true doctrines based on her adherence to modern moral relativism. And as always, Jana has no witness of prayer and receiving answers from The Father, but Jana sure gets answers from Babylon.

  • Stace

    I know this may be hard to believe for you, but many many many people have prayed about some of this stuff, and NOT received personal revelation that it is right. Me: I’ve prayed about polygamy since I was a teenager. Every time I have a sick feeling. Many of us, myself in included have prayed about the Exclusion Policy, and cannot find the peace of the Spirit of Christ. It FLED when I saw E. Nelson’s update. So, you can say I am praying wrong, or hardhearted, or wicked, but do not for a second assume many of us do not seek Christ, seek the Spirit and want to know the truth. What we find is still ugly. I got no witness. Also, you’re really smug to think you know anything about the writer’s prayers and personal righteousness. You sound a tad like those pharisees that Jesus wasn’t that impressed with.

  • A Happy Hubby

    So many of the comments are trying to argue that Jana’s assertions of what is considered LDS teachings/beliefs/doctrine/etc are incorrect. The problem is that these teachings ARE still floating around and being re-taught over and over. So someone commenting, “that isn’t correct” does NOTHING to stop someone else from passing it on to a new generation or a pair of 18-year old elders speculating on such.

    It seemed to me that Jana was nudging for someone with more authority within the church to squash these.

    It seems to me that there are only a few items the authorities are willing to push on and put their neck’s/reputation online (such as the policy change). Even some of the essays that one comment mentioned that “cleared that subject up” are not signed by any of the top 15 leaders and no attention in general conference have been paid to them. Heck – they couldn’t even get Elder McConkie to recant Mormon Doctrine errors.

    So the doctrine speculation continues.

  • Debbie Snowcroft

    Jana Riess wrote: “…. cultural expectations….”

    I’m especially weighed down by the cultural expectation of having to “sustain” homophobic & chauvinistic old men, while paying them 10% of my “increase” in order to be “worthy” to attend my niece’s temple wedding.

    I followed your advice, dear Jana. I looked at this cultural aspect of Mormonism. I touched it. I reflected on it. I asked if it sparks joy in my heart.

    it doesn’t spark joy. In fact, it sparks loathing and disgust.

    So I did as you suggested and I held a little ritual, and I put it on the shelf, but the LDS Church still finds me unfit to attend my niece’s temple wedding because I’m unwilling to pay them homage and money.

  • Debbie Snowcroft

    Kevin JK wrote: “I like the idea of wearing your best as a way to honor God…”

    Jesus was highly critical of hypocrites who “wore their best” to “honor God;” Instead, Jesus said to give your best to the poor.

    If you look deeply at Mormonism you will see that it’s worse (much worse) than just wrong…. it actually has an active and corrosive effect on a person’s ethical and moral compass, and the emphasis on physical appearance is one of the worst.

  • 1. Kolob is a star, not a planet. I have always wondered where the idea it was a planet came from.
    2. Bloodatoment is only true in the sense that we all die for our sins and are resurrected unto Christ. This should have been like people wearing hats and living on the sun and not caught on.
    3. I have no issue with the idea that Adam/Michael is the Holy Ghost, I don’t get why anyone thinks Young was saying anything else, and why isn’t the full Godhead in the temple video if they aren’t the same person???
    4 Anything pretending that “blacks” couldn’t have the priesthood was & is of the devil. Period.
    5. There is nothing wrong with polygamy, as long as it is a choice made by the family and not forced on them by the church.
    6. I don’t see the big deal here either, Jesus has to come somewhere and it won’t be Utah.
    7. I know plenty of protestants that believe this, but it is clear that Mary had sex with the Holy Ghost.
    8. Yes, this is of the devil too, but the Fellowship will…

  • Elder Anderson

    @Kevin

    “….anything anyone has to say about her is 100% pure speculation and NOT doctrine.”

    This blatantly incorrect post is an example of what I’m talking about. Of course the existence of Heavenly Mother is doctrinal and has been from the very beginnings of the Church. Did you even read the latest Church essay on this topic? For that matter, if the Church bothered to publish an essay on the topic, then the Church seems to think it *is* worth discussing.

  • Audrey Mitchell

    I keep looking for the “like” button on these comments…

    Very well said.

  • Taylor Fultz

    The church still practices polygamy, in a roundabout way.

    A married man whose wife dies can marry again, and be sealed to other women.

    A married woman whose husband dies can marry again, but may not be sealed to other men.

    If marriage is for time and all eternity, then this is theological polygamy.

  • Taylor Fultz

    7. Um. Isn’t the whole point of the virgin birth the “virgin” part? And wasn’t Jesus ALREADY God’s ‘begotten’ son in the pre-existence, distinctly compared to the rest of us?

  • Paul

    You might address some of the issues raised, rather than just vilifying the writer. You’d look more erudite.

  • Taylor Fultz

    Wasn’t he /already/ God’s “begotten” son in the pre-existence?

  • Kevin JK

    I’d like that reference.

  • Kevin JK

    You misunderstood. I admit that her existence in doctrinal, but beyond that, it’s 100% pure speculation.

  • Maddy

    Taylor,
    You are correct.
    Absolutely polygamy is still practiced–for eternal marriages.
    Temple marriage is considered to be the primary form of marriage in LDS doctrine, and yes, (some/many?) temple worthy widowed men are allowed to be sealed to another wife.

    So much for “traditional” marriage….

  • Taylor Fultz

    The general authorities probably just don’t want to go to the trouble of making up a name for her.

  • ron

    Its unfortunate to see the relationship come to an ultimatum. It like a husband trying to change what his wife wears. The “what I would change about you” conversations are very depressing to read because they only end in more hurt feelings and broken relationships. No bridges are built with posts like this. Why not have a coming together of minds with the church and be at peace with its past and present. The future will take care of itself if peace can be found in the present. That is the spirit of promise Jesus offers.

  • A little speculation on the Holy Ghost and our Heavenly Mother: I have heard people speculate that the Holy Ghost is our Heavenly Mother.

    Still, I prefer a different view. I do believe the Holy Ghost could be a female Spirit. The Spirit of God is never referred to as “he” in the scriptures, unless I am forgetting something.

    But I also think that our heavenly parents are so unified that we are praying to both of them when we pray to “Heavenly Father”, as if they were a united couple listening together and Heavenly Mother’s face was just veiled.

    Part of my view on this is due to the influence of Spanish on me. Mixed gender groups are always referred to as masculine. “Nosotros” means “us” and can be all male or mixed. “Nosotras” excludes the possibility of men in the group. I wonder if “Heavenly Father” somehow includes Heavenly Mother, but “Heavenly Mother” excludes Heavenly Father.

    So I see the possibility of a Godhead that is equally male and female.

  • Amy

    The General Authorities don’t seem to be the least bit interested in her – period.

  • Kevin JK

    The Holy Ghost is referred to as “He” in these verses that came to me – Jn. 14:26, 15:26, 16:13,14.

    I like the idea that our prayers are heard by both of our heavenly parents and She influences Him on how they are answered.

  • Kevin JK

    Other than knowing that She exists, what do any of us know about Her? Basically nothing. That being said, there is nothing that the Brethren can say that isn’t 100% speculation. I think we should cut them some slack. We need leaders who make statements based on concrete knowledge rather than speculation ala McConkie’s statement that Blacks weren’t valiant in the Pre-Existence. I’m good with “we don’t know”. I’d much rather hear that than some speculation that becomes pseudo doctrinal.

  • A Happy Hubby

    Ron-I am not sure where the ultimatum is, but maybe it is in one of the comments.
    Your analogy does have merit & the real world equivalent usually turns out bad for the husband & the marriage. To turn the analogy a slightly different way, what if the wife is dressing in really frumpy 40 year old fashions? Is it bad for the husband to gently suggest that a different dress would look better on her? It comes to motivation and love. I do think you can say, “XYZ is bad in the church and we should look hard at this area” & still have love for the church & desire its success.

    I would say that this post does stir the pot & it is good for us to occasionally take stock of where we are at & be introspective ares to improve.

    The more studying I do the more confused I am on what is doctrine vs teachings vs belief vs culture. We seem to be backpedaling on much of what my father thought of as doctrine. Our doctrine now seems to focus on gay marriage is WRONG and not much else other than…

  • Debbie Snowcroft

    Matthew 19:21: “Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    Note: “ALL your possessions” includes your fancy suit.
    Note: In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says to be perfect.

    Matthew 23:27: “”What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees [e.g. fancy dressers]. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs–beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.”

    By the way, Jesus also said its a sin to pray in public:

    Matthew 6:5 “”And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

    When you attend General Conference, know that the “General Authorities” are making a mockery of what Jesus taught.

  • Kevin JK

    “Note: “ALL your possessions” includes your fancy suit.”
    KJK – This was an instruction to ONE individual whose heart was on his wealth. Christ didn’t command that we ALL sell all of our possessions.

    “Matthew 23:27: “”What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees [e.g. fancy dressers]. ”
    KJK – The Whitewashed tombs Christs refers to are the open behaviors of these men giving them an appearance of righteousness while their inner souls are rotten. It has nothing to do with clothing.

    “By the way, Jesus also said its a sin to pray in public:
    Matthew 6:5 “”And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”
    KJK – As above, Christ condemns acts that are done to promote the individual rather than God. Public prayers in meetings can be done that done elevate the individual. All religions do this.

  • Taylor Fultz

    there is literally nothing about LDS doctrine that has ever been based on anything concrete

  • Kevin JK

    I would like to retract the above. I looked at the Greek and the word translated as “he” actually means “that person or thing”. It is used on other verses to refer to items. The bottom line is that the aforementioned verses are not proof that the Holy Ghost is male. There may be other verses from modern scripture stating such, but these verses ain’t them.

  • Danny S

    As I continue to deprogram from decades of conditioning in the church, these sorts of conversations are akin to listening to Howard, Raj, and Sheldon debate whether or not Aqua-man could beat up Spider-Man in a fight. It’s a debate if competing fairytales.

  • A Happy Hubby

    Watch it Danny. Don’t be dis’ing Big Bang Theory by dragging them into this thread! 🙂 And BTW – you missed Leonard! He would be in there also!

  • Gina

    Tidy up but don’t forget. Put these items in a museum for all to see as a reminder that our “prophets, seers, and revelators” have been wrong and have led us astray and will continue to do so. Hopefully these items will never come back in style.

    When leaders use God as excuse to hurt/bully/marginalize and suppress civil rights and say they have the authority to do so, we must look deeper into the foundation of that authority. Tidy up but don’t forget.

  • Debbie Snowcroft

    Kevin wrote: “….This was an instruction to ONE individual….”

    I’m always (really, always!) amazed at readily Mormons disregard what Jesus said. It’s as if Jesus is just a talking point, or mascot.

  • Kevin JK

    So…does that mean that you agree with me or not? BTW, I’m LDS.

  • Fran

    The holy spirit is God’s active force, which He uses to accomplish his purpose, not a person. People were filled with it and/or baptized with it, which does not fit a person (Luke 1:41; Matt. 3:11; Acts 10:38). The Bible also gives us the name of God, Jehovah (or Yahweh; Psalm 83:18) and the name of his son, Jesus. Nowhere in the Bible is a personal name applied to the holy spirit.

  • Kevin JK

    Maybe Christ should have stated that we should be baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and God’s active force.