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Saturday, May 1, 2021

How not wearing a mask will eternally damn you (and other worthiness criteria mysteries)

 If there is one thing the Church adamantly promotes, it's ordinances. 

Want to get to heaven? Be baptized.

Want to be endowed with spiritual power? Get your endowments.

Want to be a small-g god and live with your family for eternity? Get sealed.

These doctrines are increasingly being emphasized:

"The only way to return to live with (Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ) and with our family is through the ordinances of the holy temple." [1]

"The only way you can have the feeling of that family embrace forever is to become worthy yourself and help others to receive the sealing ordinances of the temple. "  [1]

"The ordinances of the temple unite us in special ways and allow us to be one in every eternally significant way."  [2]

"The ordinances of the temple and the covenants you make there are key to strengthening your life, your marriage and family, and your ability to resist the attacks of the adversary."  [3]

"We will come to understand that through the ordinances of the temple, the power of godliness is manifest in our lives10 and that because of temple ordinances, we can be armed with God's power, and His name will be upon us, His glory round about us, and His angels have charge over us."  [4]

"President Russell M. Nelson has taught us, " This Church was restored so that families could be formed, sealed, and exalted eternally."" [5] 

Yet within the last year, the qualifications for entering the temple -- and subsequently enjoying their promised blessings -- have been modified.

"You will be asked to confirm your willingness to wear a face covering throughout your time in the temple. If you are experiencing symptoms or are unwilling or unable to wear a mask, you'll be invited to reschedule your appointment and return at a later time. In the baptistry, all participants except the individual being baptized will wear a face covering."  [6]

Just to re-cap:

If you want to go to the Celestial Kingdom (where Father and Jesus dwell), and live with your family in eternal glory, you must enter into sacred ordinances obtained only in the temple.

To enter the temple, you must wear a mask.

Thus, if you don't wear a mask, you cannot enter into the temple to receive special ordinances which are mandatory if you want to go to the Celestial Kingdom (where Father and Jesus dwell) and live with your family in eternal glory.

No mask = no ordinance = no exaltation. 

Another thing I need help understanding are the temple recommend questions. 

In order to be worthy for temple ordinances (and their attendant blessings), one must answer a standardized set of worthiness questions. [7]  So, for example: 

  • If "you have faith in and a testimony of God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost," (Question #1) but have no actual, thriving, dynamic relationship with God or Jesus, and don't even hear them in your heart and/or mind, that's OK.
  • If you "strive to keep the Sabbath day holy, both at home and at church" and "attend your meetings" (Question #8) but don't strive to have your baptism of fire or any other spiritual experiences, that's OK, too. 
  • If you are a full-tithe payer (Question #10) but look the other way when a beggar is asking for help, that's OK.
  • If you have met "any financial or other obligations to a former spouse or to children" (Question #12) but do not express love for those children, that's also fine.

Yet of all the temple recommend questions, I find #11 ("Do you understand and obey the Word of Wisdom?) the most challenging. Maybe you can explain the following:

  • Tea is a "hot drink" but hot chocolate isn't?
  • What constitutes a "mild drink" with barley ("barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain")?
  • We are asked to not eat meat and if we do so, it should be "sparingly" - "only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine," but (1) we have it all the time at ward parties and (2) why does the corporation of the church own one of the largest cattle ranches in the US?
  • We are told that the Word of Wisdom is "to be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint," but today its adherence is not only a requirement to get into the temple, but also heaven. What revelation was received which overrode the "not by commandment or constraint" scriptural injunction, and when was it voted upon by the saints per the Law of Common Consent?
  • How does the Word of Wisdom square with Matthew 15:10-11, 16-20?
  • Drinking tea (a "hot drink") is a no-no, but if you are morbidly obese, have no desire to care for your body, drink gallons of Mountain Dew or Red Bull, binge on junk food or pop ibuprofen like candy, that's OK.


Like masks, we have a situation where if you drink tea, you are unworthy of a temple recommend/entering the temple, and thus, forfeit your right to enjoy eternal blessings with God and your family.

My prediction: Someday, churchwide, worthiness to receive a patriarchal blessing will include having been vaccinated for COVID-19. Here's this little ditty from a church member in Pleasant View, UT:

I also predict that future temple recommend interviews will equate wearing a mask with "sustaining the prophet." Think I'm exaggerating/joking? Read this (courtesy of a church member in the West Jordan, UT area):

Sorry, but I feel I must end on a happy note:


1  Henry B Eyring, "I Love to see the Temple," April 2021 General Conference
2  Quentin L. Cook, "Hearts Knit in Righteousness and Unity," October 2020 General Conference
3  D. Todd Christofferson, "Why the Covenant Path" April 2021 General Conference
4  Bonnie L. Oscarson, "Rise Up in Strength, Sisters in Zion" October 2016 General Conference
5  Dallin H. Oaks, "Two Great Commandments" October 2019 General Conference


PNW_DPer said...

My testimony of the Restored Gospel is based on my testimony of the Book of Mormon, and that the principles it teaches are cottect principles (Moroni 10:4-5). With that in mind, I'm reminded of 2 Nephi 28:31 and also of the story in 1 Kings 13 that vividly illustrates the principle from 2 Nephi 28:31.

PNW_DPer said...

Oops, don't see an edit button. "...correct principles...".

1 said...

Great insights.
I quit following the profits a long time ago.

Dave P. said...

For a church that's supposed to be a peculiar people, it's certainly become more and more like the rest of the world over the past several years.

Of course, the church's god is not the Lord, it is vanity and mammon.

Trevor said...

Do you think temple masks have to be all white?

You know.... now that I think about it, a bunch of people wearing masks while performing religious ceremonies on you in a private building looks like a particularly bad trend. Regardless of why they are wearing them, masked religious ceremonies by a religions who is already viewed as a cult.

Not the best image.

Cave Shopping said...

The quorum of 15 has priorities. Defending children from maniacal adults and correcting the hysterical beliefs of church members are not its priorities.