This is number two in a series. I add here the preface to each of these posts on the CHI.
Since the CHI deals with LDS church doctrine and in places draws from the scriptures there are many good things said in this handbook. In fact so far the vast majority is either administrative policies which are neutral in their spiritual application and the rest are just good true principles. But, there are some things that raise questions. And that is all I will be bringing out for discussion.
Section 3 deals with temples and marriage.
3.4.3 This is about making temple and ceremonial clothing.
It says members may make their own temple aprons only if they use the approved apron embroidery and sewing kit. The kit is available from church distribution services. Other temple ceremonial may not be made nor may temple garments be made.
I was shocked. I still am. Can anyone doubt that the members in years past were all allowed to make their own garments and ceremonial clothing? D&C 42:40 And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands;
You can say that doesn’t refer to temple garments because the endowment hadn’t been given yet. Our God is named Jesus Christ. It was He that spoke those words. It was He that knew in a short time the endowment with the principles and practices would be given to us. It is hard to take the revelation as applying to all clothing we as members would wear in our lives. But can easily be understood to apply to the garments which are a symbol of the covenant He has made with us.
You know what I want? I want to live the full gospel of Jesus Christ. It came to all at the cost of the blood and suffering of the Son of God. It came to me and you in this dispensation at the cost of the blood of Joseph and Hyrum Smith among others.
What did I do to become unworthy of having this gospel? I don’t recall a trial. Who witnesses against me and you to condemn us and take from us the right to live the gospel as restored to the prophet Joseph Smith?
I am sure it was allowed as short ago as 1970 for members to make their own priesthood garments. What is this all about? Surely it has nothing to do with protecting the sacredness of the garment since a purchased garment can just as easily be misused. In fact if we had to make them the likelihood of them being more protected would be much higher.
I won’t accuse anyone of simply wanting to insure that beehive clothing mills makes a better profit.
All I know is there was a right which was given me by God and now someone has decided I don’t have that right any more. “Oh but it is such a trivial thing.” I can hear someone say. Have we not all seen that it is bit by bit that the people in the US are being deprived of one right and then another? And who is the author of this erosion of rights and liberties? Who was the founder of our liberty?
Whose side are you on?
Section 3.5 The sub heading is marriage.
Paragraph 2 says a couple who are planning to be married must obtain a legal marriage license that is valid in the place where the marriage is to be performed.
The common definition of license is: Official or legal permission to do or own a specified thing. But the license from the state is a legal question and so a more applicable definition is in Black Law dictionary which says: The permission by competent authority to do an act which without such permission, would be illegal.”
By obtaining a state (any government) issued marriage license you give jurisdiction over the marriage to that state. They have the legal power to regulate your marriage just as they do any business to which they grant a license. I suggest you check out one or all of the links below to learn more. You should know the history of this practice.
A great sermon by Pastor Matt Trewhella, Should Christians get a marriage license by David J. Stewart and Marriage License Truth very informative.
Can you find any place in scripture in which the Lord says we need to get permission of a government to be married? It is a fact that in the US there are common law marriages which means a man and a woman who live as a married couple are considered married without any license at all.
The Lord in D&C 132 speaks of marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. And so it is. And if they want that marriage to be valid in and after the resurrection it must be sealed by His law. And never did He say anything about state approval. Why does the church?
If the previous question about the personal making of temple and priesthood garments was a little thing this is surely a big, profound and fundamental destruction of the God given rights of the members of the church. In order to receive a temple sealing you must be sold into bondage to the state.
The argument will surely be made that marriage is and should be a legally enforceable contract and therefore we need to submit to the laws of the state to solemnize a marriage. The first part is true. Marriage is a legal contract. The violation of marriage laws should be dealt with the same as any other contract violation. But the therefore clause is a non sequitur, because any couple living together even without a marriage license can bring their de facto spouse to a court and sue for violation of the contract stated or implied. Millions of dollars have changed hands over just such arrangements.
This is a big one. This is a bad one. Where was the revelation stating it should be so? Did we as members of the church have an informed vote on it? Were we made aware of what we were and are being forced to do in order to have the sealing power made available to us and our posterity? Do you think God is pleased with this added requirement? Do you think the devil is pleased? Are you pleased with it?
Well there are at least 4 more questions before we get through section 3. They will be the subject of other posts.
P.S. I had some fear in starting these posts. I thought of possible excommunication, anger of others even family members and rejection by many etc. But then I thought of what LDSA had said about William Tyndale, the man who was killed for breaking the law. He distributed and smuggled bibles which were written in English. I decided to nail my colors to the mast and do what I feel is right without fear of the consequences. What a difference that made in my life. It has given me courage to do things I have never done before. This and surely the prayers of those who love me have given me courage take the lead in my family life. I am at peace and can feel a new power I have never had before. It feels like a great amplification of the power of the priesthood in my life. I highly recommend it.