Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Lies you need to tell to get into The Mormon Temple

To be allowed to go into The Mormon Temple, there are a bunch of hoops you need to jump through; or pretend to jump through them and lie your ass off. After you have jumped through all the hoops you will be issued a temple recommend. They are about the size of a credit card, have a picture of a temple on them, your membership number, and a barcode. Recommends are scanned at the door of the temple to ensure you are “worthy” and allowed to go inside.

When you are ready to go to the temple first your bishop, then stake president will give you a temple recommend interview (yes you have to do it twice). He will ask you a bunch of questions, and you either need to be doing all those things, or lie about them (which is pretty common).  

The interview will go something like this;

The bishop, or stake president (regional leader) will invite you into his office, alone. He will say a prayer, or ask you to. My stake president in particular would then give you a spiel about how he is called of god and he was god’s representative. He claimed “The Spirit” would give him the discernment to know if you were being honest or not. He would point to a photo of Jesus behind his desk and say you should regard the interview as if you were talking to “the savior”. I’m not sure if this is just a scare tactic or if he actually thought he could tell if you were lying or not. When I got my temple recommend I lied my ass off, and had even had sex with RJ earlier that day!

Then the questions will start...  

He will ask you, a few questions regarding your faith, like if you believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy ghost. He will ask you if sustain The Prophet, and local church authorities. This was one of the easier questions for me. At the time I did believe in god, so I didn’t need to lie about it.  

It doesn’t take them long to get right into the dirty stuff and ask you if you follow, “The Law of Chastity.” I always had to lie on this one. Following the law of chastity includes, no sex before marriage, no “heavy petting” before marriage (third base), no dating or kissing before you turn 16, no masturbation, no pornography, basically anything sexual is bad, and I had done them all. Most bishops are pretty oblivious when it comes to anything sexual. I had one bishop in particular who didn’t know what oral sex was. It was not had to lie about sex to him.

The next question is, and I quote, “Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?” This is a question that I think would prevent a lot of members from getting a recommend if it were answered honestly, but it’s not.

The Mormon Church has a lot of rules and obligations, this next question is a huge understatement. “Do you earnestly strive to do your duty in the Church; to attend your sacrament, priesthood, and other meetings; and to obey the rules, laws, and commandments of the gospel?” Every calling (position) in The Mormon Church is “voluntary”(saying no is frowned on because every calling is “from god”) and requires A LOT of time. Sunday services are three hours long, and some callings require as much time as a full time job. The rules, laws, and commandments of the gospel are endless. I remember feeling very stifled as a teen. Mormons spend so much time with other mormons they cannot comprehend how non-mormons make friends, or even function without the church. Trust me when I say living without the mormon religion is much easier than living with it.

Another picture of the D.C. Temple. Temples are beautiful, too bad the
church doesn't tell you where the rest of their money goes. If they can afford
hundreds of temples what else can they afford? Beautiful photo by RJ. 
Before you are even baptized, you are expected to pay tithing to the church, you MUST pay tithing to get to the temple. A “full tithe” is 10% of your income. There is a pretty big grey area about what is a full tithe. Some people think it should be paid on your gross income, others say net income. I used to forget to pay sometimes or just didn’t want to. The Mormon Church is a business, they use their money to build giant malls, and apartments. They also refuse to make their financial records public or even available to it’s members. I had a really hard time giving my money to a place where I had no idea where it was being spent. To this day I do my best to not send my money it’s direction. I avoid Mormon business at all costs.

The next question is “Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?” The word of wisdom is what the church calls their health guidelines. No alcohol, tobacco, coffee, or tea. Lots of people lie their way through this one. Just remember to leave your Starbucks in the car.

If you have been through the temple before, and need to renew your recommend (something done every 2 years). You are asked if you have kept the promises you made in the temple and if you are wearing your garments (mormon underwear) during the day and night. I prefer sleeping naked… garments can be stifling.

The next question always felt very guilt inducing, “Has there been any sin or misdeed in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but has not?” I remember as a teen wondering if there were things I had done that praying and asking for forgiveness personally hadn’t been enough for. Now I know there is not a invisible man in the sky who needs to forgive me for my actions.

The last question is, “Do you consider yourself worthy in every way to enter the temple and participate in temple ordinances?” I’m pretty sure everyone who has made it that far has no problem lying through one last question.

You do not have to be a very good liar to get a temple recommend. I for one, was definitely never “worthy” to get one. At times in my life maybe I thought I was but as mormon standards go I definitely was not.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to sharing all about what goes on inside the temple.

1 comment:

  1. On a somewhat related note, this: https://youtu.be/4DCeAK6vUb8


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