On losing your temple recommend

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Hagoth
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On losing your temple recommend

Post by Hagoth » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:55 am

This is something that Corsair touched on in another thread that I thought deserved a break-out discussion.

I am about to have my temple recommend expire for the first time since I got married 30 years ago. This is a very bitter-sweet experience for me. My sweet wife, even though she is very nuanced and even defiant in the face of many LDS teachings, cherishes the temple as a place of spiritual refuge and has been very appreciative of my efforts to maintain a recommend even though she accepts that I am no longer a believer. I won't go into details about how and why I still have a recommend because I have talked a lot about that many times before. Basically it came down to very kind local leaders stapling a recommend to my hand despite my inability to properly answer the questions.

But we have a new bishop and stake president and I have reached the point where I can't even nuance the questions enough anymore. I really don't mind visiting the temple a couple of times a year. It has become a much more pleasant experience since I stopped believing the threats and started seeing it as a gift to Mrs. Hagoth.

So I will go to the temple maybe one more time and then I will be cut off from that part of my dear wife's life forever. It breaks my heart.

I would love to hear from some of you that have crossed this Rubicon with a spouse who continues to attend and cherish the temple.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Blashyrkh
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Blashyrkh » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:03 am

I am in the same boat as you. Mine ran out a year ago and I just had to have the face-to-face with my wife. I quietly reminded her that the temple wasnt what I was about. I explained to her that I find solace and peace in a different place than her. I reminded her that I support her 100% in her attendance but that I didnt not find the same thing in the temple as she does. It took a few months of her going alone until things were back to normal again. I made sure that we found other activities to spend the time together. Funny that after I stopped going her attendance slowed down quite a bit and I am not sure she even noticed.

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Red Ryder
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:19 am

I first let mine expire about 12 years ago.

It’s hurt the wife the most. Mormon women tie their eternal marriage to attending the temple, wearing garments, and holding a current recommend, and attending monthly with their family. Going alone has hurt her the most.

While I found it nice to be free from the temple attendance OBLIGATION, if I’m truly honest it has just created an undercurrent of anxiety and sadness that has never gone away over the last 12 years.

My advice is to give your wife the gift of choice. If having a current recommend is what she wants, then keep it by answering the questions accordingly. If she’s ok with you giving it up, then run it through the paper shredder. Make it a conversation you discuss together rather than on your own.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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alas
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by alas » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:19 am

Blashyrkh wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:03 am
I am in the same boat as you. Mine ran out a year ago and I just had to have the face-to-face with my wife. I quietly reminded her that the temple wasnt what I was about. I explained to her that I find solace and peace in a different place than her. I reminded her that I support her 100% in her attendance but that I didnt not find the same thing in the temple as she does. It took a few months of her going alone until things were back to normal again. I made sure that we found other activities to spend the time together. Funny that after I stopped going her attendance slowed down quite a bit and I am not sure she even noticed.
I am several years not this transition, and DH attendance has slowed to a near stop. He still has a recommend, but hasn’t gone in a long time. Our son gave him some names a couple of years ago and he got those done, went to a sealing three years ago, and other than that has kind of let it slid into nonexistence. I reminded him that he enjoys going, but it didn’t get him to go. So, still uneasy, but not an active issue.

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Red Ryder
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:30 am

I hope one day Nelson or whoever changes the temple logistics to open seating to allow men and women to sit together. That way couples could sit next to each other rather than being forced to sit by the sweaty, smelly, mouth breather.

Of course then the single sisters, the dirty old men, and the weirdos will become isolated when nobody wants to sit by them.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Linked
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Linked » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:24 pm

I'm sorry this is a difficult time for you Hagoth. I always appreciate your well-researched and thoughtful posts and it sucks to see the painful side of things hit you.

I let my recommend lapse a few years ago. It seems that my DW would rather I not get a recommend or go to the temple because she thinks it would be wrong for someone unworthy to go. She has gone to the temple slightly more by herself than we used to go together. She seems nicer after she comes home from the temple, so that's good I guess.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Hagoth
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Hagoth » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:38 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:30 am
That way couples could sit next to each other rather than being forced to sit by the sweaty, smelly, mouth breather.
Yeah, I always felt sorry for the guy who had to sit next to me too.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Hagoth
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Hagoth » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:41 pm

Linked wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:24 pm
I let my recommend lapse a few years ago. It seems that my DW would rather I not get a recommend or go to the temple because she thinks it would be wrong for someone unworthy to go.
Mrs. Hagoth believes I'm more worthy than a lot of recommend holders in the ways that count, if not in the specifics covered by the official questions. So there's that.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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wtfluff
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by wtfluff » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:56 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:30 am
That way couples could sit next to each other...
Back in the olden-days, there was a certain temple on the west coast of the USA where the endowment rooms were originally designed with all the seats together (no aisle down the center) and the rooms were literally divided by a rope strung across the tops of the chairs down the center. My wife and I attended there once-upon-a-time, and by the complete luck of the draw, we ended up next to each other on either side of the dividing rope. I actually got to hold my wife's hand during an endowment session. Best. Session. Ever. (That was back when she still thought she liked me, so she would hold my hand. :? )

At this point, I personally detest pretty much everything about the Polygamy Palace... But this thread makes me wonder: Would a "temple date" with apostate spouses where a couple visits the temple grounds and enjoys some moments of contemplation together on the outside be of value? I might be able to grit my teeth through something like that...
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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2bizE
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by 2bizE » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:15 am

Does your wife understand the arrangement you have had with the old bishop and SP?
Why not try to arrange the same thing with the current leaders? It may be worth the try.
~2bizE

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jfro18
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by jfro18 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:36 am

Sorry Hagoth - that is a tricky situation no matter what you do.

When I stopped going we never talked about it, and then as time went on DW definitely went less. Maybe a few times a year? She would usually go to a very early Saturday session so she could be home by mid-morning and we went about our day. I always felt odd when she went for the obvious reasons, but we just never talked about that.

Then when I finally went down rabbit hole and we had some of those heated discussions early on she made a comment about how much it sucks to go alone. So I don't know what to make of that since I'm obviously never getting a temple recommend again being inactive and now a full out apostate, but she definitely never mentioned that early on so just keep it in mind just in case you want to ask your wife if she is OK with you not going anymore. It took years for my wife to tell me that, but clearly she was thinking it from the start.

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Hagoth
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Hagoth » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:24 am

2bizE wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:15 am
Does your wife understand the arrangement you have had with the old bishop and SP?
Why not try to arrange the same thing with the current leaders? It may be worth the try.
I think it's highly unlikely to work with the current leaders. It might be worth a try, but I would have to outright lie about the Word of Wisdom and I really don't want to do that. I also pay zero tithing.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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StarbucksMom
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by StarbucksMom » Tue Dec 31, 2019 10:52 am

Hagoth, sorry for both you and your wife that you are facing losing temple time together.

The tithing should be a non issue since you are not working (correct?) and are a student. You just say you pay 0 on 0. And also because 100 billion dollars. Honestly, if I ever had to sit through tithing settlement or a TR interview again, I would bring up the 100B, the church not even coming CLOSE to “ tithing” their own $ and helping the poor, and use examples. I honestly wish I could, because I want everyone to stop paying LDS inc. But “TBM” husband & I don’t tithe/go to temple.

The WOW is trickier, but I don’t think you do illegal drugs or anything harmful. It’s all pretty stupid since JS didn’t follow his own “health” code. Since the top LDS execs all lie all the time, you should follow their examples and lie too. Or just say you follow it since coffee/tea are not mentioned in it anyway. (pretty sure that’s your WOW thing?)

Reuben
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Reuben » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:05 pm

It sucks, Hagoth.
StarbucksMom wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 10:52 am
The WOW is trickier, but I don’t think you do illegal drugs or anything harmful. It’s all pretty stupid since JS didn’t follow his own “health” code. Since the top LDS execs all lie all the time, you should follow their examples and lie too. Or just say you follow it since coffee/tea are not mentioned in it anyway. (pretty sure that’s your WOW thing?)
If you interpret "hot drinks" so that the set of all hot drinks is empty (e.g. "high-temperature drinks that are bad for my health"), then you probably obey it.

But personally, I experience quite a bit of dissonance when I'm saying something to others that I know they interpret very differently than I do. My last TR interview with my bishop was fine (he knew where I stood), but my last with the SP counselor made me feel dirty. It was the last straw for my church activity. "Nuance the hell out of it" and "lie to return the favor" work for some people better than others.

Hagoth, I'm sure you could come up with this stuff on your own. Do you really want to renew your TR?
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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wtfluff
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by wtfluff » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:24 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:24 am
I think it's highly unlikely to work with the current leaders. It might be worth a try, but I would have to outright lie about the Word of Wisdom and I really don't want to do that. I also pay zero tithing.
I'm with SBMom on this one Hagoth. If those are the only two questions you need to nuance, then we've got this! (I'm pretty sure those aren't the only two questions that are an issue.)

Q: Are you a full tithe payer?
A: Yes. (You are retired from the general workforce, and a full-time student. You have no INCREASE. See: D&C whatever section it is that talks about tithing on INCREASE...)

Q: Do you obey the Word of WIsdom.
A: Yes. Just as Joseph Smith did. (Which actually means: Not at all. I don't see an issue with using the dude who proclaims he's just as important as "Jesus" as an example.)


Just repeat the same answers (not necessarily what's in the parentheses) until the "current leaders" give up. (Which could mean you don't get a golden ticket, but there's no lying involved either...)

ETA: I personally don't think I could get through a golden ticket interview at this point just nuancing or lying... I would feel compelled to mention over 100 billion reasons why I "deserve" a golden ticket, along with the many other contradictions in the "recommend questions."
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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2bizE
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by 2bizE » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:19 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:24 am
2bizE wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:15 am
Does your wife understand the arrangement you have had with the old bishop and SP?
Why not try to arrange the same thing with the current leaders? It may be worth the try.
I think it's highly unlikely to work with the current leaders. It might be worth a try, but I would have to outright lie about the Word of Wisdom and I really don't want to do that. I also pay zero tithing.
I find the WoW and tithing to be a bit manipulative. For example, where in the WoW DC 89 does it say not to drink coffee? It says you should drink beer. Are you and the Lord square on your tithing?
~2bizE

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RubinHighlander
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:46 pm

I wonder if you could find a new sacred space to sit together and have a close "spiritual" experience?

DW and I have created our own celestial room in our bathroom in our tub or out in the hot tub. No, seriously! When we get in there together with the Lush bath bombs and all the great skin and hair products and indulge each other as goddess and god, it's amazing! Add some adult beverages, mind altering/expanding plant based substances, lime Perrier, oranges, some mood lighting, etc., it's a wonderful magical experience that has exceeded anything else, beside sitting on a beach in La Jolla. Creating sacred special places in your home, or places out in nature, these things exceed any religious institution's offering.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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moksha
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by moksha » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:57 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:30 am
Of course, then the single sisters, the dirty old men, and the weirdos will become isolated when nobody wants to sit by them.
Just like in the chapel (I am one of those isolates). It is not so bad, really. We have room to stretch out.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Hagoth
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Hagoth » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:14 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:24 pm
Hagoth wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:24 am
I think it's highly unlikely to work with the current leaders. It might be worth a try, but I would have to outright lie about the Word of Wisdom and I really don't want to do that. I also pay zero tithing.
I'm with SBMom on this one Hagoth. If those are the only two questions you need to nuance, then we've got this! (I'm pretty sure those aren't the only two questions that are an issue.)
Well, there are also the questions about the godhead, literal atonement, the restoration, modern prophets, seers and revelators, proper wearing of garments, priesthood meeting attendance, following the teachings of the church in public and private (new question), supporting or promoting teachings contrary to the church (new-ish question). The law of chastity, as defined in the temple, is the only one I don't have seem to have a problem with, but then with leadership roulette you can't even be sure what is "moral."

I just don't feel good about playing that game anymore. It was different when I had leaders who were more or less forcing a recommend on me, but circumstances appear to have changed.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Corsair
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Corsair » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:45 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:55 am
I would love to hear from some of you that have crossed this Rubicon with a spouse who continues to attend and cherish the temple.
I have all empathy for you, Hagoth. That's a tough situation and we all understand how much individualized social control that a qualifying for temple recommend holds over members of the church. I think that LDS leaders are believers, but range from cynical to beatific in their approach to governance. Still they all quietly appreciate the kind of control that temples and temple recommends provide.

My recommend expires in July and I expect to renew it yet again. This will be the fourth bishop and third stake president who will not realize my duplicity. I suppose I am simply in the minority as a person who finds this amusing enough to keep up the facade.

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