On losing your temple recommend

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Finallyfree
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:30 am
Location: Phoenix

Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Finallyfree » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:23 pm

I'm new, and I posted in the introduction forum, but I wanted to comment on TR issue. The beginning of my "coming out" to family and friends was when I got called in because it was time to renew my temple recommend. I am the type of person that likes to face things head on, and I am not afraid to say what I think and believe, I know that I am on good terms with God and that's all that really matters to me these days.

I think it came as a shocker to the bishop as he seemed to think it was going to be just a routine ask the question and fill out the recommend type thing. He opened the book as he started talking and I think he was going to start filling in the recommend as we talked, or rather as I answered. I stopped him and said "Don't fill that out just yet because I don't think I will be leaving here with one of those."

He went pale and I think he expected a confession of some grievous addiction to porn or an affair, or something. I just told him that I really didn't care to have one. I am an avid outdoors-man and I have felt closer to God climbing the mountains alone than I have ever felt in the temple...ever. I told him that it did not make sense to me to have the beautiful world that God apparently created for us, and yet to be closest to him, go inside a huge building with no windows and cut myself off from the world that I really enjoy. I don't see the "world" as this threatening place that I need to get away from, I really enjoy my surroundings. My two favorite cities in the world are NYC and Rome, and if you've ever been to either you know that they are non-stop motion and energy. I like that feeling of energy and vibrancy from seeing the world I live in. If I need peace and solitude, I head to the mountains for a weekend in the wilderness completely alone. The temple just makes zero sense to me and does nothing for me but make me feel claustrophobic and agitated.

It was the weirdest thing, but it felt like he admired my guts to speak honestly, and almost seemed a bit jealous that I had decided not to play the game anymore, and had released myself from feeling pressure to go to the temple a thousand times a week. I have this feeling that a lot of people don't really enjoy the vice-like pressure to attend the temple, but really don't know how to deal with the issue, so they just play along.

I told him that I felt like I was totally worthy to have a TR (which was true at the time, but not anymore), but I just really didn't feel the need to have one. That was a shocker for him to hear, I don't know if he had ever had anyone tell him that they just didn't want one. I guess I just came to the realization that if heaven, and the celestial kingdom, or whatever is there after death was full of the people that go to the temple every day, then I think I would pass. The people I know that I enjoy being with, and that I feel genuine love with are people that according to church doctrine are going to hell. I think I would rather hang out in hell with them, than be in the kingdom in misery with a bunch a righteous snobs. Spending the rest of eternity with the kind people that are obsessed with temple attendance would be actual hell for me.

If that means my wife leaves me, or divorces me, and my family shuns me, I look forward to the day when they have to explain how harshly they judged me for just trying to have person integrity and be honest with myself. Somehow I don't think even Mormon god would approve of religious disagreement as a valid reason to rip a family apart. Free agency is either real or it's not, and since I actually declined a temple recommend on purpose, and am still alive to tell about it, I guess it's real and I can live this life in the way dictated by my own conscience.

This has brought some very, very difficult moments in my marriage, but it has been worth it to be open and honest about what I think and feel. I asked my wife when she accused me of jeopardizing my families eternal salvation:

"Did you marry me, the man standing right here, or did you marry the church? I thought you loved me as a person, not just my ability to get you into the celestial kingdom by temple marriage and covenants etc." I went on to say:

"You know I would lay down my life in half a second for my kids and you, and that I bust my ass every day to give you all the best opportunities in this life. That is the measure of a father, of a husband. Not a piece of paper in my wallet that a could actually have if was willing to betray my own soul and what I know is right!"

She didn't really have a response to this and things have been better since that "discussion" and I think she finally sees me as an individual man, and not just as a "priesthood holder."

I would challenge you to be open all the way, and let the consequences come if they must. The sense of personal integrity is more powerful than anything the church can throw at you. When you know you are true to yourself, there's nothing they can do.

I am sorry if I went on too much here, I'm new at sharing these things, and it just came pouring out.

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FiveFingerMnemonic
Posts: 1479
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:50 pm
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Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:05 pm

Finallyfree wrote:I'm new, and I posted in the introduction forum, but I wanted to comment on TR issue. The beginning of my "coming out" to family and friends was when I got called in because it was time to renew my temple recommend. I am the type of person that likes to face things head on, and I am not afraid to say what I think and believe, I know that I am on good terms with God and that's all that really matters to me these days.

I think it came as a shocker to the bishop as he seemed to think it was going to be just a routine ask the question and fill out the recommend type thing. He opened the book as he started talking and I think he was going to start filling in the recommend as we talked, or rather as I answered. I stopped him and said "Don't fill that out just yet because I don't think I will be leaving here with one of those."

He went pale and I think he expected a confession of some grievous addiction to porn or an affair, or something. I just told him that I really didn't care to have one. I am an avid outdoors-man and I have felt closer to God climbing the mountains alone than I have ever felt in the temple...ever. I told him that it did not make sense to me to have the beautiful world that God apparently created for us, and yet to be closest to him, go inside a huge building with no windows and cut myself off from the world that I really enjoy. I don't see the "world" as this threatening place that I need to get away from, I really enjoy my surroundings. My two favorite cities in the world are NYC and Rome, and if you've ever been to either you know that they are non-stop motion and energy. I like that feeling of energy and vibrancy from seeing the world I live in. If I need peace and solitude, I head to the mountains for a weekend in the wilderness completely alone. The temple just makes zero sense to me and does nothing for me but make me feel claustrophobic and agitated.

It was the weirdest thing, but it felt like he admired my guts to speak honestly, and almost seemed a bit jealous that I had decided not to play the game anymore, and had released myself from feeling pressure to go to the temple a thousand times a week. I have this feeling that a lot of people don't really enjoy the vice-like pressure to attend the temple, but really don't know how to deal with the issue, so they just play along.

I told him that I felt like I was totally worthy to have a TR (which was true at the time, but not anymore), but I just really didn't feel the need to have one. That was a shocker for him to hear, I don't know if he had ever had anyone tell him that they just didn't want one. I guess I just came to the realization that if heaven, and the celestial kingdom, or whatever is there after death was full of the people that go to the temple every day, then I think I would pass. The people I know that I enjoy being with, and that I feel genuine love with are people that according to church doctrine are going to hell. I think I would rather hang out in hell with them, than be in the kingdom in misery with a bunch a righteous snobs. Spending the rest of eternity with the kind people that are obsessed with temple attendance would be actual hell for me.

If that means my wife leaves me, or divorces me, and my family shuns me, I look forward to the day when they have to explain how harshly they judged me for just trying to have person integrity and be honest with myself. Somehow I don't think even Mormon god would approve of religious disagreement as a valid reason to rip a family apart. Free agency is either real or it's not, and since I actually declined a temple recommend on purpose, and am still alive to tell about it, I guess it's real and I can live this life in the way dictated by my own conscience.

This has brought some very, very difficult moments in my marriage, but it has been worth it to be open and honest about what I think and feel. I asked my wife when she accused me of jeopardizing my families eternal salvation:

"Did you marry me, the man standing right here, or did you marry the church? I thought you loved me as a person, not just my ability to get you into the celestial kingdom by temple marriage and covenants etc." I went on to say:

"You know I would lay down my life in half a second for my kids and you, and that I bust my ass every day to give you all the best opportunities in this life. That is the measure of a father, of a husband. Not a piece of paper in my wallet that a could actually have if was willing to betray my own soul and what I know is right!"

She didn't really have a response to this and things have been better since that "discussion" and I think she finally sees me as an individual man, and not just as a "priesthood holder."

I would challenge you to be open all the way, and let the consequences come if they must. The sense of personal integrity is more powerful than anything the church can throw at you. When you know you are true to yourself, there's nothing they can do.

I am sorry if I went on too much here, I'm new at sharing these things, and it just came pouring out.
Right on!Image

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Hagoth
Posts: 4655
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: On losing your temple recommend

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:10 am

Finallyfree wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:23 pm
I just told him that I really didn't care to have one. I am an avid outdoors-man and I have felt closer to God climbing the mountains alone than I have ever felt in the temple...ever.
This really gets people's hackles up. They HATE the idea that you think you are getting free spirituality without paying enough in dollars, sacrificed time, and boredom! They conclude that it is counterfeit spirituality.
Finallyfree wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:23 pm
I would challenge you to be open all the way, and let the consequences come if they must. The sense of personal integrity is more powerful than anything the church can throw at you. When you know you are true to yourself, there's nothing they can do.

I am sorry if I went on too much here, I'm new at sharing these things, and it just came pouring out.
This is where I finally landed too. It is interesting when believing members are willing to help a nonbeliever bend the truth to a degree that the nonbeliever is not comfortable with.

I appreciate your thoughts, FinallyFree.
“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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