Honor Codes and Covenants

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a covenant church. By that I mean that covenants are an important part of LDS faith and culture.  Members make covenants with God when being baptized, when getting married, when being ordained to the priesthood, when taking the sacrament, and when receiving their endowments.

A covenant is an agreement between two (or more) parties that carries with it certain terms, obligations and responsibilities.  To be accepted at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University a potential student must agree to live by a code of honor. This agreement is a covenant of sorts. The student obligates himself to maintain a certain level of moral behavior; if he fails in this responsibility, he will suffer the consequences to which he has previously agreed.

Last week BYU announced that basketball forward Brandon Davies has been suspended from the BYU Cougars for the remainder of the season because of an Honor Code violation. The rules for BYU students, and the consequences for breaking those rules, have been clearly set forth. There are no surprises here, and BYU should be commended for putting its moral principles ahead of winning basketball games.

This story gives me pause, though. I think there’s a parallel within Mormonism that is worth considering.

According to LDS doctrine, each of the three heavenly kingdoms — telestial, terrestrial, and celestial – has a set of laws, or an honor code if you will, that must be obeyed in order for a person to live eternally in that particular kingdom. The LDS scripture Doctrine and Covenants 88:22 explains, for example, “…he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.”

Since “celestial law” is defined as “the whole law” and “keep[ing] all of the commandments,” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, 206-207), this is a pretty tough honor code to maintain.  In fact, according to the Bible, no one is able to do it (Romans 3:9-18; James 2:10).

In one of his books, the LDS Apostle Spencer W. Kimball included “covenantbreakers” in a chapter titled, “These Things Doth the Lord Hate.” He said covenant breaking is a sin that will keep people from eternal life. Mr. Kimball wrote,

“Of those who break covenants and promises made in sacred places and in solemn manner, we can apply the Lord’s words as follows: ‘… a wicked man, who has set at naught the counsels of God, and has broken the most sacred promises which were made before God, and has depended upon his own judgment and boasted in his own wisdom’ (D&C 3:12-13).” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, 57)

So according to Mormonism, one must fully live and obey Celestial Law – the celestial honor code – in order to dwell eternally in the presence of God. But given the fact that no one actually does it – everyone violates the celestial honor code repeatedly – as Aaron Shafovaloff has asked elsewhere, shouldn’t we all be kicked off the team?

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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100 Responses to Honor Codes and Covenants

  1. f_melo says:

    What´s disturbing to me about that is the fact that in one hand God expects people to perfectly keep their part of the covenant and on the other they are never able to do that and that´s why they needed Jesus´ atonement, baptism and the constant renewing of their covenants every time they take the Sacrament.

    If everyone was a covenant keeper, why would they need to renew that covenant every sunday and receive a new forgiveness of sins by taking the sacrament? Even the "prophet" takes the sacrament witnessing to all the world that he is a covenant breaker! Aaron is absolutely right – if that´s the case we were all kicked out of the team a long time ago.

  2. f_melo says:

    I´ve always heard in church that, just like Enoch and his people as taught in the Book of "Moses", if you reached a level of holiness you´d be translated into the celestial kingdom, meaning that your body would be transformed into a celestial body without going through death and you would then be allowed to live with god from that moment on, and could even work as a messenger as needed.

    Now, if the people who reach that "Celestial" level of righteous living are all taken from earth that would mean that all the people left here are the ones who haven´t made it yet, which means that they are not keeping the Celestial law… So, why are mormons following someone below the level o celestial living? Why are they their examples? Shouldn´t Jesus be their sole example of righteousness?

    I know i´m making some assumptions here, but still that´s kind of how the thinking goes when Enoch is discussed, that people who reach a certain level of righteousness are no longer permitted to live on this earth. Another example of that would be the three nephites who were taken from the earth because of the wickedness of the people.

  3. Brian says:

    God in His word has proclaimed that if righteousness could be attained through the law, then Jesus Christ died a meaningless death (Galatians 2). Further, the law always brings condemnation on those who try to obey it (Romans 4). Unbelievers stand condemned already (John 3:36).

    Jesus Christ is the Christian's righteousness.

    Making solemn promises to keep God's law (over and over again) in no way impresses God, anymore than if a friend were to make scheduled, ritualized promises to you, which they always broke. You would not be fooled by your friend. God is not fooled by people who say they will keep His holy law.

    Being found worthy in the sight of men does not make one worthy in the sight of God.

  4. In Genesis chapter 15 we find a few things.

    Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward.

    Gen 15:2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house [is] this Eliezer of Damascus?

    Gen 15:3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

    Gen 15:4 And, behold, the word of the LORD [came] unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
    Gen 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

    Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

    Gen 15:7 And he said unto him, I [am] the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

    Gen 15:8 And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

    Gen 15:9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

    Gen 15:10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

    Gen 15:11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

    Gen 15:12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

    Gen 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

    Gen 15:14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

    Gen 15:15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

    Gen 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites [is] not yet full.

    Gen 15:17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.

    Gen 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

    God made a covenant with Abram, but it was one sided. God put Abram to sleep and walked through the split carcass. The reason why is because God can and will fulfill what He said He would do, Abram would fail and not live up to his promise. Also it says Abram Believed God and it was counted as Righteousness unto him. The Bible says in a few spots that someone believed God and it was counted as Righteousness unto them. The Word of God never says, if we do all these good works they will be counted as Righteousness unto us.

    So Sadly the LDS can continue doing all these good works and they will amount to nothing, and they will fail and never live up to all they are supposed to do. Or they can like us true Followers of Jesus allow Him to be are sacrifice and allow God to walk through and fulfill His promise, and all be simply need to do to be told we are Righteous is to simply believe.

  5. f_melo says:

    Rick, Moses did warn the children of Israel that if they didn´t keep God´s commandments they would lose their promises, and we see that happening over and over again in the Old Testament. Much of the misery that happened to Israel was God punishing them for not being faithful to the Covenant. While God will always keep His word, he also grants forgiveness to those that are poor in spirit, the ones who fully trust on Him through their faith.

    So, that kind of thinking has some Biblical basis, and that´s because mormons think they are the new Israel, that they have a special unique covenant with god, which they don´t, and by doing that they completely reject and despise the Son of God and His Gospel, the same way the Jews did in New Testament times.

  6. enki says:

    I was curious as what the honor code was at BYU. Apparently the school expects its students to follow all of the general values, and some quite specific values of the LDS faith. I don't think one is required to be LDS, but it sounds like an LDS lifestyle is required and promoted however. ____As a matter of personal commitment, faculty, administration, staff, and students of Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University—Hawaii, Brigham Young University—Idaho, and LDS Business College seek to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will ____Be honest __Live a chaste and virtuous life __Obey the law and all campus policies __Use clean language __Respect others __Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse __Participate regularly in church services __Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards __Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code ___ _http://saas.byu.edu/catalog/2010-2011ucat/GeneralInfo/HonorCode.php____Can anyone say that everyone follows all of these rules all of the time? How many other people should be off the team?__

  7. enki says:

    Reading the honor code goes into some very detailed things. It rather makes me angry just how many things a dicated. One could be in violation of school policy for having messy hair, drinking a cup of tea, wearing clothes with colors which are too flashy or bright, extreme. For men, having a beard, and I imagine that goes for women also. Or hair that is too long.

    Some of those things are a bit much, and kind of getting in grey areas, and for non-LDS don't seem to go too far. So, I guess one can't be a Sikh while attending BYU. It doesn't make sense how one could have a cola before a game and be in compliance with honor codes, but not a cup of coffee or tea? Do they do blood or urine tests for coffee or tea? Jolt cola, no problem, but tea, your off the team!

  8. setfreebyJC says:

    Apparently, there was a radio station in town that had a lot to say about the event. They (the radio folks) were getting a lot of angry calls, listeners wondering why they were talking bad about BYU and The church. So they stopped their conversation, and made sort of a public official statement. It was basically this: The Church/BYU is FORCING PEOPLE TO LIE. If a person sins, and confesses it, ought they not to be forgiven, instead of having their dirty laundry shown to all by their religion/school, and punished? How does that kind of thing not convince the rest of the team to just KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT about anything they are doing wrong?

    But that IS Mormonism, isn't it? They are a public-image church. Everyone is supposed to look good, and make the Church look good by their appearance and their lack of sin. So they hide what has happened, what they've done, and put on a good face, and take anti-depressants…

  9. setfreebyJC says:

    micro-management. when there is no real truth solution, cover it up with many, many, many rules. where lies abound and must be hidden, keep the people busy checking off the boxes

  10. falcon says:

    Ah yes, one of my favorite topics. Mormons and sin. I know this young man, one of the very few Mormons I actually know, he served his mission for the Mormon church and came back looking like he hadn't eaten a decent meal in two years. I asked him why one of those cute little Mormon girls hadn't snatched him up yet. He says to me, "I've dated some Mormon girls but all they want to do is………………" Since he was a super straight arrow, I was shocked at the bluntness of his words. He finally did marry a Mormon girl who appeared to me to have been raised in a convent of some sort.
    Anyway, do you all remember the BYU star quarterback Jim McMahon? Well despite his record setting performance at BYU and his Superbowl victory with the Chicago Bears, Jim McMahon has never been inducted into BYU's football/sports hall of fame. His dad is not happy about it. Jim wasn't a Mormon, in fact he was raised Catholic. He recently gave an interview about BYU's honor code. Here's some tid bits.
    *"it was a strange, strange place to go to school."
    *McMahon said he was asked to leave BYU on the day after his final bowl game with the team. "They said they had just been informed that I was doing some things," he said. "I said, Look, I've been here five years, man. You follow me around, you stake out my apartment. You don't know what I'm doing? C'mon. They know what's going on there."
    *"When you go to college, you're supposed to have some fun, and that's not the place to have fun."
    *"I saw a lot of hypocrisy when I was there and that's what turned me off about it. Guys in administraation, higher-ups, sneaking off for coffee, these kinds of things that are supposedly illegal, too, yet some people get away with it and some don't."
    The honor code?
    *"They explain it to you. They say: 'Oh, we have this honor code. People will probably talk to you about the religion and this and that.' They said, 'All you have to do is tell them I'm not interested.' But I have to say I'm not interested for five years before I get out. It was every day. You get hounded by it."
    *"You got to do a lot of things in private, but you can definitely have fun there if you want."
    So this BB player is the only one at BYU having sex outside of marriage. Ya right!

  11. Violet says:

    Maybe they could wear a scarlet letter. Shame. That always works.

  12. Violet says:

    That is the far end of the spectrum. The other end are honor killings. Fathers 'taking care of the problem' which brings shame to their families. Its not about the cola. Its about control. Its about shaming the family members of the student, the friends. Its a ripple-effect. We are not an island. This kid was a sweet, kind, probably would not harm a fly. Yet, wherever he goes, for the rest of his life. If someone doesn't recognize his face, they will remember his name. He is now famous, for being infamous. Tragedy for him. Kids (the one at Rutger) have jumped off bridges and they did not have the weight of the whole school on their shoulders. (Or a nation that now knows this kid's private life.) This really is a big deal. And I don't think BYU looks like a hero.

  13. Sarah says:

    The coffee & tea / caffeine thing in both the Honor Code and the greater Mormon Word of Wisdom literally makes no sense. Talk to any (or most) Mormons, and they'll say they can't have caffeine. So my next question is, do you eat chocolate? Drink hot chocolate? Drink Coke or Dr. Pepper? The response is usually (but not always, I'd imagine) a yes. Then I say, but that has caffeine in it. And the response I got once was "that doesn't count here." So my next question is, hey, you drink tea, right? And the response was, only "herbal" tea. And I say but it's tea. And the response was, "but there's no caffeine" so then, you guessed it, my next question is, but you drink Dr. Pepper/Coke/etc. and I get: "it's different." Blink blink.

  14. falcon says:

    Mormonism is a religion that, after you study it for a while, gives the distinct impression that it doesn’t know if it’s on foot or horse back. I think these leaders and prophets are either flakey or they enjoy all of the confusion. It has a sort of odd appeal to the Mormon people. Let’s face it, they have to keep a lot of balls in the air with having to defend Joseph Smith’s behavior, revelations and cut and paste scripture.
    So Joseph Smith can “marry” at least thirty three women and be in good standing in the Mormon church, but this BB player gets the boot for having sex with one woman. There’s kind of a busy body quality about Mormonism. It’s all about appearances, “spying”, and suppression of urges. I was catching a connecting flight out of Salt Lake City about a year ago and I heard a guy sitting in front of me say that Utah has the highest incidence of “hits’ on pornographic websites. I don’t know if that’s an urban legend or if there’s some truth to it.
    Let’s face it, people sin. Church people sin, unchurched people sin. As Christians we know we aren’t in favor of debauchery and licentiousness. I’ve learned that legalism may force some folks into conforming to a group behavioral norm. However the sinner in that type of system generally just goes underground with their sin.
    Coming to Christ in faith and drawing closer to Him is the only way I know that a person can experience a heart transplant. We seek to walk in the light because we want to please Him, not because he’s standing over us with a club. These poor Mormons. They don’t know who God is. They’ve substituted Him with what amounts to a dumb idol in the shape of a sinful man who supposedly over came sin and rose up to be a deity. So Mormons have this kind of self-improvement society where by people strive to reach sinless perfection. The more they try the worse it gets. It’s simply an impossible task they are attempting. This man-god of their’s is supposedly rooting them on but since he doesn’t exist they’re just hanging out there on their own with no real hope.

  15. F_MELO, Your correct about the Jews needing to obey Gods laws, But here's the thing. That was to the Jews only. You will not read any place in the Bible where we as gentiles are commanded to keep Gods commands and if we dont we will be punished. The Jews were set apart so that God would use them as an example to all man kind. They would be set apart and blessed if they obeyed, and it would be that we gentiles would see this and say, We want that God not the gods we serve. But The Jews totally screwed that up, They started making up like the Mormons, all these rules and regulations. They got to the point that if you spit, and your spit hit the ground and moved dirt you were considered plowing. The Disciples were rebuked by the religious leaders for taking grains of wheat and eating them on the sabbath. Since you had to rub the wheat in your hands to remove the husks that was considered threshing of wheat.

    To this day over in Israel, they have elevators that are set up to automatically go one floor at a time on the sabbath day, since to push a button to a different floor would be working. So they take these and rules and started adding to them and putting burdens upon men, but the LDS do this also.

  16. RalphNWatts says:

    The 'caffeine' is a fallacy. The official doctrine on the WoW is tea and coffee, and nothing else. Why – we are not actually told, but many do think and teach that its the caffeine found in them. But as pointed out, there are many other things that have caffeine that we are allowed to eat/drink.

    On my mission I was talking to a lady (non-LDS) who worked as a customs officer at the airport. She read an article in a journal once about coffee which stated that if it was discovered today, it would not have FDA approval because of all the different chemicals found in it. So there is a lot more than just caffeine in coffee. And from what I have learned in my biology lectures, coffee (more especially many of the alkaliods in it) are neurotoxic. As far as tea goes, there is very little I have found that goes against it's use in medical research – so I guess at the moment its just coffee that is 'bad' for us from a world perspective.

  17. Sarah says:

    I agree that coffee isn't the most healthy thing to drink in excess (neither are potato chips, excessive sweets, McDonald's hamburgers every day, etc.). Also, on a personal level, caffeine in any form makes me ill, so I tend to avoid it because I don't like being sick.

    However, in the book of Leviticus there were all these laws about what the Jewish people can and can't eat. When Jesus came along, he was asked about unclean food. He replied: (Mark 7: 18-19) And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

    My greater point, really, was Mormonism's inconsistency. The Word of Wisdom in the D&C specifically says "no hot drinks" which covers more than just coffee and tea and doesn't name them individually. Mormon.org specifically says "no coffee or tea" but gives no specification as to it being caffeine that's the problem. So there's an inconsistency in what is being taught. And if something as off-sided as this is inconsistent with its teaching, what else is inconsistent? After all, the Word of Wisdom is being taught as a commandment from God, and in order to enter into the celestial kingdom, Mormons are taught to obey ALL commandments. Shouldn't it, then, be incredibly important what, precisely, the Word of Wisdom supposedly forbid?

    Also, going back to inconsistencies, Joseph Smith loved his alcohol. He also taught, in the beginning years of Mormonism, that the sacrament was to be administered using wine. In fact, it was necessary. (A point which I agree with, as Jesus said "fruit of the vine" and therefore communion should be taken with either wine or grape juice and to do so otherwise is a direct disobeyment of a command of Jesus. And isn't the point of Mormonism to obey ALL of Jesus's commands?) It wasn't until another church member, someone who adhered to Temperance, came along and challenged the idea of alcohol in Joseph's mind that Joseph said, oh wait, actually God said no alcohol. (Don't get me wrong, as I mentioned above, anything in excess is bad. But a glass of wine every so often, medically speaking, is actually very good for you.)

    Furthermore, Jesus's first miracle was turning water into wine. If it was a sin, if it was one of Jesus's commandments not to drink wine, why, oh why, would he have made it his first miracle? Just something to think about…

  18. enki says:

    Ralph, Anytime you roast things at high temp, it's going to create weird chemicals, roasted meat, chocolate, coffee, and probably postum. Coffee may have specific toxins regardless of being roasted or not, but that could be a problem with other things. Chocolate has toxins, and many raw food gurus think nobody should be consuming chocolate in any form for ideal health. The other part of this equation is very confusing. One cannot be excluded from the temple for drinking de-caf coffee, but it's believed to go against the spirit of the WOW. So this elusive sense of following the wow is full of loop holes and contradictions. I believe the bottom line is that fundamentally the wow has little to do with health. One could follow the bare minimal of wow, and still have horrific health problems. Processes sugar, hydrogenated oils, roasted meats,white flour, artificial sweeteners etc…are not banned.

  19. f_melo says:

    "Your correct about the Jews needing to obey Gods laws, But here's the thing. That was to the Jews only

    Agreed 100%!

  20. Linda says:

    So just how did his indiscretion become known?


  21. enki says:

    Here is a guy who wouldn't meet BYU standards. http://sites.google.com/site/picknroll62/church
    The long hair, beard, nonconforming clothes.

  22. enki says:

    Violet, yes, that's right, its control, authority. But I don't remember his name or what he looks like, so at least I won't hold anything against him. The guy that jumped off the bridge, that was too bad, I really feel a loss. If it wasn't a big deal, it wouldn't have been a big deal. But, It hasn't happened to me, so I don't know what that felt like. Anything so private filmed and distributed without permission is such a violation, must have been crushing.

  23. enki says:

    Interesting commentary about the Jewish people, and the Jewish god. There is a theory that christianity was made up to control the gentiles and worship the jews as represented by 'jesus'(may his name be blotted out).(who is this actually refering to?) The numerous rules wer to set up a subliminal message of superiority of the jews over gentiles.

    There is some confusion about what is meant by 'work', and its defined in the torah. At times it can be quite technical. Like turning on a light is activation of of 'fire', measuring, writing are also prohibited. Earning money on the sabbath is ok actually, as long as it doesn't violate the other rules. Driving a car on the sabbath is a violation. (activation of fire, and moving an object over a certain weight from the private sector to the public sector) interesting stuff.

  24. enki says:

    But the sabbath itself was intended to give the jewish people many holidays, this was associated with royalty and wealth in ancient times. Most pagan religions only had about monthly holidays at most. So, is it raising up a people or demonstrating superiority? Another issue is that the sabbath day was on SATURN"S day. Interesting choice for a sabbath if you know anything about pagan religions. It represented a stopping, a retrograde motion, and generally bad things.

  25. f_melo says:

    "Another issue is that the sabbath day was on SATURN"S day. Interesting choice for a sabbath if you know anything about pagan religions. It represented a stopping, a retrograde motion, and generally bad things.

    Does that mean that it is bad for me to celebrate my birthday on a saturday, i mean, because, of course, paganism is the basis for everything i do. Woe unto me if i ignore the meaning pagans gave to days thousands of years before i was born. Woe unto God for doing anything in any day already assigned a meaning to by a pagan god.

    "So, is it raising up a people or demonstrating superiority?"

    Superiority, how? God chose Israel not because they were superior in any way, but because of His Grace. He saw the faith Abraham had in Him and chose Him and His posterity to be the scarlet thread through which His son would be born and redeem the entire human race. That doesn´t cause you to feel superior, that causes humility. Yet understandably men will use that to set themselves above others, but that´s not the reason why God chose Israel in any way.

  26. f_melo says:

    "There is a theory that christianity was made up to control the gentiles and worship the jews

    That theory isn´t founded on solid history. Some people will cling to any half-baked ideas in order to diminish the true significance and origins of Christianity.

    " The numerous rules wer to set up a subliminal message of superiority of the jews over gentiles."

    Someone forgot to tell the authors of the Gospels that. :P, you might recall how Jesus called the Pharisees, Scribes and Saducees bad names. If that was the real intention behind Christianity they should first have rejected the Old Testament which even some Jewish scholars say it could be considered an anti-semitic book for how much it criticizes and exposes the Jews in a bad light. They should have exalted the then current traditions and Jesus and His disciples would have actually been friends with the current leadership.

    That "theory" is terrible scholarship, nothing worthy of wasting your time with.

    "Earning money on the sabbath is ok actually, as long as it doesn't violate the other rules. Driving a car on the sabbath is a violation. (activation of fire, and moving an object over a certain weight from the private sector to the public sector) interesting stuff."

    It is indeed. Interesting also how Jesus set them straight saying that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. The sabbath was a day set apart for people to rest, the Rabbis didn´t have to take it as far as they had.

  27. f_melo says:

    " One could follow the bare minimal of wow, and still have horrific health problems.

    Neal A. Maxwell is a recent example, he died with leukemia. If the Word of Wisdom was what it says it is, that should not have happened. I agree with you, Enki, if the WoW was about health it had to have gone through major changes. Mormons shouldn´t just be forbidden to drink coffee, but they also should be forbidden to eat in any fast food restaurants. Other chemicals shouldn´t be allowed as well. Transgenics would be an absolute no, no. Those regulations would end up almost requiring of them to have their own little farm – that´s how bad food is these days.

    Also why aren´t they considered unworthy for eating corn – D&C 89:16-17 "All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain."

    Interesting that the focus in the temple interviews are always on the don´ts, and never on the dos. I mean, why aren´t they considered unworthy for not eating healthy instead of just for drinking coffee, tea, etc.? Why many of them aren´t considered unworthy for not taking care of their bodies and being obese, risking having a heart attack and many other complications? It makes no sense whatsoever.

  28. f_melo says:

    The Sabbath also wasn´t a day of worship. It was purely a day of rest. You could worship on that day if you wanted to, but nobody is justified in saying that today it is mandatory that people should worship God on the Sabbath which now happens to be on Sunday.

  29. enki says:

    F Melo,
    Its because temple interview questions are meant to find out clear cut yes or no answers. I am assuming a meaningful yes or no answer. What it means to take of ones body isn't so clear cut. Certainly its easier…note I didn't say better, but its easier to focus on some questions with absolute answers. Ones which indicate complaince or not.

    Thats too bad about Neal A. Maxwell. Leukemia is a dreadful condition, but I suppose any diseas is not pleasant by defintion. I'm not so sure that leukemia has immediate association with dietary habits. I haven't studied it, but I just have a feeling its not like some other conditions like diabetes or hypertention which often has a dietary associations.

  30. enki says:

    Corn?what about oats, rye? I don't quite understand the passage, it actually doesn't sound biologically correct either. From what I understand oxen really do the best on grass, like the leaves and stems, not the seeds. One only feeds them grain to make them gain weight for human tastes, not necessarily for the health of the animal. The other statement about wheat is questionable. Its not ideal food necessarily for everyone. Celiacs and krones disease are horrible, and gluten is implicated in both. I am not sure what a Celiac would do for sacrament, as even a small little bite of bread could bring on a reaction.

  31. Enki,
    What I said was not merely interesting commentary. Here's the problem I notice with both Christians and non-Christians, which include Atheists and cult members. People either do not read the OT, They make excuses as to why, or they read it but read it in a I glanced over it type of way.

    Boiled down it's like this, God created Adam and Eve, after they were kicked out of the garden and up until Abram people could still talk to God, just not face to face like in the garden. So their was merely the Human race, No Jews, no Gentiles. Then God took a pagan worshiping guy and his wife, Abram and Sara, and told them He would make them a great nation and made him the father of this great nation, The Jews. Now we have Jews and non-Jews, The Non-Jews are known as Gentiles.

    Now the Jews were told to follow certain laws that God gave, If they followed these laws they would be blessed, If they did not and still did as they choose they would be cursed. We find all of this information in the OT. Now the gentiles could convert over to being a Jew if they wanted to. Their are very detailed things that took place in the Jewish temples and who could enter and not enter. Gentiles even ones who converted could not enter. Now one problem we have is way to many Christians try and apply these laws and rules to us.

    The 10 commandments for example were given to the Jews to follow, you will never see in the OT God saying these 10 commandments are for everyone, or they are for the Gentiles also. Now when people here me say this they misunderstand me and freak out, They think I am saying that we as Believers now adays are not to obey these rules and they get mad.

    Here's another problem, Jesus did not say to us gentiles Follow these 10 commandments as they were written. He (Jesus) Summed it all up for us in two simple commands. 1. Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

    Now I can try and keep all the individual laws, not just the 10 commandments, but every law given to the Jews in the OT, Or I can do as Jesus said and only follow those two laws. Now if I really follow only those two laws then I will by default follow all the rest in the sense that, If I love God and love my neighbor I wont cheat on my wife and try taking my neighbors wife. Or Lie to my wife and neighbor, or try stealing from them, Etc.

    Also Jesus was accused of breaking the law by healing on the sabbath. What did Jesus say? He said the sabbath was for man, not man for the sabbath. So the Jews and even cults like the LDS add all these rules to Gods way and make it impossible for us to ever live up to it.

  32. enki says:

    F melo, I can see how it could be critical of the Pharisees, and scribes etc. But the NT is not in and of itself antisemitic. Didn't at least one NT character say he upheld 'the law'?(the torah) The character of jesus is very law (torah)abiding. Circumsized, baptized, observing the passover, if you examine the record carefully it makes a very clear identification that Jesus was a jew. Its not antisemitic.

  33. enki says:

    F melo,
    They were chosen to be a peculiar people chosen above all the nations of the earth. The holiness code was part of that, and that included the sabbath day. It sounded like a very subtle sort of arrogance. Its like wearing a crown, or for mormons wearing attire that looks like rich business men. For Sikhs wearing a turban, all things associated with wealth, royality.

  34. enki said

    But the sabbath itself was intended to give the jewish people many holidays, this was associated with royalty and wealth in ancient times.

    Really? Can you back this up from the Bible? Bet you cannot, I say that because I know for a fact this is not taught in scripture.

  35. Ralph, I love it when LDS try and justify the WOW, It simply show the hypocrisy in what you believe.

    The WOW as pointed out does not say Coffee and tea, You guys define it that way while leaving room to drink the hot drinks you want. Also the vast majority of LDS follow the no coffee and tea to the letter while ignoring the rest, Like eating meat sparingly or the use of tobacco etc.

    Also if you read Acts, God told Peter He made all things clean, so know we can eat/ drink what we want. The scriptures also tell us not to judge someone based upon what they eat or drink, but the WoW allows you to judge me by what I eat or Drink. This shows LDS do not know scripture.

    Add to that, many LDS who post on Fair LDS admit they Drink Beer, Wine, Coffee and Tea. Yet they lie when they go for a temple recommend. Now before you say, it's people saying they are LDS but not real LDS, These are people with 1,000 plus posts who defend Mormonism tooth and nail and so that tells me they are Real LDS, But they just cannot live up to the letter of the law and bondage they are put under.

  36. falcon says:

    I believe he turned himself in. If so, I'm wondering how that came about. Did he have a guilty conscience, was there some tongue wagging going on at the gossip mill at BYU, did the young lady "confess" to someone. It's all speculation I suppose.
    I was discussing this with the college class I teach because we were covering a unit on moral development. What was interesting is that I don't think any of the students knew what BYU was or what religion it was affiliated with. I kept the discussion off of the religion and mainly on the topic of moral development and consequences. I came out in favor of restoration and dealing with the publicity and privacy of the young man and woman involved.
    I'm guessing that there are a lot of Mormons puffing out their chests with feelings of moral superiority and how Mormons are all that because they have higher standards than everyone else blah, blah, blah. It would have taken a lot more courage and compassion to deal with this privately allowing some degree of dignity for the couple involved.

  37. falcon says:

    If I'm not mistaken there was a story about a woman caught in adultery and the law being death by stoning. Jesus said, what?
    He then finished off the encounter with the woman by saying, "Where are those who condemn you………..go and sin no more."
    I think Jesus had the right approach. Since He is God, I think we should probably pay attention to Him.

  38. Enki said

    Another issue is that the sabbath day was on SATURN"S day. Interesting choice for a sabbath if you know anything about pagan religions.

    First off, How do you know that God did not have the sabbath and then the pagan religions created their pagan holidays to revolve around Saturday? I mean if your a young earth creationist then that means God formed the Nation of Israel roughly 4,000 years ago or so, Maybe as long as 5,000 years ago. The point is, I dont know from History if these false pagan religions held their ceremony's on Saturdays before God made the sabbath or after. Either way I could point out that lots of Groups commit sin and do evil deeds Every day of the week, Does this mean we as Christians are doomed because evil is committed every day of the week?

  39. f_melo says:

    I´m not saying Jesus was anti-semitic at all. I mentioned that because they would have to erase the Old Testament in which God exposes Israels wickedness, and that shouldn´t be allowed by people who are claiming that the Jews are a superior race as you suggested.

  40. f_melo says:

    You only think that´s arrogant because you don´t understand what that was all about. I thought i clarified what was going on when God specifically chose Abraham, in a previous comment. In any way God ever said they were superior than anyone else. God decided to set them apart to be the lineage of the Messiah and to be an example and witnesses of the only true God. Read Jonah´s story again, when God sent him to preach repentance to a heathen nation.

  41. wyomingwilly says:

    Sarah, I think you did a good job of showing how ridiculous Ralph's comment really is. Coffee may
    not be the most healthy thing we drink but to asign such an egregious penalty to it that Mormon
    prophets do, is so silly. Trans fats in candy, pastries etc have destroyed more lives than tea or coffee
    ever have or ever will . We're supposed to use common sense when it comes to our diets. [ I enjoy
    a good cup of coffee in the morning– even make camp fire coffee outside on cold mornings ]
    What Mormon leaders have taught about their Word of Wisdom, when taken all together, is a good
    example of the inconsistency you mentioned, and it is ample indication that these men are not the
    authentic spiritual guides that they claim to be. LDS should'nt fear dismissing them from their lives.

  42. wyomingwilly says:

    f-melo, you posed some very valid questions concerning the "worthiness" of many Mormons,
    indeed much of it does'nt make much sense. You mention the Temple "interview". I
    see where in the 1960's this was called an "interrogation" ! Baptist preacher John L. Smith
    lived in Utah for many years, befriended many LDS . He wrote a little book of his research
    on the Mormon Temple. He even was able to obtain a Temple recommend from a Mormon,
    he reproduced on page 30 of his book." We have reproduced the instructions found on the
    inside of the pad and a copy of the current temple recommend." These instructions were to
    Bishops and Stake Presidents, signed by the First Presidency. : " ……therefore in your careful
    INTERROGATION of the applicant, you will please keep in mind the following standards
    and principles of the Church…."

  43. Verne Brown says:

    Falcon – you noted that smith had to marry 30+ wives and forgot that the individual who the university is named after had something like, what 60+ wives?

  44. f_melo says:

    WW, that inconsistency is also demonstrated by the fact that it never crosses their mind the absurd that is that someone will be denied salvation because that person drank a cup of coffee here, a cup of wine there, etc.

  45. enki says:

    F Melo,
    In your earlier post you said that the BOOK (NT) might be considered antisemetic. For not only the words of jesus, but also for words spoken and written by the authors of the gospels. The term antisemetism as far as I knew not only covered race, but also jewish culture and religion. So thank you for the clarification. its only for their misunderstanding or perhaps intentional distortions of the O.T.?

  46. enki says:

    There is a great book on the topic which reveals the seven gods in the O.T. Its called the "Secret History of the World". It goes into depth on how almost all ancient cultures had a belief in these 7 gods. How the O.T. references them is very subtle. However its NOT the main topic of the book, but its there.

    I'm not a young earth creationist, I don't believe that the earth is only 5,000 years old.

  47. enki says:

    This is where I got that idea, its from the webpage Judaism 101. Here are s few commentaries on the subject.

    "The weekly day of rest has no parallel in any other ancient civilization. In ancient times, leisure was for the wealthy and the ruling classes only, never for the serving or laboring classes. In addition, the very idea of rest each week was unimaginable. The Greeks thought Jews were lazy because we insisted on having a "holiday" every seventh day."

    "What does the Exodus have to do with resting on the seventh day? It's all about freedom. As I said before, in ancient times, leisure was confined to certain classes; slaves did not get days off. Thus, by resting on Shabbat, we are reminded that we are free. But in a more general sense, Shabbat frees us from our weekday concerns, from our deadlines and schedules and commitments. During the week, we are slaves to our jobs, to our creditors, to our need to provide for ourselves; on Shabbat, we are freed from these concerns, much as our ancestors were freed from slavery in Egypt." http://www.jewfaq.org/shabbat.htm

  48. Sarah says:

    What I find interesting about the WOW is something you brought up — that if the Word of Wisdom is what it says it is, people would be healthier for following it. Because the wording in the D&C basically says (I'm paraphrasing) that God says this and will bless you with health if you follow it. So then why do I know Mormons with stomach and health and other problems? If they're following WOW and it was from God, shouldn't they not have health problems?

  49. Sarah says:

    LOL nice.

    Not only that, but if the Mormons claim restored Christianity, that they should return to the Jewish roots or tradition, Jewish law in the OT says some pretty completely opposite rules regarding appearance.

  50. wyomingwilly says:

    f-melo, you're right and it's so sad that decent people can be so focused on following a prophet
    that they miss the indicators that reveal the prophet to be only teaching guesses, but which he declares
    to be "revealed truth" from God. This should cause LDS to step back and ask some very probing
    questions about the reliability of their prophets. Concerning the sin of drinking a cup of coffee possibly
    keeping a Mormon from eternal life in God's presence, why is it that leaders of autocratic religions
    always seem to asign the greatest penalty to minor infractions ? My wife was in a religion that had a
    prophet at the top, it was against God's law to vote , join the military, salute the flag. Each of these could
    get you kicked out of "Jehovah's Organization" and thus face God's wrath. Minor infractions got major
    penalties ! This does'nt sound like how the N.T. church Jesus started is to be directed. ww

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