Catholics, Mormons, and Stephen Crane

My Organized Response to an LDS Missionary

Chapter 6 - Sealed with Chains

July 2001


XXXII

Two or three angels
Came near to the earth.
They saw a fat church.
Little black streams of people
Came and went in continually.
And the angels were puzzled
To know why the people went thus,
And why they stayed so long within.

Stephen Crane:Black Riders #32

God has commanded us to tithe, although this is often a great source of corruption within man's earthly institutions of religion. This seems particularly true in the case of the Salt Lake City / LDS administrative structure.

Now I cannot state the following section with certainty for, as you know, the LDS church keeps as a dark secret the actual details of temple ritual. I have done a good bit of reading, and what I have read, if true, makes it impossible for me to fathom how Mormon fathers would pass this particular religion onto their sons and daughters.

It is my understanding that certain religious rituals must be performed only behind the locked doors of a Mormon Temple. These would include the ceremony to "seal" a marriage, such that it last beyond the earthly realm and apply to the nether world. It is my understanding that such "sealed" marriages supersede earthly vows and include permission for a man to have multiple wives in the spirit world that is beyond the veil.

Let me diverge and say that bigamy, the physical desire for a man to have sexual relations (earthly or imaginary), in my book, is simply and flat out a sin of the flesh. It is too flattering to a human male, too much like the lion and his pride, the emperor or Prince and his wives and concubines. Man may lust after such relationships, may fantasize about them, but any effort to taste this "forbidden fruit" is simply and flat out a sin. Higamus hogamus, woman's monogamous. Hogamus higamus, man is polygamous.

It is my understanding that the "sealing" of an LDS man to an LDS woman is forever. In the celestial kingdom, that sealing, even if followed up by further "sealing" to other woman, is a perpetual contract to the woman. Earthly promises, "before God and these witnesses", are overruled by the secret ceremonies performed in the insulated inner sanctum of the temple.

Since there is little official publication on such subjects (unlike the Catholics that have literally filled libraries with the details of their dogma), I will have to stand corrected if I learn otherwise. But if it is as I have read, there is no conclusion to reach except that all of this is the invention of man.

But set that aside, and address the theology that a marriage can only be "sealed" in a temple. To not "seal" a marriage would be the deepest failure of a man to his woman, of a husband to his wife. It would promise, so these victims are drummed into believing, the loss of eternal companionship; an overwhelmingly desirous outcome promised to their friends and acquaintances in their social circle, but denied to them. Faithful believers of such mystical exclusions, are assured to go to the greatest human lengths to join the others in their group. Such power over an individual, which can only be wielded through the conscious delineation of imaginary rewards and punishments, serves to torment the most basic and simplistic part of human nature.

We certainly must both agree that this technique is used by all cults to motivate and control its members. However, I believe that the simple use of such heartless pressure is not, as some would have you believe, a simplistic litmus test to decide if a religion is or is not a "cult".

To achieve temple access requires a "temple recommend". This card is provided by an administrative representative that has achieved his position through Darwinian selection. He has had to erode or evolve his own beliefs and behaviors to compromise and eliminate any self-directed personal moral standards and embrace instead church dogma and the preaching of the "living prophet", regardless of his own spiritual common sense. And the institution perpetuates itself as each generation enforces this adherence upon the next, just as it was enforced upon them. And the reward is the card, which can be revoked for any number of offenses, not the least of which are the failure to tithe to the church and any publication or publicizing of personal difference with church dogma and the teachings of the "living prophet". To publicize or to speak out is to lose the "temple recommend". The Catholics regularly excommunicate those that have philosophical disagreements with their "living prophet", in recent days and going all the way back to Galileo. But so do the Mormons. They gloss over this fact in their feel-good TV ads and tell the missionaries not to bring it up.

So quit tithing and publish your disagreement with church teaching and lose your temple recommend. Lose your access to the earthly rituals that provide for your spouse and your children the riches of the afterlife as they have been prophetically revealed by the man who literally speaks for God. A husband and father that believes such mean-spirited fantasy will go to any desperate length to avoid such imaginary harm to his wife and family. What kind of church would play upon man's natural fears and instincts, holding hostage his very wife and children? One based entirely upon corrupt humanity.

Jesus did not tell us to tithe to the LDS church, but only to see that a full share was given to do God's work. Why is it then that if I am to surrender my soul to the beliefs professed by the smiling and scrubbed teenager that rings my bell I must send those funds to Salt Lake City to seal my marriage? I challenge you personally, and all Mormons generally, to donate your 10% to those charities that serve your definition of Gods work. Give to the food kitchen, and the homeless shelter. Give to the orphanage, and the cancer ward. Then turn your receipts over to your stake leader and ask for your temple recommend.

If it is given, continue this tithing practice to the end of your days and let me know, so I can rewrite this paragraph.

But if your temple recommend is refused, let tears swell up in your eyes and read back to your earthly judge the list of imaginary and mystical harms that were delineated by the "living prophet" and brought down upon your head by that follower of, as the TV ads claim,  the "teachings of Jesus". Say to him, "my wife and I..." , "my children...", "my eternal soul...". (I must admit that I don't actually know or care how each of these thoughts end, as I do not know what specifics have been told to you at young men's meetings and seminary by your LDS leaders -- I had priests and nuns threatening MY eternal soul). See his heart filled with compassion, like the all-loving Jesus, while he provides to you your wallet card of salvation and comfort.

If it is given, whistle a happy hymn all the way to the baptismal font, and let me know so I can rewrite this paragraph, too.

Then publish and publicize dogmatic disagreements. When your ward's non-paid clergyman ask for your testimony one Sunday, get up and read this paper (the parts you agree with), and say that God spoke it to you. Tell the congregation that you sat in the woods and read my words here again and again and again until you felt the burning in your bosom.

Then ask for your temple recommend and if you get it let me know, I will rewrite this final section too (as soon as I am roused from my faint).

But we both know that pigs will fly before your behavior would be tolerated the the rigid structure that starts in Salt Lake City and reaches down to each stake and ward. Yet, the actions that I challenge you to take here are no different than the ones taken by Jesus against the Pharisees and by Joseph Smith against all the "corrupt churches" of his day. You will not be in disagreement with our Savior or the man you profess to be chosen, only with the earthly men that administer the earthly institution that you and your fellow missionaries implore me to join.

Like any cult, the list of unimaginable wonders and unimaginable tortures are directly correlated to acceptable behaviors. Where do all those beautiful wards and stakes and temples (and insurance companies and cattle ranches) come from? From the monstrous cash flow that is the direct harvest of mass hysteria and the institutional manipulation of the basest part of man's instinct. Sometimes, a man's conscience should prevent him from judging a tree only by its fruit and require that he judge that tree by its branches, trunk and roots instead. The wages of sin are death, even when its collector spreads part of the payola to starving children in third world economies.

 

Copyright, 2001, All rights reserved

Chapter 5 Return to Main Page Chapter 7

Introduction & Background

7.

I'm Right and They're Wrong

1.

Serene Futility

8.

Under Duress

2.

Damning Hypocrisy

9.

Money in the Bank

3.

Institutional Corruption

10.

The Carrot and the Stick

4.

God's Voice

11.

Heaven Must Be Laughing

5.

"All Religions are Corrupt"

12.

God the Bouncer

6.

Sealed with Chains

13.

Unlock the Temple Doors

Catholic & Mormon Links Page




Originally Written: April 2001
First Upload: July 2001
Last Update: November 4, 2001