The Larry King Rule

In Mormondom, there’s doctrine and there’s speculation. Sometimes there isn’t an obvious difference between the two, which is why I have what I call the “Larry King Rule.” This rule imagines what President Hinckley would say about a given doctrine if he were being quizzed by Larry King (as he occasionally is). So, in relation to the threads both here and at T&S that have discussed “celestial sex,” I suggest we create the following imaginary conversation:

Larry King: “President Hinckley, do Mormons believe that they will engage in “celestial sex” in heaven and give birth to millions of spirit children with which to populate other worlds?”

President Hinckley: “…………….”

Fill in the blank. If you are confident how President Hinckley would reply, you have your answer as to whether something is doctrine or speculation.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Larry King Rule. Works every time.

Comments

  1. Ronan- The T&S link is incorrect. The link is for a UK Chartity Comission, detailing the Church’s financials in the UK.

  2. Confident? No. But I’ll propose a response anyway. “Well, Larry, I’m not sure that we teach that. I know that some of our members like to speculate about ideas like that, but we really don’t have a lot of information about the next life or what it will mean to have spirit children. What we do know is that, if our Heavenly Father wanted us to have that information, he would have given us a specific revelation on the subject.”

  3. “There is much of danger in that question Larry….”

  4. Hasn’t he responded to questions like that in the past? I could have sworn he had along the lines of not explicitly accepting it but saying everything good about this life will be in heaven.

  5. Babylon: obsessed with the idea of sex.
    Mormons: obsessed with the idea of celestial sex.

    Is this what it means to be in the world, but not of the world?

  6. Works every time.

    I always go with that line from the film “Anchorman”:

    “75% of the time, it works every time.”

    That’s a good rule if you’re talking to lesser beings and outsiders (or teaching GD). I had a counter-cultist once ask me if I believed in “eternal progression” and I said “I don’t know that we teach that,” (like GBH responded to LK on it) but in my mind I was thinking “Oh dude, TOTALLY!”

    Heavenly sex, imo, is retarded. All through the Bible (esp. OT) sex is something that defiles. Men were to avoid it for several days prior to ministering in the sanctuary, before rituals, purifications, etc. The High Priest was even kept awake all night prior to Yom Kippur so that he didn’t have nocturnal emissions the night before he was to enter the Holiest Place to atone for Israel because nocturnal emissions made him ritually unclean. Women were banned from participating even in the outer precincts of the cult if they had been involved with a man or experienced the monthly cyclical feminine discharge within a few days of the given event. Then on the NT side, the tradition continues: Paul’s tacit avoidance of the practice as well as the virgin conception/birth (which I believe, contra Ezra Benson). Perhaps the Bible authors are trying to tell us something about God’s view of the act???? Doesn’t seem like something in which God would be “anxiously engaged,” IMO. Maybe, just maybe, it’s an act constrained to fallen beings only??? When we get talking on God’s sex-acts or sexuality, it makes us sound ultra-cultish.

    So how does God “procreate”? Maybe he doesn’t… ;)

  7. David J., the question boils down to this:

    How were you and I created? Was it by “Poof there it is?” (hey, wasn’t that a rap song), or was it some other form of creation? If we rule out “sex”, then what are we talking about?

    Maybe it’s like an ordinance that is performed.

    Is this a threadjack?

    Back on subject. I think that President Hinckley could easily answer the question. He could honestly say that we teach no such thing. I had never heard of “celestial sex” until recently on these boards, and I’m not sure that the claims that we beleive that can be all that substantiated anyway.

    My two cents.

  8. David,
    Congrats on being the first person to mention “n.o.’s” in the bloggernacle.

  9. Well, I got a few hours of sleep last night after sitting here or staring at TLC for hours. I feel hungover. I think I had a manic episode. (Ya think?), really sorry if I offended anyone. Working on that.

    I think the prophet would say, “it’s not important to know the answer to that question in this life, Larry. I’m not sure what the answer is. I don’t even have time to wonder. What’s important is to do the best we can to be good people.”

    David J. Dude. You made me smile. And I don’t know why. Maybe I’m in a better mood. But Ronan, your response to his comment made me laugh. Maybe I’m not the only punch drunk poster here.

  10. Must be sleepy this morning. Sat and looked at Ronan’s “n.o.’s” for 10 minutes before I had any clue what he was talking about.

    Nocturnal omissions? Hmm. What’d I forget to do last night?

  11. Well, I heard an awful lot about celestial sex during my mission. Other missionaries couldn’t shut up about it. I suppose it was helpful for some of them to think about an entire eternity of sex as a compensation for the utter lack of good, old mortal sex that they were going through at the time. (Which doesn’t imply that missionaries who don’t talk about celestial sex are having actual sex during their missions… Different people handle tribulation in different ways.)

  12. (And is there tribulation on this Earth to match being 30 years old and strictly celibate in the Caribbean for two years? =))

  13. I am sitting here just cracking up at the thought of all those sincere clean cut young Mormon men with only one thing truly on their minds. And picturing these kids–because to me, they/you are–sitting around in apartments late at night, or whenever pontificating feverishly about you know what. Oh, the thought.

    I am so going to look at them differently as I walk by and shake their hands this Sunday.

    Don’t say it. Just don’t.

  14. I think one reason it would be great afor the prophet to actually reveal something (anything, but particularly abou tthis question) on this topic is:

    Singles who don’t marry are promised that “all blessings” will be theirs if they are faithful. If celestial sex is not included in that “all things” provision, they might as well have sex (single or not), marry a non-member, etc. If there’s no sex to be had in the next life, why not just have it here and repent?

  15. Show me the scripture where it says I will be resurected, given a perfect body, but neutered.

    This topic has not been explored in enough depth. We need more Heavenly sex threads.

    How will this be handled in lower kingdoms, without eternal marraige? will there perhaps, still be temporal marraige?

  16. Measure, interesting in that connection is D&C 88:28-32, which says “They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies…”, while those inheriting the terrestrial and telestial are not given the same guarantee. They may be neutered! ;->

  17. Uh oh! First, N.O.’s, now TK Smoothies. Yikes. What would the good viewers of LKL think?

  18. Mark B: (#10) You have me rolling over here! (And clearly (#17) Ronan still hasn’t picked up on it.)

  19. FHL,
    I didn’t want to call attention to the fact that David J cannot spell. Poor thing.

  20. Er…Well, that didn’t work. Fool of a Took.

  21. Ronan, the “n. o.” thing threw me off for about 5 minutes as well. I even looked it up to make sure it was “emissions” not “omissions,” in which case I was right. Heh, I could have used the more colloquial nomenclature (“WDs”), but I wanted to save that for someone more audacious than I (is there such a person?). Regardless, sex in the Bible is a fallen, human endeavor.

    How were you and I created? Was it by “Poof there it is?” (hey, wasn’t that a rap song), or was it some other form of creation?

    Ian, this is a raging battle in the bloggernacle. You may have even read my frustrations (along with two or three others) from time to time on this, but my view is one I pull from the KFD. To me, and me only (apparently), it’s the simplest and easiest one of all the seemingly paradoxical and illogical “spirit creation” models out there: There is no creation at all. The human soul, in its parts, shape, form, and likeness, exists upon the same self-existing principles that God exists — totally and eternally uncreated or made. This is hammered out very well by Joseph in the KFD, but has become enigmatic for the church (since the KFD was [is?] largely ignored) due to the atomism and want for a spirit “father” of sorts. The JS model from the KFD doesn’t explains the “where did we come from?” question with the answer “you didn’t ‘come from’ anything, you just ‘exist’.” We see this in Yahweh’s name and revelation to Moses — the “self-existing one” (Heb. ‘eyeh asher ‘eyeh).

    I’m not going to comment on it anymore–this is the last of my take on it. Perhaps I’ll publish it in Dialogue or Sunstone someday.

    So, back to N.O.s…

  22. The JS model from the KFD doesn’t explains the “where did we come from?” question with the answer “you didn’t ‘come from’ anything, you just ‘exist’.”

    Sorry, pooched that sentence. Should have read:

    The JS model from the KFD explains (omit “doesn’t” — or is it “emit”???) the “where did we come from?” question with the answer “you didn’t ‘come from’ anything, you just ‘exist’.”

  23. David, you certainly aren’t alone. There are plenty of people around who ascribe to one variant or another of uncreated spirits.

  24. Interesting! What I think and would say to such a question on that subject would be one thing. What the Prophet would say would be a another. When asked about the saying: “As man is God once was, as God is man may become.” In answering this question he agreed we believed in one and said the jury was still out on the other. The question is why did he hedge on this issue. Is too much knowledge to a disbelieving world too much to give?

  25. So THAT’s what a TK smoothie is….I’ve been wondering about that for months….

  26. That’s it, I’m going to Orange Julius and ordering a TK Smoothie.

  27. Be careful what you wish for, Flanders. Or should I call you Action Man?

  28. Can anyone respond to my number 14?

  29. I’m sure plenty of people can respond to your number 14, but most probably don’t feel like giving you the seminary lesson on what true repentance really is.

  30. Well, I’ll expound since it seems as though few got my point, which is a good one and should be discussed, IMO.

    I think the leaders don’t conclusively say one way or another because they don’t want their feet held to the fire. They also very rarely get definitive about amything these days, but if they did on this issue especially it would be detrimental.

    By making vague and non-committal statements like “all good things will be in the CK” or “you’ll have spirit children” it allows members to draw their own conclusions. Loving husbands and wives see the logic, fairness and benefits of such a setup, and to some extent it keeps them looking forward.

    However, this vagueness also means that singles assume there will be sex in the next life, (and some members actively expound declaratively on this. For singles, this is another carrot for them to adhere to the law of chastity. and even to the juvenile guildelines in “For the Strength of Youth” because they figure if/since they’re not getting any here, they definitely want in on the action in the next life, and by golly it will be well deserved through their righteous living.

    I have heard this kind of reasoning from all kinds of singles–young singles barely out of college, 40 or 50 year old virgins if never-married, and frustrated older widows and divorcees. If this teaching is not true, it should be repudiated immediately, because it therefore gives false hope and prevents single adults in the church from forming loving relationships with other potential matches outside of the church or ones who are not temple worthy.

  31. False hope of sex in Heaven? Do you really think that in Heaven sex is going to be super important if you can live a full satisfying life on Earth without it?

    Granted, it is a lot of fun, but not exactly worth the repentance later (if you’re not married, of course).

    We’re promised that we won’t be denied any blessings in the Celestial Kingdom that we don’t disqualify ourselves from. I wonder if we sacrifice blessings by marrying outside the temple? I don’t mean that rhetorically, either.

    But nothing stops us from forming loving relationships with anyone, unless when you say loving relationships, you really mean screwing relationships.

  32. Paul Wright says:

    I’m worried about the prospects of having no genitals, just a smooth and hairless patch down there, in the lesser kingdom I’m likely going to.

  33. Char (#28) and Paul (#32),

    No sex in heaven, IMO. I think the Protestants have this one right (among lots of others). This is the point I was making way above with the NEs and all that. It makes people ritually unclean and defiles them, as if to suggest its sinfulness. Furthermore, not only does the NT side of the coin note that Mary was a virgin when she bore Jesus, but you’ll also note the gospels’ silence regarding Jesus’ marital status (and, by extension, sexuality); I know it’s difficult to cull “evidence from silence,” but in this case I would say silence is terribly indicative (I wouldn’t postulate this at SBL or someplace like that, but it works for me in my own mind). Oh, I’m one of those rare Mormons that thinks Jesus was single and celibate for the reasons I stated above (sorry Dan Brown).

    And yes, I’m married with two kids, so I’m not just saying this as a bitter, frustrated, or otherwise rebellious guy. My theology, on the other hand, might be generated from those feelings… :)

  34. Menstrual cycles also make one ritually unclean, but that doesn’t mean menstrating is sinful.

    But if there are periods in Heaven, I’ll take a lesser glory! ;)

  35. Good point, Crystal (comment 31) about whether people will know what they’re missing if they go for a lifetime without. However, we are all biological creatures, and it is neither normal nor natural to abstain throughout one’s life. If one does this for a religious reason AND with the understanding that it is a short term sacrifice that will yield the blessings of sex in the next life, that’s one thing. It’s another thing entirely to be frustrated and lonely because one is holding out for a “righteous priesthood holder” to marry–even well into one’s fifties or sixties–never having had sex, and then finding out post-death there is no sex after all, contrary to what your leaders either tell you or insinuate.

    Also, it’s no biggie to be celibate at 23. Revisit this thread at 63, still abstinent (if unmarried)…

  36. Also, I should have added that for many (older) single adults in the church, it’s not just about the loss/sacrifice of sex, but also the sacrifice of (not having had) children.

    Sometimes we want to have our cake and eat it to: we want to convince these older singles that their sacrifices really are worth it, that “there will be no blessing denied” (and most people interpret this to mean even the blessing of sex that they are wilfully giving us, especially if they refuse to date or marry outside of the church when they could have easily done so in their more fertile years instead of insisting on keeping the temple as a marriage goal).

    But the flip side is, we also want to say there will be no pain in the next life; no blood, etc. So how, exactly would that work?

    The Church tends to want to lead people on and appease them in times of hardship, making vague consoling statements that bite them in the rear later. This is along the same lines as saying or implying that stillbirths and small children who have died will be raised in the Millenium, that parents who have been sealed will never lose their children spiritually, etc.

    I am not saying that I believe there will be sex in the next life. I am saying that the Church implies or outright states these ideas to console people or keep them on the straight and narrow. The bottom line is there is no proof in any of this, and people should not hold on to false hopes, nor should they be righteous to earn carrots. If they can abstain on their own merits, more power to them, and that’s a very good thing. But it’s wrong–even immoral–to imply these things with an official stamp and then watch as people waste their lives for a blessing that will never come.

    Finally, I was TAUGHT the “sex in the next life but only for the righteous” concept in Young Women’s twenty years ago.

  37. that parents who have been sealed will never lose their children spiritually

    One of my favorite para-scriptures. I know so many people who think this, and in the resurrection they will find their mistake. Aren’t all gospel ceremonies contingent upon faithfulness? So, if Dr. Evil gets Scott Evil sealed to him, and Dr. Evil continues his quest to take over the world and kills millions of people with evil stolen nuclear warheads, then there is no blessing for him. This is straight out of D&C 132.

    “sex in the next life but only for the righteous” concept in Young Women’s twenty years ago.

    Man, maybe people just bite their tongues when I’m around or something. I wish people would postulate this type of drivel in front of me. Where on earth would somebody defend or back that up? It’s mere speculation that is taken as scripture (hence para-scripture). I think you’ve been dooped.

  38. Well, we are on the sex topics, I guess and after a week of being grossed out by T&S, I surrender to what I cannot control. You guys a such a trusting sort, so share these things with everyone. I haven’t discussed such deep topics with my best friend, who also hasn’t discussed them with me.

    It never occurred to me that those in a lesser kingdom might not have genitalia. Nor does it bother me. I’m ready to go to a lesser kingdom and have no worries other than the millions of people in the Celestial Kingdom who love me bothering me with their visits.

    #14 Char, I’ll bite. I don’t care whether or not I have sex in the CK or if I go, but as to your question, lately, as I’m having my mid-life crisis, which I never thought would happen to me, I figure anything goes. I’m sure when I get my body back, I will repent anyway for reals. You’re not going to get any lecture from me.

    When I was young and actually quite lovely, I had an affair. I was disfellowshipped, and repented. I never did it again, but I to this day do not this it was the worst thing I ever did. In fact I know it’s not.

    Totally lost on the Smoothies thing, but I don’t want to know.

    David, I think I like you.

  39. It never occurred to me that those in a lesser kingdom might not have genitalia. Nor does it bother me.

    Nor should it Anne, because it’s the most bunkumoided-hogwashian-drivelistic-rubbish that I’ve ever heard.

  40. I’m looking forward to the 70 virgins…Oops, wrong religion.

  41. Char,

    I wouldn’t really know what’s like to be celibate until 63, or 23 for that matter, as I only made it to 22, so I’m not speaking about sex and the absence of sex ignorantly. I’ve experienced both and know the difference. I was wondering when that card would be played, but I didn’t exactly want to shout out first thing “Hey, I’m a fornicator!”, ya know?

    Some people won’t be married in this life and sex is one sacrifice that they have to make. As sacrifices go, there could be worse ones, but we do tend to have a hard time with the ones we have to make.

    I mean think about it, really, from an Eternal perspective. Do you really want celibacy to be a huge stumbling block? To be able to accept all the truth that can be given and then rebel because you think the Church just placates people with “promises” of sex in the next life?

    As for:

    “This is along the same lines as saying or implying that stillbirths and small children who have died will be raised in the Millenium, that parents who have been sealed will never lose their children spiritually, etc.”

    Aren’t those things taught in the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith?

    Did the placating really begin way back to Joseph? Me oh my, are we in trouble if it did.

  42. I do think the Church and its leaders have a history of promising extraordinary outcomes, starting with Joseph Smith. Didn’t he promise a teenager that her entire family would be exalted if she married him? What would have happened if she had not married him?

    My point is that some people put off their happiness (yes, even romantic or sexual happiness) because they believe the claims the Church makes, insinutates or suggests more than they believe their own bodies, minds and hearts.

    I didn’t speak only of fornication, but since you mention it–it’s one thing to “wait” until one’s early twenties and another to go without sex for decades. As many people who succumb in their early adulthood can attest, the desire id strong and not everyone can abstain. It is very naive to assume that everyone on the planet who cannot be celibate if they are unmarried is evil and in sincere need of repentance. Are they more in need of repentance than people who marry for easy access to sex?

    Anyway, again my point is that many in the Church were taught that sex was only reserved for the exalted, and those who were not married/sealed could not and would not experience. Joseph Fielding Smith first taught the “smooth groin” theory. It can be found in “Doctrines of Salvation.”

    My point is these kinds of teachings are manipulative and can be extremely harmful. It would be well for the Church ot repudiate these pseudo-doctrines (I was also taught this–eternal sex and smoothies for the disobedient– at BYU in religion classes). However, the Church doesn’t want to draw attention to these issues for all the above reasons and because it’s trying to mainstream and appear as just another family-friendly Protestant church.

  43. No offense, but given the LDS theology of a literal resurrection and Alma’s discussion of the meaning of restoration, it seems those arguing against sex in heaven have the burden of proof by far. It’s one thing to say we won’t be having kids. It’s quite an other to suggest that somehow our genitalia will disappear while all our other body parts remain.

  44. The burden of proof is minimized when a prophet states just that.

  45. Quakers on the moon.

  46. Char (#42),
    I’ll go crazy if some of the things you say go unchallenged.

    First of all, I agree that the Church (and God throuh the Church) makes extraordinary promises in order to motivate us to keep the commandments. Eternal happiness itself is an extraordinary promise, and we can only attain it by keeping the commandments. As for sex in the eternities as a motivating promise, I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never heard it taught by anyone in any context that led me to think it was anything but speculation as opposed to an official promise by God or the Church. (And no, BYU religion class would definitely not qualify).

    “My point is that some people put off their happiness (yes, even romantic or sexual happiness) because they believe the claims the Church makes, insinutates or suggests more than they believe their own bodies, minds and hearts.”

    If you believe in the promise of eternal happiness for the obedient (which is, I believe, the promise of the Gospel), then forgoing satisfaction and “romantic or sexual happiness” in the here and now for the sake of eternal happiness will be well worth it, I think. I strongly doubt that any righteous person who dies a virgin will regret it in the afterlife.

    As many people who succumb in their early adulthood can attest, the desire is strong and not everyone can abstain.

    This is the statement that I have to refute. True, the desire is strong. But everyone can abstain. We just often don’t. People that have a knowledge of the law of chastity and fail to abstain commit sin. They are in need of sincere repentance. Are people that fornicate necessarily bad or evil? I don’t think so. Sinning certainly doesn’t make one evil. But it always makes one in need of sincere repentance.

    “My point is these kinds of teachings are manipulative and can be extremely harmful. It would be well for the Church to repudiate these pseudo-doctrines”

    If the only harm they cause is that they help people resist the urge to fornicate, then I wouldn’t call it an extreme harm. But I agree that presenting speculation as a promise is manipulative and wrong. As for what the Church should do in dealing with “pseudo-doctrines,” I don’t know the right approach. I do think official silence on these kinds of matters says a lot. Namely, that they aren’t important, core Gospel teachings and that they don’t deserve much attention.

    However, the Church doesn’t want to draw attention to these issues for all the above reasons and because it’s trying to mainstream and appear as just another family-friendly Protestant church.

    I don’t see the Church’s official silence on these issues as simply a marketing ploy. I see it as an acknowledgment of what’s really important. I believe the leaders of the Church are putting the focus where it should be.

  47. My third to last paragraph shouldn’t be italicized. Sorry.

  48. This is just to second Tom’s point (46) that the reason the Church doesn’t talk about a lot of people’s hobby horses is that their focus is where it should be. Sex in the afterlife? Maybe, but if that is your reason for keeping the law of chastity in this life, then your intentions are probably misplaced.

  49. Seriously……SERIOUSLY!!!!
    Do we really believe that there will not be something AT LEAST as joyful and pleasurable as sex in the afterlife? It seems that all wonderful things on this earth are diluted compared to what we can expect in the eternities. I can not let myself believe that there is an exception here.

    And…..Gordon B., I am certain, has entirely too much decorum to spell out a graphic answer to that question. There are still some things sacred on this earth and in Heaven.

    I am an avid lurker…and find that so many gifted, blessed intellectuals just make themselves miserable trying to figure out the ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ and ‘what’s’………I am guilty of the same at times, though I would consider myself less than an intellectual….the happiest people I know are those who simply listen to the Spirit…they may seem weak, or uneducated, but are actually noble because of their discipline to things that are true by virtue of their correctness, not because of the documented, scientific PROOF of their correctness.

    There must be a special place in Heaven for a lifelong abstainer…….God is merciful and kind and good…..the commandments are sound….the obedience of all commandments simply leads to joy, and men are that they might have joy, right?? The natural man says…men are that they might have sex………….sex is joyful when it is right, it leads to misery when it is wrong. Right? I have had experience in both scenarios, and I can tell you that my greatest regrets in life are the ones I made when I did something meant to be wonderful at the very wrong time……I would give anything to take it back.

  50. Umm . . . I think a kindly BCC administrator was trying to correct my italicizing error and went a little too far and deleted my second-to-last paragraph. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t offensive. It was just a copy and paste of Char’s last sentence. Oh well.

    I just wanted to clear up any confusion the dear readers may be experiencing. I think I failed.

  51. Ronan #45: Slam dunk!

  52. Do we really believe that there will not be something AT LEAST as joyful and pleasurable as sex in the afterlife? It seems that all wonderful things on this earth are diluted compared to what we can expect in the eternities. I can not let myself believe that there is an exception here.

    Rachel, you rock. This is one of the other reasons I don’t think there is sex in the afterlife. I sure hope that eternal life is so much more than having sex. Sex is a fallen endeavor, and again, the biblical authors make us well aware of that. True, we will have our genitalia, perhaps as signs unto ourselves of our gender or as a sign that we were once mortal (will retain our bellybuttons? will Jesus retain the stigmata? Probably.), but just because we retain our genitalia doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll use it. I mean, I’ll retain my feet, yet angels and God usually stand in the air (again, the earth is probably too unholy or fallen to touch).

    And one more thing: no sex in the afterlife should be very liberating for most Mormons, yet it’s met with much resistance, as evidenced in this thread. Think about it: doesn’t saying that we will enjoy sexual intercourse in heaven make us sound uber-cultish? Hell yeah! I find it quite liberating (and scripturally sound) to feel otherwise. Sex will most likely be the least of one’s “desires” once exalted.

    Anne–I always enjoy your posts too. You always make me grin with your abrasive take on things. Maybe that’s why there’s mutual grinning going on.

  53. David J.– I am a bit mystified by your insistence that sex is inherently unclean and fallen. It seems you are basing this on the Old Testament, which might also lead you to believe that oysters and pigs are inherently unclean.

    Let’s say it together: sex is natural and the only way we have of reproducing. Are animals unclean when they reproduce? Surely not. Neither, then, are we. I think we need to get away from this truly archaic (and frankly unscientific) notion of sex being dirty.

  54. Tea & Biscuits says:

    Ned,

    I’m also coming from NT evidence. Read above.

    Yes, it’s natural and the only way to reproduce in a fallen state. I recognize that. But God having sex? Ew. The Bible seems to shun the act, yet the writers of the Bible knew it was a necessary act for reproduction–especially in light of the many promises of “seed” (Heb. zera) that would be given to Abraham. It’s kind of like the necessary evil, so to speak.

  55. This is why the Larry Ling Rule is awesome. It allows you to take a Mormon “doctrine” you don’t like and relieve yourself of any obligation to believe it. OR, it allows you to take a Mormon “doctrine” that you do like but that you know is a bit edgy and keep it under wraps.

    Has anyone seen the Godmakers? They have this cartoon that kind of says the following:

    1. God has sex in heaven with a wife whose womb churns out billions of spirit children
    2. God had sex with Mary
    3. Mormons will have sex in heaven. Non-Mormons will be resurrected without genitals
    4. Mormon men will have sex with many wives in heaven. A few Mormon women–those married to Joseph Smith–will have sex with more than one man in heaven.

    Now, it’s a mean-spirited and caricatured skit, but it does indeed riff off of bona fide Mormon ideas. It also makes us look, as David suggests, ULTRA-cultish.

    Thankfully the Larry King Rule comes into play. You can either say, “sorry, a few Mormons might believe that, but I don’t, and it ain’t official doctrine pal, so leave my religion alone.” OR you can say, “well, that’s a cartoon and a nasty one at that, but yes we do believe in eternal procreation of some sort, that we are literal children of God, but we don’t know much about it so I’d like to leave aside further speculation.”

    In short, the Larry King Rule stops us from looking very, very weird. Which is why the Prophet uses it.

  56. And can I just say that if you don’t see how weird and cultish 1-4 above can sound, then you have no hope in ever seeing us how the world sees us (which is important if you’re expecting people to join the Church).

    The cartoon is just awful, btw. “Mormons believe that on a planet near the star Kolob, an immortal man named Elohim has sex….” It’s awful. AWFUL!

  57. Ronan,

    I know anti-Mormons that think the Godmakers is tosh. So even some of our critics see it as going a bit too far.

    I just tried the Larry King Rule on the wife and it worked:

    Mrs. David J: “David J, will you change the baby’s diaper?”

    David J: “I don’t know what you mean by ‘diaper’.”

  58. “Sex is a fallen endeavor.”

    Whaa? Someone has some issues to deal with I think.

  59. Actually let me take that back, as I think that unduly harsh. I’m very sensitive to notions that I think many Mormons have picked up from other religions that sex is inherently bad. I’ve simply seen too many people who have huge problems with intimacy in their marriages due to these sorts of messages.

    I strongly think that one of the big benefits of Mormon views of the resurrection is that it does make sex sacred and godly. Indeed many suggest that sex is typological of the very creative power of the divine. (A view also found in a lot of Judaism)

    This whole discussion by some who appear to portray sex as fallen and inherently unclean seems to me to both be undoctrinal as well as profoundly unhealthy for couples.

  60. 1. Larry King rule is SWEET. No thats not doctrine….

    2. I agree with Clark on Sex. Did not get the sense at all in YM’s or my parents growing up that sex was dirty or unclean. Just told to wait till marriage because it was worth waiting for. Same thing we teach the kids today. I feel bad for couples that come to PH leaders with issues due to hang-ups like this.

  61. Clark,

    Read the discussion from the beginning. I gave ample evidence as to why the authors of the Bible feel that sex is something which defiles and makes one ritually unclean. And I thought of yet another NT connection: Luke even blames the holy conception on the Holy Ghost because for God to impregnate a woman is something offensive and unthinkable.

    Again, start at #1 and read down. I don’t have issues with sex at all (#33); it’s the necessary evil, so to speak. God knew this when he promised Abraham innumerable seed (Heb. zera) in the OT; yet in Leviticus and throughout the rest of the Bible the act of sex disqualifies individuals for practice and presence within the sacrificial cultus. “Fallen endeavor” was simply my way of saying “act restricted to those in a fallen world.”

  62. I’ve never heard a man call sex a necessary evil. Never. And I know a few gay men, too.

    David, who are you really?

  63. I think, Anne, that David is saying that from the point of view of the Bible (Song of Solomon excluded), sex is a “necessary evil.” Which is why I love the Song of Solomon. Lilies, indeed.

  64. David, who are you really?

    Annegb, according to Ronan, I am the adulterous scoundrel of the bloggernacle. My motto is: if your average every-day joe Mormon thinks he understands this or that, chances are he doesn’t understand it at all, and then I take the opposite stance. But I always have some wild proof-text(s) for my musings, and it’s usually from the Bible (not restoration scripture), which is probably why my views are so enigmatic and difficult to understand, even by me. No, I’m not a Mason (yet).

    But enough of me, I want in on the TK Smoothie joke.

  65. David, I have deduced that “TK Smoothie” refers to an absence of genitalia in the Telestial Kingdom. There will be just a smooth area there, like on barbie and ken dolls.

  66. Dan,

    That’s secret knowledge, Mr. Pearl-Before-Swine Caster. Naughty boy. The secret of the secret is to keep a secret, remember?

    Larry King Rule on the TK Smoothie: “Er, no, Larry.”

  67. Hilarious!

    Didn’t the Bible state that while Esau was “hairy,” Jacob was “smooth”? Makes a guy wonder just exactly what they’re talking about… ah, biblical euphemisms…

  68. Okay, just encountered someting interesting in the OT story that relates here. Genesis states that God created man in his own image; then it describes the human propogation in the exact same terms. Genesis 5:1-3 is especially interesting: “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he hm; male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.” I never noticed that before.

  69. Lisa,

    Interesting. But it doesn’t say God “begat” man. Christ is the only begotten. Begetting and creating use different mechanisms. So I might take that same metaphor and relate it to the “creation” not “begetting” of our spirits. Dunno.

  70. I strongly think that one of the big benefits of Mormon views of the resurrection is that it does make sex sacred and godly. Indeed many suggest that sex is typological of the very creative power of the divine. (A view also found in a lot of Judaism)

    That was always my view. It’s a benefit that we could make more off. Especially, when it comes to providing our children with healthy and factual information.

  71. Helmut, remember we were arguing somewhere about the proclamation on the family. Maybe I was arguing and you were ignoring me.

    That guy’s name is Richard Wilkins. You can google him. It’s really fascinating what he did and accomplished and the part the proclamation played.

    If it wasn’t you, ignore this. Sorry for the threadjack.

  72. Sorry, annegb. I didn’t mean to ignore you. Feel free to e-mail me any time when you have a concern that you want to pursue.

    I try to check the threads where I posted. Sorry to have missed your remark.

  73. Okay, Ronan–how about this one–from the Gospel Principles manual, second lesson:

    “All men and women are… literally the sons and daughters of Deity…. Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and read to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal body” (Joseph F. Smith, “The Origin of Man”)

    The Origin of Man has been reprinted within the past year as the First Presidency message in the Ensign.

  74. that’s “and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions…”

  75. “All men and women are… literally the sons and daughters of Deity…. Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and read to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal body” (Joseph F. Smith, “The Origin of Man”)

    Thanks to LisaB for doing the homework. I assumed something like this would turn up. To me, Mormon doctrine on spiritual parentage is much, much more specific than a metaphorical commitment to God as our Heavenly Father.

    As I commented in the other thread, the viability of debate could hinge on whether you accept continuing revelation of the prophets, and don’t confine yourself to a strict reading of the teachings of Joseph Smith. We had an interesting discussion in our elder’s quorum about what the phrase “Mormon fundamentalism” means, and came to the consensus that it must mean drawing a line in time and refusing to accept any new or refined doctrine after that time (i.e., post-Joseph Smith or Brigham Young). It made me think of this discussion, even though I don’t think anyone here would consider themselves a Mormon fundamentalist (so far as I know).

    All that said, I still think it tells us that much about celestial sex, but maybe I’d just prefer that it remain a mystery.

  76. Touche, Lisa!

    Look, I happen to believe that we are children of God in more than an adoptive sense. That seems to be established Mormon doctrine. But I think we should avoid imagining that our language is capable of describing some processes in anything but a metaphorical way. So, Larry King Rule:

    Larry: “Do Mormons believe that we are the children of God?”
    P.H.: “Yes, Larry.”

    Larry: “Do Mormons believe that a god impregnated a goddess who then gave birth to our spirits?”
    P.H. “…..”

    Fill in the gap.

  77. Tea & Biscuits says:

    Fill in the gap.

    “Something like that, Larry. Ever see ‘The Godmakers’?” ;)

  78. don’t confine yourself to a strict reading of the teachings of Joseph Smith

    WOW! You don’t have to be a fundy to think this, BTD. Personally, I usually go with JS (doctrinally) when he differs from the Brethren (who are fallible), and yet I’m not a fundy in the least bit. Most likely a polar opposite, as far as praxis is concerned. Doctrinally, I might be a bit closer to JS then, say, GBH or others, but that doesn’t automatically make me a fundy.

  79. BTD, one other thing:

    It’s terribly convenient for the people of the Church to pick and choose what they want to accept of JS and what they want to throw out. As Mormons, I think we’re under the responsibility to engage all of what JS says and deal with it accordingly. Picking and choosing — the anti-Mormons blame us of this in our views of the Bible (see Barlow’s book). They say that when our theology differs from the text, we just say the text is wrong. That’s not altogether correct, but I think that’s related to what you’re saying here. Wouldn’t you agree that we’re responsible for acknowledging what JS taught, whether it’s now branded as “fundamentalist” or not?

  80. Personally, I usually go with JS (doctrinally) when he differs from the Brethren (who are fallible)…

    David J,
    Are you saying that JS is not fallible while the current prophet is fallible?

  81. David J, Are you saying that JS is not fallible while the current prophet is fallible?

    This was going to be my question. Why do you presume that Jospeh Smith is less fallible than any of the other prophets? On the contrary, I think there’s some merit to having a living prophet who can continue to illuminate and expound on doctrine, as opposed to continually re-interpreting the teachings of Joseph Smith, some of which we are receiving only through second- and third-hand accounts. I’m of the opinion that there may be some topics about which Joseph Smith was *more* fallible (or, at least, it is more difficult to ascertain whether he was speaking as the spokesperson for the Lord or simply just offering speculation or supposition).

    Yeah, I’m not saying you’re a fundy, but I thought that might get your attention.

  82. Wouldn’t you agree that we’re responsible for acknowledging what JS taught, whether it’s now branded as “fundamentalist” or not?

    Yes and no (typical lawyer answer). There are historicity concerns with trying ot wrestle with *everything* that Joseph Smith ever said or taught. While we esteem him and revere him, we don’t treat him as the Muslems treat Mohammad–i.e., that every word that came out of his mouth was inspired by God. And there will always be contextual issues with determining what he meant or said at any given time.

    Here’s an example: is it our responsibility to reconcile ever version fo the First Vision narrative to be a faithful saint, or can we accept the official, canonized version found in JS-H? I’m okay with the latter approach, even though I’m aware that other accounts exist.

  83. Sultan of Squirrels says:

    earlier in the thread I saw some stuff on repenting for not marrying in the church. umm. I haven’t had the oppurtunity to be wed yet but if you fall in love with someone who isn’t in the church but is a good person are you supposed to leave them because they have different views on god than you. thats bull crap. help me out here. people don’t actually think you have to repent for marrying outside the church do they?

  84. Sultan,

    Here’s another lawyerly answer to your question whether somebody must repent for marrying outside of the Church: It depends on what you mean by “repent.” If you mean by your question, is marrying outside of the Church something that will, in and of itself, disqualify somebody from being able get a temple recommend, for example, then the answer is no. I know several people who have married non-members who also have temple recommends.

  85. Steve McIntyre says:

    I’m surprised it hasn’t been mentioned, but in Holland’s talk, “Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments,” he points out that at no point in this life will we be more like God than when engaged in the act of procreation (when married, of course).

    This doesn’t necessarily prove that we will or will not have sex in the afterlife, but it’s worth thinking about. In fact, the whole talk is devoted to the idea that sex is holy and sacred; indeed, as Holland puts it, it is a “sacrament.” Whether or not the sexual act has anything to do with eternal life is uncertain, but I think the talk at least reinforces the LDS stance that sex is not inherently dirty or unholy, but rather, quite the opposite.

  86. Sultan of Squirrels says:

    okay. thanks for the lawerly resposne. I didn’t mean it like that thought. I meant more do people think god actually frowns on you for marrying outside of the church? because that just doesn’t sound right to me. I would hope I am able to go to the temple with my future wife. but if I or someone else wasn’t able to and fell in love with someone outside of the church I don’t see God frowning on that. I guess my question was more about afterlife repentance than repentance here on this earth.

  87. Sultan,

    That is a different question. This is just my opinion, but I believe Heavely Father looks for reasons to bless us. If your marriage, any marriage, is a righteous one, then I believe you will be blessed accordingly. Is the marriage a loving one, where the husband and wife love, support, and are faithful to each other? If so, then blessings are sure to follow.

    So the question is, what kind of blessings? I have heard it said that celestial blessings come from celestial living, or by living the celestial law. For marriage, we usually think of marriage in the temple as “living the celestial law.” But you and I both know many marriages where the ONLY mark of “celestialness” is that the ceremony was in the temple, otherwise, they are at each other’s throats, or are otherwise miserable.

    It is my personal opinion that there are more blessings for a happy marriage where the ceremony was not in the temple than for a miserable one where the ceremony was. The ideal, is for a happy marriage where the cerremony was in the temple. But we cannot all have the ideal, sometimes no matter how hard we try, and I believe there will be allowances for that. Some will never marry, some will marry outside the temple, some will never have children.

    I don’t know how Heavenly Father will make it up to those of us who didn’t have the opportunity for the ideal, but I believe his infinite justice and mercy somehow will. The atonement doesn’t just reconcile our sins, but Alma 7:11-14 teaches that it makes up for everything. Mrs CS and I haven’t been able to have children, for reasons beyond our control. I believe that if we are faithful we will somehow be blessed. Will we have children in the afterlife by means of “celestial sex”? (to get back to the original topic) I don’t know. Will those who did not marry in the temple but otherwise have a “celestial marriage” have to repent of where they had the ceremony? I’m not sure that repentance is the word I would choose, and personally, I’m not willing to speculate more than I already have, other than to say that situations like that are what temple work for the dead is for.

  88. Sultan of Squirrels says:

    k. thanks for the responce. makes sense too.

  89. The rule I use to determine if something is God-like is to look at how hard satan tries to thwart and manipulate it. Money, power, and sex are satan’s favorite tools here on earth. Why? Because he can never really have any of them. In heaven, thrones, principalities, properties, and propogation are God’s. The details of such things are not ours to know right now. But to suggest that sex is a fleeting thing is to suggest that war is fleeting thing. Simply tis not true. Wars and sex happen in heaven.

  90. Stephen, if you are asserting that people attack each others with weopons and kill each other in heaven, then I believe that you are mistaken. If not, then you need to revaluate your argument.

  91. J. Stapely, that is an anemic rebuttal. I did not say that the details are known. Sex in heaven may be of the Cacoon variety (see movie if you don’t know what I am talking about) for all I know, but it will be there.

  92. Whatsina Name says:

    I was reminded once… No matter what we feel is important to us here, will very likely no longer carry any weight at all… in the next. In fact, we are so concerned whether we will be able to use all the parts of our body for what it is intended, once it is resurrected, I think we will be highly shocked to find how truly un-important all of this will even be.

    Because there will be new knowledge and understanding so far beyond what can even began dream of here, we will laugh with embarrassment, if not mourn for all the lost time and energy wasted worrying about it now.

    I have been paralyzed from the waist (waste?) down for 23 years. I had a few short years of marriage and sex before losing it for time. Trust me when I tell you this thought has crossed my mind a time or two. Nevertheless, after having two “miracles”, born after being completely unable to produce children for 5 years, and still not able to “feel” the parts that are needed to feel the joy of physical intimacy, I have a deep understanding of the importance of sex. Thus I do not take it lightly.

    I just have come to believe that what is in store for the faithful after the resurrection and things have been made “right” again, is just not even in our realm of fantasy and imagination. It will simply be perfect, whatever it is, and however it is done.

    But what do I know… I am just another person looking for the right questions. I do not even hope to find the answers anymore.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Some time ago I introduced the “Larry King Rule,” which states that the veracity of any given Mormon doctrine can be determined by imagining how President Hinckley would respond to it on Larry King. It assumes, of course, that we are honest in public about our doctrines. I have no reason to believe that President Hinckley wouldn’t be. [...]

  2. [...] In light of Ronan’s helpful rules on cultish behavior and public orthodoxy, my brother and I have developed yet another rule by which to measure our collective worth; especially in light of our place among the religions of the world. Introducing The TK Smoothie Rule. [...]

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