You Make the Call (Conference Weekend Edition)

In case anyone would like to cleanse the palate from all of the conference discussion, one of my mystery correspondents just sent me another “you make the call,” which is based on an actual situation:

Chris and Mary have been married (in the temple) for five years with no kids. Chris recently decided that he has never been in love with Mary and wants a divorce. Neither party has committed any act of infidelity (nor is he gay), it is purely an issue Chris has struggled with since they married. Since making his decision he has moved out and is trying to start anew in another city while the divorce moves forward.

You are Chris’s new bishop and are aware of the situation. Does he get to keep his temple recommend? (“Do you keep the covenants you have made in the temple?”)

Comments

  1. What is the church guideline in this matter? I think there is something in there.

    Without knowing what guidelines the church has passed down, what I would do is sit back and talk with Chris about his testimony and beliefs. If he is still basically keeping his covenants and not seeing other women until his divorce is finalized, then I see no problem giving him a temple recommend.

    A marriage is a contract between three individuals. The husband, the wife, and Jesus Christ. A bishop is not involved in that contract, and thus when a dispute occurs, a bishop should not get too involved.

  2. Ponty Ficator says:

    Is he up for recommend renewal, or is the recommend being potentially yanked just because of the divorce?

  3. But Chris *has* committed an act of infidelity if he abandoned Mary for no adequate reason, and deciding he isn’t “in love” with Mary is inadequate.

  4. Ardis,

    Is not being in love anymore (or ever) not an adequate reason? As we don’t know more details, I get the feeling that Chris is deciding to get out before it gets worse.

  5. You’re adding the details that Kevin hasn’t told us. I merely point out that adultery isn’t the only definition of infidelity; Chris is not being faithful to the vows he made to Mary.

    And I submit that “in love” isn’t the only definition of “loving,” either. By my definition, no, not being “in love” is never by itself an adequate reason for abandonment.

  6. He gets to keep his recommend, but I’ll call him a wimp and loser to his face unless an angel with a flaming sword stops me before the words leave my mouth. Man, I love being the Bishop!

  7. John Taber says:

    I don’t know what the “right” answer is, but Chris is walking away from temple covenants here. I wouldn’t let him have a recommend for at least a year.

  8. A) Man, am I glad I don’t have to make decisions like this ’cause I got no answer for that.

    B) I would have to question how binding was the covenant he made with her if he didn’t really love her to begin with.

    Ardis, I look at it like this: It’ll free Mary up to find someone else who can love her AND she won’t have kids to muddy the waters with a potential new man. Yeah, it’ll hurt but I, personally, would rather be alone than with someone who didn’t want to be with me.

  9. A Guy Named Eddie says:

    No recommend.

  10. Steve Evans says:

    He has had no sexual relations with any other woman. What covenants is he walking away from, exactly?

  11. Ardis,

    as with all of these “you make the call” we just don’t have all the information at our disposal. Could it be that Mary wasn’t faithful to Chris? Did she “love” him? Or is it just on his end? This is why I would rather, if I were the bishop, take a hands off approach to Chris. If he hasn’t actually done anything outside of the two of them—Chris and Mary—not getting along, not having any love, then I would have nothing against Chris continuing his spiritual learning in the temple. The church would have no quarrel with Chris because he broke no church laws.

  12. The same goes with Mary with her new bishop.

  13. Steve, you’d know better than I would. What vows did you make when you were sealed to your wife? To stick around as long as you thought you were in love? To do anything you pleased, as long as it didn’t involve sexual relations with another woman? Very attractive temple covenants, those are!

    (Look, the hardest thing about voicing a conservative opinion on these “you make the calls” posts is knowing before I say anything that the majority of commenters are going to pile on. So far the piling-on is only numeric; I’m bowing out before the usual scorn starts. I don’t expect that will stop the scorn, but know that it won’t hit its target because I won’t be reading it.)

  14. I wouldn’t worry about the tr, first aid first. Did they seek counseling. Is there any hope of reconciliation. What happened. The bishop needs to not mind his own business, but try and help out.

  15. Ardis,

    I hope I haven’t come across scornful. I just disagree with you.

  16. @10: “Keeping the Law of Chastity” and “keeping one’s marital covenants” are not one and the same thing.

    That said: If the bishop believes that Chris never loved Mary, I don’t think it serves any purpose to perpetuate something that was a mistake from the beginning. But I think a lot of times claiming “I don’t love you and I never loved you” is a cop-out; if the bishop smells a rat I say suspend the recommend for a couple of months then be done with it until/unless Chris comes back to wanting a live ordinance recommend for a second marriage. If that ever happens, I’d say grant the recommend only after full disclosure to the new fiancee and a good verbal thrashing).

  17. Well, Ardis has gone, but I must say I love having her and her opinions around.

  18. Ardis is right, people.

    Temple covenants don’t just include Endowment covenants. When you covenant before God and witnesses that you will honor and love the person you are sealing yourself to FOR ETERNITY, then leaving the relationship because it’s not “ideal” or the spouse is no longer your “soul mate” than YES, you are totally breaking your Temple covenants.

    The world teaches us that it’s okay to leave a marriage whenever it becomes inconvenient or hard. The world teaches us that we shouldn’t even bother unless our lives with our spouse is complete bliss.
    That’s crap. So. Much. Crap! And everyone who has made these covenants should know this. I mean, even civil ceremonies talk about loving and cherishing “in good times and bad.”

    If I was his Bishop, I would definitely consider taking away his recommend.

  19. incognito says:

    ITA with Ardis and Cheryl. Temple covenants are solemn and eternal. Deciding to walk away from those covenants and breaking those covenants are one and the same.

  20. The Right Trousers says:

    He covenanted to observe and keep all the laws, rights, and ordinances pertaining to his order of matrimony. What exactly those are, I don’t know. One was absolute fidelity. As with many of the covenants we make, we’re left to discover the precise terms ourselves.

    As a bishop, I don’t think I’d withhold a recommend over this in particular. (Unless the handbook of instructions says differently, but I don’t recall anything about this in it from when I had access to one.) If the issue is only “falling out of love,” I would definitely share Paul’s advice: love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. Love in marriage isn’t just an aura, or even an emergent property of “compatibility”. As with children, you tend to create it without much effort but it takes work to keep it healthy.

    You’ve got to feed it, clothe it, change its dirty diapers… ;)

    I’m afraid the only way he’s going to learn this is by working at his existing marriage. He’s very likely to experience this same thing with almost anyone else.

  21. I liked the other posts in this series, but not this one. It feels harsh. (Can’t explain why.)

  22. This exact situation happened to me, although we were only together 16 monhts. We were fundamentally incompatible and it got to the point we literally could not stand to be in the same room with each other. I rearraged my work schedule so I could leave the house at 4am while she was still asleep and return home by 2pm so I could have 3-4 blessed hours of alone time before she came home from work.

    My bishop called me “pathetic” for getting out of this marriage, but we were truly happier apart than together. My temple recommend was never revoked from that bishop, or my new one in a different city.

    Sometimes things just don’t work out. But I have been married to my current wife for nearly 6 years, and I see nothing but joy and happiness together now and forever. My ex-wife started dating a gentleman she was quite serious with, but unfortunately succumbed to cancer 3 years after we divorced.

  23. Latter-day Guy says:

    Yes to a recommend. What he needs is clearly MORE, not less, interaction with Mormonism’s most visceral/powerful incarnation of the creation myth. And perhaps the treatment Jami recommends would also benefit him.

  24. Ardis, I am with you.
    Dan, he didn’t keep or magnify his temple marriage covenants. That is the one that matters most. It is an eternal covenant, he seemed to decide he didn’t want to commit himself to the discomfort of learning to give enough to someone else to develop love for them. But he did take many other things from her. In my mind, he is not living to a simple gospel standard.

  25. I’ve seen a couple of guys, under similar circumstances, walk away from their spouses shortly after the marriage began.

    My gut instinct towards such behavior is revulsion. It feels like abandonment and neglect when exactly the opposite has been promised.

    I think the temple recommend issue would have to be decided on a case-by-case basis.

  26. I’m with Jami and Ardis.
    I haven’t met everyone in the world, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling that if BiV and Dr. B can stay together for 25 years, anyone can. Probably we are both just so stubborn that neither one of us wants to be the one to break those covenants.

  27. Rand,

    Again, we don’t know enough, and the interview I would do with him as a bishop would be the most vital part of figuring out his worthiness to go to the temple. If it is similar to what Phouchg said in comment #22, then I see no problem with him keeping his recommend.

  28. I would, of course, contact the old bishop first. The CHI recommends doing that within the first year.

    There can’t be an automatic decision here. While a decision to divorce is not an automatic grounds for losing the TR, a long discussion needs to be had about how mutual this discussion has been, the process he has been through in making this decision, etc. Five years is not six months.

  29. I’m really torn on this.

    Abandoning a marriage because “I’m just not that into you anymore” is very childish, and makes a mockery of the sealing ordinance. If such is the case then I would say that, at the very least, something needs to happen to him to impress upon him just how serious this sort of thing is.

    The point that Mary would be happier with someone who actually loves her is a good point and is generally true, but that has little to do with whether or not Chris has violated his covenants by leaving the marriage.

    At the other extreme, when a person leaves an abusive spouse the abuser is often convinced that the other is acting in a similarly childish & selfish way. My sister’s husband frequently accused her of “just walking away” from him and violating her Temple covenants in the process.

  30. Peter LLC says:

    I agree with Ardis et al. in the sense that the ways of breaking covenants are many and diverse. Still, I’m not convinced that adherence to the plan of happiness should ever entail eternal misery.

  31. Kevin Barney says:

    This has been really interesting. I almost declined to post this one, because to me it was obvious that you wouldn’t pull a recommend just for getting divorced. Mormons get divorced all the time for all sorts of reasons without getting their recommends pulled. So I didn’t see the potential for controversy.

    Boy, was I wrong. My impression is that the majority view is to pull the recommend. So I think this has been a useful exercise after all.

    By all means, continue. I am learning from your comments.

  32. Token Average Member says:

    Sometimes I think we push our children in to marriage and then wonder why it doesn’t work out. Be that as it may, I don’t think we can walk away from our other temple covenants with impunity so why from this one?

  33. I’m not sure that I would pull the recommend, but I would probably give him a talking to, similar to Jami (#6). Claiming after five years that he “isn’t in love” seems pretty selfish to me. I would strongly consider giving him a homework assignment: Write down all the reasons he had to mary Mary five years ago, and then why those reasons aren’t any good any more. Unless his reasons then were ultimately selfish (for example, “we were both horny and hot for each other and we wanted to make it legal”), I’d be seriously concerned about his current priorities.

    Breaking a temple covenant is serious business, and doing so simply out of convenience doesn’t seem like a good reason. Maybe in the end he keeps the recommend, but not without a more thorough examination of his conscience.

  34. err, make that “…marry Mary…”

  35. First, to echo what Ardis and others have said, a covenant is being broken: the eternal marriage covenant. That ceremony does require individual commitments from each spouse before the promises and blessings are pronounced.

    Second, I have known in my life at least two women who have confessed to me that they knew — even as they were in the sealing room of the temple — that they were marrying the wrong person, someone they didn’t really love or were marrying for the wrong reason. Their lives were ones of quiet desperation, and I had (and have) great sympathy and heartache for them. I had no easy or glib answers for them, and those experiences led me to stress repeatedly to my children that they exercise a lot of thought and consideration before deciding whom to marry.

    Third, both my wife and I were previously married (in the temple) and we’ve each been through a temple ‘divorce’. It’s pretty wrenching even under the best of circumstances (it took only an hour with a divorce mediator for my former wife and I to reach agreement on all property division, child support, alimony, etc.). While divorce is the right — or at least necessary — option under certain circumstances, I have never and will never recommend it to anyone else.

    Fourth, I firmly believe that love is a matter of daily choice. I maintained my love, devotion, and fidelity to my former wife through ten years of increasingly difficult and painful circumstances (circumstances not of her choosing, I will note). I literally never considered divorce in all this; it was my wife who came to me and said that she felt it was time for the marriage to end.

    Fifth, and back to Kevin’s original hypothetical: I’d do what the Spirit prompted. But I do think that Chris is indeed breaking the most serious of temple covenants and certainly deserves to have his temple recommend pulled. ..bruce..

  36. I agree with #28.
    I do think he is violating his temple covenants my exp admittedly anecdotal is that TRs are usually pulled in circumstances like this for a time to repent and get right with the Lord. He is walking away from very serious covenants here. Its not an automatic pull of the TR but its in then hands of the bishop.

  37. Kev (#31), I see what you mean! I agree — couples split up all the time without either of them losing their recommends. This is a pretty plain-vanilla divorce scenario, where the only “sin” is just not being in love at all with the spouse. How that gets to “pull his TR!” is just not clear to me, certainly not as a matter of automatic policy.

  38. I think it is bad to leave a marriage. Don’t get me wrong. I just think the Temple Recommend shouldn’t be in consideration. In my experience, it isn’t. BTW, people don’t get divorced because they suddenly wake up and say “you know, i just don’t love X, and I don’t think I ever did.” It may be true, but that is not the cause of the divorce. As Bishop, you need to counsel with the man, and see if you an help him. Sanctimony is not a good response to unmet needs (see SWK)

  39. love and covenants are different intellectual planes. Covenants are held together by trust and duty. Love is not.

  40. Steve Evans says:

    Matt W., sure. I guess I am proceeding under the assumption that the counseling, working on the marriage, etc., are things that have already occurred. I agree that a divorce in situations like this is not something palatable, and I agree that it is bad to leave a marriage. Again, I’m only looking at this from the TR view.

  41. This is exactly like a situation that I just came across. One of my friends from my mission got married and called me three days later. He told me that he didn’t think that he loved his wife. He said he was scared before the marriage but didn’t feel relieved after it was over. He is not a US citizen and so would be sent home if he didn’t stay married. Tough situation because I taught his wife in the MTC. From what I know, they’re still married, I just hope it’s not for a visa.

  42. I think I would pull the recommend but not quite for the reasons stated. One thing that I think few out of the YSA community know is that people who have not gone on missions are generally not supposed to get recommends until their ‘mid-to-late’ twenties: not because they’re bad, but because there is concern about them fully understanding and being able to live up to their covenants.

    Arguably, the correct approach here is to sever the issues. The break up of the marriage is one thing, and requires a particular kind of counseling. The ability to attend the temple on a going forward basis is another. Bishops need to be convinced that those who receive a recommend understand the nature of the covenants entered into there. Accordingly, since the bishop is not familiar with the man, and his current relationship with the temple covenants is at best uncertain, I would want to be more sure than he really had a proper understanding and respect for the temple and its covenants.

    So, I would probably ask for his temple recommend for a period of time, not as a punishment–the framework through which several seem to be addressing the issue–but rather to ensure, as a judge in israel, that a person I am recommending for the temple is in a place where they are fully prepared to be in the temple. This may be a very short while; but it may also be somewhat longer, depending on my interaction with him and the guidance of the spirit.

  43. I can’t get past the gut feeling that Chris doesn’t understand the temple covenants that he made – not because he wants a divorce, but because of the reason for it. I think a “suspension” of his recommend would be the ideal, while the Bishop dug deeper into the situation. There is a conflict in the info we have that I think needs to be examined further:

    1) Chris recently decided that he has never been in love with Mary and wants a divorce.

    2) It is purely an issue Chris has struggled with since they married.

    Did he recently decide this, or has he struggled with it since they married? Without clarification and deeper understanding, it feels like Chris is using the second one to justify his recent decision.

  44. Steve, I’m not sure that’s a fair assumption to make. The ‘I never loved you and I’m leaving’ bombshell is not at all unusual. It is a passive-aggressive move at best, an outright lie at worst. If the scenario had them working on this and coming to a mutual decision, I might feel differently. But if we deny a TR for sipping a beer but feel OK about giving them out when a man announces he never loved his wife and is moving on (or the other way around), then the system is broken. I don’t think ending a marriage has to be a sin, but ending it in a crappy way is, as this could easily be.

    I felt differently about this a few years ago before being in a bishopric and having a first and second row seat to the disastrous ends of some marriages, some of which used this exact language.

  45. A marriage is a contract between three individuals. The husband, the wife, and Jesus Christ. A bishop is not involved in that contract, and thus when a dispute occurs, a bishop should not get too involved.

    You’re forgetting that the bishop is the judge in Israel, and while he is not a party in the contract, a bishop was literally a signatory to the recommend that permitted them to marry, and he is literally a signatory to the ongoing recommend.

    My gut reaction (IANAB) is that based purely on the presented facts, Chris can keep the recommend.

    But, I’ll bet there’s more to the story.

  46. A bishop CAN pull a recommend for any reason relating to any of the temple recommend questions. Word of wisdom, pornography, honesty, tithing, or just because the bishop is no longer convinced the person is worthy. Abandoning a spouse is certainly one of them.

    Are the wife’s financial needs taken care of? A wife has claim on her husband and knowing if he has made arrangements for her finances until the divorce is final and after the divorce to comply with any requirements for alimony, spousal support, etc is certainly a legitimate concern of the bishop in reference to his recommend. (those arrangements could be that she will support herself, but if she is applying for welfare, because he has abandoned her that is significant)

    But just because a bishop CAN pull a recommend doesn’t mean he SHOULD. Church Discipline, of which pulling the recommend constitutes one end of that (informal probation, invoked at the sole discretion of the bishop and and no hearing is held, which brings up an interesting question: if there is no hearing, can there be an appeal from informal probation?) is usually done for the benefit of the person. Punishment of the individual is way down on the list of reasons to invoke Church Discipline.

    In any event, there may be many situations that horrify and offend the bishop, but he dare not take a recommend or, not take a recommend, except as specifically guided by the Spirit. You will not find a black and white answer to these cases, for a reason.

  47. This conversation is simply an intellectual discussion. On a personal level, I am disappointed the fella does not desire to cherish his wife. But not knowing the situation beyond the facts presented, Chris has not done anything to affect his worthiness. He has kept the law of chastity, he has been obedient to the commandments. His situation is so much better than the pornography-viewer who lies to get a recommend, or the man who, after 20 years of marriage, decides his family is a waste of time, goes inactive, takes up drinking, and causes fear for everyone when he comes home from work, but “stays together for the kids.”

    We forget in our Mormon culture marriage is often pushed to the point where a person marries without fully knowing the person they wed. Look at the logical side–not every two-week courtship is going to work out.

    Now, on the family level, Chris seems to be acting selfish. Love, and being in love, is a decision and has never been a chance coincidence. Perhaps Chris should take a vow to try three things for two weeks:
    (1) Wake up and serve his wife breakfast in bed
    (2) Read his scriptures an extra 30 minutes a day
    (3) Spend 15 minutes every day writing down in a personal place the good qualities of his spouse, what he loves about her, etc.
    I assume Chris and his wife probably had many fights, either as a consequence or as a promotor of his unloving feeling. This is something that he would have to resolve.

    Anyway–sounds like a situation to pray about, for sure.

  48. Wow, tough one. If I were the Bishop (I’m female) I would pray about it. There is just too much about that relationship that is unknown. Maybe he should loose his TR, maybe not. But the idea that he has never been in love with her makes me wonder what his real motive is. My experience with people like the husband is that they are breaking another commandment somewhere, you just need to wait and it surface soon enough.

  49. Nice to see that good old mormon judgmentalism is alive and well.

    I have been in this situation so I feel uniquely qualified to tell you to walk a mile in my shoes, then see where your opinion lies. My testimony was hanging by a thread when this whole episode took place and it’s pretty much gone now for a variety of reasons… not the least of which is the un-Christlike attitude I have encountered from the majority of “saints” I have had the displeasure of associating with in my time in this church.

  50. Phouchg: sorry. What can we say. We’re big on keeping committments. Honestly, I think the issue is less real without the fullness of the situation (a face, feelings, etc.) I don’t know and won’t pry into what happened with you marriage.Sometimes it’s true, these things just don’t work out. However, often people could have made it if only they’d percervered. I think many people here see that side of the equation, and not the other. I mean, let’s be real. Sometimes people marry tese too young, or on sexual impulses who should not have been married at all. Usually these people could work it out, if given adequate resources, but often the resources are not available. We live in a real world, not an ideal one.

    Sorry your testimony is gone. Hope it comes back.

  51. Ponty Ficator says:

    I agree with Tom Rod. I’d even go further and say the guy is being honorable for leaving a marriage he knows he can’t–or doesn’t want to–continue. Maybe they married too soon. Maybe he’s just not that into women. Whatever the case, an alternative scenario would be that he stayed in the marriage without loving his wife, and they used each other as ATMs and friends-with-benefits. How is that better? You can’t force love! Get out while you can, I say. And if he has to go without a recommend, so be it!

  52. #18

    When you covenant before God and witnesses that you will honor and love the person you are sealing yourself to FOR ETERNITY, then leaving the relationship because it’s not “ideal” or the spouse is no longer your “soul mate” than YES, you are totally breaking your Temple covenants.

    The covenant to “love” and “honor” your spouse is unfortunately not one of the martial covenants. It might be implied under the “all laws, rites….” umbrella, but it isn’t explicit. Which is really the problem; we don’t know exactly what is involved in the covenant, so it’s hard to say if he’s broken it enough to have his TR revoked.

  53. Phouchg —

    I don’t see your situation as you’ve described it and the hypothetical situation as the same at all. The difference sixteen months and five years is significant.

  54. I suppose I am looking at the Temple Sealing more in terms of the “spirit of the law,” but it seems to me that part of the covenant you make is to do whatever it takes to make the marriage work. Deciding that you are not in love seems a weak reason to walk away.

    That being said, it is not the decision of the Bishop to tell Chris what to do, or ultimately to judge him a loser or pathetic for his choice. I would actually view such an action on the part of his Bishop as a sign that he MIGHT not be following the dictates of the spirit, but instead giving a knee jerk reaction. Chris still needs compassion and understanding even if the decision is not liked by the Bishop.

    I also find it interesting that the barometer being used is revoking the temple rec. I have a good friend who felt that her marriage was a mistake from the start, got married anyway due to pressure from family and friends, than after the inevitable divorce, felt like she needed to repent for taking the Sealing Covenant so casually and believing she could just make it work. Similarly, Chris might view giving up his Temple recommend as the price of making his life right again, not unlike anyone else who is working through the Repentance process. The point after all is to be worthy of the Temple Recommend, not just to have it.

  55. Dude, I thought I was hardcore, but it would not have occurred to me to pull the TR in this situation. I think I would be encouraging Chris to go to the temple more. Unless I got some revelation to the contrary, of course.

    Hm. I thought I was all liberal and it turns out I’m just wishy-washy.

  56. Lulubelle says:

    Absolutely let him keep his recommend. No kids and married to someone he doesn’t love? Far better to get out now than later when marriage gets harder, plus kids are in the picture, and even if you love someone a lot, marriage can be tough. Being in a loveless marriage is a very lonely place to be. If they have kids already, I would feel differently. And if I were the abandoned spouse, as hurtful as it would be (if I really loved him), I would get on my knees and thank him a million times over for setting me free to find someone who loved me.

  57. Lulubelle says:

    Matt W: I have a friend who’s been in a marriage that she keeps ‘perservering’ in claiming that it’ll get better some day. All those wasted years married to a man she doesn’t love or respect, but she respects the vows made during the sealing so much that she’ll stay stuck in her misery forever, gosh darn it. I feel so sorry for her and her kids. Having that marriage continue is nothing to celebrate. It’s tragic, actually. If only she’d cut her losses before the kids… So sad. There are far worse things than divorce.

  58. Love is generated by service, isn’t it? If he doesn’t love his wife, could it mean he hasn’t been serving her as much as he should? If I were his bishop I would talk with him much more about the whole situation. I would ask questions and find out what sort of counseling they’d tried. I’d try to learn what’s really going on. On the face of it, “I just don’t love Mary and never have” is not a reason. There are probably reasons deeper than that. You don’t necessarily have to like someone to love them. Love is not a feeling so much as it is a decision, a determination to act in a certain way.

    I would use the temple recommend interview as a way to ask more about things, and perhaps find out how I can be of some help to this couple. If they wouldn’t discuss it at all, and if there were no indications of specific reasons to deny the recommend, then I would grant it (assuming no definite spiritual promptings in either direction).

    I like “you make the call”. It’s beneficial to me both thinking about what I would do, and reading what other people think. =)

  59. StillConfused says:

    They didn’t take mine away in that case. But then again, I am a girl.

  60. Gerald Smith says:

    After 6 months of marriage, my first wife told me she no longer loved me as a husband, but more liked me like a friend. I immediately got us into counseling, but none of it helped. Eventually, I agreed with her desires for a divorce.

    My feelings on it? I believe the covenant (NOT contract) we make is eternal. Our responsibility is to be righteous enough to love with a Christ-like love – particularly the one we’re sealed to.

    Moroni 7:48 tells us to pray for charity. Why can’t a person pray to love their spouse, and then use mental and behavioral modification to enforce that belief and feeling.

    Too many people think that love is an emotion. God has shown in the scriptures that while it has an emotional component, it is an action/choice. Alma told Shiblon to “bridle your passions that ye may be filled with love.” Too often we “fall” in love, rather than choose love and choose to love.

    This other is a cop-out. If it were my Church, the person would not have a recommend renewed for at least a year. Why? Because it is a sacred covenant they are breaking for no righteous reason. They are sneering at covenants and trampling them under their feet. That is their agency to do, but they shouldn’t be allowed to continue enjoying the blessings of the temple while under that sin.

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