Wednesday, November 30, 2005 

Do you really baptize corpses?

I can't tell you how many times people who aren't Mormon have brought up "baptisms for the dead" to me. It is one of the most commonly misunderstood and distrusted practices in the LDS religion.

I have participated in performing baptisms for the dead a few points about it that I don't understand or trust, either. Here'are the highlights of my issues:

1) Why physical baptism?
I understand that baptism is symbolic of rebirth and I can certainly see why people who have chosen to follow Christ are baptized-metaphorically reborn--as members of His church. That makes sense. What I don't get is why people who are dead, spirits, would be REQUIRED to have the same physical rebirth. Since they would have accepted Christ in the after-life, then shouldn't there be a different symbolic (or even a spiritual version of the same) gesture for them?

2) Why baptize people when they may not want it?
If someone is baptized and they don't accept Christ in the afterlife, then what's the point? It's a huge waste of time and energy. Shouldn't there be some sort of revelation about who wants it in the afterlife and who doesn't?

3) What about people of whom there is no written record?
I'm sure that the immigration records for Ellis Island and the US Census from 1880 are very useful for finding some people who didn't get baptized in this life, but there are no records for the majority of people who have ever lived. There aren't even written records for everyone who is living now! Countries in southeast Asia and the Pacific islands didn't even have a written language until recently. There is just no possible way to know the names of every person over the age of 8 for all time. That's just unfair.

Okay, so I don't have the same misunderstandings that some people do about baptisms for the dead (as in "Do they really baptize corpses?") but like I said... there's things that I don't get either. These are questions that never recieved satisfactory answers while I was an active member and they still bug me.

Monday, November 28, 2005 

Covering Your Bases

"Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead. If the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” 1 Corinthians 15:29

Mormons believe in vicarious service for others; meaning that under certain circumstances, we believe we can perform necessary ordinances by proxy in the name and place of other people.

A lot of other people don’t think this is possible. But then the Atonement of Jesus Christ was a vicarious service…so…

And apparently, some people in Corinth were having a problem understanding the resurrection, so Paul used the principle of baptism for the dead to prove the point that if we were going to live again (resurrection) we must be baptized.

Baptism for the dead was not practiced before Christ’s earthly ministry. During the three days between his death and resurrection, he organized his kingdom in the spirit world so that this work could be done. (Doctrine & Covenants 124)

This is why Mormons are interested in genealogy. We find out who our dead relatives were so that we can submit their names to the temple to have their earthly ordinances performed for them. These ancestors, waiting in the spirit world for resurrection, can decide whether or not to accept the ordinances and the Gospel in general. I’m not sure how this works, because to me it would seem really easy to die and say, “Oh, yeah, I totally would have been a believer if I hadn’t lived in China during the Ming dynasty.” But, I don’t think it’s that simple; plus, God is the great judge…he knows….he knows everything.

This practice of submitting names can get controversial. Someone can check my facts, but I think that if the person is not directly related to you they have to have been dead for quite a while…50 years? And if they are related to you, there are certain people (living relatives) whose permission you must obtain to submit their names. But…in recent years, as lists of victims of certain heinous crimes, the holocaust specifically, have become public, there has been an outcry of resistance from various groups of survivors and memory preserving foundations against submitting victims’ names to the temples. So, out of respect (and the threat of legal action), the church has officially, banned the submission of holocaust victims’ names.

As I read articles and listen to radio shows on this topic, the factions seem to be pretty clear cut: sure, go ahead…I don’t believe in your religion anyway, so whatever floats your boat you crazy Mormons… and NO WAY will I allow you to baptize me or any member of your family into your crack pot religion…how condescending …how dare you even presume such a thing.

But as my husband likes to say, “Sure, go ahead. I like to cover all my bases…” So if there are any other religions out there who do vicarious-proxy work for the dead, as soon as Todd goes I’ll let you know.

Sunday, November 20, 2005 

The Ensign and the Red-faced Minister

Like several other denominations, our church publishes media for its members worldwide. Here’s a list of magazines from the church website and my ratings from one to four stars:

“The Ensign is an English-language magazine for adults. It contains the First Presidency Message and other words of latter-day prophets. It also includes the Visiting Teaching Message, personal experiences and testimonies of members, curriculum support material, and other articles to strengthen members and help them in their callings.”

Rating: 3 ½ I would totally give the Ensign four stars seeing as how it carries the words of the prophet and the apostles, but it’s the personal experiences and the testimonies that make me get choked up every time…even if they are totally dumb…like when I watch “Mr. Krueger’s Christmas”…and I hate that feeling of a lump in my throat or ruining my make-up so I just read the First Presidency’s and the Visiting Teacher’s messages.

“The New Era is an English-language magazine for youth ages 12-18, their parents and families, and their leaders and teachers. It contains the words of the latter-day prophets and many testimonies and experiences of youth.”

Rating: 3 ½ Again, I resent the manipulation of the choke-up factor…I’m a softy who chokes up at parades (choking up is not crying). While the Church publications can sometimes have controversial articles (the great article about motherhood in a recent Ensign only showed photos of moms doing laundry and other mundane chores with their impressionable daughters. Where was the scrap-booking and other important life lessons?) I give props to the editors who put two FEMALE missionaries on the cover of the New Era last month. Can I give a shout out to my sistahs? And occasionally, in the Q & A section, some good questions get asked, and then get answered by some fairly self-righteous Laurel trying to get her Young Womanhood Medallion.

“The Friend is an English-language magazine for children, their parents and families, and their leaders and teachers. It contains the words of the latter-day prophets and other material that supports the annual Primary theme and sharing time.”

Rating: 4 stars I loved the Friend when I was of Friend appreciating age (now). Being raised in the “mission field” I loved seeing the page showing kids from all over the world (and by the world I mean mostly Bountiful) and knowing their interests. I faithfully looked for myself on that page each month thinking that they just randomly chose those kids from the Primary rolls from around the world. I’m still waiting. I figure that the church has grown so large they have a lot of catching up to do…I’m still waiting.

“The Liahona is the international magazine of the Church. It contains the First Presidency Message and other words of the latter-day prophets. It also includes the Visiting Teaching Message, local news pages, material from the other Church magazines, and original material. It has articles for adults, youth, and children. Members in any area of the world may subscribe to the Liahona in any language edition.”

Rating: 4 stars Since I don’t read Swedish or French well enough appreciate the Liahona I will endorse it anyway. Since it’s a combo of the above-mentioned three, I guess it all averages out.

“The Church News is an English-only weekly publication of current Church events. A subscription to the Church News entitles subscribers to full access of the Web edition of the Church News. For more information visit”

Rating: 1 ½ stars Since it has been about 13 years since I looked in the Church News I don’t have much to rave about…other than that, 13 years ago it was really boring. I think that the church news used to be interesting because once upon a time, the church was really small, so when someone got a calling in Oklahoma, you probably knew them and when it was published in the Church News that “TJ Green of Bountiful, Utah was called and ordained to be the bishop of the Bartlesville, Oklahoma branch” you could call him up and congratulate him or give him your condolences as you saw fit. Nowadays…who cares?

I generally like the church publications. I’ve seen the Watchtower, but I just can’t get into it.

I didn't even get to the red-faced minister....ah, that one will have to wait.

Saturday, November 19, 2005 

Revelation or pragmatism?

The scriptures tell us that God is unchanging. His commandments, apparently, are not.

There are tons of things that have changed in our short 175-year history. Polygamy, the Law of Consecration, the Word of Wisdom, and too many doctrines to mention. Why do commandments change? And do these changes come from God or from simple pragmatism? These are impossible questions to answer, but worth reflecting on.

Very few people lament the passing of the Law of Consecration, or should I say its temporary abeyance. I think the reintroduction of polygamy would be more welcome to the modern church than the full Law of Consecration. Signing over all of your property is definitely NOT one of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. After several experiments by both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, this commandment was put on hold till further notice because it simply did not work. Perhaps our fallen natures couldn't handle it, or perhaps it never was a workable social system to start with. Is this an example of God being pragmatic or just our leaders? Does it matter?

Polygamy is another example of a commandment that was formerly energetically encouraged but now lies in the scrap heap of Mormon history. Many people believe this too is only temporarily dormant (i.e. it will return in heaven) but I will leave that question aside for now. What is clear is that the Church was under enormous pressure by 1890 to publicly disavow the practice of polygamy, which it did. It's difficult to view this as anything other than a superficial capitulation to the federal government, especially in light of the secret plural marriage sealings that continued to take place in the temples. Did we sacrifice a sacred doctrine to get a Mormon into the Senate, or did God?

I have to admit that the timing of all these changes does bother me. Don't get me wrong, I am happy that the Church has abandoned many practices that I find unpalatable, but I wish these changes had occurred without extraordinary outside pressure. Just once I wish the Church could be ahead of the curve on broad social trends. Perhaps God just doesn't work that way, but I sure wish he did.

Friday, November 18, 2005 

What might have been...

I need to apologize for getting this up late. I am in Philadelphia at the moment and I am doing this instead of writing the paper I am presenting tomorrow. So, if this seems rushed, it is.

Commandments that we no longer keep. There are a couple of different ways to take this topic. First of all, there are commandments that we no longer keep as a church. Plural marriage would be one, the full law of consecration would be another. Why don't we keep them? Well, I could say that God told us that we shouldn't and leave it at that. But, it seems to me, that the temporal nature of these commandments lend them to intermittent application. The earthly aspects of life may only be controllable for brief periods. Our bodies may get in the way.

Another way of looking at the topic is to discuss commandments that I no longer keep. I used to think that it was bad to drink Coke. I don't anymore (and I drink it when available). Why did I change? Was it merely for the convienience of a sugary drink? Why did I once think that cola diligence was important and how did I come to disregard it? I don't have a ready answer for these questions and it is troubling. One part of me just says that it is one more thing that I have to keep track of and that, if there is no commandment against it, why bother? But do I really make decisions regarding keeping commandments based on personal convienience? Somehow, that doesn't seem like the way to do things. Maybe I object to modern Pharisaism, however that too seems like a less than ideal motivation for giving up the cola ban. I don't think rebellion for its own sake is particularly laudable.

Truth be told, the changing status of commandments in the church is something that I have a hard time wrapping my head around. I know that President Joseph Fielding Smith asked us to use the right hand in passing the sacrament, but I also know that this isn't considered a commandment now. Why? I don't know. In any case, I appreciate it when I am wrestling with my boy and the bread comes down the aisle.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 

Secret or Sacred?

It is always dangerous to write about a topic that is inextricably tied to so many people's identity. I suspect most Mormons view themselves primarily as an eternal family, so the temple can be quite a sensitive subject. I will try to be as respectful as possible to everyone's beliefs and ask in advance for your forgiveness if I offend anyone.

This is also a sensitive topic because it deals with people's marriages. I certainly wouldn't appreciate someone saying to me, "Hey Ned, those icons at the Orthodox church where you were married are totally idolatrous!!! And the man who performed the ceremony was practicing priestcraft! Nehorite!" For good or bad, my marriage is part of my identity, and I will defend it against all comers.

For this reason, I'd like to set aside the topic of sealings, which are a source of great comfort and happiness to a lot of good people, and of which I have no first-hand knowledge anyway. I'd also like to skip over baptisms for the dead. I've always liked the idea and the practice of baptisms for the dead and had good experiences performing them (although perhaps because I envy being baptized as an adult). I'd like to focus instead on the endowment, and perhaps offer comfort to those who, like me, didn't seem to have the same spiritual experience as everyone else.

Part of the problem of the endowment, I believe, is overselling. We fall too much into the Homer Simpson trap of, "I don't want to oversell it, but it's better than ten Super Bowls!" Even the name leads us to believe that we'll be given a huge gift of knowledge. I'm sure some people do find great, hidden meanings in the ceremony, but I was never one of them. In my experience, the endowment presents a fairly straight-forward creation story/allegory, not all that different from the accounts we have in Abraham, Moses, and Genesis. Why do we oversell it? Because we can't tell anyone what exactly goes on, which leads to overstatement.

The atmosphere of secrecy around the temple has always bothered me. This might have made sense in the Joseph Smith-era, as the practice of polygamy was hidden. It is much harder to justify in our electronic age, when anyone who cares can find a copy in .2 seconds. Ironically, the Internet has made the ceremony available to everyone BUT faithful Mormons. For a long time, I wanted to know what changes were made to the ceremony in 1990. I had always heard about them, but I had no legitimate means of finding out. Short of cornering an old-timer in the Celestial Room, there is no way for faithful members to discover this information. I finally gave up, and googled it. I had all my answers in 60 seconds. I might have felt guilty if this information was reserved for recommend holders, but it's not. Even they don't get to know.

A second concern I had when I went through the temple was the heavy-duty promises I was required to make. Maybe some good temple prep classes spell out what those commitments are, but I was not prepared beforehand. I'm certain that I still would have gone through the temple, but it would have been nice to have a sheet saying, "these are the four promises you are going to make." Because we are afraid that everything temple-related should be secret, we allow people to go in unprepared, which I think is unfortunate. Just as we should be aware of what our baptismal covenants are before we get baptized, we should also have more than 10 seconds to decide whether we want to commit all our resources to the church. Has anyone ever left in the middle of an endowment because they didn't want to make these promises?

Lastly, I remember being quite disturbed on my mission when I discovered the heavy Masonic influence on the endowment ceremony. Once again, I had absolutely no clue. Frankly, I felt deceived. By avoiding and glossing over these topics, it seems to me that we are only postponing the day of reckoning for many of our coreligionists. Maybe 95% will never care about these things, but for the 5% who do, it can be devastating. Obviously, in the Internet age, there is now a ton of information on Masonry and Mormonism that I didn't have, but besides FARMS apologias, precious little comes from the church. What I wouldn't give for a General Conference talk explaining why our salvation is couched in such foreign Masonic terms. Is it because that was what Joseph was familiar with? Does Masonry have any relevance to us today? Why not if it is so entwined with the Endowment?

I think the root of all these problems is the same: secrecy. If we were more open about the temple, most of these problems would go away. Unfortunately, in the dark, the truth often struggles to get out.

Friday, November 11, 2005 

Mountain of the Lord

For me, the primary significance of the temple is the physical reinforcement that God cares about me and wants me back. That this is established in a context of my complete submission is secondary. The fact that He wants me back at all, as I haven't been particularly submissive, is astounding enough.

I find in this the primary usefulness of the temple. The reminder that even the flawed and irresponsible can enter into God's presence. The beautific unfairness that allows the sinner in by the suffering of the innocent. The glory of God's atonement in the creation of the world.

The purpose of temples is to have places set apart where God and man can meet. It may be hubristic of us to assume He is interested. Nonetheless experience, temple or otherwise, shows that He is.

Thank God for that!

Thursday, November 10, 2005 

For the Temple is a Holy Place

I grew up always believing that I would be married in the temple. Of course, I grew up believing a lot of things. Now I’m not sure I could explain what I believe because I’m just not sure myself. I guess you could say that I still have some sort of belief of the ideal of the temple, but I just don’t know if that makes any sense.

My memories of the temple go as far back as to when my sisters and I were sealed to my parents. I was quite little, but can somehow remember looking all around and seeing my mom and dad and various other “familiar” people around them. I also remember the “old guy with white hair” that must’ve been conducting the sealing. Of everything in that memory, I remember the joy so visible on my parents’ faces. Joy that must’ve come from knowing that we were being sealed as a family for time and all eternity. I believe in that joy.

I feel at this point in my life, there is no way that I could fully understand all that goes on inside the temple. Almost as though it is WAY too much for me to handle. Not being an active member of the church, this is quite understandable. To be perfectly honest, there are so many aspects of it that I really do find mysterious and maybe even a little, um…weird? Having been “away” from the church for so many years, I suppose that my belief or the ideal that I have of the temple is really so far removed that it is hard to put it into words.

In my memories, the temple is a beautiful, joyful, peaceful place. I like that.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005 

No Temple for Me, Thanks, Though

I hate to put it like this, but I don't trust the temple.

I know... I should. The temple's never led me astray or done anything but good for me, but I'm still wary of it.

Why? Two main reasons.

1-When I was in college, I went abroad for a few months and lived right next to a temple in another country. Before I went, I wanted to take out my endowment. My bishop told me "no." I'd been studying, going to temple prep and I thought I was ready... I certainly wanted it badly. Instead, my bishop threw a past sin in my face (which I thought I was supposed to have been forgiven of) and told me that if I messed up like that after the temple, then I'd really be in a tough spot. So, the whole 3 months I lived a stone's throw from the temple, while the other two students I was there with went to the temple, I was by myself, but I wanted to be in there and I couldn't be.

2-People talk about being shocked and having their faith shaken by going to the temple. What??? That's crazy. Isn't it supposed to go along with all of the other lessons we've learned over and over and over again since we were able to sing the Sunbeam song? Isn't it? I've been tempted to look up the temple ceremony online, but I never have, out of respect. Still... I'm curious... why do so many people react that way?

I've had good temple experiences, too, though. I remember being so happy when I was 7 and my family went together to be sealed. Doing baptisms was always a positive time, although, I must admit that I now find the process of being baptized for the dead and doing other work for the dead to be completely and utterly illogical (how can you possibly do the work for every Australian aborigine, Laotian farmer or ancient Egyptian slave of whom there were no written records?).

At this point, it's all moot, because my "less-activeness" prevents me from even getting close to that path. Even if it didn't, I'm still not sure I'd want to go anymore.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 

I Love To See The Temple

I was 19 years old when I was endowed. I wasn't going on a mission, I wasn't getting married, it was just the right time for me to take the next spiritual step in my life. I prayed about it, I fasted about it, and essentially said to Heavenly Father "hey, if you don't want me to do this, don't let it happen." I didn't meet with a single bit of resistance from any of my preisthood leaders. So, on June 2, 1998 I made my way to the Oakland Temple with my mother and her best friend and received my endowment.

For about a year prior to this I had been in a touring choir that was exclusivly preforming Steven Kapp Perry's "House of the Lord" all over Utah. I was the lone female tenor, and had the time of my life with an amazing group of people who happened to all be AMAZING singers. I felt privaliged to stand next to them night after night and sing about something I had never experianced before, but had faith in. I had never done more than baptizms for the dead, and it had been a while since I'd done that, but when I sang about it I felt the Spirit and my testimony grew.

As I sat in the temple for the first time the words of those songs came back to me. I didn't attend a temple prep class because the teacher never showed up for it, so that experiance singing about the temple became my preperation. I remember outside after all was said and done and asking my mother why she kept looking at me while we were in the temple. Her reply, "I was waiting for you to freak out." But I didn't, and I never have. The temple has always felt like home to me, everything familier and comforting. I have never felt confused or unsure. I have felt closer to my Heavenly Father, I have felt divinity within me. Going to the temple has reminded me of who I have always been.

For several years I worked in the Oakland Temple baptistry. It was there that I realized how essential every single part of every covenent we make is. The temple could not run if it weren't for those who come in to do baptizms. I am so grateful for the temple, for the oppertunity I've had to go there and to learn about myself, and make covenents with my Heavenly Father. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Monday, November 07, 2005 

Temples: It’s Not Sacrament Meeting!

After I received the call to serve a mission in Edinburgh, Scotland, I went home for a couple of months to work and save money. I was called to be a ward missionary, so I spent a lot of time with the local sister missionaries who were great sisters with good attitudes, and they were excited for me to be a missionary. I remember sitting in the foyer of the chapel with them and talking about what it’s REALLY like to be a missionary. One evening, we talked a little about the temple. One of the sisters must have said ten times “It’s not sacrament meeting!”

She was correct. Attending the temple is NOTHING like sacrament meeting.

For those of us who are raised in the church, religion for us is going to church on Sunday and trying to live it the rest of the week. We perceive religion to be somewhat similar to most other religions: church on Sunday, scripture reading, prayer, youth groups, etc. Temple worship is totally different from our Sunday-orientated religious paradigm.

The decision to attend the temple is a big one. There is a reason why the church provides Sunday school classes to help people prepare to go. While as Latter-Day Saints we are accustomed to making covenants with God, i.e. through the ordinance of baptism, temple attendance requires us to step it up. The Lord doesn’t want to force people into making him promises. He would much rather have his children come prepared to make more stringent commitments rather than be forced and therefore not able to hold up their end of the bargain.

And the temple commitments ARE more stringent. Before the temple, we, by being Christian, are committed to following a certain moral and ethical guideline: the 10 commandments, the Beatitudes, etc. In the temple, we COVENANT to obey some of those “rules”. Can you see the difference? We have the opportunity to seal our commitment verbally and physically and specifically.

When considering going to the temple, having a solid testimony helps. There is controversy surrounding our temple worship for several reasons, mostly because some people attend the temple without proper knowledge of the plan of salvation as it has been laid out for us in our Mormon doctrine, or without a testimony.

One of the key spiritual experiences of my entire life occurred when I was in the temple for the first time to receive the ordinance of the endowment. Without going into too much detail, there is a moment in the service where you are given the opportunity to withdraw. I seriously considered it. I thought, “Am I ready to make this commitment? This means I’m a grown-up now. Am I ready to be a grown-up? Can I keep these commitments?” It was a fraction of a second of panic. And then, stronger than anything I had ever felt up to that point, I felt the Holy Ghost calm my mind, and I had the distinct feeling of “You are in the right place at the right time, and Heavenly Father is pleased with the decision you are making.” That was my moment of truth, nothing had ever felt so right.

I love the temple, for too many reasons than could be expressed here on a blog. I’m glad I decided to go. I’m glad that I went to the temple for YEARS before I got married, so that I could appreciate the doctrines and principles from the perspective of a single female before I got married. The temple is not only for marriages. The temple is here for us individually, regardless of gender, race, marital status, or age (…well, maturity helps).

Some good resources on Mormon temples and on what we believe are found on the church website where you can also find questions frequently about our temples.

Thursday, November 03, 2005 

I had friends from school who’s parents were divorced…and there were family members or people at church who had gone through or experienced divorce. But divorce is not something I have a whole lot of experience with. It’s not an easy topic for many and even though in many cases divorce is necessary, I just know it’s not something I ever want to happen to me and my marriage.

My husband and I just celebrated our eighth anniversary on Tuesday. I’m so proud of us, but if you’ve ever read the story of our beginning, you’d see that we didn’t have the easiest of starts and we’ve had some very, very hard times. There could’ve easily been a different ending to the story. The odds were never in our favor.

I haven't really witnessed first hand the prejudice or judgment toward anyone going through a divorce within the Mormon church. However, I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be. I think that if your family unit (divorced, single, married, kids, whatever) falls outside the “normal” realm of what the “typical Mormon family” should be, it is not easy and I would imagine that people going through a divorce would feel the same way. It breaks my heart to see people who are in the most need of love and support from their family, friends and people from church only to find judgment, rejection and even avoidance.

It’s just one more situation that seems to give people the false sense of being better than someone else and the thinking that there must be something wrong with anyone that’s gone through a divorce. What a surprise.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 

Rebecca's* Story

When I was younger, one of my friends from church had parents who were divorced. Rebecca's* dad cheated on her mom, so she divorced him. In my opinion, that was the right thing to do.

Unfortunately for Rebecca's mom, brothers and sisters, other people did not agree. Several women in the ward refused to let their husbands home teach her. Some people wouldn't even let their kids go over to their house. Apparently they thought that since she was single and looking that she'd look anywhere.

My dad was their home teacher and I was glad. I was glad that their family trusted ours and Rebecca and I were friends until and through our time at BYU.

She would frequently tell me about how some person or another had done something or said something where her family was treated differently because her mom was divorced. Sometimes I found it hard to believe, but people do thoughtless and heartless things all of the time without ever realizing it.

Rebecca called me a couple of weeks ago to reconnect. She was coming into town from Utah and wanted to hang out. She'd gotten married in the temple before I left Utah and that was the last I'd heard from her. She let me know that she's now divorced.

I didn't delve into the reasons for her divorce over the phone... I figured she'd let me know if she wanted me to know. She did tell me that she hasn't been going to church but she was starting to go again.

I was really saddened that she'd had to go through that, while she still carried so much pain from her own parents' relationship issues. I hope that she won't be treated the way her family was when she was growing up.

I think that divorce is terrible for children and terrible for the people involved. This isn't true in every case, though. Sometimes the only thing worse than divorce, though, is staying together.

*Names changed to protect identities.

This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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