Endued from on high

| 32 comments

Ever since primary, we are told that we should be excited for going to the temple. We aren't told what happens there or really much about it other than it's important and sacred and it helps us return to our Heavenly Father. We sing, "I love to see the temple, I'm going there someday." As teenagers, the temple gets lumped together with other righteous desires, either getting married or serving a mission. We go and do baptisms for the dead and thus learn about family history and the role of the ordinances performed in holy houses. Then, the temple's purpose shifts as bit as we become young single adults. It becomes a source of strength, a place to seek inspiration and a way to worship that ought to be frequently experienced. A temple is a refuge, is God's university, is the crowning representation of our worship. It should be clear that the temple is a good thing, and getting there is a righteous desire.

What about, though, those of us who are not married and did not serve missions? Surely the blessings of the endowment are open to us and the Church stands ready to swing wide the gates to all who are worthy to enter. I mean, God is no respecter of persons, right? I'm trying very, very hard to believe that in the face of a policy that frustrates me more than I have words for. I've heard it phrased differently, but it is essentially that members in their early twenties should not be cleared for endowment proper. Endowment connected with missions and marriages are cool, but wanting the temple on its own merits is out. Now, I currently have a bishop who does not adhere to this policy, which I am endless grateful for (of course, now when it's an actual option, I'm not worthy, but that's not the issue here).

What the hell is the rationale for this policy? And, can the Church and its leaders not see the damage it does? Usually, the reason given is that the Church does not want to endow members who are unready to make the covenants, who will treat it lightly or who are doing it for the wrong reasons (to see a sibling or friend sealed, e.g.). But the Church endows members like that all the time. They send off to the temple girls fresh out of high school who will be married at 18 or boys with mission calls that have never read the Book of Mormon. In rejecting those of us who are covered by this policy, they seem to be saying that we are spiritually immature, that we have made major mistakes in our life, that our offering of devotion just isn't good enough and that we have very little to offer the Kingdom. Even your righteous desires are misplaced, they tell us by their actions.

There are lots of times in my life where I could have said, "the Church is rejecting me." I felt an outsider as a young man not interested in playing basketball, like my quorums would do for a solid three months every year. After being kicked out of BYU and losing my four year scholarship because I was willing to admit that I had sinned, I felt like it'd be better to just cut my losses. Falling under Church discipline was a rough time, but I didn't just give up then. Getting my act back together and being told I still couldn't serve a mission stung. Becoming the pet project of Family Home Evening leaders when they thought I wasn't involved enough in the ward was an irritant. Having people question my testimony behind my back after sharing it one week made we wonder if my faith was good enough. Learning about the anti-intellectual sentiment and action of some leaders caused me to wonder if we belonged to the same Church at all. But, I stuck around through all of these. They weren't even that big of a deal, once I got over my initial pain. Being told by a number of bishops, however, that I was not in the proper age category to go to the temple was the strongest rejection I have ever experienced. These men, it seemed, were holding open the door to inactivity and getting irked that I was taking so long to pass through.

This policy needs to change, but sadly it will not any time soon, I imagine. Part of the problem is that those crafting it don't understand what it does to those of us affected by it. After all, it's been a long time since the First Presidency was endowed and, I'll grant, it's unfair of me to expect them to empathize with those of us who aren't. Also, it's a sadly self-fulfilling concern that it's based on. Someone who feels outside the care and love of the Church because they are not married or not serving a mission, etc, wants to be endowed and is told they can't be. And then, they drift into inactivity. Leaders can then lean back and think how good it was they didn't endow them, since they'd not be true to the covenants. Would letting them go through the temple have strengthen the tether between them and the Gospel? We are led to believe yes. So why deny them? And why not use the lengthy, involved interview process to weed out those who are going for the wrong reasons or aren't prepared?

I find it deeply, deeply troubling to see the number of people this policy hurts. It's even more bothersome that, with rare exception, these are the very people who I feel would most cherish the temple in their lives, who crave and need the spiritual strength we are promised by attending. If we are denied here, how, I wonder, can we be assured that God loves us, that this is our Church too and that we have something, anything to offer the Lord? I guess all we can do is stand and wait, hoping that all this is worth in the long run.

32 comments:

Petra said...

My uncle also pointed out that, in my stake at least, making a blanket age policy protects the young from having the temple added as an extra duty--that is, were there no strict age rule, the hyper-righteous might feel like they had to go through, regardless of whether they are ready. I respect my stake president and trust that he made this decision with thought and prayer, weighing the number of those that might be helped by the policy against those that might be hurt by it, but that doesn't change the fact there are those hurt by the policy, and I am one of them. I want to progress, to make further formal commitments to the Lord, and I'm being rejected by His church, and for a reason not based on me, my worthiness, or my personal maturity. (It would be far easier, I think, if the bishop had spent some time with me and told me that I, personally, am not ready--at least then I could regard his decision as inspired leadership about my particular situation, rather than just generalized application of a policy.) And, slice it any way you want to, that hurts.

(And darn it, now I'm crying again.)

Petra said...

Oh, and I should add that this policy has changed, very recently--my bishop, at least, claimed that a letter from the First Presidency about this just came a few months ago. So it's something that is actively being considered and formulated, not just a leftover.

Annie said...

i had been trying to get my bishops to let me go for so many years that my mom thought i would just dump simon after our engagement had gotten me endowed.

alea said...

petra- I'd take your uncle's rationale as valid if we really were protecting the young unprepared, but since we endow all missionaries, so the hyper-righteous men are covered, so we're let with the sisters only. And if they're hyper-righteous, they'll serve missions, probably, too, right?

annie-I'm glad you weren't just using Simon, you two are a fantastic couple.

Petra said...

Well, my uncle also thinks that we endow missionaries too early, before most of them are ready, so his argument is a bit stronger in that light.

And I think your assumptions are all off-sure, we're mainly protecting the young women, as, practically, that's the majority of unendowed early-20s folk, but I don't think it's necessarily true that the hyper-righteous sisters have gone on missions, not with the recent discouragement sister missionaries have been getting.

Jake Spurlock said...

If we are denied here, how, I wonder, can we be assured that God loves us, that this is our Church too and that we have something, anything to offer the Lord?
I don't know if this counts for anything, but what are you looking for, the actual trip to the temple, or the relationship with the Lord?

alea said...

jake-

they're inseparable. We're constantly told that one of the roles of the temples is to draw us closer to God and that we learn much about our relationship with Him. It's like asking, "what do you want, the actual marriage or the sex?" For some, like the horned up, this is a valid question, asking about their motives. But for those who really want the marriage (analogous to the relationship), the sex (going to the temple) is a necessary and key component.

Annie said...

except the temple takes hours longer than sex and is much more boring. :)

alea said...

it's not a perfect analogy, ok?

Crow's View said...

In some ways I think it also protects those from making covenants they may not be altogether ready to keep. God knows what he's doing and I think he inspires his leaders to do what they need to. I know a few guys who went through shortly before the went into the military and they are no longer active now. Now they are unaccountable for the promises they made in the temple. I think that things are learned line upon line and sometimes we need to first show we are worthy by humbling ourselves to his time frame and not ours.

Crow's View said...

In some ways I think it also protects those from making covenants they may not be altogether ready to keep. God knows what he's doing and I think he inspires his leaders to do what they need to. I know a few guys who went through shortly before the went into the military and they are no longer active now. Now they are unaccountable for the promises they made in the temple. I think that things are learned line upon line and sometimes we need to first show we are worthy by humbling ourselves to his time frame and not ours.

alea said...

it's only a protection for those how are genuinely unprepared. For me and those I know affected by the policy, we're ready. But regardless, that rule isn't put into place for others (we endow ALL misisonaries, regardless of their ability to keep a covenant), and it's not like you suddenly become capable at 25. I agree that we should keep the temple for those who can do what it requires, but this current policy does nothing of that sort at all.

thefinitemonkey said...

I'll get into this one a bit.

Now, don't take offense at this opener, but if you weren't worthy before and you aren't worthy now, then perhaps there's some more smarts to the policy than you're giving it credit for.

I think it's fantastic that you've been able to be honest enough with yourself to seek repentance and forgiveness for your mistakes. And if the temple is something you really want to get to, then keep working to do whatever it is your leaders are advising you to do. Just don't fall into the trap of questioning the Lord or the Church and their motives. Because the motives are always (or should always be) about love and wanting each of us to achieve our best. And you can get that.

We are culpable for the covenants we make in the temple. They are strong covenants, with serious implications. I personally believe that the age limits exist to give people a solid opportunity to get married, thus avoiding unchastity while endowed.

As far as missionaries being endowed goes, you have to be endowed to be a missionary. I don't disagree that there are many people that aren't prepared for that. I do know that the bar has gotten higher for being accepted as a missionary though, and that's probably part of the reason.

Petra said...

the finite monkey--

Your first point is perfectly valid for Alea right now, but not for all the times in his past, and it's certainly not valid for me--I am and have always been temple worthy. So where's the smarts in the policy when it comes to me?

I don't like the idea of denying unmarried people a temple recommend because they're more vulnerable to mistakes with the Law of Chastity, for several reasons. First, I don't necessarily see that there's more temptation to breaking the Law of Chastity when you're single, since the Law applies to everyone and doesn't just cover premarital sex, but also extramarital affairs and pornography, the first of which plagues only married people and the second of which plagues the single and the married about equally.

Second, that argument doesn't hold up given that all missionaries get endowed regardless of whether they'll get married directly after their mission or not for another ten years, and it's not like you can unendow them if they haven't gotten married within a certain window. The majority of the people this policy affects are single women, and so if you're arguing that it's to prevent the unendowed from being more accountable for Law of Chastity violations, you're also basically saying that you trust women less in regards to keeping the Law of Chastity. Maybe that's what you want to say, but in that case we should have a separate argument, because I definitely disagree. (Sexual immorality takes two.)

Also, the idea that we have to keep people out of the temple because they might fail to keep the covenants seems to deny both a. the power of the atonement and the fact that we ALL fail at some point and b. the protection that the temple can bring us--it is a covenant, after all, which is a two-sided promise, and we are supposed to have the power and assistance of God on our sides as we strive to live His commandments and fill our covenants. And, really, if we kept people out of the temple until we were sure they wouldn't sin, no one could ever go through.

alea said...

finite monkey-

a rephrasing of Petra's last point, but yes, I wasn't worthy before and am not worthy now, but there was a period when I was worthy and was denied. Couldn't the knowledge of the covenants and what was at stake theoretically kept me from screwing it up again?

Though, this post isn't so much about me as it is about a bad policy which several people I know have come against. I'm just one example.

thefinitemonkey said...

Like I said, not meaning to offend anybody. Missionaries are endowed because they have to be to go on missions. That's doctine, and it is what it is. Doesn't keep them from screwing up either. I knew a guy in my mission who wound up being sent home.

I also have a sister who didn't marry until well into her twenties. It was a quandry for her too. She felt a bit offended as I recall, but decided to go with what she knew. The Church and the gospel are true, and she wasn't any less of a member or any weaker in her testimony for not having gone through the temple yet.

For what it's worth though, she did wind up going through before getting married.

And heavens no! I don't trust women less when it comes to chastity. Exactly the opposite would likely be true in fact. Except in terms of my ex I suppose, though that's another story :-)

All I was really trying to get at is that, aside from missionaries who have to be endowed to serve, my guess would be that most people are held back from going to the temple (both men and women) for a time in an effort to help them avoid making covenants they might not actually be ready for. Just like the Melchizedek priesthood isn't supposed to be a gimme when a young man turns 18.

It's not a perfect system. But it is a true gospel. Not having been through the temple yet doesn't make anyone less worthy or less faithful. It just makes people who treat you that way less polite and intelligent! :-)

Petra said...

TFM--

I can't speak for Alea, but I'm certainly not offended. I don't agree with you, but I'm not offended.

I see your point about preventing people from going through unready, etc, etc, I just don't think it's a good enough reason to make a blanket age restriction. And, in fact, I think your point about the Melchizedek priesthood supports my argument as well as yours--whether or not to give it supposedly based on a young man's individual maturity, not determined by a blanket age rule. (And before you point out that there is a blanket age rule for the Melchizedek priesthood, which I'm sure I'm spelling wrong by this point, let me say that I see that as different because it is a minimum that applies to everyone; if the temple rule were a blanket one saying that no one could go through before 25, regardless of marriage and missions, I wouldn't be complaining in the slightest.)

Basically, I just don't agree with the argument that people should or must be held back to protect them. If I, at 23, feel like I've been prompted by the Spirit that I'm ready to go through the temple, why should a blanket age minimum aimed at a small segment of the Church population be in place to contradict the Spirit and tell me that I'm not ready?

And, out of curiosity, why, doctrinally, do missionaries have to be endowed before going on missions?

thefinitemonkey said...

Hey Petra. You know, the funny thing is that I don't think we're really disagreeing with each other at all. Rather I just may not have communicated well my feelings that yes, certainly there are people in the Church who are perfectly ready and committed in such a way as to be prepared for the temple and its covenants.

All I was really trying to do was explore possible reasons why there would be some age limiting going on. My intent was only to point out that while some kind of vague age restriction may seem harsh, I'm sure the intentions are only for the best. Really, in perhaps too clumsy a way, I was just trying to be encouraging about looking forward to the time when you do go, rather than being negative about not being able to go now.

Okay, so as for the doctrinal question, I'm really bad about pulling scripture references out of the air. Fortunately the Church web site has a pretty robust search engine, so I was able to find a good scripture reference and an equally good New Era article pretty quickly.

D&C 39:15
And inasmuch as my people shall assemble themselves at the Ohio, I have kept in store a blessing such as is not known among the children of men, and it shall be poured forth upon their heads. And from thence men shall go forth into all nations.

http://www.lds.org/portal/site/LDSOrg/menuitem.b12f9d18fae655bb69095bd3e44916a0/?vgnextoid=024644f8f206c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=05eae257075fb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

Jér said...

There was at least one unendowed missionary in my mission, an Albanian elder who didn't have the resources to get to the temple or some such. I believe he did end up going to the Switzerland temple eventually, but he was a missionary for several months (as I recall) while still unendowed.

Talking about blanket minimums: I wish the minimum age of baptism in the LDS church were higher than 8 years old. I know I didn't know enough to make a choice about what religion I wanted to follow (if any) when I was eight.

Petra said...

tfm,

Do you prefer the name capitalized or not? As you see, I'm undecided and will defer to your chosen convention.

You're right that we're not disagreeing on whether some people are ready before the age minimum, and you're right that we're not disagreeing on what my reaction (and the reaction of any other person, such as Alea and Annie and any number of other people) should be when faced with this situation. I think we do disagree, however, on whether the interpretation you're offering is a legitimate reason, on the part of the Church, to enact such a policy. I appreciate your efforts to explain it, and it may be that you are right, but, all that notwithstanding, I don't think that reason is a valid one to keep me and my under-25 kind out of the temple.

I do thank you for your encouragement, though, and I do agree with you that the intentions of the leaders in enacting this policy are probably for the best. As I said in my first comment, I think that my stake president made this decision carefully, and trust that he had some reason to do so, I'm simply having a hard time finding a reason that I see as good enough, and, of course, a hard time not letting the enactment of this policy feel like too harsh a rejection.

Now, just in case this comment wasn't long enough, on to the issue of why missionaries have to be endowed, doctrinally. I hope you don't take this as me being overly argumentative--I promise I'm just trying to understand, not attack--but, first, I don't read that scripture as necessary justification for the temple being an obligation before a mission; just because those early Saints could go from the temple to a mission doesn't mean that everyone must.

I couldn't pull up that New Era article, but I found one that I think might be what you referred me to. In the one I read, at least, the temple was mentioned as a source of power and protection and blessings for missionaries, which I think at least justifies the cultural tradition that missionaries go through the temple before their mission, but not necessarily the claim that it's doctrinal, a claim which, frankly, I'm doubting, based on both Jer's experience with an unendowed missionary in his mission and my own experience in Indonesia, where, up until about a year ago, none of the local missionaries went through the temple before their mission. Most didn't have the financial or otherwise resources to allow a trip to Hong Kong, and so they simply served unendowed. In fact, last year, in my small branch in Central Java, only one man in the entire branch was endowed; our branch president, a returned missionary, and our Relief Society president, a returned missionary, were both still unendowed.

So if it's doctrinal, that's a pretty flexible doctrine. I'd guess, personally, it's strong tradition, probably with good theological justification, but not a strict doctrinal necessity.

thefinitemonkey said...

Petra, I will happily take my name capitalized however you like :-)

As for the doctrine...hey, if I'm wrong, I'm wrong and can happily admit it. And it sounds like I am.

I've always been under the impression that it was a doctrinal thing. When I went on my mission, I hadn't been to the temple prior to entering the MTC. Pretty much everyone was stunned. But my dad isn't a member, and there wasn't a temple closer than ten hours away at the time, so it just made sense to wait until I could walk across the street to do it. Everyone's hustle to make sure I went through at the soonest possible opportunity just enforced that it was a requirement before entering the mission field.

To hear about these non-endowed missionaries is completely new to me. However, so was hearing about green garments for military personnel. Less so for me than for the Church leader who stopped someone entering the MTC asking what on earth he thought he was doing though, I'll wager. ;-)

Anyone wishing to go to the temple but not yet able to do so, for whatever reasons, will always have my support. It is a beautiful place, and worth waiting for. Please don't ever feel rejected by having to wait.

Alea, I feel your pain. Been there (the thing I've really been dancing around while trying to be encouraging). Just know that it, and you, will both be better. And you will make it to the temple. And you will stop feeling other people's eyes at your back, real or imagined.

You guys are all great! Glad I've been able to be part of this discussion. Hope I'm still invited for more.

alea said...

tfm-

you're always welcome. You should know, en re Petra and I, we don't mind the arguing and disagreeing and so on. In fact, we both sort of get off on it.

Th. said...

.

This isn't quite the same, Petra, but I've often wished by bishop had told me now when I wanted my patriarchal blessing at fourteen.

Th. said...

.

Now, having read to the end of the comments (and then going and reading the actual post), I have to say a couple more things:

1. I don't currently have access to a current copy of the general handbook, but I'm pretty certain this age-requirement thing is nonsense. By which I mean ten-year-olds, no, sure, but adults, yes, TBD by local authorities. I really really really don't think that's in the book.

1a. Which doesn't mean it's not a widely followed de facto policy.

2. Being endowed before a mission is not a doctrinal requirement, no, but it is a pretty strict policy and a good one, in my opinion. Here's why (not in argument form, but story form):

2cont. Before the great Mormon Exodus, Priority #1 for the Saints was completing the Nauvoo Temple that all could be endowed with power from on high.

2cont. Everyone knew perfectly well that as soon as the temple and endowments were through, the temple would be abandoned. But it had to be done.

2cont. Why? Because there was no way the Exodus could have happened without that power from on high. They needed that, and they needed it spread about as universally as possible.

2cont. Your earlier point about how making the endowment brings the strength to fulfill its obligations is dead on--and much more strength, besides. (That's just the way God swings--loan him a nickel, he gives you fifty bucks.) Which is why whenever possible, missionaries are to be endowed. Missions can be brutal. Maybe not more so than, say, the Peace Corps or anything, but the things at stake are eternal things and those things which God is most focussed on and concerned about. Ergo, we stuff missionaries with (at least the potential for) much more power than they would have endowmentless.

2cont. I'm sorry to wax so metaphysical, and I wish I could talk about exactly what having that extra power means, but I really don't know. I have a testimony of that, but can't even begin to guess what that testimony is of, exactly.

3. In my opinion, there is no reason you should not be able to be endowed. But, like you, I have a trust in our stake president--and I doubt he would say no without a celestially delivered reason. I would lean against interpreting that reason as "God finds me unworthy" or even "I must not be 'ready'" because I doubt either of those are true. I'm also not comfortable with "Maybe I need to be more humble first" or "I'm being put in my place" or "I'm not loved enough" or "God's punishing me for women's lib" or anything silly like those. I doubt them mightily.

3cont. Why then the delay? I don't know. I'm guessing you don't know. I doubt the stake president knows. But someBody does know, and you can take that for comfort. He would mean you to.

Petra said...

Th.--

Interesting comments. First, I don't think there's a fair comparison between this issue and your patriarchal blessing one, mostly since what's chafing me is being denied a temple recommend because of a rule, not because of my bishop. Whether you could get a patriarchal blessing was left to the judgement of your bishop, not the application of a formula. Had my bishop sat down, talked with me for a long period of time, got to know my reasons for wanting to go, and then said no, I wouldn't be upset in the slightest, because I could easily take that as his inspiration regarding my situation, and, as my priesthood leader, his revelation trumps mine. What's hard for me to see, though, is why his general application of a rule should trump my personal revelation.

1. This age policy isn't just de facto in our stake; President So-and-So sat down with all the bishops and agreed that 24 would be the absolute minimum age for anyone not married or missioning to get endowed.

2. I like your arguments for why missionaries are endowed pre-mission. I just can't see why the Church then seems so reluctant to let anyone else have access to those powers from on high if they think, after serious consideration and consultation with God, that they need them.

3. I'm not interpreting the refusal as any of those reasons, actually. (Well, except insofar as how my bishop specifically told me that I needed to get over my women's lib issues before he'd give me a recommend.) See, all those reasons would be personal, involving me and my personal state of spiritual readiness, and what bothers me about this whole situation is how impersonal it is. This is an illustration, basically, of what my dad calls "algorithmic religion": instead of making a real decision for each individual, this way you just look at a birth certificate. This is treating what should be, for me and my leaders both, a very serious and personal decision, like a flowchart: is she 25? If no, send her back home. If yes, proceed directly to the temple, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

(That's being very facetious, of course, as there are factors other than age in the decision to issue a recommend, and not just anyone over 25 can go. But you see what I mean, right?)

Basically, though, it's reducing the "maturity" requirement to a yes or no question with no real reference to the person involved. And, seeing as how this contrast between algorithmic and prophetic religion is one of the greatest tensions in my spiritual life as a Mormon, that hurts me far more than a decision made my bishop with reference to my personal maturity, humility, and relationship with God.

Th. said...

.

I agree with you completely. And though I'm not a leader and never have been (the reason I used to have access was being called as executive secretary) I do think the Church is trying to avoid these kind of logarithmic policies. But they do offer a lot of convenience and do let bishops off the hook when they can just point to a rule and say, Sorry, it's not me, that's just the way it is.

In my mind the whole thing is ridiculous. But then again, it was no one less than Jesus who gave Joseph Smith the eight-years-old rule, so there is some precedent.

Thanks for filling me in with some of the stake-specific policy details--I hadn't heard them before. They bay be based on brain science though--seems age 25 is pretty significant for brains.....

I don't think a policy like this is bad as a guideline, but I do find it a perplexing thing to make ironclad.

Maybe it's a copout, but I generally look at perplexing things as opportunities for me to practice humility in faith. Which makes it quite obvious that God is fully aware what a cocky bastard I am. The only surprising thing is that I don't find more things perplexing; maybe I'm not digging deeply enough.

Petra said...

Is age 25 only significant for the brains of unmarried non-RMs? Because that's some brain science I need to know about.

And I guess my problem with this is twofold: if the rule applied to everyone, and were therefore purely algorithmic, like, say, the age-8 baptism rule, I could find peace with that. If, however, we make major exceptions to this supposed rule for those who really need the power and blessings, why must we make the decision of those who need the power dependent on calendar age, brain science, algorithms, or what have you, rather than trusting personal revelation and the Spirit for each person?

(And, for the record, the official First Presidency policy is that "early 20s" is not a good time to go through, and not for reasons of curiosity or wanting to see weddings, and it's left to stakes to decide how they define "early 20s." So the official policy actually does leave lots of wiggle room for personal revelation.)

I think I've pretty much already said all this a million times, though, so maybe I should shut up and let Alea have his blog back.

Th. said...

.

Maybe so. I think we all basically agree with you anyway.

NAlton said...

Here's my take:

I went to the bishop about 2 years ago and asked about going to the temple. I was prepared emotionally/spiritually for this. He explained to me the age reasoning in the following manner:

The Church as seen a lot of women AND men go through the temple at young ages. And then they commit sins. As endowed members they face harsher "punishment" than they do as unendowed members. They've also seen an increase in endowed members that are falling away from the Church, and these numbers are mainly in the 20 somethings. Therefore, the Brethern have determined that by asking the young adults to wait, they are helping to protect us from breaking serious commitments. It BUGGED me at first that I would be denied the temple just because I was 23, but I'm now grateful in retrospect. I'm now 25 and (according to my bishop at the time of the denial) would be allowed to go through if I want. I've now decided to wait, for the chance to get to go through with my future husband. Understanding, that might not happen, I plan to be endowed prior to finishing grad school....either way. But we'll see. (And as one that understands you're feelings, feel free to email me if you need to talk. Because I cried over it myself.)

NAlton said...

Let me try that last sentence again:

But we'll see. (And as one that understands your feelings, feel free to email me if you need to talk. Because I cried over it myself.)

Petra said...

NAlton--

I'm interested in the numbers of those who leave the Church in their early 20s. Are they mostly women or men? Because if they're mostly men, the "we're protecting you" argument doesn't hold up.

Fimbrethil said...

Not every bishop holds young people back. It should be an individual basis. I've gotta think about this more, but I wanted to say to all those who've had anguish over not being able to recieve their own endowments, keep going to do baptisims, keep going to the grounds to meditate. As the joy of service (in whatever capacity) continues to fill your soul, before you know it you'll be there.

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