Asking Gramps

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

When I first started this journey of leaving the Mormon Church and learning things that shouldn't have been kept from me in the first place, I went around online to many websites. Some of these sites Mormons will insist, are anti-Mormon. Anti-Mormon websites supposedly lie and trick readers into believing horrible things about the church that are not true. Anti-Mormon sites will ruin your testimony, it's Satan behind them. Please.

So, doing my best to stay as neutral as possible, I went to a website called Ask Gramps. The tagline reads: Moral answers to everyday concerns, curiosities and uncertainties. I decided that this would be a good place to read some of the questions I had about the Mormon Church and how Gramps would answer them. Unfortunately, his answers didn't really help me much. I know the guy means well, and he seems extremely honest... he seems like a nice guy... but some of the answers he gave upset me at times.

I decided to share some of the questions on, post Gramp's answer to the question, and then answer the question myself. Lets see just how different we are... hmm?

Dear Gramps, Did the Lord Translate/Transfigure Joseph Smith at the time of his first vision. The scripture says no man can see God with his natural eye an live. Moses, the Brother of Jared and others that saw or spoke with the Lord mention not seeing with their natural eye. The same with the many who saw Jesus after his crucifixion in the old world and the American continent, were all of these individuals blessed by the Lord for this specific purpose. Where in the gospel writings are these questions entertained. Last note, Why would Joseph Smith wait for so many years before writing the events of his first vision. With all he had gon through with Moroni, one would think he would have documented that sacred event immediately. D Farr, from Layton, Utah
Gramps' Reply:

Dear D. Farr, There is a natural tendency for us to translate to historical times under consideration the conditions of our own times. We give no thought to making immediate Xerox copies of anything in print that we want to save. If we want to keep a record of any trivial thing we merely use the keyboard to type it into some file on our computer, where we can make as many instantaneous copies as we want, and send the memo with instant transmission to anyone in the world. These commonplace things would have been unbelievable magic 150 years ago. It was not a common thing in the early 1800s to write anything down. Most of the people in those days did not know how to write. And when they did write something, they usually plucked a tail feather from a turkey, cut the end of it on the bias and then cut a slit in the end. They then found some paper and a bottle of ink, and dipping the feather in the ink, were able to write a few words before getting some more ink on the feather. It was really a laborious process. When records were kept of meetings, someone would use this pen and ink process and write the proceedings according to their memories of the meeting or event. What would have been really unusual and hard to understand would have been if Joseph would have gone home and written down all the proceedings of that day. Gramps
Sydney's reply:

My thanks to Gramp's history lesson, but that doesn't really answer the question, does it? Why did Joseph Smith wait so long to write down the events of the first vision? Because he didn't have all the details made up yet. Joseph told the story to many, many people... and the story changed every time. Many know today that there are many different accounts of the first vision, and I don't know about anyone else, but if I were visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ I would certainly do my best to document the event as soon as possible. Joseph knew how to read and write. We all know this. So that argument doesn't really fly either. He had the time, means, and ability to write down the first vision, and there isn't really GOOD reason why he didn't. Period.

Dear Gramps,

I am new to the Mormon Church and right now, have not had the time to really find myself in it. I was baptized two years ago and truly love the Church, the people, the restoration of the gospel, all the teachings. . . I feel I have found home when I found this church. But, I have a problem. I have a 12 year old daughter whom I have full custody of and I was going through a divorce while taking the discussions. Now, after having been apart from my ex-husband for 5 years, I had found someone I wanted to date. We started dating in April and I feel I have finally found my soul-mate. We seem to complete each other. My problem is that first of all, I know the Church advocates dating a lot of people to make sure of the right one. Before I married, I had only dated one person. This man I’m dating now is only the third person I’ve ever dated. My other problem is that he’s not of the Mormon religion. I really want to get married in the temple and have our family sealed, but what if he doesn’t want to convert? Does that mean I have to give him up? What if he really IS meant for me and I lose him by asking him to become a Mormon? Could you help me with these questions?

Terry, from Topeka, Kansas

Gramps' Reply:

Dear Terry,

Before you chose the Lord and became a member of His Church, He chose you. We join the Church through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that testifies of the Father and the Son. There is no doubt that having followed the invitation to be baptized, the Lord would have you follow His invitation to enter into the covenant of eternal marriage, and by so doing prepare yourself for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. In order to do so you must marry someone who is worthy to go to the temple with you. If the person you are dating “was meant for you,” it means that he was meant to accept the gospel and live its principles. If he refuses to do that there is no doubt that he was not meant for you. Don’t expect that if he won’t join the Church before you are married that he will afterward. Some do, but many don’t. The risk is far too great. As you live an exemplary life the Lord will undoubtedly lead you to a worthy companion. Perhaps this is the one, but if I were you I would quickly put a condition on our relationship, that it could never be a serious one unless he followed the path that you have followed, and lives worthy to receive the same blessings that are your own goal. Here is what some of the brethren have had to say about marrying out of the Church–

“We say to our young people, get married, and marry aright. Marry in the faith, and let the ceremony be performed in the place God has appointed. Live so that you may be worthy of this blessing. If, however, obstacles, not at present removable, prevent this most perfect form of marriage, have your bishop perform the ceremony, and then, at the earliest possible moment, go to the temple. But do not marry those out of the Church, as such unions almost invariably lead to unhappiness and quarrels and often finally to separation. Besides, they are not pleasing in the sight of heaven. The believer and unbeliever should not be yoked together, for sooner or later, in time or in eternity, they must be divided again.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p.279)

“For the reasons previously stated, it is a most serious error for a young man or a young woman to marry outside of the Church, for they cannot then be married with a promise of eternal union. No matter who should perform such a ceremony of marriage, it must be for time only, and then death will separate the contracting parties who will not have claim upon their children after they are dead.” (Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.75)

“Paul said: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14.) Perhaps Paul wanted them to see that religious differences are fundamental differences. Yes, a small minority are finally baptized. Some good men and women have joined the Church after the interfaith marriage and have remained most devout and active. God bless them! We are proud of them and grateful for them. These are our blessed minority. Others who do not join the Church are still kind, considerate, and cooperative, and permit the other spouse to worship and serve according to the Church pattern. God bless them also! Many others join the Church ostensibly for the marriage, then fail to live the commandments. Many of them are later divorced. Others, though not divorced, continue to have friction, particularly in religious matters in the home. The majority, however, do not join the Church. Surveys have indicated that only one of seven finally join the Church-the odds are against the others. And nearly half of those who marry out of the Church become inactive. As parents give up their religion, an increasing number of their children are brought up without any religion. So you are taking a desperate chance if you say, ‘Well, maybe he will join after we are married. We will go ahead and try it and see.’ It is a pretty serious thing to take a chance on.” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.300)


Sydney's Reply:

You should marry who you love. Don't let your religion dictate who you should love and who you should marry. Millions of families exist happily while sharing faiths between couples, and teaching their children that it is okay to have different beliefs than someone else and it doesn't make them less of a person.

You obviously love this man very much. You say he completes you. You should do what makes you happy. Turning him away because he doesn't want to be a Mormon isn't something God would want you to do, it isn't very Christlike, is it?

Accept him for who he is. Let him accept you for who you are. You will have a happier marriage that way, don't try to change him or force him to convert. It will only cause resentment.

Well, there you have it. I disagree with Gramps most of the time... I wish people would trust their own judgment a little more. They know what would make them happy. God wants us to be happy.

The End.