There seems to be a lot of confusion out there whether it’s cultural or doctrinal. Is it against the church to do this or to drink that? I write this simply to get discussion going. I understand that we are agents unto ourselves and make decisions based on how we choose to live the gospel but I think it’ll be beneficial when discussion is started to better understand each other. At the same time upholding doctrine and practices are key in living the Gospel. So here it goes.
Can you be in good standing in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and:
1) Read anti-Mormon literature
“Knowledge is power” is one of my favorite quotes by the Prophet Joseph Smith. It’s certainly necessary to have knowledge for one cannot be saved in ignorance. But anti-Mormon, deep doctrine in my opinion doesn’t bring us closer to Christ. I’m not saying you wouldn’t be in good standing if you do, but it’s certainly dangerous. Anyone?
2) Have a tattoo
This one shouldn’t be too difficult but I still think it’s important to address. I know many people who have tattoos and are in good standing in the church. It’s not one of the temple worthiness questions. So where did the idea that Mormons can’t have tattoos come from? Well Latter-Day Prophets strongly discourage tattooing of the body. So from what I understand it’s more of an encouragement not to get one, rather than a more strict guideline such as not consuming alcohol or coffee. Thoughts?
3) Ingest Caffeine
This seems more for those not of our faith and even some within, but the intake of caffeine is a personal choice. In the 1996 General Conference talk, “The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises,”There are many habit-forming, addictive things that one can drink or chew or inhale or inject which injure both body and spirit which are not mentioned in the revelation. Obedience to counsel will keep you on the safe side of life.” We should evaluate ourselves and ask I am addicted? Do I have to drink energy drinks or soda to keep me awake? Do I rely on them to keep my mind going? To simply state, there is no restriction on caffeine. It is a personal choice.
“While opposing homosexual behavior, the Church reaches out with understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender.
If members feel same-gender attraction but do not engage in any homosexual behavior, leaders should support and encourage them in their resolve to live the law of chastity and to control unrighteous thoughts. These members may receive Church callings. If they are worthy and qualified in every other way, they may also hold temple recommends and receive temple ordinances.”
The behavior is contrary to the law of chastity. The thoughts are unrighteous. But those who do have same gender attraction are in good standing and may enter the holy temple if worthy.
For Those that don’t know, Ordain Women is a group that is fighting for the women’s right to the priesthood. They use social pressure to attempt to sway the Church’s stance on who can hold the Priesthood. Questioning is not a problem, but disrupting general conference and speaking against the church IS a problem. Kate Kelly the founder of OW was even excommunicated.