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Question

 

Gramps,

In a divorce situation, who chooses who can ordain a child to the Aaronic priesthood?  Is is the parent with legal custody?   I have a situation where my ex lied his way into being re-baptized after excommunication, and now holds a temple recommend.  He consistently lies to the kids and tried to get my younger son to cheat on his pinewood derby car.  So the only thing standing between him unworthily ordaining my son is…. my protests, since I am the legal custodian.  Help!

Megan

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Answer

 

Dear Megan,

I believe that in a situation where a child is being raised by separated parents, the Church will try to defer to any orders that may have been made by the divorce court. So this may be an issue for you to bring up with your attorney.

From a more practical (as opposed to legalistic) standpoint:  I understand how frustrating and painful it is to see an unworthy man who has caused you personal pain to successfully conceal his sins and officiate in the ordinances of the priesthood.  There is much about your personal and family situation that I do not, and cannot, know.  But I would gently suggest that you consider (among many other factors) your son’s own wishes in the matter, and make a sincere effort not to influence him in any particular direction.  Many adolescent children of divorced parents tend to do better when they are free to negotiate their relationships with each parent on their own terms, and when parents take care to keep their children shielded from their own marital or co-parenting disputes.  But again, I am speaking generally; I have no idea about the details of your situation or how your son is coping with it.  If, perchance, your son is in counseling; this may be an excellent issue on which to seek therapeutic advice.

Doctrinally speaking, as long as your son’s ordination is properly overseen by the appropriate Church authorities, you can rest assured his ordination will be valid even if your ex-husband has succeeded in hiding his sins from his ecclesiastical leaders.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

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