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Gramps,

I have struggled for years over this question. I have discussed it with priesthood leaders and even written Thomas S. Monson on the subject and have never once received even a close answer so I hope you can help me understand. Tempe interview questions always ask about being current in your obligations.  Why is there no question about obeying the court order for child visitation?  I know many male members that never see their children because the ex wife will not allow it.

Martin

 

Answer

 

Martin,

I have an opinion on this subject. Those who are to be worthy to enter into the House of the Lord need to be those who are honest and have a clean character. This means being current with any financial court orders to be in compliance with the laws of the land. In some jurisdictions, if one does not pay his/her child support, he/she can be incarcerated. I am not an attorney, but I don’t think that the lack of honoring ones child visitation orders would subject one to being incarcerated.

I’m sure you would agree with me that the lack of parental involvement is a serious moral crime. Children need the righteous influence of both parents. However, we know of plenty of families within the Church where one parent does extensive business travel and the other stays at home. How is the Church to ‘regulate’ and ask for appropriate worthiness in this area? If they ask this of a divorced parent… wouldn’t they also need to ask this of a parental unit that is together? How well are they teaching their children the gospel? After a while, it becomes more of a ‘micro-management’ of families in their homes, and not about leading others towards righteous temple attendance and worship. Our leaders want us to attend the temple, not keep people out, if at all possible.

There are too many “what if” or “what about this” situations where I think the Church just wants to be sure that, in these cases, they are honorable men of the priesthood (and women in some circumstances too), who at minimum, are in compliance with their financial court order.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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