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Question

 

Hi Gramps!

My question is: what if temple workers are unworthy, does that mean that the ordinances we do in the temple are void?  Please note that I am not saying that anyone is unworthy, neither do I condemn them and their actions. It’s just that I have met some members (and heard stories of others) who are temple workers, but outside they seem to do things contrary to what we are taught in Church.  Thank you for helping me out.

Anonymous

 

Answer

 

Dear Anonymous,

On a previous question, I gave an answer similar to what I would have done here.   I will highlight an specific area that is significant to answering your question:

No mortal Priesthood holder is ever perfect. They all have some level of sin or transgression in their life. If total purity was required then no one would ever be able to get any priesthood ordinance.

 

Therefore the Lord has setup his priesthood to work around human frailties and limitations. First each individual priesthood holder is taught that they need to be worthy, second each saving ordinance is approved by a leader who is responsible to make sure all involved are worthy, third the person receiving the ordinance is instructed in what is required, and finally there are witnesses who are responsible to make sure the ordinance is preformed correctly. Anyone of these groups can raise concerns about how the ordinance is done. (admittedly witnesses don’t handle worthiness issues but the idea of making sure it is done right is clearly there)

I would also like to highlight two differences in the priesthood: having the authority is completely different than having the power of the priesthood. In a talk given by President Boyd K. Packer, he described these differences quite eloquently:

The authority of the priesthood is with us. After all that we have correlated and organized, it is now our responsibility to activate the power of the priesthood in the Church. Authority in the priesthood comes by way of ordination; power in the priesthood comes through faithful and obedient living in honoring covenants. It is increased by exercising and using the priesthood in righteousness.

As far as determining someone’s worthiness, it is best to leave that to the proper priesthood authorities (i.e. bishops, stake presidents, etc.)

If you encounter a situation where you witness someone who is clearly breaking the commandments (and specially one who holds the priesthood in a very high profile calling), then it is prudent to talk to your bishop and allow him the opportunity to decide what other step(s) need to be taken. After you have informed your bishop, it is highly important to NOT place any other judgement(s) on this individual, otherwise, you are in danger of the “greater sin”.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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