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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

If a Mormon Church member continues to attend a ward other than his geographically assigned one, is there any standard procedure for handling the situation? What effect will this have on the family in regards to teaching by example, being able to obtain a temple recommend, providing service to the Lord through accepting callings, etc? If they take the sacrament while attending other wards for the purpose of avoiding dissension, are they partaking worthily? Thank you for any clarification.

Sandra

 

Answer

 

Dear Sandra,

It sounds to me like you know the answer to these questions.

Q– If a member continues to attend elsewhere, is there any standard procedure for handling the situation?

A– In terms of making it official, no. The only remedy for affiliation with another ward is to move into the boundaries of that ward.

Q– What effect will this have on the family in regards to teaching by example?

A– The scriptures are quite clear on how to resolve difficulties between people. They include, first, forgiveness of others for their faults. If a situation is serious and irreconcilable, after attempts to come to agreement, it may be submitted to priesthood authorities for adjudication. If one retains bitterness, and lives in a spirit of contention, what does this teach to family members? Abraham Lincoln once said, “I destroy my enemies–by making them my friends.”

Q-being able to obtain a temple recommend?

A- You can only obtain a temple recommend from your bishop of record. It would be up to your bishop to judge your worthiness to enter the temple based on an unresolved conflict.

Q- providing service to the Lord through accepting callings?

A- As a visitor to another ward you would normally receive no callings.

It seems quite obvious that it would not be appropriate to run away from such a problem situation. To resolve a difficulty would require some sort of an agreement between both parties. If the other party were intransigent, then it would be most appropriate to apply the Savior’s counsel to

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

 

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

 

And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

 

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:44-48).

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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