A Little History:
Our story begins in Pocatello, Idaho, circa 1972, when the lovely Debby Christensen agreed to a first, though fateful date with admirer, David Croshaw. Long story-short, he bade her follow him, and they went arm-in-arm to the Logan, Utah temple for establishment of an eternal family unit, Generation 1, on May 23 1973.

From their first blissful summer in Salt Lake City, educational pursuits took them to Provo/Orem, Utah, birthplace of Leslie and Rebecca, and to San Francisco/Oakland California, birthplace of Colin and Matt. Then, for establishment of livelihood, expansion of the tribe with Abby and Dana, and for raising/unifying of Generation 2, it was back to the roots in Pocatello for a rewarding sojourn.

In time, driven by a raging, but commonly shared sense of adventure and independence, one-by-one, Generation 2 escaped the homeland to distant regions of the country and the world, each ultimately developing their own tribal expansions by pairing with worthy mates and initiating Generation 3.

Now sensing fulfillment of their purpose in Pocatello, Generation 1 has also left those roots and transplanted to Cascade Idaho, from which base, they anticipate more abundant contact with The Posterity, Generations 2 and 3, in the future. That contact however, awaits fulfillment of a call to LDS missionary service in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wherein they hope to help the state of the world by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

So now, including Generation 0 (Grandma and Grandpa Christensen) home base includes Yuma, Arizona, Pocatello, Idaho, Cascade, Idaho, Vancouver, BC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spokane, Washington, Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, California, back to Boise, Idaho, and on and on (Generation 3+) to infinity.

Our Mission Statement:
This is the blog of our eternal family unit. Initiated years ago, it served well as a journal, but even more so, as an archive of our personal interaction. It was a gathering place, a confabulation instrument, a unifying force for four generations of widely dispersed and progressively prolific posterity, and their valued associates. Though it served these purposes well for many years, it eventually took a back seat to new-kids-on-the-block, Facebook, and Instagram, and was sadly forgotten.

We now move to resurrect this blog with an added functional purpose of archiving the missionary experiences of Generation 1, of their movements and activities as they participate with The Gathering of Israel in the land northward. In so doing, we hope that via their own comments and posts, this blog will again serve to gather and unify the posterity and their friends.

As in the past, that the young and vibrant may know the old and tired, that enduring bonds may be fostered and maintained, that experience and encouragement may be openly shared, that posterity may embrace truth, and that hearts may be knit together, we must resist detachment despite our geographic divergence. We shall do so here.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Doctrinal Question?

Tiffany a good friend of Crystal's who is extremely religious/spiritual and not LDS brought up a questions about a scripture in the New Testament. Interestingly enough this friend has moved to Kansas City, MO due to it becoming an area of great religious excitement:-)

The reference is Matthew 22:23-30

When I read the verses (particularly verses 29-30) I was left feeling a little confused especially since the only direct scriptural cross references I have found are in the Doctrine and Covenants. What makes it more difficult is that verses 29-30 are Christs words. I gave the only answer I knew. I really don't know why these verses say what they do. I was raised knowing that eternal marriage was practiced even in the times of the Old Testament and that the Pearl of Great Price helps to sustain that. I'm just don't know how to go about addressing this honest and heartfelt question Tiffany has raised. I want to know the right answer so I don't make a fool of myself.

Please let responses show some quiet dignity and respect for all feelings. Please try to see this question from all points of view.


David and Debby said...

That last cross reference -e- is for D&C 132:15-17 which gives the answer as to how we believe those Matthew verses. Tiffany may not recognize the D&C as a reputable source, but what she is asking is for your explanation of why we believe in eternal marriage in the face of those Matthew verses.

The seven men were each apparently married to the woman for time, but not sealed for eternity. Not having that detail specifically explained by the Matthew verses or elsewhere in the Bible does generate an apparent contradiction to our belief. But, modern revelation (D&C) elaborates on those Bible verses and fills in the blanks. Restoration of the priesthood sealing authority then makes it all possible.

We know (e.g. per the book of Moses) that many plain and precious doctrines were removed from the Bible by wicked men during the dark ages. I don't know if that was so in the case of the Matthew verses, or if the Savior just chose not to elaborate, but I believe when he said the Saducees err, not knowing the scriptures, he was likely referring to some other passages that would have explained that matter, and "the power of God" (Priesthood - Sealing authority) just as the D&C does, but which passages we no longer have in our Bibles. This is the reason we need modern-day prophets and revelation.

Your discussion with Tiffany could open doors to many more plain and precious parts of the gospel, e.g. the Plan of Salvation. Discuss it prayerfully with her so the Spirit can attend, and you won't go wrong.

Leslie said...

Hi Matt,

This is what the institute manual says (as quoted from Jesus the Christ). I think it explains it pretty well.

(21-8) Matthew 22:23–33. Is There to Be Marriage in the Resurrected State?
“Jesus stopped not, however, to question the elements of the problem as presented to Him; whether the case was assumed or real mattered not, since the question ‘Whose wife shall she be?’ was based on an utterly erroneous conception. ‘Jesus nswered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.’ The Lord’s meaning was clear, that
in the resurrected state there can be no question among the seven brothers as to whose wife for eternity the woman shall be, since all except the first had married
her for the duration of mortal life only, and primarily for the purpose of perpetuating in mortality the name and family of the brother who first died. Luke records the Lord’s words as follows in part: ‘But they which
shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of
God, being the children of the resurrection.’ In the resurrection there will be no marrying nor giving in marriage; for all questions of marital status must be
settled before that time, under the authority of the Holy Priesthood, which holds the power to seal in marriage for both time and eternity.” (Talmage, Jesus
the Christ, p. 548.)

Leslie said...

P.S. Maybe you should send her Jesus the Christ. It's an excellent reference tool when reading the New Testament.

Crystal said...

Thank you both for all the time you put into your response...

Well, I did my best and it made her mad. She is not ABOUT to start believing anything is scripture other than the Bible. She is on my case about a lot of things Mormon, but apparently, this has been weighing on her mind a lot. She is definitely a Bible scholar too, so that is not an expertise I have, but like I told her, it feels right to me to do Temple Ordinances by witness of the Holy Ghost. That was really all I could offer, in the end.
Tiffany is a good person though. She and I were in college together and served on three missions together. She is very much obedient to the God of the Bible... Very much a follower of Christ. Her main concern... Well, I will just copy and paste, though much does get lost in e-communication..

But we have the Dead Sea Scrolls and documents that pre-date European Christianity. This whole thing hinges upon Joseph Smith's credibility, and while I know he was uneducated and produced an elaborate religious document, but THE SAME CAN BE SAID OF MOHAMMED AND THE KORAN. Are we to accept that, too? I have my theories about both men and both documents, and I'm sure you don't want to hear it.

PS, Isn't God soverign enough to keep His document intact? And if a curse is pronounced over anyone who takes away or adds to scripture, who could believe in God and dare to adjust His word? And WHY on earth would someone be motivated to remove a means by which people's marriages are sealed? Evil-ness is an explaination, but what I really mean is WHAT WOULD THESE MEN GAIN BY DOING SO? (If I were vile and trying to screw up man's understanding of the scripture, I'd mess up something that would benefit me...) Also, do you not see a problem with the idea of becoming gods? That temptation goes right back to the garden, and even the fall of Lucifer: wanting to be God/a god/like a god... rebellion against our place in the kingdom, under God's authority for all time.

So, I think it is best for me to have borne my testimony of temple work. Now I do wonder about sealings and such in the times of the Bible. Luckily, we are studying the New Testament this year, my Gospel Doctrines teacher will be so happy when I tell him about this concern from my friend in Kansas City ;-)

Colin & Lori said...

First of all, you believe what you do for reasons that you don't have to justify to anyone but God. You know it's true. I have found it is very difficult, if not impossible, to explain and justify deep doctrines to people who do not have a very clear understanding of the basic doctrines of the church.

It's not your place to try to explain why someone would remove things from the Bible in translation, but the fact is many things have been removed. We know that because of modern revelation. The Bible wasn't translated by God, or by prophets for that matter. It was translated by a group that a King put together. There are obvious contraindications within the Bible. There are many translations. Which one is correct of all the translations? There isn't a right answer to that question. Why would the Catholic church ban "common men" from even reading the Bible? There are not really answers to these question.

The "add to or take away" is a common trick used in anti-Mormon literature. The phrase appears several times in the Bible, so which one do we listen to. If we take the one in Deuteronomy literally then the rest of the Bible is void.

I served a mission in a very, very anti-Mormon place and I will tell you that there are biblical answers to all of those questions, but it doesn't do much good to try to answer all of the questions because it won't change anything. If you answered all of Tiffany's questions is wouldn't change anything if she doesn't believe the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith are true. However, if she believes those things are true, she wouldn't need answers to any of them. The missionaries who tried to prove anti-Mormon beliefs wrong, no matter how friendly they did it, did not ever convert those people.

So unfortunately there aren't right answers to those questions if she doesn't believe our church is true. She needs to be content with the fact that the two of you are not going to agree on most of the questions she has. And frankly, why we have to agree with everyone else in every religion. You will most likely have to agree to disagree, whatever that actually means.

Crystal said...

Yes Colin, that is how it ended, pretty much. I gave her my best answer (I actually sent her to 132 last night, David, you should be proud) and testified the Spirit that blankets me while I am in the temple. That was all I could offer, really.

The funny thing... her uncle David Fisher (on my Facebook) is a (LDS convert) Bishop in Richmond.

I think she knows I really, really feel what I feel and I am respectful of her (very different) beliefs as well. We are both better in the same ways because of them. The funny thing- she has a lot more beliefs that are more like LDS beliefs than mainstream- she believes in the millennium, for instance...

It was a lesson for me though, I am grateful for that. I did not even get a little angry. She did though.

She is currently in Kansas City with a very pentacostal group that is outspoken and anti-mormon... coincidentally led by a former temple-endowed LDS man, so that makes it even tougher. Actually, I think he is one of her housemates now. He is married to another person in the IHOP community. I do miss sharing a lot of our spiritual life together, but I love her and she loves me despite our different beliefs.

David and Debby said...

I think what Colin said is very true. Doctrines and even scriptural passages don't convert people, the Spirit converts. I recall as a missionary being trained above all else to bear testimony about, and encourage investigators to pray first about the essentials, about the Prophet Joseph Smith, and about the Book of Mormon, because that would bring the quickest, most binding, and most sustained conversion - the reason: because it actually changes people's hearts. You know that from your own experience. Your heart was changed. Tiffany's is yet to be. The best way you can influence that is to bear your testimony to her. No one can deny your testimony. They just cannot.

I remember Elder Bruce R. McConkie visiting my missionfield, and encouraging us to have investigators read and pray about the Book of Mormon. He said (paraphrasing) "Everything hinges on the Book of Mormon. If a person gains a testimony that it is true, then everything else falls into place. The Prophet Joseph Smith, who produced the book, would have to be a true prophet. The priesthood he restored would have to be true. The Church he organized would have to be true."

JS said (still paraphrasing), "A man can get closer to God by reading the Book of Mormon than by any other book." That is because it has a fullness of all the plain and precious truths. If you could get Tiffany to set aside all the anti stuff, open her mind, and prayerfully/thoroughly read the Book of Mormon, and then sincerely ask God if it is true, you might see some changes. That's a lot of if's in her current setting, but if she's honest with herself she should be willing to apply the test.

Regarding the marriage thing, Debby has been reading the New Testament commentary, and has some other interesting observations she will probably also share with you.

Jason and Dana said...

I would be exactly like you Crystal, I wouldn't know where to begin except to say "there has to be more to it." I know what I know, and I feel what I feel. I loved reading everything everyone wrote. Thanks all. :)

David and Debby said...


here is my take. i know you have already talked to her, but... the sadduces were not really asking him about eternal marriage. they were making a statement about the resurrection. they were asking him about the next life when they don't believe there IS a next life. it was, as always with the sadduces, a trick question. the jews at that time believed in eternal marriage. why else would they have asked him who would have her in the next life? there are several references in the new testament to what God has joined let no man put asunder, etc.. (2 ss?). anyway, if eternal marriage was a totally foreign topic to them, the question would never have come up. this is kind of like the questions that come to members of the church, by those who don't believe the concept they are asking about. i don't know if this helps, but it was good for me to look into it as well. love xoxo

abbynormal said...

I started to write a lengthy response to everyone else's responses, then I realized I was just repeating what everyone has been saying. So, in short, thanks to all of you for sharing, and bravo to Crystal for having the conversation and for bearing your testimony. I've been there more than a few times with people I've cared about, and it can be frightening and quite difficult. That said, sharing what you know can be the most powerful thing you can do, because it brings in the Spirit.