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djw2000

My wife and I decided to adopt a naturist philosophy for our family in October or November of last year. Since then my wife has actually felt a strong desire to share what she has learned about it almost with the same zeal as sharing the gospel. Some reactions have been positive, some neutral or guarded, while recently one was very negative.

 

While two of her sisters were recently visiting us she told them about our feelings towards nudity. While they seemed to take it in stride (understanding, but not wanting to have anything to do with it themselves) when they returned home they told their mother and she was appauled. Yesterday she called my wife to basically call us to repentance, and then later she emailed us to again tell us we were wrong and that they were praying for us to see the light and had put our names in the temple. The following is our response to her email and what we consider to be our Testimony of Naturism. We hope others might find it useful.

 

“Thank you for your concern in this matter. We understand and appreciate your love and concern for us and any prayers on our behalf are greatly welcomed.

 

“As for our decision to be more open and free with showing our bodies around the home and occasionally at recreational activities, please understand that this was a decision that was made with the utmost care; especially since it was breaking with generally accepted customs and norms.

 

“As a couple we studied it out in our minds and discussed it together in depth. Once we came to a conclusion that the potential benefits heavily outweighed the potential risks, we then took it to the Lord for a spiritual confirmation. For more than two weeks we made it a subject of continual prayer and fasting. Finally, as we were attending a session in the temple we both received a strong, definite, peaceful confirmation that this would be the right course to follow for our family.

 

“Since we have received this answer to our pleadings we have been very careful how we proceeded; the safety and security of our family is our greatest concern. Over this time we have already been able to see some benefits: we feel much more comfortable with our own bodies and who we are, it has brought us closer together as a couple and improved our relationship, we are better able to look beyond the outward appearance of people and see who they are inside, sensuality in advertising and media comes across as silly and fake instead of alluring, pornography has lost any and all appeal, we are happier and more at ease, we feel some impediments to our growth have been removed, and we are confident that this will allow us to keep the lines of communication open with our children as they grow up in a world that is becoming more and more perverse.

 

“We would love to talk to you more about this decision and answer your questions, but only if it comes from a sincere desire to understand our viewpoint and is based on mutual love and respect. Otherwise we feel this topic will only cause contention and drive a wedge between us.

 

“We love you and are grateful for your continued prayers. Our sincere desire is to follow the Lord to the best of our ability. We are confident that all things will work out for the best in the end.

 

“With great love and respect,”

[names withheld]

 

All Forums | Family & Friend Relationships | Family, Friend, Ward Member & Co-Workers Reactions | My Testimony of Naturism

 

djw2000

My wife and I decided to adopt a naturist philosophy for our family in October or November of last year. Since then my wife has actually felt a strong desire to share what she has learned about it almost with the same zeal as sharing the gospel. Some reactions have been positive, some neutral or guarded, while recently one was very negative.

 

While two of her sisters were recently visiting us she told them about our feelings towards nudity. While they seemed to take it in stride (understanding, but not wanting to have anything to do with it themselves) when they returned home they told their mother and she was appauled. Yesterday she called my wife to basically call us to repentance, and then later she emailed us to again tell us we were wrong and that they were praying for us to see the light and had put our names in the temple. The following is our response to her email and what we consider to be our Testimony of Naturism. We hope others might find it useful.

 

“Thank you for your concern in this matter. We understand and appreciate your love and concern for us and any prayers on our behalf are greatly welcomed.

 

“As for our decision to be more open and free with showing our bodies around the home and occasionally at recreational activities, please understand that this was a decision that was made with the utmost care; especially since it was breaking with generally accepted customs and norms.

 

“As a couple we studied it out in our minds and discussed it together in depth. Once we came to a conclusion that the potential benefits heavily outweighed the potential risks, we then took it to the Lord for a spiritual confirmation. For more than two weeks we made it a subject of continual prayer and fasting. Finally, as we were attending a session in the temple we both received a strong, definite, peaceful confirmation that this would be the right course to follow for our family.

 

“Since we have received this answer to our pleadings we have been very careful how we proceeded; the safety and security of our family is our greatest concern. Over this time we have already been able to see some benefits: we feel much more comfortable with our own bodies and who we are, it has brought us closer together as a couple and improved our relationship, we are better able to look beyond the outward appearance of people and see who they are inside, sensuality in advertising and media comes across as silly and fake instead of alluring, pornography has lost any and all appeal, we are happier and more at ease, we feel some impediments to our growth have been removed, and we are confident that this will allow us to keep the lines of communication open with our children as they grow up in a world that is becoming more and more perverse.

 

“We would love to talk to you more about this decision and answer your questions, but only if it comes from a sincere desire to understand our viewpoint and is based on mutual love and respect. Otherwise we feel this topic will only cause contention and drive a wedge between us.

 

“We love you and are grateful for your continued prayers. Our sincere desire is to follow the Lord to the best of our ability. We are confident that all things will work out for the best in the end.

 

“With great love and respect,”

[names withheld]

cwgeib

Wow, what a wonderful, well thought and spiritual reply. We applaud you. If we had anything to add, it might be that if you’ve been to the temple, you’ll recall, that it was Satan, not Heavenly Father, that “taught” Adam and Eve they 1.) were naked, and 2.) that they needed to cover themselves in the presence of God. As you recall, God’s voice is one of surprise when he asks them who told them they were naked. We totally agree with you that enjoying the naturist lifestyle has greatly opened up our appreciation for others, and has actually made it easier, not harder to be chaste and true to each other. We like you have not felt a pall of guilt or stupor of thought by practicing this lifestyle. In fact, we have actually had missionary opportunities open themselves to us with our naturist friends. Again, we applaud your email. And thanks for sharing.

 

Chris and Renee

Dayton, OH

djw2000

Thank you for your kind words regarding our email.

 

cwgeib

If we had anything to add, it might be that if you’ve been to the temple, you’ll recall, that it was Satan, not Heavenly Father, that “taught” Adam and Eve they 1.) were naked, and 2.) that they needed to cover themselves in the presence of God. As you recall, God’s voice is one of surprise when he asks them who told them they were naked.

While the reasoning quoted above was definitely a part of our decision process, we thought my wife’s parents would only interpret it as trying to justify unrighteous behavior. Instead we wanted to focus on what we considered our strongest argument: Our decision was founded on personal revelation and has produced good fruit.

 

If they are willing to accept this argument and then approach the subject with an open mind, we can then discuss in more detail the thought process that went into our decision. If they can’t accept this argument, then nothing else really matters. We truly hope they will since we don’t want this to become a source of contention in our family.

 

We’ll keep you informed on how things work out.

 

Does anyone else have experience with dealing with other’s strong, negative reactions to your participating in chaste nudity? If so, how did things work out? We’d love to learn from the experiences of others out there.

djw2000

Wow! Pandora’s Box has really been opened now. Not only have we had to contend with my mother-in-law doing everything she can to convince us of the error of our ways, but she has also called my mother and our bishop to let them know what we are doing.

 

My father sent us an email expressing his thoughts and concerns, but essentially said it’s our decision and we must prayerfully consider it together and do what we feel is best for our family.

 

We just met with our bishop tonight and that was quite an experience. I could tell he was trying to keep an open mind, but just couldn’t get past his biases of what he considers to be the appropriate way to display the body. He didn’t seem to have any trouble with familial nudity, but I could tell social nudity didn’t sit well with him and he wasn’t convinced we have been true to all of our temple covenants. In the end we agreed to fast and pray about this and meet again next week.

 

While this past week has been physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining, I believe it has actually brought my wife and I even closer together and has taught us a lot. Probably the biggest thing we have learned so far is that the greatest reasons and explanations in the world are insufficient to someone who has no desire to understand. Not only did it not help them to understand our point of view, but also we never really felt peace while trying to explain ourselves. The only time we felt peace was when we stuck to the pure, simple, basic testimony I posted above. I think that is because out of everything, that testimony contains the only things we absolutely know to be true and is all that really matters.

 

I think there are some parallels between our experiences this week in talking about nudism and efforts at sharing the gospel. Since there is such a big paradigm shift between nudism and our general culture (like there is between the Church and mainstream Christianity), we have a hard time being able to truly understand where the other person is coming from and we end up talking past each other. This can result in misunderstandings and frustration as we try to explain the wholesomeness of nudity (or even the message of the restored gospel). However if you stick with the simple, true statements of a pure testimony, there really is nothing that can be misunderstood. That’s the only way you can expect the Spirit to testify you’re speaking the truth and they either have to simply accept it or reject it.

 

When I think about it, I really can’t blame my mother-in-law or bishop for their points of view since a year ago I would have been in perfect agreement with them. All we can do now is act the best we can according to what we believe are the whisperings of the Spirit and let the Lord take care of the rest.

bryans_saturdays

Goodness! Thank you so much for sharing this, and I hope you will keep us posted. Did your Bishop also agree to fast and pray, or did he just encourage you to do so?

 

It’s easy for me, from my arm chair quarter back position reading about your mother-in-law from afar, to become frustrated and even angry with her actions. Yet I’m certain that she did what she did out of honest concern and a sincere desire to help.

 

I really am curious to know what your Bishop will say next time you meet.

djw2000

bryans_saturdays

Did your Bishop also agree to fast and pray, or did he just encourage you to do so?

He said he was going to fast and pray about it as well. He’s a new bishop and very young so I doubt this is a subject he’s spent much time thinking about. While we feel confident about what we know and have experienced, we still feel some anxiety over what will happen next. Can he truly put aside his personal biases and be open to the possibility we may be right? Only time will tell. Regardless of what happens we have complete confidence that we are in the Lord’s care and everything will work out for the best.

We’re also learning about how difficult it can be to stick with a decision you know and feel is right, but is strongly questioned or disapproved of by those you love and trust. In a way, I wonder if what we are going through right now is similar to the trial of faith many new converts to the Church must go through. Like them, we are so new to this lifestyle we have a hard time being able to answer questions about it or even know what we’re truly getting ourselves into. However, we do know we felt the Spirit confirm to us that this is the right decision for us and we do know it has produced many good blessings. Despite all we don’t know, what we do know should be enough for us to continue on in faith. Being a life long member I never truly realized how difficult it could be for new members to join the Church. This experience has shown me how important it is to give them all the encouragement and support we can.

 

Enough of my ramblings, I’ll be sure to let you know how things work out.

n/a

I’m lucky that my mother and my father did not tell my Bishop. But they reacted in exactly the same way.

 

However, based on this reaction, and I know them enough, I am willing to speculate that my parents would disown me over the Church if I joined the Church; IF they were Gentiles.

 

Nudism has caused such a rift between me and my parents, it’s hard to bridge. So, I understand what you are going through.

yogaman

djw2000:

 

See the topic I created, “Converting to Naturism and LDS Culture.” It was originally a response to your thread but it struck such a chord in me that I thought it better to start a new thread.

 

I hope everything goes well for you and your wife. You are very fortunate to have her support.

 

yogaman

djw2000

Well, we met with our Bishop for the second time today and thought you might like to know what happened. After our first visit 11 days ago we felt there were two issues to which we had to get some sort of resolution: 1) Whether or not we were deceived when we had our first spiritual confirmation and 2) If we have been true to our temple covenants (especially with regards to the temple garment.)

 

My wife and I were able to report with full confidence that we feel more sure than ever that what we received truly was a manifestation of the Spirit, and we honestly feel we have clear consciences with regard to our temple covenants. I’m not sure what the Bishop was expecting, but it was plain to us that his opinion hasn’t changed at all over this time. Fortunately he doesn’t feel comfortable doing anything more about this until after he discusses it with our Stake President. So our fate is still up in the air, but we still feel confidence in the Lord that everything will eventually work themselves out for the best.

 

In the meantime he only asked us to not talk about social nudity publicly (we feel this forum is alright since we’re pretty much anonymous and we’re all like minded anyway.) Of course we never planned to and my wife said she’s learned her lesson about only talking to others about it if the Spirit lets her know it’s OK. I’m sure we could have saved all of us a lot of turmoil if we would have paid closer heed to Alma 12:9, “And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.”

 

While this has been a source of turmoil and contention these past two weeks, it’s also been a source of deep spiritual insight and understanding. Over this time we’ve spent hours in scripture study and prayer and poured over all sorts of conference talks and BYU devotionals. Everything we read and felt simply confirmed more and more to us that we are on the correct course and that social nudity can be a great boon to our family. It has brought us closer together as a couple and strengthened our faith.

 

We are now very curious about what our Stake President will think about all of this. He’s a convert to the Church and comes from a very different background than most in the Church. I’m sure he’ll have a unique perspective on all of this. I’ll let you know more as things develop.

bryans_saturdays

Thank you, djw, for keeping us updated. I will watch with anticipation to see what your Stake President says.

 

Bryan

djw2000

Since I’ve been keeping you up to date on our visits to the Bishop, I thought I should also bring you up to date on how things are going with my mother-in-law. After our first visit with the Bishop we asked her to not talk about nudity with us until we met with him again since we wanted to study and pray about it more and focus on our spiritual promptings. She accepted this and we found it to be very peaceful without her barrage.

 

Well, now that we have met with the Bishop again she felt the moratorium is over. She called and talked to my wife today about how things went with the Bishop. Since we feel just as strongly now as before (and possibly even stronger) she again felt it necessary to condemn us for our decision and refused to even consider our point of view for a second. After all, to her, she’s right and we’re wrong and there’s nothing more to add.

 

This call did succeed in putting something in sharp contrast to my wife. She had spent the morning reading her scriptures and had felt peace, love, joy, contentment, was on top of the world, and felt that the Lord was very pleased with her. However, after she talked to her mother she only felt darkness, contention, confusion, and irritation. Not only did it ruin her day but it also affected our children since she now had a hard time dealing with their fussing.

 

After I got home from work and we were able to talk about it she decided to pretty much give her mother an ultimatum. Either she stops discussing nudity with us or we break off contact with her. While we have no desire to end contact with her, our family and children come first, so if she’s being a negative influence, we feel we really have no choice. The ball is now in her court and we can only wait and see what will happen.

n/a

djw2000

After I got home from work and we were able to talk about it she decided to pretty much give her mother an ultimatum. Either she stops discussing nudity with us or we break off contact with her. While we have no desire to end contact with her, our family and children come first, so if she’s being a negative influence, we feel we really have no choice. The ball is now in her court and we can only wait and see what will happen.

This sounds a lot like me. I know Naturism is for me, but my mom is like your wife’s mother. Unlike your wife’s parents, I cannot break of all communication with my parents yet. Since I’m still living with them! I really do feel the same as you do, with all of my heart I believe God has led me to Naturism.

 

So, I’m with you on this.

bryans_saturdays

djw2000

This call did succeed in putting something in sharp contrast to my wife. She had spent the morning reading her scriptures and had felt peace, love, joy, contentment, was on top of the world, and felt that the Lord was very pleased with her. However, after she talked to her mother she only felt darkness, contention, confusion, and irritation.

That is interesting. Good for both of you for being able to step back from it all and make this observastion.

Either she stops discussing nudity with us or we break off contact with her. While we have no desire to end contact with her

(Sigh). Tough choice. Let us know.

 

djw2000

bryans_saturdays

Either she stops discussing nudity with us or we break off contact with her. While we have no desire to end contact with her

(Sigh). Tough choice. Let us know.

Yes it is, and we’re really hoping it doesn’t come to that. The problem isn’t about talking to US about nudism, it about how she talks to my wife (I would have no trouble at all talking to her about it, but I think I intimidate her ). She is convinced I’ve brainwashed my wife and refuses to listen to anything she says. Because of their history together (my wife was always the “obedient child”) it’s very difficult for my wife to be on the receiving end of her mother’s wrath and it really gets to her. Not that she starts to doubt the things she knows to be true, but it puts her in a sour mood and makes it more difficult to be the type of wife and mother she wants to be.

 

As the scripture says: “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” (Matt 5:29-30)

 

At this point, all the drama is just not worth it to her.

 

As for other news, the Stake Executive Secretary emailed me today to say the Stake President wants to meet with me in a couple of days. It’s not too hard to imagine what he wants to talk about. While I should be nervous, I actually feel a lot of peace (I’m sure the butterflies will come later ). I just have the feeling that everything’s going to be all right. I just hope that one way or another we will get resolution on this issue.

n/a

djw2000

As for other news, the Stake Executive Secretary emailed me today to say the Stake President wants to meet with me in a couple of days. It’s not too hard to imagine what he wants to talk about. While I should be nervous, I actually feel a lot of peace (I’m sure the butterflies will come later ). I just have the feeling that everything’s going to be all right. I just hope that one way or another we will get resolution on this issue.

Maybe you will get to go through what I went through yesterday. I had trouble trying to relate the Teachings of Modesty with Nudism, all because of what one person said. I was so confused and anxious I was about to ask my bishop some hard questions about the teachings in the Church. Questions with a lot of emotion behind them.

 

When I read John’s post, I felt entirely at peace and free. It brought tears to my eyes to know that I was doing something right. I was sure that I was going to be wrong if I asked my bishop these questions in the emotional state I was going to ask them.

 

I never had a meeting with my Ecclestiastical leaders on my practice of Naturism. I came close, but I never had a meeting about it. I don’t know what help I can give you except pray before hand that your Stake President will have an understanding heart and an open mind the same as King Solomon did.

 

Dave Sharp went through this very trial. The best thing to do, I think, is to maintain a humble attitude. Pray before hand for guidance on your part. Then explain everything to him as the Spirit directs.

djw2000

I just got back from visiting with the Stake President and I have to say I wasn’t surprised by anything that happened. We talked, I explained myself the best I could, he expressed his feelings the best he could, and in the end he flat out told me that nudism is against the principles of the Church and that President Hinckley would tell me the same thing if I were to ask him.

 

Since he could tell I was less than convinced, there were a few things he told me to do. He asked me to give my temple recommend to the Bishop (for my own good since he feels otherwise I’d be mocking God), to continue to participate fully in the Church, to read every day from the Book of Mormon and pray with an open heart seeking guidance from the Lord, and to meet with him again at the end of the month. I plan on following his council to the best of my ability.

 

While I am disappointed by the way this has turned out, I still feel a lot of peace about it. I still feel like I’m in the Lord’s care and everything will work out eventually. I feel like this whole experience will help me grow, and maybe even help others I’m in contact with learn and grow as well. I don’t know what will happen next or where this will go, but in a way I’m kind of excited to find out.

djw2000

My wife made an analogy that I really liked: Is it possible for a couple who have been married in the temple to get a true confirmation from the Lord that it’s OK for them to postpone having children or limit their family size? If a couple claims to have received such a confirmation, how can you be sure they have not been deceived?

 

After all, when you are sealed together in the temple you are commanded to “multiply and replenish the Earth” and the prophets and apostles have been very clear in their counsel that this means you should not postpone having children or arbitrarily limit your family size, even if it’s to secure a better educational or financial position. In addition, I’m sure most would agree that whether or not to bring a child into this world to be raised in the Church carries far greater eternal consequences than the types of recreational activities you choose to enjoy. Despite all this, many in the Church today seem to be pretty cavalier about this very issue, and I’d be very surprised if someone lost their temple recommend because of it.

 

Now I want to make it perfectly clear that I firmly believe that such decisions rightly belong between the couple and the Lord, but it would sure be nice to be allowed the same leeway when it comes to social nudity. I guess this is what you get when you have imperfect people managing an organization according to their imperfect knowledge and understanding.

johnw

djw2000

 

He asked me … to continue to participate fully in the Church, to read every day from the Book of Mormon and pray with an open heart seeking guidance from the Lord, and to meet with him again at the end of the month.

Is he willing to study the issue too during this time? Others who have found themselves in the same position had leaders who agreed to read some of the available materials to try to better understand why a member in good standing would want to participate in nude activities.

 

It sounds like you have never taken your nudity outside of the home. Does he object to your being occasionally nude in your home? If so, how does he justify this? To get to the point, it sounds like he objects to the principle of naturism, but at the same time you haven’t really done anything he could discipline you for. Am I off-base?

 

And does he realize that if the two of you were transplanted into Europe, he wouldn’t think twice about the issue? So if a European (or Australian, or Japanese, or …) Stake President wouldn’t discipline a member for nudity, how is it fine in the United States? The inconsistency shows that it is a cultural issue, not a doctrinal issue. There is no cause for discipline.

 

Finally, it seems he should only ask you to surrender your temple recommend if you have broken temple covenants or pre-requisites for entering the temple. Ask him to give you the temple recommend interview. Show him that you are living those standards. Then ask him to point out any temple covenants you are breaking. If he can’t, then help him to see that he has no basis for taking your recommend away.

 

My .02.

yogaman

I just got back from visiting with the Stake President and I have to say I wasn’t surprised by anything that happened. We talked, I explained myself the best I could, he expressed his feelings the best he could, and in the end he flat out told me that nudism is against the principles of the Church and that President Hinckley would tell me the same thing if I were to ask him.

Really, like what principles is it against??? I’m really disappointed to hear this djw2000, but I’m not surprised by it. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get past cultural biases.

 

The other night, my wife and I went in for Temple Recommend interviews (Remember, she doesn’t support chaste nudity yet). She asked me what I said when it came to the question of whether I affiliate with any organizations that oppose the church. She obviously was referring to my support of chaste nudity. I told her I don’t support organizations that would do such a thing. I also told her that I can find nothing wrong with it or anything about it that is against church principles. It all gets back to the body = sex thing. I wish some people, including my wife, could have a more open mind.

And does he realize that if the two of you were transplanted into Europe, he wouldn’t think twice about the issue? So if a European (or Australian, or Japanese, or …) Stake President wouldn’t discipline a member for nudity, how is it fine in the United States? The inconsistency shows that it is a cultural issue, not a doctrinal issue. There is no cause for discipline.

I’m curious if what johnw mentioned above was discussed with your Stake President. Was it? I don’t know how he could reconcile it unless he didn’t believe this was happening in other countries.

 

Did your wife have to surrender her recommend too? If not, why not?

 

djw2000, forgive me – but you seem so calm in the face of this. If it were me, you’d have to peel me off the ceiling. I can’t see how he can justify asking you to surrender your recommend unless he thought you had violated covenants. Like johnw, I would ask him to tell you what covenants or principles you voilated.

 

Unfortunately, it seems like you have to be a closet nudist in the church. We just can’t discuss it openly except among ourselves. I wish it wasn’t that way but it is. Thank goodness for forums like this.

 

I don’t know about you all, but this just further reinforces my view that I cannot discuss my views openly with many church members face-to-face about this subject.

 

I hope there is a “silver lining” for you and your wife out of this experience.

n/a

yogaman

[quote]Unfortunately, it seems like you have to be a closet nudist in the church. We just can’t discuss it openly except among ourselves. I wish it wasn’t that way but it is. Thank goodness for forums like this.

I don’t know about you all, but this just further reinforces my view that I cannot discuss my views openly with many church members face-to-face about this subject.

Yogaman, you have to remember that this is a cultural bias. We are all brothers and sisters on the Planet; but in our culture we are supposed to be unable to fathom that it’s possible to be naked, chaste, and modest at the same time. So, we managed to do it, so what? It’s a personal victory for us, really. We can separate nudity from sex and associate it with chastity and modesty. And that is a good thing.

 

The thirteenth article of Faith says:

13 aWe believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing egood to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to gendure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Just because we found chaste nudity or naturism doesn’t make us more special. It’s just that they can’t wrap their minds around the concept. It sets off a lot of red flags, if you will. However, I don’t like being a Closet Nudist when I’m in the Church. It’s just that it’s a mystery we can’t share with our sisters and brothers.

guido

I would just add here that we need to remember that there are immense cultural barriers to nudism, and it is likely to only be more so in a conservative religion. I think we should just be careful in discussing the church’s position or leaders’ position on this. I think the situation stands just about where we could expect it too. It’s unfair to be overly critical are for us to feel super special or proud of our interest in this. That would be pretty lame. It’s always tempting to be proud over something you think you have some sort of special edge in. I think that’s why Mormons always have to be catious of pride. We tend to think we’re “all that”.

 

To be honest, I’m surprised that there are so many people in this forum who have discussed this with their church leaders. That seems entirely unnecessary to me. If you feel comfortable with the practice and feel like it’s in no way against your beliefs and principles, why even bring it up at all, given the opposition you’re likely to encounter? I think we can use our brains, hearts, and overall sense to determine whether we doing something OK or not and whether we need to talk to leaders. I think church members sometimes let church leaders do their thinking for them.

djw2000

Before I start responding to some of your comments I want to express my feeling that we are coming close to “evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed.” Please do not allow yourself to harbor any ill will towards anyone’s church leaders. They are imperfect people trying to do the best they can according to their best understanding of the gospel. We all make mistakes, and in this case I’m not sure I would have reacted any differently if the roles were reversed. However, I still feel it may be helpful for me to respond to your comments so here it goes.

Is he willing to study the issue too during this time? Others who have found themselves in the same position had leaders who agreed to read some of the available materials to try to better understand why a member in good standing would want to participate in nude activities.

I never got the chance to ask and will have to ask another time. I feel this is important since the impression I’ve gotten from both my Bishop and Stake President is that they are convinced we are wrong and are not very open to the possibility that we are right. Unless they are willing to fully consider this possibility, how can the Spirit testify the truth of it to them? We’ll continue to do the best we can and have faith that the Lord will take care of the rest.

It sounds like you have never taken your nudity outside of the home. Does he object to your being occasionally nude in your home? If so, how does he justify this? To get to the point, it sounds like he objects to the principle of naturism, but at the same time you haven’t really done anything he could discipline you for. Am I off-base?

We’ve taken it outside the home once, nearly seven months ago, but that never came up. He never asked how we practice nudity so I have no idea what he feels about practicing it around the house. He did say he felt the garment should be worn 24/7 except for the standard exceptions of swimming, showering, and sex and then for only the minimum amount possible. Based on these things I would have to assume he disapproves of general nudity around the house as well.

And does he realize that if the two of you were transplanted into Europe, he wouldn’t think twice about the issue? So if a European (or Australian, or Japanese, or …) Stake President wouldn’t discipline a member for nudity, how is it fine in the United States? The inconsistency shows that it is a cultural issue, not a doctrinal issue. There is no cause for discipline.

I did bring up this point and he simply said that the church wasn’t growing very fast in those parts of the world. I guess he thinks that’s evidence of how social nudity makes it more difficult to feel the Spirit. While I disagree with that assessment, I didn’t feel it would be productive to argue the point so I let it drop.

Finally, it seems he should only ask you to surrender your temple recommend if you have broken temple covenants or pre-requisites for entering the temple. Ask him to give you the temple recommend interview. Show him that you are living those standards. Then ask him to point out any temple covenants you are breaking. If he can’t, then help him to see that he has no basis for taking your recommend away.

I really didn’t have the chance to explain this to him since we had already gone over time and had to quickly wrap things up. I also know it wouldn’t have done any good since he’s convinced I’m not keeping my temple covenants (the proper wear of the garment and the principle of modesty) and that’s that. There was no time for me to further express my opinion on these things so it will simply have to wait for another interview.

Did your wife have to surrender her recommend too? If not, why not?

Yes she did. Right after the interview I went home, got them both and gave them to the Bishop. My wife was disappointed since the LA temple just reopened after being closed for renovations for eight months and she was really looking forward to going this Saturday. Even though we were judged unworthy to attend, we still felt peace about it since are consciences are clear and we know we have done nothing wrong in the site of the Lord. If it were up to us we wouldn’t have given them up, but it simply wasn’t up to us. We actually feel this is a win-win for us since if we are wrong about all of this, then this is a necessary step in the repentance process, but if we are right and were unjustly judged, then the Lord will accept our sacrifice in sustaining our church leaders. Either way we feel we can’t go wrong.

djw2000, forgive me – but you seem so calm in the face of this. If it were me, you’d have to peel me off the ceiling.

I don’t think we could claim to be in the right if we were any other way. My Patriarchal Blessing specifically says, “do no harbor hatred nor bitterness in your heart; for if you do, the Spirit will depart from you.” The last thing we want to do right now is lose the Spirit since that truly is the source of our strength and peace. In all this we feel the counsel in D&C 121:45 best applies: “Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.”

I don’t know about you all, but this just further reinforces my view that I cannot discuss my views openly with many church members face-to-face about this subject.

Hope you don’t mind me quoting another scripture, but I feel Alma 12:9 applies here: “And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.”

 

The way I read this, while it is perfectly acceptable for us to receive personal revelation which can unfold the mysteries of God to us beyond what the Church teaches, until the Lord sees fit to have the Prophet teach it generally, we are under a strict command to keep it to ourselves unless the Spirit specifically tells us otherwise. We feel it was because we did not pay sufficient heed to this command (by my wife telling her sisters, who told her mother, who told our Bishop) that we find ourselves in this present predicament. So the best advise I can give is to pay close heed to the Spirit in all things.

I hope there is a “silver lining” for you and your wife out of this experience.

Don’t worry, we’re confident there is.

yogaman

Yogaman, you have to remember that this is a cultural bias.

Yes, but I guess I have some difficulty with a member in good standing being asked to surrender a Temple Recommend based on that perception; but as djw2000 said, I think “all will work out eventually.”

Just because we found chaste nudity or naturism doesn’t make us more special. It’s just that they can’t wrap their minds around the concept.

True, this doesn’t make us special or more enlightened. We are not any better than anyone else. I just don’t want to be judged negatively b/c someone can’t “wrap their minds around the concept.”

I would just add here that we need to remember that there are immense cultural barriers to nudism, and it is likely to only be more so in a conservative religion. I think we should just be careful in discussing the church’s position or leaders’ position on this.

I couldn’t agree with you more.

It’s unfair to be overly critical are for us to feel super special or proud of our interest in this. That would be pretty lame. It’s always tempting to be proud over something you think you have some sort of special edge in. I think that’s why Mormons always have to be catious of pride. We tend to think we’re “all that”.

I hope my remarks weren’t meant to infer we were special in some way. We aren’t. It would be awful to think we are somehow better than others b/c we found naturism.

To be honest, I’m surprised that there are so many people in this forum who have discussed this with their church leaders. That seems entirely unnecessary to me. If you feel comfortable with the practice and feel like it’s in no way against your beliefs and principles, why even bring it up at all, given the opposition you’re likely to encounter? I think we can use our brains, hearts, and overall sense to determine whether we doing something OK or not and whether we need to talk to leaders. I think church members sometimes let church leaders do their thinking for them.

I would never go to a leader about this, even if I had a question. From what I understand from djw2000’s other postings, he didn’t either; someone else called their Bishop. No need to go to a church leader when you feel right about your activities.

johnw

djw2000

Before I start responding to some of your comments I want to express my feeling that we are coming close to “evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed.” Please do not allow yourself to harbor any ill will towards anyone’s church leaders. They are imperfect people trying to do the best they can according to their best understanding of the gospel. We all make mistakes, and in this case I’m not sure I would have reacted any differently if the roles were reversed. However, I still feel it may be helpful for me to respond to your comments so here it goes.

I see why some of the posts may have come across like this, but please do not take them this way. I can’t blame your stake president or bishop in the slightest for feeling the way they do. A year ago I would have responded exactly the same way. I expect that every leader I know would respond, to one degree or another, just like this. And I hold them all in high esteem.

 

Every once in awhile I take a step back and look at how bewildering nudism would be to a church leader. Their reactions are right in-line with their entire life experience, which tells them that nudity is powerfully sexual.

 

For my part, my comments were geared toward you rather than against your leaders. The hope was to suggest things you might be able to mention in your defense, if not to help your leaders understand you, at least to help them see that you are still temple-worthy, however much they may personally object to the practice. And I really hope that you can show them that.

 

Your attitude is a great example to everyone who will visit this forum. I wish you all the best.

hangloose911

For any good it would do, I have been through a somewhat similar situation twice, and I thought I would share them with you.

 

A few days before I was to be married in the temple (many, many years ago), my father called me and told me that he would be unable to attend. The reason was that the stake president had taken away his recommend because he had a retail store that was open on Sunday.

 

My first reaction was anger, but then I was sad, because if my father (who I did my best to emulate) was not worthy to go to the temple, then there was no way that I was worthy. The next morning I called the bishop back home to get an explanation. Our family store had been around for 20 years or more. We had all worked our fair share of Sundays. I often worked Sunday, so that my father could attend to his duties at church. Anyway, the bishop told me the decision came from the stake president. So, next I called the stake president. He told me the decision came from Br. Featherstone in Salt Lake.

 

So, I took a deep breath, collected my thoughts and called the Church Office Building in Salt Lake. It was remarkly easy to get through to Br. Featherstone. We spoke for a long time and I didn’t seem to have any effect on him softening his stance. He held firm. Finally, I suggested he just call my father and talk to him directly. He agreed. A while later, my father called me to tell me about his “surprise” phone call from Br. Featherstone. He also told me that the decision had been reversed and that he was free to go to the temple.

 

I only tell this story to show you that sometimes local leaders can be wrong and that their minds can be changed.

 

My other example is a bit more embarrassing. 5 years ago, I was alone (well, I thought I was alone), on my favorite beach. I skinny dipped for about 10 minutes and walked maybe 100 yards down the beach while naked. I emphasize that there was no one in sight, and I could see for miles in all directions. However, when I got back to my car I received a surprise visit from a state park ranger. Evidently, he had been secretly following me for over an hour. He had hidden himself in the sand dunes and obversed me with binoculars. I received a citation for “appearing nude in a state park”.

 

I was horrified. The ticket made it sound like I exposed myself to children at the playground in a park. At the time, I was the 1st counselor in the bishopric. I informed the Bishop at the first opportunity. I was expecting an immediate release. He first reaction was laughter. He explained to me how he and his grandfather had often skinny dipped in the ocean together. He told me not to worry about. To this day when he sees me, he’ll smile and ask me if I’ve been “hanging out” at the beach.

 

My brother was (and still is) a counselor in stake presidency. His reaction was similar and it was never an issue. However, I have a strong feeling that my criminal record kept me from being the new bishop a while back, so I suppose I should be grateful about the whole thing.

 

Anyway, I know your situation is different, but I do remember how it seemed like the whole world was crumbling around me. The temple recommend situation was the only time in my life that I’ve ever come close to questioning my testimony.

 

Looking back on it all, it all seems very trivial now. And I guess that’s what I’m trying to pass on to you. That what seemed like a big deal at the time now seems insignificant. I’ve just grown from the experiences.

 

I feel sure that things will work out well for you also.

 

Thanks for listening.

djw2000

A couple days ago, everything that we’re going through with our church leaders was weighing heavily on my mind and I was feeling a lot of anxiety about it all. I then realized I was simply having imaginary conversations with my leaders in my head and that was just not getting me anywhere. I decided instead to pray in my heart to Heavenly Father and seek for His guidance and direction. As I was doing this, two thoughts popped into my head: 1) talk to my father about it, and 2) ask the Bishop for a blessing. As soon as I thought this I felt instant peace, so I knew I had to follow through and do them.

 

I was finally able to do both today. The Bishop came to our home after church and gave both my wife and I a blessing. While I don’t feel comfortable sharing the details of the blessings, I will say that we all felt the Spirit very strongly and I think it brought us all closer together as children of God.

 

I’m also not going to go into the details of my conversation with my father, but it all boiled down to this: It doesn’t matter whether we’re right or wrong, what’s important is that we don’t get defensive about it and that we do whatever our church leaders ask us to do, even if the whole process takes a year to resolve. My wife and I feel very good about this counsel (which is pretty much what we’ve been trying to do so far anyway) so that’s exactly what we’re going to continue to do.

 

We feel that everything we’re going through is simply bringing us closer and closer to the Lord and we’re sure that we are continuing to learn and grow in ways we never thought possible. Now, more than ever, we can feel the Lord’s gentle hand directing the course of our life and we will gladly go wherever it leads us.

ned

Yes, I think that you have learned a very important lesson: Do not talk with anyone about nudism unless they have clearly indicated that they are open about the topic.

Some years ago there were reports that several bishops had refused temple recommends when they disaproved of certain sexual practices of couples, namely, oral sex. Eventually, the First Pres said that what a couple did in their own home was their own business, providing that there was no bodily harm done to each other. If we can generalize this attitude, we could say that whatever you and your wife do in your own home is your private affair, providing that you do no bodily harm.

As for the wearing of garments, there is wide diversity of opinion on that topic. The attitude that your bishop and stake president reflect a talk given a couple of years ago by Elder Perry. My suggestion is to not discuss the topic. People do not wear garments when they bathe, have sex, play basketball, swim, play tennis, etc., yet those same people answer the garment question and get a temple recommend. You can answer it by stating that you wear the garment whenever it is appropriate, and leave it there. You define for yourself what is appropriate. Clearly, it is appropriate to wear it to church and to ordinary work settings where it can be covered with clothing. But do not get in any discussion about it with anyone who shows any sign of disagreement with you.

You said that your wife was enthused about sharing her views on nudism with all others, like she wants to share the gospel. Let me comment on that. What she should share is her views on modesty and chastity. While Jesus told the disciples to preach the gospel to everyone, he also said “do not cast your pearls before swine”. I interpret that ‘swine’ referred to anyone who was not yet prepared for the ‘pearls’ of the gospel. For example, you do not talk about temple ordinances outside the temple. You take a covenant not to do so each time you go to the temple. Likewise, do not talk about nudism except to your wife or to others who fully understand it, in an appropriate setting.

You have upset your mother-in-law and you are going to have to convince your bishop and stake president that you will not do that again to anyone. Somehow, you are going to have to appoligize to your mother-in-law (and sisters) and tell them that you will not bring up the topic again. If she brings it up, tell her that you have told your bishop that you will no longer discuss that topic or any other that is offensive. You will have to tell your children never to talk about it with anyone except you and your wife.

Your original statement of how you and your wife found the benefits of nudism was very excellent. It was far above what most people can understand. Therefore, do not cast this ‘pearl’ before anyone who does not appreciate it.

You are very wise to use a psydonym when writing about it anywhere. It is true that ‘swine’ can read this site, but if you are completely annonymous, then the ‘pearl’ between you and your wife will not be revealed.

I sincerely hope that you are able to convince your bishop and stake president that you will never offend anyone else by talking on this subject. You will only talk modesty and chastity. If you are able to do that, then you and your wife can keep that wonderful ‘pearl’ on naturism to bless your private life.

Ned

n/a

It’s a hard lesson to learn. But it can eventually be learned.

Chaste nudity isn’t understood by my parents, and they learned about my practice by accident. So, we infrequently fight about it as long as I’m still home.

 

It’s believed to be living pornography by a lot of Christians: Latter-day Saints and Gentile christians alike. I commented on Naturist-Christians.org that we should protest against the general idea that nudism and naturism is walking pornography; and not pornography itself.

djw2000

Well, I was released from my calling today, and the reason is directly related to my wife’s and my decision to participate in chaste nudity. Of course this came as no surprise (I’ve been expecting it since I talked to my Stake President) and to tell you the truth, I feel no worse about this than when he asked me to turn in my temple recommend. I still feel peace about it since I know I’ve been true to the Spirit and I still feel right before God, so what more could anyone want from me?

 

In a way, the more I think about it, the more silly this whole situation appears to me. It feels like a mountain is being made out of a molehill. I don’t think God really cares about whether or not we participate in chaste nudity any more than he cares about whether or not we chose to spend our recreational time reading a good book, or watching a good movie, or going to the park, or playing basketball. What He really cares about is if we can have a broken heart and contrite spirit, if we can come to Him as little children, if we can have love one for another. If we can do these latter things, then we would do the former things with a grateful heart and be uplifted by them. However, if we lose focus on what’s really important and neglect the latter things, then nothing else we do will do us much good or help us very much in the end. (This is of course my opinion and you can feel free to disagree.)

 

So seeing as how I feel much ado is being done about nothing, my job is simply to carry on the best I know how. I will continue on in faith to participate as fully as I can in the Church, with hope that God is in charge and all things will work out for my good, and strive to learn how to have charity for everyone. This seems to be the surest path forward for my family and me.

guido

I obviously am not familiar with your situation entirely, I’ve just read some of your posts. What you say is pretty surprising. Surprising that you’d actually get disciplined for nudism. Have your leaders really listened to your reasons? Have you told them exactly what you’ve done? What exactly have you done? Have you been to nudist resorts and such? It’s just wierd. It kind of makes me sad. Sad that church leaders would react with such hostility. I just read an earlier post of yours and it sounds like you didn’t even tell them that you’ve been nude in a public setting. So they’re just upset because you agree with nudist/naturist ideas? What?

 

Have you considered just telling them what they want to hear so that you can move on and enjoy full membership in the church? That might sound bad, but it might be the best thing to do. Our leaders aren’t perfect, you know.

 

cwgeib

djw,

 

What surprises me is on the other LDS skinny dippers web site, there is an article about chaste nudism written by a Bishop! We feel so sad that you are being challenged in this way. But you have the right spirit it seems, so our heart and our prayers go out to you and your family. Hang in there!

 

Chris and Renee

Dayton, OH

djw2000

guido

I obviously am not familiar with your situation entirely, I’ve just read some of your posts. What you say is pretty surprising. Surprising that you’d actually get disciplined for nudism. Have your leaders really listened to your reasons? Have you told them exactly what you’ve done? What exactly have you done? Have you been to nudist resorts and such? It’s just wierd. It kind of makes me sad. Sad that church leaders would react with such hostility. I just read an earlier post of yours and it sounds like you didn’t even tell them that you’ve been nude in a public setting. So they’re just upset because you agree with nudist/naturist ideas? What?

I actually had a Stake calling, not a Ward calling, and a temple recommend was a prerequisite. Therefore, no recommend, no calling. I have no idea if the Bishop will let me hold a Ward calling, but I really don’t care either way. I’m still a Home Teacher and I feel that’s plenty for me to do.

We did admit we went to a nudist resort once, seven months ago. We’ve explained our reasons the best we can, but it’s almost like talking to a brick wall. To them nudity = immorality and is therefore contrary to Church teachings, end of story. Since we have yet to agree with their point of view, they believe we have not yet started the repentance process, and they feel these are necessary steps to help us get there. I’m actually surprised that they haven’t yet asked us to refrain from taking the Sacrament, but if they don’t say anything about it, I’m definitely not bringing it up.

Have you considered just telling them what they want to hear so that you can move on and enjoy full membership in the church? That might sound bad, but it might be the best thing to do. Our leaders aren’t perfect, you know.

Yes, I have considered this, but I dismissed it for one word: integrity. I feel that in order for me to maintain my integrity through this, I must remain meticulously honest in word and deed. Instead of just playing along, our plan is to be the most obedient, faithful, active, spiritual members of the ward. However, that doesn’t mean we’ll volunteer any information they can use against us. We will answer direct questions with direct answers, but otherwise simply ask what they want us to do. If that can’t soften their hearts and admit we’re not as bad off as they think, then nothing will. The time may come when we feel we’re justified to play along, but until then we feel this is the best way to proceed.

n/a

djw2000 If that can’t soften their hearts and admit we’re not as bad off as they think, then nothing will. The time may come when we feel we’re justified to play along, but until then we feel this is the best way to proceed.

Good for you.

djw2000

I also need to give an update concerning my mother-in-law. Yesterday my wife went ahead and called her, and it looks like this cooling off period has been beneficial. While my mother-in-law still strongly believes we are completely wrong, at least she was more civil about it and more willing to listen to my wife.

 

My wife also had a very good discussion with her father, and out of all the people we’ve talked to so far, he seemed to be the most open-minded, even though he still has some misgivings about it. At least it looks like we may be able to keep this from becoming an overly contentious subject.

 

I still don’t know where this is going, but at least the ride it fun.

yogaman

djw2000, I’m really sorry to hear you going thru this. However you have a great attitude which I think is fantastic. Like someone else alluded to previously, it all depends on the cultural attitudes of your leaders at the time. I sure wish most Bishops were like the one already mentioned on this post.

 

I see nothing wrong with chaste nudity. If the church leaders think there is, I would think something would have been said about it by now. Keep us posted ok.

 

djw2000

This is djw2000’s wife.

I just got back from an interview with the Stake President.

A very kind, spiritual and fun man. We got to know each other quite well, and the spirit was definitely there. Throughout the course of our conversation, he kept discussing topics like pornography, the words of the Prophet’s, the covenants we’ve made in the Temple (concerning the wearing of the garments) and other things.

I tried to incorporate what he was saying into the conversation that we were supposed to be having about chaste nudity, and we were able to communicate very clearly. We sort of just explored together. He told me that he’s sure that what we’re participating in contradicts words of the Prophet’s. So I asked him to show me where I’m going wrong. He told me that there were no scriptures to back him up because he had looked. The only scripture he came up with was to avoid the very appearance of evil. I told him to look down at the footnote for appearance and it said ‘all kinds’. So the interpretation is to avoid all kinds of evil. That was the only thing concrete he could come up with.

He said that he did not believe we were sinning-but that he didn’t feel comfortable with us participating in activities with mixed company nude.

“So what would you like for us to do, President? You are my Priesthood leader and I will do what is asked of me.”

I’d ask that you refrain from such activities-was his reply.

“How long….forever?” I asked a little teasingly.

He laughed and said, Until the Lord tells me differently.

I then told him about when I was thirteen and was just gaining a testimony of the power of prayer. I decided that I was going to kneel down and pray for my biological father, who had apostatized years before and seemed to be miserable every time I saw him. I was concerned for his welfare.

So I knelt down and began praying in my mind. Immediately, fear and anxiety overcame me to the point where I had to stop praying.

I was confused, and wondered what had caused it. I knew that the adversary could not know the intents of my heart, nor what I was thinking…could it be the Lord telling me not to pray for him? I assumed that’s what it was for the time being. It’s in hindsight now that I realize that it was my own fear that I allowed to take over.

I explained that we have this natural tendency to fear the unknown.

And that where fear is, faith cannot be-which leaves no room for the peaceful witness of the Holy Ghost to testify of truth.

That really hit him and he thanked me for sharing that.

Anyway, there were plenty of scriptures and quotes from Apostles and other Church leaders that I handed to him along with my testimony and how it had developed throughout the course of learning about chaste nudity.

He asked to meet with me again next week.

As we walked down the hall, I said

“President, I don’t know much about the subject, but I do know the Lord will direct me…”

“Absolutely!”

djw2000

Here is my testimony that I had written down and gave to the Stake President:

 

Dearest President [name deleted],

I regret that you haven’t had much of a chance to get to know my husband and I . So, I suppose the best way for us to get better acquainted is to write my thoughts, feelings, and testimony on a piece of paper.

1 Peter 3:3 “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of he heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves,…”

Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society general president said:

“We protect when we teach our children that they have divine worth, when we go to church as a family, when we have family home evening, when we have family prayer, when we study the scriptures together. That’s all pretty simple stuff, but I testify to you that it provides powerful protection….”

Elder Henry B. Eyring’s last General Conference talk was on the subject of becoming as a little child.

“Our natures must be changed to become as a child to gain the strength we must have to be safe in the times of moral peril.”

Mosiah 3:19

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”

Elder Eyring goes on;

“We are safe on the rock which is the Savior when we have yielded in faith in Him, have responded to the Holy Spirit’s direction to keep the commandments long enough and faithfully enough that the power of the Atonement has changed our hearts. When we have, by that experience, become as a child in our capacity to love and obey, we are on the sure foundation.”

 

I know that Jesus Christ lives!

His Atonement is real, and it is only through Him that we will be able to live again with our loved ones and our Father in Heaven. He is my Savior, my Redeemer, my Elder Brother and my Friend. I love Him with all of my heart and strive daily to learn about and apply in my own life His marvelous teachings.

I know that someday we will be resurrected, and our mortal bodies will be restored to their perfect frames. Our corruption will put on incorruption, and all things will be revealed to us concerning God’s ways. It is then that we will truly know how limited and sometimes distorted our views were while here on earth.

We have simple truths, basic principles that we are taught in the Gospel. It’s not until we ponder, search and desire to know for ourselves what they mean and how we can apply them, that the Lord reveals them to us in a more profound way than previously

We are children of God, created after His image.

I testify that I have been given a small glimpse of how things were, are and will be in this area. It has enlightened my mind, filled my heart with rejoicing and brought clarity to things that I have wondered about.

I have felt a sweet peace, and unspeakable joy as I have continued to study, ponder and pray for guidance. So many things are coming together and I only feel to glory in my God and what He has seen fit to give to me at this time in my life. I’m so grateful for Him. I love Him with all of my heart and desire only to serve Him and His precious children.

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I know nothing of myself, but am continually searching to be taught by my Father in Heaven. I have dedicated my life to Him and His work. I will do all that is required of me at His hand. Whom the Lord loves, He chastens. That’s what He is doing for me.

Through these experiences, I will learn to fear only God. I will learn greater charity and compassion for those who forego similar trials in their own families and among their ecclesiastical leaders for professing that the Book of Mormon is true. I will be a better missionary.

All things are in the Lord’s hands. He will sort it out. Until then, I know in whom I have trusted.

I love my Savior, and will praise His name forever!

Thank you for doing your best. I know there is a reason for all of this. There are valuable lessons for all of us to learn and I think I may have pin-pointed what my lessons are.

Thank you so much for your prayers in our behalf. We have felt an outpouring of the Spirit in our lives; and because of that, we are more convinced than ever that what we have learned is very much from Him who knows all.

We are in the Lord’s hands and seek to do His will continually.

All my life (from the time I was a young teenager), I’ve sought nothing but my Father’s will and that hasn’t changed. What I’m learning about is something that–because of what we’ve all grown up with and because of what we assume is true–can only be discerned by the Spirit. I have studied these things out in my mind, continually searched the scriptures and words of the Prophet’s and Apostles, and been led by the Spirit to understand what is truth and what is not. Chaste nudity, when viewed from the right perspective, and used only as a means to learn greater charity, respect and appreciation for God’s children, is very much in accordance with gospel teachings.

 

• Isaiah 42:6, 9, 16

“I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes…

“Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”

 

• Romans 8:7-9, 28-29

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be;

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if it so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. “

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”

 

• Galations 5:13-14 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty: only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love, serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

• 1 Corintheans 7:31 “…for the fashion of this world passeth away.”

• Isaiah 27:9-10

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”

• Moroni 7

“4-And now my brethren, I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men.

5-For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them for if their works be good, then they are good also.

6-For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing.

10-Wherefore, a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gft.

11-…wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil.

12-Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

13-But behold, that which is of God invitieth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

14-Wherefore, take heed my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

15-For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

16-For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth not man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

18-And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.’

19-Wherefore, I beseech of you brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.”

n/a

Well, that went better than can be expected.

 

One thing you could bring up is that the Garment cloth represents the Spiritual Garment you wear. When we were talking about the Mantle of Elijah today, it suddenly came into my mind how the Garment is actually represented Spiritually and Temporally.

 

Although I am unendowed, I’ve been silently pondering over what another couple said about the garment and how they recognize it to be a spiritual thing for them. For Latter-day Saint nudists who become endowed, this becomes important. The endowed nudist is wearing his or her spiritual garment when he or she is acting in accordance to the covenants of the Temple which he or she covenanted to follow. Whether he or she is clothed in the temporal garment or not.

 

So, when the Bishop asks if you are wearing your garments day and night, you can say yes with impunity if you are wearing the Spiritual Garment day and night. The Bishop may think that you are wearing your cloth garment day and night, but then, he’s a man.

 

 

Remember one thing, chaste nudity is acting in accords with modesty. And that is an important thing, Sister djw.

johnw

djw2000

I explained that we have this natural tendency to fear the unknown. And that where fear is, faith cannot be-which leaves no room for the peaceful witness of the Holy Ghost to testify of truth.

That really hit him and he thanked me for sharing that.

djw2000’s wife, that is unquestionably the most mature, touching response that I have ever heard someone give to a priesthood leader. How could he not be moved by the sincerity of your story.

 

I was equally touched by your last post where you recounted your experiences coming to terms with naturism. You seem to have a nice combination of spiritual maturity and an open heart.

 

It’s also very refreshing to have a feminine perspective here. One of these days I’ll get my wife to post some thoughts … when she’s done with Youth Conference, YW Camp, umpteen family activities, and of course, her gazillion daily tasks. Ok, you may never hear from her.

 

But if I can get her to post some thoughts, you’ll enjoy them. She’s a great lady with some very nice perspectives on how chaste body openness can benefit families.

bryans_saturdays

Elton

So, when the Bishop asks if you are wearing your garments day and night, you can say yes with impunity if you are wearing the Spiritual Garment day and night. The Bishop may think that you are wearing your cloth garment day and night, but then, he’s a man.

Elton, while I understand your intent, this approach makes me nervous. First of all, the idea of “spiritual garments” is an interesting opinion, but an opinion none the less. Second, it seems to me that what you are advocating is intentional deciet – or telling a white lie. If you answer a question with the words that the person asking wants to hear, knowing full well that the two of you have different meanings for what the question means, then you are not being honest.

 

Just my opinion.

 

Bryan

bryans_saturdays

djw2000’s wife,

 

(I wish you had your own screen name – I feel silly calling you djw2000’s wife!) Thank you sooo much for sharing your conversation with your stake president! I am in awe at the maturity with which you approached the situation. We can all benefit from your example.

 

I look forward to the next update!

 

Bryan

n/a

bryans_saturdays

Elton

So, when the Bishop asks if you are wearing your garments day and night, you can say yes with impunity if you are wearing the Spiritual Garment day and night. The Bishop may think that you are wearing your cloth garment day and night, but then, he’s a man.

Elton, while I understand your intent, this approach makes me nervous. First of all, the idea of “spiritual garments” is an interesting opinion, but an opinion none the less. Second, it seems to me that what you are advocating is intentional deciet – or telling a white lie. If you answer a question with the words that the person asking wants to hear, knowing full well that the two of you have different meanings for what the question means, then you are not being honest.

 

Just my opinion.

 

Bryan

Bryan, it is an interesting thought. But it’s not deceit to answer the interviewer that you wear the Garment appropriately. What I suggested may be wrong, but to answer that you wear the Garment appropriately is not deceitful and is quite truthful. Especially when you do.

djw2000

bryans_saturdays

djw2000’s wife,

(I wish you had your own screen name – I feel silly calling you djw2000’s wife!)

Your wish has been granted. From now on you can refer to my wife as “javlover”. Hope this helps.

cwgeib

Sister djw,

 

I sat here reading both your report and your letter and was filled with the presence of the Holy Ghost! Hard to read when that happens, had to keep wiping away the tears! I can see the Holy Ghost speaking to your Stake President in those words, and teaching him something new if he listens. And because I am conviced that Stake Presidents are truly inspired, the Holy Ghost will reach within him. What a beautiful message.

 

Renee and I wish you well.

 

Chris and Renee

Dayton, OH

javlover

An update on my parents’ reactions.

I sent a couple emails responding to my Dad’s concerns about this whole thing, and pretty much the same “testimony” I handed to my Stake President.

Well, my mother responded.

Her letter is in the blue and mine is regular in response to her email. I tried very hard, though I’ve been a little annoyed at her persistence in trying to control everything from where she’s at, to be non-confrontational and to make sure I feel at peace about everything I write before I send it.

I sent that to her almost a week ago and haven’t heard from her since which is rare.

javlover

(Name deleted) and (Name deleted),

I was thinking about the email you had written me today

a little feeling came to me tonight and though it is late thought I would share it with you.

In fact I could not sleep till I did.

Is someone willing to base there Eternal life on such a thing as social nudity? I am not.

 

You believe that our eternal life is at stake because our opinions differ from yours?

Just as the woman that was willing to loose her church standing for cream this is such a thing.

Was she willing to do all that her leaders asked of her? Was she continually seeking the Lord’s will for her life?

Dad will write the general authorities about this thing. Dad will ask them to come out directly on this topic, because some reason Stake leaders, bishops, parents, grand parents cant get through, like the phone is off the hook somewhere.

Go ahead if you feel it necessary. Don’t you think that the Lord would have told them to speak about it if He felt it was the right time? I’m sure many of them have faced this issue before.

The line that I’m hooked up to is of far greater value.

To feel that parents do not know about hidden secrets… Secrets have been around for a long time… Pornography is just this.

I’m sorry but pornography is no secret. Anyone who participates in it, knows it’s bad. Have you ever heard anyone say that they feel edified and uplifted and want to draw closer to the Lord because of it?

And there are many things that the Prophets and other Saints know about that you haven’t yet learned.

We learn as quickly as we are willing to be taught.

Secret combinations is this. Read in 2 Nephi 26 we read it, this is talking to us in this day.

They talk of gangs, the talk of groups that call themselves members acting according to there own wants and desires.

Did you not read what I wrote? Everything that I wrote was about listening to the Lord, learning from Him and seeking to do His will and not my own. That’s all (name deleted)) and I want to do.

They are to be bridled.

So the next time you loose your temper with your children and force them to do what you want them to, remind yourself of bridling your passions (anger is a passion and is to be controlled). I don’t expect perfection from you in this-because I’m certainly not perfect, but hopefully when I expect things of my children, I will be willing to live up to my own standards.

 

I love you (name deleted) I need you to lead my daughter and your family to Eternal Life, Take care of Heavenly Fathers daughter and my daughter.

Do you believe that he wants any differently? Goes to show that you don’t know him at all.

And from the way you’re reacting, it seems like you don’t know me at all either. Don’t you know by now that I can’t live without the Spirit?

I do what I need to protect the peace that I feel in my heart. That’s why I’ve felt it necessary to stay close to my Father in Heaven through prayer and scripture study practically all my life, through knowing what the Prophet’s have counseled and said concerning everything I desire to learn about.

There is great safety in learning to walk by the spirit-and knowing the words of Christ that tell us all things that we should do. We have done everything to follow what we have read in the scriptures, and walk in faith knowing that all things are in the Lord’s hands, not ours.

I know that you can be that kind of a leader, you are just lost on a path somewhere, and don’t see the end of the tunnel.

We don’t know what you’re talking about.

The sun is shining brightly in our home. We are happy. Our hearts are full of peace. Our house is in order, and we’re enjoying life!

Do not think you are ever above the leaders or parents they were placed to lead and guide you.

We are not above anyone. And he who is the greatest is the least, and the servant of all.

God knows far more than any of us. We know we are doing what’s right when our hearts are full of peace and joy. The Spirit is guiding us.

(name deleted)’s patriarchal blessing is very direct on the point of listen and heeding parents counsel to that very thing.

We would only want for you to be safe, now it seems we need to help you be safe from yourselves.

I have done my best to pay heed to yours, my leaders, and the Spirit’s counsel. I have also been true to the principles that I have been taught. Now you may disagree on that, but who are you to judge the situation? Only the Lord knows how I’ve been doing in these things.

I trust in God and know nothing of myself-just as I stated in that email to you. My Patriarichal blessing also says,

“I bless you, (name deleted), with an understanding spirit, with a heart that is tender, one that is touched easily by the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. I bless you to feel often the burning within you that testifies of the truthfullness of all things and will bring to your remembrance those things that are necessary for you to understand.”

And it says that all of my righteous desires will be granted as long as I stay true to the principles that I have been taught, as longs as I am true to the whisperings of the Spirit.

We pray for you every day.

Thanks, we appreciate that. Hopefully, you’re praying that the Lord’s will be done.

Mom

You do not need to bare a testimony about nudity, and (name deleted) I know that you have a testimony.

I know you know the church is true. Stay close to the simple teachings these are the most sacred.

Hold them close to you.

A testimony is a knowledge in Christ, a belief in the Prophet, a knowledge of the atonement and a knowledge of who you are. Pure and simple that is all.

Does that mean I can’t have a testimony about Resurrection or anything else…yes, it’s all simple. I just understand some things better now.

I’m grateful that I can learn and grow in my testimony. I don’t base my knowledge off of what my parents know. I base it off of what has brought me the greatest joy and light and what has led me closer to Jesus Christ. It is possible for your children to learn things that you have not yet.

Alma 32:23 “And now he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.”

Love you

Mom

You have not studied, pondered and prayed about it and desired to know with a pure heart whether it is good or not.

The Lord’s plan is about teaching correct principles, and allowing us to govern ourselves. Free agency is a great gift, and when we become adults, our parents are no longer in charge of dishing out consequences. That’s the Lord’s responsibility.

Why do you continue to feel a need to take things into your own hands?

I love you too Mom.

Your daughter,

(name deleted)

bryans_saturdays

From the viewpoint of a by-stander on your side of the bleachers, I’d say you did a good job of staying cool yet still making your point known.

 

As always – I hope you’ll keep us updated. It’s somehow enchanting to be a witness to this turning point in your life. Thanks for sharing.

 

Bryan

n/a

We would only want for you to be safe, now it seems we need to help you be safe from yourselves.

 

Safe from ourselves?!? That’s Communistic Thinking!!! Dictatorships have been built on the thought “humanity must be safe from itself.” I can see this thought happening in Adolf Hitler’s mind before his brain was ravaged by Syphlis. I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks like that does not understand the concept of (Free) Agency.

 

People who think like that believe that they have to drag their loved ones kicking and screaming into the Celestial Kingdom even if they don’t want to go every time they do something “bad.” I’m sorry this offends everyone, but the thought above strikes me as Luciferic thinking.

javlover

We would only want for you to be safe, now it seems we need to help you be safe from yourselves.

Safe from ourselves?!? That’s Communistic Thinking!!! Dictatorships have been built on the thought “humanity must be safe from itself.” I can see this thought happening in Adolf Hitler’s mind before his brain was ravaged by Syphlis. I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks like that does not understand the concept of (Free) Agency.

People who think like that believe that they have to drag their loved ones kicking and screaming into the Celestial Kingdom even if they don’t want to go every time they do something “bad.” I’m sorry this offends everyone, but the thought above strikes me as Luciferic thinking.

Don’t worry Elton, I’ve thought the same many times.

My mother comes from a German heritage and that explains most of her thinking. I grew up around it so it’s nothing new or surprising. It’s just the way she was taught.

I appreciate yours and everyone’s comments

djw2000

GREAT NEWS!!! I just met with my Stake President again and he feels good about letting us have our Temple Recommends back! He said a big part of this decision came from being impressed by the humility of my wife and how willing she was to submit to his counsel and direction the last time they met. He felt confident that we truly do desire to follow the Lord in whatever He directs, and is willing to let this toplc remain between us and the Lord.

 

His final counsel was simply this: “Keep a stong focus on ‘sacredness’, the sacredness of our bodies and of whatever the Lord sees fit to reveal to us.” He feels that is the most important thing the Lord wants us to keep in mind as we go forward. We agree with him 100% and will have no trouble keeping this counsel.

 

Of course this whole thing will not be over until our Bishop comes to agree with the Stake President’s assessment of things and actually returns our recommends, but I believe that will be short in coming.

 

I want to thank all of you who have been so supportive throughout this whole process. I have found it very helpful to be able to write out my thoughts and feelings, and read your help and advice. The whole process has been very cathartic.

mfletch7

djw2000,

 

That is great news. I am happy for you that this is how it has worked out for you and your wife. I also feel that being willing to follow our leaders council is very important.

 

Even with this “emancipation”, I hope you will still remain a member of the forum. Your views and opinions have been enlightening and very helpful.

djw2000

mfletch7

Even with this “emancipation”, I hope you will still remain a member of the forum. Your views and opinions have been enlightening and very helpful.

Don’t worry; I definitely plan on hanging around.

n/a

djw2000

GREAT NEWS!!! I just met with my Stake President again and he feels good about letting us have our Temple Recommends back! He said a big part of this decision came from being impressed by the humility of my wife and how willing she was to submit to his counsel and direction the last time they met. He felt confident that we truly do desire to follow the Lord in whatever He directs, and is willing to let this toplc remain between us and the Lord.

 

His final counsel was simply this: “Keep a stong focus on ‘sacredness’, the sacredness of our bodies and of whatever the Lord sees fit to reveal to us.” He feels that is the most important thing the Lord wants us to keep in mind as we go forward. We agree with him 100% and will have no trouble keeping this counsel.

 

Of course this whole thing will not be over until our Bishop comes to agree with the Stake President’s assessment of things and actually returns our recommends, but I believe that will be short in coming.

 

I want to thank all of you who have been so supportive throughout this whole process. I have found it very helpful to be able to write out my thoughts and feelings, and read your help and advice. The whole process has been very cathartic.

i also ‘think’ this is good news. heaven knows that each unit in the church is automous, that it Never allows/admits that SPs set any precident that could be used in another similar situation. Perhpas with the internet and the notice you’re getting here.

It is my wish that the LDS church could be sensitive to the members in ALL their individual situations, but my personal experience tells me that’s not likely. The leaders see their responsibility as putting the ‘needs’ of the church ahead of individuals, which is Very Sad.

take care, stay Bare!

johnw

djw2000

GREAT NEWS!!! I just met with my Stake President again and he feels good about letting us have our Temple Recommends back! He said a big part of this decision came from being impressed by the humility of my wife and how willing she was to submit to his counsel and direction the last time they met. He felt confident that we truly do desire to follow the Lord in whatever He directs, and is willing to let this toplc remain between us and the Lord.

I went to bed feeling great last night after reading your news and also yogaman’s news (http://www.ldssdc.org/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=88 Broken Link). Sanity prevailed twice on the same day. Good happenings in the forum.

The story itself is a great example of a sincere leader who was able to put aside his strong personal feelings, make an honest review of chaste nudity (with a lot of hand-holding from your good wife), and realize that there is nothing patently wrong with the practice.

 

A lot of LDS naturists want validation from the general leadership. I don’t believe that will ever come. This stake president got it right when he said it’s between the member and the Lord.

 

If I’m honest, I can’t deny that this little bit of validation IS nice. I can’t help but get warm fuzzies when I see an adverse church leader realize that there is nothing in chaste nudity which conflicts with the gospel. I don’t feel any conflict personally, but sometimes I see how rogue the idea is and wonder if I’m not a little bit nuts! Well, I probably am, but for other reasons than this.

 

Kudos to you and your wife, DJW. You handled it with stellar grace and faith.

 

I’ll be watching now for news on how your mother-in-law takes this.

bryans_saturdays

djw2000

GREAT NEWS!!! I just met with my Stake President again and he feels good about letting us have our Temple Recommends back! He said a big part of this decision came from being impressed by the humility of my wife and how willing she was to submit to his counsel and direction the last time they met. He felt confident that we truly do desire to follow the Lord in whatever He directs, and is willing to let this toplc remain between us and the Lord.

 

His final counsel was simply this: “Keep a stong focus on ‘sacredness’, the sacredness of our bodies and of whatever the Lord sees fit to reveal to us.” He feels that is the most important thing the Lord wants us to keep in mind as we go forward. We agree with him 100% and will have no trouble keeping this counsel.

 

Of course this whole thing will not be over until our Bishop comes to agree with the Stake President’s assessment of things and actually returns our recommends, but I believe that will be short in coming.

 

I want to thank all of you who have been so supportive throughout this whole process. I have found it very helpful to be able to write out my thoughts and feelings, and read your help and advice. The whole process has been very cathartic.

Well that certainly is fantastic! It sounds like you have a humble Stake President who, as others have said, is willing and able to put aside pre-conceived cultural differences and truly do what his best for those he has been called to serve.

 

Will you let us know what your mother and Bishop have to say in response?

 

Thanks!!

 

Bryan

bryans_saturdays

MANY POSTS FROM THIS THREAD HAVE BEEN DELETED

 

As this forum’s moderator, I have deleted many of the recent posts made to this thread.

 

Why?

 

It’s very simple, really. Not only were they off topic for this forum (nudity within the LDS religion) but they completely hi-jacked this particular thread which is about the ongoing dilemma of djw2000 and javlover with their bishop, stake president, and javlover’s mother.

 

While some off topic posts have admitedly not been removed, I’m not inclined to keep posts which are openly inflamitory towards the LDS religion, or any other. This is not a forum to bash the Mormon religion or it’s members.

 

Andy, while there is a time and place to discuss the issues you have raised, this forum is not the place. You are welcome to participate, but as both the creator and the moderator of this forum, I ask that you remain civil towards our religion, and to take your anti-Mormon comments to their proper location. Any such further posts posts will also be removed.

 

Thanks,

 

Bryan

n/a

djw2000

GREAT NEWS!!! I just met with my Stake President again and he feels good about letting us have our Temple Recommends back! He said a big part of this decision came from being impressed by the humility of my wife and how willing she was to submit to his counsel and direction the last time they met. He felt confident that we truly do desire to follow the Lord in whatever He directs, and is willing to let this toplc remain between us and the Lord.

 

His final counsel was simply this: “Keep a stong focus on ‘sacredness’, the sacredness of our bodies and of whatever the Lord sees fit to reveal to us.” He feels that is the most important thing the Lord wants us to keep in mind as we go forward. We agree with him 100% and will have no trouble keeping this counsel.

 

Of course this whole thing will not be over until our Bishop comes to agree with the Stake President’s assessment of things and actually returns our recommends, but I believe that will be short in coming.

 

I want to thank all of you who have been so supportive throughout this whole process. I have found it very helpful to be able to write out my thoughts and feelings, and read your help and advice. The whole process has been very cathartic.

Yay! I think it has as much to do with you and your decisions not to be rebellious against the Church as it has to do with the Spirit. Rebellion against the Church can bring dire consequences, since you are effectively rebelling against the Lord’s Government. The worst of which is Excommunication (and such excommunication can be approved by the Holy Spirit of Promise).

bryans_saturdays

Yay! I think it has as much to do with you and your decisions not to be rebellious

Good point, Elton.

 

djw2000 and javlover, in my post above I mentioned your stake president, but I failed to give credit to you two. I think the way you have handled all of this has been a model for all of us. I honestly don’t know if I could have handled myself with your bishop, stake president, and mother (in-law) with as much restraint and charity as you have.

 

Congratulations!

 

Bryan

yogaman

My congrats to the two of you as well. You’ve shown a great deal of faith; more than I would have had. You are also a great example of patience. It is a lesson I need to remember!!!

 

Do you know when the Bishop will be getting back to you?

djw2000

Thank you, everyone, for all of your kind words. I just wanted to respond quickly to some of your comments:

I’ll be watching now for news on how your mother-in-law takes this.

My wife actually did talk to her mother last night, and while it was positive, I’m going to let her tell you exactly how it went.

Will you let us know what your mother and Bishop have to say in response?

Of course!

Do you know when the Bishop will be getting back to you?

No, he does travel a lot for his work, and I don’t know quickly the Stake President was able to get ahold of him. I’m sure the Bishop will contact me soon, but I’ve just got to be patient until then. When he does, I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

javlover

Will you let us know what your mother and Bishop have to say in response?

I talked to my Mother last night.

I think she was a little shocked and said, “I just know how sacred our bodies are.”

And she expressed how she just loves us as her children and can be a little over protective sometimes. I told her not to worry about all she had said and done, because I just love her…and being a mother myself, I understand. Told her I have a hard time leaving my little ones with a babysitter, let alone letting them go off and live their own lives. I imagine I’ll have a tough time with that.

In the future, I don’t plan on discussing our choices with family members because I realize how much we were ready for this and that we have been blessed by our decisions to go forward with faith.

Thanks everyone for being supportive. I really appreciate that.

I’m going to do my best to take seriously the Stake President’s counsel because I think this is the first time I’ve had to pay any sort of consequences for sharing things that really are personal and ought not to be shared unless the Spirit gives me the go ahead.

I’m just so grateful for this opportunity to grow and to learn to overcome my weaknesses. I can’t begin to name all the little prayers that have been answered through this experience.

I love my Savior!

This has been my first time being anything close to persecuted for my beliefs. It’s brought a greater appreciation for Joseph Smith, Nephi and countless others. My heart is full of gratitude for all who have made it possible for us to worship how, when and what we may. Hope I get to meet all of you someday! Thanks again for being there for us.

bryans_saturdays

javlover

Will you let us know what your mother and Bishop have to say in response?

I talked to my Mother last night.

I think she was a little shocked and said, “I just know how sacred our bodies are.”

javlover & djw, any updates? I’ve been thinking about you guys. It sounds like for now, at least, the dust has settled with your mother, javlover? How about with your Bishop?

 

Thanks again for sharing all of this.

 

Bryan

javlover

bryans_saturdays

javlover & djw, any updates? I’ve been thinking about you guys. It sounds like for now, at least, the dust has settled with your mother, javlover? How about with your Bishop?

 

Thanks again for sharing all of this.

 

Bryan

Yes, I met with my Bishop. I actually took a letter to him and we sat and spoke for a few minutes. One of his first comments were,

“So how do you feel about things? I mean, has anything changed. . . . are you and your husband on the same page? Any difference of opinion?”

“We feel the same about it. We feel that the Lord is backing us up in our decisions. It’s already helped us individually and as a companionship. It’s been good for us.”

He mentioned how Stake Temple night was approaching and how he’d really love for us to be able to attend together. His main concern is that we be happy and I felt the Spirit as we spoke. I know of his love and concern for us. He said a couple of times that he thinks our family is awesome.

After the Temple comment, I assumed he hadn’t heard from the Stake President. Sure enough he hadn’t and asked if there was something I’d like to tell him. I decided it would be best for it to come directly from the Stake President but I told him it was good news. “Oh really?!” was his response.

So we’ll see.

It’s amazing how much he’s paid more attention to our family and how we interact with each other and others. We’re so happy and love everyone-we have so much fun with life! Our ward has a lot of older couples. And we’ve received some of the best compliments recently on how happy and loving we are as a couple and family.

I sang “The Light Within” last Sunday and I chose that song for a reason. Some of the words are “. . .I’m happy when I feel the light within” and I sang with all of my heart. I wanted to tell them through song that I am happy, that the Spirit is with me.

I wanted to communicate the message of the song. I think it was a success.

As for my Mother, our relationship seems more normal than ever. We’ve always been quite close. I don’t think she’s ever had an experience like this where she was so sure she was right about something, and to realize that there may be more to it. I think it’s helped to begin opening her eyes to possibilities.

I’m going to visit my family soon. But I want to wait so I can go to the Temple with my Mother.

n/a

hmm. I hoped you journaled your experience. Future generations to come will want to know how this all turned out. It also sounds like something you’ll want to put into your life’s history.

djw2000

We got a call from the Ward Executive Secretary a couple of days ago to tell us the Bishop wanted to meet with us today before church. We has some high hopes going into this meeting, and fortunately we weren’t disappointed. He told us that he had spoken with the Stake President and that they both agreed that we should have our temple recommends returned. In fact he told us he expects to see us at the upcoming Stake Temple Day. He also offered me a new calling that I gratefully accepted. He simply asked us to continue to follow the advise and counsel of the Stake President and that he would like to check up on us every once in a while. it seems to us that our welfare is his biggest concern and feels that as long as we continue to work together in harmony as a couple and maintain our activity in the church, that we are on the right track. So it looks like it really is over. He hasn’t asked us anything specifically relating to nudity since our second visit nearly two months ago, so it looks like he’s also willing to let this remain an issue between us and the Lord.

 

We know that we have learned and grown so much over this period and our faith in God had only been strengthened. We know that God is concerned with the welfare of our family and He will guide us as we walk in faith and do our best to listen to the promptings of His Spirit. We feel sure that this is what has led us to consider and try chaste nudity, and that He has and will continue to bless us as we humbly follow these promptings.

 

Thank you so much, to all of you, who have been so supportive through all of this. We know it was much easier to go through with it knowing that there were other like minded individuals out there with whom we could share our thoughts and feelings. It made us feel much less alone. We simply hope that as we continue to participate in this forum, we can in some way return the favor.

n/a

We know that we have learned and grown so much over this period and our faith in God had only been strengthened. We know that God is concerned with the welfare of our family and He will guide us as we walk in faith and do our best to listen to the promptings of His Spirit. We feel sure that this is what has led us to consider and try chaste nudity, and that He has and will continue to bless us as we humbly follow these promptings.

 

Thank you so much, to all of you, who have been so supportive through all of this. We know it was much easier to go through with it knowing that there were other like minded individuals out there with whom we could share our thoughts and feelings. It made us feel much less alone. We simply hope that as we continue to participate in this forum, we can in some way return the favor.

I think… that what happened to you was Great!

 

(not to detract)

to me, it’s a bit like someone claiming that they had some ‘miraculous healing’… fine for the people involved, but; What about all the people that didn’t find a cure through just as sincere appeals to God? Who fasted & prayed for themselves or a friend, a loved one?

people, when they survive a serious/life threatening accident or an illness… often say that ‘God was with them’…

What about all the people who Didn’t get into a bad wreck, a life-threatening illness???

Sum up: I wish the same policies aplied to ALL people LDS & others as well.

bryans_saturdays

to me, it’s a bit like someone claiming that they had some ‘miraculous healing’… fine for the people involved, but; What about all the people that didn’t find a cure through just as sincere appeals to God? Who fasted & prayed for themselves or a friend, a loved one?

people, when they survive a serious/life threatening accident or an illness… often say that ‘God was with them’…

What about all the people who Didn’t get into a bad wreck, a life-threatening illness???

Sum up: I wish the same policies aplied to ALL people LDS & others as well.

And if one person “finds a cure” while someone else doesn’t, is someone to blame? Should we angrily shake our fists at God and say “WHY?!?”

 

DJW200 and Javlover have been very fortunate in their dealings with their stake president and Bishop. It’s true that many others have not been as fortunate. Is anger and bitterness the proper response to this inequality? When was the last time that anger and bitterness solved anything? Maybe, just maybe, for all the LDS nudists out there who’s bishops and stake president respond negatively, that a large share of the blame lies with the nudist him/her self.

 

One of the MAIN reasons that things turned out favorably for DJW200 and Javlover is because they approached the situation with an amazing degree of humility and respect. I saw in their posts a desire to align themselves with the will of God, to seek the spirit, and in every action and word to be peace makers.

 

Andy, it is true that there is inequality in this world. It’s also true that the LDS religion is no exception. Such is life. But, if anyone has been on the raw end of inequality, I think that person owes it to themselves to take a real hard honest look at themselves and ask the question “What could I have done differently?” before placing blame on anyone else.

 

In the case of DJW200 and Javlover, the reason for the favorable outcome was due to their own humility. THEY INFLUENCED THE FINAL DECISION OF THEIR STAKE PRESIDENT AND BISHOP. They were not neutral bystanders who were helpless victims of the final decisions.

 

Bryan

n/a

bryans_saturdays

to me, it’s a bit like someone claiming that they had some ‘miraculous healing’… fine for the people involved, but; What about all the people that didn’t find a cure through just as sincere appeals to God? Who fasted & prayed for themselves or a friend, a loved one?

people, when they survive a serious/life threatening accident or an illness… often say that ‘God was with them’…

What about all the people who Didn’t get into a bad wreck, a life-threatening illness???

Sum up: I wish the same policies aplied to ALL people LDS & others as well.

And if one person “finds a cure” while someone else doesn’t, is someone to blame? Should we angrily shake our fists at God and say “WHY?!?”

 

DJW200 and Javlover have been very fortunate in their dealings with their stake president and Bishop. It’s true that many others have not been as fortunate. Is anger and bitterness the proper response to this inequality? When was the last time that anger and bitterness solved anything? Maybe, just maybe, for all the LDS nudists out there who’s bishops and stake president respond negatively, that a large share of the blame lies with the nudist him/her self.

 

One of the MAIN reasons that things turned out favorably for DJW200 and Javlover is because they approached the situation with an amazing degree of humility and respect. I saw in their posts a desire to align themselves with the will of God, to seek the spirit, and in every action and word to be peace makers.

 

Andy, it is true that there is inequality in this world. It’s also true that the LDS religion is no exception. Such is life. But, if anyone has been on the raw end of inequality, I think that person owes it to themselves to take a real hard honest look at themselves and ask the question “What could I have done differently?” before placing blame on anyone else.

 

In the case of DJW200 and Javlover, the reason for the favorable outcome was due to their own humility. THEY INFLUENCED THE FINAL DECISION OF THEIR STAKE PRESIDENT AND BISHOP. They were not neutral bystanders who were helpless victims of the final decisions.

 

Bryan

O.K. to that extent I see what you’re saying… BUT: humility (etc) shouldn’t be used as intimidation to select / favor ONLY those who will be compliant – obsequious!

 

the fact of my case was that I testified at a Public Hearing regarding nudity, which wasa covered in the media.

Several members ratted me out.

‘God is NOT a respector of persons'(D&C 1:35); neither should anyone else be. To have this treatment sanctioned by the church is insulting, and harmful to both/all involved.

mfletch7

Here is my perspective,

 

My bishop thinks that Nudism is very, very strange and refuses to allow me to have a Temple Recommend if I were to simply bathe with my children (ages 8, 6, and 3 – 6 and 3 daughters).

 

My original thought process was to keep my bishops word for a week, talk to him and let him know that I was keeping his request and then to the extent possible break off communication. (As I have mentioned before, there was more than this as to the reasons why I wanted to break off communications). I had planned to not ask for any further interviews and if asked for an interview do my best to come with an excuse as to not being able to meet. I planned to simply forgo receiving a temple recommend while my current bishop is bishop.

 

I talked with a friend about this who helped me see that this was stepping onto the road to disfellowship. This is because the action described above would begin to distance myself from my bishop, who is my priesthood leader whom I sustain. If I were to go back to bathing with my children (something that has been about the same as eating cereal for breakfast for our family – it was just something that we did) and my bishop found out (by my telling him, as I would not lie) and that led to something like a disfellowship council, that would not bring me back to the church. In other words, the actions of the above paragraph would have not only begun to distance me from my bishop but also from the gospel. My friend helped me to see this and I currently view it as one of the most important talks that I have had. As I recognized this I decided that was not at all what I wanted so instead I hold regular report interviews with my bishop and greet him warmly when I go to church. In this decision the lord has greatly blessed me. Without knowing why, I have felt much more love for my bishop over the past few weeks than I had before. I enjoy talking to him and seeing him/shaking his hand at church.

 

Unfortunately my situation has not yet cleared up; however, my bishop did say that I was getting closer to becoming eligible to receiving a temple recommend.

 

Before ending I also want to write that I felt that javlover and djw2000 have been very exemplary in their discussions with their parents and leaders over this issue. They have tought by example the proper way to reconcile a desire to remain faithful members of the church while practicing nudism, which most members would feel is against church standards. Lastly, djw2000 and javlover I want to thank you for sharing this experience, I for one have been greatly helped by it.

johnw

I consider this whole thread the highlight of the site. Thanks to you all for letting us share in your experiences with you.

FullMonty

Mfletch7:

 

I have read through the Church Handbook of Instruction, and have seen absolutely nothing to dealing with nudity, either for or against, in the context we are dealing with. The leadership (Bishops and Stake Presidents, etc) are issued the handbooks as firm guidelines to create uniformity in the church. Anything other than what is contained in the handbooks is their own opinions based on their own experiences, hence the variations from ward to ward.

 

Having said that, when we sustain our bishops, we are sustaining them as a leader of our ward, without regards to their backgrounds or societal conditioning. By agreeing to meet with him on a regular basis is a wonderful opportunity for him to get to know you better, and to see the real intent of your heart. I’m sure you’ll soon have the pleasure of a temple trip, and he will have great respect for you. Thanks for sharing this with us!

 

Monty

johnw

It’s been interesting to watch the Handbook evolve over the years. The trend is away from detailed, specific instructions and toward “follow the Spirit.” Some topics which used to be pretty controversial have turned into “it’s between the member/couple and the Lord.”

 

I hope that more church leaders clue into this trend when they are confronted with innocent nudity.

 

And by the way, this is one reason that I doubt we’ll ever get an official edict from SLC. At the end of the day, as long as it’s innocent, it’s really between the member and the Lord. I think SLC would be happy to leave it there and avoid all of the cultural ramifications of issuing a policy.

djw2000

mfletch7,

 

I truly feel bad for what you’re going through right, and for what it’s worth, I think you’re on the right path. If you stick it out, good things will eventually happen. My wife and I actually prepared ourselves mentally by by expecting this whole ordeal to last as long as a year. While we were very happy to see that didn’t turn out to be the case, we have no idea whether or not anyone can consider our case typical in any way. Just as everyone is a unique individual, the trials and challenges we face in life are also unique. As a result it’s dangerous to compare one person’s situation to another’s, or to expect them to work out in the same way. All I know is that if you put your faith in God and patiently move forward doing the best you know how, things will eventually work out better than you can imagine, whatever the final result.

 

Another thing that really helped my wife and I get through everything we did was to simply think of it as God testing our loyalty and integrity. While we have no idea whether or not that was the actual case, we do know that God has been known to test his followers in that way before, either directly or through his prophets. Whether it’s Abraham being told to sacrifice Isaac; Job losing his children, wealth, and health; Brigham Young being harshly, wrongly, and publicly chastised by Joseph Smith; or Joseph Smith telling Heber C. Kimball to give up his beloved wife to Joseph, God seems to test us to the core before he trusts us with all the incredible blessings he wants to give us. If you stay true to what you know in your heart to be right, you will come out fine in the end. Good luck with everything!

 

A couple thoughts:

1) It is true that there may be a fine line between merely being subordinate (under the authority or control of another) and being obsequious (obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree), but I do think people generally know where it is, and as far as I can tell, no one here has crossed it.

 

2) I remember hearing of a Stake President training meeting where a General Authority asked the assembled Stake Presidents what was the first place they went to to find answers to various questions. When the answer, almost without fail, was “the General Handbook of Instructions,” he went on to teach them that while the General Handbook of Instruction is a great resource, the PRIMARY resource should be the Standard Works (as guided by the Holy Ghost, of course), and that the better you know and understand the scriptures, the less they’d need to rely on the Handbook. While I can’t guarantee the accuracy of this story, it still sounds right to me.

n/a

johnw

It’s been interesting to watch the Handbook evolve over the years. The trend is away from detailed, specific instructions and toward “follow the Spirit.” Some topics which used to be pretty controversial have turned into “it’s between the member/couple and the Lord.”

 

I hope that more church leaders clue into this trend when they are confronted with innocent nudity.

 

And by the way, this is one reason that I doubt we’ll ever get an official edict from SLC. At the end of the day, as long as it’s innocent, it’s really between the member and the Lord. I think SLC would be happy to leave it there and avoid all of the cultural ramifications of issuing a policy.

I think there are a couple of possible ‘outs’:

treat this like the ‘sexual pervison’ thing of years past: say it’s up to the people involved; ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ but this still begs the Q: how does one answer the TR Q ‘do you wear your garments?’

I have never heard of a ‘middle-ground’ answer to that.

djw2000

andy

I think there are a couple of possible ‘outs’:

treat this like the ‘sexual pervison’ thing of years past: say it’s up to the people involved; ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ but this still begs the Q: how does one answer the TR Q ‘do you wear your garments?’

I have never heard of a ‘middle-ground’ answer to that.

How about this as a possible out:

“Members should be guided by the Holy Spirit to answer for themselves personal questions about wearing the garment. This sacred covenant is between the member and the Lord and is an outward expression of an inner commitment to follow the Savior Jesus Christ.” (First Presidency Letter, dated 5 Nov 1996)

n/a

djw2000

andy

I think there are a couple of possible ‘outs’:

treat this like the ‘sexual pervison’ thing of years past: say it’s up to the people involved; ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ but this still begs the Q: how does one answer the TR Q ‘do you wear your garments?’

I have never heard of a ‘middle-ground’ answer to that.

How about this as a possible out:

 

“Members should be guided by the Holy Spirit to answer for themselves personal questions about wearing the garment. This sacred covenant is between the member and the Lord and is an outward expression of an inner commitment to follow the Savior Jesus Christ.” (First Presidency Letter, dated 5 Nov 1996)

 

— Someone has an extensive file of these, don’t they?

in my 40 yrs of being LDS, I never knew of anyone being able to recall or refer to (all?) letters this old.

with it being between God & the member, the question still should be answered Honestly, should it not?

… But then again, there’s the way my ex-wife answered the Qs, and the bishop knew the accurate, correct answers at the same, exact moment…

djw2000

andy

— Someone has an extensive file of these, don’t they?

in my 40 yrs of being LDS, I never knew of anyone being able to recall or refer to (all?) letters this old.

with it being between God & the member, the question still should be answered Honestly, should it not?

… But then again, there’s the way my ex-wife answered the Qs, and the bishop knew the accurate, correct answers at the same, exact moment…

Someone does have these letters on file, but it’s not me. I actually found that quote in an article by Elder David E. Sorensen in the October 2003 issue of the Ensign. (I originally found it after our first meeting with the Bishop when I was studying this very question for myself. I guess I never thought of posting it until now.)

 

As for answering the temple questions honestly, I absolutely agree with you that we must. After all, if we enter the temple under false pretenses (by not being honest in the temple interview) I firmly believe we are then mocking God and His church organization and thereby heaping damnation on our own souls unless sincerely repented of (my opinion and a standard I only hold myself to, but one that I would strongly encourage others to consider as well.)

 

As for your implication that someone cannot honestly say they wear their garments properly if they participate in nude activities, let me answer it in this way. What if you know your Bishop or Stake President considers certain sexual acts to be “unholy and impure” and in violation of certain temple covenants. However, after careful study and prayer, you and your wife become convinced through the Spirit that it is possible to perform them without violating your covenants. Can you then honestly answer in your temple interview that you keep all your temple covenants?

 

If this doesn’t adequately answer your question, I can come up with other examples dealing with tithing, the Word of Wisdom, or church attendance that follow the exact same reasoning. The simple fact is that there is some wiggle room (or room for interpretation) in all of these things, and as long as your desire is to follow the Spirit instead of your own will, I don’t see how anyone else can say you’re wrong.

 

Hope this helps.

n/a

djw2000

andy

— Someone has an extensive file of these, don’t they?

in my 40 yrs of being LDS, I never knew of anyone being able to recall or refer to (all?) letters this old.

with it being between God & the member, the question still should be answered Honestly, should it not?

… But then again, there’s the way my ex-wife answered the Qs, and the bishop knew the accurate, correct answers at the same, exact moment…

Someone does have these letters on file, but it’s not me. I actually found that quote in an article by Elder David E. Sorensen in the October 2003 issue of the Ensign. (I originally found it after our first meeting with the Bishop when I was studying this very question for myself. I guess I never thought of posting it until now.)

As for answering the temple questions honestly, I absolutely agree with you that we must. After all, if we enter the temple under false pretenses (by not being honest in the temple interview) I firmly believe we are then mocking God and His church organization and thereby heaping damnation on our own souls unless sincerely repented of (my opinion and a standard I only hold myself to, but one that I would strongly encourage others to consider as well.)

As for your implication that someone cannot honestly say they wear their garments properly if they participate in nude activities, let me answer it in this way. What if you know your Bishop or Stake President considers certain sexual acts to be “unholy and impure” and in violation of certain temple covenants. However, after careful study and prayer, you and your wife become convinced through the Spirit that it is possible to perform them without violating your covenants. Can you then honestly answer in your temple interview that you keep all your temple covenants?

 

If this doesn’t adequately answer your question, I can come up with other examples dealing with tithing, the Word of Wisdom, or church attendance that follow the exact same reasoning. The simple fact is that there is some wiggle room (or room for interpretation) in all of these things, and as long as your desire is to follow the Spirit instead of your own will, I don’t see how anyone else can say you’re wrong.

 

Hope this helps.

 

In the ‘final’ analysis, the performance of all of our obligations is between us (as individuals) and God. Which are chosen for TRQs, is, to me, a bit more arbitrary suspect. But then again, I believe that Only Love of God & neighbor is required for us to live Eternally with God/Heavenly Father…

I believe all others are worldly/of men… This after 40+ yrs LDS, a mission, & temple sealing…

djw2000

andy

 

 

In the ‘final’ analysis, the performance of all of our obligations is between us (as individuals) and God. Which are chosen for TRQs, is, to me, a bit more arbitrary suspect. But then again, I believe that Only Love of God & neighbor is required for us to live Eternally with God/Heavenly Father…

I believe all others are worldly/of men… This after 40+ yrs LDS, a mission, & temple sealing…

 

Uh, Oh…Tangent Alert!

 

MUST………..STAY………..ON…………TARGET…………

 

 

 

bryans_saturdays

andy

but this still begs the Q: how does one answer the TR Q ‘do you wear your garments?’ I have never heard of a ‘middle-ground’ answer to that.

 

djw2000

“Members should be guided by the Holy Spirit to answer for themselves personal questions about wearing the garment. This sacred covenant is between the member and the Lord and is an outward expression of an inner commitment to follow the Savior Jesus Christ.” (First Presidency Letter, dated 5 Nov 1996)

 

andy

— Someone has an extensive file of these, don’t they?

in my 40 yrs of being LDS, I never knew of anyone being able to recall or refer to (all?) letters this old.

with it being between God & the member, the question still should be answered Honestly, should it not?

… But then again, there’s the way my ex-wife answered the Qs, and the bishop knew the accurate, correct answers at the same, exact moment…

 

Andy, When DJW gave a perfectly sound answer to your question of how to answer the ‘do you wear your garments?’ question, you then turned to mocking him for having the answer at his finger tips.

 

Just an observation.

 

Bryan

 

bryans_saturdays

johnw

I consider this whole thread the highlight of the site. Thanks to you all for letting us share in your experiences with you.

 

I agree John. If nothing else has been accomplished by this site, this thread alone has been worth it.

 

Bryan

 

bryans_saturdays

mfletch7

My friend helped me to see this and I currently view it as one of the most important talks that I have had. As I recognized this I decided that was not at all what I wanted so instead I hold regular report interviews with my bishop and greet him warmly when I go to church. In this decision the lord has greatly blessed me. Without knowing why, I have felt much more love for my bishop over the past few weeks than I had before. I enjoy talking to him and seeing him/shaking his hand at church.

 

I think you have a very wise friend! And I think you are wise for taking this course of action. of course I don’t have a crystal ball, but given enough time, patience, and prayer, I believe your situation will “clear up” just fine. All things in due time.

 

Bryan

 

bryans_saturdays

johnw

I hope that more church leaders clue into this trend when they are confronted with innocent nudity.

 

And by the way, this is one reason that I doubt we’ll ever get an official edict from SLC. At the end of the day, as long as it’s innocent, it’s really between the member and the Lord. I think SLC would be happy to leave it there and avoid all of the cultural ramifications of issuing a policy.

 

Just a guess out of left field… If an “official edict” is ever made, it will come in the form of a letter to bishops and SP’s that will say more or less “Please stop taking away temple recommends for this reason.”

 

I think I’ve shared this before (don’t feel like looking up the link), but when I was a teenage kid my dad was a bishop, and he shared with us two letters from the first presidency. The first said that it was not appropriate to ask members if they drank caffeinated beverages or watched R rated movies in a TR interview. The second (been referred to a few times on this forum) said that what happened in a couples bedroom is up to them, and so long as it involved only them and so long as both agreed, then it was okay.

 

Maybe, just maybe, if enough news like what happened to DJW and javlover reaches the ears of the FP, they will send such a letter.

 

Who knows?

 

Bryan

 

 

johnw

I couldn’t agree more.

 

cwgeib

I know I’ve mentioned this as have others, but I can honestly answer the SP that I wear my garments as suggested. When we go to a beach, we wear swim trunks, no garments, all day, even though we are not always in the water. This is considered by the Church as wholly acceptable. Likewise, at Cedar Trails, we cannot use the swimming pool or the hot tub with clothes, so although I am not in the pool all day or the hot tub, it is perfectly acceptable to be “dressed” ready to use the pool or hot tub as I would be had I been to a beach. Also, when sleeping, I wear garments. Not going to the pool in tha dark. So, I have absolutely no qualms about saying I wear my garments as suggested by the First Presidency. Also, I know that God knows what I’m doing, and I know through the Holy Spirit that what we do outside of our garments while at Cedar Trails is not wrong. And for what its worth Andy, that 31 years LDS, and sealed twice in the temple.

 

Regards,

 

Chris and Renee

 

djw2000

bryans_saturdays

johnw

I consider this whole thread the highlight of the site. Thanks to you all for letting us share in your experiences with you.

 

 

I agree John. If nothing else has been accomplished by this site, this thread alone has been worth it.

 

Bryan

 

How about making it a Sticky?

 

buckhntr

The trouble with many of these leters of direction that Bishops receive is that they are not to be read or discussed with the members. Same with the Handbook of Instructions, it is only for priesthood leadership and only certain parts are distrubuted to auxillaries. You need to be in the Bishopric to have access to the whole book. So if a leter ever was to be sent no one would know about it except the Bishop and the members at large would still be under the impression that chaste nuduty violates the churches Moral Law. No social change would be accomplished as the church will never risk the adverse publicity from an endorsement on chaste social nudity. Until society as a whole comes around.

 

n/a

buckhntr

The trouble with many of these leters of direction that Bishops receive is that they are not to be read or discussed with the members. Same with the Handbook of Instructions, it is only for priesthood leadership and only certain parts are distrubuted to auxillaries. You need to be in the Bishopric to have access to the whole book. So if a leter ever was to be sent no one would know about it except the Bishop and the members at large would still be under the impression that chaste nuduty violates the churches Moral Law. No social change would be accomplished as the church will never risk the adverse publicity from an endorsement on chaste social nudity.

 

agree. It’s too bad that members can’t / don’t know which policies & procedures govern their interaction with the church.

I certainly didn’t intend to slight anyone; I just happen to think that some of the ways of things are applied is twisted beyond usefulness – practical application on a day-by-day basis.

 

“Until society as a whole comes around.” (Same as females wearing pants at BYU/Ricks/CCH)

Frankly, I am more comfortable following leaders who set what is acceptable in society than follow it.

 

I hope that I’m ‘enough of a nudist’ for you folks to overlook the fact that I’m critical/cynical abt things LDS.

 

Friedrich Nietzsche: “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

 

djw2000

I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I haven’t been participating in the forum recently and I now want to share what happened.

 

While I thought the issue about my family participating in nude activities had been resolved with my Bishop, evidently that wasn’t the case. A week ago, he called me out of Priesthood Meeting to talk. His first question took me by surprise, “Have you gone to any nude activities since we last talked about it?” Seeing as how I had thought that was supposed to be between us and the Lord, I didn’t quite know how to answer. I decided to admit going to a clothing optional beach by myself, but not admit to going to this beach with my family. I felt that this way I could take all the heat until I found out what this was all about.

 

It turned out that he had gotten a very different impression from the agreement we had made with the Stake President than we had. He got the impression that we had be counseled to refrain from participating in nude activities instead of being told it was between us and the Lord. Seeing as how I had thought this was all over with then having it come up again, I think I reacted a little more defensively than I should have, but we spent the next 45 min to an hour having a very open and frank discussion about the subject. In the end he had asked me to not visit any naturist websites or go to any activities. In turn I asked him to specifically consider whether or not this was solely a family issue or a Church issue as well. After I got home, I also emailed him a few articles to review and consider before we met again. (The pamphlet What is “Official” LDS Doctrine?, an old talk by J. Reuben Clark, and an excerpt from An Abundant Life by Hugh B. Brown that James just so happened to have sent me that morning.) I then chose to follow his direction until we could talk about these things again.

 

We got a chance to meet together again on Sunday right after General Conference. He started out by admitting to me that those articles I had sent him gave him a lot to think about and I could tell it softened his outlook. As a result we were able to spend the next two hours having a very honest, open, and mutually respectful conversation. In the end he admitted that the final decision really is ours, but he still feels it’s not right. His biggest concerns are that we are actually putting our children at more risk and that we could potentially sully the good name of the Church. While I share his concerns, I still think the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks (especially since I still believe the Lord approves of our decision) so to a certain extent we simply had to agree that we disagree.

 

He’s now going to talk to the Stake President again to see what he thinks of all of this, especially since the Bishop and I got such different impressions from him last time. If the Stake President feels it OK to let the issue drop, then we’ll let it drop. Otherwise the Stake President will probably call me in again. I hope it doesn’t come to that (I REALLY want to put all this behind me since I’m getting tired of it), but at the same time, the more the issue is discussed, the softer their stance seems to become. I can accept the possibility that the Lord is using this opportunity to teach my Church leaders things that will make them more effective leaders and disciples. If that’s the case, I consider the inconvenience I’ve had to go through a very minor price to pay for the incredible blessings He’s given me.

 

n/a

djw2000

His biggest concerns are that we are actually putting our children at more risk and that we could potentially sully the good name of the Church. While I share his concerns, I still think the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks (especially since I still believe the Lord approves of our decision) so to a certain extent we simply had to agree that we disagree.

 

after Hofmann, the mountain meadows massacre, others… I’m wondering just how a family outing to a c/o beach or resort c/would do THAT…

oh well

(earlier):

The second (been referred to a few times on this forum) said that what happened in a couples bedroom is up to them, and so long as it involved only them and so long as both agreed, then it was okay.

 

comment: just the bedroom? *g*

 

you see what was the beginning point for how far leaders would go in regulating conduct (even between married couples)?

 

I understand the ‘exceptions’ for swimming (and sex); but you see, the fact that they were considered exceptions meant that at all other times, G’s were to be worn.

 

I have ‘lots’ of issues with the way individual choices are manipulated in our culture, but I’ll restrict to nudity issues…

 

the real story here is… that these things should be the same for all members in all places (not just the subject of our individual leaders, not ‘just’ in Europe or some other nudist friendly culture)(my father was born in Norway)… For individual leaders to exercise their own will (sexual or other) through the TR process or church discipline is just plain Wrong.

 

bryans_saturdays

djw2000

I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I haven’t been participating in the forum recently…

 

Yes, I have noticed. And I have been wondering why – hoping all is well and waiting for an update. Depsite how this is dragging on, it’s at least encouraging that things are looking hopeful and that your Bishop’s views are softening somewhat.

 

How is your wife holding out? Any news from her mother? I’m looking forward to reading the articles you pointed out.

 

Thanks, djw, for keeping us updated.

 

Bryan

 

n/a

andy

the real story here is… that these things should be the same for all members in all places (not just the subject of our individual leaders, not ‘just’ in Europe or some other nudist friendly culture)(my father was born in Norway)… For individual leaders to exercise their own will (sexual or other) through the TR process or church discipline is just plain Wrong.

 

The Church has room for everyone, Andy. Even those who don’t seek to be part of the culture like me. Non-conformists. Nudists are non-conformists. They are doing something outside normal bounds being naked as much as possible, clothed when reasonable. It makes local leaders nervous when they have non-conformists in their wards and stakes. This is because of the perversions we grew up with (the body must be hid because its sacred, or the body must be hid because its evil).

 

What djw2000 and his wife are experiencing is helping their leaders see that nonconformists like nudists or people who don’t join the White Shirt, Suit, and Tie brigade are just children of our Heavenly Father who want to be comfortable or feel good in their own bodies.

 

djw2000

bryans_saturdays

How is your wife holding out? Any news from her mother? I’m looking forward to reading the articles you pointed out.

 

Javlover should really be the one answering this, and hopefully she will, but I do want to say that when she went to visit her family a month ago, her experience was less than positive. She pretty much spent most of her time defending herself and our decisions. She was more than ready to come home when she did, and hasn’t had much of a desire to talk to them since then. It’s too bad they can’t seem to look past this issue and just love her for the wonderful person she is. It truly is their loss.

 

djw2000

andy

djw2000

His biggest concerns are that we are actually putting our children at more risk and that we could potentially sully the good name of the Church. While I share his concerns, I still think the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks (especially since I still believe the Lord approves of our decision) so to a certain extent we simply had to agree that we disagree.

 

 

after Hofmann, the mountain meadows massacre, others… I’m wondering just how a family outing to a c/o beach or resort c/would do THAT…

oh well

 

He brought up this concern since it’s one of the three reasons to hold a disciplinary council (the other two reasons being to assist in the repentance process for serious sins and to protect the innocent); and don’t worry, I did challenge him on it. Even he couldn’t come up with a good example of how what we’re doing could necessitate such actions, but he worries about it nonetheless.

 

While I can see how some church members may be embarrassed about it if this ever became commonly known, I don’t think the whole church would suffer any because of it. In any case we’ll continue to try to follow Elder Ballard’s counsel from last conference of “O be wise; what can I say more?”

 

James

djw2000

Even he couldn’t come up with a good example of how what we’re doing could necessitate such actions, but he worries about it nonetheless.

 

The “traditions of the fathers” can be a powerful thing, even when on examination one can’t find any rationale for them. At least he’s been honest in admitting he can’t. Perhaps this experience will, as you pointed out, serve to help educate him.

 

While I can see how some church members may be embarrassed about it if this ever became commonly known, I don’t think the whole church would suffer any because of it. In any case we’ll continue to try to follow Elder Ballard’s counsel from last conference[/url] of “O be wise; what can I say more?”

I agree, a disciplinary council’s purpose does not include assuaging individual Church members’ disagreement with other individual Church member’s choices in life. So long as the Church as an institution has no position on this issue, seems to me any talk of “protecting the Church” is misplaced in this particular context.

 

I think you are continuing to navigate this episode with admirable skill.

 

n/a

James

I agree, a disciplinary council’s purpose does not include assuaging individual Church members’ disagreement with other individual Church member’s choices in life. So long as the Church as an institution has no position on this issue, seems to me any talk of “protecting the Church” is misplaced in this particular context.

 

I think you are continuing to navigate this episode with admirable skill.

 

I don’t think there should be an official position. We can’t make the Church have one, and everyone is better off for the Church not having one.

 

James

Elton

I don’t think there should be an official position. We can’t make the Church have one, and everyone is better off for the Church not having one.

 

I tend to agree. It’s not only unnecessary but unwise for us to be “commanded in all things.” We’re here on earth to learn how to figure out for ourselves what is virtuous and of good report. Brigham Young said something to the effect that the celestial kingdom won’t be filled with unthinking automatons who did nothing in their lives but follow their leaders, but rather by people who found and followed and advanced the cause of truth and virtue themselves, on their own initiative (a very free synopsis, but that was essentially his point).

 

javlover

Javlover should really be the one answering this, and hopefully she will, but I do want to say that when she went to visit her family a month ago, her experience was less than positive.

Basically, I spent five days at my parent’s house. Mostly because I wanted them to be able to spend time with my children.

My mother was constantly bringing me articles and bringing up things she’d been reading or watching about the dangers of nudity.

Some examples are, a talk on pornography, a talk on the wearing of temple garments, and the whole story about Colorado City and how children dancing naked in front of grown men led to evil acts.

My father had been having all kinds of nightmares and sleepless nights about us and our situation as a result of their misconceptions.

I couldn’t sleep hardly at all while I was there-there was such a feeling of tension and confusion in the air. Not only that, but they are a pretty contensious family in general with all the stresses they’re trying to deal with (especially the idea that each of their children seem to be going astray, one by one).

They treated me like nothing less than a rebellious teenager who was refusing to listen to her parents. I felt very violated and disrespected as an adult, and throwing my little ones into the picture didn’t help.

They made it clear to me that they were disappointed because this wasn’t something they had taught me. I mentioned that it was possible for their children to learn things in certain areas that they hadn’t yet. My Mother’s response to that was,

“Haven’t I always been right before?”

“Well, usually, but -“See” she said reproachfully

“..that doesn’t mean you couldn’t be wrong this time.”

I decided to pay a visit to my maternal Grandparents to ask Grandpa for a blessing.

My Grandmother (half German), who raised seventeen children and possesses an iron will and staunch view about the gospel, was the first to approach me. She tried hard to make me feel ashamed for what I was doing in my life.

“What’s happened to you? You’re countenance has changed. What’s going on?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I might look tired because I haven’t been able to sleep at my parent’s house hardly at all.”

“You’ve lost your glow. And why haven’t you been able to sleep?”

“There’s a lot of tension and contention there.”

“Oh, don’t blame it on your parents.”

I told her I had no desire or need to talk about it but asked my Grandfather if he was willing to give me a blessing. Well, Grandma was persistant and hammered it out of me. She was appalled with mostly everything that came out of my mouth. What can I say? She asked for it.

Anxiety and contention was all I felt except toward the end of the conversation, when Grandpa really opened up with something I said. “To the pure, all things are pure”.

He told me that because of who I am, he believes that I could participate in such activities and remain pure. It was my husband he was most concerned about because he didn’t know what kind of person he was. So I told Grandpa that I do know who he is, and I’m not worried.

When Grandpa finally took me into the other room to give me a blessing, the spirit flooded my heart, and the message was simple and wonderful, very encouraging.

So that’s some of my experiences during the first week of my trip to Utah.

The second week was great. I spent the second half with family that was not so condemning and judgmental toward me.

I have no desire to go back and visit my parents for quite a while. I got burned bad enough that I know not to go near them for as long as I need to.

I’ve found that my mother and Grandmother are quite manipulative and controlling. I hope to break the cycle. I know that most of what they do is just simply because they don’t recognize how destructive their behavior is. But since I do, it is my responsibility to be better for my children.

Other than that, my siblings for the most part do not judge me and trust in our ability to do what’s right for our family.

 

mfletch7

Javlover,

 

That’s hard to have to go through the types of experiences that you describe. That would make it difficult to be interested in visiting with them.

 

I don’t want to sound like I am suggesting advice out of place; however, I remember either you or your husband mentioned that you had talked with your mother that all discussion related to nudity had to stop or you would break off contact.

 

From your previous posts, I assume that it is not your full desire to break off contact with your parents or grandparents. On the other hand, I can understand how you would not want to visit someone that keeps talking to you as if they are trying to drag you into the celestial kingdom.

 

It may be to your advantage to write a letter to your parents stating your position, that you understand their position but hope that you can agree to disagree. That if this is not possible that you will have to break connection for some time as it is not possible to handle the difficulty of such conflict placed on yourself and your children. (I fervantly hope this doesn’t sound too preachy)

 

It is good to hear that your siblings can accept your opinion and that you can talk with them about it. It is very good to be able to have someone to talk to whom you know and love very well. Being isolated is not a very good feeling at all.

 

I want to thank you and your husband for sharing this experience with this group. It has been a very good discussion. Thanks

 

bryans_saturdays

javlover

My mother was constantly bringing up … children dancing naked in front of grown men led to evil acts.

 

I think this is the core of the problem. Bless your mother’s heart, all manipulative behavior aside, she just assumes that nudism equals this kind of behavior. Her complete unwillingness to consider that there could be another side to the story doesn’t help either.

 

I don’t have any advice for you (not that you were looking for any), but I feel for you. Curse the day my own mom finds out about us – I think her reaction would be the same.

 

javlover

That’s hard to have to go through the types of experiences that you describe. That would make it difficult to be interested in visiting with them.

 

I don’t want to sound like I am suggesting advice out of place; however, I remember either you or your husband mentioned that you had talked with your mother that all discussion related to nudity had to stop or you would break off contact.

 

From your previous posts, I assume that it is not your full desire to break off contact with your parents or grandparents. On the other hand, I can understand how you would not want to visit someone that keeps talking to you as if they are trying to drag you into the celestial kingdom.

 

It may be to your advantage to write a letter to your parents stating your position, that you understand their position but hope that you can agree to disagree. That if this is not possible that you will have to break connection for some time as it is not possible to handle the difficulty of such conflict placed on yourself and your children. (I fervantly hope this doesn’t sound too preachy)

 

It is good to hear that your siblings can accept your opinion and that you can talk with them about it. It is very good to be able to have someone to talk to whom you know and love very well. Being isolated is not a very good feeling at all.

 

I want to thank you and your husband for sharing this experience with this group. It has been a very good discussion. Thanks

Well, I’ve basically stopped initiating any contact with pretty much all of my immediate family. I used to call everyone often enough to know what was going on in each of their lives because I’ve felt a need to have strong relationships with them.

My brothers, who are both returned missionaries, have called often to see how things are going. And my Mother has called a few times.

I think she feels badly about the way things went there because whenever she calls, we have good, happy, uplifting conversations and I think she’s finally decided to move past it. So, it’s fine now.

Anyway, thanks for your comments.

 

n/a

I’m different, actually. My parents are trying to convince me that everyone is taking advantage of me. How little do they know. I wrote down my testimony and asked a friend to critique it for Diplomacy errors. Then I’m going to print it out and give it to my parents. They don’t give me a lot of room to verbally defend myself from their cutting remarks.

 

 

 

LDScouple

You all need to move to my unit, I’m a counselor in the Bishopric, and I would be only too happy to give recommends to faithful latter-day saints who keep the law of chastity AND who are also nudists. I do not find those two items incompatible, and since the Church asks me to judge worthiness, while I cannot speak for the Church itself, or my Stake Presidency, I have not been led by my conscience or God to see evil in this practice. On the contrary, nudism and the wearing of the garment falls well within the “reasonable” definition given by the Church (not me), that I must read during each interview. This is a cultural issue, with each Church leader seeing it through the lens of their own experience and upbringing. How do I know this? I used to be VERY anti-nudist, and the afore mentioned was the reason.

 

There are so many double standards in the Church, I couldn’t list them all. We strain at a gnat (nudism) and swallow a camel, we do indeed make mountains out of mole hills, and just as bad, mole hills into mountains. We make a man a sinner for a thing of naught, and grossly neglect the weightier matters of the law. DJW2000 so aptly points out that most members, including those in my unit, flagrantly advocate for limiting the size of your family, yet would cast the first stone at nudists! Which is more important, in the eyes of God?

 

I cannot emphasize this enough: there are NO exceptions about wearing the garment, NONE. Any exceptions, such as DJW2000’s Stake Pres. pointed out, are ASSUMED (garment worn 24/7 except for the standard exceptions of swimming, showering, and sex). We are told to wear the garment at all times, period. Exceptions, and I agree – there should be – are simply the product of a logical mind, thinking, “surely God can’t mean every single minute?”. “Reasonable” means using reason, which is a thought process, devoid of feelings and certainly not based upon experience. It’s only logical, but then, so is nudism.

 

Interesting insight: A nudist resort was built not 15 minutes from our building, and did the sparks ever fly at Church when it was discussed! The members seemed pretty well divided, and the dicussion ended with a “leave them alone” comment from our much respected 85 year old WWII combat veteran Ward Clerk. I was surprised, but stayed neutral, because this was back when I was not a nudist, in fact, quite the reverse.

 

Bottom line: “Teach the people correct principles and let them govern them selves” – Brigham Young. Opinions, OPINIONS, on nudism by Church leaders vary.

 

bryans_saturdays

Welcome LDSCouple! Thanks for taking the time to join and to add your input. I’m guessing from your screen name that your wife shares your feelings for nudism? If so you are a lucky man.

 

When you have the time, I’d love to hear how you made the switch from anti to pro-nudism.

 

Thanks,

 

Bryan

 

n/a

bryans_saturdays

Welcome LDSCouple! Thanks for taking the time to join and to add your input. I’m guessing from your screen name that your wife shares your feelings for nudism? If so you are a lucky man.

 

When you have the time, I’d love to hear how you made the switch from anti to pro-nudism.

 

Thanks,

 

Bryan

 

Bryan and LDSCouple, I am so grateful that God is not a Totalitarian God like Satan is. We aren’t asked to do much in the Church, not really. We are asked to do good things, righteous things. Like helping widows and orphans. Aiding the sick. Pay tithing. Learn self respect and treat others with respect (the Ten Commandments are built on respecting God and respecting his Children).

 

There is overwhelming physiological evidence that I’ve seen how the Sun is nourishing for our bodies. And this is after I became a nudist or pro-nudity.

 

Heavenly Father isn’t a Totalitarian, Absolutist God except where Absolute Truth is concerned. And Absolute Truth has the opposite effect. The Church is truly not an Absolute Dictatorship but the opposite is true.

 

We LDS nudists are going against the grain. Normally, Pornography addicts in the Church are encouraged to avoid pornography and to embrace the Spirit. The method works. But what works doesn’t always work for everybody.

 

God knows each and everyone of us personally and knows how we can overcome our weaknesses. Christ is there when we do sin. Christ is there when we suffer a disease. Christ is there when we fall in love, get married, and enter into sexual union (which can be recreative and to express love, or can be procreative and provide a body for a spirit child).

 

Jesus Christ knows us through the Atonement and can provide the best treatments for us and what ailments we have — physical, mental, or spiritual. Nudism isn’t for everyone. But I am thankful that it’s for me and most everyone that communicates on this board.

 

Karen

LDScouple,

 

Sounds great, what it your unit number to send my records to?

 

LDScouple

Hello again every one,

 

Firstly, I apologize if my first post to this forum sounded a bit stern, it was very late when I wrote it.

 

Second, our screen name was a mistake, since obviously every one here is LDS, but it was a screen name I already use, and I just can’t remember all my user names and passwords any more, so I just used it. In addition, we’re not just a couple, we’re a family. Again, I was tired…

 

But a few quick answers:

 

Yes, my wife is a nudist, more of an advocate than I am, actually, but hates computers and typing, so here I am.

 

Our Church unit is in the northwest. It’s a beautiful place, rural, and housing is more affordable than most places. If any one is serious about exactly where, I would be happy to provide more details via e-mail.

 

Our change from being anti-nudists to nudists was a long and gradual thing, and I will try to get it down. Not sure if it will help any one, but if it does, happy to do it.

 

Well, it’s late again, so I’d better finish before I write some thing I’ll regret tomorrow!

 

djw2000

Well, things have definitely come to a head with our Bishop. He asked both my wife and I to come in and talk to him this evening so he could give to us the final counsel from the Stake President and himself. The counsel is this, “refrain from participating in any more nude activities.” “Forever?” I asked. “Pretty much,” he replied. He told us that if we choose not to follow this counsel, he feels it would be a failure to sustain our leaders and therefore make us ineligible for a Temple Recommend.

 

When I asked him why a couple who choose not to follow the command at their marriage to “multiply and replenish the Earth” are still worthy to go to the temple despite the fact that this decision is much more central to the Plan of Salvation, his only response was, “the Handbook says I should never counsel couples about that.” When I asked for a gospel principle that explained why that decision was off limits but a decision about whether or not to participate in nude activities wasn’t, he couldn’t come up with anything beyond, “the Handbook doesn’t say I can’t.” When my wife asked him what good he was trying to accomplish, or what principle he’s trying to teach us, by withholding our recommends if we decide to not follow his counsel, he honestly couldn’t come up with anything other than, “the Stake President and I both feel that’s the right thing to do.”

 

He challenged us to look at this as a trial of faith; to follow their advise and see what happens. The only problem with this logic is that we’ve already done this. We’ve lived the way he is asking us to live for nearly our whole lives, and it’s the very issues we dealt with by doing so that led us to consider this alternative in the first place. Also, back when this first became an issue we did decide to forbid any nudist activities, even around the house, to reconsider our decision. Through that whole process we both feel we got an even greater witness that our original decision truly was the right thing to do for our family. When he asked us if we thought we could lose any of the benefits we’ve received by participating in nude activities over the past year if we follow his counsel, our answer was yes. We feel that we would become reconditioned by the world in the same way we were before. Not only that, but our children would also lose all the benefits they could have received from it.

 

In the end he asked us to go home and pray about it. He would follow up with us later to hear our decision. I pretty much know what our answer will be; if he ever does ask us again, we will simply choose to not answer. We will answer any question in the Temple Recommend interview as honestly as we can to the best of our ability, but we won’t allow him to add any of his own. If he chooses to take away our Temple Recommends anyway, that’s his right, but we won’t give him the rope with which to hang us.

 

We really hate the fact it’s come to this, but we feel we have no real choice. In a perfect world the counsel of our church leaders will never contradict our own spiritual promptings, and they would never compel us to go against these promptings, but this is not a perfect world. In our missionary work we routinely ask investigators to follow the whispering of the Spirit over the counsel of their church leaders, so it would be hypocritical of us if we weren’t willing to do the same. Also, since I feel that the Bishop would be exercising Unrighteous Dominion by using our Temple Recommends as a stick to enforce his own beliefs, I think I’m helping him by not giving him reason to believe he’s forced to do so. Again, I really hoped it wouldn’t come to this, and I’m sad and disappointed it has, but we feel this is the best way forward at this time.

 

In the end we simply need to do what we feel is in the best interests of our family. Choose the right and let the consequences follow.

 

n/a

djw2000

Well, things have definitely come to a head with our Bishop. He asked both my wife and I to come in and talk to him this evening so he could give to us the final counsel from the Stake President and himself. The counsel is this, “refrain from participating in any more nude activities.” “Forever?” I asked. “Pretty much,” he replied. He told us that if we choose not to follow this counsel, he feels it would be a failure to sustain our leaders and therefore make us ineligible for a Temple Recommend.

 

 

In the end we simply need to do what we feel is in the best interests of our family. Choose the right and let the consequences follow.

 

Welcome to my corner of the world.

 

guido

Wow. Thanks for sharing that. That’s really rough. I feel your pain and frustration. My heart really aches for your dilemma.

 

It does become a very difficult thing to swallow when you feel like a church leader is enforcing his personal opinion where there’s no official word. I don’t really like that and think that’s it’s one of the challenges of a bishop’s role – knowing how to handle situations with little guidance from the handbook and general authorities. I think in that situation bishop’s should really err on the side of letting members work things out themselves. In a way, by basing his decision solely on his personal opinion, he’s making it law, he’s making it gospel, when there’s no basis for that. I guess in a sense it’s out of his jurisdiction, to borrow a legal term. That’s unfortunate. I’d hope that church leaders could separate their personal opinions (which can be heavily influenced by their social context, upbringing, race, class, etc.) from teachings from the scriptures and living prophets. Hasn’t Richard G. Scott so eloquently encouraged in conference once to make sure that we keep culture out of the gospel, when it interferes or conflicts? It seems that nudism here is a cultural issue, especially given the experiences of some of us who have been in Europe and seen firsthand the difference over there.

 

LDScouple

I’m sitting here shaking my head in disbelief. I am so sorry to see it come to this. This is truly sad.

 

I can’t believe such a seemingly faithful family, stalwart and honest, is being tried this way. Temple Recommend interviews were set up to protect the Church, not to create hardship for a decent couple struggling to raise chaste kids and enjoy life while doing it.

 

Would that all the members in my unit had such faithfulness! Ever thought about moving?

 

Stick with your comparison of the waiving of the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth (birth control) versus the persecution of nudism – you are on solid doctrinal bed rock, my friend! Do not give in on that point, because you are right. Which is infinitely more important in the eyes of God, yet which is enforced with greater vigor?

 

I only wish I could do more than cheer you with words. We will pray for your family, and also for a “mighty change” to come to the minds of your leaders.

 

bryans_saturdays

DJW,

 

I thought your stake president had basicly decided to let this issue go. Have you requested a meeting with you, your wife, your bishop, and your stake president?

 

Bryan

 

javlover

LDScouple

I can’t believe such a seemingly faithful family, stalwart and honest, is being tried this way.

 

My husband and I agree that it’s been extremely good for us. For me, because I’ve learned how to stand up for myself and work on my weaknesses in that area. My husband seems to self-rely most of the time, so he finds this intellectually challenging as well as a faith builder. I’ve always wanted to have faith as Nephi and my husband wants to be like Captain Moroni so this is our chance to learn. We are in training and many of my prayers are being answered because of the growth that’s taking place.

 

djw2000

Thank you all for your prayers and kind words in our behalf. It really does help knowing there are others out there we can trust and depend on for support.

 

bryans_saturdays

I thought your stake president had basicly decided to let this issue go. Have you requested a meeting with you, your wife, your bishop, and your stake president?

 

At this point I don’t know what good this will do. Our Stake President tends to talk around the issue and I truly believe that we came away with very different impressions of what he meant to convey. Our Bishop has been talking to him and I believe him when he says they’re united in this. I’ve spent over three hours talking about this with the Bishop these past few weeks, and I really don’t know anything else I could say to try to persuade them to our point of view. Based on the way he answered our questions yesterday, I think their minds have been made up, and that’s that.

 

However, I do think I’ve come up with a better way to address this with him with out coming across as so belligerent. Seeing as how his answers to our questions were, to put it mildly, weak and unpersuasive, we will tell him that we don’t feel comfortable telling him our decision concerning his counsel until he can give us better answers to these questions. If that means he needs to call Salt Lake to get them, then so be it. This is a vital issue and we don’t feel comfortable giving up some of our family sovereignty until they are answered. I’m sure he won’t like this reply, but at least it may keep the door open for him to learn more about the boundary between church and family roles and responsibilities before we start playing dumb and let this become a wedge between us. We’ll let you know how it all works out.

 

bryans_saturdays

You are very courageous.

 

FullMonty

DJW and Javlover,

 

I completely admire the way you are approaching this challenge and your great attitude while doing so. I wish I could say that I could do the same if I were in your situation but after re-reading my earlier post I’ve spotted a lack of humility on my part.

 

You have my complete respect and admiration.

 

Monty

 

hangloose911

DJW and Javlover, I too, feel for you. What a tough situation!

 

As a former 1st Counselor in a Bishoric, I remember well, that we were told not to ask ANYTHING other than the questions in the handbook, when doing temple recommend interviews. We were instructed that we were not judging the individuals, we were only posing questions and they were judging themselves. I’m sure that’s why the last question is “Do YOU feel worthy to enter the temple?” (I’m sure glad they took out the “worthy in every way” clause of a few years ago. I’ve never felt worthy in EVERY way!)

 

You might consider asking the bishop for another temple recommend interview. The only question that could possibly cause issues during the “handbook interview” would be “Do you wear the temple garment both day and night?” But, if you simply said “yes”, (if you are comfortable with your answer, and I sure am) what more would there be to say?

 

We were stongly suggested to “stick with the handbook questions” because, otherwise, you get into all sorts of sticky things, like Sunday work, caffeine, R-rated movies, etc. That’s a trap because it only punishes those that bring up such things, and not those that don’t.

 

Just a thought. Good luck to you. I’m sure that, because of your attitude and humility, all will work out in the end.

 

n/a

hangloose911

DJW and Javlover, I too, feel for you. What a tough situation!

 

As a former 1st Counselor in a Bishoric, I remember well, that we were told not to ask ANYTHING other than the questions in the handbook, when doing temple recommend interviews. We were instructed that we were not judging the individuals, we were only posing questions and they were judging themselves. I’m sure that’s why the last question is “Do YOU feel worthy to enter the temple?” (I’m sure glad they took out the “worthy in every way” clause of a few years ago. I’ve never felt worthy in EVERY way!)

 

You might consider asking the bishop for another temple recommend interview. The only question that could possibly cause issues during the “handbook interview” would be “Do you wear the temple garment both day and night?” But, if you simply said “yes”, (if you are comfortable with your answer, and I sure am) what more would there be to say?

 

We were stongly suggested to “stick with the handbook questions” because, otherwise, you get into all sorts of sticky things, like Sunday work, caffeine, R-rated movies, etc. That’s a trap because it only punishes those that bring up such things, and not those that don’t.

 

Just a thought. Good luck to you. I’m sure that, because of your attitude and humility, all will work out in the end.

 

I was checking out on how BYU can get such minimalist uniforms for their women’s track team. I did find something that would count on that description [and thought how beautiful a woman would look in that, even though the best dress for competitive running is nakedness], but also a women athletes’ movement to limit such minimalist garments unless the men had to wear them too, which means men would have to run in brief shorts as well.

 

I can’t help but think this whole situation is a “double standard” sort of thing. Javlover and djw2000 are being judged by a “double standard” when it comes to their practice of nudity. The way I see it, the officers of the Church can’t paint the Church as “Free” and “Bonding” at the same time.

 

We are trying to say that our practice of Nudity is Chaste. That our modesty isn’t based on how much we should be covered, but by how we act and think, and how we choose to cover ourselves. If we can control our sex drive while naked in mixed company, then by we have achieved something beautiful.

 

What gets me is that too many people have been made “blind.” They have been trained by the media and by Victorian attitudes that nudity=sex. So, modesty is external to them, so it’s enforced upon us. However, the Lord never intended it to be that way. After all, how many Youth of the Church want to rebell against this enforcement? A lot of them.

 

I think by externalizing modesty, we are playing right in the hands of the Natural Man. By externalizing our modesty, we seem to be telling ourselves: “I cannot control my thoughts while naked, I am all natural, an animal. Clothed, I can ensure that I’m a human being.”

 

How beautiful it is to say, “I am naked, but I am a human being. I am naked but I can control my thoughts and my actions! The Natural Man does not rule me, but I rule the Natural Man.”

 

djw2000 and Javlover, I support your choices. However, if I were in your position (married and current temple recommend) I would be sent into a period of confusion. Then I would pray if it were right to uphold my bishop in this instance.

 

Then I would make my decision based on the direction of the Spirit. Meaning I’ll either give up chaste mixed nudity or give up my temple recommend — all based on the Direction of the Spirit.

 

Frankly, I would probably demand a discussion with the Lord on the matter so I can understand if the direction would be for my ultimate good. After that, I would meekly and humbly go forward with the direction I’ve been given.

 

bryans_saturdays

hangloose911

…we were told not to ask ANYTHING other than the questions in the handbook, when doing temple recommend interviews.

 

I wonder… at this point what would it hurt to escilate the issue over both the Bishop and the Stake President on the grounds that hangloose mentioned. Take it to the Area Authority, then if needed, the General Authority for your area.

 

Bryan

 

djw2000

You might consider asking the bishop for another temple recommend interview. The only question that could possibly cause issues during the “handbook interview” would be “Do you wear the temple garment both day and night?” But, if you simply said “yes”, (if you are comfortable with your answer, and I sure am) what more would there be to say?

If he does ask for our recommends back I will asked him to first give us an interview. After he does, if he still feels it’s necessary for us to turn them over we will. Since we plan on keeping our decision concerning his counsel ambiguous, I don’t know on what grounds he would feel justified in keeping our recommends (other than the “since you won’t give me a direct answer concerning this other matter I don’t believe you are sustaining me as your Bishop”). Hopefully it won’t come to that, but we are willing to accept the consequences if it does.

djw2000 and Javlover, I support your choices. However, if I were in your position (married and current temple recommend) I would be sent into a period of confusion. Then I would pray if it were right to uphold my bishop in this instance.

 

Then I would make my decision based on the direction of the Spirit. Meaning I’ll either give up chaste mixed nudity or give up my temple recommend — all based on the Direction of the Spirit.

We hope there’s a third alternative to giving up either naturism or our recommends. Our plan is to do what we can to be able to keep both naturism and our recommends. There’s no way of knowing whether or not things will work out as we would like, but we haven’t given up hope yet.

I wonder… at this point what would it hurt to escilate the issue over both the Bishop and the Stake President on the grounds that hangloose mentioned. Take it to the Area Authority, then if needed, the General Authority for your area.

I believe Stake Presidents in North America now report directly to a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, so if I took this issue “up a level” it would go pretty high pretty fast. I think we will only do this as a last resort. I don’t want to do anything to bring my leaders’ leaders down on them until after I’ve exhausted all other options to take care of it at our level first. I don’t think it will come to that, but you never know.

 

LDScouple

Just a humble opinion, but going one step more up the ladder should be the final step, and it’s a drastic, permanent one. Put your self in your leaders shoes. Crude and flawed analogy, but if your kids had a dispute with you, would you like them going to Grandpa?

 

Also, GAs will more often than not side with a lower leader, mostly out of solidarity, unless they think the lower leader has made a very glaring mistake. Not sure this would be one of those times.

 

I’m guessing your Bishop made a snap decision on this from the beginning, shot from the hip, so to speak, and it’s been unraveling on him since. He probably feels he has lost control of the situation, and for a Bishop, that is bad. That may explain why your SP seemed to want to drop it, only to take it back up again – at the Bishop’s insistence. Your Bishop may now feel like his back is against the wall, authority wise – if he lets you walk, he might feel he’ll have other similar issues he has to back off of in the future, which in turn may weaken his position to effectively execute his calling (at least as he sees it).

 

Is there any way you can give him an out, save face, so to speak, make him feel like he has maintained his position and done his duty while allowing you your choice in the matter? I know you’ve already done a lot, but perhaps a little more honey might sweeten him up. Volunteer to do extra home teaching? Head up the scout troup? Send his wife flowers for “loaning” her husband to the Ward? Sit in nursery? All of the above? I’m serious, some thing to prove your loyalty to him/the Ward/the Church, which by now he may secretly be doubting.

 

Maybe throw him a bone of sorts, and do it quick. He doesn’t get paid to be Bishop, and it can be a pretty thankless job. So unless he’s got a heart of stone, he will soften. How much? Only one way to find out.

 

djw2000

LDScouple

Is there any way you can give him an out, save face, so to speak, make him feel like he has maintained his position and done his duty while allowing you your choice in the matter? I know you’ve already done a lot, but perhaps a little more honey might sweeten him up. Volunteer to do extra home teaching? Head up the scout troup? Send his wife flowers for “loaning” her husband to the Ward? Sit in nursery? All of the above? I’m serious, some thing to prove your loyalty to him/the Ward/the Church, which by now he may secretly be doubting.

 

Maybe throw him a bone of sorts, and do it quick. He doesn’t get paid to be Bishop, and it can be a pretty thankless job. So unless he’s got a heart of stone, he will soften. How much? Only one way to find out.

 

I’ll think about it, but he doesn’t seem to be the kind of person who can be “buttered up” like this, and I’d almost feel like I was trying to bribe him with favors. He has already told us that his biggest fear was that we’d become offended and go inactive over this, so I’d think the fact we haven’t, and don’t plan to, should already count for something.

 

No matter what we end up deciding to do, our main concern is feeling right before the Lord with it. He’s the one who can apply the greatest leverage and we just need to make sure we do our part.

 

cwgeib

LDScouple

I’m guessing your Bishop made a snap decision on this from the beginning, shot from the hip, so to speak, and it’s been unraveling on him since. He probably feels he has lost control of the situation, and for a Bishop, that is bad. That may explain why your SP seemed to want to drop it, only to take it back up again – at the Bishop’s insistence. Your Bishop may now feel like his back is against the wall, authority wise – if he lets you walk, he might feel he’ll have other similar issues he has to back off of in the future, which in turn may weaken his position to effectively execute his calling (at least as he sees it).

 

I would agree this Bishop made a snap decision based on his own beliefs. What is so sad about this is that when I was a new church member 32 years ago, I was taught that we should always study an issue, search the scriptures and pray about it before making a decision. Had this Bishop done that, he would have found no scriptural basis to hang is opinionated hat on. And had he set aside his own “needs” and sought the Spirit with a truly open mind, I doubt we’d be here feeling bad for djw and javlover. Its why I would get up and run, not walk if a SP ever called me to be a Bishop. My knees would wear out as a Bishop, because thats where I’d be all the time. I was also taught that we will have to suffer all the consequences of our bad decisions. Ouch! Another reason to run from that job. Obviously, not all Bishops rely 100% on the Spirit to guide them. Some can’t separate their humanism from their calling. It is sad, I will pray more that somehow the Spirit will reach through that Bishops thick hide and humble him a bit to listen to the Spirit. Renee and I hope for the best for you and your family djw and javlover.

 

Chris and Renee

 

djw2000

I’d hate for people to unjustly judge our Bishop for unjustly judging us.

 

Hope you don’t mind me saying so, but I think some of you are being a bit too harsh in your appraisal of our Bishop. I’m actually of the opinion that he tried very hard to keep an open mind about all of this, but just couldn’t reconcile it with what he’s always believed nudity to represent. I know he has not only spent many hours openly and freely discussing it with us, but he has also spent a lot of time on his own in careful consideration and prayer. I don’t take his decision as a sign of insincerity to understand on his part, but only that he never got a point where he could feel comfortable with it. He’s simply doing what he truly feels is in the best interests of us and the Church and in accordance with his own spiritual promptings.

 

Even though it’s as plain as day to the people on this forum that nudity can be completely wholesome and innocent, there are a lot of honest and sincere people out there who simply disagree with us. I don’t know of any area in life where you can’t find two intelligent, informed, and sincere people who can come to vastly different conclusions over the same issue. When this happens I can think of three possible reasons why: 1) One is right and the other is wrong, 2) Both are wrong, or 3) If viewed from the proper perspective, both are actually right.

 

Since I’m definitely not smart enough to be able to tell with certainly which of these three possibilities is the correct one for our situation, I prefer to only endeavor to do the best I know how and to respect our Bishop’s point of view as well. I know that one day all will be made clear and we’ll all know what the absolute truth is, but until then I think we should focus less on who’s right and more on whether we’re right before the Lord.

 

n/a

djw2000

I’d hate for people to unjustly judge our Bishop for unjustly judging us.

 

Hope you don’t mind me saying so, but I think some of you are being a bit too harsh in your appraisal of our Bishop. I’m actually of the opinion that he tried very hard to keep an open mind about all of this, but just couldn’t reconcile it with what he’s always believed nudity to represent. I know he has not only spent many hours openly and freely discussing it with us, but he has also spent a lot of time on his own in careful consideration and prayer. I don’t take his decision as a sign of insincerity to understand on his part, but only that he never got a point where he could feel comfortable with it. He’s simply doing what he truly feels is in the best interests of us and the Church and in accordance with his own spiritual promptings.

 

Even though it’s as plain as day to the people on this forum that nudity can be completely wholesome and innocent, there are a lot of honest and sincere people out there who simply disagree with us. I don’t know of any area in life where you can’t find two intelligent, informed, and sincere people who can come to vastly different conclusions over the same issue. When this happens I can think of three possible reasons why: 1) One is right and the other is wrong, 2) Both are wrong, or 3) If viewed from the proper perspective, both are actually right.

 

Since I’m definitely not smart enough to be able to tell with certainly which of these three possibilities is the correct one for our situation, I prefer to only endeavor to do the best I know how and to respect our Bishop’s point of view as well. I know that one day all will be made clear and we’ll all know what the absolute truth is, but until then I think we should focus less on who’s right and more on whether we’re right before the Lord.

 

I believe your Bishop is in the Right deciding what to do with this issue. Absolute truth is out there, but there is a lot of relative Truth. Just do your best. Nudity is Wholesome for us; heck even bun huggers or women’s athletic briefs are wholesome for us since we mostly see them used as they were intended.

 

(some women go out on the town with them on, which is immodest in most people’s eyes). Again, though, I believe your Bishop is right. That’s why I would pray about the Bishop’s decision before the Lord, and even possibly try to have a personal priesthood Interview with Him to see if giving up Nudism is the best thing to do.

 

This is what is called a Gospel Paradox. Both parties are correct and right about their feelings on this issue. So, do your best, alright?

 

FullMonty

Last evening I took the time to read through this entire thread to help increase my understanding and to learn from many of you and your input. I am very impressed with the humility of DJW and Javlover during this process and their not denying the revelations they have been given. One subject that I have been studying recently is personal revelation. The direction this thread has taken has caused me to wonder what we are to do with personal revelation when it contradicts the leaders we sustain. Are we to keep personal revelation to ourselves even though we love to share the giifts of the spirit with others? I’m seriously ponderous and I’d like your thoughts. I hope this is on topic.

 

 

Thanks,

 

Monty

 

mfletch7

FullMonty

One subject that I have been studying recently is personal revelation. The direction this thread has taken has caused me to wonder what we are to do with personal revelation when it contradicts the leaders we sustain.

Monty

 

It is interesting that you would bring this up. I have wanted to share what I have learned about naturism with a group that I have met with to help overcome pornography. This is because naturism has been such a help to me in getting over the addiction. I thus felt that it could provide a vast amount of help to others that were having the same troubles.

 

However, I was pondering on this and I felt that I should not do this. I felt that were I to do this that some of those hearing the presentation would wrest it and use it to rationalize things that the discussion was not meant to. I also felt that the Lord knows each individual and who is ready for learning about naturism and will direct those who are ready when they are ready. Thanks to Brian and Alan for these sites that represent how LDS people can come to understand how naturism and the gospel of Jesus christ are not at odds but that truths in naturism can actually enhance knowledge of the gospel (e.g. our feelings about our bodies, etc.)

 

I also felt that I should not talk to anyone about naturism unless I was prompted to do so by the spirit and that it will likely be some time before I am prompted to do so.

 

In general, it is my understanding that people are entitled to receive revelation for those over whom they preside, fathers for families, bishops for wards, etc. Therefore, the revelation does not have any bearing outside of this stewardship. I will give it as my opinion that personal revelation should only be shared with people outside one’s stewardship when directed to do so by the spirit. I don’t have any real basis for this statement except the feeling that I have had related to naturism described above so take it with a grain of salt but that is my opinion.

 

djw2000

FullMonty

Last evening I took the time to read through this entire thread to help increase my understanding and to learn from many of you and your input. I am very impressed with the humility of DJW and Javlover during this process and their not denying the revelations they have been given. One subject that I have been studying recently is personal revelation. The direction this thread has taken has caused me to wonder what we are to do with personal revelation when it contradicts the leaders we sustain. Are we to keep personal revelation to ourselves even though we love to share the giifts of the spirit with others? I’m seriously ponderous and I’d like your thoughts. I hope this is on topic.

 

Keep Alma 12:9 in mind:

It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.

 

What this means to me is that when we are given personal revelation about something that isn’t being taught to the church generally, then more often than not we should keep it to ourselves. Personal revelation is something sacred and should not be treated lightly. You could end up “casting your pearls before swine” even among other church members.

 

I remember Joseph Smith once saying that the reason why the Lord doesn’t reveal more of His mysteries to the Church is because the members don’t have the good sense to keep their mouths shut regarding these sacred things. They end up telling them to the Church’s enemies who end up using those things to hurt the Church. I think the same can be said about us as individuals.

 

Now I don’t think we should never share the insights we have received, only that we need to be very judicial about doing so. My wife and I feel the whole reason why we got into this mess in the first place is because we didn’t do that. The Spirit warned her to not share our decisions with her sisters, but went ahead and told them anyway. We are now paying the natural consequences of that mistake.

 

I feel that if you are spiritually mature enough, and the Lord trusts you enough, to receive personal revelation concerning these mysteries (the kind that are different from what the Church publicly teaches) then you should also be spiritually mature enough to be able to discern the times, places, and manor where you may share them from when you shouldn’t. I feel if you can show the Lord you can be trusted with His mysteries, then He would be more likely to reveal more of them to you.

 

yogaman

I just got back from a business trip today and saw the latest postings on this thread. I’m speechless to say the least. djw2000 and javlover – I’m sorry that two faithful saints like yourselves are going thru this.

 

From what you described in earlier posts, I fully expected your Bishop to react the way he did. However, the behavior of your Stake President confuses me some. I know about a month ago you thought you left with the impression that practicing naturism was basically up to you and your wife. Now your Bishop says that they are both united in their views. What changed? I’m left to conclude that your Bishop convinced your Stake President that naturism was an abhorent enough practice to cause you to lose your Temple Recommends over it. Has your Stake President contacted you further to discuss the matter? If not, why? It seems very strange (I’m sure I’m missing something here).

 

Your strategy for dealing with your Bishop seems straight-forward enough. I admire the two of you for your patience. I wouldn’t have near the endurance that the two of you have shown. From everything you’ve discussed, it just sounds like a judgment that has no doctrinal basis; instead, it appears it is only based on opinion. He is allowed to have his views, but he shouldn’t allow that to cloud his decisions as a Judge in Israel when he has nothing to base it on. It all seems very unfair.

 

If I may say so, I do not think escalating the issue to a GA will solve anything. I think it would only enforce a negative impression, from the viewpoint of your leaders, that you don’t support them (which is obviously not the case).

 

Have you considered moving? I do not suggest that you run from this but is it an option? However, it may not be a very good one since your current Bishop or your wife’s mother could call the new Bishop once you moved to the new locale. Then you’d be right back in the same boat – unless you found an open-minded Bishop that is.

 

Nothing I’m saying obviously helps you, but I do want you to know how much I admire and respect the two of you. You’re a great example to us all.

 

djw2000

yogaman

From what you described in earlier posts, I fully expected your Bishop to react the way he did. However, the behavior of your Stake President confuses me some. I know about a month ago you thought you left with the impression that practicing naturism was basically up to you and your wife. Now your Bishop says that they are both united in their views. What changed? I’m left to conclude that your Bishop convinced your Stake President that naturism was an abhorent enough practice to cause you to lose your Temple Recommends over it. Has your Stake President contacted you further to discuss the matter? If not, why? It seems very strange (I’m sure I’m missing something here).

 

Yes, this misunderstanding surprised me too, but don’t blame my Bishop for this. I think our Stake President simply misinterpreted our intentions and he gave me the wrong impression of what he really thought. (Please don’t ask me to try to unravel exactly how this happened. It gives me a headache trying to figure out what he may have really meant or was trying to imply during our meetings. The only thing that’s obvious is that we weren’t communicating very well.)

 

As for meeting with him again, I’d really rather not since I don’t know what good it would do, and who’s to say we’d be able to communicate any better this time than last time. I’m also tired of this whole mess and would rather put it behind us sooner than later. If he calls me in I’ll talk to him about how we could have come to such different impressions of what he meant, but otherwise I plan on dealing with everything else that same way as with our Bishop (politely state that I feel our family decisions are personal and I don’t feel comfortable sharing them at this time).

Have you considered moving? I do not suggest that you run from this but is it an option? However, it may not be a very good one since your current Bishop or your wife’s mother could call the new Bishop once you moved to the new locale. Then you’d be right back in the same boat – unless you found an open-minded Bishop that is.

My wife and I have jokingly discussed this, but it’s really not practical for us at this time. We’re most likely going to move in two years anyway and in the meantime I seriously doubt we’ll find anything any better for our family situation than where we are now. It also smacks me as running away from a problem, and I’m just not that kind of person. You build strength through opposition, and I don’t consider what we’re going through to really be all that bad. It’s getting old, but it’s not that bad overall.

 

djw2000

yogaman

It all seems very unfair.

 

Funny you should say this, since, quite honestly, who ever said life was supposed to be fair. In fact the most unfair thing that has ever happened in the world happened almost 2000 years ago around Jerusalem. And if that’s not unfair enough, what I think will be even more unfair is when we stand before the judgement seat of God, and despite all our faults and rebellions against God and His law here on Earth, this same person who suffered so unfairly so long ago will say, “Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.”

 

Seeing how things have been, and may yet be, so overwhelmingly unfair in my favor, I don’t mind so much having to endure a few things being unfair against me now.

 

buckhntr

It does not suprise me that djw2000’s SP has not contacted him and probably will not. The church system is set up to default to leadership over members. So if the Bishop is unmovable in his position the SP must sustain him or the only other option is to either chastize him or release him and get a sympathetic Bishop. That is a huge burden. So for now even if the SP is somewhat uncertain or sympathetic he defaults to sustaining the Bishop. Until there is a leadership change or the Bishop has a change of heart then you are stuck with the Bishop’s decision locally. Any appeal to higher authority such as a GA or FP will almost certainly be a huge negative to LDS nudists at large. I agree with going underground and being ambivilent about your answers, just refuse to discuss the subject if asked directly, defelct the questions with questions and ask the leadership to keep to the recommend interview questions when going for recommends.

Im my unexpert opinion personal revelation is largely dependant upon one’s point of veiw or beliefs. We generally get the answers we expect due to our personal biases. Your Bishop’s response is understandable due to his conditioning as are your opinions.

Sorry for your turmoil and I pray you can find a workable solution.

 

yogaman

My wife and I have jokingly discussed this, but it’s really not practical for us at this time. We’re most likely going to move in two years anyway and in the meantime I seriously doubt we’ll find anything any better for our family situation than where we are now. It also smacks me as running away from a problem, and I’m just not that kind of person. You build strength through opposition, and I don’t consider what we’re going through to really be all that bad. It’s getting old, but it’s not that bad overall.

I hesitated to even mention this in my previous post, b/c it seems as if I’m suggesting that you run from this problem. If there’s anything I’ve learned about you and your wife from these posts, it’s that you don’t run! Unfortunately, even though there’s opposition in all things, we can’t pick and choose in what areas its going to be in. And yes you’re right, life isn’t always fair – even in church.

 

All the best to the two of you.

 

javlover

We met with our Bishop again yesterday.

He asked if anything had changed.

We told him we had decided, through prayer and attending the Temple that the best thing to do right now is to not discuss it further. We’re not going to tell him what our decision is. He asked if we had our Temple Recommends on us. I didn’t.

My husband told him that before he takes our recommends, he ought to give us the Temple Recommend Interview. He said he’d talk to the Stake President about that and get back with us.

We continue to ask the same questions.

“What are you trying to teach us-what eternal principle or doctrine of the Gospel, necessary for our eternal welfare and progress? What good would it do to take away our privileges of going to the Temple?”

All he’s got is that they don’t feel comfortable with us attending the Temple and participating in naturist activities, and they’re afraid of what it will do to the name of the Church.

I told him of some experiences I’ve had that has helped me to recognize when I’m allowing my own fears and misconceptions to influence my ability to listen to the Spirit or do the right thing. The Spirit really came then, and even more so as we bore pure testimony of the good this has brought to our family and us as individuals. His heart seemed to soften a little as we shared. Before, all I’ve seen and felt from him were fear and uncertainty-like he’s afraid to be caught in some web of guile. We must appear as wolves in sheep’s clothing to him. So he’s avoided listening at all because he already “knows” it’s wrong and is just waiting till we come to the same conclusion.

We’re okay with the prospect of this dragging out further because we feel of the Lord’s support, strength and comfort through it all. I can begin to understand how and why the pioneers, and scriptural figures such as Job were able to weather their storms with such unbelievable strength and dignity. I’m beginning to understand how his yolk is easy, and his burden light. We are relying whole-heartedly on Jesus Christ to carry us through this. We couldn’t be more happy or immensely grateful for all the Lord has seen fit to bless us with!!

As for our feelings toward our Bishop…we genuinely love him and are grateful he is trying his best to do the right thing.

After all, how could we feel any differently when we ourselves, being as imperfect as we are, feel such tender mercies from the Lord’s hand each day? How foolish and vain would it be for us to have even the slightest feelings of anger or bitterness toward those around us, when we are in equally as desperate need of our Savior’s Atonement? Some day, I want to be the type of person who can live up to that standard of thought in every area of life. Until then, this is great practice

My favorite scripture has been showing up in the strangest places lately. On a woman’s t-shirt at the grocery store, on a billboard for a military Halloween activity.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Phillipians 4:13

I love this Gospel!

I’ve never felt closer to the Lord.

 

n/a

Somewhere on this board (this thread?) someone suggested that a person ‘in trouble’ with the Bp/SP ‘play the culture card’.

Im sorry, but that doesn’t work now, Might not work for another 40 yrs.

The LDS church just isn’t ready to acknowledge ANY distinction between culture & doctrine, may Never be.

This confusion/ambiguity should be something all here are aware of, like it or not.

This ‘flies in the face’ of the reality that nudism probably would never be an issue in many european cultures (church units?), at least with euro heritage leaders.

Reality can be Denied, but that’s not an effective way to deal with it.

 

yogaman

My husband told him that before he takes our recommends, he ought to give us the Temple Recommend Interview. He said he’d talk to the Stake President about that and get back with us.

Interesting…I’m sure your request caught your Bishop off-guard and he didn’t know what to do. He knows you would answer the questions in the proper manner which then puts him in an awkward position of refusing a recommend when you’ve answered properly.

 

Somewhere on this board (this thread?) someone suggested that a person ‘in trouble’ with the Bp/SP ‘play the culture card’.

Im sorry, but that doesn’t work now, Might not work for another 40 yrs.

The LDS church just isn’t ready to acknowledge ANY distinction between culture & doctrine, may Never be.

Mat – regarding your quote above…The church does acknowledge the differences between culture and doctrine. Elder David R. Stone just spoke about it in General Conference this past April. I referenced it in a Sacrament Talk I gave just last Sunday (see here: http://www.ldssdc.org/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=165 ) and I thought the members in my ward understood quite well.

 

It’s only when you bring up the subject of nudity when everyone brings their guard up (as evidenced by djw2000 & javlover’s Bishop). They are culturally conditioned. Logically they can grasp the concept of how culture affects them and it feels right to them. It’s only when you put an actual real-life example in front of them that may challenge their concept of right vs. wrong that they feel threatened. Many retreat to the safety of their cultural conditioning. I think the members who react this way just need time to think thru the concepts more deeply. I think this is why the brethren haven’t come out with an official position on the subject. They know most people in the U.S. couldn’t tolerate it. Certainly this has come up to them before in the past in relation to chaste nudity in other cultures outside the U.S..

 

Until then, we do have to deal with reality as you state; however, saying that the church isn’t ready to acknowledge a distinction between culture and doctrine I believe is inaccurate. I think the brethren know exactly what’s going on!

 

bryans_saturdays

mat

Somewhere on this board someone suggested that a person ‘in trouble’ with the Bp/SP ‘play the culture card’….

 

I’m the one who said this, and the situation was slightly different then what djw and javlover are facing. But that aside, I really don’t know how you can say:

 

The LDS church just isn’t ready to acknowledge ANY distinction between culture & doctrine, may Never be.

I’d like to see some supporting documenation or evidence on this. There are now more members of the Church outside of the 50 U.S. states then there are within. With a church that is now truly global, I see lots of indications that the general leadership of the LDS church is ready to acknowledge distinction between culture & doctrine.

 

The trouble with djw and javlover is not the general leadership of the church in Salt Lake City. Their trouble is the local bishop who does not deal with global issues and seems to be judging djw and javlover based on his personal biast. Note: I am not being critical of their Bishop… “judging” them is part of his calling as a Judge in Iserial. That he may be doing so based on his personal biast is not too suprising…. any one of us would do the same. It seems he has some very strong feelings about the issues of nudity, and none of us know the events in his life that have led up to his biast. It’s very idealistic for us to say “But he should pray and be guided by the spirit and judge them accordingly.” To which I would say “Let he who is perfect cast the first stone.” Who knows… if he had served a mission in Europe or Japan, this would all be a non-issue.

 

Anyway, the problem here is not a lack of distinction between culture & doctrine on a broad, Church-wide basis.

 

Bryan

 

buckhntr

Bryan you mention that the church is global. I disagree, while the church exists in many countries the overwhelming majority of senior leadership is from the US and Canada and they are trying their best to infuse “Utah Mormon Culture” into the congregations throughout the world. I see this as a bad omen for the church. There may be over 12 million member worldwide on the books the truth is that well over 50% are inactive in the US and Canada with a higher percentage that are inactive or do not identify themselves as Mormon’s in Europe and the third world. Until the Brethren face the fact that culture and the Gospel are different and teach more Gospel the church will continue it’s decline.

 

n/a

buckhntr

Bryan you mention that the church is global. I disagree, while the church exists in many countries the overwhelming majority of senior leadership is from the US and Canada and they are trying their best to infuse “Utah Mormon Culture” into the congregations throughout the world. I see this as a bad omen for the church. There may be over 12 million member worldwide on the books the truth is that well over 50% are inactive in the US and Canada with a higher percentage that are inactive or do not identify themselves as Mormon’s in Europe and the third world. Until the Brethren face the fact that culture and the Gospel are different and teach more Gospel the church will continue it’s decline.

 

Agreed.

I read the suggested talk, it is woefully short on details (as they usually are).

 

What could have been said but wasn’t:

(something like) ‘Church leaders should not impose, by discipline or otherwise, cultural preferences, choices, or items.’

 

Did anyone notice the word “should” associated with which sports to watch/participate in? OMG, that abt tells it…. He might have toned that down.

 

in the talk, all the overhang of culture was associated with undesireable attributes – ‘Babylon’. I don’t think that is accurate, but it is ‘preaching to the choir’.

 

A Long time ago, LDS put themselves in the posture of reacting (usually negatively) to fashion trends. It might have been better to just ignore them, set as doctrine what was acceptable, what is/was not. We’ll Never know.

 

Meanwhile, we have adopted the issue of nudity/nudism/naturism. What we have to decide is our personal priorities & values, those can NEVER be decided for us (at least for me/myself & I).

 

bryans_saturdays

buckhntr

the church will continue it’s decline.

 

Wo, wo, wo! What decline? Is the Church in a decline? Don’t confuse “I have a beef with the Church” as “the Church is in decline.” It seems to be a favorite pass time of those who have become disenfranchised with the Church to predict it’s demise. You may not believe that the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear… but I do.

 

It is true that temporal leadership of the Church depends on men who are less then perfect and who may let their cultural preferences get in the way of making the right decision every time (once again, let he who is perfect…) but, make no mistake, this is Christ’s church and it will fill the earth, despite an occasional bad call by us mortals.

 

mat

…we have adopted the issue of nudity/nudism/naturism. What we have to decide is our personal priorities & values, those can NEVER be decided for us (at least for me/myself & I).

 

Of course we should decide our personal priorities and values, and we should do so according to our own pondering, researching, fasting and prayer. So far, all of my priorities and values I’ve set by doing this have been dead in-line with the values preached by the Church.

 

Bryan

 

P.S. I’m still wondering how you both see a decline.

 

Captain Curmudgeon

Random thoughts on recent postings.

 

The church is on the brink of undergoing some radical changes. The language spoken by most members of the church right now is Spanish. Combine that with Portugese (Brazilian, anyway), and English is sinking even faster.

 

Didn’t I read some place that missionary effort is now concentrated elsewhere as well? I’ve heard that US missions are just not worth the money and effort. And Western Europe is following fast behind. Bang for the Buck? South and Central America, other third-world countries, eastern Europe. Nobody gets anywhere with Muslim countries.

 

But, we’re a sort of gerontocracy, where the leadership is mostly based on seniority (some interesting historical sidelights here for those who delve). So the leadership tends to mirror the Church as it was 50 years ago or so (BYU dress standards are about in step: it’s 1956 there).

 

Aside on David Stone (although his identity was more of an issue on another list). David and I were seniors at BYU together (and both members of the College Bowl Team) and I’ve been a little in touch. He is a convert (via his mother; father is not a member), was / is? not a US citizen, but has dual British and Argentinian citizenship. After graduation, he worked for a bit in the US, and then went mainly international — heck, the US is a foreign country to him. He did some really good stuff for his company in GB by promoting Rugby. I guess I need to go back and read the entire conference speech, but I tend to think of David as a fairly reasonable guy (except when he plays basketball).

 

Naturally,

R.O.

 

James

mat

[The LDS church just isn’t ready to acknowledge ANY distinction between culture & doctrine, may Never be.

 

Respectfully disagree. I have had this conversation with my bishop who says that the distinction between solid, Scripturally-based gospel principles and the “LDS Culture” that surrounds us is one of the great truths of life in the Church, and one that many Saints don’t recognize. Obviously he does. This topic also comes up with some frequency in our HP group and all, including the members of the stake presidency in the group, seem to accept without question that the gospel and LDS “culture” are two very different things. Is this common, or am I just lucky?

 

 

n/a

James

mat

[The LDS church just isn’t ready to acknowledge ANY distinction between culture & doctrine, may Never be.

 

 

Respectfully disagree. I have had this conversation with my bishop who says that the distinction between solid, Scripturally-based gospel principles and the “LDS Culture” that surrounds us is one of the great truths of life in the Church, and one that many Saints don’t recognize. Obviously he does. This topic also comes up with some frequency in our HP group and all, including the members of the stake presidency in the group, seem to accept without question that the gospel and LDS “culture” are two very different things. Is this common, or am I just lucky?

 

It’s becoming common. My Bishop was in Amsterdam on his mission, near the infamous Red Light District. He has a strong conviction in Chastity, but he’s cool to talk to as well. Last Ward Conference, my Stake Presidency hit strongly on keeping marriage covenants and going to the temple. Dressing modestly wasn’t important to them to talk about.

 

Believe it or not, separation between doctrine and Utah culture is happening. After all, ladies are wearing bun huggers at BYU.

 

bryans_saturdays

Elton

Last Ward Conference, my Stake Presidency hit strongly on keeping marriage covenants and going to the temple. Dressing modestly wasn’t important to them to talk about.

 

Okay, but just because they didn’t talk about it does not mean it’s not important.

 

After all, ladies are wearing bun huggers at BYU.

I don’t know what “bun huggers” are (don’t really care either), but I’m pretty sure the fact that girls at BYU are wearing them is not the best indicator of the Church leadership recognizing cultural differences.

 

This thread has not wandered WAY off topic (djw and lavlover’s struggles with her mom and their Bishop), and I’d like to bring it back. The differences between djw and lavlover and their Bishop has nothing to do with Church leaders not reconizing cultural differences. It had everything to do with one Bishop doing the best he can to protect the Church and his flock, and doing so through the filters of his own understanding.

 

Bryan

 

yogaman

This topic on M’ing is very interesting, but I agree with Bryan that it has nothing to do with djw2000 and javlover’s situation. The comments and insights are great, but don’t belong in this thread.

 

I suggest that a new category of some sort be established where we can discuss real or potential sins of the flesh such as M’ing. Others such as lus…, forn…, and adul… can also be put there (I cut off the words in case you didn’t want search engines to find these either).

 

Elton

yogaman

This topic on M’ing is very interesting, but I agree with Bryan that it has nothing to do with djw2000 and javlover’s situation. The comments and insights are great, but don’t belong in this thread.

 

I suggest that a new category of some sort be established where we can discuss real or potential sins of the flesh such as M’ing. Others such as lus…, forn…, and adul… can also be put there (I cut off the words in case you didn’t want search engines to find these either).

 

I think this is a thread where we can vent out our frustrations over the Establishment. Javlover and dj are dealing with their trials in a model way. But it doesn’t mean that they aren’t frustrated with the Establishment.

 

Nudists are fighting the Establishment in a real sense. We feel that our beliefs are true and we want to practice them in a simple manner. But we are, in a real sense, discriminated against by the Establishment and years of cultural custom. We are fighting the traditions of the fathers in our case. And these traditions show up everywhere — they are our *culture.*

 

Javlover and DJ got into a bind. It’s frustrating that they have to give up their recommends over one man’s fear that they might bring shame on the church. You know, it’s amazing how much our culture actually holds us back. It would be truly amazing if it didn’t.

 

djw2000

Sorry I’ve been out of the loop lately, but I just got back from a week long business trip and am just getting caught up an all the goings on here during this past week.

 

I will admit going through this process with the Bishop and Stake President has been frustrating. It’s difficult when people in authority tell you you are sinning when in your heart you know you have not sinned (at least with regard to the issue at hand). However, I don’t think focussing on the frustrations themselves will do much good, while focusing on how to deal with the frustrations can be quite useful.

 

In continuation of our little drama: after the last meeting with our Bishop I emailed him to see if the three of us could meet all meet together with the Stake President to hash this all out so our pour Bishop can stop bouncing back and forth between talking to us and the Stake President. He said he’s never done that before, but will ask the Stake President the next time they talk if that’s all right. Since it’s obvious our Bishop won’t do anything without the Stake President’s approval, this seems to be the best course of action now. We’ll see how this works out.

 

We’re now considering our next move if things still don’t work out in our favor. If after meeting they still feel we are not worthy to hold temple recommends we can see two options, either write a letter to the First Presidency, or to follow the counsel given in The Parable of the Unjust Judge. If we decide on the first option we will already have the letter written by the time we meet with our church leaders, and if their position doesn’t change then we’ll give a copy to each of them and let them know we’re planning on mailing it the next day. This letter will simply explain our situation the best we can, explain our church leaders’ concerns and decisions, and then request their counsel on what we should do next. Hopefully we can do it in a way that is respectful and inoffensive, then see where it goes.

 

Our other option is The Parable of the Unjust Judge. The way we would approach it is to simply ask the Bishop for a Temple Interview every month or so until he sees fit to let us have our recommends back. Of course we would need do this without coming across as belligerent or confrontational for it to be effective, but we think with the Lord’s help it could be a good experience for all involved.

 

Let us know what you think or if you’ve got any other ideas or suggestions.

 

bryans_saturdays

Elton

…Nudists are fighting the Establishment in a real sense.

 

I don’t at all feel like I’m in any kind of a fight. I think I’ve discovered something wonderful, but I’m not fighting anything or anybody.

 

Bryan

 

bryans_saturdays

djw2000

I don’t think focussing on the frustrations themselves will do much good, while focusing on how to deal with the frustrations can be quite useful.

 

Perfect!

either write a letter to the First Presidency, or to follow the counsel given in The Parable of the Unjust Judge

I continue to admire the patience and humility with which you handle this situation. I know others on this forum have shared their belief that escilating the matter ‘up the chain’ is a bad idea, but I still tend to think it is a good idea. I of course have no way of knowing what kind of response you might receive back from the First Presidency, but if I had to make a guess, it would be that they would instruct your Bishop to follow proper procedure: ask the standard questions and nothing more. But like I say, what do I know?

 

I wonder, djw, if doing both might be a good idea. Send the letter and while waiting keep asking for a temple recomend interview.

 

Bryan

 

Elton

bryans_saturdays

I don’t at all feel like I’m in any kind of a fight. I think I’ve discovered something wonderful, but I’m not fighting anything or anybody.

 

Bryan

 

That’s because we are having different life experiences. If I were married right now with a nudist wife, I’d totally agree with you. However, I’m still living with my parents, and every day I am hiding something that I feel like I shouldn’t. I am free, but not free; if that makes any sense.

 

djw2000

It’s been a while since I have posted but it been a very hectic month and half for us and I didn’t really have anything new to report or talk about. We had been waiting this whole time for our Bishop to get back with us after taking to the Stake President, but it never happened. When we would see him at church or other activities we would share pleasantries, but he made no indications he wanted to meet with us again. Today we had Tithing Settlement with him, which would have been the perfect opportunity to talk to us more about our decisions, but he never brought it up. When he asked us if there was anything else we wanted to talk about, we said “No” and he accepted that without any hint of trouble.

 

I want to think that all of this means he’s decided to leave it up to us after all and will only talk about it if we bring it up. I may be wrong, like I was last time, but until it’s proven otherwise, we’ll continue to keep our family decisions within the family (except when we feel good about sharing it with others).

 

So maybe this is the end after all. I sure hope so. It’s been something that’s been hanging over our heads for a while that we can definitely do without. All of you have been great friends and a great support while we went through this so I want to say “Thank You” to you all (but definitely not “Good Bye”).

 

bryans_saturdays

djw2000

It’s been a while since I have posted… I want to say “Thank You” to you all (but definitely not “Good Bye”).

 

Good to hear from you again djw! I’m glad to hear things have smoothed over, and I hope it lasts. Thank you for the update.

 

Bryan

 

n/a

Hello djw2000! I hope it lasts for you too. If the Bishop didn’t bring anything up, then it’s not good for you to bring anything up. Trust your bishop to be a good Judge in Israel.

 

 

javlover

The Bishop pulled me aside yesterday during relief society and asked me a few questions.

You see, while my husband was away on business, I attended the Temple on Ward Temple Night and he happened to see me there.

So he asked me what I thought about going to the Temple and what we had discussed.

I had no idea what he was implying-so he explained a little more.

He told me that him and our Stake President had decided to pretty much drop it, and it was our decision…however, our SP is still concerned about issuing recommends when we’re participating in such activities.

I told him that I knew and the Lord knew that I was Temple worthy, and that the biggest thing I had learned through this was to only worry about what the Lord thought.

He wasn’t sure that was a good thing (seeing how I’m not worrying too much about what my leader’s think about me at this point)…he seemed concerned.

I gave him an example of the type of person I had been before-always trying to please and not to offend anyone.

There was an older woman at the park during play group and she was just expressing some discontent about a few people she knew. At one point she spoke of a woman who had told her that at their Temple, they were Baptized for the dead. Her next comment was something like, “Some people take religion too far, if ya ask me.”

I was one of the only ones listening at that point since she had been going on for a good twenty minutes about anything and everything.

I didn’t say a word because I was afraid of making her feel dumb.

Later, as I reflected on that, I realized that that was how I had become toward a lot of people who expressed their views about things they didn’t understand and I did (after the worst of our family members and leader’s reactions and that whole mess, is just about when I sort of started to give up on a lot of things, including my ability to share the Gospel or really know what I’m talking about in any gospel subject).

For a while I had been having a hard time feeling the Spirit as strongly or frequently as usual, and hadn’t been doing well physically as a result.

My Mom and I are talking and she’s been extremely loving and generous the whole time. She just asked me to consider the possibility that my health had to do with something that was maybe a little off in my life. She asked if we had changed our minds in how we were going to raise our family. I told her, “No not really.”

“Just something to think about.”

For a day or two, I wondered if what she said had some truth to it. It was really bothering me because the way I felt physically seemed more psychological than anything. A day or so later, while it was just me and the kids at home, I was reading a couple chapters out of Job (where we are as a family in our study) to the kids. I felt such a distinct impression that this applied to what my Mother and possible Grandmother thought about me. Their judgements are so sure…but Job was pure and everyone turned against him because they felt he was being cursed for his sins. The Spirit bore witness to me that though I hadn’t gone through half of what Job went through, this story was applicable to my circumstance.

So after that, what my Mother had said didn’t bother me anymore and I did feel extremely grateful for the test of faith this had been.

Now to figure out what was really going on because I wasn’t feeling better physically and I needed to know if it had anything to do with the situation and how it was affecting me emotionally, spiritually, psychologically.

I knelt down one night and just pleaded with the Lord. I asked Him to tell me why my physical health had gone down and why I couldn’t feel the Spirit very strongly for the past few months. Then I just knelt there…and listened.

I had a feeling to go down and turn on the BYU channel.

There was an excellent devotional speaker who was talking about the necessity of understanding the depth of war that rages in order to have the level of peace we need to be strong in this world. And that the way that we could feel that level of peace was if we were really fighting for it. One thing in particular hit me hard.

He said,”Some people want to serve God without offending the devil.”

I realized that I had been so afraid of offending people who were speaking illy of our religion, or principles that I knew were correct. And I knew at this moment in time, I would have to choose completely.

I chose to fear only God.

Since then, I haven’t had a problem standing up for my beliefs-and I am really fighting the good war with the Lord’s help and strength. I have felt closer to God and my faith has increased. He let me know that I was more in control than I realized of my health and my ability to be a blessing to my family and Church Leaders.

It is a war and I am choosing to fight with the Lord. I love the story of Gideon in the Bible-perfect example of the result of fighting with faith when all odds are against you.

My Bishop’s response to the little story I told was “Well, sometimes you have to pick and choose your battles.”(I didn’t tell him all of what I just wrote, just explained bits and pieces to the best of my ability to get my experience across. I’m not as good a speaker as a writer, unfortunately).

Anyway, I just felt as usual that he doesn’t know me at all and that he doesn’t really want to listen or learn anything about who I am. He’s sort of just hoping that whatever “spell” my husband has put me under will be broken in time.

He told me I didn’t need to let my husband know of our little meeting.

He felt that my husband was sort of disconnected from the ward and somewhat spiritually and expressed great concern.

After having a long and spiritual discussion with my husband last night, I realize that he has sort of turned off to our ward. He feels betrayed after being sort of punished for something he knows the Lord approves of. So he has turned off toward pretty much everyone in our ward.

He attends his meetings more out of a sense of duty to his family than anything. He needs prayers and encouragement. Just waiting till our military assignment is up here.

 

javlover

Sorry if that last post is a little confusing and all over the place.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately.

Anyway, I’m totally looking forward to General Conference. I know there’s going to be something in there specifically for my husband and I.

I know that the Prophet’s and Apostle’s words are inspired of the Lord.

I know this Gospel is true and I love it!

Hope we can keep learning what we need to through all of this.

Thanks again for all your support.

My husband says he feels closer to all of you than to anyone in our ward because he can trust you to listen and consider him as someone who desires God’s will for him and his family, rather than someone who thinks he knows it all and is stubborn and rebellious.

 

bryans_saturdays

javlover

He told me that him and our Stake President had decided to pretty much drop it

 

Well this is good news! Yes?

He told me I didn’t need to let my husband know of our little meeting.

Umm…. huh? What was he thinking about when he said that? Asking spouses to keep secrets from each other is downright silly. Unless of course one is in a position of authority and knows something that aught not be shared. But this hardly qualifies.

After having a long and spiritual discussion with my husband last night, I realize that he has sort of turned off to our ward. He feels betrayed after being sort of punished for something he knows the Lord approves of. So he has turned off toward pretty much everyone in our ward.

That’s too bad, but also understandable. Time heals all wounds. Stick with it DJW – it will get better!

 

 

djw2000

bryans_saturdays

Time heals all wounds.

 

Time also tends to wound all heels.

 

Don’t worry about me. I think my wife is actually overstating my position a bit. My testimony is as strong as it’s ever been, and right now my priorities are simply with my family and work. It’s true I don’t currently have a whole lot of motivation to do anything in the ward beyond basic activity, but that’s sure to change over time.

 

argonaut

I just read this thread for the first time and I am compelled to express my respect and love for DJW2000 and Javlover. You two are so blessed to have each other. I have always been a bit sideways from the LDS cultural majority so I became used to institutional ostracization at a young age. My wife and I also lost recommends once and both of us have been released from several callings because of “differences” with various Bishops. But I have a testimony of Jesus. I know that the LDS church is His church and I have absolute faith in His Atonement.

 

My spirit has learned good things through my naturist experience. I have felt growth, compassion and understanding. I feel like I am overcoming many temptations of the flesh. And I feel like I am rambling and preaching and I really should get back to work. Its a good thing I’m the boss (work for myself) and can diverge in good conscience (only 2 hours to low tide and a nude beach walk!).

 

djw2000

Our Bishop asked to see my wife and I during Sunday School today. He told us that when he met with the Stake President this past week he asked about us and how we’re doing. In the course of their conversation they came to the agreement that if we persist in acting on our beliefs with regards to nudism, then we shouldn’t be attending the temple. As a result, the Bishop asked us to surrender our Temple Recommends to him again.

 

What gets me is that he never really asked us about our actions, but only about our thoughts, feelings, and decisions. Of course we admitted that our thoughts and feelings haven’t changed, but that includes keeping our actual decisions and actions private, so he really doesn’t have any basis for taking our recommends away for something we’ve actually done since he told us to stop. It appears he’s going under the assumption that if we had given it up, we would tell him, so the fact we won’t tell him means we’re continuing in secret. That may be faulty logic, but it’s his call and he has the right to make it.

 

Since he wanted us to give up our recommends, I again requested a worthiness interview. He said he will give us one, but didn’t say when. I guess I’ll just have to start pestering him for one until he finally does it. Our recommends expire in a few months anyway, so we’d be asking for an interview in any case.

 

Just as before, we feel at peace with this turn of events. Of course we feel we have been unjustly judged, but that just means the Lord won’t hold us accountable for not having recommends right now. We’ll simply continue on in faith and patience doing what we feel in our hearts is right for us and our family. I guess there’s still more things the Lord would like for us (or even the Bishop and Stake President) to learn from this.

 

James

So sorry to hear this has started up again. I’m sure I’m not the only one who will keep you both in thoughts and prayers, and your bishop & stake president too. They need it just as much.

 

Just for the record, I would like to state that restricting my comments about your leaders to the adjective-free flameless sentence above has required a degree of self-control which I only rarely need to summon. But we are supposed to be charitable, even when we feel like–well, I won’t go there. Enough said! Hang in there, both of you.

 

 

n/a

djw2000,

 

Keep your chin up. Unless you want to move out of the Ward (don’t tell anyone where you moving if you do, the Bishop may call your new Stake President), this is just one of those things. Further, both of you have to desire that this will end.

 

It seems to me that the Bishop wants you to play the roles of Good, primp Latter-day Saints. This isn’t bad, but he doesn’t understand that he needs to let the flock govern themselves. I’m sorry, but this experience is bringing out the worst in your Bishop’s good intentions. I have no doubt he is a good man, but I think he’s judging you by a preconception and not by who you are on the inside. The Worthiness Interview should help him. I’d ask to submit to a Worthiness Interview every two weeks.

 

Elton.

 

argonaut

djw2000

You are a good example to the rest of us – certainly to me. Don’t give up.

 

kenfreehiker

I wish you well with this situation. I’ve learned much from your response – thanks. I’ve written a lengthy letter to my family about garment wearing (too long for this forum). I wouldn’t recommend sharing it with your bishop, but it may provide some additional comfort for you in your inspired decision to remain naturists. If you’d like it, email me and I’ll send it back to you in an attachment. Anyone else on the forum is welcome to respond as well.

 

Captain Curmudgeon

(too long for this forum).

I agree with you, Ken, that your document belongs on the other forum, but for different reasons.

 

This is the place (to quote a familiar phrase) for long documents. They can be read at length and at leisure and they are read by people coming to read, not by people going through their email. And the discussion, the cry and response, is kept together and not spread out in space and time as they are in emails.

 

(I’m having trouble getting through the emails from the other group right now because they are not only lengthy and fragmented, but everyone over there (except for a few) wants to re-quote the entire thread to that point in order to gain the continuity that this media (forum) provides by default.)

 

Naturally,

R.O.

 

bryans_saturdays

kenfreehiker

I wish you well with this situation. I’ve learned much from your response – thanks. I’ve written a lengthy letter to my family about garment wearing (too long for this forum). I wouldn’t recommend sharing it with your bishop, but it may provide some additional comfort for you in your inspired decision to remain naturists. If you’d like it, email me and I’ll send it back to you in an attachment. Anyone else on the forum is welcome to respond as well.

 

Ken, are you opposed to posting it here? I can certainly understand if you don’t want it to be public. But if you don’t mind, it could be valuable. I’d like to read it. Maybe start a new thread?

 

Bryan

 

djw2000

To change subjects for a minute, a recurring theme in this thread has been about how to best deal with differences, on points of doctrine or practice, with our church leaders. Recently I found an old talk by Elder Oaks about this very subject. It’s found in the Feb 1987 issue of the Ensign and is titled Criticism.

 

In it he lists the five Church approved ways of addressing “differences with Church leaders—general or local, male or female.”

 

1. “The first—and most benign—of the procedures is to overlook the difference.” This simply means you acknowledge the imperfections of our church leaders, but still respect their position or office; kind of a “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

 

2. “A second option is to reserve judgment and postpone any action on the difference.” Here you acknowledge the fact you may not have all the necessary information to understand the leader’s decision, so you give your leader the benefit of the doubt.

 

3. “The third procedure, which should be familiar to every student of the Bible, is to take up our differences privately with the leader involved….This course of action may be pursued in a private meeting, if possible, or it may be done through a letter or other indirect communication.” (Note the heavy emphasis on the word private.)

 

4. “A fourth option is to communicate with the Church officer who has the power to correct or release the person thought to be in error or transgression.” As with number three, this should also be kept as private as possible.

 

5. “There is a fifth remedy. We can pray for the resolution of the problem. We should pray for the leader whom we think to be in error, asking the Lord to correct the circumstance if it needs correction. At the same time, we should pray for ourselves, asking the Lord to correct us if we are in error.”

 

That’s it. Elder Oaks states that to do anything else than the five things listed above would cause us to lose the Spirit and end up doing more harm then good.

 

I felt this article actually helped to validate the way my wife and I have been handling the situation with our leaders. While I wish we could have dealt with it with either option 1 or 2, that wasn’t possible when it was our leaders pressing the difference with us instead of the other way around. Since we have not yet felt it was necessary to use option 4, we were only left with options 3 and 5. For a while it looked like that had worked (or at least allowed us to move back to option 1 or 2,) but with these recent events I’m starting to lose hope with them.

 

We will continue to try to work with them, by asking for temple interviews, but if that ends up being fruitless it looks like our only option left is to take it to the next level. By my understanding, it’s the First Presidency who approves the callings of Stake Presidents and Bishops, so that would mean if we can’t work out our differences here at the local level, the only other place to go would be there. This is very much a “nuclear option” that we would only use as a last and final resort, and which we desperately hope will not be necessary. At least now, after having read Elder Oak’s talk, I would feel more justified in resorting to it.

 

n/a

I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that. Bishop is a calling I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy; neither is Young Women’s President.

 

Elton.

 

djw2000

I know I haven’t been participating in this forum much recently, but so much has been going on recently that it has fallen down my priority list. However, I do what to let all of you know how things have worked out with our Bishop and family.

 

We waited a month after having our Recommends taken away before asking the Bishop for another meeting. At this meeting we talked for about an hour and again asked for worthiness interviews. He was hesitant since he didn’t know if it would do any good; he knew how we interpreted some of the questions, but since he disagrees with our interpretation, he didn’t think he could trust our answers. In the end he did consent to giving both of us interviews. After it was done he said he’d continue to think about giving us our Recommends back.

 

On the car ride home my wife and I felt impressed that after holding out since clear back in October, we should finally tell out Bishop what our actual decision regarding nudity was. While I was writing him an email he actually called us so I had an opportunity to tell him then. In short, our decision was to choose on a case-by-case basis. Whenever we considered going to a nude activity (beach or resort) we would only go if we got some kind of confirmation that it was he right thing to do. In the past eight months or so we had always, in the end, chosen to not go.

 

When I told the Bishop this, he couldn’t understand why we hadn’t told him earlier (we felt by telling him it would be inviting him to constantly “check-up” with us to see whether or not we had done anything, and we felt that would be too intrusive into our personal lives). He said this did make a difference to him, but he was on his way out for a two week vacation so we’d have to wait until he got back to finally resolve this.

 

When he did come back he met with us again and said he would give our Recommends back on one condition, we agree to not attend any nude activities as long as he’s our Bishop. If we agree to this, since we have been so honest and forthcoming so far, he’ll trust we are keeping our word and will not bring it up again himself. We felt this was fair and as good of a compromise as we will get, so we agreed and he gave us our Recommends back. When it comes time for them to be renewed he just asked us to schedule our interviews with himself and the Stake President instead of any of the councilors since they don’t know about all of this. Again, it sounded fair so we agreed. It looks like we won’t need to send that letter to the First Presidency after all.

 

So after nearly a year of ups and downs, it finally looks like this has been resolved. While it’s not exactly the solution we were hoping for, it’s good enough for us. The timing also couldn’t have been any better since within two weeks of getting our Recommends back we were able to both see my Brother get married and Javlover’s sister get her endowments. While attending the endowment session much of Javlover’s family was also there, many of whom had grown distant from us due to this whole situation. The Spirit in the temple seemed to help overcome any misgivings that may have been there before, and in the end helped us to be reconciled again with them. So in terms of both Church and family it looks like everything has been resolved.

 

Again, I want to thank everyone here for their support through all of this. It was vital knowing there were people out there we could turn to, even if it was only to vent. I think this forum provides a valuable service and we’re both proud to be members of it.

 

Here’s to the future!

 

argonaut

Djw2000,

I am happy for you and Javlover. I am wondering what constitutes a “nude activity”? Was that defined? Anyway, I am happy you can go to the temple. The temple is a greater blessing to me than my nude beach walks, but I don’t quite understand why one would exclude the other, and I doubt that you do either. I hope the Bishop understands that he will have to account for any acts of unrighteous dominion and judgment. Perhaps the letter to the First Presidency might still be a good idea. It is hard to imagine that the Bishop will not pass on your personal information and his opinion about it to the next Bishop.

 

djw2000

argonaut

Djw2000,

I am happy for you and Javlover. I am wondering what constitutes a “nude activity”? Was that defined? Anyway, I am happy you can go to the temple. The temple is a greater blessing to me than my nude beach walks, but I don’t quite understand why one would exclude the other, and I doubt that you do either. I hope the Bishop understands that he will have to account for any acts of unrighteous dominion and judgment. Perhaps the letter to the First Presidency might still be a good idea. It is hard to imagine that the Bishop will not pass on your personal information and his opinion about it to the next Bishop.

 

By my understanding “nude activities” is defined as mixed-gender nudity outside of the family (doctor visits excepted).

 

I’m sure the Bishop fully understands the consequences of unrighteous dominion, but he seems to be trying to follow the Spirit in this matter just as much as we are. I may disagree with him, but I won’t hold it against him.

 

Seeing as how we’ve come to a workable solution I don’t think a letter would be necessary. It would probably be better coming from someone who truly was wronged (like Yogaman’s friend who was ex-ed.) I just don’t think our situation warrants being elevated any more.

 

Probably one thing that makes this compromise workable for us is that we were planning on moving in a year anyway. As for if he tells our new Bishop, we’ll have to deal with that when it happens. We’ll probably just play it by keeping mum. In the meantime we don’t see much good in worrying about it too much.

 

bryans_saturdays

DJ,

 

Your choices and behavior throughout all of this has been a model of how I would hope to act. Like Argonaut, having a temple recommend is more important to me then being able to attend nudist activities, and I think you did exactly the right thing. It is my guess that some day, in this life or the next, this bishop will understand that the choice he forced upon you was useless, but, If I were ever forced to choose between the two, I hope I would choose exactly as you did.

 

The blessings and joy of going to the family temple events you described far outstrips any nude activities – at least in my book. And as you say, he won’t be your bishop forever. Well done.

 

Bryan

 

 

argonaut

I would be comfortable with that resolution as well but I do have a close friend among the GA’s who has already (in the case of another person) stated that “the church has no policy regarding nudity” and I would probably seriously consider soliciting his help with the situation. But all things considered, it could have been much worse. I do hope you find some privacy or at least understanding in your new ward. My Bishop is very young. I’m not sure how he would react. The SP is very well educated and as loving and fair-minded as people come, nevertheless, I am content in keeping my nude activities chaste, clean, considerate and yes, confidential.

 

djw2000

If I knew a GA that I thought would back me up, I probably would have gone down that road as well. My biggest fear was that if I elevated it to the GA level, they would simply refer it back to my local authorities thus giving to them the impression of the backing of Salt Lake. I only wanted to attempt that if I felt the potential benefits outweighed the potential costs. In the end it didn’t seem necessary.

 

I actually tried to use the fact that “the church has no policy regarding nudity” in my defense, but my Bishop simply turned it around by claiming that since there was no policy, it was left to his discretion. For example, since the Handbook clearly states that he should take no action with regards to caffeinated drinks, rated R movies, OS, or birth control, he is happy to leave these subjects as being between the member and the Lord. Otherwise he feels free to act as he feels moved upon by the Holy Ghost.

 

Of course I doubt the Church will ever come out and state that chaste nudity is off limits to church discipline until enough members complain to Salt Lake about ecclesiastical abuses. In this sense, maybe I should have sent the letter after all. If there are others out there who have faced persecution by their leaders and want to air their grievances to the First Presidency, I’d be willing to participate.

 

Captain Curmudgeon

Probably one thing that makes this compromise workable for us is that we were planning on moving in a year anyway. As for if he tells our new Bishop, we’ll have to deal with that when it happens.

Devious person that I am, I can’t help wondering what might happen if you knew of a Bishop that was a naturist. You move into his ward (very temporarily, perhaps), old Bishop tells him (but it doesn’t really matter to him), and then you move to a third ward (where you were heading in the first place). Since chaste nudity isn’t a problem to the naturist Bishop, he has no reason to be passing that on to the third Bishop.

 

QED.

 

Naturally,

R.O.

 

yogaman

Devious person that I am, I can’t help wondering what might happen if you knew of a Bishop that was a naturist. You move into his ward (very temporarily, perhaps), old Bishop tells him (but it doesn’t really matter to him), and then you move to a third ward (where you were heading in the first place). Since chaste nudity isn’t a problem to the naturist Bishop, he has no reason to be passing that on to the third Bishop.

Let me know how you figure out your Bishop is a naturist. That Bishop would have every LDS naturist in Utah trying to get in his ward. (LOL)

 

argonaut

Have your records sent to the Rijeka, Croatia branch. Isn’t just about everybody in Croatia a naturist?

 

djw2000

If there are any naturist Bishops hiding out there in the forum, I’m willing to entertain offers.

 

James

I’m glad it all worked out well, DJW. At the same time, my thoughts on your bishop would pass neither the Christian conduct nor the “colorful metaphors” tests for this site, so I will make no comments beyond the following comparison:

 

DJW’s Bishop:

 

“Since there is no Church policy on nudism, it is left to my discretion and I can require adherence to whatever standard I think is right. Since the Handbook clearly states that I should take no action with regard to caffeinated drinks, rated R movies, OS, or birth control, I am happy to leave these subjects as being between the member and the Lord. Otherwise I feel free to act as I feel moved upon by the Holy Ghost. In short, unless the Handbook tells me ‘hands off’ I will feel free to make up rules whenever and however I want.”

 

Joseph Smith:

 

“We have heard men who hold the priesthood . . . in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority [who] have taught that [unquestioning] obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the Saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without any questions. When Elders [leaders] of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they [the leaders] have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves.” Millenial Star, Archive Volume 14, Number 38.

 

If this is unfair, forgive me. But I’m a big believer in the duck test.

 

djw2000

I think you are being a bit unfair with our Bishop’s position. He wasn’t acting on his own, but dealt with our situation in the way he did only after consulting with the Stake President. If the Stake President had agreed with us or told him to drop it, he would have (in fact he did drop it until the Stake President brought it back up with him again).

 

Our Bishop really is a good person trying to do his best in his situation, and if I didn’t do a good enough job of expressing that earlier, it’s my fault and I apologize.

 

James

Thanks for the clarification DJ. In fairness I should say that I have almost as much sympathy for your bishop and stake president as for you and your family. Being “bound down by the traditions of the fathers” is not an affliction that was confined to the Lamanites. I feel very sorry for them and am glad I won’t have to answer for their decisions. I join with others here in admiring the courage and long-suffering you’ve shown throughout this whole sadly unnecessary episode.

 

javlover

Today, after talking with my Mother, and her anxieties and fears almost seeping through the phone about life, and how concerned she is about her children and their choices-not excluding my decision to follow my husband in this, I was distraught. I began thinking of all the things I don’t quite understand about this naturism thing…and the words of my Grandparents and parents came to my mind “Don’t follow your husband down to hell.”

Could their warnings hold some merit? Could they have some insight that I don’t? The more I thought this way after getting off the telephone with my Mother, the more anxiety came.

I decided right then, that I knew who I was. I thought back to the many, many witnesses of the Spirit telling me that this was the correct view and the right way to go. I thought of how peaceful and full of the spirit of joy, love, understanding my heart has been since learning these things, and how I’d only seen my relatives views with complete clearity and understanding, but that I knew they weren’t correct.

I chose to believe at that instance…to believe in naturism, to believe in my husband, mostly to believe the Lord-and knew that it must be exactly what converts go through time and time again when a doubt is able to wedge itself in when they don’t quite grasp something in the Gospel.

Almost immediately, the anxiety-headache, doubt and confusion began to depart. I held true to the things I’ve experienced- remembering that the Lord has been with me through everything.

The Spirit of the Lord came, and a peace washed over me. The joy for my life and great love I have for my mother returned.

I spoke to her one last time, and told her, without holding anything back, but with sensitivity and tact, that I knew that because of what she’s been through, her anxiety’s and fears seem to be exaggerated about my husband and many things-and that I know both she and my Dad have a whole lot of healing to do.

I opened up to her, and wasn’t afraid of her response because it was genuinely out of love and concern for her well-being and happiness. She actually listened, and I was surprised by her accepting my words. She listened to me because she knew it was out of love.

As I said goodbye, the Spirit continued to burn within me. I knew I did the right thing, and once again, the Lord backed me up.

Thank you so much for believing in me, too.

I really love the Lord and His Gospel. I hope to always be teachable as I am now.

And my loyalty is to Him first.

I hope someday, my Mother really knows this about me and is able to face her own fears.

I’m noticing lately, that I can be an instrument in the Lord’s hands for good…no matter how little I feel like I know. I’m grateful for his strength and confidence in me, weak as I am.

I have learned to face my fears, head on, with the Lord as my protection and guide…something that I wish I could teach to my Mother.

 

argonaut

Javlover,

What a beautiful testimony! Thank you for sharing it. It illustrates the divine order of discovering truth; questioning, humility, love motive, humility, prayer, more humility, witness of the Spirit and continuing humility. I felt the Spirit’s closeness just reading it.

 

bryans_saturdays

Javlover,

 

Thank you, again! Most of all, I am glad that your mother finally listened to you without pre-filtering it through her predetermined prejudices.

 

My mother-in-law has a saying which could apply here: Everyone is just one spiritual experience away from believing something completly different then what they now believe.

 

Well done, and thank you for sharing this with us.

 

Bryan

 

Elton

Still on topic, and very related. I have a chance to explain my testimony about Modesty to my Bishop. I’m going to use soft words to explain to him what I believe about modesty. I feel very good about doing this very thing.

 

My Bishop tracted the Red Light District of Amsterdam, so I don’t know how I can get through to him in any other way. So, the best way is not to do a shouting match. Hopefully, he can get the spirit of my words. It would be a wonderful way to help him understand that modesty is more than rules about wearing clothes. Yes, my bishop understands my naturist tendencies.

 

Elton.

 

argonaut

Elton

 

 

Yes, my bishop understands my naturist tendencies.

 

Elton.

 

Do you mean he knows about them, or does he really understand them and considers them wrong?

 

Elton

argonaut

Do you mean he knows about them, or does he really understand them and considers them wrong?

 

He knows about them, and he considers it wrong because they are an affront to American Culture of today. We’ve been having some interesting discussions, and I think it may become even more thought provoking in my quest for that Temple Recommend.

 

Ultimately, the reason why Bishops and Stake Presidents do disciplinary action against nudist Latter-day Saints is because we do not conform to American Culture. For instance, he gave me an example where the Missionaries would convert African Jungle Natives: and the jungle natives would have to conform to American Culture and put clothes on.

 

The question is: how do we teach to nudists in America who are ready to learn about the Gospel? The Missionaries won’t even teach them because of their propensity to be nude. There are nudists in America who are ready and they want to hear (more) of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they won’t put on clothes for the Missionaries because they were either raised to be nudists or they feel that clothing is not for them.

 

It seems that nudist Latter-day Saints are the only ones who can teach them. However, when Bishops and Stake Presidents learn of their nudist proclivities, and investigate; depending on the reason they will perform disciplinary action. And usually the reason is non-comformity to the Culture of the day. At least that is the impression I’m getting from my bishop.

 

So, Javlover and DJ have gone through what they went through because their bishop and SP feels that they aren’t conforming to American Culture.

 

bryans_saturdays

So, Javlover and DJ have gone through what they went through because their bishop and SP feels that they aren’t conforming to American Culture.

Well, this is how WE see it. But I don’t think DJW’s and Javlover’s bishop and SP think of it a an American Culture problem…. they seem to view it as a doctrinal problem.

 

Bryan

 

Elton

Yes. Exactly. My Bishop has this thing about conforming to American Culture; like it’s a doctrinal thing for him. Although, doctrinally, I see absolutely nothing except for the 12th Article of Faith: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” How is conforming to American Culture law?

 

bryans_saturdays

I think you missed my point, Elton. They don’t see it as a culture question at all – they have no concept that their culture has mingled with doctrine to formulate what they think is doctrine. Your argument works with us, but would be dismissed as empty with them.

 

Bryan

 

Rhino

djw2000 your last post was two years ago. what has happened since 2006?

 

djw2000

Rhino

djw2000 your last post was two years ago. what has happened since 2006?

 

I haven’t posted anything simply because there hasn’t been anything to post. As a condition to get our recommends back we had to agree to not go to any nude activities while we were members of the ward. We kept our promise, and he never brought it up again.

 

Now that we’ve moved, he’s no longer our Bishop and we feel we’re no longer under any obligation in this respect. We have no plans on letting anyone in our new ward know about our feelings about chaste nudity unless we are strongly prompted to say something. If for some reason this topic comes up with our new Bishop, I’ll probably just play dumb, be evasive, or simply plead the 5th. He may be more tolerant about it than our last Bishop, but it’s not worth it to us to take the chance.

 

argonaut

djw2000

, I’ll probably just play dumb,

 

My ace in the hole is that I don’t have to play.

 

cwgeib

djw2000

Rhino

djw2000 your last post was two years ago. what has happened since 2006?

 

 

I haven’t posted anything simply because there hasn’t been anything to post. As a condition to get our recommends back we had to agree to not go to any nude activities while we were members of the ward. We kept our promise, and he never brought it up again.

 

Now that we’ve moved, he’s no longer our Bishop and we feel we’re no longer under any obligation in this respect. We have no plans on letting anyone in our new ward know about our feelings about chaste nudity unless we are strongly prompted to say something. If for some reason this topic comes up with our new Bishop, I’ll probably just play dumb, be evasive, or simply plead the 5th. He may be more tolerant about it than our last Bishop, but it’s not worth it to us to take the chance.

 

Would you drop me an email when you get a chance? Thanks!

Chris and Renee

Dayton, OH

 

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