Sunday, April 27, 2008

When DH Calls Me Out of the Grave, Will I Answer?

Whereas: DH never calls me by name any more, he now calls me "your mother." As in: "Where is your mother?" and "Did your mother make dinner yet?"


Whereas: I don't understand why men should be the ones to learn the power of resurrection and call people forth out of their graves, even if their wives are more interested in physics and chemistry and they are more interested in watching the Utah Jazz...


Whereas: I prefer to picture the Morning of the First Resurrection as Joseph Smith described it in our new Joseph Smith manual--"When we lie down we contemplate how we may rise in the morning; and it is pleasing for friends to lie down together, locked in the arms of love, to sleep and wake in each other’s embrace and renew their conversation."--rather than a familiar voice calling, "Is your mother ready to get up yet???"


Whereas: This seems to be a church teaching that is going the way of Kolob and one really doesn't hear it taught much any more...

When DH calls me out of the grave, will I answer?

(I really don't know whether I am more bothered by the teaching on LDS husbands calling their wives out of the grave, or by the disturbing feeling that doctrines I've been taught as a young person are now fading away and being lost in the mists of time. Alas! I find myself conflicted once more.)


Anonymous said...

I've never heard the idea of a husband calling his wife in the resurrection, other than from people on blogs. Has this ever been taught? And by whom?

(Although frankly, even if it's been taught, I don't find any truth or value in it; I plan on being resurrected by the power of Jesus Christ, and I plan on my wife's being resurrected by the same power.)

mraynes said...

I was taught in YW's that this was the reason why men know their wives' new name. It hasn't been that long since my YW's days so obviously this doctrine is still alive.

I remember being really troubled by the teaching because what if my husband didn't call? I didn't want my exaltation contingent upon the whims of my husband.

I reject this doctrine now. I think that it will be like the quote yous shared from Joseph Smith; both husband and wife will be resurrected by the power of Jesus Christ. I think any other teaching is a misunderstanding of the doctrine and a misplaced reliance on male power.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty funny, BiV.

Also: Your mom.

LaurieSue said...

I laughed when I read the title of this posting, because my husband and I joke about this all the time. Whenever he is irritated with me, he says, "You know, I don't have to claim you on the morning of the 1st resurrection." And I will inevitably respond, "Well, that's okay, because I don't have to come when you call anyway." Then we laugh and it always alleviates the tension.

I know that many patriarchal blessings refer to being called from the grave by one's husband. Mine does. It doesn't bother me. We're all going to be resurrected anyway. I like the idea of my husband calling me from the grave--reaffirming that our marriage is eternal and binding. (At least, I like the idea on the days we're not irritated with each other. Lol.)

Anonymous said...

and what about those of us with a non-member "I`m never joining that church" DH? Or those who don`t marry in this life time? How do they (we) fit into this??

Steve M. said...

I've only heard of this teaching in passing; it's never directly been taught to me. I figured someone would mention it when I got married in the temple, but it never happened.

But that may have been an oversight by the temple. They had my wife-to-be and me sit in some room for a while, with the explanation that someone would be in to "talk to us." That someone never came, and eventually a temple matron shooed us away so we could make our sealing time.

Anonymous said...

So Steve, you never learned you wife's new name?

Anonymous said...

They don't really teach this doctrine . I've only heard it in passing and even when I was sealed to my wife, they never explained why I needed to learn her new name before we were sealed.

Johnna said...

I was told this too. And I've had dreams about sitting in some horrible tastefully decorated waiting room, deciding whether or not to answer when called by my husband.

I'd rather be called by Christ.

Unknown said...

"I've never heard the idea of a husband calling his wife in the resurrection, other than from people on blogs."

we were sealed by joe j. christensen and he said this as well - that on the morning of the resurrection my husband would call me "by name forth from the grave." i never thought much about it; my wedding day was mortifying in general so i don't think i really was able to pause on anything specific.

another thoughtful post, as always.

NonArab-Arab said...

BiV, thoughtful as always, thanks. I'd like to suggest you don't need to be as saddened/worried/disappointed (not quite sure which adjective appropriate) about changinf doctrinal emphases over the years though. It's tough I know to get one's bearings, but to me one of the wonerful things about the restored Gospel is the constant experimentation and evolution of knowledge. I feel like with Joseph Smith a window into the infinite was opened and God standing there basically said "now don't feel constrained by the rigid structures of the world, take your finite minds and experiment to try to understand more of this infinite vastness". We get accused as Mormons often of having no theology, which I think is often just a misunderstanding of the fact that we are so willing to explore possibilities that others consider verboten, even at the risk of us getting it wrong. Sometimes that results in big errors, even ones we need to repent of, but as a whole that seeking for eternal knowledge keeps us and the church on the generally right track so long as we keep our minds and hearts open to God's light, guidance, and correction. Which may sound kind of silly when one places such a highfalutent-soundin' theory next to things like whether caffeinated barq's is ok or whether byu students need to shave, but those are mundane expressions of the same kind of struggles that reach up to more meaningful doctrine and practice we're working to learn God's mind about such as many of the issues you raise.

Another angle I would raise on this is that while some practice and doctrine may fall by the wayside as errors or mistakes of exploration, others are simply the emphasis of the times or even the necessity of the times. They may well be just as true as ever, just not as needed for the moment. Some of those may be beloved notions that others don't need or could even be a stumbling block for, but that doesn't mean they aren't true or things that can remain prominent in our hearts, minds, and even blogs!

Anonymous said...

Wait, so husbands _don't_ call their wives from the grave? I was taught in the early 1990s that men knew their wives' temple names because they had to call for their wives during the resurrection. Don't you whisper this temple name through the veil to your husband when you get married? I'm confused.

M said...

This is just one of those things that isn't ever really taught in Sunday lessons per se but I've heard it throughout my life. I've never heard it rescinded or plainly stated that my husband won't be calling me in the resurrection.

I do share some of your concerns in that my husband rarely, (did I say rarely?) rarely calls me by my name, even before we had kids. He just sort-of talks and expects that I will answer. Additionally, I think my new name fell out of his head a second after I whispered it. I'm counting on Jesus' intervention or the Holy Ghost bringing all things, esp. my name, to DH's rememberance.

Also, I understood that if hubby was not available for whatever reason (didn't have one, he wasn't worthy, etc.) that Jesus would be the one to call each of us up. There's always a contingent plan.

M said...

It does make me feel a bit like Snow White though. "I wishing...for the one I find me...someday."

Bored in Vernal said...

It's confusing, isn't it? This is one of those doctrines that has falling by the wayside in the Church, leaving behind little fragments that don't make sense--like why does the husband learn his wife's new name in the temple, and she doesn't learn his?

For me, it's easier when a doctrine is just plain rescinded, lilke polygamy, than if it is not discussed for a few years, leaving the rising generation never having heard of it. Then you have some people in the Church believing/teaching it, and some rejecting it, with no official assistance to the quandary.

Non-Arab, thanks for the great comment. It was very helpful.

One thing though. "O Say, What is Truth?" When one encounters too many errors or "mistakes of exploration," one tends to lose confidence in other difficult doctrines...

NonArab-Arab said...

BiV, totally understand that challenge too. And actually this calling the wife thing (urgh, feminist cringe, sounds almost 4-H when put that way doesn't it?) Is a good example. Was it ever doctrine or was it not? I'd heard it and assumed it, now not so sure. For me, issues like this are enblematic of what we must constantly do especially as the church expands and takes in people with more and varied life experiences: figure out how to try to discern what is core and what is baggage we've added on top. Made especially difficult when people sometimes get so adamant that non-core (or even erroneous) ideas are core doctrine. I'll use one somewhat politicized example: I grew up believing the state of Israel was a divinely inspired and supported fulfillment of the gathering of Israel prophecies and thought anyone against the state and Zionist ideology was against God's will. And I found plenty of what looked like hardcore support for that in Mormon circles and past statements. Well, learning the realities of the conflict and seeing the blatant brutality made me realize something wasn't right. Basically I had to realize that when the greatest commandments (love God and love thy neighbor) are violated so eggregiously by an aggressor, that ought to be a huge red flag that something is wrong and that all the attempts to weave a complicated tale that are designed to explain away simple realities are in reality pharisaic error, not deep doctrine. Same thing I think applies in all sorts of doctrines, it's not easy, sometimes we have to shed cherished ideas, but so long as the Spirit guides and we know God's authority is there, I think it is very much an iterative line-upon-line process which he wants us to engage in and not shy away from. Shedding our old skins is necessary to grow into the new stronger ones, nomatter how comfortable we had been in the old.

amelia said...

two thoughts occur to me:

1. does this qualify as "doctrine"? maybe it does in the broadest sense of that word, but in my mind "doctrine" is used for teachings that have a higher standard of truth and centrality. and i just can't conceive of this as being all that important--who calls us forth in the resurrection. that's not to say i don't see the highly disturbing ramifications of the current teaching; it's just to say that it seems so completely unimportant to me who calls me forth, that i can easily disregard the teaching as something i don't need to concern myself with.

which brings me to:

2. i simply don't care much about the next life and the details of how it's going to happen and what it's going to be like. i know all the party line answers. and i like quite a few of them. but i feel like our knowledge is so limited that i'm unwilling to rely on that knowledge as definitive in any degree. it's enough for me to believe that in some way there is eternal life; that that eternal life in some way involves eternal family; and that that eternal life involves becoming godlike. beyond those basics, i don't much care. i'd rather spend my energy thinking about this life and trying to make it a better place.

Bored in Vernal said...

amelia, your attitude is much more healthy than my compulsion to pick at threads until they fall apart in my lap.

arab, yup, zionism is a perfect example. now, is this doctrine core, peripheral, or erroneous? DH, while not thrilled about the subject of this post :) was able to provide me the following excerpt from a book by Andrew Skinner (BYU prof)called _Garden Tomb_. It's rather lengthy, but quite interesting:

This is important doctrine, for it means that the keys of resurrection are conferred after one has been resurrected and those keys are then used to resurrect others. Jesus was the prototype. Having obtained the keys of resurrection himself (after his own experience with resurrection), he then possessed power to resurrect all others. According to President Brigham Young, those keys of resurrection first acquired by the Savior are then further given, extended, or delegated to others who have died and been resurrected. "They will be ordained, by those who hold the keys of the resurrection, to go forth and resurrect the Saints, just as we receive the ordinance of baptism, then the keys of authority to baptize others" ( Discourses of Brigham Young, 398).

Thus, in one respect we might think of the ordinance of resurrection as being like other ordinances which we see performed on this earth. It involves those who possess the authority and keys of resurrection. As President Brigham Young and Elder Erastus Snow also taught, the resurrection will be conducted much as other things are done in the kingdom, by delegation ( Journal of Discourses, 6:275; 15:136-39; 25:34). Just as we cannot bless or baptize ourselves, so we cannot resurrect ourselves. Ordinances are performed on our behalf by those who are authorized to perform the ordinances.

Knowing what we do about the importance of worthy fathers guiding and blessing their families in righteousness, it does not seem out of order to believe that worthy fathers and priesthood holders will have the privilege of calling forth their wives, or their children, or even other members of their family from the grave. Is it not the order of heaven for righteous patriarchs (fathers, grandfathers, and others) to bless, baptize, and perform other ordinances for their loved ones?

Jesus was resurrected, only his Father, our Father in Heaven, possessed the keys of resurrection (even though as the Son of God he possessed the power of life in himself-independently). After he was resurrected, Jesus acquired the keys of resurrection which could then be given to others.

The illuminating statements of President Young, President Kimball, and President Smith, taken together, help us to see once again that God's house is a house of order. As a result of his own resurrection, Jesus now controls all power and all keys, under the direction of his Father, which he delegates to others as they are worthy and become prepared to possess the various powers of godliness. These powers are then used to bless the human family. This is true for the keys of resurrection as well as all other power and authority.

It's late in SA, and I must go to bed, so I don't have time to look up the "illuminating statements" of BY and others in the JD. But maybe later.


Bored in Vernal said...

oh yeah and I was going to say that Skinner being a BYU prof gives him a pseudo-authority but his words "it does not seem out of order to believe" makes me think he is speculating. Is this Skinner's baggage or not? How often is this taught in the temple?

amelia said...

interesting passage, BiV. what i find interesting about it is treating resurrection as an ordinance. it occurs to me that the thinking about husbands calling wives forth out of the grave ends up being an extension of the current justifications of a male-only priesthood. those justifications usually fall flat for me. i think that only men hold the priesthood right now because that's the way it is in our flawed world. i see it as a by-product of the corruption of the fall. and i fully anticipate that women will receive the priesthood, that it's only a matter of when (as does my father, who is much more conservative and traditional then i am; personally i think i'll live to see women receive the priesthood). if women receive the priesthood, this point of debate becomes null and void if calling someone forth in the resurrection really is an ordinance.

even with the explanation of this action as an ordinance and an opportunity to receive and use the same powers christ has, i still maintain it's not central. rather it's an example of another core doctrine--that we can become like christ both in the power we may someday possess and in the service we can do for others. i think it's a mistake to fixate on the examples of a teaching rather than the core teaching itself. the question i ask is "how will that teaching help me in this life?" well, i think the teaching that i can and should be like the savior helps me enormously in this life. i think the teaching that i (or others) may call someone forth from the resurrection will do me little to no good in this life.

just my opinion, fwiw.

Unknown said...

hahahaha! great post, BiV!
yes, I was taught this, but it was mostly by family members (dad and mom).

hmm, I am going to speculate that this 'doctrine' will eventually die a silent death in a generation or so... and then it will perhaps take another couple of generations before the temple ordinance is changed so that both spouses know each other's names, and then a generation or so later women will begin to (slowly and quietly) hold callings previously reserved for priesthood holders... and by the time women are officially holding the priesthood this doctrine will be perceived in a similar way as how we perceive previous teachings about how a man needed to be married to at least 5 wives to achieve celestial glory.

it's the LIVING part of the whole 'true and living church'. (and yes, it can be disturbing)

Anonymous said...

More food for thought, from Spencer W. Kimball (as cited at

“Your wife is your counterpart, and together you use the God-given powers that are given to you, not by playing with them but by using them to create this great person that is born of yourselves. Now you become the servant of the Lord, with his power. What you have now is a miniature power. I mean there is no one in this room, perhaps, who is enjoying his power to its great limit.... You have the power over the elements. You will have many other powers that you have never thought or dreamed of yet. You will have the power of the resurrection some day. Did you realize that?

“Today you or I could not stand here and call to life a dead person, but the day will come when I can take my wife by the hand and raise her out of the grave in the resurrection. The day will come when you can bring each of your family who has preceded you in death back into a resurrected being to live forever.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Manchester England Area Conference, 21 June 1976, p. 34.)