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ANONYMOUS - In order to be deemed worthy for a Temple Recommend or to get baptized, a couple of the questions that are frequently asked are:
1. Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?
2. Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
What exactly does "in harmony with the laws and commandments" and "teachings" mean? Can you provide some examples of "conduct" that is not in "harmony" that is serious enough to warrant refusing to grant a Temple Recommend? For example, one of the Ten Commandments mandates that we shall "honor thy mother and father." So, let's say a minor child wants to attend one school and one of her parent's counsels her to attend a different one and she refuses to obey(a violation of the 5th Commandment), is that "conduct" not in "harmony...?"
Is arguing with a spouse and holding resentment towards that person(i.e., "conduct relating to...family") not in "harmony with the teachings of the Church?"
These are just a couple of examples, but are they serious enough to result in denial of a Temple Recommend.
With respect to baptism, I asssume that confessing the sin is an integral part of the ordinance of baptism and that those sins will be washed away. Any scriptural references or church talks you can suggest that might offer some additional guidance as to "harmony" etc.?
JOEL - Conduct that would most definately not be in harmony relating to temple worthiness, would be things like any sexual sin committed with a person of the the opposite or same sex; anything that would be considered illegal; breaking the word of wisdom; not paying tithing; spousal or child abuse; not attending church meeting or fufilling church callings, or affiliating with any groups whose practices or teachings are contrary to the Church (eg. polygamists), to name a few.
Your examples may or may not qualify as not being in harmony to the point of not qualifying for a temple recommend. Without knowing the specifics and the intent of the heart of the one displaying such behavior, it is not possible to voice an opinion on such things.
Those temple recommend questions give the member an opportunity to reflect on his or her overall obedience to the principles of the gospel. It is up to the member to voice his or her concerns about such things to the Bishop who has been set apart as a judge in Israel, as one who can receive inspiration for the member, specific to the behavior in question, and make a decision about what should be done if anything, before one is considered worthy to receive a recommend.
Notice that the intent of question #2 is that you "strive" to do the things that would keep you in harmony with the gospel. Noone is perfect, but if we are doing the best we can and moving towards perfection, we can answer affirmatively to this question.
During the teaching process and baptism interview, investigators are encouraged to confess and repent of their sins. Baptism does indeed figuratively wash way the sins of the new member and gives him or her a fresh start in life.