Interview Questions for Entry into the United Order

This article originally appeared in Vol.59, No. 1 (2012) of Pioneer Magazine

When people were interviewed by the ecclesiastical leaders before being admitted to the order, they were asked an extensive list of questions about their character, their devotion to the idea of cooperation, and their willingness to sacrifice for the work of God. These questions included the following:

  1. What is your object in seeking to unite yourself with this Company? Do you believe the Lord requires you to take this course?
  2. Have you a family? If so, what is the number? Are they one with you without exception in the course you wish to take? What is your present situation in regard to food and clothing? Do you train your family in the fear of the Lord? Do they seem to practice your teaching and walk according to your example?
  3. Are you in debt, or is there any person or persons that claim to have any pretext for claim against you or yours? If so, what is the nature of the pretext or the amount of your indebtedness?
  4. Is there any incumbrance on any pieces of property which you have in your possession?
  5. Are you willing for yourself and all you possess to be governed and controlled by the Board of Management, or any person or persons authorized for them to act?
  6. Do you think that you could come and make your permanent home with this company of people, and, if necessary, put up with all the inconveniences that older members had and have without murmuring or fault-finding or become dissatisfied and wishing to withdraw from the company and thereby putting the practice to unnecessary trouble and inconveniences?
  7. Are you willing to practice economy in all the points and bearings, and try to content yourself although you may think that your trials are hard at times?
  8. Do you use tobacco, tea, or coffee, or indulge in drinking intoxicating drinks?
  9. Are you in the habit of stealing or taking that which does not belong to you personally?
  10. Are you in the habit of lying or backbiting, or slandering your brethren or sisters?
  11. Are you in the habit of swearing or using profane oaths or taking the name of the Lord in vain?
  12. Are you in the habit of using vulgar or obscene jests or conduct?
  13. Are you in the habit of quarreling? If so, will you cease from this?
  14. Are you in the habit of giving way to bad temper and abusing dumb animals? If so, will you cease from such conduct?
  15. Will you take a course when you find a brother or a sister out of temper to maintain the peace by saying nothing to aggravate, and silently walk away if he or she shall not cease?
  16. Are you willing to work the same as the rest of the company according to your strength and ability and for the same recompense as your peers?
  17. Are you willing to be subject to those who are placed over you and do as you are told cheerfully and not sullenly?
  18. Are you willing to conform to the rules of good order in all things and not appropriate to your use or the use of the company any tool or implement of husbandry or any kind of produce without first obtaining the permission to do so from persons having charge of such tools, implements, produce, or other property?
  19. Will you try to the best of your ability to maintain the peace and prosperity of this Order and as much as lies in your power, deal honestly, impartially, and justly in all transactions you may be called upon to perform from time to time
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