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  1. I just finished part one. I had a thought that I didn’t hear mentioned. Mormons believing the ordinances to be just an opportunity that others can accept if they’d like is a pretty new innovation. As I understand it, in early mormonism, the only work for the dead was done for people whom the members personally knew. The original sealing ordinances were believed by mormons to absolutely be binding and non-conditional. One only needs to read a few of Joseph’s polygamous proposals to hear how the ordinance itself would guarantee a family’s salvation. This continued until Wilford Woodruff discontinued the law of adoption and began to push genealogy work and vicarious work for the dead. Even then it seemed that most mormons still believed the ordinances to be binding and not simply an opportunity for the spirits to accept if desired. President Penrose wrote explicitly that these sealings mean that even when those who are wicked, after having been beaten with some stripes and paid the debt of justice, will join the rest of the family with Christ and then every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Christ. Lorenzo Snow also viewed the sealing ordinances and binding to the degree that even if others are unfaithful to them, that the faithful, through those sealings, will be saviors on Mount Zion and reach out and work to bring back all who were sealed. Then it seems that after the church had gotten rid of the temple healers, baptisms for health, etc. the temples only served for vicarious work for the dead. Then members were working on names that none of them knew. I think that by this time many leaders in the church questioned the idea that the sealings would save all because of agency. It seems that this idea didn’t really crystalize until the early 20th century. 

    If I’m off here on my history, please correct me. I’d love the details.

    1. Thanks, Geoff! Great stuff. I really hadn’t thought of any of this in prep for this podcast, if I ever really knew/thought about it in the past! Wonderful addition to the discussion!

    2. I think many of the promises given to parents that their children would be saved, were done so to give comfort to them. Parents often just want what they think is best for their children. It must be hard for them to see their children do things that they think will hurt them. But there is real power in ordinances that give opportunities for people to change their mind. I don’t think that will ever be forced. There is also real power in love. If it is a issue that doesn’t involve abuse, but rather a different opinion or way of life, we have a responsibility to love and accept. I have family members and friends who have left or aren’t members of the church. I don’t ever want that to affect the closeness I feel to them.  I also think no matter how much we mess up that our Heavenly Parents will let us live in the kingdom that we desire to. Agency doesn’t end here. We can make changes in the spirit world. 

      1. I agree. I also think that when we contemplate the infinite, all of eternity, it can often be hard to grasp all the implications (actually I’d say impossible to grasp them all). If we are spirits co-eternal with God, and we have become the children of God, then while we may stray for some period of time, I would have to imagine that given eternities we would all eventually rise to the divine potential that is within all of us. Maybe it’s just me trying to work in too many analogies from quantum physics, but when dealing with extremes like infinity, strange things can occur. I’d imagine that perhaps when given adequate time within eternity, we will “tunnel” through the barriers and continue on our journeys. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_tunnelling

  2. Great podcast folks.  I take issue with the free pass given the institution in the first part, where it seemed that having a “policy” against baptizing holocaust victims was sufficient to shift the blame entirely to the rogue members that went against that policy.  If you go to work for any large company and ask for the “policy” manual you will likely be given something that says “policies and procedures”.  

    “Procedures are the specific methods employed to express policies in action in day-to-day operations of the organization. Together, policies and procedures ensure that a point of view held by the governing body of an organization is translated into steps that result in an outcome compatible with that view.”

    The church has failed to enact procedures that would ensure that its policies are carried out.  A simple procedure would be to put a ‘hold’ on any record that was submitted with certain characteristics (common Jewish surnames, place/date of death, etc.).  Hold records are then examined and approved by two separate individuals before being approved for LDS ordinances and added to familysearch.org.

    1. Thanks, Scott! I tried to give them a little more hell later in the discussion but you are definitely right. You can talk commitment to a policy but it’s pretty hollow without more direct action. I’d also posted that DesNews article Geoff linked to in the opening write-up as I was excited to see a bit more bite, as well.

  3. I think it would be effective if the Church created a way for people to submit names to a prohibited list. It would be perfect if people could submit names, and then Church employees confirmed there is a valid reason then entered them into a database of people for whom work should not be done.

  4. To the idea the church will ever allow non members, non recommend holders to enter the temple to view a marriage ceremony, I don’t see any evidence they are moving in this direction.  They may be making the gardens around the temple more inviting or making the lobby in the temples larger to accommodate those who must remain outside but its about making those who cant enter the temple more comfortable while they wait.  Look no further than the recent policy change where a man must now hold a temple recommend in order to ordain someone to the priesthood., even his own son!  If the brethren will not even allow a father to ordain his son to the priesthood without a temple recommend what are the chances they are going to allow members without a recommend much less non members to enter the temple to view a marriage/sealing? Zero chance.  

    I would love to see it but in view of recent policy changes, such as the restrictive priesthood issue above and even the new instructions about the garment to be read in temple recommend interviews, shows more entrenchment when it come to administration of ordinances and sacred rites not openness. 

    1. Great ideas will win out in the end! Ha ha….

      Definitely not trending toward something like my suggestion, but I still think it’s a solid one–and I’m sure I’m not the first one to ever put it out there publicly. Who knows, though. My experience is that things can turn on a dime.

      I wonder if the move to require TR to be voice in priesthood ordinations, confirmations, etc. is possibly also coming out of the same sort of “scarcity” model that I gave voice to as possibly being behind the policy to not open up sealings to non-TR’d folk. I hope that’s not in the leaders’ thinking.  If so, I think it’s a loser in the long run, as Spirit operates on an “abundance” model. I hope we don’t have to keep losing a ton more people before our policies better reflect this. Give MORE opportunities to experience Spirit and be touched in one’s soul, not fewer! Under the current policies/trends, we may think we’re honoring “sacredness” and protecting beautiful things from unworthy eyes, but for me it feels more like we’re creating unnecessary resentments. I would love to see us trust more.

    2. I think you’re right. I think the more likely scenario for no longer having sealings be exclusionary (and far more likely to happen in my opinion) is to have the church stop the policy of banning couples who marry outside the temple from being sealed for at least a year. If the church removes that, couples will be free to have a civil wedding which the entire family can attend, and then go to the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity. I makes sense to me anyway. Marriage is an institution which the government deals with. Sealing is unique and special to mormonism. Additionally allowing both would add to the list of ordinances that come in pairs: Baptism-Gift of the Holy Ghost; Blessing the Bread-Blessing the Water/Wine; Washing – Anointing; Anointing the Sick – Sealing the Anointing; Marriage – Sealing.

    1.  Jenneology,

      Harry Howard’s story is indeed a fascinating one. I first ran across it in Time magazine online when I was researching something else. You can read that short article (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,811453,00.html) and then see more info at this site (http://horwitzfam.org/getperson.php?personID=I1307&tree=Complete). Check out the photo at bottom from 1965, with his whole family outside the SLC temple. He wanted everyone to go together so he actually bought a bus for them all, so the photo shows them standing by the bus. They also all signed their names on the outside of the bus. I love it.

  5. Jared, when talking about the costs of non-literal belief on another occasion you said “even though we can no longer be shaken, neither can we be moved.” So the question is, without a literal belief in temple ordinances, can the temple be the moving experience it once was?  Sure its peaceful and engenders reflection and contemplation but the same experience can be had in the mountains, on the river or looking out over the ocean.  I appreciate what Jen had to say about the meaning of the temple to her , but for those that still go to the temple and have non-literal beliefs, what do you get out of it?  

    The church spends billions on temples and only a few percent of its members really use its temples.  Im estimating about 3% of its 14,000,000 members go to the temple.  I can see Jared’s point, why does the church put so much resources into temples to save the dead, while it could be better spent on the living.  Like your quote, “let the dead save the dead”  If its about the dead, it make no sense since 99.9% will be done in the  millennium. But if it is for the living to, but only a tiny percent of the members even partake of its goodness, where is the value?  For the believer that’s easy, but for everyone else, is it more than just a beautiful building which they cannot enter.  It’s a symbol of the church for sure but since so few can enter, it remains an enigma to the world. 

    1. Thanks for your comments @96cde25443e038b70c4f190400f706bd:disqus . My “neither shaken nor moved” comment was in reference to distinctive spiritual experiences, and I see how it applies to the temple as well. 

      I admit that I have a hard time with the temple as it is, and especially with the proportionate allocation of resources as I said. The last time I attended I very carefully thought, “What elements of this experience would be of value independent of what is true?” 

      I still like the temple, though I sorrow for its unmet potential. I think ritual and embodied worship is an important part of religion and interacts with our human nature in a particular way. As I think I mentioned, I wish that the Church would provide more resources and support for learning from the temple rather than just leaving each member to herself or himself. 

      More openness with both members and the general public would do a great deal of good, without needing to compromise sacredness or those elements we promise not to reveal (the details of which also perplex me). 

      1. Thanks for your reply. Having put so much hope in the temple over the years partly due to a quest in family genealogy work and secondly all the hype and promises given over the pulpit about how wonderful it is, a place of revelation, and real tangible blessings etc, I always felt disappointed as many promises of temple attendance failed to materialize. I had many very spiritual experiences therein as a believer, but now with  non-literal beliefs the temple holds little value and when I have gone I feel nothing.  I want to experience something, am open to it, even pray to, but the heavens are silent now.  This leaves me more and more convinced that so much of what we “feel” and  call spiritual experiences are so dependent on our literal beliefs and are self generated.

        Our mind is capable to producing incredible emotions that seem very real. Its like learning how a magic trick is done, you can still appreciate the skill involved but never again are moved with awe and wonderment the same way again.

  6. Really interesting podcast and a pleasure to listen to. I enjoyed the current events slant to the podcast.

    There were two points that I was disappointed you didn’t go into more depth about.  

    The first was the discussion regarding how much of the temple ceremony endowed members are allowed to speak about outside of the Celestial room.  Everyone seemed to agree that members are much more tight-lipped than they have probably covenanted to be and I would have loved you guys to be more explicit about what you think could be talked about, but isn’t, and then you could talk about it.

    The second was the discussion regarding the depth and symbolism of the temple ceremony.  Jennifer Rooney White discussed how much she loved the temple and how much she learned every time she visits, but I would have loved to hear her share more about that experience and give some details.  I served as an ordinance worker for several years in the temple and often said/felt the same thing as Jennifer, but I have found that the temple experience has opened up for me much more now that my journey has taken me outside of the Mormon narrative than it ever did while I was within the Mormon story. The temple no longer holds spiritual or eternal significance to me, but I’d be interested to hear some of the ways the temple experience can be taken deeper and made more complex.  Being outside the Mormon story now, I sometimes feel that my feelings about the spiritual depth of the temple when I was within the Mormon story were more socialized than actual. 

    1. If
      we had more time, it would have been nice to share some of the insights and
      things I have learned from the temple. Honestly, for me, I have to prepare and
      study outside of the temple and then things click when I am there. A fun
      website is  http://www.templestudy.com/.  Studying the scriptures,  learning ancient languages, taking religions classes,  learning about other religions and cultures,
      looking at what different symbols have meant to different people at different
      times throughout history, reading books from many points of views and having
      insightful discussions with other Professors are some of the things that have
      enriched the Temple experience for me. 

  7. Having been born under the covenant via four generations of believing Mormons, gone on a mission, etc, I never had a testimony of the temple nor of its ordinances, and in some cases a negative experience there. It has been a long time since I have been through the temple, but vividly remember the throat and bowel cutting signs. It would have been enlightening in the interview to ask how each of you felt about having to consecrate all you have and do to the Church and not to God. It is interesting to listen to people from the agnostic to believer who think the temple ceremonies are beautiful.  I am  amazed how non-believers, at least those who say they don’t believe in much the Church teaches, be so mesmerized by the temple and what goes on there. It reminds me of the scriptures “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”.  The women believers to me were the most authentic in the presentation, not having to parse words nor equivocate.  They were a breath of fresh air and I am thankful that you included them, however, Dan, didn’t you think it a little bit patronizing to point out how much more learned the group was than Jen and then point out how she was so appreciated? I don’t know how she felt, but I felt bad for her. That being said,  Dan, I am thankful for the time and effort that all of you took to create this podcast, and I am appreciative as it gives me a perspective that I would have had a hard time finding elsewhere.

    1. @google-aded99267750ca55331fcd55189bbdba:disqus , I actually had an experience with that final covenant this last time I attended the temple. It was very, very hard for me to consecrate to the Church. I basically had to remind myself “there is no Church” (which legally there isn’t) and in my own mind consecrate myself to God, making the covenant as I feel it should be, not necessarily exactly as it now is. 

      Consecrating myself to build up the Kingdom of God and Zion? I have no problem with that. 

  8. Thank you Mormon Matters Team!
    I appreciate this conversation.  I have really struggled with the temple.   I remember my first experience.  I left scared to death.   I was completely overwhelmed, especially when Satan stared me down and said that I would be his if I didn’t live up to all the covenants that I made that day.  When I first heard this threat, I didn’t even know what covenants I was being asked to make (since the covenants come later in the endowment).  Then to discover that I was making the covenants of personal perfection (when I summed up everything).  This was too much for my 19 year old mind to process.

    I also remember mixing up my names during two of the covenants.  I had a very literal belief and was scared that I had missed up my eternal destiny because I fumbled the words.  I was so ashamed and had no one to talk too.
    All I was told:  “It’s wonderful, keep going and it will make sense, but NEVER TALK ABOUT IT.”
    I feel that not talking about the Temple is the biggest problem.
    I recently read Deut 6:  “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.“
     Why can’t this be our attitude towards the Temple?

  9. This podcast has my mind racing.

    A possible way to frame temple work for the dead (from James Dunn about baptism):”1 Peter 3:21 is the nearest approach to a definition of baptism that the New Testament affords”. What is baptism? Baptism is a symbolic expression of the heart’s “appeal to God.” Baptism is a calling on God. It is a way of saying to God with our whole body, “I trust you to take me into Christ like Noah was taken into the ark, and to make Jesus the substitute for my sins and to bring me through these waters of death and judgment into new and everlasting life through the resurrection of Jesus my Lord.”

    Could temple work be framed as an appeal, a whole body prayer to God on behalf of our ancestors?

    1. A significant component of my view of temple work is that it is a form of Ancestor Veneration. This is a practice which is of great importance in many cultures around the world, but has mostly been lost to western culture (Halloween has nothing to do with honoring our ancestors). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veneration_of_the_dead

      I see mormons as being one of the religions which takes Ancestor Veneration as a serious and significant component of our worship (it is one of the 4 purposes of the church). I also think that if we recognized it as such more vocally and explicitly it would take down the ‘weird factor’ a notch or two in the eyes of society. I think it would also make Mormonism more attractive to many East Asians. 

  10. I just hit pause to ponder Randy’s message, “You are not sealed in the temple, you are instructed how to be sealed.” (or something to that effect)  I’ll go back and finish it later (maybe tomorrow), but for today that thought unlocked a door and I’m going to go inside and explore around for a bit.  Thanks Randy!!

  11. I don’t want to rain on anyone’s Temple experiences, but part of me wants to cry “this emperor has no clothes!” when I listen about “depth” or “symbolism” or “learning so much.”  I hope this does not offend anyone, and I defer to the moderator is he/she thinks it might.

    My experiences in the temple played a significant role in my loss of faith.  Three visits were all I could handle, even though I remained Temple worthy (except for doubt crimes) for several more years. I learned much later that this was not uncommon – particularly for pre-1990 initiates.  I was a convert at 19 and relatively unconflicted (though slightly underwhelmed) member until my endowment at 25, on the eve of my temple marriage.

    But this is not to say that I didn’t second guess myself as being the spiritual Luddite – that it was my fault for not “getting it.” Indeed, a part of me still wants to understand what others see.  The rest of my family (all still active) keeps going back again and again.  I can’t really talk to them about it.  No one has ever been explicit about the “light and knowledge” they gained where I only saw too many lines of stilted dialogue, cartoonish characterizations, a style of counseling better suited for 12-year olds, and the final much anticipated “name” that left me with a blank stare.

    With all the focus this ritual places on being loyal to the Church and on a rather circumscribed list of things NOT to do (e.g., light mindedness, loud laughter, etc.) the only insight I had was that these secrets tokens, etc., were meant to be proxies for less trivial secrets that people might be needed to keep later – which I admit is a creepy thought, but certainly fits the early church environment from which this stuff originated.

    With the distance of over 25 years I can make the following light-hearted analogy that sums up my Temple experience:

    It is the scene from the movie The Christmas Story in which Ralphy – the boy who wants a Red Rider B-B gun – anxiously awaits his membership package from the Little Orphan Annie fan club.  When it finally arrives it includes an official certificate and a secret decoder ring.  That night, at the end of the Little Orphan Annie broadcast, the announcer reads off the exclusive secret code message – a series or numbers that the ring can convert to letters.  Ralphy steals away to the bathroom – the only private spot in the house – and feverishly writes out the message as his little brother bangs on the door. The great and wonderful exclusive message is? … DRINK OVALTINE.

      1. I.m not sure I understand the reference

        But some art is longer than it needs to be and true masterpieces don’t require periodic touch-ups and scratch-outs..

        1. In a Station of the Metro
          The apparition of these faces in the crowd ;
          Petals on a wet, black bough.
          — Ezra Pound 

          “In a poem of this sort,” as Pound explained, “one is trying to record the precise instant when a thing outward and objective transforms itself, or darts into a thing inward and subjective.”

    1. I found the temple to be spiritually uplifting, but I was also disappointed in the teaching. I was told that I would learn a lot, but I did not. I am a Master Mason, so the ritual was too familiar to have a big impact on me.

      1. Thanks for sharing James. When I was a freshman in college, about a year before I was baptized, I joined a “Greek” fraternity. (I soon transferred to another university and happily left it behind). In any case, the initiation ceremony must have been derivative of the Masonic ritual because I had a mild flashback during my endowment – I knew nothing of Masonry then. That was among the things I was unable to shrug off or second guess myself out of.

    1.  Scott,

      Are you kidding,  There is nothing kind of genocide,  Jews were annihilated during WWII.  By CHRISTIANS.  Primarily because they were Jewish.  Anne Frank died at Bergen Belsen.  I think her diary stands as a testament to her JEWISH FAITH.  We need to leave these people alone.   WE are doing in death what Hitler did while they were alive.  There is not one Mormon alive today that could ever convince me that performing this ordinance was nice and that her family would have wanted it.

  12. @facebook-2736617:disqus , in all the hours I’ve listened to you on podcasts, and chatting personally on Facebook, I’ve never disagreed with you.  But you really challenged me to really meditate on your idea when you voiced the ideal of the temple being only for live ordinances.  I think for some people (unfortunately not me right now) the temple can be an invaluable source of peace and comfort.  Perhaps for those people, they could continue to re-do their own ordinance work over and over, like the sacrament.  Still not sure if I agree with you on that, which for me is new.

    I see the temples opened to non-members for the sealings, before the church ends vicarious ordinances, and both of those are impossibly long bets.  Removing the 12-month waiting period after marriage to be sealed is probably the earliest change you’d see.

    But if I’m not mistaken, isn’t there an official policy on prohibiting ring ceremonies now?  For my family that didn’t attend our sealing, the ring ceremony was a huge olive branch and eased everyone’s feelings as much as possible.

    1. Although I don’t think Jared specifically said I was thinking while listening why can’t I just go through the endowment session without the little piece of paper lodged in my pocket.  Would anything really have to change much?  Maybe a slight word or two, but can’t I just be told to use my own name like I did for my own endowment but just repeat it.  

      1. I agree, that should be an option.  I do think some people find doing it for their ancestors very moving and connecting.  But if we limited ordinance work to only your direct ancestors, when people ran out of ancestors, they could re-do their own over and over.  Interesting thought.

      2. I’ve thought the same thing. For that matter, as I do work in new.familysearch.org I find that most of my ancestors have had their work done about 12 or so already. So assuming the reality of the ordinances making a difference for the spirits whose names we do the work for, then the majority of those who thought they were doing work for my ancestors were just taking up space and not actually doing any ordinance work for anyone. 

        One thing to keep in mind for doing the endowment again for oneself, you would have to get a different new-name each time you went. The veil workers need to know the name, that’s why the names are on a rotating list and everyone gets the same one each day (including those getting their own endowment). I remember when my little sis asked me about that, I think she felt cheapened almost when learning that her ‘new name’ was just the name for that day on the rotating list. 

  13. Great podcast! I wanted to add a couple of points. The policy in my temple
    and probably all is that you have to perform an ordinance in order to go into
    the celestial room. This can be a short initiatory or sealing session, or
    perhaps baptisms if you are endowed. For me part of the symbolism in doing
    vicarious work is Christ’s teachings about serving others, and that we
    sometimes receive that greatest personal blessing when we look to serve others
    first.

    While I think that having an enclosed mediation area for non-recommend
    holders would be great, it is my view that the spirit of the temple emanates
    outward and that the temple grounds should in some ways be considered part of
    the temple. The outside of the temple is often as physically beautiful as the
    inside. In my experience, meditating and praying on the temple grounds can
    bring a spirit of peace and revelation.

    A benefit for open-minded or perhaps “uncorrelated” Mormons is
    that the temple ceremonies have no official interpretation, and open-minded
    members who go to the temple on a regular basis to seek learning with no set
    agenda may learn more through the symbolism of the temple than someone who only
    sees things literally.

    Great podcast! I wanted to add a couple of points. The policy in my temple
    and probably all is that you have to perform an ordinance in order to go into
    the celestial room. This can be a short initiatory or sealing session, or
    perhaps baptisms if you are endowed. For me part of the symbolism in doing
    vicarious work is Christ’s teachings about serving others, and that we
    sometimes receive that greatest personal blessing when we look to serve others
    first.

    While I think that having an enclosed mediation area for non-recommend
    holders would be great, it is my view that the spirit of the temple emanates
    outward and that the temple grounds should in some ways be considered part of
    the temple. The outside of the temple is often as physically beautiful as the
    inside. In my experience, meditating and praying on the temple grounds can
    bring a spirit of peace and revelation.

    A benefit for open-minded or perhaps “uncorrelated” Mormons is
    that the temple ceremonies have no official interpretation, and open-minded
    members who go to the temple on a regular basis to seek learning with no set
    agenda may learn more through the symbolism of the temple than someone who only
    sees things literally.

  14. Interesting comment from the Wall Street Journal article on the Jewish recipients of Baptism for the Dead.

    I am Jewish and belong to the group which calls itself
    Orthodox which is just normative Judaism in the sense that we have certain
    religious principles and commandments which we observe. Among my co
    religionists I have heard almost nothing which would indicate to me that any
    serious religious Jew takes this Mormon baptism by proxy as anything but
    silliness, if they even think about it.
    On the other hand, I count among my friends some very secular Jews who are
    deeply offended by the practice and are very vocal about how it bothers them.
    This I believe is because for them, all they have is an ethnic Jewishness, they
    are Jewish because their parents were Jewish, but their Judaism only goes that
    far and is barely skin deep. Thus they react vehemently to anything like the
    Mormon baptism rite, which would impinge on what little Jewishness they have
    left.
    There is also a Jewish cult of the Holocaust, which for many secular Jews, is
    the only identification with Judaism they have. Thus they venerate the
    Holocaust of European Jews and any perceived injury to that event calls into
    question their own Jewishness.
    Certainly for religious Jews, the Holocaust is an historical event of earth
    shaking importance, which even today shapes Jewish religious, political,
    philosophical, and ethnic thinking. But Judaism is 3500 years old and is far
    richer, far deeper, far more spiritual, and far greater than the Holocaust, and
    the Mormon baptism of Jews by proxy is hardly even a blip on the radar of the
    Jewish People.
    And in terms of the God of Israel and His Chosen People, the Jews, what the
    Mormons do has no importance or meaning whatsoever.
     

  15. Haven’t read all the posts, but as I was listening to part two of the podcast and Randy was describing his  ideas about making the Temple more accessible to everyone, I almost wanted to go again.  Also the idea occurred to me that if there were public places in the Temple, families of brides and grooms could feel included and perhaps even part of the ceremony could be conducted in a more public area of the Temple.  

  16. Should have listened to Dan’s last schpiel before I leaped out of bed in the middle of the night with my bright idea.  Sorry, Dan.

  17. I’m a little behind in these podcasts – have a nine month old and for those with kids, no more explanation needed. Anyway, I love listening and perked up when Dan asked listeners to go to the blog if they notice anything missing. Didn’t read all the posts, but I didn’t hear anything mentioned about women and initiatories in the temple. Initiatories are the one place where women are more empowered with their opportunity to bless one another. It’s a beautiful ordinance that only the women can perform and I think this could be a great topic to bring up to nonmembers, skeptics and especially those who are turned off by the church’s sexism and apparent prejudice towards women. Let’s not, for now, mention other roles in the temple that are limited to men for no good reason like the group prayer, the ‘pushing of the button’ guy etc.. If our real intent is to communicate about the temple in a way that helps others feel less afraid and weirded out, then bringing up women being able to bless through the power of the priesthood should be part of the conversation….don’t you think?

    1. Awesome. Thanks, Britt! Glad to have you raise this topic!

      Do you or anyone else have any experiences sharing about this? Has it gone well? How have you framed it for outsiders? How well do you need to know someone before sharing this?

  18. Listened to the MP3 and thinking you are in your in child part of your learning. Like some may Christian people they live in the letter of the law but are missing the spirit of the law. The hole is to refine the spirit and truly come to know who we are, are connection to Father. The Adam God doctrine and what the temple is, It is not for the dead but you the living. Get out of doing the ritual dance learn who you are.

  19. Pingback: Ralphy’s Temple* | JTurnonMormonism

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