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Symbolism in the temple vs. baptism

Posted: 05 Nov 2017, 11:28
by DarkJedi
My son recently got his endowments and he and I met with the temple president as part of the process. Without going into too much detail and offending those who see this as sacred, the president talked about some of the symbolism of the washing and anointing and said that even though only the head was touched it was symbolic of the whole body being washed and anointed. Just to be very clear, I am a fan of symbolism. I was also washed and anointed in the days when we were naked and touched in more places, although we were not completely washed and anointed by any stretch of the imagination. And I also really like the way it's done now.

Any way, his statement about only touching the head and it being symbolic of the whole body made me think about our teachings about baptism. I have often heard criticism of other churches who don't baptize by immersion and related statements about how we do it correctly because we baptize by immersion. But, this new way of washing and anointing seems very much like the oft reviled sprinkling baptisms performed by other churches. While I do love the symbolism of being buried and resurrected to new life etc., I can also see how sprinkling baptism have related symbolism. So I'm having a hard time reconciling why it's OK to perform and "preach" that sort of symbolism in the temple (at least that temple ordinance) and not baptism. Just saying.

Re: Symolism in the temple vs. baptism

Posted: 05 Nov 2017, 12:40
by SamBee
DarkJedi wrote:
05 Nov 2017, 11:28
I was also washed and anointed in the days when we were naked and touched in more places, although we were not completely washed and anointed by any stretch of the imagination.
:shock:

Re: Symolism in the temple vs. baptism

Posted: 05 Nov 2017, 14:12
by DarkJedi
SamBee wrote:
05 Nov 2017, 12:40
DarkJedi wrote:
05 Nov 2017, 11:28
I was also washed and anointed in the days when we were naked and touched in more places, although we were not completely washed and anointed by any stretch of the imagination.
:shock:
Naked with the "shield." Again, I don't want to go into too much detail lest I offend, I just assume most others who washed/anointed more than a few years ago had a similar experience because that's the way it was done then. And the garment was literally placed on you.

Re: Symolism in the temple vs. baptism

Posted: 06 Nov 2017, 17:11
by SamBee
Gosh I was wondering what I had missed out on!

Re: Symolism in the temple vs. baptism

Posted: 06 Nov 2017, 17:39
by DarkJedi
Being essentially naked and having an 80 year old guy rub a little water on you is not my idea of a good time. Just saying.

Re: Symolism in the temple vs. baptism

Posted: 06 Nov 2017, 17:42
by Roy
I have heard people say that you must be baptized outside or in a river with moving current. The current represents the water carrying your sins away (just give a heads up to all the unsuspecting folk downstream :lol: ).

I read a fairly in depth book about the great apostasy. Our LDS church began in part as a rejection of the business type practices of the establishment churches of the day. Now with almost 200 years of history under our belt it is apparent that we ourselves have become a very Establishment and hierarchical church that loves business type practices.

It is a natural evolution.

Re: Symolism in the temple vs. baptism

Posted: 07 Nov 2017, 04:00
by SamBee
Roy wrote:
06 Nov 2017, 17:42
I have heard people say that you must be baptized outside or in a river with moving current. The current represents the water carrying your sins away (just give a heads up to all the unsuspecting folk downstream :lol: ).

I read a fairly in depth book about the great apostasy. Our LDS church began in part as a rejection of the business type practices of the establishment churches of the day. Now with almost 200 years of history under our belt it is apparent that we ourselves have become a very Establishment and hierarchical church that loves business type practices.

It is a natural evolution.
I visited our local synagogue a few years ago, and they showed us their mikveh which is a little like a baptismal font... but it has to be filled with living water. Water from the city system won't do... it has to be rainwater.

Re: Symbolism in the temple vs. baptism

Posted: 07 Nov 2017, 06:44
by DarkJedi
I had never heard the flowing water thing before, but the church I was most familiar with prior to becoming LDS was a sprinkling church. The water used for sprinkling is blessed beforehand, though.

My wife was baptized in the Susquehanna. Several members of my ward were. It was a minor theme Sunday in F&TM (that is several people mentioned their baptisms and some mentioned they were baptized in the Susquehanna. Several also mentioned they were baptized in October. None of that meant anything to me, but one of the guys who was baptized in the Susquehanna said that as a foreign missionary he would mention to his companions that he was baptized there and he was often revered as somehow more special because of that. I like the guy, but he's not that special. I think that does relate to the symbolism idea though - somehow his baptism had some special symbolism because he was baptized in the same river as JS.

Re: Symbolism in the temple vs. baptism

Posted: 07 Nov 2017, 06:58
by On Own Now
There's a document from the early christian days called the Didache. Scholars generally believe it's a first century document, and it is sort of like a first edition Church Handbook of Instructions. Here's a quote regarding baptism:
"And regarding baptism, baptize like this: having asserted all these things [basic belief system laid out earlier], baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in running water. But if you do not have running water, baptize in some other water; and if you cannot baptize in cold water, then baptize in warm. But if you do not have either, pour water on the head three times in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit." --Didache 7:1-4 (SV Translation)
In other words, there was a set way to do things, but accommodation was given for adjustment to circumstances.

Our own church has a very significant and visible accommodation of its own. Consider this from JS:
"For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory—remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins." -- D&C 27:2

Re: Symbolism in the temple vs. baptism

Posted: 08 Nov 2017, 13:00
by Heber13
It does seem interesting to me how much we glob onto being so sure about having the one correct way to do things and try to draw so much meaning to one specific way as if God only accepts it can be done one way. We proof text so much of what we do by using our current view of scripture.

Then we change it and focus on the symbolism.

Then change it again to accommodate further.

But church goers still like to believe specifics are so important as a proof we have truth and revelation and authority. It affirms we are on the right path. People want certainty and surety.

I am a fan of practical changes. The way it was first done in the temple when I was younger was fine with me. The new way is fine with me. Basically...I'm fine with changing things. Because it's symbolic.

We are not so different from other religions. Makes me wonder what "apostasy" really means and if it never happened, always happens, or is constantly in process of happening in all religions involving mortals running the show.