What does a Temple Recommend mean to you?

For the discussion of spirituality -- from LDS and non-LDS sources
User avatar
bridget_night
Posts: 878
Joined: 02 Mar 2009, 12:15

Re: What does a Temple Recommend mean to you?

Post by bridget_night » 01 Mar 2020, 12:12

I think I was taught that holding a temple recommend and being able to go to the temple meant you were a member in good standing and worthy of receiving the ordinances essential to get into the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. Which meant you would be able to spending eternity with your family with Christ and God. I was told that you had to do certain things to be initiated into those special realms just like a person had to qualify in certain ways and pass the bar to be in the hall of fame of lawyers or something like that. Then I heard about special Mormons that had a secret initiation to have their calling and elections made sure. Which meant not only that they were assured to be leaders or the best of Gods chosen in the celestial kingdom but no matter what they did, they could not be excommunicated. I remember a stake leader asking me in the second temple interview, "What makes you think you are worthy to hold a temple recommend?" (It was said in a very arrogant manner btw.) It took me aback and felt very intimidating, but I said, "Because I can answer all the questions correctly." I had fasted and prayed many times before going to the temple that I could get a strong testimony and spirit for temple work. It never came and I never felt any spiritual or good feelings through out the temple ceremony. It was difficult for me because I always felt like there must be something wrong with me since everyone else on my temple bus trips were raving about how wonderful and spiritual it was. I came to feel like the boy in the story, "The emperor has no clothes". That all the towns people were afraid of the king so said they loved the emperors new clothes. I admit I was too afraid to come out and say, "but the temple ceremony seemed weird, and unspiritual to me.

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7073
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: What does a Temple Recommend mean to you?

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Mar 2020, 12:42

First, my own beliefs are not that the temple recommend will get you into heaven and neither will the signs and tokens. It's all symbolic.

As to the temple itself, I also don't get much out of it either. To those people who say they learn something new every time they go there I say BS (not out loud unfortunately). I agree with you, the Emperor's New Clothes story is a very good analogy - and it works for lots of other things too ("I know the church is true" "I know the Book of Mormon is true" etc.) because people are too afraid of not knowing even though they really don't.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

User avatar
bridget_night
Posts: 878
Joined: 02 Mar 2009, 12:15

Re: What does a Temple Recommend mean to you?

Post by bridget_night » 01 Mar 2020, 14:45

DarkJedi wrote:
01 Mar 2020, 12:42
First, my own beliefs are not that the temple recommend will get you into heaven and neither will the signs and tokens. It's all symbolic.

As to the temple itself, I also don't get much out of it either. To those people who say they learn something new every time they go there I say BS (not out loud unfortunately). I agree with you, the Emperor's New Clothes story is a very good analogy - and it works for lots of other things too ("I know the church is true" "I know the Book of Mormon is true" etc.) because people are too afraid of not knowing even though they really don't.
Thanks for that reply Dark Jedi

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 4414
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: What does a Temple Recommend mean to you?

Post by nibbler » 01 Mar 2020, 16:56

There was a time in my life where I felt like I learned something new every time I went to the temple. It's something I had heard from others many times, so it's something that I came to expect from my trips to the temple.

Years later, I'd say that there's not anything inherent about the temple experience that lends itself to learning something new every time, I'd say that I created those experiences for myself. I went in looking for something new each time and I strained until I found it. I may not have come out each and every time with a new insight, but I'd get a new insight often enough.

I no longer feel like I learn something new each time I go to the temple, but when other people say they learn something new each time, I understand and I believe them.

I believe it's a personal thing. Some people need the temple, others do not. A person may need the temple for some period during their lives and not need it for other periods.

Of course I'd add that the temple can be a bad experience for some. That will never be a popular opinion at church, where the temple is presented as the pinnacle of spiritual experiences. That predominant teaching makes it tough on those of us that do not fit the one size fits all approach to spirituality that the church offers.
To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.
― Mark Twain

grobert93
Posts: 120
Joined: 30 Nov 2015, 16:05

Re: What does a Temple Recommend mean to you?

Post by grobert93 » 02 Mar 2020, 08:38

DarkJedi wrote:
01 Mar 2020, 12:42
First, my own beliefs are not that the temple recommend will get you into heaven and neither will the signs and tokens. It's all symbolic.

As to the temple itself, I also don't get much out of it either. To those people who say they learn something new every time they go there I say BS (not out loud unfortunately). I agree with you, the Emperor's New Clothes story is a very good analogy - and it works for lots of other things too ("I know the church is true" "I know the Book of Mormon is true" etc.) because people are too afraid of not knowing even though they really don't.
Interesting! I find myself agreeing with you a lot.

It's funny how we ask what a recommend means. I wonder what our answers would have been 50 or 100 years ago when the recommend questions were way different. Makes me wonder how many more people the church would have let through if they loosened the questions.

Minyan Man
Posts: 1895
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: What does a Temple Recommend mean to you?

Post by Minyan Man » 02 Mar 2020, 11:37

I do like the peace & quiet in the celestial room. (I probably said that before.) It feels like you are completely away from
this world & the problems we see & endure on a daily basis. (I used to get the same feeling when I took my dog to the dog park.)

Then you get dressed go outside & there it is again.

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16785
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: What does a Temple Recommend mean to you?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Mar 2020, 14:16

There is a huge difference to me between learning something new FROM the Endowment and learning something new DURING he Endowment - and, for me, it depends on the learning for which I am searching.

There is little, if anything, I can learn directly from the Endowment at this point in my life. However, I don't have to think about it at all now. I can go through the motions, physically, and let my mind wander / be open to contemplate whatever hits me in a quiet, peaceful place ("sacred space"). In that sort of setting, I can learn a lot - and certainly something every time.

The temple is one such place for me, and it is such a place for my wife. It means a lot to her to be able to talk about her impressions while there - so going means a lot to me, even if I wasn't learning anything on my own. Learning things on my own is a nice bonus.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
Heber13
Site Admin
Posts: 7192
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: What does a Temple Recommend mean to you?

Post by Heber13 » 05 Mar 2020, 04:49

I learn something new about God every time I hike in the mountains by myself instead of going to church. I also enjoy being with my family in the celestial room and the talks we have coming home from the temple, which has been a while since I went with family.

When we start thinking the temple validates us, we lose sight on the source of our spirituality, and our true worth, and all the possibilities for our potential in the eternities.

They don't filter through a temple doorway.

As was said, the temple is symbolic. We can use that symbolism. Or...We can let go of things we used to believe when we were younger that held us back or limited our experiences with the Divine.

NOT having a TR doesn't guarantee us learning new things or being close to God. Having one doesn't either. It's what we do internally with the path we are on that determines how we manufacture our spiritual experiences and our beliefs about the eternities.

But the church has a system they have agreed to use. And it involves TR. It's the orgs system. Do with it what you will. But don't use it as an excuse to tell yourself the card validates your worth or not, don't use it as an excuse to stop working out your salvation. It's truly meaningless on a personal level. It's just a thing the church uses for purposes of organization for rituals.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Khadijah
Posts: 40
Joined: 22 Dec 2014, 11:35

Re: What does a Temple Recommend mean to you?

Post by Khadijah » 15 Mar 2020, 13:58

I'm told that I can never have a TR, and I think the GA has the facts misconstrued. They don't listen to me. As I have thought about it the realization comes to me that a TR for me is inappropriate. They don't understand that either.

The important part is that I love God, and Jesus and am forgiven. I love the Sacrament Services. That is what is important.

Roy
Posts: 6037
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: What does a Temple Recommend mean to you?

Post by Roy » 16 Mar 2020, 11:42

Khadijah wrote:
15 Mar 2020, 13:58
The important part is that I love God, and Jesus and am forgiven.
Amen! Love God, Love your neighbor, Love yourself and allow the same patience and compassion as you would advocate for others to be applied to yourself.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Post Reply