Massive Changes to the Temple Endowment

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Curt Sunshine
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Massive Changes to the Temple Endowment

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Jan 2019, 14:16

The following is a summary I read from a source I trust about the changes to the endowment that went into effect worldwide yesterday. I am highlighting the aspects I think people here will like the most:

1. It begins with a short, two minute message from the First Presidency, explaining that at times we update the endowment. This explanation is not part of the Endowment, per se, but will play for a temporary period to explain.

2. The movie is new, consisting of little live action at all, mostly still pictures, even of Adam and Eve, with voice-over narration. There is new music, beautiful and appropriate.

3. Much of the repetitive "return and report" was eliminated.

4. God no longer speaks just to the man, but to both Adam and Eve equally.

5. The separate covenants of obedience for man and woman are integrated into a single covenant for all, with new language to obey god.

6. The robes are no longer applied for the Aaronic Priesthood, but rather, only done once for the Melchizedek/Terrestrial Kingdom. Slippers are no longer considered part of the robes and thus are not removed.

7. Instead of "That will do" after covenants, the text now says 'Thank you'.

8. The Law of the Gospel is now referred to as the "Higher Law".

9. The Law of Chastity is expressed with more equality.

10. At the end of the dramatic / movie section, BOTH Adam and Eve direct comments to the audience, and Eve has the last word.

11. No veiling of women.

12. Total time was between 1 hour 20 and 1 hour 22 minutes, compared to over 1 hour 40 for the prior endowment.

This might shake some orthodox members. It certainly is in a different category than the other recent changes we have discussed.
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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.

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mom3
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Re: Massive Changes to the Temple Endowment

Post by mom3 » 02 Jan 2019, 14:50

My husband just sent me the same list.

My first thought was, three cheers for tireless feminists and their supporters.

I am going to be curious how orthodox members see this. My guess is, it's just more revelation.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Massive Changes to the Temple Endowment

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Jan 2019, 15:06

I wonder if some of the earlier changes were intentionally in preparation for these - so that members could get used to changes coming at them fast and furious and not be as blindsided by this.
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

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nibbler
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Re: Massive Changes to the Temple Endowment

Post by nibbler » 02 Jan 2019, 15:41

It's good to see changes, especially ones people have been wanting for a long time now. Though I do see how these changes may affect both the orthodox member and the less than orthodox member that sees change as evidence that there was something wrong or flawed with what was done before.

I've read rumors that the 2 minute video that will be temporarily playing ahead of the endowment session includes language that:
  • ...is designed to soften the blow of the changes for the orthodox. Don't worry folks, this is revelation.
  • ...is the standard, "Don't talk about the temple." hedge.
  • ...asks people to not talk about the fact that there have been changes.
I have no way of knowing whether any of that is true and by the time I get around to attending the temple (it's several hours away) I'm sure the 2 minute video won't be playing anymore, but I take issue with the last bullet. If true, it feels like we have learned absolutely nothing from our whitewash history to maintain an appearance of perfection days. A kinder interpretation would be to say that they don't want people talking about changes because it's extremely difficult to talk about changes without comparing things that happen in the temple, which would be a violation of bullet point number two.
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Roy
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Re: Massive Changes to the Temple Endowment

Post by Roy » 02 Jan 2019, 15:47

Wow!

Amazing! I saw that the first presidency statement said that we can expect changes to the temple experience pretty much always. I like that. To me it goes along with the concept of a continuing restoration. I very much hope it helps members less certainty and permanence on topics where it just isn't sustainable.
"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

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Re: Massive Changes to the Temple Endowment

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Jan 2019, 16:22

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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."

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Roy
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Re: Massive Changes to the Temple Endowment

Post by Roy » 02 Jan 2019, 16:49

Nibbler, There is also the difference in language in the sealing ceremony where the bride gives herself to the husband whereas the husband receives the bride (a vestige of a cultural tradition where wives were viewed as a form of property and polygamy). My hope is that many of the things that seem to be unequal in the temple experience will be changed eventually. I believe that the First presidency message is saying that there is very little that cannot be changed. That in itself is huge IMO.

P.S. the unequal covenant language from the endowment ceremony prior to this most recent change mirrors pretty closely with Paul in the NT in 1 Corinthians 13 and Ephesians 5: 23-32. As an interesting side note, 1 Cor 13 also discusses the dishonor of women praying without a head covering. This is particularly relevant with the reported change concerning the veiling of women.
"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

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dande48
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Re: Massive Changes to the Temple Endowment

Post by dande48 » 02 Jan 2019, 17:08

It's not the first set of massive changes, and it won't be the last. It's interesting to see how religion gets shaped and reshaped by culture.
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Re: Massive Changes to the Temple Endowment

Post by SamBee » 02 Jan 2019, 17:52

Another one?! There were at least three or four ones introduced, how many more do we need?

Personally the film is the one thing I enjoy about the endowment. It's the other stuff I don't like so much.

A more gender equal endowment is no bad thing though.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Re: Massive Changes to the Temple Endowment

Post by nibbler » 02 Jan 2019, 18:06

I can see a few reasons behind cutting the film.

It could be a temporary measure, they wanted these changes to go live quicker than they could produce a new film that accommodates all the changes. They could release films in the near future that include the updates but they wanted to make the changes sooner rather than later.

It could be an indication that more changes are in store. If there's no film it's easier to change aspects of the endowment.
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
— Henry David Thoreau

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