Really, why do we put so much emphasis on temples?

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doug
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Re: Really, why do we put so much emphasis on temples?

Post by doug » 12 Apr 2011, 08:19

hawkgrrrl wrote:So weird - I wrote that last comment, but it says Doug did.

I was just thinking the same thing ...
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -- Mark Twain

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SilentDawning
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Re: Really, why do we put so much emphasis on temples?

Post by SilentDawning » 12 Apr 2011, 08:31

For me, another problem with the temple is its emphasis on conformity again. I know of no other place where I've been corrected so much about small procedural things, and expected to conform in dress and action than at the temple. And with my personality, I find it irksome. I think for some of us, the conformity we experience on Sunday and in our regular Church experiences is hard to take, but for me it's raised to the power of 10 in the temple.

Regarding Andrew's comment -- whenever anyone has indicated that temple funds should be diverted to helping the poor and benefiting everyone temporally, the answer I hear is the scriptre in the new testament. The one when Judas said money used to buy annointment for Jesus' feet would be better used to help the poor -- Jesus replied that the poor will always be with us, but Jesus will not always be with them. This implies that communing with God is more important than relieving temporal suffering or helping the poor. What do you think of the logic of that?

Perhaps it doesn't surprise you that I don't go to the temple unless I have to. When I was an HPGL, I made the mistake of becoming a certified veil worker, and went once. I found it to be the most difficult experience. Someone watching over you waiting for you to make a mistake and then correcting you. I think I got corrected time and time again about little things, and not just at the veil. I felt so de-individualized.

I have to confess, I do like the idea of being insulated from the rest of the world there -- the quietude, the feeling of the place, and the atmosphere. The symbolism of the video was interesting the first few dozen times. Personally, a quiet place in nature is more uplifting to me, or even a well-kept, tidy, uncluttered room free of any other human interaction is a much better place for me to connect spiritually.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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HiJolly
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Re: Really, why do we put so much emphasis on temples?

Post by HiJolly » 12 Apr 2011, 08:54

cwald wrote:So, I like the comments so far, but what about my second question. You know, when I heard that story about the guy who left his family for four years to save money to take his fam to the temple, I thought, sure, this is perhaps a faith promoting story to some LDS members. But to me, it was sad and just another example of unnecessary sacrifice and unrealistic expectations the church places on the members (I put that in just for you DA :smile: ) It was not faith promoting to me in the least.

Why do you think it was unnecessary? or unrealistic? Why was it not faith promoting to you? These questions are rhetorical, your answer to them is valuable only to yourself, internally. They are extremely worth time & effort in meditation and pondering within yourself. Why do others feel otherwise? Could it have a spiritual component, rather than a logical or "convenience of living in the USofA" one?
cwald wrote:Really, we could dedicate the basement of the stake centers and do the endowment. Yes, some say the members just believe these gaudy buildings are magic. Some think it's all about tithing revenue. I don't know, if this endowment is so important and god is really going to hold folks accountable to have it by the hands of the "priesthood." It seems like he would come up with a much more efficient way to make it available to "his children." As a father, I know i would.
He is making it more efficient. Temple are being built right & left -- and that is literally making the temples more available to His children.

As for the importance of the endowment. The true importance is hidden. And far more important than vicarious work for the dead. The temples, now as always, are for the living, first & foremost.


HiJolly
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus

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Andrew
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Re: Really, why do we put so much emphasis on temples?

Post by Andrew » 12 Apr 2011, 09:00

SilentDawning wrote:The one when Judas said money used to buy annointment for Jesus' feet would be better used to help the poor...
You calling me Judas? :x

Actually, it was "the disciples," not Judas specifically. (Matthew 26:8-11) So I'm not in as bad of company.

And I get that reasoning, but it seems so easy to extend that logic to almost anything. And read in context, Jesus isn't rebuking their desire to aid the poor instead of communing with God; he's telling them that he's about to die and leave them; she's "preparing him for death." So I don't know that we can "liken" that scripture to our current situation. And if we were to get into the scripture trading game to justify our positions, we could always find a verse here or there to support our (or anyone's) position. Really, my statement about wasting resources was a bit of a throw-away line - that expresses my preferences, but it's not the bulk of my argument there.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Really, why do we put so much emphasis on temples?

Post by SilentDawning » 12 Apr 2011, 09:17

You calling me Judas? :x
Actually no, sorry for the implication; I didn't mean it -- I was going off memory. Thanks for the reference.
And I get that reasoning, but it seems so easy to extend that logic to almost anything. And read in context, Jesus isn't rebuking their desire to aid the poor instead of communing with God; he's telling them that he's about to die and leave them; she's "preparing him for death." So I don't know that we can "liken" that scripture to our current situation. And if we were to get into the scripture trading game to justify our positions, we could always find a verse here or there to support our (or anyone's) position. Really, my statement about wasting resources was a bit of a throw-away line - that expresses my preferences, but it's not the bulk of my argument there.
[/quote][/quote]

Thanks -- I have no commentary on this; the scripture's been the unrefuted stock answer to the issue of Church resources used for temples that I've heard for years, so I appreciate your reasonable perspective on it.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Andrew
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Re: Really, why do we put so much emphasis on temples?

Post by Andrew » 12 Apr 2011, 09:28

Forums aren't a great medium for sarcasm or gentle ribbing...re-reading my response, I think it comes across as more defensive and serious than I intended.

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cwald
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Re: Really, why do we put so much emphasis on temples?

Post by cwald » 12 Apr 2011, 10:16

HiJolly wrote: Why do you think it was unnecessary? or unrealistic? Why was it not faith promoting to you? These questions are rhetorical, your answer to them is valuable only to yourself, internally. They are extremely worth time & effort in meditation and pondering within yourself. Why do others feel otherwise? Could it have a spiritual component, rather than a logical or "convenience of living in the USofA" one? ....
He is making it more efficient. Temple are being built right & left -- and that is literally making the temples more available to His children....As for the importance of the endowment. The true importance is hidden. And far more important than vicarious work for the dead. The temples, now as always, are for the living, first & foremost. HiJolly
Really? I don't know you yet HiJolly, but you obviously missed my point. Since your comments and questions are "rhetorical" I will refrain from debate. :smile:
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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HiJolly
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Re: Really, why do we put so much emphasis on temples?

Post by HiJolly » 12 Apr 2011, 12:51

cwald wrote:
HiJolly wrote: Why do you think it was unnecessary? or unrealistic? Why was it not faith promoting to you? These questions are rhetorical, your answer to them is valuable only to yourself, internally. They are extremely worth time & effort in meditation and pondering within yourself. Why do others feel otherwise? Could it have a spiritual component, rather than a logical or "convenience of living in the USofA" one? ....
He is making it more efficient. Temple are being built right & left -- and that is literally making the temples more available to His children....As for the importance of the endowment. The true importance is hidden. And far more important than vicarious work for the dead. The temples, now as always, are for the living, first & foremost. HiJolly
Really? I don't know you yet HiJolly, but you obviously missed my point. Since your comments and questions are "rhetorical" I will refrain from debate. :smile:

When I'm missing something, I don't mind being set straight. Go ahead.

Sooo -- your point was that you think that the guy shouldn't have sacrificed as he did for four years so that he could go to the temple? Really? Maybe I totally don't get your point, because I don't agree with you at all. Maybe if I understood your point, I would agree with you.

But for me, why would you criticize someone for sacrificing for what they believe in, of their own choice? Or are you saying the sacrifice was a valid expression of faith and values, but Pres. Monson shouldn't have 'highlighted' the story, thus officially sanctioning such freewill choices? Is that what is wrong in your eyes?


HiJolly
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: Really, why do we put so much emphasis on temples?

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 12 Apr 2011, 13:19

HiJolly wrote:
cwald wrote:So, I like the comments so far, but what about my second question. You know, when I heard that story about the guy who left his family for four years to save money to take his fam to the temple, I thought, sure, this is perhaps a faith promoting story to some LDS members. But to me, it was sad and just another example of unnecessary sacrifice and unrealistic expectations the church places on the members (I put that in just for you DA :smile: ) It was not faith promoting to me in the least.

Why do you think it was unnecessary? or unrealistic? Why was it not faith promoting to you? These questions are rhetorical, your answer to them is valuable only to yourself, internally. They are extremely worth time & effort in meditation and pondering within yourself. Why do others feel otherwise? Could it have a spiritual component, rather than a logical or "convenience of living in the USofA" one?
The reason it is unnecessary and unrealistic in my opinion is because it looks to me like the Church doesn't really have the knowledge and power they claim they do to ever be able to deliver on some of their promises. In other words, their mouth has written checks that can't ever be cashed as far as we know. They are basically saying that being obedient Mormons is the only path to salvation and the only way to have an eternal family and the temple ordinances and covenants are a big part of these exclusive claims. Sure there is the whole spirit world contingency plan but I don't think most TBMs would want to count on that; they want some assurance that they are already righteous and sure enough the Church is ready to issue them a TR as long as they agree to believe and do exactly what they are told.

Sure it might be a very meaningful experience for some members to go to the temple similar to the way it is a meaningful experience for some people to climb mountains when they don't really need to. However, what if this man in Thomas S. Monson's story that worked for several years away from his family to be able to afford to take them all to the temple mostly did all this simply because he believed all the Church's promises but then it turns out that the afterlife is significantly different than the way the Church says or maybe this life is all there is? In that case, I don't see how you can realistically view this extreme sacrifice as much of anything but mostly pointless, tragic, unreasonable, and unnecessary.

For the record, I don't have a problem with them building more temples in places like the Amazon so members there don't have to travel as far to get to a temple anymore but what I don't understand at all is the need for at least 5 different temples in Salt Lake and Davis County alone. I really doubt the overall attendance has gone up that much from when they only had the Salt Lake, Ogden, Provo, and Jordan River temples to serve the entire Wasatch Front. It looks almost like they are trying to force feed members/investigators the idea of temples as some kind of marketing campaign. I don't really mean that as any kind of cynical bottom-line money making scheme but simply that they think this is one thing that Mormonism has to offer that makes it different from other sects so they want to emphasize this as a major selling point but personally I think they've gone overboard with this and they should probably tone it down with some of the temple hype before it comes back to bite them.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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SilentDawning
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Re: Really, why do we put so much emphasis on temples?

Post by SilentDawning » 12 Apr 2011, 14:00

But for me, why would you criticize someone for sacrificing for what they believe in, of their own choice? Or are you saying the sacrifice was a valid expression of faith and values, but Pres. Monson shouldn't have 'highlighted' the story, thus officially sanctioning such freewill choices? Is that what is wrong in your eyes?


For me, I would criticize this person because of the strain he's putting on his family -- to be away from four years is a significant hardship on a family, his wife a single mother for that period, etcetera. And the anecdotes people tell like these tend to perpetuate this.

We have one brother in our Ward who believes so strongly in after-life blessings for sacrifice that he drives his wife NUTS by all his helping people move, being out with the missionaries, etcetera -- his family feels second fiddle. When I was HPGL, she called me telling me she was about to leave the relationship over it. But he said he felt this was what was expected of him -- to be easily entreated, etcetera when I spoke to him about it. All his reasons were extreme reasons I'd heard in Church meetings over the years -- and extreme stories like this really do bother me. It has the potential to wreck families, and is hard on the individual.

Personally, if I had a families that needed to work for four years to get to the temple, breaking them up, I'd consider finding a way through Ward funds, member donations or other means to help the guy get there.
Perhaps liquidate a few real estate holdings to help members make these convenants, since they are eternally important, as are their families? I never want to see families at risk over issues like these. It's putting the cart before the horse.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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