Thoughts on the temple changes?

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QuestionAbound
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Thoughts on the temple changes?

Post by QuestionAbound » 03 Jan 2019, 06:38

I stopped attending the temple years ago.
The inequality there only fueled the imbalance I felt as a teenager. I gave temple attendance a good try (weekly when we were newlyweds), but I finally had to passively just “not get around to going” again.

I haven’t seen the “new film,” and wonder if I will now go to see the newest one.

Based on what I’ve learned through social media, here are my concerns:

Some people are praising the shortened session.

Are we back in 1984 (the book) where history is re-written and we have forgotten what history actually was?
The current film added some time to the whole session.
This newest film/presentation is supposed to shorten it back to where we were before.
And this is revelatory change?

Also, if there is more gender equality in the temple now, I kind of feel like that’s an admission that there was inequality before.

Who writes the temple ceremony script, anyway?

If the endowment itself is what does not change… Then what is the actual endowment if the script can change and if the gestures can change?

In all, of my list of desired temple changes, they’ve hit everything but one (unless they can shorten the entire endowment session to about 20 minutes and remove the incredible backlog of ordinance work that needs to be done at that point).
The new name thing still bothers me.

But even with the changes (assuming what we have read is correct), why doesn’t it feel like a positive thing for me?
Any others?

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nibbler
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Re: Thoughts on the temple changes?

Post by nibbler » 03 Jan 2019, 07:48

There was a discussion some time ago in the thread Women and Obeying/Hearkening Covenants. One thing mentioned during the discussion that I found interesting was the idea that people receiving their own endowment in 1870, 1989, 1996, and 2019 would all covenant to something slightly different and a question was raised about which standard people would be held to. The covenant originally made in the temple, the covenant as it exists in its most recent iteration, or some future unknown iteration. It's an interesting thought exercise. At least to me. :P
QuestionAbound wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 06:38
Who writes the temple ceremony script, anyway?
The short version is that a temple script didn't exist until 1877. Until then it was oral tradition. Going light on the details, BY commissioned the script and it was assembled via a committee of people doing their best to remember all the details. It was a process where the script was refined. It would be another few decades before the script was standardized to be the same in every temple. I get the feeling that in the early days each temple had their slight variations on how they did things.

I have no idea but these days there's probably a committee that receives instructions about what to change from the prophet (or first presidency and/or Q12) and I'm sure that they must approve of the version that the committee comes up with. No telling who does the actual edits, it could be members of the Q15, but I'm sure they have to ultimately be approved by the sitting prophet.
QuestionAbound wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 06:38
But even with the changes (assuming what we have read is correct), why doesn’t it feel like a positive thing for me?
I think it's a good change, the rising generations hopefully won't be subject to the same types of pain, but I get it. People have been hurt by the old language and it feels like there's no institutional recognition of that.

Rising generations may end up being completely unaware of the changes and could invalidate people's pain by telling them that there haven't been any changes. People that are aware of the changes may invalidate other's experiences by making the subject too taboo to talk about. Some might say that there haven't been any changes to kill the conversation before it can begin. Either way we're asked to move on and to not talk about the changes. The problem is that often healing requires open dialog.

It can feel like communicating the equivalent of, "You're wrong. That never happened."
The wound is the place where the light enters you.
— Rumi

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Re: Thoughts on the temple changes?

Post by dande48 » 03 Jan 2019, 09:21

I think we, both in Church and elsewhere, have a revisionist version of history, where the "good guys" had much the same ideology as we have today, while the "bad guys" have the opposing ideology. I reckon this has always been the case. And it's been very convenient, as we will always have plenty of history to back up whatever we happen to believe today. We like consistency and we hate nuance.
QuestionAbound wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 06:38
Are we back in 1984 (the book) where history is re-written and we have forgotten what history actually was?
To summarize, I think this has always been the case.
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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: Thoughts on the temple changes?

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 03 Jan 2019, 11:11

The first time I attended the temple I asked my bishop in the celestial room if all this was received by JS. He answered that it was, it could be that he didn't know, or didn't want to open up an hour long discussion on changes. He probably didn't know.

I think these are positive changes. My DW and I were talking about it this morning and how it removes the subservient role of women, and at least some of us have been ahead of the curve on these changes. I remember when we were married and I cringed a little inside when some of those right hand ordinances were performed. I didn't want my DW to feel less than me or that her views were somehow less valid than mine. Ultimately having the man have the final say in a relationship is hard to justify.

Neither of us has been inside for over a year, for many reasons. Being nearly full time caregivers for aging parents means time off is seldom.

Maybe will spark a general resurgence in attendance for a while, like when there were the 5 new films that were rotated through.
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Holy Cow
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Re: Thoughts on the temple changes?

Post by Holy Cow » 03 Jan 2019, 14:14

Although I don't have any plans to go back to the temple, I applaud these changes. Several of the changes are things that I've told my wife that I wish they would change. Another change I'd like to see would be to allow men and women to sit together, instead of splitting them up. Even in my most TBM days, I used to roll my eyes when people would suggest going to the temple for a date night. I can't think of a worse date night idea, not being able to talk to your spouse, or even sit next to them. I'd also like to see people be able to receive signs and token from either temple matrons and patrons, regardless of the gender of either the giver or receiver. I hope that isn't getting too specific.
Anyway, I really like the gender-related changes. I hope it isn't another 10 years before we see more changes. This is a great start. :clap:
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InquiringMind
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Re: Thoughts on the temple changes?

Post by InquiringMind » 03 Jan 2019, 16:55

I think that there will be unintended consequence here in terms of men's engagement and attendance at church. Christianity in general has quite a gender imbalance, with worldwide church attendance being 61% female and 39% male. Take a look around in most any congregation, including Mormon congregations, and you'll see quite a surplus of women. The reason for this is that for the last 700 years or so, Christianity has been feminizing, and Christian churches are well-engineered to cater to the needs of women, often at the expense of the needs of men. The evidence for this (besides the lop-sided gender ratio at church) is that more men than women are leaving the Church. If the LDS Church offers a better deal to men than to women, then why are more men leaving? The answer is that the Church doesn't offer better deal to men. Christian Churches are primarily feminine spaces designed to focus on women's needs and women's experiences, which is why you'll see so many men in church sitting there looking bored or playing with their phone. The only masculine space in an LDS Church building is the cultural hall (gym), which is where, at any given time, most of the men can actually be found.

You may point to the all-male leadership of the Church as evidence of Patriarchy, but the reality of the numbers reveals that the Church is an army of women with a few male generals. The Church is largely run by women, for women. Which means that this temple endowment change takes a bad deal for men and makes it worse.

I don't think that anybody believed that the previous temple endowment gave the husband some kind of priesthood right to disregard his wife's wishes and do whatever he wanted over her objections. Quite the contrary - we have all seen many men in the Church who respond to pretty much anything their wife says with "Yes, Dear." Everyone knows that women run the household in many/most marriages, and I don't think there's any reason to believe that, either in theory or in practice, the old temple endowment gave men some kind of real usable relationship power and authority that women don't have.

I argue that the Church already gives a better deal to women than to men, as evidenced by the 3:2 ratio of women to men in the Church, and also evidenced by the fact that more men that women are leaving the Church. This new endowment makes that deal worse by stripping away the last little bit of respect and authority that men had in the Church. I understand why the Church had to make these changes. It may bolster female participation, but I also think it will mean even lower attendance and participation from men.
Last edited by InquiringMind on 03 Jan 2019, 17:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thoughts on the temple changes?

Post by Heber13 » 03 Jan 2019, 17:04

QuestionAbound wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 06:38
why doesn’t it feel like a positive thing for me?
I would think that if the bubble burst and the temple wasn't a positive and wonderful experience in your mind, these changes (even if good changes) still don't return the feeling of awe and amazement to the temple. I don't know if all those superlatives people say about the temple ever will apply to your own experience.

I think we just move forward, deciding what you think about it as it is, not hoping for it to be something it is not and never will be.

We just learn to live with things as they are, not what others think is or what we hope it will be.

Even still...these changes are good. In fact, I think change in and of itself is good in these areas where some people thought these things were set in stone since the days of Adam. It is good to get more comfortable with the idea that we don't have certainty or absolutes.

And some people will just never really find the temple a good thing for them. And that is ok.
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."

Roy
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Re: Thoughts on the temple changes?

Post by Roy » 03 Jan 2019, 17:32

Inquiring Mind,

I do believe that the LDS church emphasis on family does tend to domesticate men and that is positive for women seeking stable family relationships.

I also believe that having a lay male priesthood can give men a position of honor, respect, and responsibility in the church and community that can make them feel needed and useful. If women were to receive the priesthood I do believe that some men would feel that they just became obsolete or superfluous.
I do not believe that the recent temple changes will result in the same types of soul searching as to what man's new role is in the church and family going forward.
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Re: Thoughts on the temple changes?

Post by SilentDawning » 03 Jan 2019, 19:08

I guess I don't fully understand the breadth of the changes. Call me myopic, but if the basic nature of the covenants has changed, it makes me wonder about the bedrock truth the church claims to provide. Just how we can call the priesthood ban doctrine for so many years, and then reverse it in a hidden article on lds.org.

Nonetheless, the changes seem to show a more responsive, kinder church than in years past. That is good.
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Re: Thoughts on the temple changes?

Post by SamBee » 04 Jan 2019, 04:04

The film is the best part of the endowment. Agree with making it more friendly to women, but cutting the film? I'd rather cut some of the other stuff down.

Regarding the hidden matriarchal structures in the church, it's always seemed to me, locally at least that Relief Society looks after members better than the Elders' Quorum... They also have far more activities on the go than we do. Oh and less pressure to serve a mission although many do.
Christian Churches are primarily feminine spaces designed to focus on women's needs and women's experiences, which is why you'll see so many men in church sitting there looking bored or playing with their phone. The only masculine space in an LDS Church building is the cultural hall (gym), which is where, at any given time, most of the men can actually be found.
Ironically it gets even worse in female led churches elsewhere. While this gives me empathy with what women put up with in male dominated churches, I have sat in a presbyterian service once listening to a sermon/talk on women's issues of a nature of little or no interest to me - nearly all of the power structure of that parish was female with one slightly weak man included.

What I've learnt over the years is that gender equality barely exists. Some walks of life are male dominated and some female dominated. This applies to churches too.
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