DevilsAdvocate wrote: HiJolly wrote:
Why do you think it was unnecessary? or unrealistic? Why was it not faith promoting to you?
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
) It was not faith promoting to me in the least.
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.
Ok, if you don't believe God inspired Joseph to 'restore' the Church(and a boat-load of other stuff), then that makes sense. But many LDS *do* so believe. For them, it can easily make sense. And I know from my own experience that having that belief, and acting and sacrificing for that belief, can and does result in powerful spiritual experiences. For me, that check was paid in full. So while these sacrifices can be characterized as 'unnecessary' or 'unrealistic' by some, they can still bring to the individual of faith a powerful, life-changing encounter with God. And I'm not even talking about the endowment, here. That's a whole 'nother level of pay-off, for me.
So if someone and their family
is willing to sacrifice something that another person is not, is it unreasonable that they each get the varying, even polar results their mindset and level of commitment has produced? I think not. And neither should second-guess or look down on the other.
DevilsAdvocate wrote:In other words, their mouth has written checks that can't ever be cashed as far as we know.
Well, yeah. Good qualification there. I'd say there's a lot we don't know.
DevilsAdvocate wrote: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.
There is a lot of personal satisfaction in certainty, yes. And while I don't personally believe the Church is correct in all its exclusivity claims, nevertheless I *do* believe that the Gospel as taught in the Church and in the temple can lead the membership into a beautiful discipleship of love, hope, charity, and faith. As Eckartshausen's Cloud Over the Sanctuary
beautifully explains, the exoteric Church is only the introductory point into the internal or esoteric Church of the Firstborn. One should never mistake the one for the other, even if others around us do.
DevilsAdvocate wrote: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.
Let us definitively determine whether it's needed or not. Shall we? *Can* we?
DevilsAdvocate wrote: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?
I guarantee that "the afterlife is significantly different" from what the Church teaches. In many ways. And if this life is all there is, then shouldn't we decide to enjoy it and relish it and be happy? How are we doing that when we place our judgements upon others who sacrifice in ways that we feel is foolish? Does that really mean that *they* are foolish, or that *we* are? Don't they have that right, to seek for, to find, happiness?
If they find it in a way that makes no sense whatever to us, is that a problem? Why so?
DevilsAdvocate wrote: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.
I don't think that's the only valid viewpoint possible, obviously.
DevilsAdvocate wrote: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.
The volume of members going through is incredible. I lived in the Jordan River district until the Oquirrh Mountain temple was built - and it was way too crowded. Not only that, but think of the blessing for the added temple workers. Being immersed in it as they are, the possibility for them to actually see the 'hidden' light is greatly enhanced. The cloud upon the sanctuary parts and reveals that light which cannot be expressed by mortal tongue.
DevilsAdvocate wrote: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.
Mormonism is the *only* Christian church I know of that has a built-in mystery school(the temple) associated with it. It is and will bite the Church, certainly, someday. I think it's only a matter of time before the temple and how it came to be and what it involves becomes well known, despite obfuscation and deceptive books such as the recent one by Matthew Brown. What a disapointment *that* was. I don't think any temple attending Mormon can fully explain it without getting dangerously close to violating their temple covenants. (added later: ok, nobody I know of can "fully explain" it -- at all.)
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus