Uncomfortable with ritual

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16808
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Uncomfortable with ritual

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 Oct 2014, 22:13

The physical requirements of the ritual I simply see as unnecessary.


You might be interested in the following post in August from my personal blog:

"I Don't Care Much about the Exact Nature of Our Temple Ordinances" (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2014 ... re-of.html)
I think what really bothers me with certain rituals is when they are (1) public and (2) required. This sets up potentially unhealthy social expectations and enables manipulation by those who are in power and/or who view them as literal.


I agree completely with this. I'm fine with some required, public ritual, but I also agree with your concerns.
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

nibbler
Posts: 4449
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Uncomfortable with ritual

Post by nibbler » 07 Oct 2014, 04:17

Daeruin wrote:It's more than just the sacrament. The sustaining vote is ritualistic. The way we end talks is ritualistic. Our prayers have ritualistic elements. Some of them aren't really bothersome to me—others are.
Getting up in the morning, showering, brushing my teeth, and going into work. Some of them aren't really bothersome to me, others are. ;)
Daeruin wrote:It really isn't the symbolism that's bothersome to me. I've studied symbolism in both literature and philosophy. I like thinking about symbolism. I have been pretty excited by ways of looking at scripture symbolically that I've seen discussed here, including the temple ceremony. But it's really the ideas behind the symbolism that excite me. The physical requirements of the ritual I simply see as unnecessary. I think what really bothers me with certain rituals is when they are (1) public and (2) required. This sets up potentially unhealthy social expectations and enables manipulation by those who are in power and/or who view them as literal.
Good point.

User avatar
Notchet
Posts: 10
Joined: 14 Apr 2014, 11:01

Re: Uncomfortable with ritual

Post by Notchet » 13 Nov 2014, 10:12

The church's constant efforts to coerse members into attending the temple seems quite telling about how membership, as a whole, feel about temple worship/ritual. Yesterday, a Provo temple worker told me "if it weren't for the missionaries (being marched over) even the Provo temple would be grossly underutilized"....and they are building another one in Provo? :lolno:

I'd like to be a fly on the wall at the Q15 meetings, as they try to figure out why temple attendance is falling, even with years of building scores of conveniently located and elegant temples around the world. When will they realize that the convenience and the elegance of the structure soon loses its novelty and members are stuck with the same old tired, plagiarized (but repeatedly modified) masonic ritual?....oh, and don't forget the ritual of donning those peculiar and cumbersome costumes.

Give us something fresh and spiritually uplifting when we go and all the arm twisting will NOT be necessary...and I just might want to renew my club card.
Last edited by Notchet on 13 Nov 2014, 15:37, edited 2 times in total.

Ann
Posts: 2574
Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: Uncomfortable with ritual

Post by Ann » 13 Nov 2014, 12:46

Daeruin wrote:I have been thinking about the temple ceremony recently, and the other rituals we have in the LDS church. I have heard a number of people talk about how much they love these rituals, and love the idea of ritual in general. I'm afraid that I'm absolutely not one of those people. Ritual has always made me uncomfortable, resentful, even. I have a hard time articulating exactly why. I suppose part of it is the expectation that bothers me—the fact that I'm being pressured into an external show. I resent the idea that I even need to prove to others that I'm thinking or feeling anything in particular. It seems so pointless. If I already feel, believe, or think something, why should I have to take some specific action to prove it? And if I don't think, believe, or feel it, taking some specific action won't change that. This extends to all kinds of things—pep rallies, scouts, etc. Is my resentment silly? Is there another view of ritual that I'm not considering? Does anyone feel the same way as me? Advice for making the temple rituals more palatable?
Thanks for posting this. I don't have anything helpful, but you've given me some insight into my husband's attitude at times. Back when I was different (more of a visible "team-player" at church) I used to get upset when he didn't want to play. We have huge differences in belief now, but boy am I grateful that his basic outlook allows me to be myself.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

User avatar
Daeruin
Posts: 439
Joined: 15 Dec 2013, 20:56
Location: Utah

Re: Uncomfortable with ritual

Post by Daeruin » 13 Nov 2014, 22:19

Ann, I'm glad that something I posted was helpful. That doesn't seem to happen very often. :)
"Not all those who wander are lost" —Tolkien

Post Reply