My next lesson: The blessings of the temple

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startpoor
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My next lesson: The blessings of the temple

Post by startpoor » 08 Jun 2015, 13:27

I haven't attended the temple in a while nor am I particularly fond of it. However, I respect that people find meaning and truth there. I'm not sure where to begin on this. Any suggestions???


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On Own Now
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Re: My next lesson: The blessings of the temple

Post by On Own Now » 08 Jun 2015, 15:32

I'm like you: I haven't been to the Temple in ages. If I had to give a lesson on the Temple, I would stay with the abstract... that it can be a focal point for communion with God and for worship... leaving behind the world to find God... and I would stay clear of the specific ordinances. Everyone already knows those anyway. It's pretty easy for me to think in those terms because I think of all religion as abstract. But even so, there is nothing unorthodox about trying to get closer to God and godliness by going to a place like the Temple.
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“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
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"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." ― Romans 14:13
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Curt Sunshine
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Re: My next lesson: The blessings of the temple

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Jun 2015, 18:30

I would mention that multiple apostles have said it all is symbolic, including Pres. Packer (to appease the more conservative members), but that there can be some incredible meaning in that symbolism. I would focus on the overarching idea of having our hearts knit to the entire family of God and how that should make us humble and charitable and non-judgmental - that if God asks us to turn our hearts to everyone, no exceptions, he must love and value everyone, no exceptions.

I then would ask people to share what their favorite part of the temple is and why.

I think it could be a truly powerful experience for the class.
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.

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amateurparent
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Re: My next lesson: The blessings of the temple

Post by amateurparent » 08 Jun 2015, 19:50

When non-LDS people ask me about the temple, I tell them that going through the temple is very much like a priest or nun taking vows. Not vows of celibacy, but vows to put God first in ones life at all times and in all ways. The temple garments are a constant reminder of those promises .. Very much like a priest collar or a nun habit. They are worn under clothing. to be worn for the individual .. Not for the public. They are a constant reminder of those promises.

You could ask people how their lives are changed because of their promises to God.
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

Minyan Man
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Re: My next lesson: The blessings of the temple

Post by Minyan Man » 08 Jun 2015, 21:17

I like the repetition. I like to meditate & think about the relative I'm going through the temple for.
I like to focus on their life & the influence they made in my life. I am completely out of my life &
problems. I hope & pray that in some small way I've made a positive impact in their life.
I hope they are looking on & are pleased with the effort.
Last edited by Minyan Man on 09 Jun 2015, 06:37, edited 1 time in total.

Ann
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Re: My next lesson: The blessings of the temple

Post by Ann » 08 Jun 2015, 23:24

startpoor wrote:I haven't attended the temple in a while nor am I particularly fond of it. However, I respect that people find meaning and truth there.
Is there a way to work this refreshingly honest comment into a good, uplifting lesson, I wonder. I would give my eye teeth to have a discussion leader who felt comfortable saying something like this, but only if it was true, which in your case it is.
"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

startpoor
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Re: My next lesson: The blessings of the temple

Post by startpoor » 09 Jun 2015, 07:08

Ann wrote:
startpoor wrote:I haven't attended the temple in a while nor am I particularly fond of it. However, I respect that people find meaning and truth there.
Is there a way to work this refreshingly honest comment into a good, uplifting lesson, I wonder. I would give my eye teeth to have a discussion leader who felt comfortable saying something like this, but only if it was true, which in your case it is.
I often make admissions like this in my class, and they almost always help the discussion. People seem to appreciate the honesty of imperfection. Though it's easier to say that about topics like FHE or sabbath observance than temple attendance. However, the aim of my lesson isn't going to be about temple attendance per se, but rather about getting the most out of it--which may include talking about it more, or dealing with misgivings--so I could make such an admission, but would have to phrase it a little different.


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Happiness (n.) The state of being in compliance with Mormon norms, regardless of one’s actual resulting emotional state

George, Sr.: Faith is a fact. No, faith is a facet. I almost said faith is a fact.

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LookingHard
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Re: My next lesson: The blessings of the temple

Post by LookingHard » 09 Jun 2015, 07:41

I am struggling to get enough desire to go attend the temple. I have to admit that I have never felt touched by the spirit in the temple. I usually just feel bad about how all of these promises are made about being sealed, and given the nearly failed marriage I have - it is not something that comes across to me as a positive uplifting thing. It is more like, "you failed big time. No presents for you."

Roy
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Re: My next lesson: The blessings of the temple

Post by Roy » 09 Jun 2015, 09:52

startpoor wrote:I often make admissions like this in my class, and they almost always help the discussion. People seem to appreciate the honesty of imperfection. Though it's easier to say that about topics like FHE or sabbath observance than temple attendance. However, the aim of my lesson isn't going to be about temple attendance per se, but rather about getting the most out of it--which may include talking about it more, or dealing with misgivings--so I could make such an admission, but would have to phrase it a little different.
A woman in our ward has been a new member for a few years now. She was recently endowed and came to church the next day with a look of horror and bewilderment. It was as though the church she had known now looked so strange and foreign to her. TBM DW said that everyone in RS was patronizing to her about how great it was and how she will get used to the wierdness in time. This was a few months ago and this woman has not been back to church. I don't know if it would have made a difference, but I wish that someone could have taken this new member woman aside and told her that it was ok. It was ok not to like the temple and it is ok if it was the opposite of a spiritual experience for you. Many people love it and find great peace and meaning there. Others don't and that doesn't mean that there is anything deficient or wrong with them. The temple is just not their thing.

I wonder if she might have come back to church if she felt that it was ok to continue with the church stuff that she liked and not have to swallow up the "temple experience" entree with every subsequent church meal.

So I would hope for an opportunity to say that the temple isn't your thing.
"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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mom3
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Re: My next lesson: The blessings of the temple

Post by mom3 » 09 Jun 2015, 10:46

I am going to piggy back a bit on this idea of not everyone loves it. Because we do have faithful members who don't find all the joy in it.

Like Roy's story, I ran into a women at the store just after she had attended for the first time, and she was furious. She had attended all the temple prep classes and still felt tricked. (I don't believe you should share this, but maybe keep it in mind).

My mom is another faithful sister who participates by obedience, but not by love. All my growing up years Dad faithfully attended sessions. Mom didn't. One day she explained that she never did feel anything special. Their closest temple is 2 hours away, making any attendance an all day event. Even now as she works in the temple, because my dad loves it, you can hear the weariness in her voice about it. Other areas of service she is 110% in fulfilling. She has served in multitude of callings and leadership. But temple attendance is a gritted teeth experience. My own conjecture is because when she was married, her parents couldn't attend. They didn't even sit outside. She was their only child and daughter. It was life moment they never could share together. I have a feeling deep down the pain still exists, even though they mended their outward hurts, inside deep things don't go away.

To be fair on the flip side, I love Fiona Givens suggestion of encouraging people who have never attended the temple to attend some Catholic Masses, both are rituals in symbolism. Complete with kneelings, standings, hand wavings, and group prayers. Another point you could bring up is temple grounds. Even thought I too haven't gone in for a long time, there is a beauty, serenity, joy, calm on the outside. I recently drove past ours in the car, and just looking at it briefly was calming and happify-ing to me.

You will do great. We are all cheering for you.
"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

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