My return to the temple

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DarkJedi
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My return to the temple

Post by DarkJedi » 15 Sep 2015, 09:58

I recently went to the temple after many years absence. The occasion was my son receiving his own endowment in preparation for mission service. It was pretty much what I remembered it to be, I can't say I got any new revelation or insights during the session but I did feel peace.

A counselor in the presidency did "the talk" with my son and I sat in. I probably gained more from that experience than the rest. I want to share three things that stood out from what the president said:
1. There are layers of meaning in the temple
2. He repeated several times that everything is symbolic
3. He told my son he was only going to tell him two times when the garment should not be worn: swimming (which he said was obvious) and sex (which he said isn't so obvious to some and that's why he says it). He said all other times are between the individual and God. :thumbup:

On the flip side, the celestial room was not what I had hoped. That was not any fault of the room or the temple itself or most of the workers. I had hoped to be there and greet my son and peacefully sit on a couch with he and my wife for as long as they desired. I thought that since it was his own endowment that my son would be one of the first to go through the veil, but he was actually the last (I was one of the first because I was sitting next to him on the front row). He had invited a female friend/ward member to come because she kept bugging him about wanting to go when he went and she's leaving on her own mission soon. She was accompanied by her mother. Our bishop also came. Additionally, once my wife and I got to the room there was a temple worker who we know quite well from another ward who was there waiting for us because she saw his name on the list. So, the worker came over and quite literally socialized (asked about family, etc.) and the bishop was whispering in my ear about some ward business for the next Sunday, and the other two women were also socializing. Finally when my son did arrive, the socializing continued and my wife and I sort of had to push our way through to give him a hug. They actually all chit-chatted for several minutes, and I do think at least one other patron was annoyed by it. So by the time they all departed and we did get to sit on the couch my son was ready to go after only a couple minutes.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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nibbler
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Re: My return to the temple

Post by nibbler » 15 Sep 2015, 10:33

Most times I've attended they've asked that people receiving their own endowment to transition to the celestial room before everyone else. I kind of like that your son went last, it speaks to my experience.

The first time I went to the temple I was alone, no family or friends. Entering the celestial room was a joyous yet depressing experience, being alone in the celestial room underscored my solitude. It may or may not have been important or stood out for your son but I believe entering the celestial room for the first time to see my mother and father waiting for me on the other side would have made for a powerful experience. You don't get that by going through the veil first.
DarkJedi wrote:3. He told my son he was only going to tell him two times when the garment should not be worn: swimming (which he said was obvious) and sex (which he said isn't so obvious to some and that's why he says it). He said all other times are between the individual and God. :thumbup:
I better start wearing a garment when I shower. ;)

Timely thread. I'm going to the temple tonight for the first time in about 18 months.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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DarkJedi
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Re: My return to the temple

Post by DarkJedi » 15 Sep 2015, 10:57

I also went to the temple by myself the first time.

I should have also mentioned I like the changes to the initiatory. Being clothed in garments and the more closed shield is much better IMO, and I like the no actual touching (except the head) thing.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Holy Cow
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Re: My return to the temple

Post by Holy Cow » 15 Sep 2015, 11:45

DJ,
Great to hear about the experience. I hope it was a positive one for your son. It's been 5-6 years since I've been to the temple, but I remember it would always annoy me when people would stand around in the Celestial Room and make plans for where they were going to meet for lunch when they left and things like that. I just wanted to tell them to shut up and go take care of their business somewhere else so people could have some peace and quiet. Not exactly the way you want to be feeling in the Celestial Room! :lol:
It sounds like the changes that have been made are positive ones, and I'm glad to hear about a step in the right direction. I'm curious, do you think you'll be going back anytime soon, or was this a one-time special occasion kind of thing? I know that's a personal question, so I won't be offended if you choose not to answer. :smile:
The Celestial Room was always kind of a mixed experience for me. I enjoyed the quiet and the peaceful environment, but never really had that special feeling like I wanted to linger there for a long time. Anytime I'm traveling in Europe, I enjoy visiting different cathedrals. Especially the ones that are small, simple buildings, rather than the large, well-known buildings that are full of tourists. I enjoy sitting in the quiet cathedrals and seeing a few people shuffle in and out, praying, lighting a candle, etc. I feel the same there that I do in the Celestial Room; like it's a special place designated for contemplation and worship. And I enjoy that. It's hard to find a place that is designated specifically for that kind of peace. So, it can be extra annoying when people are standing around talking about lunch, or meetings, or work, or whatever else, when you're trying to just enjoy the peace. I feel the same way in cathedrals full of tourists snapping pictures with one hand and eating a sandwich with the other. :roll:
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mom3
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Re: My return to the temple

Post by mom3 » 15 Sep 2015, 11:53

Congrats DJ. - I am so happy for both of you. Only those of us who have been down this road know what a big occasion this is. As for Celestial Rooms, they have always been my least favorite part. For all the reasons listed above. Our temple has an atrium that I like to sit in. It's not totally silent but somehow it annoys me less than the rush, hustle and so on of the Celestial Room.
"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

Ann
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Re: My return to the temple

Post by Ann » 15 Sep 2015, 13:02

I am happy to read about you and your son!

The atmosphere in the celestial room is so delicate. Sometimes it's truly heaven on earth and sometimes it feels more like a bus station. It can be busy and even fairly loud without breaking the mood. But once people are into dinner plans.....
"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

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DarkJedi
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Re: My return to the temple

Post by DarkJedi » 15 Sep 2015, 13:16

HC, I agree that the celestial room has never been something I longed for - but it an odd way it is really one of my favorite parts of the temple because of the peace I find there. I'm not big on the temple anyway, but sitting in a nice, supposedly quiet, room and being able to meditate for even a short amount of time satisfied me. I would probably like it even more if I didn't do a session first, but I have never done that. Thinking about that, it's probably similar to church - at the end of 3 hours I'm ready to leave and not "linger longer." So after two hours of sitting through a ceremony/video I have seen dozens of times, I'm ready to go. Anyway, I don't see myself going back in the near future, it was a special occasion.

Also, HC, I have also felt a similar peace in other religious buildings and when in the outdoors alone sometimes. It's not something I have only experienced in the temple.

I might look at your idea for some future trip, Mom. There are a couple areas, including an atrium and the waiting room, where it's nice and still the temple. I'm not tied to finding peace in the celestial room, I do think the whole place is peaceful. The temple is a couple hours away, which is one of the reasons I'm not a frequent flyer.

I did notice one other little change having to do with standing/sitting - we sit more than I remember.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Heber13
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Re: My return to the temple

Post by Heber13 » 15 Sep 2015, 13:18

I think it is way cool you could be there for him and support him...regardless of what any of the temple means...that means alot for relationships, which really matters in bonding families. Of course, that support can be given outside the temple too...it really is all about how you approach it.

Way to go, Dad!
I do think the whole place is peaceful
Me too. I like that part of it.
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."

Roadrunner
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Re: My return to the temple

Post by Roadrunner » 15 Sep 2015, 14:06

DarkJedi wrote: A counselor in the presidency did "the talk" with my son and I sat in. I probably gained more from that experience than the rest. I want to share three things that stood out from what the president said:
1. There are layers of meaning in the temple
2. He repeated several times that everything is symbolic
3. He told my son he was only going to tell him two times when the garment should not be worn: swimming (which he said was obvious) and sex (which he said isn't so obvious to some and that's why he says it). He said all other times are between the individual and God. :thumbup:
Like all of these. :)

Some of the older temples have sealing rooms attached to celestial rooms which tend to be quieter. I go in there sometimes to be more alone.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: My return to the temple

Post by Curt Sunshine » 15 Sep 2015, 19:24

So glad you were there for him.

At the smaller temples, they usually will let you go into the sealing rooms if the celestial room is crowded and you ask specifically for a quieter room.

I also love the mirrors in the sealing rooms, so it is a good option.
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

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