As similar as these new questions sound on the surface, I think some of them are significantly different in terms of emphasis and the overall experience they will create for many active members. Here are my initial thoughts on some of these changes.
the Church before wrote:Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?
the Church now wrote:Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple, including wearing the temple garment as instructed in the endowment?
Good change. Maybe they saw many complaints and/or many active members not wearing garments all the time anyway similar to the way they stopped preaching so much against birth control after many active members already weren't listening to their advice on this anyway.
the Church before wrote:Do you live the law of chastity?
the Church now wrote:The Lord has said that all things are to be “done in cleanliness” before Him...Do you strive for moral cleanliness in your thoughts and behavior?
Do you obey the law of chastity?
Sounds like a perfect recipe for even more guilt, shame, and discouragement than before. Many things reportedly said by the Lord in the scriptures are not explicitly emphasized in temple recommend questions so why single out this one as if it is so important to try to enforce this way?
the Church before wrote:Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
the Church now wrote:Do you support or promote any teachings, practices, or doctrine contrary to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
I think removing the part about affiliating with groups or individuals that don't agree with or live the way the Church teaches was definitely an improvement but I also thought that was mostly talking about polygamists. However, the way it is worded now is so general that it still makes it sound like you need to outwardly agree with every single thing the Church teaches and if not then you are not worthy if taken literally. It's even worse because of social media and leadership roulette because local leaders can easily see something members said and decide they aren't worthy and need to repent.
the Church wrote:Do you keep understand and obey the Word of Wisdom?
Similar to garments, could this be a reaction to seeing many active members already not living this tradition anymore at this point? It sounds like they are basically doubling down on this and insisting that members should interpret this the same exact way they do as strictly prohibiting alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea.
the Church wrote:Do you strive to keep the Sabbath day holy, both at home and at church; attend your meetings; prepare for and worthily partake of the sacrament...
This heavy emphasis on keeping the Sabbath day holy is entirely new (as an explicit recommend question). My family always used to eat at restaurants and watch TV including sports, etc.on Sunday, and my parents and brother have always paid tithing, fulfilled callings, etc. I think this could easily weed out quite a few people that would have remained faithful otherwise especially if some parents are extremely strict about this with children that end up associating the Church with this and leave often before ever serving a mission or getting married in the temple.
the Church before wrote:Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been?
the Church now wrote:Are there serious sins in your life that need to be resolved with priesthood authorities as part of your repentance?
I like this change because it sounds like it is now talking about any current sins instead of making people feel like they need to confess things that are no longer relevant. The old question was actually one of the main reasons I never got married in the temple along with tithing because I thought I would have to confess (pre-marital sex) and go through an extended groveling repentance process and face possible Church discipline which was extremely unpleasant and almost overwhelming to consider.
the Church before wrote:Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?
the Church now wrote:Do you strive to be honest in all that you do?
Ironically one of the few questions that sounds more lenient than before is actually one of the few questions that I think should have been taken more seriously by many members the way it was before. What I liked about the old question was that it sounded like it wasn't just talking about everyday dishonestly that does little or no harm but rather treating people fairly such as not knowingly ripping people off in business or that kind of thing.
Overall I appreciate that President Nelson is willing to change things and at least try to make improvements in the Church but I suspect some of these intended solutions like thinking the answer is more "spirituality", strict obedience, expecting people to think the way the Church teaches they should, etc. will end up backfiring in more ways than one.
For example, before it seems like many Church members could drink iced tea or green tea, do stuff that is fun or convenient on Sundays, read "50 Shades of Grey", vote Democrat, etc. and still feel like they were worthy and living the spirit of the law in good conscience. But now it seems like a lot of this is no longer technically possible for many people if they really pay close attention to these questions and take them literally (e.g. the line has been drawn).