Church More Open About Endowment

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On Own Now
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Church More Open About Endowment

Post by On Own Now » 11 Feb 2021, 14:56

I'm sure many of you are already aware of this... but, FYI... The Church General Handbook was updated in December, 2020, and includes new and much more specific language regarding the endowment:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... ang=eng#p1
The Endowment
The word endowment means “a gift.” The temple endowment is literally a gift from God through which He blesses His children. The endowment can be received only in holy temples. Some of the gifts that members receive through the temple endowment include:
  • Greater knowledge of the Lord’s purposes and teachings.
  • Power to do all that Heavenly Father wants His children to do.
  • Divine direction when serving the Lord, their families, and others.
  • Increased hope, comfort, and peace.
All the promised blessings of the endowment are in force both in this life and for eternity. The fulfillment of these blessings depends on faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The endowment is received in two parts. In the first part, a person receives a preliminary ordinance called the initiatory. The initiatory is also known as the washing and anointing (see Exodus 29:4–9). It includes special blessings related to the person’s divine heritage and potential.

During the initiatory, the member is authorized to wear the temple garment. The garment represents his or her personal relationship with God and the commitment to obey covenants made in the temple. When members are faithful to their covenants and wear the garment properly throughout their lives, it also serves as a protection. For information about wearing and caring for the garment, see 38.5.5.

In the second part of the endowment, the plan of salvation is taught, including the Creation, the Fall of Adam and Eve, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Apostasy, and the Restoration. Members also receive instruction on how to return to the Lord’s presence.

In the endowment, members are invited to make sacred covenants to:
  • Live the law of obedience and strive to keep Heavenly Father’s commandments.
  • Obey the law of sacrifice, which means sacrificing to support the Lord’s work and repenting with a broken heart and contrite spirit.
  • Obey the law of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the higher law that He taught while He was on the earth.
  • Keep the law of chastity, which means having no sexual activity except with those to whom they are legally and lawfully wedded according to God’s law.
  • Keep the law of consecration, which means dedicating their time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed them to building up Jesus Christ’s Church on the earth.
In return, Heavenly Father promises that those who remain faithful to their temple covenants will be endowed “with power from on high” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:32, 38; see also Luke 24:49; Doctrine and Covenants 43:16).
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
- - -
"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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nibbler
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Re: Church More Open About Endowment

Post by nibbler » 11 Feb 2021, 15:26

That's good. I know a common complaint is that people are put on the spot (hearing for the first time) when asked to make covenants in the temple.

The publication does something else, it draws elements of the temple experience out into more open conversation. Not sure how to put this, but it trims back a portion of the hedge we've built up around the temple experience.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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On Own Now
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Re: Church More Open About Endowment

Post by On Own Now » 11 Feb 2021, 15:53

nibbler wrote:
11 Feb 2021, 15:26
The publication does something else, it draws elements of the temple experience out into more open conversation. Not sure how to put this, but it trims back a portion of the hedge we've built up around the temple experience.
Yes! Exactly. And there's this other paragraph in the same General Handbook chapter:
Temple covenants and ordinances are sacred. The symbols associated with temple covenants should not be discussed outside the temple. Nor should we discuss the holy information we promise in the temple not to reveal. However, we may discuss the basic purposes and doctrine of temple covenants and ordinances and the spiritual feelings we have in the temple.
This is interesting because it only prescribes two rules for what "should not be discussed" outside the temple:

- "The symbols associated with temple covenants". Think about what those are. Don't discuss those, other than that they exist, as stated in the GH.
- "The holy information we promise in the temple not to reveal". Holy information is pretty broad, but it is narrowed down here. It's stuff that you specifically "promise in the temple not to reveal."
- - -
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ― Carl Jung
- - -
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: Church More Open About Endowment

Post by DarkJedi » 11 Feb 2021, 16:29

Yes, this is great and probably like many other things has gone unnoticed by the general membership. The church website has for at least a couple years contained some pretty open info about the temple - far more than what some "very righteous" members were ever willing to say (out of fear). The first link can be accessed from the church homepage near the bottom. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/temples?lang=eng This second one is a link on that page which I like. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/tem ... t?lang=eng It's pretty clearly spelled out in the second article. There are only a couple things I remember promising not to reveal outside the temple - the covenants are not included in those promises.

I remember when I first went to the temple and nobody dared say anything except how wonderful it is. I came out thinking "This is what all the hullbaloo is about?" Weird was more correct. Therefore when it was my own kids' time to go through I was not shy about sharing all I felt comfortable with - which are the things I specifically promised not to.

So kudos to the church on one more thing to be more open about. I likewise appreciated when the temple recommend questions were changed and published. Thanks.
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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SilentDawning
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Re: Church More Open About Endowment

Post by SilentDawning » 12 Feb 2021, 00:28

I think this is great. I think we get more criticism for the "secret" parts of the temple even though we consider them sacred, not secret.

I think this gives church leaders a way of preparing people for the temple. I would assume the temple preparation class addresses these items too?
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nibbler
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Re: Church More Open About Endowment

Post by nibbler » 12 Feb 2021, 05:48

SilentDawning wrote:
12 Feb 2021, 00:28
I would assume the temple preparation class addresses these items too?
I would assume that the manual hasn't changed in 20 years. ;)

[checks]

The manual has a copyright of 1995 with another copyright in 2003 for a second edition. It's the same one that was used when I taught the class a long time ago. :crazy: There's a section in the manual on covenants but it speaks more in general terms; what's a covenant, why we covenant, and the importance of covenants.

There's a paragraph quoting James E. Faust that isn't as specific about the temple covenants, only speaking to covenanting to Christlike principles.

But that's just the manual. I'd like to think that the handbook changes and the video released years ago that shows temple clothing are being used by people that teach the temple prep lessons.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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DarkJedi
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Re: Church More Open About Endowment

Post by DarkJedi » 12 Feb 2021, 06:22

nibbler wrote:
12 Feb 2021, 05:48
SilentDawning wrote:
12 Feb 2021, 00:28
I would assume the temple preparation class addresses these items too?
I would assume that the manual hasn't changed in 20 years. ;)

[checks]

The manual has a copyright of 1995 with another copyright in 2003 for a second edition. It's the same one that was used when I taught the class a long time ago. :crazy: There's a section in the manual on covenants but it speaks more in general terms; what's a covenant, why we covenant, and the importance of covenants.

There's a paragraph quoting James E. Faust that isn't as specific about the temple covenants, only speaking to covenanting to Christlike principles.

But that's just the manual. I'd like to think that the handbook changes and the video released years ago that shows temple clothing are being used by people that teach the temple prep lessons.
Hopefully they're working on an update.
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."

My Introduction

Arrakeen
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Re: Church More Open About Endowment

Post by Arrakeen » 12 Feb 2021, 07:49

My temple prep class (at BYU, around 2015, taught by member of the bishopric) was really weird. Like they didn't think they could tell us anything, so instead they made up their own parable about the prodigal son trying to relate it to the Big Bang and the expanding universe.... And it had absolutely nothing to do with what I actually saw in the temple. The only thing they told us that actually had something to do with the endowment was that they mentioned "movies" a few times.

It was always interesting that people just would not talk about the temple. There's a ton of confusing stuff, and if you ask about it, people tell you it's "symbolic". But you can't ask what it's symbolic of, since it's too sacred. Makes you wonder what the point of symbols is if nobody knows what they're supposed to mean.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Church More Open About Endowment

Post by DarkJedi » 12 Feb 2021, 09:53

Arrakeen wrote:
12 Feb 2021, 07:49
It was always interesting that people just would not talk about the temple. There's a ton of confusing stuff, and if you ask about it, people tell you it's "symbolic". But you can't ask what it's symbolic of, since it's too sacred. Makes you wonder what the point of symbols is if nobody knows what they're supposed to mean.
It's because in the "dark age of the church" (my term, approximately late 60s to early 2000s) people were frightened into not talking about it. There are plenty of people who, even if informed about this change in the handbook and shown what's available on the church site, will not say a word about anything in there. I am old enough to remember the penalties associated with the things you promise not to reveal (which were also symbolic) - scary stuff, even though I was promising not to reveal the same stuff as now. I've kind of wondered about that (but not really) - since I got my own endowment when the penalties were part of it, am I still under that obligation? (That's why I said not really - I would not have done those penalties then or now.)
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."

My Introduction

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nibbler
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Re: Church More Open About Endowment

Post by nibbler » 12 Feb 2021, 10:45

Joni had a good thread on those themes.

Women and Obeying/Hearkening Covenants
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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