« Home | Mountain of the Lord » | For the Temple is a Holy Place » | No Temple for Me, Thanks, Though » | I Love To See The Temple » | Temples: It’s Not Sacrament Meeting! » | I had friends from school who’s parents were divor... » | Rebecca's* Story » | D-I-V-O-R-C-E » | You could meet somebody who really loves you... » | Put on your red shoes and dance the blues » 

Saturday, November 12, 2005 

Secret or Sacred?

It is always dangerous to write about a topic that is inextricably tied to so many people's identity. I suspect most Mormons view themselves primarily as an eternal family, so the temple can be quite a sensitive subject. I will try to be as respectful as possible to everyone's beliefs and ask in advance for your forgiveness if I offend anyone.

This is also a sensitive topic because it deals with people's marriages. I certainly wouldn't appreciate someone saying to me, "Hey Ned, those icons at the Orthodox church where you were married are totally idolatrous!!! And the man who performed the ceremony was practicing priestcraft! Nehorite!" For good or bad, my marriage is part of my identity, and I will defend it against all comers.

For this reason, I'd like to set aside the topic of sealings, which are a source of great comfort and happiness to a lot of good people, and of which I have no first-hand knowledge anyway. I'd also like to skip over baptisms for the dead. I've always liked the idea and the practice of baptisms for the dead and had good experiences performing them (although perhaps because I envy being baptized as an adult). I'd like to focus instead on the endowment, and perhaps offer comfort to those who, like me, didn't seem to have the same spiritual experience as everyone else.

Part of the problem of the endowment, I believe, is overselling. We fall too much into the Homer Simpson trap of, "I don't want to oversell it, but it's better than ten Super Bowls!" Even the name leads us to believe that we'll be given a huge gift of knowledge. I'm sure some people do find great, hidden meanings in the ceremony, but I was never one of them. In my experience, the endowment presents a fairly straight-forward creation story/allegory, not all that different from the accounts we have in Abraham, Moses, and Genesis. Why do we oversell it? Because we can't tell anyone what exactly goes on, which leads to overstatement.

The atmosphere of secrecy around the temple has always bothered me. This might have made sense in the Joseph Smith-era, as the practice of polygamy was hidden. It is much harder to justify in our electronic age, when anyone who cares can find a copy in .2 seconds. Ironically, the Internet has made the ceremony available to everyone BUT faithful Mormons. For a long time, I wanted to know what changes were made to the ceremony in 1990. I had always heard about them, but I had no legitimate means of finding out. Short of cornering an old-timer in the Celestial Room, there is no way for faithful members to discover this information. I finally gave up, and googled it. I had all my answers in 60 seconds. I might have felt guilty if this information was reserved for recommend holders, but it's not. Even they don't get to know.

A second concern I had when I went through the temple was the heavy-duty promises I was required to make. Maybe some good temple prep classes spell out what those commitments are, but I was not prepared beforehand. I'm certain that I still would have gone through the temple, but it would have been nice to have a sheet saying, "these are the four promises you are going to make." Because we are afraid that everything temple-related should be secret, we allow people to go in unprepared, which I think is unfortunate. Just as we should be aware of what our baptismal covenants are before we get baptized, we should also have more than 10 seconds to decide whether we want to commit all our resources to the church. Has anyone ever left in the middle of an endowment because they didn't want to make these promises?

Lastly, I remember being quite disturbed on my mission when I discovered the heavy Masonic influence on the endowment ceremony. Once again, I had absolutely no clue. Frankly, I felt deceived. By avoiding and glossing over these topics, it seems to me that we are only postponing the day of reckoning for many of our coreligionists. Maybe 95% will never care about these things, but for the 5% who do, it can be devastating. Obviously, in the Internet age, there is now a ton of information on Masonry and Mormonism that I didn't have, but besides FARMS apologias, precious little comes from the church. What I wouldn't give for a General Conference talk explaining why our salvation is couched in such foreign Masonic terms. Is it because that was what Joseph was familiar with? Does Masonry have any relevance to us today? Why not if it is so entwined with the Endowment?

I think the root of all these problems is the same: secrecy. If we were more open about the temple, most of these problems would go away. Unfortunately, in the dark, the truth often struggles to get out.

I really liked this post, Ned. I don't think I've ever talked to anyone who felt fully prepared before receiving their endowments. I thought temple prep class was just that -- prep -- but I ended up having no temple prep class, only some brief conversations with a member of my bishopric and his wife and a couple of videos that looked like they were made for investigators. I understand the need for sacredness, but it's tricky when so many people go in feeling unprepared (I was so nervous about what was going to happen next, that I couldn't concentrate on what was happening "now.")

Because we are afraid that everything temple-related should be secret, we allow people to go in unprepared, which I think is unfortunate.

YES! I know soooooo many people who went unprepared (or, "underprepared") and left the church after going, even within my own family. I was fortunate enough to have a bishop, a loving man, who told me EVERYTHING in his office a few weeks before I went. His sentences started with "Then you'll see...," "Then you'll hear..." "Then you'll do this..." He informed me that his interpretation of what he covenanted to keep sacred was a very, very small portion of the whole ceremony. That's my viewpoint now as well.

1990 changes

I did the same thing. I had to. Nobody I asked was reliable or they'd forget or whatever. It's the only time I ever "cheated" and looked up the words online, but I had to.

And to me it seems that the church, about every 15 years or so, keeps trimming away at the endowment (the initiatories got hosed earlier this year), to the point that I feel that by the next generation (or the one after that), the ceremony will be so totally hosed that all symbolism will be gone, and all of it's cultic "weirdness" will be gone, which I think doesn't teach as well. If it even exists at all. This is an age-old problem though (cf. D&C 84:25 [esp. 19-25]). By my own observation (and understanding of scripture, esp. Leviticus), it's by and through the "weirdness" of ceremony that God best communicates to his people.

While doing one's OWN endowment the 4 promises are a little bit 'different', but understandable.

The 4 promises make darn little sense to be done in the name of a dead person (99% of the endowments performed???). Do the 4 promises mean anything to the dead, or are they just a reminder 'club' for the living?

I was just thinking about the same thing today Anon. I was sitting in church, thinking about the temple and how, as you say, 99% of it is for the dead. I always kind of understood the baptism for the dead concept, in that you have to be put in psychical water here on earth. But it then struck me today: if the endowment is just promises, why can't the dead make them in heaven? Why do they need a living person to make the covenants in proxy for them? I had been leaning lately towards thinking that the signs and tokens were largely extraneous, and could and would someday be modified. But their necessity is the only thing I can think of that would require the ceremony to be done on earth by fleshed people.

Anyway, great post Ned. I haven't gotten over my endowment yet. Not so much from the lack of prep or knowledge, but from how it made me a feel as a woman.....

Well, I'm one of those who loved their endowment (but more than the endowment, I loved initiatory) and didn't have a problem with the temple at all. But, before I took out my endowments, I already possessed a fairly good understanding of temples and ancient mysteries (thanks to Nibley and my Dad. I thought the temple prep pamphlet was pretty lame though). I knew all about the masonic connection and all the other "suprises" that bother many members.

For me, the connection with ancient temples (Pagan and Jewish) makes sense. In fact, the temple is a main reason I mantain my membership in the church. Without the temple whats the point of Mormonism?

Temples were always places for true seekers of spiritual wisdom. Now the argument could be made that the cathedral in a Catholic church is their temple-rife with symbolism, ritual, and mystery. Their temple is on the "outside" for all to see-tourists, unbelievers, and faithful. Better, right? No secrets. But does that make it a better learning experience because everyone can traipse up to the knave and gawk at the crucified Christ?

IMO-no. To seek, to find, and not to yield must be a requisite for finding salvation. And this should be done in a manner that is sacred and not open to public display or ridicule. It should also be done in a way that the seeker is aware that their quest for higher spiritual knowledge is something outside the realm of the ordinary or mundane. It should also be involved with a way of teaching that uses physical as well as spiritual rituals and symbols.

The temple really is a bridge from our world to the next-very much like the bridge in Goethe's Fairytale (after reading it the first time I was stunned. In his romantic fairytale was the kernel of the endowment). The temple is a part of all ancient civilizations and permeates cultures across the world.

The LDS religion does follow in the footsteps of hermetic tradition. Whats so scary about the mason connection? So what. Gods truth is scattered across the world and in most religions and doctrines. The point of keeping the symbols, rituals, and rest sacred (or in your opinion Ned, secret, which I dispute because you can find out anything about the temple if you really want to)is to let the seeker remember that a spiritual quest, like Parisfal's search for the grail, is a sacred one. Special.

I also think, if we take the endowment from a literal perspective, we will never fully understand it. I don't feel denigrated as a woman because I realize much of what goes on has nothing to do with gender, but far more to do with universal, archetypical meaning.

I also know that the first temple ceremony that Joseph instituted was different than the one we use today. This doesn't mean the covenants are not necessary if temple ceremonies change, just that the literal level is perhaps not the most important aspect of the temple. By far it is the covenants we make with the Lord that are the most important.

Just like the parables of Jesus, the temple has the "rituals." In and of themselves not very meaningful. But if you look at it from a different perspective-the same rituals can indeed teach one the wisdom of the eternities.

I'll share one experience to illustrate what I mean.

Now, I like initiatory far more than the endowment. I have had many more spiritual experiences with initiatory. But one day I was doing the endowment proxy work for a woman who lived in the 1400's. I felt her spirit next to me the whole time-it was cool and weird. It wasn't until the last covenant, the covenant of consecration, that I felt anything special from her end-but after that covenant I felt a joy, an overwhelming acceptance, and an incredible manifestation of the Spirit of the Lord. The joy of this spirit in accepting to build up the kingdom of God makes sense. The joy just-I can't even describe it, but I think that is the covenant that has the most meaning for those in the spirit world and those on the earth. Of course, they are ready and willing to build up the Kingdom of God-they can't wait for the millenium.

My only criticism about the temple is temple preparation. I think better and more detailed preparation is necessary.

But of course, all the resources for such are already at our disposal. The problem is, I would wager, most of the membership would not bother to dig deeper and expect their leaders or teachers to do it for them. As a church we are ready to be spoon fed instead of truly studying and asking hard questions. But how often to members come prepared to discuss the subject matter in Sunday School? Have they read the assignment or are they waiting for their dose of warm fuzzy milk food? I guess the leadership doesn't think they can print a more detailed and thoughtful preparation than the current temple prep because most members are not even ready to put in the time to prepare themselves for normal sunday meetings.

How can you give them the meat if they refuse their bottle of milk?

Well, I'm one of those who loved their endowment (but more than the endowment, I loved initiatory) and didn't have a problem with the temple at all. But, before I took out my endowments, I already possessed a fairly good understanding of temples and ancient mysteries (thanks to Nibley and my Dad. I thought the temple prep pamphlet was pretty lame though). I knew all about the masonic connection and all the other "suprises" that bother many members.

For me, the connection with ancient temples (Pagan and Jewish) makes sense. In fact, the temple is a main reason I mantain my membership in the church. Without the temple whats the point of Mormonism?

Temples were always places for true seekers of spiritual wisdom. Now the argument could be made that the cathedral in a Catholic church is their temple-rife with symbolism, ritual, and mystery. Their temple is on the "outside" for all to see-tourists, unbelievers, and faithful. Better, right? No secrets. But does that make it a better learning experience because everyone can traipse up to the nave and gawk at the crucified Christ?

IMO-no. To seek, to find, and not to yield must be a requisite for finding salvation. And this should be done in a manner that is sacred and not open to public display or ridicule. It should also be done in a way that the seeker is aware that their quest for higher spiritual knowledge is something outside the realm of the ordinary or mundane. It should also be involved with a way of teaching that uses physical as well as spiritual rituals and symbols.

The temple really is a bridge from our world to the next-very much like the bridge in Goethe's Fairytale (after reading it the first time I was stunned. In his romantic fairytale was the kernel of the endowment). The temple is a part of all ancient civilizations and permeates cultures across the world.

The LDS religion does follow in the footsteps of hermetic tradition. Whats so scary about the mason connection? So what. Gods truth is scattered across the world and in most religions and doctrines. The point of keeping the symbols, rituals, and rest sacred (or in your opinion Ned, secret, which I dispute because you can find out anything about the temple if you really want to)is to let the seeker remember that a spiritual quest, like Parisfal's search for the grail, is a sacred one. Special.

I also think, if we take the endowment from a literal perspective, we will never fully understand it. I don't feel denigrated as a woman because I realize much of what goes on has nothing to do with gender, but far more to do with universal, archetypical meaning.

I also know that the first temple ceremony that Joseph instituted was different than the one we use today. This doesn't mean the covenants are not necessary if temple ceremonies change, just that the literal level is perhaps not the most important aspect of the temple. By far it is the covenants we make with the Lord that are the most important.

Just like the parables of Jesus, the temple has the "rituals." In and of themselves not very meaningful. But if you look at it from a different perspective-the same rituals can indeed teach one the wisdom of the eternities.

I'll share one experience to illustrate what I mean.

Now, I like initiatory far more than the endowment. I have had many more spiritual experiences with initiatory. But one day I was doing the endowment proxy work for a woman who lived in the 1400's. I felt her spirit next to me the whole time-it was cool and weird. It wasn't until the last covenant, the covenant of consecration, that I felt anything special from her end-but after that covenant I felt a joy, an overwhelming acceptance, and an incredible manifestation of the Spirit of the Lord. The joy of this spirit in accepting to build up the kingdom of God makes sense. The joy just-I can't even describe it, but I think that is the covenant that has the most meaning for those in the spirit world and those on the earth. Of course, they are ready and willing to build up the Kingdom of God-they can't wait for the millenium.

My only criticism about the temple is temple preparation. I think better and more detailed preparation is necessary.

But of course, all the resources for such are already at our disposal. The problem is, I would wager, most of the membership would not bother to dig deeper and expect their leaders or teachers to do it for them. As a church we are ready to be spoon fed instead of truly studying and asking hard questions. But how often to members come prepared to discuss the subject matter in Sunday School? Have they read the assignment or are they waiting for their dose of warm fuzzy milk food? I guess the leadership doesn't think they can print a more detailed and thoughtful preparation than the current temple prep because most members are not even ready to put in the time to prepare themselves for normal sunday meetings.

How can you give them the meat if they refuse their bottle of milk?

sorry, I accidently posted my long post twice! Please delete the first one.

My baptisms recommended expired back in may. In August I met with my BYU Ward Bishop to renew it and to even get a Endowment recommend. I was 21 years old then. I havent served a mission and I'm not getting married anytime soon. I cleared up with my Bishop some questions and he ascertained that I was worthy and then challenged me to go on a mission. That kinda threw me off. I got so stressed thinking about it.

No excuse or anything but I feel I am no longer worthy for a temple recommend because of something I did in the intervening time.

I really struggled with the endowment session, particularly because I as a woman had to promise to hearken unto my husband etc. That promise really violates my sense of how a marriage is supposed to work, and it places woman in the troubling position of needing a man to mediate between her and god. Why not just have her promise to hearken unto God? That would not violate my spirit the way the current covenant does.

So yes, Ned, I agree with you. A lot more prep and warning about what to expect would help many people. But I suspect a good re-editing of the endowment and an effort to uplift women and treat them equally would help people like me a lot more.

I am a new-comer to this site, having only found it last week. It is interesting and nice to have a forum where we can talk and discuss beliefs.
It is interesting to see that there are many similarities in many different religions. I like what K.D. said about the ties between religions.
The history of the Mason's is an interesting one. It stems back to King Solomon's temple. The workers that built the temple took with them some of the ordinances of the true temple of the Lord at that time. It is no wonder that there are similarities.
I do not claim to be an expert but I have looked into many different types of religion. I noticed that budhism and shinto temples have different stages of the temple, each on getting closer and closer to the shrine that is their god. In the bigger temples there is a bridge from one area to another, as is mentioned by Goethe. The ceremony is no longer a part of their religion but the design is still there. Do people compare these and say that they were stolen from the Mason's? No.
In order for truth be be truth it has to be universal and unchanging from one generation to another. If it changes it ceases to be truth.
More than anything the similarities in religions tells me that there is an underlying truth in every religion, sadly having been changed by man.
I will admit that temple preparation could be better. I didn't know what to expect and was surprised my first time. There is a profound knowledge given in the temple about the creation and how simple it is (as long as we obey God) to return to him.
Companies always say that their "terms and conditions" can and will change. Leading consumers to wonder what the new rules will be the next time they use a product or service. Truth never changes and therefore we can base our faith on it and not worry about missing a criteria or rule. We know what they are and we know what we have to do. It is up to us to do it.

Thank you Ned, I share many of your opinions.

My issue with the whole Masonic influence and the King Solomon explanations most people give is that changes made to the Masonic ceremonies in the 18th and 19th centuries are reflected in the temple ceremonies. If the reason the endowment mirrors the masonic ceremonies has to do with a shared ancient origin, why does the endowment share contemporary changes to masonic ceremonies. It's disturbing to me.

Couple of problems that I can see with the whole "the Masonic ceremony came from Solomon's temple" issue. For starters, the priests running the temple didn't have the appropriate priesthood. The prophets (probably) did but there isn't any evidence that I know of that points to endoment like ceremonies being carried out there. We're not even sure where most of the OT prophets got their (Melchezidek) priesthood.

Second, how many Masons say and believe that their organization goes back that far? My understanding is they can't realistically get within a thousand years of a temple.

Third, did Joseph ever claim that the Masons got their ceremony from a legitimate source? And if he did, did he say what that source was? I'm suspicious of "proofs" like this that seem to be seriously unsteady foundations for a person to be basing their testimony of the temple cerimonies on (which I'm not claiming is the case with anyone that has commented earlier). The confirmation of the Spirit about the temple and its ordinances etc., as with every other important part of the Gospel, is the only true witness of its truth. Hopefully, everyone starts from this premise and goes from there.

Good point J. Yes, and although I didn't do the best job of it in my ueber long post, this is also what I wanted to say. The spirit converts and the spirit testifies to us of the mission and purpose of the temple. It is ulitmately God's sanction of the temple with His priesthood that makes the temple the "House of the Lord."

That is why the mason connection isn't bothering. Because, if you really wanted to get into it, you could find connections to our temple with many ancient mysteries and groups. There is a sprinkling of Kabbalah (just find out about "The House of the Lord" and what it means), a bit of the Elusinian, much that can remind one of Isis worship of the Egyptian stripe. But even more that corresponds with the ancient Hebraic temple.

And even if the masons weren't connected with Solomon, why couldn't they have access to hidden or buried wisdom? Why couldn't the symbols they use be valid and something we would also use? Could the masons have also been inspired by God? Does one need the priesthood to be inspired? IMO-no. Joseph found some worth in it (enough to be inducted into their mysteries and achieve rank of 33rd degree mason in an astounding record time-to the chagrin of the masons), and so did a stream of very notable people in history, including the founding fathers of the United States. So if he used parts of their ceremony I believe he did it for a good purpose, he thought it had knowledge that would help the saints.

One need only go to the Philadelphia Masonic temple and take a tour, and there you will find out that George Washington was a grand master, and others like Ben Franklin were deeply involved in masonry. Mozart's "The Magic Flute" was heavily influenced by his Masonic ties. The list of notables goes on and on.

If the temple is also a restoration of all things in this dispensation then it will be tied to many groups throughout history. How could it not? The Lord loves all of His children and many have a portion of divine truth. That is why, when I find out about the connection to other esoteric belief systems, my testimony isn't shaken. I find it hard to believe that anyone bases their testimony on the mason connection (usually the opposite, they lose it when they find out) but I do think it is a topic which should be discussed as a church body. I also think that these connections shouldn't be scary or terrible for LDS if they learn why the temple is the foundation of civilization, as Hugh Nibley posits in Temple and Cosmos.

My dad explained to me, almost verbatim, what would occur in the temple. He did it in a quiet room of the house, and I felt very prepared. There were no strange surprises.

I don't think it is church policy to hide stuff, but the ignorant (and often incredibly superstitious) "lay members" of the Church who take it upon themselves to be self-appointed guardians of "holiness".

Those people are idiots, and its a shame you have allowed (partially) their idiocy and superstition to drive you from an otherwise decent deal.

Um, I don't think it's "idiots" that shroud the temple rites in secrecy; it's the leadership of the Church. Otherwise, parents would be encouraged to do as your dad did with you, and Temple Prep classes would be detailed, almost-verbatim accounts of what will happen to otherwise unsuspecting initiates.

No, it's the idiots. Definitely. The ones who are afraid of their own shadows. Unfortunately there are lots of them, but I don't believe that it come from the top.

It would be idiotic and superstitious to assume a conspiracy here.

Anonymous 10:48, I'm with you on that one.

I first went to the temple in 1974. I had a hard time with it.

I remember the changes, I didn't think they were any big deal. I thought they were good. Right. Some highbrow word for good and right.

The Mason thing, I was in Rainbow girls, the girls' Masonic club. I don't remember anything like the temple ceremony. Although I seem to dimly remember facing mirrors, now that I think about it. It doesn't matter much to me.

I'm too tired to think straight.

No one is assuming a conspiracy; it's obvious that the policy and practice of the Church dictate that detailed talk about the temple--even in a Church setting--be kept to a bare minimum to maintain the level of "secrecy"/sacredness. Until the temple prep classes spell out the temple in detail, most members are going to follow that lead and refrain from teaching others beyond the bare essentials (i.e. Sunday School answers). Why do you think your dad had to do this hush-hush instead of expounding on the temple in Sacrament Meeting? Try talking about the temple in detail in a talk or testimony sometime, or even in Sunday School. Even the book "The HOly TEmple", written by an apostle, says nothing special about the temple. You're no more informed than before you read it. And it's intentional.

It's not the idiots that prevent talk about the temple, it's the correlation committee and other leaders of the Church. Unless you're trying to say they're idiots.

The idiots are the lay members who think the leaders are demi-gods. The leaders can't help it if they are practically worshipped by fools.

On the other hand, neither of you have the guts to identify yourself while you are calling others idiots. Why are you hiding behind secrecy if you're so sure of yourself?

Is your name really annegb? If not, you're just as anonymous as the rest of us...

ohhhh....fine. You're right.

Maybe you could call yourselves anonymous 1 and anonymous 2.

"Otherwise, parents would be encouraged to do as your dad did with you, and Temple Prep classes would be detailed, almost-verbatim accounts of what will happen to otherwise unsuspecting initiates."

Parents have been encouraged to do so.

"Because of [the Temple's] sacredness we are sometimes reluctant to say anything about the Temple to our children and grandchildren. As a consequence, many do not develop a real desire to go to the Temple, or when they go there, they do so without much background to prepare them for the obligations and covenants they enter into." (President Benson. "What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children about the Temple." Ensign, August (1985): 6-10)

My temple prep class is fairly explicit.

Further, the apostles themselves are not in full agreement on how and what can be discussed outside the temple, so they publicly take a conservative position. As Elder Packer says, they teach the rules, not the exceptions.

"Parents have been encouraged to do so?" By whom?????

Find me a quote from a lesson, training manual or the CHI and maybe I'll believe that.

Also, before 1990 (or even before January 2005) there were creepier and more disconcerting elements about the temple that were never discussed AT ALL by anyone--not in temple prep class, not by renegade parents in basements, not anywhere. The temple used to have a far more metaphysical, hocus pocus character to it that it doesn't now possess.

Now the temple sacredness can be found all over the Internet. You can even see all the temple garb at your average funeral. There is very little distinctive about the temple anyway.

But there is more to this than even disclosing the secret things. There's the disingenuity of saying that people should be prepared for the most sacred, most important of rites, and then asking them (before they even have taken any oaths at all) that if they disagree with anything, they should leave now... (ominous thundering voice).

Just a comment on a few statements about members having access to learning about the temple before attending themselves. If you speak and read English maybe you have access to what really happens in the temple. But if you speak another language then you are severely limited. For example in Japan there are probably only about 10 books or less that have been translated into Japanese. So they are limited to manuals, church magazines, or scriptures. And I have never seen the temple ceremonies or covenants detailed in the manuals, or magazines. So I totally agree that the church should do a lot more on explaining the temple and what is expected before members attend. I grew up in Utah and was very very active in the church. But I was a bit shocked when I went through the temple for the first time. I went before 1990 when the penalties were still in place. I was not prepared it and I know many who say the same thing. So if Utah mormons can say they were not ready or were shocked I can only imagine what members in other countries with less access to materials go through.
And as for JS being a 33rd degree mason, that is just false. He was a master mason which is the forth degree in york masonry if I remember correctly. The York style of masonry only has about 13 degrees. Scottish masonry has 32 degrees and a supposed 33rd special degree. And the penalties previously in the endowment are very similar to the masonic penalties. The signs and tokens are also similar but not identical. Anyone who claims that the temple ceremony doesn't contain any masonic influence is not aware of the the facts or is being dishonest.
Having said that the part of the endowment that differs is the covenants one makes. The story told in the endowment seems to be a teaching story(allegorical) which could be changed as long as the covenants are not.

Yes, you are right Japan guy. I should have said Master Mason instead. But it is close to the same thing, don't you think? In masonry texts that I've read they haven't made too much of a deal between the differences of Scottish and York lodges-often using one degree system to describe the other. But I don't think the York system has 13-I believe it only has 3 degrees (with an additional master mason 4)

That said, it doesn't really change the content of my post and I think we agree on essentially the same points. But your point about those members who are oustide the country is a good one. I'm currently living in a different country and I know the members here yearn for something besides the basic milk stuff they have been given in their own language. Yes, they probably aren't prepared for it (the endowment) at all. Still, many many of these members treasure their temple experiences and don't have a problem with it. THe spirit converts and the spirit testifies. REally, it comes down to this no matter how much information is at ones disposal.

Post a Comment

This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

Various Links

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates