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Rob Bowman

It'S Too Sacred

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I have been criticized and even excoriated on another thread for supposedly not understanding that when Mormons say that temple rituals should not be publicized because they are "sacred," this term has limited application to rituals. I do understand that context. However, I have noticed in other threads that the idea of something being "sacred" has been used to explain lack of information on non-ritual matters. Three examples come to mind.

(1) I have been told that the reason why very few LDS apostles since Joseph Smith have spoken publicly about seeing the risen Jesus is that the experience was too sacred.

(2) I have also been told that the details of a Mormon's spiritual testimony or experience by which they know that the Book of Mormon (etc.) is true are also too sacred to discuss publicly.

(3) A current thread includes the statement that the reason why we don't hear more stories from Mormons about miracles occurring in fulfillment of a priesthood blessing is that "The experience is not going to be publicized because it is simply [too] sacred." (I understand that the priesthood blessing might be described as a sacred ritual, but not the promised miracle itself.)

So, what should I think about those Mormons who criticized me for not understanding that the temple rituals are secret because they are sacred rituals and not merely because they are "sacred" in a broader sense? Were they wrong? Or were these Mormons wrong to appeal to the "sacred" nature of various non-ritual experiences (visions of Jesus, personal testimonies of the Book of Mormon's truth, miracles of healing, etc.)? Is it possible that Mormons too easily appeal to sacredness to rationalize lack of information on a wide variety of issues?

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So, what should I think about those Mormons who criticized me for not understanding that the temple rituals are secret because they are sacred rituals and not merely because they are "sacred" in a broader sense?

You should love them, and not think about them too often. You surely have better things on which to focus your thinking.

Or were these Mormons wrong to appeal to the "sacred" nature of various non-ritual experiences (visions of Jesus, personal testimonies of the Book of Mormon's truth, miracles of healing, etc.)?

Don't you find it rather difficult to think in terms of someone being wrong who decides not to share personal experiences with others. Pearls come to mind.

Is it possible that Mormons too easily appeal to sacredness to rationalize lack of information on a wide variety of issues?

Sure it's possible. So what? It's nobody's business why someone decides not to share personal experiences, and if they want to rely on their pecerption of it as a sacred event to justify their selfish hold on their own experiences, who are we to second-guess them.

The problem may be the world in which we live and the idea that everything everyone does is everyone else's business and everyone has the right to know everything about anything.

So Rob, what is sacred to you? And how do you demonstrate it?

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(1) I have been told that the reason why very few LDS apostles since Joseph Smith have spoken publicly about seeing the risen Jesus is that the experience was too sacred.

Interesting. I think this is some what ironic. I think that saying it is too sacred to share an apostles seeing the risen Lord kind of problematic. I am not sure why it is not talked about more. Perhpas, it will follow a little bit about what I will say about 3.

(2) I have also been told that the details of a Mormon's spiritual testimony or experience by which they know that the Book of Mormon (etc.) is true are also too sacred to discuss publicly.

This is interesting as well. I have talked openly about my experiance. Though I often do not go into all of the details because they are not always relevant to the discussion at hand. I can't say that the experiance it's self is too sacred to share. The most important aspect is that I do have a testimony.

(3) A current thread includes the statement that the reason why we don't hear more stories from Mormons about miracles occurring in fulfillment of a priesthood blessing is that "The experience is not going to be publicized because it is simply [too] sacred." (I understand that the priesthood blessing might be described as a sacred ritual, but not the promised miracle itself.)

This one has more to do with pearls before swine. I have had some of my experiances mocked. There for I do not share them openly. I am more reserved. Perhaps, possibly, that is why some of hte Apostles do not share them seeing the risen Lord.

Hope that helps.

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Christ did charge many of those with whom he interacted during his mortal life to keep an experience private. Perhaps this has application today as well. I have had experiences in my life that are special to me, but that I don't think another person would understand on the same level. It's not that I can't tell them or consider it to sacred, it's just that I recognize my own inablility to communicate my innermost feelings effectivly.

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Rob Bowman:

There are actually very few things in the Temple we have covenanted not to reveal. But out of sense of sacredness, and propriety most of us demure from comment on all or nearly all things Temple related. It really is up to the individuals own discretion. Same can be said of other Sacred Spiritual experiences we have.

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So, what should I think about those Mormons who criticized me for not understanding that the temple rituals are secret because they are sacred rituals and not merely because they are "sacred" in a broader sense? Were they wrong? Or were these Mormons wrong to appeal to the "sacred" nature of various non-ritual experiences (visions of Jesus, personal testimonies of the Book of Mormon's truth, miracles of healing, etc.)? Is it possible that Mormons too easily appeal to sacredness to rationalize lack of information on a wide variety of issues?

As seen here above, the nature of "sacred" varies from person to person. However, it seems reasonable that "sacred" should cover anything the person does not want to see belittled, attacked, profaned or vulgarized (in the classic senses of these words), or paraded about in front of mocking audiences.

As mentioned, Christ warned us not to cast pearls before swine, lest they turn and rend us after having stomped them into the dirt. The Evangelical street screechers at our conferences, Temple dedications, and pagents leap instantly to mind, although they represent only the most visible of a sizable genre.

Were I to reveal some of the things I have expereienced, there is no doubt in my mind that several here (and countless elsewhere) would belittle, attack, profane and vulgarize, and parade them about in front of mocking audiences. I am not alone in this fear. I know because it's happened to me and to others I respect and love.

For people who have little that is sacred, the concept of the sacred is poorly understood at best, and is scorned as secretiveness. At worst, it becomes the object of physical attack.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers
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I have been criticized and even excoriated on another thread for supposedly not understanding that when Mormons say that temple rituals should not be publicized because they are "sacred," this term has limited application to rituals. I do understand that context. However, I have noticed in other threads that the idea of something being "sacred" has been used to explain lack of information on non-ritual matters. Three examples come to mind.

(1) I have been told that the reason why very few LDS apostles since Joseph Smith have spoken publicly about seeing the risen Jesus is that the experience was too sacred.

(2) I have also been told that the details of a Mormon's spiritual testimony or experience by which they know that the Book of Mormon (etc.) is true are also too sacred to discuss publicly.

(3) A current thread includes the statement that the reason why we don't hear more stories from Mormons about miracles occurring in fulfillment of a priesthood blessing is that "The experience is not going to be publicized because it is simply [too] sacred." (I understand that the priesthood blessing might be described as a sacred ritual, but not the promised miracle itself.)

So, what should I think about those Mormons who criticized me for not understanding that the temple rituals are secret because they are sacred rituals and not merely because they are "sacred" in a broader sense? Were they wrong? Or were these Mormons wrong to appeal to the "sacred" nature of various non-ritual experiences (visions of Jesus, personal testimonies of the Book of Mormon's truth, miracles of healing, etc.)? Is it possible that Mormons too easily appeal to sacredness to rationalize lack of information on a wide variety of issues?

Are you willing to publicize all your personal prayers and intimate conversations with the Lord? Including details of sins and transgressions that you have committed that you are seeking forgiveness for? Are you willing to publicize every intimate detail of you and your spouse's relationship between the sheets?

This argument is plain silly because you would not publish intimate details of your prayer because of the sacredness of them. Heck, why do you bother praying in secret anyway? Why not just pray publically all the time so everyone can here your intimate conversations with the Lord?

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A former nuclear scientist and a current Apostle of the Lord once said:

"A quiet impression could be a personal instruction from the Lord. It is personal and private. It comes from the Lord. Why is it important to keep sacred writings private? Because then He will give us more." Elder Richard G. Scott

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So Rob, what is sacred to you? And how do you demonstrate it?

Precisely what I was going to ask, but you are much nicer than what I was going to say.

All of these have to do with one's personal relationship with God. I don't talk about personal things between my wife and me, and I also don't talk about personal things between my God and me.

To talk about either is to cheapen it.

I suppose some people either do not understand this or don't care what they share with others. Both are just too personal to share. I have seen genuine miracles- cancer cures the day of surgery- the cancer "disappearing" overnight- and many others like this- but I will speak only in general terms about such things.

It's just plain no one's business especially someone who will ridicule them like present company.

Anyone who publishes temple material subjects it to ridicule. It is like posting pictures from someone's bedroom on the internet. It's a vile practice and that's all there is to it.

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Rob Bowman:

There are actually very few things in the Temple we have covenanted not to reveal.

Since he has it on his website, I think he is aware of this.

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So, what should I think about those Mormons who criticized me for not understanding that the temple rituals are secret because they are sacred rituals and not merely because they are "sacred" in a broader sense? Were they wrong? Or were these Mormons wrong to appeal to the "sacred" nature of various non-ritual experiences (visions of Jesus, personal testimonies of the Book of Mormon's truth, miracles of healing, etc.)? Is it possible that Mormons too easily appeal to sacredness to rationalize lack of information on a wide variety of issues?

I would advise you to think to ask the individuals what they meant, both those who meant it in a narrow and those who meant it in a broad sense. Why is either/or wrong when either can be right?

The Lord has made it easy (Matthew 11:25-30) to appeal to faith to address the lack empirical information, faith being “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The same applies to addressing a preponderance of empirical information, which is the world we live in.

Whether something can be so directly reflective of faith that it is sacred, or even too sacred to reveal to the wise and prudent is also addressed in Matthew 11:25-30.

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You know, I was just thinking that it seems that no one other than LDS have this sense of the "sacred".

Just from that, I wonder if we can take that as evidence that our experiences really ARE different from other religions.

If no one else has that experience, how am I supposed to conclude anything else? We have often described the testimony experience as a "6th sense"- analogies with a blind man not understanding color or a deaf person not understanding music, abound.

I will go ahead and say it even if it is not PC

Suppose we really ARE the elect, and no one else even HAS that 6th sense?

Why can't they understand this then? Why the continuing questions from every religion on earth including atheists and agnostics? And yet we understand each other- while others don't have a clue what we are talking about.

What's up with that?

This thread just got me thinking- why don't they get it?

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I'm sorry to say that so far no one has addressed the issue I raised. The issue has to do with the disparity between my being told, by Mormons in this forum, that it is only because the temple ceremonies are sacred rituals that they are not to be discussed publicly (not merely because they are sacred), and my being told, also by Mormons in this forum, that various non-ritual matters are not discussed publicly because they are too sacred.

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I would advise you to think to ask the individuals what they meant, both those who meant it in a narrow and those who meant it in a broad sense. Why is either/or wrong when either can be right?

The Lord has made it easy (Matthew 11:25-30) to appeal to faith to address the lack empirical information, faith being “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The same applies to addressing a preponderance of empirical information, which is the world we live in.

Whether something can be so directly reflective of faith that it is sacred, or even too sacred to reveal to the wise and prudent is also addressed in Matthew 11:25-30.

Exactly!

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You know, I was just thinking that it seems that no one other than LDS have this sense of the "sacred".

Just from that, I wonder if we can take that as evidence that our experiences really ARE different from other religions.

In the thread about the reason for keeping temple rituals secret, various Mormons asserted that ritual secrecy is a widespread phenomenon found in other religions, recognized by anthropologists, and that LDS temple secrets fall into this same category. Do you now disagree with that line of reasoning?

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I'm sorry to say that so far no one has addressed the issue I raised. The issue has to do with the disparity between my being told, by Mormons in this forum, that it is only because the temple ceremonies are sacred rituals that they are not to be discussed publicly (not merely because they are sacred), and my being told, also by Mormons in this forum, that various non-ritual matters are not discussed publicly because they are too sacred.

It has been, here:

I would advise you to think to ask the individuals what they meant, both those who meant it in a narrow and those who meant it in a broad sense. Why is either/or wrong when either can be right?

You have to ask the individuals who make the distinction. Not all of us do.

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I'm sorry to say that so far no one has addressed the issue I raised.

I believe you are wrong—we have. It seems more and more likely, to my mind, that you fall into the category of those holding little or nothing sacred, and therefor cannot (or will not) understand the very nature of the sacred.

The issue has to do with the disparity between my being told, by Mormons in this forum, that it is only because the temple ceremonies are sacred rituals that they are not to be discussed publicly (not merely because they are sacred), and my being told, also by Mormons in this forum, that various non-ritual matters are not discussed publicly because they are too sacred.

Sacred rituals derive some of their power by their being held in reserve, hidden from the prying eyes of those seeking to satisfy an insatiable curiousity for no other reason than that they feel entitled to do so.

But the sacred is more than just ritual: it includes everything the holder desires to keep unsullied from the world. The idea of pearls before swine seems foreign to you. Am I (are we) wrong? Do you have anything you hold sacred? What is it? How do you protect it from being scorned, ridiculed, vulgarized and profaned, from being held up to the vacuous eye of the world?

If you have no such thing, then I fear any attempt on our part to explain it to you would be futile for us and empty from your point of view.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers
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Mr. Bukowski,

Telling me to ask those who made the distinction is not an answer. They are still participants in this forum. Perhaps they will comment. You wrote:

You have to ask the individuals who make the distinction. Not all of us do.

Does this mean that you do not agree with the distinction?

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Matt 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Matt 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

2Cor 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

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, that it is only because the temple ceremonies are sacred rituals that they are not to be discussed publicly (not merely because they are sacred), and my being told, also by Mormons in this forum, that various non-ritual matters are not discussed publicly because they are too sacred.

I have no idea what you are talking about.

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In the thread about the reason for keeping temple rituals secret, various Mormons asserted that ritual secrecy is a widespread phenomenon found in other religions, recognized by anthropologists, and that LDS temple secrets fall into this same category. Do you now disagree with that line of reasoning?

Maybe for starters. If you want to be taken as "sincere" with your questions and have some resemblance of respect for those who take the things of G-d as sacred.

It would probably be a good idea on a "Mormon Dialogue & Discussion Board" to stop referring to the sacredness of the Lord's Temple to "LDS temple secrets".

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And yet we understand each other- while others don't have a clue what we are talking about.

What's up with that?

Amen

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So, what should I think about those Mormons who criticized me for not understanding that the temple rituals are secret because they are sacred rituals and not merely because they are "sacred" in a broader sense? Were they wrong? Or were these Mormons wrong to appeal to the "sacred" nature of various non-ritual experiences (visions of Jesus, personal testimonies of the Book of Mormon's truth, miracles of healing, etc.)? Is it possible that Mormons too easily appeal to sacredness to rationalize lack of information on a wide variety of issues?

Matt 7:6 - Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. - Jesus

Especially when they have publicly established their porcine or canine proclivity for attacking their benefactors.

Jesus, through Joseph Smith, explained this a little further for His followers - "And the mysteries of the kingdom [i.e., the knowledge of God, revelations, ordinances, and so forth] ye shall keep within yourselves; for it is not meet to give that which is holy unto the dogs; neither cast ye your pearls unto swine, lest they trample them under their feet."

Edited by Log
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and my being told, also by Mormons in this forum, that various non-ritual matters are not discussed publicly because they are too sacred.

I can discuss with you non-ritual matters. What would you like to know? And one more question - WHY do you want to know?

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You know, I was just thinking that it seems that no one other than LDS have this sense of the "sacred".

Just from that, I wonder if we can take that as evidence that our experiences really ARE different from other religions.

If no one else has that experience, how am I supposed to conclude anything else? We have often described the testimony experience as a "6th sense"- analogies with a blind man not understanding color or a deaf person not understanding music, abound.

I will go ahead and say it even if it is not PC

Suppose we really ARE the elect, and no one else even HAS that 6th sense?

Why can't they understand this then? Why the continuing questions from every religion on earth including atheists and agnostics? And yet we understand each other- while others don't have a clue what we are talking about.

What's up with that?

This thread just got me thinking- why don't they get it?

Hear! Hear!

With the same "non PC" reasoning. That 6th sense is the gift of the Holy Ghost hence why Joseph Smith was correct - when he was asked what sets us apart from the world, he replied that it was the Holy Ghost. (can't remember the quote, anyone?)

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