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Bernard Gui

The Joy of the Temple

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38 minutes ago, Five Solas said:

In the Bible, the death of Jesus is marked by the temple curtain being torn from top to bottom.  (See Mark 15:38-39, though the account is repeated in all the synoptic gospels). 

In the Christian tradition, the rending of the veil signifies the removal of the separation between God and people.  Through the work of Jesus on the cross, gentiles everywhere have access to the very presence of God.  And the fact it's torn from the top down makes clear this is the work of God, not man.  The author of Hebrews understands the significance and underscores the point in 6:19-20.  And the coming destruction of the temple is made inevitable.  

It's certainly understandable why those in the Jewish faith would reject all this and suppose God would remain most accessible in a particular space (e.g., along or under the Western Wall).  But for LDS who claim faith in the person and work of Christ--it makes a whole lot less sense.  

What do LDS think of Mark 15:38-39 and the torn curtain?  Was it just a random event and the Apostle Paul and ensuing Christian tradition made a mountain out of a molehill? 

--Erik

As far as I'm aware, we teach the same thing about the rent veil.  It's what I've always been taught about it growing up and as an adult. 

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3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Perhaps, but I was thinking of the boisterous, participatory atmosphere in a Jewish congregation, everyone singing the liturgy together, dancing around and parading with the Torah.  The ultra-Orthodox are even more demonstrative, something like Jewish pentecostals.  An LDS congregation is much less celebratory.  The Jewish experience is very different, and I have experienced it many times.

I figured you were meaning something like that.  I just couldn't let the opportunity pass to give a shout out to the home team.  :)

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7 hours ago, Garden Girl said:

Hamba....  This is so similar to what I posted in the "God gives special attention" thread where I told about my prayers for a struggling family member... where I had prayed so very earnestly on their behalf, and how I had heard the still small voice so plainly that "All will be well."  And the sense of peace that had filled me completely, and I had no doubt... I clung to that experience, and assurance, for the next almost two years... and I had cried out, "How long, Father, how long?"  And finally, miracle of miracles... wonderful things happened for this person, who went on to be very successful.  Indeed, all was well.   What that taught me was that God knows us, hears our prayers, and answers them in his own time and in his own way with what is best for us and when...

I love the temple and served as an ordinance worker for six years... which afforded me the most wonderful spiritual experiences.  I miss being able to serve, but health issues prevent all but an occasional temple visit...

GG

I've been praying on a certain matter for about a year. The Lord hasn't told me all is well or really anything on the matter. But I know He is there, even days it doesn't feel like it. I know how the How long feeling goes. But what other option is there? Not waiting doesn't bring the blessings.

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3 hours ago, Five Solas said:

In the Bible, the death of Jesus is marked by the temple curtain being torn from top to bottom.  (See Mark 15:38-39, though the account is repeated in all the synoptic gospels). 

In the Christian tradition, the rending of the veil signifies the removal of the separation between God and people.  Through the work of Jesus on the cross, gentiles everywhere have access to the very presence of God.  And the fact it's torn from the top down makes clear this is the work of God, not man.  The author of Hebrews understands the significance and underscores the point in 6:19-20.  And the coming destruction of the temple is made inevitable.  

It's certainly understandable why those in the Jewish faith would reject all this and suppose God would remain most accessible in a particular space (e.g., along or under the Western Wall).  But for LDS who claim faith in the person and work of Christ--it makes a whole lot less sense.  

What do LDS think of Mark 15:38-39 and the torn curtain?  Was it just a random event and the Apostle Paul and ensuing Christian tradition made a mountain out of a molehill? 

--Erik

Not seeing how this has to do with anything. The rending of the Temple veil didn't stop the early saints from going to the Temple or worshiping in the Temple. Why should it stop us?

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3 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Precisely. And in return, we get to know Him ... but this knowledge can take considerable faith and patience, not to mention all the wrestling and repenting.

Thanks for sharing this. One of my concerns -- and I'll admit that it's a selfish one -- is that I'll somehow miss out if I no longer get to be on the receiving end of the ordinances. I believe with my mind that the voice of God can speak to those serving as well as those being served, but I obviously haven't experienced it yet.

Trust me, Hamba, you will experience great joy if you become a worker... I've wept with sisters, laughed with sisters, prayed with sisters, or just sat quietly with them... there was one sister who was wheelchair bound who came every week to do the work for her family ancestors.  As she would finish the initiatory ordinances, she would kiss the card and thank us... she served her family with such love it was an honor to perform the ordinances.  

And at times the presence of family was felt as we performed the ordinances... those were favorite times for me... But for me personally, there were times between sessions that I could sit quietly for a few minutes when I could pray and feel so close to the Savior and Heavenly Father, particularly in the Celestial Room... how I do miss that because although I can feel this closeness elsewhere, there's something about the temple...  

GG

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39 minutes ago, Avatar4321 said:

Not seeing how this has to do with anything...

The point of the rending of the curtain is that God's presence is accessible everywhere.  Yet the OP imagines there is still something special about a building called a temple and rituals taking place therein.  It imagines that a temple somehow makes God more accessible, that extra good things happen there.  And yet this flies in the face of the New Testament and the verses I cited previously. 

When the temple was destroyed ~ 70 A.D., it was already superfluous, made so by Christ's work on the cross.  The age of the temple had passed.  It's understandable that those of the Jewish Faith wouldn't appreciate this.  But it's less clear why LDS wouldn't.   

Does that help you see the difficulty/contradiction, or are you still not understanding it?

--Erik

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A few experiences I would like to share.

1  BlueDreams talking about crying made me remember the time I burst into full blown loud crying in the celestial room.  There was at the time only one other woman and the worker.   It was a crying I could not restrain.  So,  yes, I've done that too.  Of course, the other two women noticed and at least one came over to me.  Although at the time, I really didn't want to be comforted, I wanted to get it OUT! ha ha.

2  Like most people, I struggle with wondering if God knows I exist and if he really knows and cares about me etc etc etc.  Can't say that that is solved even to this day.  But one of my favorite temple experiences was not supernatural or loud or even insightful.  I was sitting in the celestial room and just allowing myself to enjoy the decoration, my eyes rested on the flowers for a long time.  And then God said to me, simply, "I have put you where I want you to be."  Meaning the place he gave me is that celestial peace . . . and only I am the one who is going to walk out of there.  God gave me that place, he put me in it, and he will never take it away.  I am always worried about worthiness, but my Father in Heaven was telling me, 'it's already done, it's already given, it's already yours, it's already here, you have nothing to prove, just be here'.

3  There was a time when, approaching the veil, it really was a conversation between the Lord and me, and not a rite I was doing for a proxy.  The Lord's presence visited me, came upon me, there.  (And my presence came  upon Him, to tell you the truth!)

4  I love to read the (white!) scriptures in the temple.  I always let one of them fall open to wherever it may, and read it where it opens, and I am never disappointed that I don't find some cool bit I never noticed or completely understood before.  Another thing between me and God, I do it deliberately every time now, because early on it was happening by "accident" and then I just realized I could always enjoy that if I wanted.  It's probably not a real thing that "temple scripture study" is better than any other place to study scripture (all the same, I'm sure, to the sincere in heart), but I like to pretend it is, and, as I said, never disappointed.

Edited by Maidservant
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52 minutes ago, Maidservant said:

Please don't turn this thread into one of debate.  You can start your question on another thread.

This is a thread on our joy.  If you feel uncomfortable with it, you don't have to witness it.  Please don't try to make sure we know that we have no right to our temple joy.

If you would like to, though, you can just enjoy the stories :), no problem.

With all due respect, Maidservant - the choice is not yours.  The author of the OP, Bernard Gui, put his post in "General Discussions" inviting feedback.  If he wanted mere affirmation - he would have put it in "Social Hall" instead. 

He's been around a while and knows the difference.  Suggest you give him the benefit of any doubt.

;0)

--Erik

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6 hours ago, Five Solas said:

In the Christian tradition, the rending of the veil signifies the removal of the separation between God and people.

An experience Latter-day Saints get to commemorate and reenact each time we enter the Lord's house. So good!

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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1 hour ago, Garden Girl said:

Trust me, Hamba, you will experience great joy if you become a worker... 

Although I can feel this closeness elsewhere, there's something about the temple...  

There is indeed! Thanks again for sharing. You've given me more to consider. :)

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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1 hour ago, Maidservant said:

A few experiences I would like to share.

4  I love to read the (white!) scriptures in the temple. I always let one of them fall open to wherever it may be and read it where it opens, and I am never disappointed that I don't find some cool bit I never noticed or completely understood before.  Another thing between me and God, I do it deliberately every time now, because early on it was happening by "accident" and then I just realized I could always enjoy that if I wanted.  It's probably not a real thing that "temple scripture study" is better than any other place to study scripture (all the same, I'm sure, to the sincere in heart), but I like to pretend it is, and, as I said, never disappointed. 

Maidservant...

I, too, love reading the scriptures in the temple...  I pray to Heavenly Father and ask if there is anything He would want me to receive, then let them fall open.  One time when I was a worker, I found myself alone in the Celestial Room between sessions, so I took the opportunity to read the scriptures.  I had a particularly heavy heart because of everything going on "in the world."  It was during the Iraq War... society in general seemed to have so many problems, etc etc... so I prayed for comfort and let the scriptures fall open... D&C 45... and began to read... this section is partly about the chaos of the end times, wars and rumors of war. the love of men waxing cold... but that Christ's disciples will stand in holy places (temples, wards?) and not be moved... and if we are faithful, we can find peace in spite of the turmoil around us... so I did take heart, and still do... 

GG

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11 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Thanks for sharing this. One of my concerns -- and I'll admit that it's a selfish one -- is that I'll somehow miss out if I no longer get to be on the receiving end of the ordinances. I believe with my mind that the voice of God can speak to those serving as well as those being served, but I obviously haven't experienced it yet.

They're different, that's for sure. But I haven't found it as missing out in the least. I obviously go less as a patron, but it has been extremely enriching to be a worker. as either a worker or a patron I think what you receive is based on large part for the spiritual stance you take. If you're earnestly there, you'll earnestly receive :). Besides, everyone is serving someone His house, living and dead; patron or worker.

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9 hours ago, Five Solas said:

With all due respect, Maidservant - the choice is not yours.  The author of the OP, Bernard Gui, put his post in "General Discussions" inviting feedback.  If he wanted mere affirmation - he would have put it in "Social Hall" instead. 

He's been around a while and knows the difference.  Suggest you give him the benefit of any doubt.

;0)

--Erik

It was a personal request from me to you, one human being to another.  As you wish.

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I walk with a pair of forearm crutches, for any of you who might not know.  There is a beautiful spiral staircase in the rebuilt Nauvoo Temple.  (I can't remember, but I believe the Endowment waiting room is on the first floor, and the ordinance rooms are on upper floors.)  I was "following the crowd" as it ascended the staircase for an Endowment session when one of the ever-solicitous workers approached me and asked, "Would you like to take the elevator, Brother?"  I told her, "Thanks, but it's not every day I get to ascend a beautiful spiral staircase in the House of the Lord." :D 

On that same visit (I was there for several days, as my Auntie and Uncle were serving as Temple missionaries), I did an initiatory for the first time since I'd received my own Endowment nearly 20 years before.  I had been denied licensure in my would-be chosen profession based largely (if not entirely) on a complicated behavioral health history.  

While a part of me was wondering what I should do in light of the denial (what my next step should be), I cannot say that I was inordinately troubled by the denial or that I had gone to the Temple seeking specific guidance or answers on that particular subject.  Others' mileage may vary, but, in my mind, that makes what happened next especially significant.  A particular passage of the initiatory hit me with unusual force.  It talks about wielding a specific instrument in defense of certain qualities.

I wouldn't expect the passage of the initiatory to hit anyone else with the same force it hit me. But I came away from the experience feeling that perhaps even the circuitous route I had taken to that point in my continuing search to find out what I'm supposed to do on this planet, occupationally speaking, had not been in vain.  Given everything that has happened (and that has not happened) since, frankly, I'm a bit befuddled and bewildered by that experience (the meandering search, it seems, continues, with no end in sight).  But I cannot deny the unmistakeable impression I got.

On another occasion (it was my most recent previous visit to the Temple, which, I'm ashamed to say, is longer ago, now, than I care to admit :huh::unknw: ) I was still answering phones for an office which helps people apply for disability benefits.  In my current position, which I secured after leaving that one, saying, "Lexus Enform, this is Kenneth.  Where would you like to go today?" day after day, over and over, call after call, did lose its appeal rather quickly.  But it beats saying, "XYZ Disability, how may I correct your doll?"  ... Oops!  I mean, "How may I direct your call?" :D ... over and over, call after call, day after day; and it especially beats working for, and impossibly attempting to satisfy, She Who Could Not Possibly Be Pleased, Yet Still Must Be Obeyed. 

It had been a hot day, and I was in something of a rush.  Though the walk to the Temple from my car was a short one, nonetheless, it was long enough and hot enough that I was perspiring quite a bit even after I changed for the session.   Sitting in a waiting room, still perspiring somewhat heavily (Ewwww! :huh: Yeah, I know, I know!), with the air conditioning at full blast, I should have been cold.  But I had a distinct warm feeling.  Was that warm feeling supposed to be, "Don't worry, Ken.  This job [i.e., XYZ Disability] will work out"?  I doubt it. I don't think She Who Could Not Possibly Be Pleased, Yet Still Must Be Obeyed would have stood for that! <_< 

And the truth is that, basically, I already had one foot out the door in anticipation of being pushed the rest of the way out from XYZ Disability, anyway.  But I had no idea what my next move after that would be; that was my first full-time, benefitted position in nearly 20 years.  Was that warm feeling supposed to be, "Whatever happens, Ken, don't worry.  Things will work out"?  If I were a betting man, my money would be on that one.  Shortly after quitting-right-before-being-pushed-out-the-door, I saw that a particular company was having a hiring event at Workforce Services in Provo, so I ginned up a resume, got gussied up for the dog-and-pony show, and went to what I thought would be the hiring event ... but I got the day wrong, so nobody from that company was there ... but a recruiter from my current employer happened to be there.  She gave me a preliminary interview and map-reading and interpersonal/customer service tests. (I'm OK at customer service; pretty good, in fact.  But I suck at map-reading.  Still I must have done well enough ... if just barely well enough ... so, thank you, Boy Scouts of America! :D )  And "The rest," as they say, "is history." 

Yes, I wish somebody would pay me to do something besides answer phones, all day, every day, day in and day out. :rolleyes:  Yes, I wish an idiot psychologist hadn't blithely swept away nearly ten years' worth of earnest, sincere, sustained efforts at rehabilitation with a careless evaluation. :angry: Grrrr!  Yes, I wish my would-be chosen profession were something more than a really expensive hobby.  Yes, the truth is, I'm not really sure what my next move should be (I've filed a complaint with Vocational Rehabilitation about the psychologist.  Even if I prevail, it'll be somewhat of a Pyhrric victory with his evaluation still on the record (which means I would still have to disclose it to the Bar if I were to reapply).  Yes, I still have many questions.  Yes, my view of the future is rather opaque, but the truth is, it pretty much always has been.  But could things be worse?  As much as I hate to admit it, yeah, they could be: "Whatever happens, Ken, don't worry.  Things will work out."

 

Edited by Kenngo1969
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16 hours ago, Garden Girl said:

Maidservant...

I, too, love reading the scriptures in the temple...  I pray to Heavenly Father and ask if there is anything He would want me to receive, then let them fall open.  One time when I was a worker, I found myself alone in the Celestial Room between sessions, so I took the opportunity to read the scriptures.  I had a particularly heavy heart because of everything going on "in the world."  It was during the Iraq War... society in general seemed to have so many problems, etc etc... so I prayed for comfort and let the scriptures fall open... D&C 45... and began to read... this section is partly about the chaos of the end times, wars and rumors of war. the love of men waxing cold... but that Christ's disciples will stand in holy places (temples, wards?) and not be moved... and if we are faithful, we can find peace in spite of the turmoil around us... so I did take heart, and still do... 

GG

Every time I go, if time allows, I read 2 Nephi 9-10. It is a sermon by Jacob, outlining the greatest teaching concerning the Atonement, or the need for the Atonement ever written. 

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From the perspective of someone who has let their TR lapse I hope it's okay that I chime in...

I miss some things in the temple...I miss the sweet temple worker ladies that were so patient with me at the veil. I miss seeing their smiling faces and it seemed like they knew and loved me. 

I remember going with all of my in laws twice a year and sitting at the back of the chapel waiting for one another to be there before we all went to the front. I remember sitting there thinking of the person I was there for and what they must be like and how they were waiting for me to do their work. 

I remember feeling safe at the temple and feeling like my children were safe because I was there. I remember putting many of my family members on the temple prayer list. 

I remember going to Nauvoo with my husband a few years ago and feeling a little sad that I couldn't go into the renovated Nauvoo temple with a lapsed TR and thinking that a just few years before that I had tried to plan a trip with my family and how we could all do work in the temple, such as baptisms for the dead etc. and then to have my faith crushed. 

I'm happy that so many of you have that ability still, I totally took it for granted. 

 

 

Edited by Tacenda

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On 9/8/2017 at 11:44 PM, BlueDreams said:

In short, just about everything. 

3 things come to mind immediately. 

1. The knowledge. I became a temple worker because I wanted to know the temple inside and out. I wanted to fully understand it. It has been a wonderful experience that has expanded my knowledge and given me insight into women's stewardship. It is like a key that has unlocked parts of the scriptures and made everyday life pieces of a temple experience. The knowledge has made the temple be carried with me, wherever I go. Seeing more the intricacies and hand of God in daily simple things.

2. The people. The temple workers have often been instrumental in my healing when I was at some of my worst moments. The first time I really remember this was when I was a patron. I had had my heart broken painfully so. I'm not a crier, but I needed to let go. But I couldn't anywhere else. The only place I felt secure enough to do so was in the temple. I went for initiatories and I entered the booth to find 3 older women (which is a little less common in the provo temple). They became like three gentle Mothers as I began to crack at the seams. One held my face and told me gently there was no better place to cry. One cared for me. And one cried with me. It still chokes me up to think of that beautiful and gentle moment as I went around this circle of love and care and beauty then stillness before I started again. The next was years later when I was angry and hurt....particularly at God. But I had to work the next day in the temple. Yippee. The assistant to the matron saw me in one of my posts and asked me how I was doing. I told her not great. Again, she cared for me in a way that made me start to tear up. Then she gently touched my face and wiped away my tears, telling me that it was good to cry because it cleansed the soul. The scripture about Christ coming and wiping away all tears came to mind. She was literally Christ's hands that day.  Before I could leave my spot she ran to write down a scripture for me to read later.  That scripture was a catalyst that allowed me to sit in the sealing room alone and open up my pain and hurt to God. 

3. Christ. It is the place that I felt the presence of Christ. That I knew He intrinsically knew my sorrows and pain. Knew where I was and sat with me, loving in a way more deep and powerful and gentle than anything I felt before. In a moment of pure transcendence I understood this scripture to the bottom of my soul in psalms 40:

  

In a moment where I had been in despondency and pain, I found the pain removed with a joy and love so deep that it made me want to sing praise to the beauty of God. I cannot say enough to describe the profound experience of peace that it was like to know with certainty that Christ sat with me that evening in the temple. 

 

With luv,

BD

This is the feeling I got when the little Muslim girl touched my daughter's face near the Jerusalem walls. I have been unable to describe it acurately before now. Thank you. 

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On 9/9/2017 at 8:45 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

The Jews do not have a temple today, and so their talk of such joy is perhaps contemplative and hopeful.  Meantime, if you want to see or experience religious joy, attend an Orthodox synagogue on the Sabbath or attend a Sabbath meal in a Jewish home.  http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/593036/jewish/Shabbat.htm . -- the part where the Jewish father lays a hand on the head of his child and blesses him is especially moving.

My husband and I were able to sit on the square next to the Western wall on the Sabbath evening. I loved the singing, the joy and the togetherness of it all. Watching the groups of youth or young adults I wished that we, as LDS, had something similar.

Edited by Rain
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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

From the perspective of someone who has let their TR lapse I hope it's okay that I chime in...

I miss some things in the temple...I miss the sweet temple worker ladies that were so patient with me at the veil. I miss seeing their smiling faces and it seemed like they knew and loved me. 

I remember going with all of my in laws twice a year and sitting at the back of the chapel waiting for one another to be there before we all went to the front. I remember sitting there thinking of the person I was there for and what they must be like and how they were waiting for me to do their work. 

I remember feeling safe at the temple and feeling like my children were safe because I was there. I remember putting many of my family members on the temple prayer list. 

I remember going to Nauvoo with my husband a few years ago and feeling a little sad that I couldn't go into the renovated Nauvoo temple with a lapsed TR and thinking that a just few years before that I had tried to plan a trip with my family and how we could all do work in the temple, such as baptisms for the dead etc. and then to have my faith crushed. 

I'm happy that so many of you have that ability still, I totally took it for granted. 

 

 

I would rep this if I could. Very sweet.

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On 9/9/2017 at 9:13 PM, Five Solas said:

The point of the rending of the curtain is that God's presence is accessible everywhere.  Yet the OP imagines there is still something special about a building called a temple and rituals taking place therein.  It imagines that a temple somehow makes God more accessible, that extra good things happen there.  And yet this flies in the face of the New Testament and the verses I cited previously. 

When the temple was destroyed ~ 70 A.D., it was already superfluous, made so by Christ's work on the cross.  The age of the temple had passed.  It's understandable that those of the Jewish Faith wouldn't appreciate this.  But it's less clear why LDS wouldn't.   

Does that help you see the difficulty/contradiction, or are you still not understanding it?

--Erik

This conclusion completely ignores the fact that Christians worshiped in the temple after the curtain was rent until the temple was destroyed. Why would the continue this if the temple was superfluous?

If Temple worship is superfluous why do we have the prophecies that the Temple will be rebuilt before His coming?

The Temple is not superfluous. It's vital to our Eternal destinies. Temple worship was lost to Christians not because it served no purpose, but because the Church had lost the priesthood keys and direction to build and use them. The loss of the temple is evidence for the Apostasy. And the argument that we don't need was created to avoid that obvious truth.

 

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