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Rumors of Changes to Temple Worship

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Oh, Bernard. I just don’t see it like you do. 

How do you see it? Sincere question.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Where do you think you need to be, and what do you think you need to be doing, in order to obtain this proof?

I was asked in our preparation meeting this morning to officiate the first endowment session of our shift. That means that it was my duty to stand at the altar as a message from the First Presidency was read out. Maybe it should have been, but this was not a big deal for me. I was already familiar with the content of the message from the evening before, and I have zero issues (pro or con) regarding the content or intent of the message. As a result, I was neither seeking nor expecting anything from this experience in any way.

Moreover, as I've noted several times before on this board, I'm not a terribly 'spiritual' man in the way that word is often defined in Latter-day Saint circles. My knowledge of spiritual things tends heavily to arise from repeated practical experience, not 'manifestations' of any kind. When I do feel prompted spiritually, it nearly always requires acting on that prompting before I'm even certain the prompting was real. As a result, I have never in my entire Church life prayed about the Book of Mormon, nor have I ever received a 'spiritual witness' of that book that matches what I've heard other people report.

I say all that as background context for what happened as I stood at the temple altar this morning as a short, simple message from the First Presidency was read out. Without my even thinking about such a thing, I was filled head to toe with a spiritual witness so strong that I was overcome and reduced to weeping. I don't quite know how to explain it, but the light was so brilliant and the rejoicing so heady and the gratitude so intense, all at once, that my body couldn't contain it all, and my eyes seemed to be the best release valve. It was completely unexpected, but I am a witness today that the Lord God is directing His Church through living, authorised prophets, seers and revelators.

Now, that's my experience, and like the proverbial lamp oil, I have no capacity to transform it into your experience. But you get yourself into the right places and doing the necessary things so that you might have your own experience, please!

A wonderful blessed experience! During our session on Thursday, we both received peaceful and blessed assurance that all is well.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:
14 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

That means it wasn't true at that time then right?  That's apparently how gospel truth works.

Whatever the current combination of the 15 prophets agree on in the only gospel truth.  Until a few of them pass on and the next 15 disagree.

Truth is always relative, situational, and progressive.  Nothing is absolutely unalterably true.

I think I'm getting it now...

Let's ordain women, do away with garments, decanonize D&C 132 and the Book of Abraham, stop honoring dead prophets, eliminate offices in the priesthood and make them church callings, end recommend interviews, make tithing an optional donation only for helping the poor, anything goes.  All we need is for the 15 to agree on it.

Onwards to Zion!

Sadly, you ARE getting it.

Those are the conclusions I came to a while back and I continue to see more evidence. I have no problem with fallibility of prophets or even a changing vision for the church based on culture and time, but it does remove some of the specialness I once attributed to the church. It's an organization with people doing their best to do what they think God wants them to do. I think that's really all we can/should expect.

If we lower our expectations sufficiently, we can achieve glorious and entirely relativistic nihilism.  Not sure what the content of that new ideology might be, but it could entail virtually anything we want as sovereign individuals, whether hedonistic or ascetic, or anything in between.  Maximum free agency.  A libertarian dream, perhaps.

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13 hours ago, Stargazer said:

...............................

By the way, I didn't think they were horrific.  I understood them to be what we should be willing to endure before revealing them inappropriately, rather than something to be done as punishment for revealing them.  ....................................

The assumption is soundly biblical,  and even ancient Near Eastern in form and content.  For example, the reversal of oath formulae in Ruth 1:17 ∥3:13 calls attention to what non-Mormon scholars Jan de Waard and William A. Smalley say about Amos 6:8: the formula therein reflects the ancient rite of touching one’s throat during oath-taking (citing examples from Mari).  The Jerusalem Bible likewise notes the same slit-the-throat or other, similar blood-oath signum as applied in such places as I Kings 19:2.  The late anti-Mormon Rev. Wesley P. Walters stated long ago that Genesis 15:17-18 and Jeremiah 34:18 imply an imprecatory oath by their “covenant between the pieces” of a slaughtered animal that “may it happen to me if I don’t keep the covenant!”  This is the standard interpretation in biblical studies.  Francis Andersen and David Noel Freedman, for example, claim that to “make (cut) a covenant” (Hosea 2:20, Genesis 15, Jeremiah 34) refers to precisely this as “part of a sacrificial or oath-taking ritual that went with covenant-making.”

It can be explicit or implied in any oath.  An old FARMS summary says that Terrence Szink likewise argued that the Abrahamic covenant with God is very similar to the form of ancient simile oaths “made in the name of God and accompanied by a ritual ceremony (such as the slaughter of an animal),” and “was self-execrative in nature, the violator of the oath suffering a stipulated penalty, such as death in the manner of the sacrificed animal (see Genesis 15; compare Jeremiah 34:18-20).”  As we have seen, other examples of such simile oaths include Ruth 1:16-17, and Alma 46:21-22.  These oaths, he suggested, are similar to esoteric LDS temple covenants (Exodus 24:30-8, Matthew 26:26-28, D&C 19:16-17).  That will be obvious only to those who have participated in them, or who have read about them.

Or who has heard someone say, "If I'm lyin', I'm dyin."

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

If we lower our expectations sufficiently, we can achieve glorious and entirely relativistic nihilism.  Not sure what the content of that new ideology might be, but it could entail virtually anything we want as sovereign individuals, whether hedonistic or ascetic, or anything in between.  Maximum free agency.  A libertarian dream, perhaps.

Something similar but perhaps on a lesser scale...

When the new emphasis on the Sabbath was introduced, we were asked to increase the reverence in our sacrament meetings, to the point of preparing ourselves and setting a reverent tone before we even entered the building.

We are a friendly ward and the chapel can get kind of boisterous. Our bishop took this to heart and encouraged our ward to make our meeting more reverent. Over a period of months, the reminders continued with varying degrees of success. The requests for reverence at times became more pointed, but  we members showed what we thought was more important by our actions.....and today the chapel is even noisier than ever before and after meetings, but the bishop no longer says anything.

We still have great talks, the sacrament is administered reverently, and there is great love and fellowship, but perhaps there is something more that we are being deprived of because we don’t wish to abide the higher law.

Quote

D&C 58

31 Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled?
32 I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing.
33 Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above.

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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On 12/28/2018 at 9:18 AM, Scott Lloyd said:

There is something sublimely instructive about our pioneer forebears, struggling to survive and thrive in the desert as a people  and a church charged with carrying out a divine mission, endeavoring to sanctify an economic and temporal enterprise with the same slogan that is placed on our temples. Could it be that they possessed an understanding that we today lack? 

The Lord taught, as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, that all things to Him are spiritual and that He has not at any time given a commandment that was temporal. What a shame if we fail to grasp that teaching. 

As pointed out by Jan Shipps, they lived in "sacred time," while we do not.  Regrettable, perhaps, but a fact nonetheless.

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41 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The assumption is soundly biblical,  and even ancient Near Eastern in form and content.  For example, the reversal of oath formulae in Ruth 1:17 ∥3:13 calls attention to what non-Mormon scholars Jan de Waard and William A. Smalley say about Amos 6:8: the formula therein reflects the ancient rite of touching one’s throat during oath-taking (citing examples from Mari).  The Jerusalem Bible likewise notes the same slit-the-throat or other, similar blood-oath signum as applied in such places as I Kings 19:2.  The late anti-Mormon Rev. Wesley P. Walters stated long ago that Genesis 15:17-18 and Jeremiah 34:18 imply an imprecatory oath by their “covenant between the pieces” of a slaughtered animal that “may it happen to me if I don’t keep the covenant!”  This is the standard interpretation in biblical studies.  Francis Andersen and David Noel Freedman, for example, claim that to “make (cut) a covenant” (Hosea 2:20, Genesis 15, Jeremiah 34) refers to precisely this as “part of a sacrificial or oath-taking ritual that went with covenant-making.”

It can be explicit or implied in any oath.  An old FARMS summary says that Terrence Szink likewise argued that the Abrahamic covenant with God is very similar to the form of ancient simile oaths “made in the name of God and accompanied by a ritual ceremony (such as the slaughter of an animal),” and “was self-execrative in nature, the violator of the oath suffering a stipulated penalty, such as death in the manner of the sacrificed animal (see Genesis 15; compare Jeremiah 34:18-20).”  As we have seen, other examples of such simile oaths include Ruth 1:16-17, and Alma 46:21-22.  These oaths, he suggested, are similar to esoteric LDS temple covenants (Exodus 24:30-8, Matthew 26:26-28, D&C 19:16-17).  That will be obvious only to those who have participated in them, or who have read about them.

Or who has heard someone say, "If I'm lyin', I'm dyin."

That’s what I had discovered as well! The biblical record isn’t perfectly clear but the historical one paints a better picture. Makes sense that in the modern age, after sacrifice has been done away with, the punishments would be promised without the need of an animal.

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Can’t help but see the irony in the constant drumbeat on this thread calling for the Brethren to provide an explanation for all recent changes in the temple as we embark on a new year of gospel study by studying the principle “We Are Responsible for Our Own Learning.”

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2 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Can’t help but see the irony in the constant drumbeat on this thread calling for the Brethren to provide an explanation for all recent changes in the temple as we embark on a new year of gospel study by studying the principle “We Are Responsible for Our Own Learning.”

It’s a little funny at the timing for sure. However the Lord has nearly always supplied an answer in past dispensations when things had to be altered or changed. Even the D&C has many passages about changing church government and such. To provide no explanation when the media presentation or wording is changed is fine. However when the wording to a covenant has been altered and the putting on of ceremonial garb is changed...is odd and seemingly out of pattern.

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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

Try just this part...3 Nephi 17, 18, and 19.

 

Will do, now to find them!

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

No, you are not.  I see signs all the time that you are not.  I've been thinking about this song when I read your posts lately and thought of it as Hamba wrote:

You can see that Hamba walked through the dark a good long ways before he saw the light, but you only have to read his posts to see he wasn't in complete darkness all along.  It just may have felt that way sometimes. He was seeing things working in his life so he kept taking step upon step, line upon line.  

I'm a broken record on here by staying for as long as I have on the fence. Thanks for your encouragement. I will see. 

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16 minutes ago, SettingDogStar said:

It’s a little funny at the timing for sure. However the Lord has nearly always supplied an answer in past dispensations when things had to be altered or changed. Even the D&C has many passages about changing church government and such. To provide no explanation when the media presentation or wording is changed is fine. However when the wording to a covenant has been altered and the putting on of ceremonial garb is changed...is odd and seemingly out of pattern.

I agree it may be out of past patterns, but seems to be consistent with the theme of all recent changes which is to not expect to be given specific direction, but rather to ponder ourselves and be led by the Spirit.  

I wonder how many of us ever pondered the significance of ceremonial garb and why we did what we did with that garb.  I  trust that if we seek to understand that now in order to provide context for understanding why the change was made, the Spirit will teach us in a much more profound way than any official explanation.

It’s the principle Elder Bednar taught when he said the best teachers he ever had didnt answer his questions but rather allowed him to find the answers on his own.  It’s those answers we discover through our diligence that stay with us much longer than those fed to us without the need of effort on our part.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

I agree it may be out of past patterns, but seems to be consistent with the theme of all recent changes which is to not expect to be given specific direction, but rather to ponder ourselves and be led by the Spirit.  

I wonder how many of us ever pondered the significance of ceremonial garb and why we did what we did with that garb.  I  trust that if we seek to understand that now in order to provide context for understanding why the change was made, the Spirit will teach us in a much more profound way than any official explanation.

It’s the principle Elder Bednar taught when he said the best teachers he ever had didnt answer his questions but rather allowed him to find the answers on his own.  It’s those answers we discover through our diligence that stay with us much longer than those fed to us without the need of effort on our part.

One would need to learn how to discern the source and veracity of such individual answers...a standard against which they could be tested...and to resist imposing them on others or judging their answers.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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19 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

One would need to learn how to discern the source and veracity of such individual answers...a standard against which they could be tested...and to resist imposing them on others or judging their answers.

Absolutely.  Additional spiritual gifts, skills, and characteristics to be gleaned from our earnest, unwavering pursuit of spiritual guidance and communion with Deity.

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27 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

One would need to learn how to discern the source and veracity of such individual answers...a standard against which they could be tested...and to resist imposing them on others or judging their answers.

Btw, I was profoundly moved by your description of how you and your wife had sought to understand and live the covenant, the wording of which has now changed.  I could feel of the depth of devotion, over many years, you have both demonstrated to that covenant.  I thank you for sharing those experiences.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Btw, I was profoundly moved by your description of how you and your wife had sought to understand and live the covenant, the wording of which has now changed.  I could feel of the depth of devotion, over many years, you have both demonstrated to that covenant.  I thank you for sharing those experiences.

Thank you for the very kind words. We truly sought to understand it, but others may not see it they way we did. It has had a profound influence on us and has been a wonderful blessing.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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3 hours ago, SettingDogStar said:

I guess it would be more sad because that means the majority of the church needed less then what God intended to give us. It’s good that the Lord is so merciful that He would not abandon us entirely but continue to give, as he did with the Law of Moses thousands of years ago. It’s a mercy but it was still saddening! 

Would God do this without letting us know?  Seems he was very clear what was happening when Moses received the lesser law.

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36 minutes ago, Calm said:

Would God do this without letting us know?  Seems he was very clear what was happening when Moses received the lesser law.

Drinking crushed gold does send a message, doesn't it.

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3 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

How do you see it? Sincere question.

Big picture: In the end, LDS validity comes down to authority. I can’t see why a loving Heavenly Father would limit salvation and confidence in this life to those who come across this authority, and happen to believe the words of 19-year olds who knock on their door.  Why won’t he honor a man’s sincere desire to come to Christ?

Small picture: The transitive properties in the LDS tradition of who says what is overused and very confusing to me.

D&C 1:38 indicates that whatever a prophet says is the same as what Christ says.

John 10:30 indicates that Christ and The Father are one.

So it seems an odd mish-mash of who said what, and one can claim any of those three when quoting the scriptures.

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45 minutes ago, Calm said:

Would God do this without letting us know?  Seems he was very clear what was happening when Moses received the lesser law.

That’s what I think I’m getting at, if I understand your question. I don’t know if the change was for the better or worse. However if it was for either, why not tell us? It might be a case of “listen to the spirit and don’t expect anything from the leadership” but I just was hoping that a large alteration to the Endowment would perhaps have a revelation from the Lord accompany it. He was clear with Moses when He gave them the lower law, and He was clear with the Apostles when He restored the higher one.

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2 minutes ago, SettingDogStar said:

That’s what I think I’m getting at, if I understand your question. I don’t know if the change was for the better or worse. However if it was for either, why not tell us? It might be a case of “listen to the spirit and don’t expect anything from the leadership” but I just was hoping that a large alteration to the Endowment would perhaps have a revelation from the Lord accompany it. He was clear with Moses when He gave them the lower law, and He was clear with the Apostles when He restored the higher one.

i'm guessing maybe we'll hear more at conference about the Temple, maybe someone will share something?

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3 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Something similar but perhaps on a lesser scale...

When the new emphasis on the Sabbath was introduced, we were asked to increase the reverence in our sacrament meetings, to the point of preparing ourselves and setting a reverent tone before we even entered the building.

We are a friendly ward and the chapel can get kind of boisterous. Our bishop took this to heart and encouraged our ward to make our meeting more reverent. Over a period of months, the reminders continued with varying degrees of success. The requests for reverence at times became more pointed, but  we members showed what we thought was more important by our actions.....and today the chapel is even noisier than ever before and after meetings, but the bishop no longer says anything.

We still have great talks, the sacrament is administered reverently, and there is great love and fellowship, but perhaps there is something more that we are being deprived of because we don’t wish to abide the higher law.

D&C 58

31 Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled?
32 I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing.
33 Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above.

If any once required principle or ordinance is revoked, even by God, our first question should be which blessing went with it.  Our second perhaps should be what did we do to cause this revocation and were we really right in doing it.

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From the email the Church just sent out:

Quote

"Whatever changes [the Lord] directs in an organization or a schedule or a curriculum, what He’s really hoping to change is you and me. He wants to change our hearts and enhance our future."
—Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

The focus is on the new study program, but can be applied to any inspired change imo:

https://lds.org/study/liahona/2018/12/making-your-life-a-soul-stirring-journey-of-personal-growth?lang=eng&cid=email-IN_CFM19_010319_CTA1c

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48 minutes ago, Duncan said:

i'm guessing maybe we'll hear more at conference about the Temple, maybe someone will share something?

That’d be awesome! Though I suppose that would be breaking their own announcement at the beginning of the endowment? 😂 (only joking). 

In seriousness though I would love, as would others, to hear more about the temple and it’s purpose and future here on earth. I feel like we just bump the surface when we always hear the repeated “family forever” and “get married!” Maybe I’m wrong but I feel like there’s a lot more detail and doctrine that could be (and is but just not in conference) preached from the pulpit. 

Or maybe I have to high of expectations?! 😂

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49 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

If any once required principle or ordinance is revoked, even by God, our first question should be which blessing went with it.  Our second perhaps should be what did we do to cause this revocation and were we really right in doing it.

Indeed. In our ward's case, we never found out because we couldn't get the point of realizing what might be in store. Isn't that the story of our lives, though?

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