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cinepro

Oakland Temple - No More Endowment Rooms

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Posted (edited)

The Oakland, CA temple just finished a year-long remodel, and they had a public open house.  Since it was the temple of my youth (and where I was married), my wife and I drove up for the last day of the open house to tour with some friends.

One of the friends wasn't a member of the church, so I tried to see how the tour would be from her point of view.  The most interesting thing I noticed is that the word "endowment" was never used in the entire tour.  It wasn't in any of the pre-show videos or descriptions of the Temple. 

During the tour, we would stop at each significant room in the Temple and a host would briefly describe what happens in that room.  When we stopped in the prep room before the endowment (they called it the "Assembly Room"), we were told that the next room would be the "Instruction Room."  Then we filed into what we would normally call the "Endowment Room."  We were told that in the "Instruction Room", visitors are taught about "The creation and the story of Adam and Eve."  Then they mentioned covenants with "examples" of different covenants that might be made (without actually describing any of the actual covenants).  But never once was the word "endowment" used.

I guess a PR guy finally told them that the word either means nothing, or something totally different, to the general public.

Edited by cinepro
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Instruction rooms honestly makes more sense. Saying endowment doesn’t mean much to people outside of the faith. Plus, and im not speaking for everyone, the actually endowment of power usually, if ever, occurs much later and outside of the temple. 

If every endowment session was taken in by rushing winds, flaming fire, visions, and/or tongues then I suppose the name would be appropriate. However since only knowledge is communicated and it’s often misunderstood by those participating, instruction room makes more sense to the non-member or un-endowed.

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Posted (edited)

I think it is useful to move away from words that have different meanings for Saints as they do most others.  Not that there is anything wrong with jargon, it can just get in the way of communication if we are all assuming the other means something they don't actually mean.

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

In the temple where I serve, they are referred to as ordinance rooms. I never hear the term ”endowment room.” I’m not sure that term ever was used in any but an informal, colloquial way. 

We receive the Endowment in the ordinance rooms. It is defined in the ordinance. 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

In the temple where I serve, they are referred to as ordinance rooms. I never hear the term ”endowment room.” I’m not sure that term ever was used in any but an informal, colloquial way. 

Endowment Room is used here:

https://www.lds.org/temples/inside-temples?lang=eng

Quote

Endowment Room: Life Has A Purpose

There are about 20 uses on LDS.org in high profile areas (specific to describe temples, including a Gospel Art Kit picture)

About 35 uses of ordinance room according to google, but those cover more than the endowment room in some cases.

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Calm said:

Note the caption below the photo: 'Instruction room, also called Endowment room' ...

42 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

In the temple where I serve, they are referred to as ordinance rooms. I never hear the term ”endowment room.”

We don't use the term 'endowment room' in our temple either, for what it may be worth. Considering that the endowment proper begins in a washing booth and culminates (depending on how you see it) in either the Celestial Room or a sealing room, I'm not sure that the term 'endowment room' is very accurate or descriptive. The smallest temple has many rooms where the ordinance of the endowment takes places.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Note the caption below the photo: 'Instruction room, also called Endowment room' ...

We don't use the term 'endowment room' in our temple either, for what it may be worth. Considering that the endowment proper begins in a washing booth and culminates (depending on how you see it) in either the Celestial Room or a sealing room, I'm not sure that the term 'endowment room' is very accurate or descriptive. The smallest temple has many rooms where the ordinance of the endowment takes places.

"Instruction room" appears to be the most frequently used at about 60, so twice as often as ordinance, and three times endowment room.

"instruction room" doesn't look like it is used in any non english languages, which may mean they are editing pages switching to "instruction room" and haven't got to them yet or unlike ordinance and endowment, "instruction room" gets translated.

Edited by Calm

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7 hours ago, Calm said:

 

I think it is useful to move away from words that have different meanings for Saints as they do most others.

 

Let’s start with the word ‘God’ then 😉

(just teasing)

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

Let’s start with the word ‘God’ then 😉

(just teasing)

I know you are speaking in a light-hearted vein, but I have to say that IMHO, the English use of the word God is very confused. It gets used for several Hebrew words, and their plural forms: El, Eloah, Elohim.... It seems trinitarians can't really stomach the plural of El, which is Elim, so usually translate that as "the Mighty" instead of gods or Gods.... even Jews try to say it means "palms"....

Be that as it may, there are genuinely a number of different ways to interpret the word "God" when using the Hebrew scriptures. I find the word very inadequate to describe the nature of God.... ;) 

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Current nonLDS American English usage of the word "endowment":

- Vague memories from high school that it's used in one of our founding documents ("...endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights...")
- Locker room humor about the size of male genetalia (mostly in Utah).
- Something rich white liberal women do with their money (endowment for the arts).

 

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Current nonLDS American English usage of the word "endowment":

- Vague memories from high school that it's used in one of our founding documents ("...endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights...")
- Locker room humor about the size of male genetalia (mostly in Utah).
- Something rich white liberal women do with their money (endowment for the arts).

 

Hahahaha, very true!! And usually spoken of women who are big on top.

Edited by Tacenda

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9 hours ago, Calm said:

I think it is useful to move away from words that have different meanings for Saints as they do most others.  Not that there is anything wrong with jargon, it can just get in the way of communication if we are all assuming the other means something they don't actually mean.

It's tricky. I remember Pres. Benson encouraging us to use the language of scripture whenever possible. The problem is that, particularly in these days where Christianity has lost it social place, is that most people are completely ignorant of the language of scripture. Even among those familiar with scripture many phrases or passages have a completely different meaning to them. Even within the Church with so much language shared, unless we venture past the scriptural language we can't see how and where we interpret the passages differently.

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10 hours ago, cinepro said:

The Oakland, CA temple just finished a year-long remodel, and they had a public open house.  Since it was the temple of my youth (and where I was married), my wife and I drove up for the last day of the open house to tour with some friends.

Did you go to the visitor center?  If so, there is a good chance you met my parents who are serving a mission there right now. 

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No longer a peculiar people? Times change and so must language, I suppose.

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1 hour ago, cinepro said:

We did, but the only missionary I spoke with was a sister from the Philippines.  It was really crowded.

The oddest thing at the open house was that they set up a big picture of the Temple in the visitor's center that you could stand in front of to take a picture.  I couldn't understand why someone would want a picture of themselves standing in front of a big picture of the Temple when the real thing was just outside.

I think the idea is to preclude congestion around the temple exterior of people wanting pictures of themselves and their groups there. 

This has been standard at the last several temple open houses I have attended. 

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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

No longer a peculiar people? Times change and so must language, I suppose.

In the scriptural sense, “peculiar” does not mean strange or weird. It means treasured. 

But I’m guessing you knew that already. 

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13 hours ago, cinepro said:

During the tour, we would stop at each significant room in the Temple and a host would briefly describe what happens in that room.  When we stopped in the prep room before the endowment (they called it the "Assembly Room"), we were told that the next room would be the "Instruction Room."  Then we filed into what we would normally call the "Endowment Room."  We were told that in the "Instruction Room", visitors are taught about "The creation and the story of Adam and Eve."  Then they mentioned covenants with "examples" of different covenants that might be made (without actually describing any of the actual covenants).  But never once was the word "endowment" used.

I guess a PR guy finally told them that the word either means nothing, or something totally different, to the general public.

Odd, it would seem the “chapel”, in the Temple would be called the “assembly room”, as the term “Endowment”, or “Endow” is so interwoven into the minds of all Americans, this being a U.S., Temple. As our Founding Fathers”, used it to ensure that we are all “endowed” (blessed) by our “Creator”, from on “High”. Thus using such a word, should not, or would not be confusing, or require any simplification. The “baptismal font”, on the other hand would need much more explanation, despite be an early Christian theology, go figure? 

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2 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

No longer a peculiar people? Times change and so must language, I suppose.

Another Christian doctrine which should be easily understood. One thing I have observed in my lifetime alone, (growing up a Baptist, and the few sermons I gave) is that people from my youth had a greater understanding of Biblical doctrine, scripture, and the language of that scripture, than today. It seems to stem from the rise of mega Churches, televangelist, and a decrease in all Church attendance, taking the place of one on one, ministry and instruction. This of course may be a factor in the changes of those taking open house tours. 

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15 hours ago, cinepro said:

The Oakland, CA temple just finished a year-long remodel, and they had a public open house.  Since it was the temple of my youth (and where I was married), my wife and I drove up for the last day of the open house to tour with some friends.....................

I was born in Oakland, and was living in San Francisco in 1964 when the Oakland Temple was dedicated by Pres McKay, which I had the pleasure of witnessing (including Joseph Fielding Smith playing piano, accompanying his wife Jessie Evans Smith singing "Bless This House" and "He Who Has Clean Hands and a Pure Heart").  I was also based out in Concord for awhile (even attended Diablo Valley College), so maybe we were neighbors at some point.

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27 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

and was living in San Francisco in 1964 

I knew you were a hippie deep down!

 

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10 minutes ago, pogi said:

I knew you were a hippie deep down!...........................

Pre-Hippie and post-Beatnik.  In June 1967 I was fully armed and on the front line in the Arab-Israeli Six Day War.  No flower power.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I was born in Oakland, and was living in San Francisco in 1964 when the Oakland Temple was dedicated by Pres McKay, which I had the pleasure of witnessing (including Joseph Fielding Smith playing piano, accompanying his wife Jessie Evans Smith singing "Bless This House" and "He Who Has Clean Hands and a Pure Heart").  I was also based out in Concord for awhile (even attended Diablo Valley College), so maybe we were neighbors at some point.

I heard the Smith duo in the Smith Fieldhouse at BYU in 1964 or 65. Before they performed, President Smith said, “Let’s duet!” She had a low husky voice with a slow, wide vibrato. 

 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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