Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Word about Respect -- and Temples

Last Friday, my family was able to go to the Draper Temple Open House. It was a beautiful experience to share the temple with my children and to see the lovely workmanship everywhere. Afterwards, we got a picture of the whole family in the visitor's center there (after eating cookies, so don't expect perfect faces!).

On a twins forum I participate in, the question was raised about the recent decision by an HBO show to portray LDS temple ceremonies. Specifically, the person wanted to understand why something like that would make members of the Church angry.

I posted this response, and I thought I'd post it here for those interested in learning more about our Church and temple worship:

I don't think we're angry about anything, speaking as a member of the Church. We are disappointed. For one thing, Big Love promised when they began the show that they would make it clear that Mormons do not practice polygamy and haven't for over a hundred years, but they have not kept their promise and continue to cause confusion -- for example, in this very thread, someone said something about the raid in Texas on an "LDS" temple. That raid had absolutely nothing to do with the Church I hold dear. The FLDS is a splinter group with very extreme beliefs that are as different from my Church's beliefs as the Muslims are from the Jews. Their "temple" is nothing like the temples in my Church.

I am offended that Big Love would take cheap shots and desecrate the religions of others in order to boost their own ratings. For me, they are being insensitive and boorish.

The LDS Church has made a statement here:

If you are interested in our Church's beliefs about temples, you can read (from the source, not those who misconstrue and distort our beliefs for their own profit and gain) here. (I've posted this below as well for those who are too lazy to click through -- you know who you are!)

Before temples are dedicated, any member of the public is allowed to tour through the temple. I recently went with my entire family to tour a new temple soon to be dedicated in Draper. Inside the temple you will find a baptismal font and beautiful meeting rooms. The Lord's people have always had temples, from the tabernacle carried in the wilderness by Moses to the temple of Solomon to the temple mount in Jerusalem. We believe that our Church is the restored Church of ancient times and that includes the sealing power given to Peter (restored means to bring again something that is lost). In our temples, we create eternal family units and learn about heaven.

After a temple is dedicated, it is open only to those who carry a recommend. We are interviewed by our local bishop and stake president to determine whether we are ready to enter the temple. We are asked about whether we are honest in our dealings with our fellow man, if we are active in our Church, and if our conduct towards our families is in harmony with the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are asked about whether we have a testimony of Jesus Christ as our Savior. It is a chance for us to evaluate our lives and understand the sacredness of the temple.

I'd be willing to answer any questions one may have about our temple ceremonies. They are sacred and special to us and so we don't discuss the details of them outside the temple, but they are not secret. I'm disappointed in Big Love's decision on this.

(From Temples and Family History

In the temple, priesthood ordinances for the living and the dead are preformed, and sacred covenants are made. The primary purpose of the temple is to “seal” or unite families together for eternity.

For this reason, Church members search out information about their ancestors. The Lord has commanded His people to build temples. One such command was directed to Solomon, who proceeded to build a house of the Lord and the most sacred structure on earth. Earlier, the Israelite’s tabernacle in the wilderness served as a temple, and there was a temple in the time of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus Christ restored His Church through Joseph Smith, He again directed that temples be built. In the temple, sacred covenants are made and worthy members? are endowed with a gift of power and knowledge from on high.

In the more than 100 holy temples worldwide today, members:

* Learn eternal truths.
* Receive sacred ordinances, including those that bind husband and wife together for eternity, as well as join children and parents ( Malachi 4:5).
* Perform ordinances such as baptism in behalf of those who have died without the opportunity to receive the gospel, making it possible for those who choose to accept them to return to live one day with Heavenly Father ( 1 Peter 4:6 and 1 Corinthians 15:29).

Visitors are welcome to visit the temple grounds at any temple and attend open houses prior to dedication, thereafter only baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are qualified and prepared are allowed to enter a temple after it is dedicated.

Members of the Church are actively involved in family history work. This work is to identify their ancestors and enable them to bind their families together for eternity in holy temples.

The Church operates the largest genealogical library in the world—the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Open to the public with no fees for any of the services, the Family History Library offers access to millions of volumes of birth, marriage, death, and other records. The Church also operates branch libraries throughout the world that are open to anyone interested in family history.

You may trace your ancestors and find information about family history resources at the Church’s family history Web site. You may also print your own family tree. )


3in3mom said...

Thanks for your comments Christina. This post is well thought out and very clear.

I too have been unhappy with recent events where the LDS church has been portrayed. I always appreciate people who speak out for the truth.

famr_4evr said...

Thank you for standing up for what you believe in. I had just recently heard about the show with the news. I have never seen, nor plan to see said show. I agree with all you have stated.
Thanks again,


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