Presentation on theme: "Preparing for the Temple. Moses 1 There is not a chapter in Holy Writ that models the endowment better than Moses 1. v. 1-8Moses is with God. v. 9-23Moses."— Presentation transcript:
Preparing for the Temple
Moses 1 There is not a chapter in Holy Writ that models the endowment better than Moses 1. v. 1-8Moses is with God. v. 9-23Moses is in a state of weakness, his encounter with Lucifer. v In the presence of God again. The endowment is like a Greek play which acted out it’s mythology to teach reality. Moses 1 was given after the burning bush experience on Mt. Sinai, and before Moses went to Egypt to free the Israelites.
Elder George Q. Cannon said: “Every foundation stone that is laid for a temple and every temple completed according to the order the Lord has revealed… lessens the power of Satan on the earth and increases the power of God… It moves the heavens in mighty power in our behalf, invokes and calls down upon us the blessings of eternal Gods, and those who reside in his presence” (Millennial Star, 13 Nov. 1877, 743).
The Sacredness of the Temple Elder Boyd K. Packer said: “Temple ceremonies are not something that we try to limit to a restricted number of people. With great effort we urge every soul to qualify and prepare for the temple experience… Our reluctance to speak of the sacred temple ordinances is not in any way an attempt to make them seem more mysterious or to encourage an improper curiosity about them. The ordinances and ceremonies of the temple are simple. They are beautiful. They are sacred. They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared.. Preparation for the ordinances includes… worthiness, and a maturity and dignity worthy of one who comes invited as a guest into the house of the Lord” (The Holy Temple 25-26).
Temples are dedicated (set apart from the world) and consecrated (devoted to holy purposes), reminding us of the need to do the same. We are instructed not to discuss what goes on in the temple, outside the temple.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “I remind you of the absolute obligation to not discuss outside the temple that which occurs within the temple…We are under obligation, binding and serious, to not use temple language or speak of temple matters outside. I first went to the temple fifty-seven years ago. It was different from any other experience I had had in the Church. A young man of my association went about the same time. Thereafter, he was [inclined] to use phrases from the language of the temple in a frivolous way. It was offensive. It was a betrayal of a sacred trust. I have watched him through the years. Once faithful, he has drifted from all Church activity and forsaken the faith of his fathers. I think that much of what has happened to him began with that small irreverential thing that he did in trivializing language which is not trivial. Please, brothers and sisters, do not discuss outside of the temple, that which occurs in the temple. While there, you are at liberty to do so. If you have any questions, you may speak with the temple president or one of his counselors. But when you leave the doors of the House of the Lord, be true to a sacred trust to not speak of that which is holy and sanctified” (Ensign, May 1990, 49-52).
Out of respect for the sacredness of temples, our dress to, from, and in the temple and our conduct in the temple should reflect our reverence for the temple.
Elder Packer said: “On occasions, when I have performed a marriage in the temple, there has been one there to witness it who obviously has paid little attention to the counsel that the Brethren have given about dress and grooming, about taking care not to emulate the world in the extremes of style in clothing, in hair length and arrangement, etc. I have wondered why it is that if such a person was mature enough to be admitted to the temple he would not at once be sensible enough to know that the Lord could not be pleased with those who show obvious preference to follow after the ways of the world… The privilege to enter the temple deserves more from us than that.”
Elder Packer said: “In the temple we wear white clothing. This clothing is symbolic of purity and worthiness and cleanliness. Upon entering the temple you exchange your street clothing for the white clothing of the temple. This change of clothing takes place in the locker room, where each individual is provided with a locker and a dressing space that is completely private…Members who have received their temple ordinances thereafter wear the special garment…The garment represents sacred covenants. It fosters modesty and becomes a shield and protection to the wearer…Any member of the Church, whether he or she has been to the temple or not, would in proper spirit want to avoid extreme or revealing fashions”(ibid, 71, 73-75). temple-garments-says-term-magic-underwear-is-offensive/
Worthiness to Enter the Temple Because the temple is so sacred, we must go there worthily. Elder Packer said: “Once you have some feeling for the value of temple blessings and for the sacredness of the ordinances performed in the temple, you would be hesitant to question the high standards set by the Lord for entrance into the holy temple”(ibid, 49).
To go to the temple, you must have a current recommend. A recommend is obtained only after a careful interview with both your Bishop and your Stake President, who represent the Lord and share the responsibility to ensure that those who hold recommends are worthy to enter the House of the Lord. In the early days of the Church, every person entering the temple also had to be interviewed and approved by the President of the Church. This continued until 1891, in the days of Wilford Woodruff. The privileges of the temple are taken very seriously by the Lord, his representatives, and should be by each on of us. We should never go to the temple unworthily. In the temple recommend interview we are asked about our testimonies, whether or not we sustain the leaders of the Church, our obedience to the laws of chastity, tithing, and the word of wisdom. Further we are asked about our conduct towards members of our family, our honesty, and whether or not we have repented of past mistakes.
Elder Packer said: “Acceptable answers to the bishop’s questions will ordinarily establish the worthiness of an individual to receive a temple recommend. If an applicant is not keeping the commandments or there is something unsettled about his life that needs putting in order, it will be necessary for him to demonstrate true repentance before a temple recommend is issued…I have come to know, in interviewing people who have made mistakes in their lives, that a very convincing evidence of repentance is that they are willing to do whatever is required of them. Occasionally, when a bishop is hesitant to issue a temple recommend, a member will resist the bishop and perhaps argue with him. That very attitude is a signal that the bishop may well need to consider very, very carefully whether or not someone with that spirit should be given the privilege of entering the house of the Lord. It indicates that member may not be quite ready” (ibid, 53-55).
Other Ordinances Other ordinances preformed in behalf of the living and the dead include temple marriage, sealing's of children to parents, and the endowment. All of these ordinances must be performed by one who has the sealing power.
Now, some in the Church want to be married by a General Authority! They seem to believe that the marriage will be more special or binding if it is performed by one of the Brethren. But, we are counseled not to ask the brethren to perform our marriages, unless he happens to be a relative of yours! They are so busy. Their schedules simply do not permit them to do all the things they would like to do. Also, there are many things that only they can do. If there is time spent doing things that others can do, they do not have time to do the things that only they can do.
Elder Packer illustrated this principle by sharing the following experience: “Many years ago, long before I was one of the General Authorities of the Church, I had something to do with the construction of a chapel. President McKay had accepted the invitation to dedicate the building... During the dedication, a young person who was critically ill and not expected to live was brought to the chapel and carried into one of the rooms... President McKay [was] asked if [he] would give him a blessing. I was standing with President McKay. Elder Spencer W. Kimball also was present. To my surprise, President McKay said, ‘Dear sister, if I performed all of the blessings for the sick that I am requested to do, I would not have the time nor the strength to do those things that only I can do with the authority of the office that I hold.’ He then turned to one of the local leaders and appointed him to give the blessing” (ibid, 62).
As to our conduct in the temple, Elder Packer taught: “When we enter the temple we should be reverent. Any conversations that are necessary ought to be conducted in very subdued tones. During the periods of instruction, of course, we are completely reverent and quiet... When you come to the temple, remember that you are a guest in the house of the Lord. It is a time of joy, but a time of quiet joy. Sometimes when I perform a temple marriage it is necessary to remind the relatives and friends that their expressions of love and congratulations, and their greetings to family members whom they have not seen for a long period of time, should be given in a very quiet and subdued tone. Loud talking and loud laughter are not fitting in the house of the Lord” (ibid 58-59).
The Purposes Of The Temple The temple has at least six purposes: FIRST, THE TEMPLE IS A PLACE OF ORDINANCES. WHAT ORDINANCES ARE PERFOMRED IN THE TEMPLE? First, there are ordinances performed on behalf of the dead only. These include baptisms, confirmations, and ordinations. Next, there are ordinances that are performed for both the living and the dead. These include washings and anointings (referred to as the initiatory ordinances), the endowment, and sealing's. Sealing's of husbands and wives and parents and children.
Of that power, Elder Packer said: “The [keys of sealing power] belong to the President of the Church – to the prophet, seer, and revelator... Nothing is more closely held. There are relatively few men who hold this sealing power upon the earth at any given time... No one can get it except from the prophet, seer and revelator and President of the Church (ibid, 85).
Second: The Temple Is A Place Of Instruction In the temple we learn much about the Godhead and the plan of salvation, including the creation, the fall, and the atonement. We learn about the importance of making and keeping sacred covenants. We learn about prayer and service. We learn how to achieve exaltation, and many more things are taught to the spiritually prepared who attend the temple. The knowledge we receive in the temple should bless us and increase our desire and capacity to bless others. Indeed, we covenant in the temple that we will do all we can to bless others.
Third: The Temple Is A Place of Peace In the temple we are able to lay aside the cares and noise of the world and turn our minds to the things of God. It is a place where we can meditate in the quiet reverence and feel spiritually renewed. Remember Elder Widstoe’s promise that those who go to the temple with faith and prayer will find solutions to life’s problems. Fourth: The Temple is A Place of Covenants
Fifth: The Temple Is A Place Of Blessings President Ezra Taft Benson suggested there are four blessings associated with the temple; “When you attend the temple and perform the ordinances that pertain to the House of the Lord, certain blessings will come to you: (1) You will receive the spirit of Elijah which will turn your hearts to your spouse, your children, and your forbears. (2) You will be endowed with power..., (3) You will receive the key of the knowledge of God. You will learn how you can be like Him..., (4) You will be doing a great service to those who have passed to the other side of the veil...” (Ensign, Aug. 1985, 10).
Sixth: The Temple Is A Place Of Revelation We may receive answers to prayers if we go to the temple with a sincere desire to obtain them. The temple is called a “house of order.” We can find order in our lives. We can determine what our highest priorities should be. We can get revelation pertaining to any and all of our stewardships.
The Endowment is a Representation of our Progress Towards Godhood. In our older temples, participants actually move from room to room to symbolize that progress. In the newer temples, participants remain in the same room and our progress towards Godhood is represented through light and other means. Our progress towards Godhood begins with the pre-mortal life and continues through the Garden of Eden, the telestial, terrestrial and celestial states and ends with out return to the presence of God. Each part symbolizes an important aspect of our growth towards Godhood. For example, during the part of the endowment that deals with the pre-mortal life we learn about the doctrine of the Fall. In the telestial state we learn of man’s struggle to overcome opposite and prove himself faithful in all things. In the terrestrial state we learn how to overcome Satan’s influence and how to prepare to enter the presence of God. The celestial state, of course, symbolizes man’s return to the presence of God.
What Should I Do If Members Of My Family Are Either Non-Members Or Are Unworthy To Enter The Temple? One thing we should not do is apply pressure to the Bishop to issue a recommend to one who is unworthy. Another thing we should not do is forget about these people. They are apt to have very tender, or even confused feelings. Elder Packer offered the following suggestions of what we might do in such a delicate circumstance: “Invite the non-member parent, or the member who is not eligible for a temple recommend, to come to the temple grounds that is not found in other places. Many of the temples have visitors centers... Arrange to have someone wait with that family member. Surely you would not leave the person alone.
I have known instances in which family members who are quite eligible to enter the temple to witness the marriage were content instead to spend the time on the temple grounds with those who could not. Here in the surroundings of the temple they have been able to explain the desire of the young couple to be sealed in the house of the Lord... The young couple must understand that their parents have looked forward to the wedding day during the entire lives of the bride and groom. Their desire to attend the wedding, and their resentment when they cannot, is a sign of parental attachment. It is not to be resented by the young couple. It is to be understood and planned for carefully as a part of the wedding. There are some cases of course in which the ineligible parent is offended and will not be placated. In those cases the young couple will just have to make the best of it” (ibid, 66-67).
A Who’s Who is not needed in a church which teaches us all our real identity and which features a democracy of dress in the holy temples (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, November 1980, 14).