The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released an official video about the sacred clothing Mormons wear in the temple and the sacred garments worn by members under their everyday clothing.
The video is intended for those who are not members of the Church and are curious about this practice and includes photos of our sacred temple clothes and undergarments.
The video does an excellent job of contextualizing Mormon practices among other religious traditions and asks those not of our faith to speak respectfully of our sacred clothing as they would about the sacred clothing of their own or other faiths.
This is a third in a series about learning how to get the most out of the Temple.
When entering the Temple for the first time or returning, it might help to be aware of some important doctrines for better understanding. There is no “different Gospel” to be found inside that hasn’t been discussed and taught in church on Sunday. Those that say the Temple teaches new doctrine kept “secret” until entering either are ignorant on the topics or more likely exaggerating for the sake of emotional manipulation. Similar to any good literature, the content is deep with allusions, metaphors, and patching together of sometimes desperate truths for greater insight.
Because the format of doctrinal presentation is far more ritualized than typical public church activity, it might at first be hard to recognize the familiar. Even the most knowledgeable Mormon might be a little overwhelmed. Those who haven’t spent much time in personal religious study could likely feel like they are drowning. The reason is the “Plan of Salvation” taught over so many years time gets condensed into a tight presentation. The small drip becomes a flood. Try to drink in too much at one time and the mind and spirit could go into system overload. As was said before, don’t expect to understand the whole or that such will ever fully happen in this life.
Regardless of the difficulties in soaking up all that is offered, there are key doctrines that can help pave the way for inspiration and enlightenment. By no means is the following a comprehensive guide for study. In fact, there really isn’t any way to compile such a list as many things learned in the Temple are personal interpretations; like any Scripture study.
Instead of writing out long commentaries as if an expert in each area, the sections will have quotes from LDS Church leaders and Scripture. There are no better words than from the servants of the Lord. This is a quoted selection of essential readings. It is a starting point for those preparing to attend and more reflection for those having already gone. Continue reading
(cross-posted from www.heavenlyascents.com)
On Saturday the 14th of May I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the 1st Annual Expound Symposium, which was held in Provo at the Brigham Young Academy building. For anyone who was there, I hope I had a chance to talk to you — I met so many bright and interesting people there. If you didn’t attend, I’m sorry you missed out on a great event! But no worries, they are already planning next year’s symposium, which, according to current plans, will focus on the topic of temples. If you didn’t make it this time, you should start making plans to be there next year!
The symposium was very well put together and everyone, both the speakers and attendees, were very well taken care of (we’re talking lots of free food, free drawings for awesome publications, no entrance fee — it doesn’t get much better than this as far as these types of conferences go)! LDS author Matthew Brown was largely responsible for putting the event together and he did an incredible job of making it a very enlightening and worthwhile experience for everyone involved. A big thanks to him, his wife, and also to Jeffrey Bradshaw for making this event more than worth it for me to go from Scotland to Provo to be a part of it. I also want to thank my wife and kids for letting me go and my parents virtually killing the fatted calf for their prodigal son’s return (albeit knowing it would be very short-lived).
As some of you may be aware, my post from January 20, 2011, entitled “Should We Expect to Find the Temple Ordinances as One Coherent Whole in the Scriptures? Revisiting the Question”, generated a lengthy and impassioned discussion in the comments. There was much debate regarding the value of efforts to compare our modern temple ordinances with ancient ones, and the methods that should be used in such an endeavor. I very much appreciated this discussion and believe that many important points were raised. It was decided, by some of the involved parties, that a debate over all of the points that I suggested in the post would be a very large and time-consuming task, and that, therefore, it would be more profitable for us to discuss specific rituals (with the associated Scriptural passages), one at a time.
Before moving on with this project, I would just like to clear up a few points — a few misconceptions, maybe, regarding my initial post. First of all, I would like to emphasize that my answer to the titular question, “Should we expect to find the temple ordinances as one coherent whole in the Scriptures?”, was negative. There is, obviously, no passage, narrative, chapter, or any other unit in the Scriptures that presents the Endowment or the entirety of the LDS ritual system as a unity or “coherent whole.” I wasn’t attempting to argue for such. I did explain where we could perhaps look for temple themes outside of the traditional locations. Towards the end of the post, I went a step further and suggested that there is a possibility that (although this is not all clearly perceptible from the Scriptural accounts) the ancient Israelites may have performed ceremonies in the precincts of their temple that may have contained many rituals that are comparable to what we do today in our temples. I acknowledged that the theories upon which this assertion are based are conjectural/speculative, but I think that they are a good place to start.