Focusing on the Temple


This Sunday I gained an interesting insight from comments made by the Bishop of Nauvoo First Ward. He described in great detail the accommodations Nauvoo will make as part of the new two-hour schedule, then mentioned that we are moving from a chapel-focused people to a temple-focused people.

I had blogged in September about the way a shift to a 2-hour format would reduce the pressure to build new chapel facilities in expensive urban areas where the Church is growing. But just as I didn’t anticipate the luminous nature of the change when announced in General Conference, I didn’t make the logical leap to wonder what the newly-available funds would be used for.

Funds that previously would have been required for chapels to support a 3-hour worship format will (obviously) now be available to build and maintain temples.

Along that line, I received a cryptic e-mail from a relative yesterday, with the subject “Go to the Temple“. I had no idea what my relative was talking about, but in describing their experience performing proxy endowment and initiatory ordinances, they wrote:

WOW

Talking with my husband’s family last night, I gained some insight to the cryptic e-mail from my family. I also heard about friends of his family where the wife was a sister to Elder McConkie. Several years ago the Endowment ceremony changed, and these family friends happened to be having dinner with members of the First Presidency of the day. Reportedly, the First Presidency of that day was shocked at how quickly news of the changes to the temple ceremony had spread by word of mouth outside the temple.

I am so sad that my local temple is closed for renovation…. I feel a bit like a child who wakes on Christmas morning to find they are a long ride from the festooned tree under which presents have been placed.

In other news I’ve only heard from relatives, sister missionaries are now allowed to wear slacks while proselyting. This was a particularly welcome shift for my daughter, who is serving as a biking missionary on the high plains of Nevada. She’s also really glad she has a missionary companion who has a conventional sense of style, who can help guide her regarding purchase of appropriate slacks. (Not that my daughter didn’t wear pants in the past, but they tended towards the kind designed for dudes, often with capacious pockets fitted with zippers.)

I now return you to your study of the Come, Follow Me material for the week.

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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

9 thoughts on “Focusing on the Temple

  1. If you don’t want to get spoilers from the internet, here is the official statement regarding temples at lds.org:

    https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/temple-worship

    For what it’s worth, some of the comments online are along the lines of a child before Christmas hefting a wrapped present and saying, “Mommy/Daddy/Santa got me what I really wanted!!” Other comments are along the lines of a child before Christmas having partially unwrapped the present and complaining because they wished they’d gotten their present a few years earlier.

  2. As a man who sat in the Celestial Room last night with two women I love deeply, I was moved by their tears of joy, gratitude, and frustration. The changes are significant. As I reflect on my feelings from last night, I strongly feel for the first time that President Nelson is a Prophet of God.

  3. I must admit to being somewhat nauseated by the feminists who were patting themselves on the back for the change.
    By the way, I am a woman.

  4. Well, I often say, when something seems off, that I like the concept of an omniscient god who, in a future time, will share His opinion regarding all things. At that time when we know as God has known us, we will be able to know what could have happened had people not agitated in the way they did.

    For myself, I had in years past thought that berating my husband for undesirable behavior was necessary for him to understand and change certain behaviors. But my therapist (during a bout of depression following a workplace shooting) seemed to think my angry hostility towards my husband was not as helpful as I had been pleased to imagine.

    Whether that principle is extensible to the individuals who have cast off belief in God over their ostensive outrage about inequality, I do not know.

  5. I like the idea that we should concentrate less on the chapel and more on the temple. That seems to make sense to me. I have found the technological changes in Family Search easier to find my own relatives (although very distant relatives) and take their names to the temple. My wife and I made a goal of going to the temple twice a month in 2018, and I am pretty sure we met that goal or came very close to it.

  6. My impression is that those who focus on just one aspect of the recent changes from curriculum to meeting length to personal responsibility for all who covenant, to increased use of electronic messages where available may be missing the overall picture of focus on devoting energy, time and resources to the core missions of the Church.

  7. Not pleased to wake up to NPR’s summary of changes to the temple ceremony.

    Oy vey! (as my friend, a former Lutheran and student of Judaism often says in Church when she is dismayed by something).

  8. I made a goal this past year to serve in 52 endowment ceremonies. I am not a temple worker. I did this because I have struggled to set a regular temple attending habit. And after a disastrous 2016 where I didn’t attend a single endowment session, I knew I needed to put this resistance to attendance to bed once and for all. Now, I live in Fresno, California and a temple is 20 minutes away at most, so I had no excuses. Well, I succeeded. I am a better man for it. On January 4, I attended for the first time this year, as I am now in a good habit of finding one day a week to go. I went with my wife, which is rare, because she works and I go the first session in the morning at eight o’clock because I am self-employed and can. What a wonderful experience! Some of the changes I had made mentally long since, some were a pleasant surprise. I can only say, if you haven’t been in a while. Go and see. Our understanding and love of our common mother, Eve, grows with each change. I wanted to give the Hosanna! shout.

  9. A full-time church employee gave me the impression that church leadership (ie, Q15) wants to spend more money on overseas building projects. I assume that means overseas chapels as well as overseas temples.

    India and many African countries are poised for huge growth, in terms of converts and born-in-church members.

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