Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Temple prep - New Era "Prepared, Empowered, Transformed"

By Pang Kau Yang. Text found here.

Before I entered the temple for the first time, I always felt a special connection to it from reading and learning about it, studying my patriarchal blessing, and hearing the testimonies of others. Not from all the crazy Primary songs where you say how much you love the temple and are definitely going in some day, or the fact that your parents plastered the walls of your home with pictures of the temple and pointed it out enthusiastically every time you passed one, or all the church talks and lessons that hard sell you on the temple?
I committed myself to prepare so that one day I’d be ready and worthy to enter. Nice job, Pang. The LDS Church is very happy for you. Even before receiving my temple endowment, I’d drive three hours just to sit at the temple grounds to pray, ponder, and write in my journal. You didn't have a nice wood or lake or something closer by? Each time I left, I felt a greater sense of strength and confidence that I could face the challenges and struggles in my life. Feelings feel best when they feel good.
Throughout my youth, I’d do baptisms for the dead. Those experiences contributed to my testimony of temples and the ordinances performed in them. You mean the ordinance of baptism? You had no idea what the other ordinances were if all you were doing is baptisms. I thought that if just being on the temple grounds and doing baptisms for the dead felt so good, then it must feel even more wonderful to receive my own ordinances in the temple. That's definitely the impression the Church wants to impart, friend.
On the day I received my endowment, my family and I ran into a few obstacles before we got to the temple. Satan put those obstacles there. Don't doubt it for a second! But despite the challenges we had getting there, once I was inside I felt that nothing mattered but the sweet and peaceful feeling of joy that comes as we perform temple ordinances. Wait, back up. You're not even going to tell us what the obstacles were?? Are we just supposed to fill in the blank there? What the hell? Now about feeling joy... what if I (or someone else) don't feel that? One of the greatest feelings I had that day was, “I made it! I know this is where I am supposed to be.” Right, and no one had prepped you at all to think like that. Are you a puppet?
I knew in my heart that I’d done everything I could to be worthy and ready to receive what Heavenly Father had prepared for me. But you had no clue what "had been prepared" for you, so you couldn't have known that the Freemasons, not God, had prepared most of it. I could feel His love and His gratitude for my desire to follow Him and make and keep covenants so that I can return to live with Him someday. You mean baptism? Jesus said you need baptism. I don't know why God would require baptism, but that's what Jesus said. If you mean something other than baptism, no one in the New Testament or Book of Mormon would have agreed with you. Jesus included. In other words, you don't need to know the patriarchal grip to return to God. The only thing that handshake's good for is getting you 15 minutes in the Celestial Room.
I’m so grateful for all those who played a role in helping me prepare to enter the temple. Did anyone tell you what covenants you'd be making or how to tie your sash before you went in? No, absolutely not. I’m grateful for the Book of Mormon, which helped me receive spiritual guidance and nourishment to be prepared to make and keep temple covenants. WTF? The Book of Mormon says NOTHING about the current LDS temple rites. My experiences in the temple will always hold a special place in my heart. Those experiences gave me strength when I served my mission, and they continue to give me strength to face challenges with the hope and faith I need to endure. I can still look back and remember the wonderful, peaceful feelings I felt in the temple that first time. That's good. Really, it is. But do you understand that people draw strength and encouragement from all sorts of things? A lock of hair, a movie, the words of a friend, a certain smell, cleaning and organizing stuff, stand up comedians, a pet, reading, sun tanning, buying some new shit, etc.? What happens when someone else says that they don't get peace from attending the temple?
I love the temple. I know that it’s the house of the Lord. Did you see him there or just read "House of the Lord" above the entrance? Why would God live in something as uncomfortable as a temple? I mean, there are no beds and the pool is very, very small. It’s where we can go to perform ordinances and help others who have passed on receive the blessings of eternal life and exaltation. People who have passed on without ever hearing about Jesus don't need those things, The Book of Mormon says so. It’s where I continue to go to receive strength, guidance, and knowledge. It’s where I go to feel close to Heavenly Father and feel of His love. So is it OK with you if the 99.9% of the world who isn't Mormon goes somewhere else? All you've told us here is that the temple works for you. Can you tell us any details about the temple itself for anyone out there who might actually be curious, or do you prefer that we ask Google? Google upbraideth not!

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