Monday, July 20, 2015

Temple prep - "Not without Opposition"

The following text is taken from the pamphlet "Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple" (2002) and annotated by me.

Temples are the very center of the spiritual strength of the Church. That's right, all of you who are too young to go to the temple or who only attend you're 3 hours of block meetings on Sunday, do family home evening on Monday, manage Boy Scouts on Tuesday, help with Mutual on Wednesday, and go to Relief Society enrichment events on Thursday, and help move a neighbor on Saturday, YOU'RE PERIPHERICAL, you're just flies buzzing around the outhouse. Start going to the temple every Friday. We should expect that the adversary will try to interfere with us as a Church and with us individually as we seek to participate in this sacred and inspired work. Fear the Devil, kids. Assume that anyone and anything that might distract you is a tool of Satan. There be witches about and they're after you! The interference can vary from the terrible persecutions of the earlier days to apathy toward the work. That's right. If you're not gung ho about all this, you're under the influence of the Evil One! The latter is perhaps the most dangerous and debilitating form of resistance to temple work. The greatest lie Satan ever convinced us of is that he doesn't exist! The Boogeyman is real!

Temple work brings so much resistance because it is the source of so much spiritual power to the Latter-day Saints, and to the entire Church. Not because it's the source of much boredom, bafflement, annoyance, discomfort, silliness, and emptiness?

At the Logan Temple cornerstone dedication, President George Q. Cannon made this statement:
Every foundation stone that is laid for a Temple, and every Temple completed according to the order the Lord has revealed for his holy Priesthood, lessens the power of Satan on the earth, and increases the power of God and Godliness, moves the heavens in mighty power in our behalf, invokes and calls down upon us the blessings of the Eternal Gods, and those who reside in their presence. So I guess the world has gotten a heck of a lot better over the past 150 years. We have so many temples now, Satan must be horribly weak by now. (In “The Logan Temple,” Millennial Star, 12 Nov. 1877, page 743.)
"Satan, I renounce thee! Now take me back to the temple!"

When members of the Church are troubled or when crucial decisions weigh heavily upon their minds, it is a common thing for them to go to the temple. This is because they have been advised by Church leaders to take their problems to the temple, so they do. It is a good place to take our cares. So says another LDS apostle. Thanks, Boyd (R.I.P.). In the temple we can receive spiritual perspective. By staring at the backs of others heads while we watch a shit movie? You've got to be joking. There, during the time of the temple service, we are “out of the world.” You put "out of the world" in parentheses because we're really not. We're just pretending.

A large part of the value of these occasions is the fact that we are doing something for someone that they cannot do for themselves. And believe me, sitting on your ass in a comfy chair for a couple hours is a much better way to help someone than rolling up your sleeves and breaking a sweat outside in the world where your living and breathing neighbors live. Don't doubt that Jesus would have sat in air conditioning watching movies instead of treading dusty roads lined with sick people and prostitutes had he been given the chance. As we perform the endowment for someone who is dead, somehow we feel a little less hesitant to pray fervently to the Lord to assist us. I've never heard anyone say this ever. When young married couples have decisions to make, if they are near a temple there is great value in attending a session. It reminds the young couple that they should be giving the church more money and having more children to baptize. There is something cleansing and clarifying about the spiritual atmosphere of the temple. Is there? What is that something? What are you talking about? This sounds like BS.

Sometimes our minds are so beset with problems, and there are so many things clamoring for attention at once, that we just cannot think clearly and see clearly. So go to the temple to work on deciphering all the arcane symbolism! :S At the temple the dust of distraction seems to settle out, the fog and the haze seem to lift, and we can “see” things that we were not able to see before and find a way through our troubles that we had not previously known. Kids, just go on a hike or sit by a river for fuck's sake. Learn to meditate or something. Don't work through life's problems by watching a stupid dramatic production about how Satan is after you.

The Lord will bless us as we attend to the sacred ordinance work of the temples. Generic blessings or do you have something specific in mind? Blessings there will not be limited to our temple service. Why not? Why would we go to the temple and expect blessings not associated with temple attendance? We will be blessed in all of our affairs. Are you saying we'll see extra financial benefits at work? I'm pretty sure in the temple movie Satan promises Adam and Eve money... We will be eligible to have the Lord take an interest in our affairs both spiritual and temporal. Awesome! You really are promising temporal blessings like Satan did! Great job. I'm reconverted to temple attendance. :S

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