Friday, July 10, 2015

Temple Prep - "These Things Are Sacred"

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

A careful reading of the scriptures reveals that the Lord did not tell all things to all people. No kidding! A handful of patriarchs, a few Israelite prophets here and there, early Christians and now Mormons. The rest of the world got totally screwed and didn't even hear from him. What kind of father would be so inconsistent with his children? "Hey, I have some rules you all better learn to follow, but I'm not telling most of you what they are. Good luck!" From what you've said in one sentence I can already tell I don't like the Lord. There were some qualifications set that were prerequisite to receiving sacred information. Like what? Do explain. Temple ceremonies fall within this category. Says who? Please cite some authority figure (preferably God).

We do not discuss the temple ordinances outside the temples. No one discusses about the temple in the temple either. Fortunately plenty of people feel free to talk about it online. It was never intended that knowledge of these temple ceremonies would be limited to a select few who would be obliged to ensure that others never learn of them. It is quite the opposite, in fact. With great effort we urge every soul to qualify and prepare for the temple experience. Riiiiiight, Mormons are just the gatekeepers who sit and unrighteously judge others to be unworthy. Those who have been to the temple have been taught an ideal: Someday every living soul and every soul who has ever lived shall have the opportunity to hear the gospel and to accept or reject what the temple offers. Too bad the LDS temple wasn't part of Christ's practice - the Jewish temple was. If this opportunity is rejected, the rejection must be on the part of the individual. Why would God set up a system where the VAST MAJORITY of human beings would only hear about Jesus and the LDS temple after they die? It makes no sense.

The ordinances and ceremonies of the temple are simple. They're Masonic and designed to test one's memory. They are beautiful. Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. They are sacred. Not to the vast majority of people living on earth... They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared. No, they're kept confidential because that's the tradition of the Masonic fraternity they come from. Curiosity is not a preparation. Isn't it at least a start? A seed to experiment upon? Deep interest itself is not a preparation. What if that deep interest has led to lots and lots of study? Preparation for the ordinances includes preliminary steps: faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, worthiness, a maturity and dignity worthy of one who comes invited as a guest into the house of the Lord. Actually faith and baptism are what Jesus asked for, well, and that we give all our money to the poor and love our neighbors like we love ourselves.

We must be prepared before we go to the temple. You said that already. We must be worthy before we go to the temple. You said that too. There are restrictions and conditions set. You said that as well. They were established by the Lord and not by man. Show us where he made these restrictions. Maybe in the Handbook of Instruction Vol. 1? And, the Lord has every right and authority to direct that matters relating to the temple be kept sacred and confidential. I suppose he does, but is this a matter of legal rights? Couldn't we also argue that every man, woman and child has a right to know what God has up his sleeve?
All who are worthy and qualify in every way may enter the temple, there to be introduced to the sacred rites and ordinances. If we can be introduced to baptism before being baptized (including the exact wording of the prayer, the white jumpsuits and practice plugging our nose), why can we not be introduced to other ordinances before we do them?

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