Thursday, August 13, 2015

Central to the Church

Members of the LDS Church feel a certain pride stating that the temple is central to their worship or that it's the focus of their worship. The idea is that the temple is without a doubt what Mormonism is all about. It's the cream of the crop. The delicious white fruit from Lehi's dream. It's our end goal as mortal beings. 

White, delightsome and ready for baptism or whatever.

The funny thing is that it's nowhere near as central as your meeting house. Have you ever considered how odd it is that you're supposed to go to church every Sunday without fail in order to partake of the sacrament, but how you only have to get to the temple to take out your endowment once? Doesn't that suggest that the baptismal covenants are more greatly emphasized in deed if not in word?

This happens in front of all your LDS neighbors. Who knows 
who you'll recognize in the temple.

Consider the fact that Sunday worship is not at all casual. You have a specific day of the week designated for you by the Lord Jehovah himself and a precise time you must come and worship. Your attendance is recorded. They're literally counting you in sacrament meeting and you sign rolls in your other Sunday meetings. Sunday is not to be taken lightly at all. Don't mow your lawn. Don't confess to watching professional sports. You have to keep Sunday "holy".

 Because 3 hrs of this in one day isn't enough.

Contrast Sunday worship to days of temple worship. You can go whenever it's convenient during the temple's hours of operation (just check the schedule if you want to do an endowment session). You can choose your activity: baptisms and confirmations, washings and anointings, an endowment or sealings. You can go right after work if that's convenient, you can play sports afterward, you can go to the movies or play your favorite violent video game. There are no restrictions on your day whatsoever. The impression I get is that the temple is very much extracurricular for members.

"We're going to the mall for burgers and ice cream after this! Yay!"

You can argue that going to the temple is essential for salvation. That's what the Church tells us, anyway. But if it is, you only have to go one for yourself. That will fill your quota. Not so with baptism. After you're baptized you have to take the sacrament every week and make the same covenant with God over and over.

What do you think? Both are said to be essential but which is more central, baptism and the sacrament or temple worship? Doubters like me can rarely tell.

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