Temple Discussion

Over conference weekend, my mind was somewhat preoccupied with thoughts of the temple. I know we’ve discussed this before (what haven’t we discussed before?), but this time I have some specific questions.

Firstly, a thought that has been with me since I learned how to speak, “The purpose of the Church is to prepare its members to go to the temple.” Does anyone know where this originally came from? For me, it’s a classic been-engrained-in-my-mind-since-childhood-by-parents-and-local-church-leaders.

Secondly, assuming the above roughly quoted statement is true, I may have difficulty comprehending certain connotations associated with it. The temple, to me, seems to be the most structured part of our Church. It’s the Church’s well-oiled machine constantly working. As I enter to participate, there are temple workers around every corner, welcoming, greeting, and helping. It’s hard to feel uncomfortable with so much love and support.

I have my choice of many tasks by which I can help further the work of the Church. It seems that usually, most (at least I) go for a specific reason or function. I mean, there is plenty of work to be done by proxy via baptism, endowment, sealing, etc, etc. In every case, though, there is little time for discussion and/or public enlightenment. A sense of personal revelation, personal answers to prayer, personal interpretation is felt and encouraged.

Thus, if I have a question (i.e. what’s the symbolic significance of tying what I wear on my head to what is on my shoulder?), I am likely to find many who are willing potentially to answer my question. But the answers will range from “I don’t know” to certain flavors of personal opinion mixed with my-uncle-knew-a-GA-who-said-that…with “it’s not important” somewhere in between. Certainly an on-line forum is not the place to discuss such questions but where then (in a structured, enlightening, non-speculative way)?

Even if in the temple, if more than two or three group together to discuss such matters they will be quietly asked to disband and move on. And rightly so, a flow has to be maintained and a few people using the Celestial room for speculation is hardly helpful. My point is that if the temple is truly the ultimate goal of members in the Church, how do we reconcile that notion with the complete lack of a classroom / discussion-like setting?

I’d love to take a course (within the temple itself) on the evolution of the temple ceremony, not because I feel a need to find out more potential flaws the Church may have, but because I would understand my belonging, my purpose much more fully. I am one who thrives off of discussion / conversation, the one thing the temple does not provide.

Comments

  1. Fun topic Bob, and one that I’m very interested in as well. I think our own John Hatch has referred to some of the questions/frustrations you mention.

    I can take a stab at your first question. I think the reason why the church points to the temple has at its heart to do with ordinances. We believe that being sealed in the temple is the pinnacle of our ordinances, and so the other ordinances and work we do in the Church are viewed as progressive steps along that path: baptism, initiatories, endowment, sealing.

    Whether you can extend that by analogy is another question: does everything we do socially in the Church point us to the temple? That’s not so easy to answer, especially when the temple’s concept of heaven is a nice hotel lobby where nobody is having much of a party.

  2. Temple-related questions are inherintly problematic, for the reasons you cite. I wrote up a document to counter someone’s accusation that the LDS Temple ritual is a wholly modern invention by Smith/Young, but then changed it around to be used as a tool for discussing temple-related questions indirectly. Here is a link to the thing:

    http://www.cybcon.com/~kurtn/ottemple.pdf

    It addresses a lot of stuff in the temple, without directly doing so. I used it for an Enrichment Night activity where (heaven forbid) men were actually allowed to participate, and child care was provided by the YM, so we had a pretty good turnout. Nobody threw anything at me and I didnt get hauled into the Bishop’s office afterwards, so I think its safe for LDS consumption.

    On the other hand, if you want a pretty comprehensive review of historical material pertaining to LDS temple worship and the evolution thereof which is not safe for LDS consumption, the book I would recommend is _The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship_ by David John Buerger. The author injects a truckload of personal opinion into the text, but you can just ignore all of that pretty easily and use it solely for historical references. Its available at powells.com (new), abebooks.com (used), and amazon.com.

    The only other way to get your questions answered is to go with someone who knows what theyre talking about.

  3. The temple president has in his office a binder full of not-released-to-public quotes from church leaders regarding the symbolism and what not. Supposedly, (I have been told) that he is the only “authorized” person to answer such questions. I must warn you though, there is still quite a bit of “we don’t know” in that binder, but there are lots of at least partial answers as well. Next time you are at the temple, simple ask to speak with the president. (it would be better if you didn’t do this on a saturday)

  4. “The purpose of the Church is to prepare its members to go to the temple.”
    -I actually haven’t heard this before, Bob, though I can see how it could be said. It’s an interesting thought, and I’ll have to mull it over before I toss in my 2 cents.

    Kurt: I’ve actually seen your site and temple paper before. I like the connections you make, (though I disagree with a few, such as your interpretation that it is Abraham and not God passing through the cut-up animals in Gen. 15. Most take this to be a land-grant type covenant, not a suzerain-vassal covenant. Hence it is God who covenants to give the land to Abraham, and hte ceremony is the answer to Abraham’s question in 15:8, “how shall I know that I will inherit the land?” I have a friend writing his dissertation on a related topic. He asks of this and other passages, “Is God’s life in danger in Gen. 15 and other oath/covenant formulae?”)

    I do the same kind of scriptural-based temple teaching in my Temple preparation class (which I’ve tried to export into a nice web format here), and find it to be quite effective.

    I second your feelings on Buerger, but I doubt we will ever see anything comparable without the personal commentary…

    Bob, your main thrust of the last three paragraphs is “where do I learn more about the temple,” right? Or is there some other question I’m missing?

  5. Ben, the symbolism in Gen 15 is obscure at best, so its pretty difficult to figure out what is going on there. I believe the JPS Torah Commentary on Genesis forwards the land grant view as well. I dont recall why I pushed my particular view, its been years since I have read that thing myself. It may have been because of something I read on JSeminar or VirtualTorah.

    On Buerger’s book, a text like that has to come with author’s bias, because otherwise the author wouldnt be motivated enough to do the foot work otherwise. And, even if they did, there wouldnt be any market for it if didnt have some kind of agenda. This kind of book has very limited play, so the only way its going to hit the presses is if someone likes your pitch, and Smith Research Associates (e.g., Signature Press) did like his. If it wasnt for the slant, the manuscript never would have made it out of the manilla envelope on the submissions desk.

  6. Bob Caswell says:

    I appreciate all the comments and especially the links to some new resources for me (I’ll have to check them all out and let you know what I think).

    Ben S.,

    Yes, I think your grasp of my “main thrust” is accurate, though I’d like to add to it. I think there is a distinction between “learning about the temple” and “openly discussing / conversing about the temple”. I can read a book to semi-satify the former whereas I have next to nothing for the latter.

  7. What is your goal in openly discussing/conversing about the temple?

  8. Bob Caswell says:

    “What is your goal in openly discussing/conversing about the temple?”

    In my original post, I mentioned a hypothetical question that will never be answered under the current circumstances. If the Church had a method of dealing with open questions, such as a weekly session with the temple president [inside the temple] with the ability of the temple president to go through the appropriate channels if he himself did not know the answer, I’d be happier.

    Even if this meant that much of the time the temple president came back with “the brethren say they don’t know”. This would help me learn those things that ARE known while sifting out those things that we don’t know.

    Is this helping you understand me better?

  9. So you DO want to know about the temple, it’s just that you want a GA or temple president to do it authoritatively. Yes?

    I think hypothetical questions can always be hypothetically answered :)

  10. Bob Caswell says:

    Why have questions answered in a speculative way if they’ve already been asked, documented, and answered previously. I’m only really interested in speculation if no other answers exist. I’m inclined to think plenty of things have real answers [within the contex of an offical, even if hidden, Church stance is what I mean] even though they are currently only speculated about.

  11. Bob, I have to wonder whether the “answer file” in the temple president’s drawer is really going to give you the answers you want. The presentation is mostly a succession of symbols and symbolic events, and almost any meaning can be assigned to general symbols. I’m sure you’ll get a response to some of your questions and the person responding may even think they have “the answer,” but I think your own answers (informed by a good reading of the scriptures) are likely to be as accurate and useful as anything coming out of the temple president’s folder.

  12. a random John says:

    As you say, “The purpose of the Church is to prepare its members to go to the temple.”

    Note that the statement implies that you will be left at the door and you are on your own once inside. To put it another way, the purpose of the Church is to aid you in being worthy to participate in Temple worship, not to explain it to you.

    Again, the question of an appropriate forum raises its head. As usual, I have no good answers, not that any of you look to me for answers. Well, except for advice on socks it seems.

  13. To follow up with a random John’s comments (but not assuming he necessarily agrees with this), I think that people should be aware of the covenants that they will be making in the temple BEFORE they visit the temple for the first time. There is no need to discuss the sacred ceremonies in detail, but people should go in to the temple knowing what will be expected of them, and be willing to take upon these obligations.

    As for questions after you’ve been to the temple once or twice, I’m not sure who the best person is to ask about them. I’d be interested in hearing about the evolution of the ceremonies, when and why certain changes were made, etc.

  14. Did anyone here experience the Endowment that had the Lecture at the Veil (I didn’t)? Did that provide any insight? (Please answer circumspectly).

  15. Ronan, I didn’t (it was discontinued in 1990), but its contents are of course available online with some searching, if you’re feeling blasphemous.

  16. The purpose of the Church is to prepare its members to go to the temple.

    Just a clarification– I think this largely an inaccurate statement. Or at least incomplete. The purpose of God’s church is to help accomplish God’s mission. God’s stated mission is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Since He took care of the immortality part for us already, the purpose of the church apparently is to help bring to pass the eternal life (aka exaltation) of humankind. So while the temple is a necessary component in the purpose of the church, it is no more required than the other ordinances and covenants we participate in (like baptism). Obviously the work of the church is far from completed or fulfilled for us after we receive our own temple covenants. That purpose is only fulfilled upon our exaltation.

    Your overall question is a good one, though. I have been pondering lately on “the answers” to deeper, more obscure spiritual questions. I have come to the conclusion that many deep answers are just not agreed upon by even apostles. I do not find that particularly problematic, though. It just means that some things remain opinions until God himself tells us the answers I guess.

    Having said that, I too would love to see a list of the various explanations for certain symbolic things in the temple ceremony. It is always a lot easier to come to a conclusion when we aren’t coming up with our own theories in a vacuum.

  17. Since my wife and I were called last fall as temple ordinance workers, we both have learned much by being part of the work done every day in the temple.

    If you haven’t been to the temple recently, particularly to do initiatory work as well as other work, you may find answers to some of your questions by participation in these ordinances.

    I posed a question recently to a member of our temple presidency which he answered substantially as follows. “The temple is often referred to as God’s university where we are taught many things about ourselves and our future life with the Lord. We also provide service to others while there helping others to learn the same and even more things. It would be presumptive to suggest that a member of the temple presidency would attempt to answer questions which can only by obtained through your personal relationship with the Lord. As we serve, we learn. As we learn and become increasingly faithful and that faith is tested, the Lord will teach us and provide us with answers to questions which only he can provide.”

    I am personally convinced that dedicated temple service helps one become more God-like and things do become clearer the more we meekly serve in the House of the Lord. It is his place where are to be taught, and we shouldn’t expect to learn everything by being there only once in a while, no more than you could if you attended university classes only once in a while.

    I also think a more important question to ponder is what would I or will I do with all those answers when I receive them?

    Many questions about the temple relate to very important and sacred ordinances and covenants that should not be shared with anyone outside of the temple. That alone gives me pause in trying to come to an answer to my posed question.

  18. For those not interested in purchasing the Buerger’s Mysteries of Godliness book, the Winter 1987 Dialogue (pp. 33-76) contains the article of which the book is basically an expansion. His personal insights aside, it is an excellent read.

  19. Bob Caswell says:

    I apologize for the slow response time, busy day at work.

    Dave,

    When you say, “…I think your own answers (informed by a good reading of the scriptures) are likely to be as accurate and useful…”, I find it flattering and inadequate at the same time. Let’s take the example I gave in my original post: the meaning of what I wear on my head being tied to that on my shoulder. It’s a simple question. For all I know, the answer may not be appropriate for discussion outside the temple. But at the same time, someone knows the origination of this act. If not done right during the endowment, the entire proceedings are stopped until it’s corrected. I’d like to know why. Clearly it’s significant. But is it becomes it has something to do with the cosmos or is it because a Betsy Ross equivalent sowed the original temple clothing that way? It started for some reason (I’m talking about the start in the restored gospel). This is may not seem very important, but I think it is. Knowing whether or not certain clothing within the temple has intrinsic value? VERY important (to me). How do you suggest I use the scriptures to answer this question? What do I look up in the topical guide?

    Geoff,

    When you say, “…I think this largely an inaccurate statement. Or at least incomplete.”, I pretty much agree with you, though it could be argued that since the majority of saving ordinances are performed inside the temple (think washings and anointings, endowments, and sealings compared to the orphan baptism), the purpose of the Church does lean rather heavily toward the temple. But that detracts from my original point that the implications of almost all saving ordinances being so structured and so sacred that that which, to me, would seem of most worth to come to a mutual understanding as a Church body is left up to “personal revelation”, which ultimately works out much better for the Church than personal revelation about any other topics, as no chance for conflicting personal revelations are likely to happen. But when you say, “I have come to the conclusion that many deep answers are just not agreed upon by even apostles.” Don’t you think that since they have all agreed upon doing certain things within the context of ordinances within the temple that they should come to a consensus as to WHY or be able to refer to past leaders who have explained why? I surely hope our Church isn’t founded on a continual chain of people doing certain things only because that’s how they were instructed and that’s how their instructors were instructed, etc, etc. If the instigator had the answer “just because” then I’d be fine with that, but only if I knew it.

    Doug,

    I like the idea that more temple attendance can help address the issue. But I still don’t think of it as God’s university. A university where the same presentation is used over and over again with no explanation by the professor who is just standing at the front as a toke officiator… You’d think the students would either want to learn something new or have the professor explain what is being taught, one or the other. Since the temple provides neither, it’s far from a university in my mind.

  20. Brent Orr says:

    In the past the lecture at the veil was given only in the “live” endowment session, i.e., the session that was used to impart the endowment to first time temple goers. It was an exposition on much of the symbolism in the temple ceremony.

    With the changes over the past twenty years or so, a good deal of the lecture at the veil is now incorporated at various points into the actual ceremony, making the ceremony itself far more accessble for first time attendees. Little has been lost of the lecture because of this incorporation.

  21. Bob, the scriptures are an eloquent commentary on the temple, and vice versa. I’ll send you some of my favorites if you want to email me.

    I have never been shooed out of the celestial room, though I have often conversed with a few friends, or even a double handful of family members, for quite a while. I think conversation with close friends and family, and the scriptures, is a pretty substantial basis to build one’s understanding. I like the Timpanogos temple celestial room because with the entrance and exit both at one end, it is easy to go to the other, well out of the flow of traffic, and meditate or converse.

  22. This seems so blatantly obvious that I shouldn’t have to post it, but I’ve found many strong answers to my questions about the first level of symbolism inherent in the temple ceremony (why do we perform act A. thusly? Why is act B. done this way and not that?) in books such as “Temples of the Ancient World” and the like. It seems to me like a lot of the ancient studies scholars of the Farms ilk take questions that we’ve all had at one time or another, and find ancient parallels to satisfy their own curiosities. I haven’t read Buerger’s book, but I doubt it holds much of a candle to these guys’ writings, because of the sheer depth of their research (I mean, come on… 234 pages? As an exposition on the Temple Endowment? That’s ridiculous. once again, I’ve only leafed through it, so I can’t vouch entirely, but the paucity of pages alone seems to indicate that it’s not so in-depth). Once again, these things seem obvious to me, and so I’m assuming most of the “thinker” types in the church have done their fair share of FARMS reading…

    To be honest, I have received answers like unto Doug at comment 17s from temple presidents and possibly General Authorities (the guy was wearing all white, looked just like a particular GA and had a nametag with the same last name… Might not have been… who knows.) These seem like a brush-off, especially in terms of the visceral, first-level symbolism that the “scientific rationalist” in us all wants to figure out. They don’t even give us hints about what is “known” or not “known.” But now that I have mapped out a large portion of the first-level symbolism to my own liking, and which I’ve had to do on my own, I find that their answers (the brush-off ones) are actually more appealing. I find that, while an understanding of the first-level of symbolism is indeed instructive, and definitely provides a sort of intellectual vocabulary to use in terms of understanding some of the cultural perspective and uses of the ordinances, that the second and third tier (repeat to the nth tier, of course) becomes of much more interest to me then “Why do we perform this act thusly?” A lot of those upper levels of symbolism can be understood in terms that don’t require the more visceral level of symbolism.
    Of course I would be very hesitant to say that I don’t think it’s worthwhile to have concrete answers about the first level of symbolism…

  23. I’ve never found attempts to find parallels in the temple ceremony in Christ’s sermon to the Nephites or in scattered verses of the Old Testament to be compelling. I’m not convinced I couldn’t do better finding parallels with Aeschylus’s Oresteia. I think that one can fill in an awful lot of gaps in understanding the temple ceremony by looking to anthropological analyses of religious ritual in general.

  24. I must confess that after the second or third time I attended the temple I simply gave up. Maybe this is why I view temple attendance as “work”, while my wife could go and hang out doing sessions ad infinitum. Every time I hear someone say they learned something new every time they do a session, I wonder what sort of thing they are talking about.

    Maybe it is because I’m not into the whole cryptic puzzle knowledge type stuff. I’m all for symbolism as long as its meaning is readily available (being a scientist, I use symbols all the time). As the temple is not available per se, I typically dismiss any meaning as overly obscure or inapplicable. Symbolism is good when it serves a purpose, I just haven’t figured out what it is in this case and am obviously too lazy to try.

    This is not to say that I don’t enjoy the temple. I have a firm belief in the fullness of the endowment and especially like to do sealings (I feel a huge sense of community with this – especially when none of the participants are married to each other).

  25. Bob Caswell says:

    J. Stapley,

    Thank you for your honesty. I often feel the same way, and I’m not even a scientist!

  26. Bob Caswell says:

    Ben H., I tried sending you an e-mail but it bounced back. Try sending me an e-mail at bobcaswell at fiber dot net.

  27. The thing that really opened my mind up with regards to what the temple was about was going back to its original context. Not that of JS, but Brigham Young. He’s the one who basically decided what the ceremony would be. Thus his views of Adam, creation and the like are highly relavent to and understanding of what it was supposed to mean. For instance, Jehovah was not Jesus in his opinion. That is important. Adam was God in some way. Jesus was the son of Adam who was the son of Jehovah. Now obviously these things aren’t really kosher now, but it makes the ceremony makes a lot of sense with understandings like that. Also, you should not leave out the penalties which are given in certain places (the garden or whatever). These all mean something and taking them out, while making for good PR, made it a lot harder to undetstand what is going on.

  28. John Mansfield says:

    “During my training before my mission, we went to the solemn assembly room in the Salt Lake Temple. President Harold B. Lee was there to answer questions from about 300 missionaries. He stood there in his white suit, holding his white scriptures. He answered every question from the scriptures, or he said, ‘I don’t know.’”
    –Elder Bednar in the March Ensign

  29. The comments above bring up a point I’ve always wondered about. Is there any other way to learn about how the ceremony was changed in 1990 other than googling it? Is there no kosher way to read the text of the pre-1990 ceremony?

  30. Bob Caswell says:

    NFlanders-

    As information becomes more and more accessible, I think the Church would do well to have a mini-library inside the temple where certain materials and historical documents (copies) are available for knowledge-building and understanding. Better there than on Google.

  31. Bob Caswell says:

    John Mansfield,

    Stories like that are difficult to comprehend (for me). I mean, not to dillute the amazingness of a budding apostle and his fellow missionaries, but come on, I’m pretty sure there are questions about the temple that would have a different answer than a scripture or “I don’t know”.

  32. > So you DO want to know about the temple, it’s just that you want a GA or temple president to do it authoritatively. Yes?

    The last thing in the world I want is for there to be an authoritative interpretation of the temple! The whole point is to interpret it yourself! You are supposed to engage it. This is not to say that I have not found the scriptures, GA quotes, or anthropology (especially the last one) useful for helping me to form my own interpretations. Rather, I think it defies a monological interpretation, which is what GA interpretations frequently reduce everything too. Save the temple from official interpretations!!

  33. Nflanders, good question. I wish there were a Church-sanctioned way to learn these things as well. Our ordinances have a rich history — if only we weren’t so secretive!

  34. Re: Elder Bednar’s statement in the March Ensign.

    Elder Bednar is a few years older than I am, but I had a similar experience while in the mission home in SLC at the beginning of my mission (September 1973). President Lee came and spoke to us in the assembly room. Every question he was asked he answered from the scriptures, mostly the Doctrine and Covenants, as I recall. There were a few questions that he avoided (one I remember had to do with the symbolism of some clothing detail). I don’t remember the avoidance as “I don’t know”–rather, it was more like “It’s a puzzle. Think about it.” (Not intended to be an exact quotation.)

  35. The problem with the “interpret it yourself” mindframe is that you could basically use ANY device (newspaper hats, wooden shoes, yellow gloves, whatever) and say “it’s up to you to interpret it’s meaning” and we could all extract some symbolic meaning from wooden shoes. I think what Bob wants to know is why was it wooden shoes (or attachment from head to shoulder) in the first place?

  36. Rusty, my point is that meaning does not lie in original (authorial) intent. In the first place, there is no such thing, especially when it comes to ritual. Rather, meaning is constructed in the context in which it appears. Take a social handshake, for instance. There is no “meaning” to a handshake. It is an entirely arbitrary social gesture. It’s meaning is always determined by the particular context in which it occurs. A handshake between two people who are sworn enimies does not mean the same thing as a handshake at the end of a date. You seem to think that this risks relativism. You say relativism, I say revelation. (Though I admit that this sketch is not well put together!)

  37. Taylor,

    You are right.
    But would still be extremely interesting and valuable to know what that authorial intent was, even if (and especially if) it differs from personal meaning today.

  38. “meaning does not lie in original (authorial) intent”

    Is this true for an ordinance set forth by God?

  39. Jason Richards says:

    “The purpose of the Church is to prepare its members to go to the temple.”

    I think the source of that paraphrase may be one of Joseph Smith’s discourses in Nauvoo given on the Nauvoo Temple Grounds on the 11th of June, 1843:

    “He then asked what was the object of Gathering the Jews together or the people of God in any age of the world, the main object was to build unto the Lord an house whereby he could reveal unto his people the ordinances of his house and glories of his kingdom & teach the people the ways of salvation for their are certain ordinances & principles that when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose this was purposed in the mind of God before the world was & it was for this purpose that God designed to gather together the Jews oft but they would not it is for the same purpose that God gathers together the people in the last days to build unto the Lord an house to prepare them for the ordinances & endowment washings & anointings &c. one of the ordinances of the house of the Lord is Baptism for the dead”

    http://www.boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1843/11Jun43.html

    FWIW

  40. NFlanders,
    There are obviously published and unpublished accounts of the Temple Ceremony pre 1990 changes and pre- pre- 1990, depending on how far you want to go. The Tanners have quite a bit although I don’t think I would recommend them. There is an unpublished work by one of the Skousens that is ok but word for word, so again, kind of ethically questionable. As has been suggested Burger’s book is a great source, not only for its text, but the bibliography at the end. Burger has an extensive list of Temple accounts in chronological order. Burger’s book is actually a compilation of two articles both of which can be found in Dialogue. There is also the Signature Books database that has a section of research notes that is quite helpful as well.

  41. danithew says:

    I had a first-time experience a few months ago when we had stake conference. I went with my wife to the special temple endowment session that had been appointed for that weekend and then afterwards there was a meeting where we heard some talks that were given in a meeting room at the SLC Temple. What was remarkable to me about this experience was that the people who gave talks used quotations directly from the temple ceremony and discussed things in a manner that I felt was very beneficial. I’m going to try and attend those kinds of meetings in the future as well … simply because I know of no other opportunity to hear that sort of thing anywhere else.

  42. Jason Richards says:

    Bob, In comment 19 above: “I still don’t think of it as God’s university. A university where the same presentation is used over and over again with no explanation by the professor who is just standing at the front as a token officiator… You’d think the students would either want to learn something new or have the professor explain what is being taught, one or the other. Since the temple provides neither, it’s far from a university in my mind.”

    Since various of the postings above seem to agree that the Holy Spirit is the instructor, perhaps the ‘token officiator’ is really more like the proctor–insuring that everyone gets the same materials, turns in the homework at the right time, stays in their seats, etc. Or perhaps the entire presentation of the endowment (including the ‘token officiator’) is the text. The text is performed ‘live’ in front of the class while the instructor teaches a running dialogue with each student individually.

    Perhaps….

  43. Bob Caswell says:

    Jason Richards,

    Thanks for that. It’s always nice to find sources that shed light on sayings, which have been engrained in my head.

    Eric Russell,

    “But would still be extremely interesting and valuable to know what that authorial intent was…”

    Exactly. Much like the newly found information (for me) that Jason Richards provided, I’m sure there is plenty of untapped history (not found in the scriptures) associated with the temple. Unfortunately, much of it is probably not nearly as accessible (if at all) as public discourses of past leaders. Hence, the need for a temple-worthy type of library (probably the best place for such a facility would be, you know, inside the temple).

    And Jason, a library is yet another thing that would help the university analogy quite a bit more… :-)

    Danithew,

    Could you expound on the circumstances surrounding your unique experience? Because I have no idea what you’re talking about let alone how to get on the VIP list you were a part of? :-)

  44. During President Luschin’s presidency in the 1970s, the Bern Switzerland temple had presentations about temple symbolism between endowment sessions. This is not rumor, rather I’ve heard about this from people who attended those presentations themselves.

    The word on the street is that he had authorization from the First Presidency to really make the Swiss temple “a house of learning”.

  45. Bob Caswell says:

    Ok then, the Swiss temple is officially on my list of must-see European sites.

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  1. “…he employeth no servant there” | no servant

    Bob Caswell has posted some remarks about his desire to better understand the temple through discussion with others. As I contemplated the ensuing conversation, I had a few thoughts that I intended to post as a comment, but when I went to submit them …

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