MMTP: Hankstimony edition

Your Monday Mid-day Theological Poll:

Is it possible to profane a temple ordinance?

Please defend your answers as vaguely as possible below.

Bookmark MMTP: Hankstimony edition

Comments

  1. Eric Russell says:

    If and only if it’s possible to profane anything.

  2. I’ve read this poll question three times, and I still don’t know what the question is.

  3. So many ways. And it doesn’t even matter whether the ceremony is eternally binding or not, nor whether the profaner thinks the ceremony is sacred or deserving in respect or reverence.

    From OED:
    a. To treat (something sacred) with irreverence, disrespect, or contempt; to desecrate.
    b. In extended use. To misuse, abuse, or defile (a person or thing) to which respect or reverence is due.

    I think there are two effects of profanation: if the sacred ceremony was approved by God, it offends God. Some biblical examples from my recent scripture study would be Saul not waiting for Samuel to perform sacrifices before going into battle, or the sons of Eli taking their portion of meat from sacrifices before the rite had been accomplished, or the children of Israel eating the spoils of war before the blood had been drained from the animals they slaughtered.

    The other effect of profanation is its offense to one’s fellow men. Here it doesn’t matter whether the sacred ceremony is God-approved or not: profanation disrespects those who do assign reverence to a particular rite, physical space, etc.

  4. Bro. Jones says:

    Sure. I’ve heard of ex-Mormons who, prior to leaving the church, still attended the temple and were disruptive or disrespectful. I personally would go so far as to suggest that, if a person participating in a proxy ordinance for the dead does not believe in that ordinance, then that ordinance is without effect and will have to be repeated in the Millennium. (Because we don’t currently have a checkbox in the database for “The guy who performed this ordinance for your ancestor had no testimony and just went to appease his wife, and also decided to be a jerk and giggle through the whole ceremony.)

  5. To the extent that anything is made common, a part of the everyday world, then yes, it has been profaned, just as the ordinary meaning of “profanity” is to use a sacred name in a worldly, common, disrespectful way. (You can take an ordinary object or name or activity out of the profane world and sacralize it, too, as when a slice of Wonder Bread is used in the Sacrament.)

  6. Cynthia L. says:

    What is “Hankstimony”?

  7. Kevin Barney says:

    In an interesting bit of etymology, “profane” lit. means “outside the temple”:

    Profane is from L. profanare “to desecrate,” from profanus “unholy, not consecrated,” from pro fano “not admitted into the temple (with the initiates),” lit. “out in front of the temple,” from pro- “before” + fano, abl. of fanum “temple.”

  8. After reading Kevin Barney’s comment about the source of the word profane, then I would certainly say “Yes”.

    Bro. Jones, I’ll take issue with your comment about do-overs on ordinances in the millennium. I go with the best of intentions, and some days my heart and mind are there and focused on the work, and other times, not so much. I’ve heard temple workers tell me that even if an ordinance is misdone through not repeating the words correctly or certainly in totally butchering foreign names, the work will not have to be redone, just as priesthood ordinances performed by someone who is later excommunicated are not redone.

  9. John Hamer says:

    Never participated, personally, but I still voted “yes.”

  10. Some argument would have to be made as to how the answer to the question could be “no.” At this point, I’m not seeing that possibility. You can profane anything that is sacred.

  11. MadChemist says:

    It’s frightening to see so much unity on BCC. I’m reminded of Homer, “I know kids, I’m scared too.”

  12. I’m guessing that some or even most of the “no” votes are made cast by people whose position is that temples are so holy, so apart from the world, that nothing men or demons can do will touch them. If so, I can support that position, too.

  13. Cynthia: John is referencing the topic du jour – Tom Hanks is an executive producer on Big Love.

    So, would swearing during an ordinance count? ;)

  14. I think this can happen on an individual level, i.e. one person/one ordinance if the person participating is knowingly unworthy. I don’t think that an outside agency can profane the principle embodied by the ordinance because that principle is too much greater.

  15. I think this can happen on an individual level, i.e. one person/one ordinance if the person participating is knowingly unworthy. I don’t think that an outside agency can profane the principle embodied by the ordinance because that principle is eternal.

  16. I am repeating myself, I guess, but not even exactly. How odd.

  17. “I’m guessing that some or even most of the “no” votes are made cast by people whose position is that temples are so holy, so apart from the world, that nothing men or demons can do will touch them.”

    I would support that too, Ardis, if it were in any way accurate.

  18. Kevin (#7), awesome.

  19. MCQ, it’s a different way of looking at the situation, but I don’t think it’s inaccurate. Certainly not so totally inaccurate as to justify your subjunctive mood.

  20. When I think of profanity, I think of vulgarity, crudity and irreverence. You can do all of those things to a temple ordinance, especially if you break your covenants. In the current situation, covenants were broken and irreverence towards the covenants was displayed. The very idea of entering into covenants for yourself in the name of another twists the context of the ordinance into its opposite.

  21. seangreenfrog says:

    I voted “no” — an ordinance cannot, itself, be profaned. I tend not to think of an ordinance as a thing itself, but rather as a series of stylized actions performed by a sentient being. Just as you can’t step in the same river twice, you can’t attend the same ceremony twice, either.

    So the ritual or ceremony or ordinance qua ordinance, ceremony or ritual can’t be profaned. However, a person can perform any actions profanely, including those in question.

  22. My point Ardis, is that in order to answer no to this question you have to undertake a series of logical machinations that really depart from reality (see #21 for a great example of this). That would be interesting if it had some purpose. I don’t see any.

  23. I’m not sure. I wonder how the Masons of Joseph Smith’s day would answer that question…?

  24. I used to think it was impossible to be angry in the temple. That illusion was shattered when after my mission I had a horrible experience at the veil. I won’t go into too much detail but I was playing the role of Christ bringing people through the veil. The officiator on the other side was an older gentleman (50s). I distinctly heard the person make an error in word usage and asked them to repeat it. I had to do that twice before they got it right. After it was over all of the volunteers were out in the hall waiting for the next session to come through. It was then that the brother on the other side came up to me and scolded me for making the person repeat the words. He said he had done it correctly and I was wrong. However, I know what I heard and had been instructed (as he had) to make the person repeat the words if it was not done right.

    After this scolding I felt horrible and thought I’d go talk to him and admit that it is possible I made a mistake. When I approached him he said something like “that’s right you were wrong”. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Has it even crossed his mind that maybe he was wrong? Maybe he could say something like, “Hey maybe I was the one that made the mistake”, but no, I was left feeling hurt and wondering if I should continue serving in the temple. At the time I enjoyed serving in the temple so much that I decided I wouldn’t let one bad experience keep me from continued service. However, it opened my eyes that even though I was taught Satan can’t enter in the temple, bad things can still happen there.

  25. Simplyt not wearing your temple garments as directed would profane a temple ordinance.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,516 other followers