The Holy Temple

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , ,

Oooh, dare I write another temple article?  Of course! 

I found an article written by Boyd K. Packer in a stack of Ensigns my Mom gave me.  The article itself isn't in an Ensign, the magazine is specifically titled, "Temples."  It was published in 1999, and the article starts on page number 20.  As always, the quoted text will be italicized... forgive my misspellings or errors please.  This article is long, and it's a lot to type.  I am bound to make a mistake here or there.

There are many reasons one should want to come to the temple.  Even its external appearance seems to hint of its deeply spiritual purposes.  This is much more evident within its walls.  Over the door to the temple appears the tribute "Holiness to the Lord."  When you enter any dedicated temple, you are in the house of the Lord.

Hmmm, call me crazy Mr. Packer, but all churches are houses of the Lord... right?  And if the Lord were to have a home, would he only allow certain people in the home?  I doubt it. Maybe it's just me... 

In the temples, members of the church who make themselves eligible can participate in the most exalted of the redeeming ordinances that have been revealed to mankind.  There, in a sacred ceremony, an individual may be washed an annointed and instructed and endowed and sealed. And when we have received these blessings for ourselves, we may officiate for those who have died without having had the same opportunity.  In the temples sacred ordinances are performed for the living and for the dead alike.

I love the statement, "the most exalted of the redeeming ordinances that have been revealed to mankind."  Say's who?  Oh, yeah... says the church.  :)

Members who make themselves eligible.  Hmmm... he is basically saying "Members who give us enough money."  Just saying... Oh, and lets not even get me started on Baptism for the dead.  It's wrong.  You shouldn't do it.  There is no argument good enough that could make that okay in my head.  Sorry.  You don't play around with someone else's religion.  You just don't... especially when they are not around to accept the offer.  It's not an "opportunity" to me.  It's morally wrong.

These Things are Sacred

A careful reading of the scriptures reveals that the Lord did not tell all things to all people. There were some qualifications set that were prerequisite to receiving sacred information.  Temple ceremonies fall within this category.

We do not discuss the temple ordinances outside the temples.  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.  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.  If this opportunity is rejected, the rejection must be on the part of the individual himself.

We don't discuss the temple ordinances outside the temple because they are just plain weird.  No one would take you seriously if they knew you put on a white robe, a leafy green apron, shouted "Pay-Lay-Ale" with hand gestures, and then felt like you were one with God.  Do you really think that an all knowing God would create something like secret handshakes to get into heaven?  That is something a middle school kid would do for a clubhouse... not the creator for the kingdom of heaven!

Oh, and while we are on the subject of each individual being able to accept or reject what the temple has to offer, I have to bring something up.  If the time comes that every living soul has this opportunity, why are we baptising people that are dead?  What sense does that make?  Why should those of us on the earth spend so much time and attention necro-dunking strangers if they get the chance to decided on their own anyway?  What sense does this make?  

The ordinances and ceremonies of the temple are simple.  They are beautiful.  They are sacred.  They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared.  Curiosity is not a preparation.  Deep interest itself is not a preparation.  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.

All who are worthy and qualify in every way may enter the temple, there to be introduced to the sacred rites and ordinances.


I get that you want people to understand that these things are sacred, but in reality, they are kind of silly.  Would God want everyone to have to dress up and play pretend?  Watch a movie or play?  What?  I mean... come on!!  

Anyone who goes through all the steps necessary to attend the temple are devout... well, most of them.  I won't bring up my high as a flipping kite uncle who did my father's sealings while on heroin.  I will just "let that one go..."  Hahah...  Devout members are much less likely to freak out when they go to the temple for the first time.  I have heard so many stories of people looking around the ceremonies for the first time and wondering what they got themselves into.  Many of the ex-Mormons that I have talked to about this had one immediate thought, "This is some kind of cult!"  Not just saying that to get a reaction.  It's true.  The ceremonies are strange, bizarre and weird... not simple and beautiful.  I won't even go into the death oaths and naked touching of the past... maybe I should... another day.

Worthy To Enter

Once you have some feeling for the value of temple blessings and for the sacredness of the ordinances performed in the temple, you would be hesitant to question the high standards set by the Lord for entrance into the Holy temple.


The only people setting standards for the entrance to the Holy Temple is the church leaders.  Not the Lord.  If you want me to believe the Lord did this, have him send me a quick note, will ya?

Oh, and if I have to read any of the following words again, I might lose my breakfast:

  • ordinance
  • blessings
  • spiritual
  • exalted
  • sacred
  • ceremonies

Mr. Packer needs a thesaurus.

You must possess a current recommend to be admitted to the temple.  


This recommend must be signed buy the proper officers of the Church.  Only those who are worthy should go to the temple.  

(Again... Duh... You already mentioned that...)

Your local bishop or branch president has the responsibility of making inquiries into your personal worthiness.  This interview is of great importance, for it is an occasion to explore with an ordained servant of the Lord the pattern of your life.  If anything is amiss in your life, the bishop will be able to help you resolve it.  Through this procedure, as you counsel with the common judge in Israel, you can declare or can be helped to establish your worthiness to enter the temple with the Lord's approval.

Okay... so my bishop or stake president has the responsibility to decide if I am good or bad.  Who decides if THEY are good or bad? Supposedly these callings come straight from the Lord, right?  Or from priesthood holders who spend much time deliberating and fasting over the callings?  I have had my share of outrageous bishops in my past.  They were known liars, bigots, they told people who to vote for.  Not good men... not at all... yet they were called to decide if anyone else was worthy to enter the "Lord's house?"

I would also like to point out that since this system is obviously flawed (even though they turn a blind eye to it) that women are also never in a position to declare if anyone else is worthy.  Only men can make this judgement.  And that is all it is.  A judgement.  It's ridiculous.

The interview for a temple recommend is conducted privately between the bishop and the Church member concerned.  Here the member is asked searching questions about personal conduct and worthiness and loyalty to the Church and it's officers.  The person must certify that he or she is morally clean and is keeping the word of wisdom, paying a full tithe, living in harmony with the teachings of the church, and not maintaining any affiliation or sympathy with apostate groups.  The bishop is instructed that confidentiality in handling these matters with each interviewee is of the utmost importance.

So, there we have it.  What is going to stop someone from lying to their bishop in this interview? I know for a FACT it happens, so debating it is really silly.  The interview is extremely personal, dealing with the person's sexual life, marriage (or lack thereof), what they eat, what they don't eat, what they drink, what they don't drink... they are asked if they give enough of their hard earned money to the church.  What is to stop someone from lying?  Nothing.

Now, the apostate groups thing is offensive to everyone who has ever left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  This question alone has driven rifts into families, it has torn marriages apart, and it has turned friends into enemies.  It's not the apostate who cuts off friendship 90% of the time... it's the saint.  Why?  Because if their bishop finds out they are friends or associating with an apostate, they lose their recommend.  My grandfather's bishop told him to stop talking to me (along with my mother) just because we left (or in the process or leaving in my case).  How is that being a good Christian?  Would Jesus do that?  Nope.

Acceptable answers to the bishop's questions will ordinarily establish the worthiness of an individual to receive a recommend.  If an applicant is not keeping the commandments or there is something unsettled that needs putting in order, it will be necessary to demonstrate true repentance before a temple recommend is issued.

I can picture it... 

Bishop:  Andee, that wasn't an acceptable answer.  

Andee: Eh?

After the bishop has conducted such an interview, a member of the stake presidency likewise interviews each of us before we go to the temple.

Oooh, so we have to be interviewed by two men who are automatically worthy thanks to their calling, to make sure we are worthy?  Nice.  Again, if the powers of the priesthood were real, they would know right away if someone wasn't worthy, right?  Aren't there many faith promoting stories of this?  A man walking into an interview and the bishop telling him to walk outside the church because of his sins?  I have heard that and many others...

Taught from on High

Before going to the temple for the first time, or even after many times, it may help you to realize that the teaching in the temples is done in symbolic fashion.  The Lord, the Master Teacher, gave much of His instruction in this way.

Again, says the church.  Oh, and masonry... the church and masonry.

Maybe it's just me, but symbolism doesn't really mean much to me.  I guess this is the way Mr. Packer decided to warn people they would be dressed in funny clothes and acting out scripts while raising their arms above their heads and chanting.  To me, that is symbolic of an obvious fraud.

The temple is a great school.  It is a house of learning.  In the temples the atmosphere is maintained so that it is ideal for instruction on matters that are deeply spiritual.  The late Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was a distinguished university president and a world-renowned scholar.  He had great reverance for temple work and said on one occasion:

"The temple ordinances encompass the whole plan of salvation, as taught from time to time by the leaders of the church, and elucidate matters difficult of understanding.  There is no warping or twisting in fitting the temple teachings into the great scheme of salvation.  The philosophical completeness of the endowment is one of the great arguments for the veracity of the temple ordinances.  Moreover, this completeness of survey and expounding of the Gospel plan, makes temple worship one of the most effective methods in refreshing the memory concerning the whole structure of the Gospel."  (Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, April 1921, 58.)

So, some long-dead guy agrees with Packer... it must be true!

If you go to the temple and remember that the teaching is symbolic, you will never go in the proper spirit without coming away with your vision extended, feeling a little more exalted, with your knowledge increased as to things that are spiritual.  The teaching plan is superb.  it is inspired.  The Lord Himself, the Master Teacher, taught His disciples constantly in parables--a verbal way to represent symbolically things that might otherwise be difficult to understand.

Do you know what this means to me?

This is their way of saying, "If you go to the temple and find yourself confused, shaken, or weirded out by the experience, it's simply because you are not in the proper spirit.  Everyone else feels it, why don't you?  Don't bother talking to anyone about it, because you can't.  It's sacred.  If you don't get it, it's because it's symbolic and you need to pray harder and be a better Mormon."  


The temple itself becomes a symbol.  If you have seen one of the temples at night, fully lighted, you know what an impressive sight that can be.  The house of the Lord, bathed in light, standing out in the darkness, becomes symbolic of the power and the inspiration of the gospel of Jesus Christ standing as a beacon in a world that sinks even further into spiritual darkness.

Erm.  The temple at night, bathed in light, standing out in the darkness is symbolic of the money people pour into the church and the cost of the temples.  Can you imagine the bills for this kind of thing?  Can you imagine the hungry that could be fed with that money?  Do you think Jesus or God would rather have a pretty building, or one soul helping another in life?

Upon entering the temple you exchange your street clothing for the white clothing of the temple.  This change of clothing takes place in the locker room, where each individual is provided with a locker and dressing space that is completely private.  In the temple the ideal of modesty is carefully maintained.  As you put your clothing in the locker, you leave your cares and concerns and distractions there with them.  You step out of this private little dressing area dressed in white and you feel a oneness and a sense of equality, for all around you are similarly dressed.

They make this sound so wonderful.  Everyone around you is wearing white.  Big deal.  Wearing the same outfit that someone else wears doesn't make me feel "oneness" with them.  It makes me feel like we both had to play dress-up.  Ick.

What they don't mention is that locks are put on the lockers in the temple to prevent theft.  So much for everyone in there being worthy, right?  I won't even mention the good people waiting outside for things like weddings and sealings.  They were judged and told they were not good enough, yet there is need to locks to keep your personal items safe.  Ridiculous.

The Power to Seal

For those of you who look forward to a temple marriage, you may want to know what will occur.  We do not quote the words of the sealing (marriage) ordinance outside the temple, but we may describe the sealing room as being beautiful in its appointment, quiet and serene in spirit, and hallowed by the sacred work that is performed there.

Before the couple comes to the altar for the sealing ordinance, it is the privilege of the officiator to extend, and of the young couple to receive, some counsel.  These are among the thoughts that a young couple might hear on this occasion.

Oh, so those getting married in the temple are automatically young?  Nice.  Guess that shows how most young people are urged to marry young.

I have read many accounts of young women being very disappointed with the marriage ceremony in the temple.  It's not at all what most little girls dream of, like walking down an aisle or exchanging rings.  Some were in shock and kind of creeped out... but all knew better than to say anything.  

"Today is your wedding day.  You are caught up in the emotion of your marriage.  Temples were built as a sanctuary for such ordinances as this.  We are not in the world.  The things of the world do not apply here and should have no influence upon what we do here.  We have come out of the world into the temple of the Lord. This becomes the most important day of your lives.

The things of the world do not apply in the temple?  Really?  Does gravity apply?  How about the people who had to wait outside the building?  They don't apply?  

"You were born, invited to earth, by parents who prepared a mortal tabernacle for your spirit to inhabit.  Each of you has been baptized.  Baptism, a sacred ordinance, is symbolic of a cleansing, symbolic of death and resurrection, symbolic of coming forward in a newness of life.  it contemplates repentance and a remission of sins.  The sacrament of the Lord's Supper is a renewal of the covenant of baptism, and we can, if we live for it, retain a remission of our sins.

How romantic.  I do.

"You, the groom, were ordained to the priesthood.  You had first conferred upon you the Aaronic Priesthood and probably have progressed through all offices thereof--deacon, teacher, and priest.  Then the day come when you were found worthy to receive the Melchizdek Priesthood.  That priesthood, the higher priesthood, is defined as the priesthood after the holier order of God, or the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God (see Alma 13:18; Helaman 8:18; D&C 107:2-4).  You were given an office in the priesthood.  You are now an elder.

If this were my marriage ceremony, I would have fallen asleep by now.  Thank you for the history lesson in my future husbands priesthood progression.  Can we move on now please?

"Each of you has received your endowment.  In that endowment you received an investment of eternal potential.  But all of these things, in one sense, were preliminary and preparatory to your coming to the altar to be sealed as husband and wife for time and all eternity.  You now become a family, free to act in the creation of life, to have the opportunity through devotion and sacrifice to bring children into the world and raise them and foster them safely through their mortal existence; to see them one day, as you have come, to participate in these sacred temple ordinances.

Again, thank you for the wordy history lesson.  Blah---blah... blah, blahhhh blahh... Oh, and thank you for reminding my family and friends in attendance that I am now free to act in the creation of life.  Just what I wanted my Grandmother to hear.

"You have come willingly and have been judged to be worthy.  To accept one another in the marriage covenant is a great responsibility, one that carries with it blessings without measure."

If we would understand both the history and the doctrine of temple work, we must understand what the sealing power is.  We must envision, at least to a degree, why the keys of authority to employ the sealing power are crucial--crucial not just to the ordinance work of the temples but to all ordinance work in all the Church throughout the world.

The sealing power represents the transcendent delegation of spiritual authority from God to a man.  The keeper of that sealing power is the Lord's chief representative here upon the earth, the President of the Church.  That is the position of consummate trust and authority.

From God to a Man. Authority given from God to a MAN.  Just repeating that because I feel it's worthy of another read.

As has been said, much of the teaching relating to the deeper spiritual things in the church, particularly in the temple, is symbolic.  We use the word keys in a symbolic way.  Here the keys of priesthood authority represent the limits of the power extended from beyond the veil to mortal man to act in the name of God upon the earth.  The words seal and keys and priesthood are closely linked together.

Yeah, you have mentioned the symbolic thing over and over... we get it.  Honest.

The keys of the sealing power are synonymous with the keys of the everlasting priesthood.  "When Jesus came into the coasts of Carsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?...

"And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

"And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

"And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:13-19).

If it's in the scriptures, it MUST be true... right?

Peter was to hold the keys.  Peter was to hold the sealing power, that authority which carried the power to bind or seal on earth or to loose on the earth and it would be so in the heavens.  Those keys belong to the President of the Church--to the prophet, seer, and revelator.  That sacred sealing power is with the Church now.  Nothing is regarded with more sacred contemplation by those who know the significance of this authority.  Nothing is more closely held.  There are relatively few who have been delegated this sealing power upon the earth at any given time--in each temple are brethren who have been given the sealing power.  No one can get it except from the prophet, seer, and revelator and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Is it me, or does this guy repeat himself a lot?  I mean over, and over, and over... does he think it makes him sound smarter, or does he think we are not smart enough to understand him the first time?

A clear statement follows regarding the sealing power as binding on all tha twe do for the living and the dead.

"Whenever the fulness of the gospel is on earth, the Lord has agents to whom he gives power to bind on earth and seal eternally in the heavens.  (Matthew 16:19; 18:18; Helaman 10:3-10; D&C 132:46-49.)...

Yeah... got it...

"All things that are not sealed by this power have an end when men are dead.  Unless a baptism has this enduring seal, it will not admit a person to the celestial kingdom; unless an eternal marriage covenant is sealed by this authority, it will not take the participating parties to an exaltation in the highest heaven within the celestial world.

I remember reading somewhere that the term "eternal marriage" came from Joseph Smith's plural marriages.  He considered polygamy an eternal marriage.  He taught that you needed polygamy to reach the celestial kingdom.  What is up with that?  If the rest of this stuff is given directly from God to Joseph Smith, why do we believe that, but not the polygamy aspect of it?  What sense does ANY of thise make?  None.

"All things gain enduring force and validity because of the sealing power.  So comprehensive is this power that it embraces ordinances performed for the living and the dead, seals the children on earth up to their fathers who went before, and forms the enduring patriarchal chain that will exist eternally among exalted beings" (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd Edition [1966], 683).

In the Church we hold sufficient authority to perform all of the ordinances necessary to redeem and to exalt the whole human family.  And, because we have the keys to the sealing power, what we bind in proper order here will be bound in heaven.

Oh. My. Gawd. We. Get. It. Move. On.

Those keys-the keys to seal and bind on earth. and have it bound in heaven-represent the consummate gift from our God.  With that authority we can baptize and bless, we can endow and seal, and the Lord will honor our commitments.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said he was frequently asked the question, "Can we not be saved without going through with all those ordinances, etc.' I would answer, No, not the fulness of salvation.  Jesus said, 'There are many mansions in my Father's house, and I will go and prepare a place for you.' House here named shouls have been translated kingdom; and any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law, and the whole law too" (History of the Church, 6:184).

Of course we can't be saved without these ordinances.  Otherwise there would be no reason for people to pay tithing and go to the temples at all.  It's a way to garuntee that there will always be people lining up to make sure they get to stay in the pretty mansion.

Not without Opposition

Temples are the very center of the spiritual strength of the Church.  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.  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.

I love this.  People like me have obviously been led astray by the adversary.  We were not strong enough in our faith.  We have "fallen."

At the Logan Utah Temple cornerstone dedication, President George Q. Cannon, then of the First Presidency, made this statement:

"Every foundation stone that is laid for a temple, and every temple completed according to the order of 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" (Millennial Star, 12 November 1877, 743).

When members of the Church are troubled or when crucial decisions weigh heavily upon their minds, it is a common things for them to go to the temple.  It is a good place to take our cares.  In the temple we can receive spiritual perspective.  There, during the time of the temple service, we are "out of the world."

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.  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.

Hmm... this could also be done with a quiet walk by yourself, or time spent in the garden attending your priesthood blessed daisies and tulips.  Mormons don't have the monopoly on blessings or anything else for that matter.  You could easily find answers to your troubles without paying 10% of your income to a billion-dollar corporation.

The Lord will bless us as we attend to the sacred ordinance work of the temples.  Blessings there will not be limited to our temple service.  We will be blessed in all of our affairs.

Come to the Temple

No work is more of a protection to this Church than temple work and the family history research that supports it.  No work is more spiritually refining.  No work we do gives us more power.  No work requires a higher standard of righteousness.

Our labors in the temple cover us with a shield of protection, both individually and as a people.

So come to the temple-come and claim your blessings.  It is a sacred work.

Here is the thing...

They like to play up the temple as a wonderful place that is full of harmony and peace... but that simply isn't the reaction that most people have shared with me.  My own grandmother went to the temple once, and vowed never to return because it freaked her out.  

I don't believe that God would require ceremonies, ordinances, or silly outfits and handshakes to see him in heaven.  It's strange.  Really strange.  That is why they want to keep it one giant secret... not only from people outside the church, but from each other.  You can't discuss the temple outside of the temple... even to members of your own family.  If you can't talk about it, you can't share your thoughts and freaked-out feelings... therefore ensuring that another generation will be ready to put on those garmies.

It's so slick... and so silly.



  1. Anonymous Says:

    You just might be the most ignorant hypocrite i have met to date. You sit and judge the faithfull Latter-Day Saints and then critisize the Church for holding worthiness interviews. You condemn the Church for lying to you oh so much and yet you lied to your own readers about what I really said, you know that I never physically threatened not even once, yet you lied and said that the FBI was involved and it was an act of terrorism. That alone is a slap in the face to all the military I being a former Marine have the right to say that. You want to be bitter and blame the church so badly that you are willing to go to such lengths and the saddest part is that you actually think you matter. That any other person would be influenced by your un-original rants is so arrogant that Obama would blush. Oh and just so you know I got your buddy Doug Humphries info off his own blog, so its not like I even had to put in much effort. I also noticed that you took all the links from your anti-buddies off, did they ask you to or was it the FBI again? You are sad so very sad. I actually pitty you and your friends you are all confused and blinded by your arrogance and lack of faith. Oh and since you couldn't answer my question about Cristopher Columbus I will do it for you, he was looking for the Holy Grail, and was sent by the Knights Templar. Why was he looking for it on the other side of the world well thats for another day. It's too bad we could be friends i usually like cynics they make me laugh. Remember no more Sacred Stuff. The Spear.

  1. Andee Says:

    Well, at least now I know who you are.

  1. Andee Says:

    Oh, and I wasn't lying about the FBI. I just notified them again, and this time I have the ability to send them in your direction. Smooth, buddy. Real Smooth.