I really love the concepts and principles taught in the temple - what I see as the grand morality play that is performed in it and the "moral(s) of the story". That is due to a large degree on the fact that I don't care all that much about the specific details of the ordinances and ceremonies. Those have changed over time and might change in the future; it's the principles and concepts that resonate most with me. Just to focus on one aspect today:
I think there is great value in the concept of making and keeping
promises - and that there is even greater value in doing so with regard
to things a person views as sacred. Again, I don't care as much about the specific detail of sacred ceremonies - as long as those who participate gain something important to them as a result of their participation.
In the case of Mormonism, that means I don't care as much about whether or not the person sitting next to me in the temple is getting the same things out of the experience as I am as I do about whether or not each person is getting something from the experiences that is important to her. I don't care if something hits my wife but doesn't hit me - or if someone sees something as literal that I see as figurative - or almost any other discrepancy between the experiences of those who attend the temple. I just want each person to sense or touch the divine somehow - or "learn" something new (not necessarily from the words of the play but perhaps from what registers in their hearts and/or minds) - to walk away with something that is of value personally - to leave committed to "make and keep sacred covenants", regardless of how that concept is interpreted individually.
Whether in a Mormon temple or anywhere else, I see a dichotomy between
those who understand promise / covenant making and those who don't - and
between those who sense or recognize "the sacred" and those who don't.
I think the details are FAR less important than the concept - and I
believe strongly that too many people obsess over the details and don't
learn the concept on an individual basis.
Forms from the Patriarch’s Office, 1921
1 hour ago