Monday, December 29, 2008

Worshiping Among the Spirits

I believe that the temple structure of vicarious work is meant in part to pay homage to the dead (to recognize and honor every child of God, no matter their worldly significance) and to keep us connected to our ancestors and all of humanity in a way that prevents us from adopting a social evolutionist’s natural arrogance. ("Each succeeding generation is better and smarter than the last.") I also believe that the temple is our own version of the Buddhist shrines in individual houses - our own way to include our ancestors in the greatest blessings of our lives. There we worship among the spirits of our kindred dead.

We visit the graves where their physical bodies were buried, but we also visit a place where we believe their living spirits can see us and attend us and sometimes communicate with us. It is our way of saying, “We have not forgotten you, and we will not let go." I have not experienced open communication often, but I have experienced it on occasion - and there is nothing more sublime and intimate.


Anonymous said...

Kudos. This is an very insightful way to explain our temple beliefs to others outside our faith. People of many cultures honor and revere the spirits of their ancestors.

It is always important to clarify that we do not worship our ancestors nor pray to them, however we certainly do believe their spirits are with us. The veil between the spirit world and ours is certainly thinnest in the temple of the Lord.

Unknown said...

THe evolutionist's natural arrogance. Hadn't thought of it that way before... I think I am this way and I am also not this way, in the sense that I think of my ancestors as immensely talented and strong to have endured and done the things they did. I hadn't thought of the temple as a way to get to know them better as people. I appreciate that perspective.