Saturday, October 13, 2012

What's the Point of the Temple?

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.

1 comment:

Richard Alger said...

"there is great value in the concept of making and keeping promises"