Mormons Engage in Uplifting Temple Service
Lies permeate or infect various media points about Mormon worship. Many are perpetrated by disaffected Mormons, and the first photos attempting to distort and convey falsehood about the temple were shared by the same, disgruntled ex-Mormons, attempting in vain to bribe Church officials. Their response showed total disinterest in anything so acquired. We, as Mormons, have nothing to hide.
The temple is sacred–just as baptism and prayer and private communions with the Lord are sacred–most sacred. The temple ordinances are not to be trifled with and shared indiscriminately outside of the temple, but they are available to all who want to come unto Christ through baptism into His Church–the re-established Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Talmage’s concise, open statements about the nature of the Mormon temple endowment are helpful to friends of other faiths seeking to understand more of what Mormons learn and do in these Houses of the Lord that dot the earth.
The Mormon Temple Endowment, as administered in modern temples, comprises instruction relating to the significance and sequence of past dispensations, and the importance of the present as the greatest and grandest era in human history. This course of instruction includes a recital of the most prominent events of the creative period, the condition of our first parents in the Garden of Eden, their disobedience and consequent expulsion from that blissful abode, their condition in the lone and dreary world when doomed to live by labor and sweat, the plan of redemption by which the great transgression may be atoned, the period of the great apostasy, the restoration of the Gospel with all its ancient powers and privileges, the absolute and indispensable condition of personal purity and devotion to the right in present life, and a strict compliance with Gospel requirements.
As will be shown, the temples erected by the Latter-day Saints provide for the giving of these instructions in separate rooms, each devoted to a particular part of the course; and by this provision it is possible to have several classes under instruction at one time.
The Mormon doctrine contained in the ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual, such as covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity; to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King,—the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions.
No jot, iota, or tittle of the temple rites is otherwise than uplifting and sanctifying. In every detail the endowment ceremony contributes to covenants of morality of life, consecration of person to high ideals, devotion to truth, patriotism to nation, and allegiance to God. The blessings of the House of the Lord are restricted to no privileged class; every member of the Church may have admission to the temple with the right to participate in the ordinances thereof, if he comes duly accredited as of worthy life and conduct (James Talmage, House of the Lord).
Enlightened by the Mormon Endowment
I attended the Mount Timpanogos Temple last night to serve as proxy for an ancestor in an endowment session. Receiving the instruction in the endowment film is much like the experience of reading the scriptures in the sense that new thoughts arise and take form in our minds and hearts as we engage in the Word and in the inspired temple instruction each time we visit them. Last night, I pondered the Creation account. How vast was the project and yet how simply it was stated, and how orderly it was executed. The Spirit, through the retelling, bore witness to me that God is not overwhelmed in His work, and since He is not, I ought not be either for I can rely on His power and magnificence — his ability to bring things into existence to serve the greatest good for all.
I thought, further, about my own life, organizing my own little world of influence and my family’s, and applied the principles I gleaned to that shaping. How can I teach my children effectively to discern light from darkness in all of its subtleties and potential effects; how can I better evaluate my days, each creative period of my life, and account to the Lord so that I can receive more light for the morrows. Sometimes we plan to the point of crowding out His plan. How do we maintain the balance and let His Spirit continue to fill our sails as we set forth each day, and yet exercise our own agency and given talents and powers to create of our own initiative, relying on His help? I pondered the balancing, the application, the truths. I received personal revelation in the House of the Lord to this end. I love Mormon temples. I know them to be truly what Mormons attest they are: Houses of Our Savior, where His Spirit, presence, influence flow as we serve and engage in His ordinance work–the work of bringing others to Him through baptism, confirmation, washings and anointings and marriage sealings. We encourage you to visit one prior to its being dedicated, when such an opportunity presents.