This last Saturday my wife and I went to the Idaho Falls Temple. It was the first we had been back in a couple months. I had many spiritual experiences and received some interesting instruction from the Lord.
We arrived at the temple and went to our respective dressing rooms. I had worn my white Barong shirt. Ths shirt isn’t supposed to be tucked in and you aren’t supposed to wear a tie. Wearing this shirt(which my wife made) is an effort on my part to separate myself from the traditions and culture of Babylon. So as I was dressing, there in my temple bag was the white tie I usually wear to go through the temple.
The fear of men overcame me and I put the tie on. I also tucked in my shirt. I was afraid of someone telling me to put a tie on or tuck in my shirt. So there in the dressing room of the House of the Lord, preparing to go through the endowment, I put on the vestments of Babylonian society. Of course it isn’t seen like that for most members of the church. But there is absolutely ZERO reason for a person to have to wear a tie in the temple. A tie is an ornament used in Babylon to enhance one’s appearance. But then again nobody told me to wear a tie I was just afraid they would.
On our way to the temple I had my wife read me LDSA’s post about prayer. There were something I thought were a bit strange in that post. So while waiting to enter the Creation room I read scriptures relating to prayer.
The time to start came and we entered the creation room. I gave my wife’s hand a squeeze as she went to sit on the women’s side of the room and I went to the men’s.
In almost all LDS Temples the first half of the endowment is presented through video presentation. The video is projected onto a big screen at the front of each room. Normally I really enjoy watching the video of the creation. I love the views of the planets and space. But this time I thought hat perhaps the video was more of a distraction than an aid. The original endowment was done live without video. I wondered if, rather than helping me, the video was promoting the director’s view of the endowment rather than what the lord wished to teach me(Haha. I just had the funny image of a new.mormon saying that the Lord was the director of the endowment movie). So this time I just looked down or closed my eyes. I didn’t watch the video. Rather I looked inward hoping to hear the voice of the Lord come to my spirit rather than the pre-recorded audio that came through my ears.
My first inspiration though, came in the garden room. It came to the part of the creation story where Satan is cast out from the Garden. He is cursed to go upon is belly and eat dust. A thought then occurred to me. Perhaps the dust is not literal dust but instead symbolizes something. Adam was created from the dust. Adam was to return to the dust. Maybe dust is not the dirt on the ground maybe it represents something spiritual. I haven’t received an answer to what dust may represent but the question expanded my understanding. I am one of those who believe Adam and Eve were literal people. But I don’t believe they were the first human type beings on the earth. They were, perhaps, the first for this age of the earth. But I believe there have been other ages of the earth. I think there are some literal elements to the creation story but I also believe there is tons of symbolic things.
I’ve done research into the original endowment ceremony established by Joseph Smith. And our modern ceremony has some great differences. I’m going to discuss this later, but this was one thing that kept coming to my mind as I went through. I wonder even if our present endowment ceremony is considered valid by the Lord. We have changed the way the ordinance is done. We have removed parts. We have changed the sacred covenants of the endowment. I talked about this before. But if a person takes the covenant to “not have sexual relations except with a person’s husband or wife to whom they are legally and lawfully married,” is that valid? When the original covenant only involved being lawfully(God’s laws) married, are our modern covenants valid when we have added the term “legally” as an extra stipulation? I thought of these things as we received instruction in regard to the tokens, signs and names in the temple. In fact an important fourth part has been removed because people weren’t comfortable with it, the penalties. The penalties are in important part that go along with the tokens, signs and names. Yet, they have been removed.
It was in the Telestial room that I received some interesting instruction. It is in this room that Saints receive instruction on what is called the True Order of Prayer. The True Order of Prayer involves a prayer circle. Originally in the church those who were endowed were taught this way to pray and they used it. In their homes they would pray in that manner taught in the True Order of Prayer. Members of the Anointed Quorum would meet twice weekly and gather in the True Order of Prayer. They would then receive more advanced instruction that what was taught among the general membership. Today the church has forbidden endowed members from praying in the True Order of Prayer, even in the privacy of our own homes. If you have been instructed through the endowment how to pray in the True Order of Prayer, I invite you all to build a family altar and pray in te True Order of Prayer.
But something else happened at this point. It was here I began to understand just what the True Order of Prayer means. After researching prayer earlier through LDSA’s post and the scriptures. The Lord taught me what the True Order of Prayer means. It means that we are to be unified with God in praying. We aren’t just supposed to get on our knees and thank God for stuff and then ask Him for what we want. Rather we are to listen for what the Lord wants us to thank Him for and ask Him for. We are to become one with the mind and will of the Lord. In the True Order of Prayer all those praying are to become one with the Lord.
I remember reading some things critical of the LDS church. These people questioned the True Order of Prayer and pointed out a contradiction. If the True Order of Prayer is better than other forms of prayer why do we teach people they can pray anywhere or anytime. It seems negative to think that the True Order of Prayer is better heard by God than a prayer from a little child in primary.
The answer to this came to me in the Temple. The True Order of Prayer is superior. Not because you stand in a circle or anything like that. But because you become one with God. Yes the Lord hears both prayers. But if you just God to the Lord and say a bunch of stuff, and ask Him for what you want, like He’s some magical wishing well; you will have a huge chance of asking amiss. God will only give us those things He wants us to have. And if we are asking for things He doesn’t want to give us then we will not receive them. By praying in the True Order of Prayer, meaning being one with God, we will ask only those things the Lord tells us to ask for. In that way we will receive everything we have asked for.
This was the best temple session I have ever gone through. I received the more instruction in this session than I have in all previous sessions combined. I haven’t written everything I learned because the Lord does not want me to share those things. But hopefully some of you will benefit from what I’ve shared.