I Love to See the Temple, Part 1


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.

Creation Room

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.

Garden Room

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.

Lone and Dreary World

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.

Celestial Room

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.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to I Love to See the Temple, Part 1

  1. Re: the law of chastity definition. I’m no lawyer or attorney, but my understanding is that if a law doesn’t change, but the wording used to define the law has changed, then the original wording and the final wording must mean the same thing.

    The law of chastity, we are taught, is eternal and does not, nor will it, change. Also, it deals with the law of God, not the law of man. This means that the word lawfully is not referring to the law of man, but lawful according to the law of God. The current wording of the law of chastity, using the words lawfully and legally, likewise only refer to the law of God.

    Nothing has changed in the chastity. The only thing that has changed is our perception of what it means. Under the law of God, lawful and legal refers to the fact that a covenant of marriage has been entered into by the man and the woman. It there has been no covenant, there has been no marriage between the two and they are breaking the law of chastity.

    Even if one were to take the definitions and think of them as speaking of the laws of the State and not of God, it still means the same thing. If you look up the word legal, you find in that it says, “Anything is legal which the laws do not forbid.” This means that if a man or a woman covenant with each other to be husband and wife without using a State marriage license, this is legal. The State laws do not forbid this. The only thing the State forbids is the mingling of races, in which case it demands a State marriage license. This is what I have heard, though I haven’t verified it. Everybody else can marry with someone of their own race without a marriage license and will not be breaking the law. And this is the test. If you marry a woman without a marriage license, can you be prosecuted and thrown into jail? No, you cannot. The law doesn’t even recognize marriages that are performed without a marriage license. Therefore, what the State doesn’t recognize and doesn’t forbid, is perfectly legal.

    Any way you look at these definitions, then, it must mean the same thing, for the law of chastity does not change.

  2. Ananas says:

    The word “<a href="chastity" is actually only mentioned 2x in all of our modern scriptures. Back in 1828 it meant “freedom from all unlawful commerce of sexes. Before marriage, purity from all commerce of sexes; after marriage, fidelity to the marriage bed.” The phrase “commerce of sexes” directly refers to “intercourse.”

    Not that this post is about that, directly, but I might disagree with LDSA’s portrayal of “legally” and “lawfully.” While they create circular reasoning when used together, I personally believe that one is referring to something eternal – eternal law, perhaps – whereas the other is merely ensconced in our modern legal system. I have no proof, other than in reading a few of the things I’ve ready, but believe the addition was made to satisfy legal motives. Now, for instance, you can’t get married in the temple without a proper marriage license. With that license now in tow, only then can you approach the altar and go through the temple. That license grants you permission from our modern day legal system to get married, thereby fulfilling the requirements of someone who is now legally married.

  3. zo-ma-rah says:

    I agree with LDSA. His view works in theory. But the fact is if you ask pretty much any endowed member what “legally” means they will saw the laws of the land. As a matter of fact they will probably say “lawfully” means laws of the land too. At least in my pre-2010 perception, the Law of Chastity was entirely based on the State’s legal acceptance of one’s marriage. Legally and lawfully both meant “state marriage license.” I bet a significant portion of endowed members see it the same way.

    So while we can wiggle a bit and define both “legally” and “lawfully” to mean God’s laws, the fact remains that the most members and leader probably perceive it as man’s laws.

  4. Dave P. says:

    I haven’t been to the temple in a while (nor am I in any hurry to renew my recently-expired recommend) because I can’t help shake the feeling that the endowment has been co-opted. The terms of the final covenant to observe the law of consecration just bugs me because it sounds like we’re under covenant to give our time, talents, and energy to the corporate entity that the church has become and not really to the body of Christ for the establishment of Zion. After all, you’ve already mentioned how the church today isn’t in a big hurry to actually gather at Jackson County.

  5. zo-ma-rah says:

    Those are the exact feelings I’ve had lately. When we went through on Saturday the Wording of the Law of Consecration bugged me too. I’m going to look at the older wordings to see if they are any different. As I’ll talk about in Part 2 is just seems like the Endowment has been streamlined, trimmed, nipped and tucked to accomplish two purposes:

    1. To make people feel more comfortable with the ordinances so they will attend more often.
    2. To shorten the length of the endowment to get names through faster.

    Both of these things have robbed the Endowment of it’s beauty and power. It really is pointless since we shouldn’t be gathering names as fast as we can and then shipping them off to the temples. Rather we should wait for those who are dead and desire to be baptized/endowed to reveal themselves to us. So the length of the endowment shouldn’t be a concern since we should be going through as fast as possible anyway.

    It would be amazing to get some people together and go through the endowment as it originally was. Do you have to be a High Priest to officiate in an endowment ceremony(scripturally/historically not modern policy)?

  6. An excellent post, Zomarah, with some fascinating points I had not thought of before. How silly it is to require a tie -a symbol of the babylonian way of dress- when performing sacred rites! I don’t doubt that the temple authorities would be aghast if you showed up without it, though it seems to me if a robe was good enough for Jesus, a tie would be unnecessary.

    And your interpretation of the true order of prayer resonates with me. The question of just what is “dust” is a good one, too. I look forward to hearing if you get an answer.

  7. If I may weigh in on the subject of marriage licenses: Many years ago, I was quite the little expert on the subject, and what I have to offer here is by memory, so I’m just going to summarize and not get up and go to the books to find the cites.

    There is a difference between legal and lawful. Lawful denotes “that which is established,” and under the common law that usually meant “established by God.” So marriage is lawful. “Legal” is that which is ruled acceptable by man’s law. Man tends to make up his own rules, some of them superseding and even suborning that which was always lawful under God’s law.

    The legal definition of a license is “permission to do something that would otherwise be illegal or unlawful.” You’re spot on, Anarchist in your assessment that since it was illegal in America to mix the races (unlawful, too, in old testament times) “permission” had to be granted in the form of a license. (BTW, Anarchist, I’ve very much appreciated your posts on marriage, as I’ve been planning a couple of posts of my own on the subject in the near future.)

    In America, license or “permission” to marry originated under slavery, as slaves could not simply “jump the broom” of their own accord, they had to get permission from their owners. (Sometimes the husband and wife would belong to different owners, in which case the separate masters would contract among themselves as to who owned what offspring. The slaves were never considered the owners of their children.)

    After emancipation, it was declared illegal for a white to marry a black, so permission had to be sought in the form of a license from the state.

    I think it was Tennessee that first began providing licenses to regular folks in 1922 as a way to pull in a couple of bucks as a licensing fee, and before long other states joined in. (This is where I’m no longer sure of my facts, as it may be I’m confusing Tennessee in connection with the origin of the driver’s license, another suborning of a natural right -the right to travel- into a state licensed privilege. But don’t get me started on that one.)

    It only took a generation or two to forget that couples never even needed a license to get married. Where previously the happy couple would frame their marriage CERTIFICATE -a document signed by them to certify they were indeed married- now they frame their marriage LICENSE, a document that shows they got permission to do something they never needed permission to do.

    For a couple to be LAWFULLY married, all it requires is that they declare themselves married. Since marriage is a contract, the act of sexual intercourse between the two parties serves the purpose that a handshake would have in any other contract. That’s why they call it “consummating the marriage.” The contract is not official until you shake hands over it.

    Since it is inadvisable to have witnesses present for that particular “handshake,” it became customary for two or three witnesses to be on hand to serve as witnesses to the declaration of marriage. Having someone such as a clergyman on hand to perform a wedding “ceremony” was never required, but became traditional over time. Most marriages were recorded in the family bible, and often that was all the documentation there was.

    However, neither clergy, nor certificate, nor even witnesses are necessary to prove a marriage under the common law. All that is necessary is that the couple be known to cohabit and having engaged in sexual intercourse. Under the common law, if you and your mate have been living together and having sex for at least seven years, consider yourselves married. Offspring adds further proof.

    We seem to have come full circle into slavery, as today the state uses your marriage license as de facto proof that they have a controlling interest in your children, just as the slavemaster of old. Like the slavemaster, the state can and will take your children from you under the flimsiest of excuses. Where the state grants a privilege, the state can revoke it.

    The question of why the LDS Church makes a couple get permission from Babylon before solemnizing a temple marriage which is supposedly ordained of God -well, that’s one of the niggling little things that first got me started on my road to suspecting that all ain’t quite right here in the Lord’s True Church.

  8. What I find particularly interesting is that there is actually a shade of meaning of the word legal that deals with theology:

    6. Theol. a According to the old or Mosaic dispensation; in accordance with the law of Moses. b According to the law of works, as distinguished from free grace; or resting on works for salvation.” That comes from teh 1913 Webster’s dictionary.

    Also, from the same dictionary, there are shades of meaning for the word law that deal exclusively with theological matters. For example:

    3. The Jewish or Mosaic law, contained in the Hexateuch (Pentateuch and Joshua) and in Ezekiel xl.-xlviii; also, this part of the Scriptures;–often distinguished from the prophets and gospel (cf. TORAH c MISHNA, HEXATEUCH). Hence, the Old Testament. One school of Biblical critics finds in the Jewish law three main systems, shaped at different periods and successively combined, namely: The Covenant Code (included in the JE), the primitive Hebrew law representing the customary law, as notably in Exodus xx.-xxiii., so called as being based on the covenant of God; the Deuteronomic Code (designated D), marking a transition between the Covenant Code and the Priestly Code; the Priestly Code (designated P),including the Law of Holiness (see below), characterized by ceremonialism, statistical details, and a formal style, esp. in Leviticus and Numbers, and being suited to the period of Babylonian exile and later. 4. A divine commandment or a revelation of the will of God; collectively, the whole body of God’s commandments or revelations; the will of God, whether expressed in Scripture, implanted in instinct, or deduced by reason; specif., Obs., a religion or religious faith or dispensation.”

    So, I find it awfully curious that the words lawful and legally have theological shades of meaning, yet when we hear those words used in the temple of God, a theological institution, in the context of a theological revelation or discussion or teaching, instead of applying the theological shades to the words, we opt to apply a shade that has nothing to do with theology. Wtf?

  9. Btw, I don’t mean to imply by what I wrote above that the term legally does not mean those shades of meaning that pertain to State laws, only that I find it fascinating how hooked our minds are to the State, like an addict to his drug, that we skip right over the shades of meaning that deal with theology. I actually wrote several LDS Anarchy blog posts with the understanding given by Ananas in mind. That used to be my understanding of these terms, as well. But no more.

    This kind of reminds me of the legal term must or shall, etc. I forget which term it is, really. But, from memory, there is a word that the general public believes means that they are required by law to do something, but when you look up the word in Black’s Law Dictionary, it doesn’t mean that, at all. It has various shades of meaning, including meaning the word may, which of course does not mean you have to do something. So, on the law books, your average dummy will read something and think they gotta do it or go to jail, when really it only means they can do something, or may do something if they want to. Once they do it they are bound to the consequences of their actions. It is a set up, a lawyer’s trick, playing on people’s ignorance of what the meaning of the word really is.

    The reason why the term means may in certain instances is because it would take away a person’s constitutionally guaranteed rights, therefore, in those instances in which it woud do that, its meaning changes to the shade of meaning that means may. Or something to that effect. The net result is everyone gets tricked into doing it voluntarily because they thought it was mandatory. If the go to the judge later and say, “Hey, I wasn’t aware it was voluntary!” The judge will just shrug and say, “That’s your problem. We’ve got legal dictionaries available in every library. It’s your responsibility to inform yourself as to what words mean.”

    So, in the case of the word may and the word must (or whatever the words are), regardless of which word is used in certain instances, the meaning is the same, because if it were different, it would invalidate the law. There is a legal term for what I’m describing, but not being a lawyer myself, and having not studied much other than what was necessary to get me out of traffic court free and clear, I can’t remember what that term is.

    In the same manner, the temple definition of the law of chastity may play on people’s ignorance of what these actually terms mean in the context they are given, so that they can herd people to the State to get a license.

  10. Great points, Anarchist. The word you’re thinking of is “shall,” which is either mandatory or voluntary depending on the context or the status of the person. Especially status. Which brings us back around to who is required, for instance, to present a marriage license. If I was ever to marry again I would refuse to present a marriage license at the temple and challenge the Church to require it of me. It would be instructive to learn by what nexus with the State the Church is involved.

    I haven’t thought of that business about the word “shall” in years; in fact, I had completely forgotten about it, so thanks for bringing it back to my attention. If my set of Am Jur wasn’t boxed up somewhere, I’ll bet I could find a whole bunch of cites explaining the nuances of the use that word in legal contemplation. Off the top of my head, it seems obvious that since “shall” is a form of the word “should,” it couldn’t carry with it a mandatory meaning.

  11. Ananas says:

    So, I find it awfully curious that the words lawful and legally have theological shades of meaning, yet when we hear those words used in the temple of God, a theological institution, in the context of a theological revelation or discussion or teaching, instead of applying the theological shades to the words, we opt to apply a shade that has nothing to do with theology. Wtf?

    To me it’s a great stretch to assume that the addition of a word – in this case, legally – was some magically hearkening back to some obscure definition of theol’ogy. The funny thing – at least to me – is that this discussion isn’t at all about the term “theology” nor it’s meanings. This discussion is about the addition of a term and the meaning of the same. To drag theology into the argument is a straw that this man isn’t interested in discussing because it has nothing to do with the argument. Sure, theology might reference natural, revealed and moral theology (the latter of which discusses divine laws pertaining to our actions), but that’s not what this discussion was on. The definition of theology – to 99% of the human race – is a definition on divinity which necessarily includes a discussion on some laws, as we’re all apt to define God as a taskmaster bound up in a net of laws. Generally speaking, we don’t understand Him and therefore pigeon hole our definitions into a legalistic framework.

    But, that being said, perhaps we could get back to what Rock wrote on the nuances between the two. Lawful relates to common law, or God’s laws. Legal relates to mans laws, those concoctions we’ve created to bind us down into servants of the state.

    The 1931 endowment, for example, was largely concerned with lawful marriage and only after the entire marriage ceremony (as well as the Law of Chastity covenant) was finished did the term legally ever get mentioned, and then only 1x. The term “lawful”, however, is much more instructive and was used in the following contexts:

    1. (Law of Chastity for Men): “”You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will not have sexual intercourse with any of the opposite sex except your lawful wife or wives who are given you by the holy priesthood.”
    2. (Law of Chastity for Women): “You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will not have sexual intercourse with any of the opposite sex save your lawful husband, given you by the holy priesthood.”
    3. (Marriage Ceremony): “Do you Brother ________ take Sister ________ by the right hand to receive her unto yourself to be your lawful wedded wife and you to be her lawful wedded husband, for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise on your part that you will fulfill all the rites, laws and ordinances pertaining to this holy matrimony in the new and everlasting covenant.”
    4. (Marriage Ceremony): “Do you Sister ________ take Brother ________ by the right hand and give yourself to him to be his lawful and wedded wife, for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise on your part that you will fulfill all the laws, rites and ordinances pertaining to this holy matrimony in the new and everlasting covenant”

    And, lastly, this is the only place “legally” enters into the discussion:

    5. (Marriage Ceremony): “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in authority of the holy priesthood. I pronounce you legally and lawfully husband and wife for time and all eternity…”

    By the time the 1984 changes were made, legally and lawfully went hand in hand in every instance in the temple ceremony. And I’m to assume that they mean the same thing?

    Wtf, indeed.

  12. Ah-hah! I got you abbreviated-cursing! Lol.

    Now, I don’t know the full history. In 1931, in the marriage ceremony for time and all eternity, were the sealers agents of the State? Did people leave the temple with a civil marriage recognized by the State? If so, it may be that the wording of the marriage ceremony changed to legal because the sealer was acting as both sealer (agent of God) and civil servant (agent of the State).

    This is one of the fun things about English. One word often doesn’t mean one thing. It might mean 10 different things, depending upon how it is used. But also, if used in certain ways, it might mean only only one of those 10 things, and in other ways, it might mean two or three or more of those 10 things. In those cases, it is not clear what the meaning is and it comes down to what the speaker intended it to mean: which shade of meaning? And so we are able to ambiguously.

    You may be correct, Ananas, that the uses of these words are intended to speak of civil recognition, but that view conflicts with what the scriptures say. (At least, my reading of the scriptures.) So, does the temple trump the scriptures? Or do the scriptures trump the temple? Do we interpret the scriptures in light of the temple or the temple in light of the scriptures? Are we bound to the scriptures or bound to the temple? Or both? Are all members bound to the temple, even the ones who haven’t entered there? Did we canonize the temple wording? Did we vote on it? Do we vote on changes to it? Etc.

    In this case, I, personally, see no reason to pit the temple wording of chastity against what is written in the scriptures. You can make the temple wording fit the scriptures. You can also make it not fit. It depends what shade you use. Most choose to make it not fit and simply believe that the temple (and the CHI) trumps the scriptures. I did the same, but I don’t any longer. Perhaps that is just straw on my part, but as I covenanted to obey the law of chastity as given to me in the temple, who is it that decides what shade of meaning these words mean that I covenanted to obey? You or me? I do. And for me, I use my agency to bring the words in conformity with the scriptures, as is my right to do. You can choose to bind yourself to a meaning that goes against the scriptures. That’s your right. Everyone decides individually. Sure, this creates anarchy, but that doesn’t bother me.

  13. Anarchy doesn’t bother you? What a surprise 🙂

    Interesting thought you had in wondering whether the sealer is acting as an agent of the state. I’ll bet the Church looks at it that way, although of course it’s not the responsibility of the Church to see that anyone’s marriage complies with state regulations. Precisely the opposite. The state is required to recognize a marriage performed by a church.

    Or not performed by any church or even civil entity, as the State is not permitted to impair any contract entered into by one party with another, and marriage is just that: a contract. The only role the state has in a LAWFUL marriage is to see that no one interferes in that contract.

  14. Ananas says:

    LDSA: I think I’m missing what you’re saying, or you what I am, or something.

    I never implied (or otherwise) said anything about the temple ceremony trumping anything. You can take your legalistic argument and derive or insert it into the scriptures all you want – what I was discussing was the changes in the ceremony. Perhaps I should have been more direct, but I was highlighting the viewpoint (my perceived highlighting) that most members likely have. To them, when they go through the temple and hear the words “legally and lawfully”, together, in unison, there’s an understanding created. For the most part (warning: generalization coming) this is taken to mean that it’s “legal” in the eyes of the state. Since the early 1900s, for the most part, the Church and her members have been concerned with what is “legal.” The 12th Article of Faith highlights this principal and was voted on as scripture to get the members to “buy in” to the idea.

    So, when I argue that there is a difference between legal and lawful, it’s under those assumptions. And, likewise, in our modern lexicon that’s how they’re viewed – lawful relates to something ethical, while legal relates to the “administration, science and practice of law.”

    I doubt sealers were agents of the state then anymore than they are now. I think it was just a presumed thing – that marriages can, could, should and would be performed and no one needed a license to get married in the eyes of God (as several have previously noted). Since, the early 1900s, though, we’d be hard pressed to give an argument that statism hasn’t increased, nor our reliance on the state. Generally speaking, people yearn for and trust authority. If the gov’t says you need a license to get married, you get a license even if it’s an argument made up by and for the state.

    My own thought is that the term legally was specifically added to appeal to that distinction, i.e. that the church had bought into the idea that you had to get state approval to be considered “legally” married. A marriage license is little more than the state’s approval to do something that would otherwise be prohibited – much like you can’t drive without a driver’s license. Only the temple doesn’t deal with drivers, it deals with marriages. As such, the term “legally” was likely added to appeal to the nuanced differences between the two.

    Now, I’m not arguing for the scriptural definitions here (though I would note that lawful is the term most often used (by far) in the scriptures – 44x, mostly in the N.T., but in all of the standard works; the term “legally” is mentioned only 2x in modern scripture (both in the D&C) while “legal” is mentioned 4x (all in the D&C)) nor how they apply to this discussion. I do find it instructive that “lawful” was the word of choice prior to 1931 and that “legal” was only mentioned at the very end of the marriage ceremony, confirming that the marriage was indeed legal. Likewise, I’m not forcing the temple language to conform to scriptural language, nor vice versa. I was simply trying to discuss the difference in the modern context. I do believe, likewise, that there’s historical differences that are glossed over when we assume they mean the same thing.

  15. Yeah, Ananas, it appears we are talking of different things, with some overlapping. We agree, I believe, that everyone comes away with the same understanding of the phrase “lawfully and legally” as used in the temple.

    It is interesting that you bring up legal and legally in the scriptures. I’ve never actually taken the time to search those terms. As I look over those six verses, I can’t bring myself to think of those terms in that context as having anything to do with the State.

    Back to the law of chastity temple covenant: my understanding is that the covenants we make in the temple are individual, not group, covenants. Also, that the institutional church has no part in them. In other words, they are between the man or woman and the Lord. That being true, what I wonder is if the institutional church has any authority whatsoever in defining the terms of the covenant.

    For example, if you, Ananas, were to administer a covenant between Rock and myself, in which you stated the wording (terms) of the covenant and asked if I agreed and then if Rock agreed, and we both agreed to it and you acted as a witness, would you have any say whatsoever in what the wording of the covenant actually means? Would that not be only between Rock and myself to define the terms? Would anybody else have any authority in interpreting the meaning of the words of the covenant, such as a church congregation or the entire church membership?

    Rock, maybe you can answer these questions. My view is that the temple covenants I entered into are between me and the Lord. The church’s only role is in administration of the covenants and as witness. Nothing more. Nevertheless, the church can try me for transgression. The church equivalent of the Black’s Law Dictionary are the canonized scriptures, so if the institutional church or any congregation of members, wants to try me for breaking my temple covenants, they must first define the terms of the covenants to show that I have violated them. They can’t just arbitrarily use any dictionary, but must use the “dictionary” that we are all bound to, namely, the scriptures. (As it is the Lord that sets the terms, to define them the church must look at what the Lord has said about the terms, in His scriptures.) This means that as I am one of the two parties that have entered into the covenant, I, likewise, must interpret or define the terms of the covenant using the scritpures alone, as that is standard that will be used to judge me should I be tried for transgression. Does this sound right or consistent?

    In my view, unless the scriptures (the law of the Lord) are used in this manner, the church runs the risk of bringing condemnation upon it, because if it uses anything other than the scriptures to determine the definition of covenants, it becomes a law unto itself.

  16. zo-ma-rah says:

    The “risk” of condemnation. I think we are up to our necks in condemnation. But that’s a whole other subject.

    I’ve learned a lot from all your posts.

  17. Dave P. says:

    I do have to say this has been the best discussion I’ve witnessed and (somewhat) participated in regarding the temple ordinances.

    And you’re right, zo-ma-rah, the Lord has never rescinded the condemnation placed upon the church for treating lightly the messages and warnings contained in the Book of Mormon. Who knows what else is hanging over the church’s head at this point. I’d elaborate on a few things I’ve learned from comments from the other regular blogs I visit but, that too is a whole other subject.

  18. Ananas says:

    LDSA:

    You’re a bit more idealistic than usual, I would guess. You may be tried for transgression, it is true, but unfortunately I’d be surprised if they let you choose the books by which you were judged in said court of love. While I agree with you that the scriptures are (and should be) the standard by which we’re judged, you seem to be forgetting the modern context in which we live – namely one where the scriptures have been modified, changed, adapted, added to and transfigured. You would like the definition of “standard works” to be the Bible, BoM, D&C and PoGP. Most anyone judging you, though, would use those four plus a healthy dose of the CHI, the temple ceremony itself, any words of a “living” prophet, church manuals or anything else at their disposal.

    You could argue until you’re blue in the face that the standard works are your measuring stick, but unless that other half agrees with you they will ultimately decide what you are to abide by. And, seeing as how the temple ceremony (as it relates to the Law of Chastity) isn’t supposed to be written down, they will judge you by what they remember of it and the CHI. The “Law of Chastity” itself is absent in the same standard works you mention. As such, you’re merely setting yourself up to fall if you take that view.

    Now, you should know enough about or of me to understand I thoroughly disagree with what I just wrote. I wholly agree that the scriptures are to be the standard, but even they should be flexible enough to allow the Spirit to give us an answer. But, in our modern day, you have to understand who you’re dealing with and while there are many level headed people in the church, there are an equal (or greater) amount of sycophants who endlessly regurgitate the CHI and other sources as inspired glory. I unfortunately do not have my copy of the CHI handy to look anything up, but I would highly doubt that anyone would be sympathetic to my view that the CHI should be put in it’s proper place (the shredder might be a good place for it) while both parties work out the situation from the scriptures themselves, using persuasion, reason, long-suffering and the like to come to an agreement.

    The problem with this viewpoint is that the Church(tm) is too addicted to the mentality of laws. Laws will be broken. The Church(tm) will judge the brokenness of the law in a contemporary context. And, the contemporary context of “legal” is what? This is, after all, a Church(tm) based on revelation, so those things written in the scriptures are subject and subordinate to the words of the modern prophets. 😉

  19. Dave P. says:

    Ananas,

    This is yet another good example of exactly why Joseph Smith or even the Savior Himself wouldn’t been seen as a “true blue Mormon” because the leadership would be the first thing they speak out against, thus bringing down the wrath of the “follow the prophet” group against them.

    One of my primary observations, especially having to endure being in Utah for the past 10 years, is that things are not going to change because the leadership simply refuses to publicly admit there are problems and anyone who brings those up are effectively silenced. This happened at BYU where an employee wrote a public letter to the editor to basically state his opinion that the BYUSA organization had things that needed to be changed. He was promptly fired for committing a “disloyal act.”

  20. Lol. Had I spoken the above in person, you would have seen me wink or otherwise indicate that my use of “risk of condemnation” did not mean that I believed it wasn’t already under condemnation. I’ve actually had some small amount of experience with the church courts, having tried to initiate a case against some leaders in the past. The SP never let it even go to court, despite the law of witnesses being involved. (It may be because I quoted in my accusation the scriptural requirement that these men be tried according to what is written in the scriptures, and not anything else.) In addition, every accusation that has been brought against me has been without witnesses, and my refusal to respond to accusations without witnesses, which the leadership wants me to do, has blacklisted me. So, I already know the church court system is corrupt. Those who enter the courts, both accused and witnesses and judges, all have the understanding you have given, Ananas, concerning what standard to use against a person being tried. They all accept this as the standard, not just the leadership. The entire church has become a law unto itself.

    As we cannot peek into church courts, I don’t know if there are any modern examples of people accusing people based on the what the scriptures alone say or defending themselves based on what the scriptures alone say, and demanding that the judgment be performed only according to what is written in the scriptures. If such cases exist, I don’t know what has happened in such courts, because we are never told. I only know that in my case, I was prevented from even bringing such a case to court. Interpret that however you will.

  21. Ananas says:

    LDSA:

    Just for my clarification: you brought a case against someone based off the law of witnesses and of the scriptures, and it was rejected from going any further by your SP?

    Can I ask why/what it was on/for?

  22. Sorry, Ananas. I can’t say more than that. Gotta keep my anonymity, for now. But suffice it to say that in my own estimation, the church high council arbitration and court system is a sham.

  23. zeias says:

    The law of chastity says “legally and lawfully” and I’ve seen LDSA’s and now Zomorah’s interpretation of that to mean one is man’s law, and one is God’s law. However I don’t think that is necessarily justified. It could also be viewed as “lawfully and lawfully”. In other words the terms can be considered synonyms and that term could be interpreted as either man’s law or God’s law. Cicero considered man’s laws as attempts to become one with God’s laws, and that any law passed by man that contradicted the laws of God was null and void.

  24. teachings of men says:

    Some of these comments seem suggest the temple covenants apply only in the evironment of the USA. In Mexico, a couple must be civilly married before a temple ceremony can be performed. In other countries including the USA, if a civil marriage is performed first, the temple ceremony cannot occure until after 1 year of the civil marriage.

  25. Tachikoma says:

    as far as dust goes….the best conclusion Ive come to is this. whether you will read this post on an old thread or not I dont know but here it goes.

    Im sure you’ve heard of Lilith the supposed first woman before Eve. lets assume this truly the case. as we first hear that male and female are created at the same time and later Eve is then made. we also see that Adam looks amongst the beasts of the field for a wife but cant one.

    that being said Lilith refuses to be Adams wife. she invokes yet another lost piece of gospel. Gods ineffable name. because she does it out of a state of sin She transforms into some kind of beast. The serpent of the old testament. the fleeing seperent is what shes called in another place. she becomes the most cunning beast of the field aka the one that tempts Eve and her seed and Eves seed are thrown into eternal rivarly.

    the old testament also has the bitter water trials. this is where her curse to eat dust comes into play. if my memory serves correctly a woman that is accused of being pregnant with a child that isnt her husbands is given these bitter water trials. this dust Lilith is condemned to eat has to do with the specifics of the trial. if the child isnt the husbands the test fails and Lilith gains power over the child and the child becomes suspectable to being evil. if the child is the husbands the woman passes the trial. Theres a part about the water and the dust and mixing and such and thats where she eats the dust. this is the dust she is condemned to eat forever.

    as for the rival seed? we know it cannot be Satan as seed has to do with childbearing and Satan is a spirit…so either it is Satan who cannot do childbearing or snakes are the greatest threat to all of mankind which is quite frankly insanity. we also see Eve is deceived by a “snake” that is well spoken. We also see she isnt at all shocked by a well spoken snake. The fact is that just sounds ridiculous at face value. also The Lord has only once had a talking animal and it was used as a point of shock.

    so the rival seed has to do with sons of God bearing giants in the olden days. The power of creation is Gods ineffable name. Lilith knows it. she convinces these watchers in charge of watching earth who as the book of moses and Genesis tell us lust after human women. They however cannot have children being angels and single forever. So she makes a deal and gives them the name inexchange for a child.

    essentially the one child born between her and the head angel(details in the lost book of enoch) create the opposite to the Savior. he is called Azazel. Azazel in the book of enoch is charged with teaching mankind all unrightouness. The whole sin is ascribed to him. THis is the cause of the flood. We also learn that Jesus essentially gives all sin to Azazel. We also see in the old testament that Two goats are offered…one is rejected and one is brought back to life. THe rejected is to Azazel and the other to Jesus. THis mirrors the apparent mechanics of how the atonement works…That Jesus overcomes all Sin but the Sin still must go somewhere. Azazel the true opposite to Jesus bears that burden eternally.

    In this we also see another interesting doctrine. We know all things all their opposite. Mormons and christians in general are told Lucifer is inded the opposite of Christ. however what if hes not? i ask this because Jesus is one member of a Godhead….truthly we know there is a heavenly Mother so technically there is her too. so Lucifer a spirit is the opposing force of the Spirit aka Holy Ghost. Azazel is the opposing force of Christ. Lilith and the head watcher angel(cant remember his name) become the opposing force of our heavenly parents….Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. and like our heavenly Mother Lilith is largely a buried and forgotten and hidden relic of the gospel so they mirror each other to near perfection.

    the point of this was you asked what dust was and i think thats what it is. however i could not just say Lilith. I have to explain her story in a short summary otherwise it wouldnt make sense.

    believe what you want of it but I will say I am a man of visions, a seer really, and in one of many rounds of encounters with Satan I do know the man spent 10 days telling me all about Lilith so while the source maybe the father of all lies he did seem to think it rather important for some reason or another. furthermore GOd seemed to allow him to tell me all about this for the whole time. in fact his offer mirrored the creation in the “follow me for more knowledge and ill tell you the WHOLE story” very much indicating there is a lot more to creation…a lot more than meets the eye. which I would agree with given the fact we have 4 stories of creation I dont think we spend near enough time on the first 9 chapters of genesis as we should.

    the four stories of creation in their various forms are, genesis, book of moses, book of abraham, and the temple video. it should also be noted that only the temple video varies from the story a bit. it should also be the noted the reason include 9 chapters of genesis is because the creation, flood, and tower of babel comprise 3 of the 4 most important events in all the earth yet we gloss over them like they are literally no big deal. the fourth big moment is of course the atonement. the more Ive studied these few chapters the more I see there truly is a big deal and a lot has been purposely buried and we really should explore this early time period of life more as much as possible. I will also add one thing that has dawned on me is that we are for the first time in a new era of the tower of babel. that is binary now unites the world under one language. take that however you will.

    as for more on Lilith? this is the best book on the subject Ive ever read…perhaps the only book of worth on the subject really.

    http://www.amazon.com/Case-Lilith-Biblical-Evidences-Identifying-ebook/dp/B0037Z6GOY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390479823&sr=8-1&keywords=case+for+lilith

  26. Tachikoma says:

    I will also add that whole book will explain the “dust” curse of the “serpent” in alarming detail. I will also add one other interesting note, if the Lilith story is true, then the rivals seeds bit is an early prophecy of The Messiah. indicating that The Messiah(the seed of Eve) is meant to rival anothers seed. it also partly explains Gods never ending demand that we stop having sex with non human creatures that God seems all to fond of telling the old testament folks. it also explains that perhaps the greatest sin mankind can make is sexual sin because this is what leads to the flood. it also seems to give an explanation to the weird creations in the book of revelation. it also provides even more horror to the latter days when Jesus tells us they will be like the days of noah.

    I also didnt realizing making a link would be such a huge picture lol.

    in any event my rant is over lol.

  27. Tachikoma says:

    i see posting a link requires a wait for moderation…well here is a version without the link

    as far as dust goes….the best conclusion Ive come to is this. whether you will read this post on an old thread or not I dont know but here it goes.

    Im sure you’ve heard of Lilith the supposed first woman before Eve. lets assume this truly the case. as we first hear that male and female are created at the same time and later Eve is then made. we also see that Adam looks amongst the beasts of the field for a wife but cant one.

    that being said Lilith refuses to be Adams wife. she invokes yet another lost piece of gospel. Gods ineffable name. because she does it out of a state of sin She transforms into some kind of beast. The serpent of the old testament. the fleeing seperent is what shes called in another place. she becomes the most cunning beast of the field aka the one that tempts Eve and her seed and Eves seed are thrown into eternal rivarly.

    the old testament also has the bitter water trials. this is where her curse to eat dust comes into play. if my memory serves correctly a woman that is accused of being pregnant with a child that isnt her husbands is given these bitter water trials. this dust Lilith is condemned to eat has to do with the specifics of the trial. if the child isnt the husbands the test fails and Lilith gains power over the child and the child becomes suspectable to being evil. if the child is the husbands the woman passes the trial. Theres a part about the water and the dust and mixing and such and thats where she eats the dust. this is the dust she is condemned to eat forever.

    as for the rival seed? we know it cannot be Satan as seed has to do with childbearing and Satan is a spirit…so either it is Satan who cannot do childbearing or snakes are the greatest threat to all of mankind which is quite frankly insanity. we also see Eve is deceived by a “snake” that is well spoken. We also see she isnt at all shocked by a well spoken snake. The fact is that just sounds ridiculous at face value. also The Lord has only once had a talking animal and it was used as a point of shock.

    so the rival seed has to do with sons of God bearing giants in the olden days. The power of creation is Gods ineffable name. Lilith knows it. she convinces these watchers in charge of watching earth who as the book of moses and Genesis tell us lust after human women. They however cannot have children being angels and single forever. So she makes a deal and gives them the name inexchange for a child.

    essentially the one child born between her and the head angel(details in the lost book of enoch) create the opposite to the Savior. he is called Azazel. Azazel in the book of enoch is charged with teaching mankind all unrightouness. The whole sin is ascribed to him. THis is the cause of the flood. We also learn that Jesus essentially gives all sin to Azazel. We also see in the old testament that Two goats are offered…one is rejected and one is brought back to life. THe rejected is to Azazel and the other to Jesus. THis mirrors the apparent mechanics of how the atonement works…That Jesus overcomes all Sin but the Sin still must go somewhere. Azazel the true opposite to Jesus bears that burden eternally.

    In this we also see another interesting doctrine. We know all things all their opposite. Mormons and christians in general are told Lucifer is inded the opposite of Christ. however what if hes not? i ask this because Jesus is one member of a Godhead….truthly we know there is a heavenly Mother so technically there is her too. so Lucifer a spirit is the opposing force of the Spirit aka Holy Ghost. Azazel is the opposing force of Christ. Lilith and the head watcher angel(cant remember his name) become the opposing force of our heavenly parents….Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. and like our heavenly Mother Lilith is largely a buried and forgotten and hidden relic of the gospel so they mirror each other to near perfection.

    the point of this was you asked what dust was and i think thats what it is. however i could not just say Lilith. I have to explain her story in a short summary otherwise it wouldnt make sense.

    believe what you want of it but I will say I am a man of visions, a seer really, and in one of many rounds of encounters with Satan I do know the man spent 10 days telling me all about Lilith so while the source maybe the father of all lies he did seem to think it rather important for some reason or another. furthermore GOd seemed to allow him to tell me all about this for the whole time. in fact his offer mirrored the creation in the “follow me for more knowledge and ill tell you the WHOLE story” very much indicating there is a lot more to creation…a lot more than meets the eye. which I would agree with given the fact we have 4 stories of creation I dont think we spend near enough time on the first 9 chapters of genesis as we should.

    the four stories of creation in their various forms are, genesis, book of moses, book of abraham, and the temple video. it should also be noted that only the temple video varies from the story a bit. it should also be the noted the reason include 9 chapters of genesis is because the creation, flood, and tower of babel comprise 3 of the 4 most important events in all the earth yet we gloss over them like they are literally no big deal. the fourth big moment is of course the atonement. the more Ive studied these few chapters the more I see there truly is a big deal and a lot has been purposely buried and we really should explore this early time period of life more as much as possible. I will also add one thing that has dawned on me is that we are for the first time in a new era of the tower of babel. that is binary now unites the world under one language. take that however you will.

    as for more on Lilith? this is the best book on the subject Ive ever read…perhaps the only book of worth on the subject really.

    I will also add that whole book will explain the “dust” curse of the “serpent” in alarming detail. I will also add one other interesting note, if the Lilith story is true, then the rivals seeds bit is an early prophecy of The Messiah. indicating that The Messiah(the seed of Eve) is meant to rival anothers seed. it also partly explains Gods never ending demand that we stop having sex with non human creatures that God seems all to fond of telling the old testament folks. it also explains that perhaps the greatest sin mankind can make is sexual sin because this is what leads to the flood. it also seems to give an explanation to the weird creations in the book of revelation. it also provides even more horror to the latter days when Jesus tells us they will be like the days of noah.

    I also didnt realizing making a link would be such a huge picture lol.

    in any event my rant is over lol.

    name of the book without the link
    “The Case for Lilith: 23 Biblical Evidences Identifying the Serpent as Adam’s First Failed Wife in Genesis” by “Mark Wayne Biggs”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s