Explain the Temple To Me

Tidjwe posted this elsewhere and I thought it was a really helpful explanation about what happens inside the LDS temple. So for the benefit of non-LDS and LDS who have never been to the temple

One thing that really bothers me is the misunderstandings about the temple. The ONLY THING that members covenant not to talk about is that the signs and tokens are. You can’t tell anyone the special handshakes, and you can’t tell them the names of them. That’s it. As long as you don’t reveal what they are, you aren’t breaking any temple covenants.

I think they should just come out and say “First you’ll go into a room where they’ll symbolically wash and anoint you on your forehead to dedicate your life and body to serving God. There you’ll recieve your garment and then you’ll go to a room with a bunch of other strangers, and they perform a big massive ordinance all at the same time for all of you…it’s not some special event where everyone is there just for you like it is at a sealing or baptism. You will watch a movie about the creation where they will talk about certain precepts that you should make characteristics in your life and they will be represented by certain signs, etc to help you remember them. After the movie is over you will line up at curtain (veil) and repeat back those signs and their meaning and then pass through it and go into a beautiful room called the Celestial room where it will be peaceful and you can pray or meditate or just relax for a few minutes.”

That would’ve been a lot more helpful to me than reading Boyd K’s book on the matter that says basically nothing and makes no sense if you haven’t been through. or taking all the temple classes that still don’t tell you anything to expect. It really pissed me off…I had no clue at all and was completely lost the whole time.

The ordinance itself probably doesn’t do anything. Most of the temple stuff is symbolic. It teaches us the characteristics we need in order to be exalted. Service, Unity, Sacrifice, obedience, Charity, etc. It’s not some magical thing.

Also, a lot of the temple stuff used to happen outside the temple. Many temple ordinances were performed in the mountains, and the rivers, and in Joseph Smith’s house in the early church. Also, until a couple/few decades ago, most High Priest groups used to meet on Sunday, go to their quorum room in their temple clothes and several performed some of the token/signs from the endowment including the true order of prayer. After their quorum meeting was over they’d change back into normal church clothes and go to Sacrament or whatever was next. I mean it’s not until fairly recently that it got a lot more restrictive.


7 thoughts on “Explain the Temple To Me

  1. Dando, at the following link you will find a complete description of the LDS temple proceedings, including the descriptions of the signs and tokens. The sign of the nail, and the sure sign of the nail (a special handshake), for example. But fair warning–this site is truly anti-Mormon, and it compares some of the LDS temple ordinances to eastern religions, Free Masonry, and others. Its the only place I know of where you can get all this information. Having been through the temple many times, I can attest to its accuracy, even though I think it is sometimes a little “in your face” about it from a Mormon point of view.

    URL Deleted

  2. Gene, out of respect for the LDS view of the sacred nature of the temple and the proceedings, I’m going to delete your link. But if any one wants to know exactly what goes on in the temple, they can find it on a Google search with very little effort.

  3. Thanks for deleting it, Dando.

    Anyway, i agree with Tidjwe about this one. The paranoia about talking about the temple winds up terrifying many first-time temple-goers unnecessarily.

  4. I’m on good terms with my son, so I was very surprized when, just before his mission, in getting ready to go to the temple he absolutely refused to listen to me explain what was going to happen during the ordinances. He said it was sacred and didn’t want to hear it. I tried to explain otherwise, but he was adament. What are they teaching our youth in seminary/church now-adays?

  5. I am more in line with what Tidjwe said. I really don’t understand all the fear people have talking about the temple. We only covenant not to share signs and tokens. As far as I’m concerned much of the rest can be discussed freely in a respectful manner. I think a lot of the fear comes from people just being afraid they will say the wrong thing or step over some imaginary line. Also, since the leaders of the LDS Church don’t really talk about anything in the temple, many just follow their example.

    Before I married my wife I told her exactly what Tidjwe stated above (she had never been through). She has always told me that she was grateful that I did. She felt that it prepared her and made her feel more at ease.

  6. Have you noticed that none of these respones (except mine, but you deleted the relevant part) answered your question? And, by-the-way, I understand why you deleted it.

  7. Um, what question? I’m pretty sure Dando wasn’t actually asking people to explain the temple to him, but rather just reposting something that Tidjwe said that Dando thought was relevant and helpful.

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