The Frustration of Temple Symbolism

I’ve really enjoyed the past few posts by Guy Templeton over at Wheat and Tares regarding some topics of the temple.  I’ve also enjoyed the interactions with Jettboy and Forgetting here at by blog.  Guy has discussed temple symbolism.  I have expressed frustration at this symbolism, because to me it seems just like a puzzle  I have said in my previous post,

I suck at symbolic language. It’s very difficult for me. The temple is repetitive, and I don’t know what I am supposed to notice. To answer Jettboy’s question, as Guy posted [last week] at W&T, am I supposed to notice the carpet and butterfly symbolism, or is this straining at gnats? If it is what I’m supposed to be noticing, then I suck at symbolic language. Because it feels like straining at gnats to me. Some people may enjoy this puzzle and may find personal inspiration and enjoyment out of looking at carpet and butterflies, but my brain just doesn’t work that way, and I find it frustrating if my brain is supposed to work that way. Perhaps that is why I don’t get much from the temple.

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Female Priesthood would Require Changes in the Temple Ceremony

There is an interesting post over at Wheat and Tares by Guy Templeton.  He first asks about whether female temple workers hold priesthood, writing

In nearly all blessings and ordinances, priesthood members perform the blessing or ordinance under the “authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.”  I noticed recently at the temple that the ordinances are performed merely “by authority.”  As I understand it, women repeat words nearly identical to men when performing initiatory rites.  There has been some debate about whether women actually hold the priesthood when performing temple ordinances.  Elder Oaks recently said “With the exception of the sacred work that sisters do in the temple under the keys held by the temple president, which I will describe hereafter, only one who holds a priesthood office can officiate in a priesthood ordinance. All authorized priesthood ordinances are recorded on the records of the church.”

Guy concludes with a poll asking Continue Reading »

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The Biggest Differences Between Strangites and Mormons

William Shepard

William Shepard

Back in May, I had the pleasure of getting acquainted with William Shepard at the Kirtland Sunstone Conference.  Shepard is both an impressive historian in his own right, but also a member of the Strangite Church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  (Yes the name of his church is more than just a slight variation of the LDS Church.)  If you haven’t heard of Strangites, here is a very brief history.

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Parker on Excommunication

Natasha Parker, who blogs at the Mormon Therapist has written several Facebook posts that I think are spot on. Continue Reading »


Kirby on Kate

I stayed up really late trying to find out what would happen to Kate Kelly, and now we’re told that a decision will come Monday or Tuesday.  Hmmm, I need a humor break.  So here are some of Robert Kirby’s words from the Salt Lake Tribune. Continue Reading »


Excommunication is Counter-Productive

Does excommunication do more harm than good?  I think the answer is unmistakably yes. It is just simply a bad idea to turn loyal members into enemies.  There is the old adage that “they can leave the church, but they can’t leave it alone.”  I think when the church excommunicates someone, the church create their own enemies, and causes more bad will, not goodwill.  It is simply counter-productive.  Case in point:  the most vehement anti-Mormons are former Mormons.  The church could do more to control anti-Mormonism if they simply didn’t create so many enemies via excommunication.

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San Antonio MHA 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed MHA 2014 here in San Antonio, and getting to meet some other bloggers like Clean Cut and Matt W from New Cool Thang.  I didn’t live blog MHA like Kevin Barney did at By Common Consent, but thought I’d give a “quick” recap of the happenings there.  (Kevin and I obviously overlapped a lot and went to many of the same sessions.)

I really enjoyed the welcoming remarks from Henry Cisneros, former mayor of San Antonio and HUD Secretary under President Clinton.  The band La Calma also played some good music–I don’t remember ever hearing music at MHA meetings from a band, let alone someone playing the accordion, but it was fun!  Michael Van Wagenin reminded everyone about apostle Lyman Wight’s mission to Texas.  I was first introduced to the idea by Clean Cut back in 2008, and didn’t know that Joseph had sent Wight to Texas to see if Mormons might be welcomed there.  I definitely heard more about Wight and Texas than I have ever heard before.  Wight was discussed in several speeches.

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