Temple Recommend | Buzz Blog

Monday, February 23, 2009

Temple Recommend

Posted By on February 23, 2009, 4:38 PM

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Temple Recommend

At the end of the last year, the LDS Church announced%uFFFDan open house for its new temple in Draper. The building stands high above the valley, surrounded by new yet dusty-looking MacMansions, patiently awaiting tenants.%uFFFDUntil March 14,%uFFFDthose not of this state’s dominant faith might get a glimpse inside a building normally closed to them because of the secret and sacred rituals that go on within.

%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD%uFFFD Before you enter the new LDS temple in Draper, you watch a short video about what temples mean to a group of%uFFFDthe faithful. With the exception of several senior male church figures, most of the talking heads are anonymous. One African-American woman speaks a sentence -- no more -- about how the temple is so important to her because it is there you make your covenants with the church. There’s something about the timbre of her voice that evokes such love and devotion for her faith. Most of the other speakers, particularly the lachrymose men, seem lacking by comparison.

The tour takes you through the rooms of a building that shortly will become inaccessible to those without a temple recommend – ie those who are church members that, according to the tour%uFFFDbrochure, “are living high moral standards and Christian principles.” You visit the sealing room, the chapel with its wrap-around wall mural of a western landscape and pass by the baptismal font on the back of twelve oxen -- an pool where the dead, willing or not, are baptized into the church by proxies. Finally there’s the celestial room, where you%uFFFDnurse your spiritual hangover after being sealed to your partner for eternity. After the tour you get cookies and bottled water in the nearby ward church.

In the sealing room, a host points out how the mirrors that face each other provide an endless echo of the just-married couple stretching through time both past and future. But the only truly spiritual echo this visitor found was the African-American woman in the video. Her emotionally-drenched voice echoed far deeper and far longer than anything else about the temple visit. It was a testimony to the love she had found, a reminder of just how profoundly moving unvarnished faith can be.

Stephen Dark

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