I love the initiatory. I went to the temple and did initiatories last night and it occurred to me why I enjoy it so. There is a physicality to it that is missing from the other temple ordinances. I have to get up and move around and do things. I understand that all temple ordinances are somewhat passive (these included), but I liked the motion. It reminded me of the time I went to an endowment session in the Manti temple.
A well run initiatory session is like a ballet, a machine where the cogs are placed in just the right spots to catch each other. Last night’s was not well run. The men helping me hadn’t done it in a while and were stumbling over some of the things they had to say. But it was still beautiful, a reminder of God’s choice to use imperfect humans to accomplish his perfect goals. It kept me grounded.
What do you think of this ordinance? Please keep your comments appropriate to the forum (ie. this ain’t no temple, don’t pretend it is).
Doesn’t it seem really important that we sin? Let me give you an example:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Now normally we use this verse as a way to help people out of sin, but look at what it is saying: we are inherently weak, in part, because this is the only way to make us humble enough to turn to God. If we become humble enough, we will come to rely on His grace and become strong in Him. Here’s the bookend verse to this one:
And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
Here we are given an impossible task (complete and total lifelong obedience) as our goal, necessary for exaltation. We are set up to fail, but it is just as well. Our failings will cause us to rely on the Savior, which is God’s goal anyway. Doesn’t the great authority (Nibley, of course) say that the righteous person is the one who is repenting?
Now I am not arguing against Paul’s words in Romans 6:1-2. Of course we shouldn’t sin just to get more repentance in our life. I just think it is interesting that the degree to which we sin is built into the system in such a way that it can (and should) turn us toward God. And, if we sin less, presumably this is because we have already done the turning.
The discussion at Nine-Moons prompted by Annie’s post has taken an interesting turn that I would like to explore.
If tomorrow all of Mormondom disappeared, which of the remaining religions would you join, if any? In other words, of all the religions out there, which do you find most appealing and why?
Myself, I think that I would be most likely to go Unitarian. Something about the looking for good wherever it is to be found appeals to me. I have a feeling that I know which way Ronan would turn. How about you?
I would like to make a proposal.
Vicarious ordinance work is one of the central ideas around which our whole church revolves. All temple work is vicarious in one way or another. Prayer is vicarious. All priesthood work is vicarious. Some of the covenants that we discuss have an air of vicariousness about them (Abrahamic, for instance). And the Atonement is really vicarious.
Having now proven my point with a foundation of bedrock logic, I ask:
Why? Why doesn’t anybody do anything for themselves in the gospel? Does God always work this way or is it a mortality thing? How does all of this fit in with our developing a “personal” relationship with God?
I saw the following on the church web-site and wondered if a Sugar Beet article had been indexed by mistake.
Women urged to let light shine
I have great respect for Elder Uchtdorf. I just found the headline a tad ridiculous. Just imagine the opposite:
“Women encouraged to bury light deep within, wallow in unfulfilled dreams”