Tag Archives: temples

My (simple) thoughts on the Big Love episode

I have to be honest, when I first heard that Big Love was going to show parts of the temple endowment ceremony, I didn’t get very upset. It was going to happen sooner or later in some main stream movie or TV show. As others have commented, the information is all out there anyway. Out of all of the people close to me who found out about it, my mother-in-law was particularly upset about it. I received a couple of email forwards from various church leaders who wanted to ensure that the show wasn’t mentioned in sacrament meeting, and suggesting that if people have questions, they could watch the MormonMessages clip on YouTube.

Anyway, I did see the relevant parts today, and it just seemed so bizarre to hear those words spoken so freely when we as members never speak them other than in the temple. Generally, what they showed seemed pretty accurate. However, of course the problem is that only showing a few minutes doesn’t really help anyone understand the purpose of the temple. I know that the physical actions have a place in the ceremony, but I’ve always been fond of the presentation as a whole as you progress from the creation to the eternities.

There are a few people at work who watch the show. I have to say, that in trying to watch the show for entertainment, it was just too much of a soap opera for me. It definitely isn’t my type of show. It will be interesting to see if my co-workers approach me with any questions.

On a related (but side) note, the MormonMessages clip is from the longer movie Between Heaven and Earth. I saw it a few years ago, and at the time I thought it was excellent and very well done. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Baptisms for the Dead

I know there has been some discussion on various Mormon blogs recently about baptisms for the dead, and how other church’s perceive the practice. I’m not interested in debating that right now, but I figured I’d just share a little about our most recent trip.

My ward is about 120km away from the Toronto Ontario Temple. We try to take the youth there 4 times a year. Last Thursday night was our first trip of 2009. Overall we had 43 people from the ward there that night (I think we had at least two other people there earlier in the day).

  • 16 youth (12 YM, 4 YW)
  • 1 YSA
  • 8 men on “team” (2 bishopric, 2 YM leaders, 1 EQ presidency, 1 ward clerk, 1 WML, 1 seminary teacher)
  • 3 YW leaders
  • 5 members of the ward serving/working
  • 10 other ward members doing some form of temple work

All of the baptisms that were done were family file. The couple “running” the baptistry that night said it was the first time during their time of service (I’m not sure how long that has been) that every baptism was family file. Apparently there were over 250 baptisms and confirmations done.

After going to the temple, the tradition used to be that we’d all end up going to some fast food joint (usually McDonald’s) and get something to eat. A couple of years ago one of my counselors suggested that we use the cafeteria at the temple and bring our own “treats”, so that we can stay together and still feel the spirit of the temple. It has worked out great. It obviously is less expensive than having 20 extra value meals purchased by the members. The ward foots the bill for the food now which is always less than $50 for all of us. The treats are healthier. We usually get away earlier than we would if we had to pack up, drive to a restaurant, and pack up and leave again. But like I said, the best part is we are still in the temple.

The youth love going to the temple. It’s great to see. Hopefully we keep having positive experiences with them so they are strengthened, and have that desire to return often.

Recent Family Search training

Family Search logo

As I mentioned before, I get emails that go to the Family History Consultants. An email I got a while ago had a link to an address that Elder L. Whitney Clayton gave to Family History Consultants in the Salt Lake, Jordan River, and Bountiful temple districts in late 2007. The email includes a link to the watch a video of the address online.

Being the curious person that I am, I poked around the site. I tried different directories, and they weren’t protected, so I could see what else was in them and came across all sorts of interesting videos that have to do with New Family Search. For those who are interested, here are a couple of them:

New FamilySearch Rollout Video (there are 4 sections to the video)

Addresses from the 8 November 2007 fireside (including Elder Clayton’s address)

All of the files are in the Just In Time Training section of the website. There are PDFs that explain how to set certain things up, and more. As of the time of this writing, the directory is open to browse, but it may get closed at some point.

178th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Morning Session

My postings from the April General Conference sessions brought a lot of visitors (although no comments), so I figured I’d do the same this time. I already take notes anyway and include them in my journal, so this is just an extension of that.

  • When I first got to the church, there was only 1 person sitting in the chapel. Within a few minutes, there were about 55 people there (not a bad turnout)
  • President Monson conducted. He had a typical dark conservative suit on. This might not be note-worthy, but given that he wore a very light coloured suit at the RS broadcast (that was the first thing my wife told me when she got home that night), I wondered what he would wear.
  • President Thomas S. Monson
    • during the last 6 months they have dedicated 3 more temples
    • he recounted the cultural celebrations
    • 5 new temples announced to be built in the greater Kansas City area; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Calgary Alberta, Canada; C√≥rdoba, Argentina; and Rome, Italy
    • he asked us to pray for areas of the world to be opened
  • Elder L. Tom Perry * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • endure
    • be positive and optimistic
    • “the best is yet to be”
    • he shared the story of Henry David Thoreau and his life on Walden Pond
    • Thoreau said that we only needed 4 things: food, clothing, shelter, fuel
    • we need a simplified lifestyle
    • Food – read from the Word of Wisdom
    • Clothing – simple & modes; dress and grooming sends message to others; casual dress brings casual manners
    • Shelter – live within our needs; stay out of debt; save for a rainy day
    • Fuel – spiritual fuel
  • Sister Silvia H. Allred
    • the Lord’s church has responsibility to preach the gospel
    • she was taught when she was 14
    • missionary work is in the life blood of the church
    • how can I assist or participate?
      1)have a clear understanding that God loves all his children
      2) our message is the most important gift that we have to give
    • every member can help
    • be a good neighbour
    • be specific in your efforts
  • Elder Neil L. Anderson
    • “you don’t know everything, but you know enough”
    • we have moments of spiritual power, as we do, we have personal storage that we can go to in moments of doubt
    • faith is not just a feeling, it is a choice/decision (my favourite line of the session)
    • questions and doubts are normal
    • “be not afraid, only believe”
  • Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis
    • 2-Jun-1940 was an important day in his family. It is the day his father was baptized
    • reading the Book of Mormon brings great promises
    • NOTE: There was a brief power outage near the beginning of the talk, so I’m not sure what the exact topic of the talk was
  • Elder Dallin H. Oaks * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • we live in perilous times spoken of by the apostle Paul
    • D&C 59:9-10
    • sacrament meeting is the only Sunday the whole family attends
    • importance of individual reverence
    • prepare for ordination of the sacrament
    • he read from Elder Nelson’s training from WWLT broadcast in 2003
      bring broken heart and contrite spirit
      be seated early
      have quiet time before sacrament meeting; prelude music should be subdued
    • appropriate dress (like going to the temple)
    • concentrate on worship
    • music is for worship, not for performance
  • President Dieter F. Uchtdorf * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • shared a bit of the story of his family leaving Germany
    • his mother had faith and hope which led to action
    • he spoke of the infinite power of hope
    • hope is 1 leg of a 3-legged stool (faith and charity being the other 2)
    • if we have hope, why despair?
    • there must be opposition in all things
    • faith/doubt, hope/despair, charity/failure to act
    • the hope of Israel, Jesus Christ
    • hope is trust and confidence

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference: