Tag Archives: toronto ontario temple

Some brief thoughts on the new temple video

Last night my wife and I went to the Toronto Ontario Temple and saw the new temple video. Overall we were very impressed. Here are a few random thoughts/observations:

  • The creation scenes are beautiful
  • Most of the additional length is in the video presentation, so it doesn’t really feel like the session is 15 minutes longer
  • One of the actors/characters sounded like (and even kind of looked like) Elder Hales
  • There is a lot more emotion shown in the Garden of Eden scenes. I have no problem with this, but it is different from the way it used to be. I need to ponder about what this means
  • There are a couple of scenes where it is obvious that a character is in front of a “green screen”. If I thought it was that noticeable now, what will we think in 5-10 years when the video is still being used…
  • I thought the way Satan was portrayed was very effective. He seems particularly manipulative
  • As others have commented, it doesn’t seem like there are any wording changes

I’ve read all sorts of comments online on other sites… some are complaining about the acting, some are complaining about the music, and some are complaining about the cinematography. I have to admit that I probably didn’t get as much out of the session last night as I would have normally, as I was absorbing all of the new changes. But overall I quite liked it and I’m looking forward to going back again so I can focus on the spiritual side of things.

The temple recommend of a prophet, seer and revelator

I mentioned before that back in March, Elder M Russell Ballard came to do some training. He was physically at the stake centre beside the Toronto Ontario Temple, but the training was for all of Eastern Canada. Leading up to the meeting, we were told that there would be a special temple session that Elder Ballard would attend. We were to let the temple know if we could go so they knew how many people to expect.

I know the person who was checking the temple recommends that day, and he told me that Elder Ballard had a special recommend. It was NOT the same as ours. There was no barcode on it, no expiry date and all three members of the First Presidency sign it. Neat!

This of course brings to mind a few questions:

  • Did he have an interview when he first got it?
  • Does he have the same recommend since he first became an apostle?
  • Do they get new ones if something on the recommend changes, like a change to the First Presidency, or even the new Church logo from a while ago?

Toronto Ontario Temple at night

We have a Ward Temple Night on the 3rd Thursday of each month. We are in the Toronto Ontario Temple district. In November, this was last Thursday. It was rainy and kind of foggy/misty, and this is what we saw (taken with my cell phone camera) as we approached the temple.

20091119_toronto_ontario_temple

Sealing work at the temple

Last night was our monthly ward temple night. Instead of going through an endowment session, we had arranged for a couple of sealers to be available, and 16 of us did sealings. I’ve attended several sealings, and have done work once before for the deceased, but I had never done sealings for an hour and a half. It’s tough work!

The sealer that was with our group (we divided into two sealing rooms) spoke almost non-stop for the entire time, and only coughed or cleared his throat once. I told him I was impressed, and he just laughed. I had forgotten that the entire ceremony (including the pronouncement of blessings) is repeated, not just the basic initial part. This makes the sealing of spouses kind of long. The sealing of a child to their parents is relatively quick, but even that is about 4x as long as the baptism prayer (I went over it in my head as the sealer was speaking).

As my wife and I finished up the sealings we were doing, the sealer said we could kiss each other. Apparently I made a funny face. It just caught me off guard. It’s not that I don’t like kissing my wife, but I didn’t know we were done, and in my head I was trying to figure out what a kiss had to do with anything, and I didn’t know if he was joking or not. Thankfully my wife has already forgiven me for the look 🙂

Overall, the 16 of us did about 400 sealings. It was a nice evening.

My co-worker’s response to Big Love

I commented before that I had some co-workers who watch Big Love and I was curious to see if they would ask me about it. Well, I just had a nice conversation with one woman. We’ve talked about religion before. There have been a few members who have worked with her in the past, and she knows that I’m currently the bishop of my ward. She asked if I’d seen Big Love and I said that I had, and so she asked if the temple scene was true. I explained that it was basically true, but that it missed the point of the ceremony, which is to learn about the Plan of Salvation from the beginning to the end. She asked if the “muscle thing” was true, and when I gave her a confused look, she clarified that she was talking about what was said at the veil. I said that most of what was in the episode was accurate. She asked about what the blue apron. I told her it was actually green, and that it represented the “fig leaves” they used to cover themselves. She accepted that without hesitation. She also wanted to confirm that is what we do in the temple in Toronto (I’ve referred to that before), and I told her it was.

Without me trying to justify anything, she said that at first it seemed weird, but then she figured that all other churches have rituals, and it was no different than that, so she thought it was fine. She said she wanted to see the white room at the end. We laughed and I explained a few things she might have to change in her life in order to do that, and she said she was fine with most things other than the gambling (we work in Niagara Falls, and she likes to frequent the casinos). She said she’d let me know when she was ready.

We spoke about the “love court”, and I told her I’d never heard that phrase before. I explained that I’ve had to run a couple of those sorts of things, and that I didn’t think it was portrayed well. That made her think of when the woman was questioned about her garments, and wanted to know what that was. I wear crew neck garment tops, so I pointed to the white “undershirt” I have on, and told her it wasn’t magic underwear, but that I wear them every day. That was good enough for her. She didn’t ask any more about why, or what they represented. She did say she was going to check every day to make sure I had them on!

We talked for a little longer, and I explained a bit about Joseph Smith, and mentioned how he must have been influenced by what he learned as a Mason. I explained that the method was similar, but that what is taught is different. She thought that was very interesting, as her grandfather was a mason and it always fascinated her.

So, based on this one conversation, the episode did not hurt her impression of the Church, and it helped her learn some more about the Church.

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.