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Joseph Smith in the Temple Ceremony

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I just got back from the temple today.  We're off work for Good Friday in the south.  And I had an insight I wanted to share with the forum.

Today I was trying to translate various passage of the temple ceremony into Spanish (a habit of mine).  Some seemed straight forward.  Some are more difficult to know if you got the figurative language and connotations right or not -- such is translation.

I was working on a particular phrase which I translated word for word.  But I felt like I should ask the brother seated beside me.  He had a translation headset that read "Spanish".  So I asked him what the Spanish version was.  It was interesting that the word I questioned was correct.  But the rest of the phrase was completely different.

The Spanish word for "prayer" is "oracion" (cognate: oration).  But that word can be translated into English as several different things: Prayer, Speech (both giving a public address as well as the words themselves spoken by our mouths), and the more formal version: "utterance".

When I pondered the word utterance I was reminded that Joseph Smith's First Prayer was so called because it was "the boy's first uttered prayer".

I then saw what happened in the ceremony as having a completely new parallel that I had not previously considered.  

  • Joseph prayed to the Lord.  
  • Satan showed up trying to dissuade him.
  • Joseph continued in faithfulness to the Lord.
  • The Lord showed up and sent Satan away.
  • Then Joseph was enlightened by the Lord.
  • Joseph continued in the path the Lord set.

I don't know if this is kids' stuff to some of you.  But I thought it was pretty cool.

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I believe all prophets go through something of the same process in their calls, especially those who instore a dispensation.

The odd thing to me, considering the antis' harping on our "worshiping Joseph Smith", is that his name is never mentioned (except occasionally in the prayer, and rarely even then) in the Temple ceremonies. What an egotist! Leaving himself out of the highest ordinance we celebrate.

Lehi

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8 minutes ago, LeSellers said:

I believe all prophets go through something of the same process in their calls, especially those who instore a dispensation.

The odd thing to me, considering the antis' harping on our "worshiping Joseph Smith", is that his name is never mentioned (except occasionally in the prayer, and rarely even then) in the Temple ceremonies. What an egotist! Leaving himself out of the highest ordinance we celebrate.

Yup, totally. I have a Catholic friend who said "You guys worship Smith." I said, "You know how angry you get when anti-Catholics ignorantly say you worship Mary? Same thing." 

She was a-ok after that. 

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On 3/25/2016 at 3:07 PM, LeSellers said:

I believe all prophets go through something of the same process in their calls...

Actually, I was thinking this happens to all of us as we gain a testimony and continue in faith.  "For my sheep know my voice".

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10 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Actually, I was thinking this happens to all of us as we gain a testimony and continue in faith.  "For my sheep know my voice".

I agree. It seems to be more a matter of degree than of quality.

Lehi

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In the original temple of Solomon, the king celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with the New Year Rite. This was an event which lasted several days. The king presented an annual play. it began in the Grand Council of Gods, wherein the king would receive his call to be a future king and priest of Israel. The Creation and Eden were then portrayed, with the king and queen playing the parts of Adam and Eve. Later in the drama, the king played himself, struggling through great trials and almost failing, when God reminds him of his previous life and calling. The king ends up triumphing with Jehovah/Messiah's help, and he enters into the Holy of Holies of the Temple, back into God's presence. During this presentation, the king and queen also represent the people, who are the anointed of Israel. While they are currently common folk, the day will come when they also will enter the heavenly throne room of God as kings and priests.

This is a pattern that is seen throughout the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon (such as with King Benjamin's sermon), as well as in the lives of the prophets. And yes, it applies to all the human race, as the temple experience becomes a metaphor of each of us experiencing an eternal round.

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On 3/25/2016 at 2:09 PM, MormonGator said:

Yup, totally. I have a Catholic friend who said "You guys worship Smith." I said, "You know how angry you get when anti-Catholics ignorantly say you worship Mary? Same thing."

It is the same thing, but very different.

Mariolatry may be proscribed, but I know and have read of many women (particularly) who worship her as much as they do her Son, and the number of churches and cathedrals named in honor of Mary is too high to count in an afternoon. Praying through(?) Mary is also widespread, and far from proscribed, even encouraged. The "Immaculate Conception" is the Catholic doctrine that Mary, of all humankind, was not subject to the original sin of Catholic dogma.

There is nothing we Saints do that parallels any of this: Joseph Smith plays no role in our prayers, and we can go weeks or months in our worship without mentioning his name. Even when we do, it's in his role as a prophet, specifically the prophet of the Restoration, but not of his person or anything outside that calling.

No, I'm not saying Catholics worship Mary, but their veneration borders on it, and could be reasonably seen as "protoworship". No such thing could reasonably apply to our vision of Joseph Smith.

Lehi

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10 minutes ago, LeSellers said:

 

No, I'm not saying Catholics worship Mary, but their veneration borders on it, and could be reasonably seen as "protoworship". No such thing could reasonably apply to our vision of Joseph Smith.

 

Yes but my point was it's obnoxious for non-LDS to tell LDS what they believe, and it's also obnoxious for non-Catholics/Non-protestants, etc to tell them what they believe. 

And I went to Catholic school from 6th grade to college. So yes, I know Catholic dogma. 

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16 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Yes but my point was it's obnoxious for non-LDS to tell LDS what they believe, and it's also obnoxious for non-Catholics/Non-protestants, etc to tell them what they believe.

Yes, I got it. That's why I liked your post.

I was pointing out the fact that it's even more absurd for people to claim we worship Joseph than for them to (falsely) claim Catholics worship Mary because there is no reasonable evidence for the former, but at least some evidence for the latter.

Lehi

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On 3/27/2016 at 4:25 PM, rameumptom said:

In the original temple of Solomon, the king celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with the New Year Rite. This was an event which lasted several days. The king presented an annual play. it began in the Grand Council of Gods, wherein the king would receive his call to be a future king and priest of Israel. The Creation and Eden were then portrayed, with the king and queen playing the parts of Adam and Eve. Later in the drama, the king played himself, struggling through great trials and almost failing, when God reminds him of his previous life and calling. The king ends up triumphing with Jehovah/Messiah's help, and he enters into the Holy of Holies of the Temple, back into God's presence. During this presentation, the king and queen also represent the people, who are the anointed of Israel. While they are currently common folk, the day will come when they also will enter the heavenly throne room of God as kings and priests.

This is a pattern that is seen throughout the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon (such as with King Benjamin's sermon), as well as in the lives of the prophets. And yes, it applies to all the human race, as the temple experience becomes a metaphor of each of us experiencing an eternal round.

Rame, do you have a citation for this?

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On 3/27/2016 at 4:25 PM, rameumptom said:

In the original temple of Solomon,

There are few of us, even us Saints, who know much about the Temple of Solomon. For example, how many know that there were two floors?

2Ch 3:9  And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.

Josephus tells us (Antiquities, 3:2) They erected … [the] entire body [of the temple], quite up to the roof, of white stone; its height was sixty cubits, and its length was the same, and its breadth twenty. There was another building erected over it, equal to it in its measures; so that the entire altitude of the temple was a hundred and twenty cubits. Its front was to the east. … He also built round about the temple thirty small rooms, which might include the whole temple, by their closeness one to another, and by their number and outward position round it. … Above these there were other rooms, and others above them, equal, both in their measures and number; so that these reached to a height equal to the lower part of the house; for the upper part had no buildings about it.  …The king also had a fine contrivance for an ascent to the upper room over the temple, and that was by steps in the thickness of its wall; for it had no large door on the east end, as the lower house had, but the entrances were by the sides, through very small doors.

The Bible gives us two completely different heights for the temple.

1Ki 6:20  And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar.

2Ch 3:4  And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold.

Just what went on in that second story?

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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