Thursday, August 27, 2009

Temple

I attended the temple yesterday - perhaps the last time for a while ... or ever.

My recommend expires 8/31/2009. Back in March I blogged about the conundrum I face. More recently I blogged about the cross roads I find myself standing at- and nothing has changed.

Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and 'out' myself to my bishop - but I don't know if I'm ready for that, yet. And, I don't know how I can answer the temple recommend questions truthfully - and explain why I feel the way I do - without 'outing' myself. I know some people are, somehow, able to separate their feelings - but I can't.

Truthfully, going to the temple is not something I can say that I enjoy doing. I don't hate it - but I don't exactly look forward to it in anticipation either. It's always been something I've done more out of duty rather than desire (kinda like home teaching). It's a hassle having dress in church clothes, drive to the temple dealing with Dallas traffic, change into temple clothes when we arrive - and when it's over, doing it all again in reverse.

Or ... perhaps I've become as Nephi warned: ", but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words" (1 Nephi 17:45). Perhaps I'm taking one more step towards the edge of the precipice and am about to fall off.

Whatever the case ... this is where I am in my journey. Like the Chesire cat said "If you don't know where you want to go, it doesn't matter which road you take." At this point in my journey - I don't know where I want to go. I know where the LDS church says I should go - but I don't know if that's where I want to go.

To go where the LDS church says I should go will take a act of great faith - faith in the LDS church, faith that has been challenged in recent months - and I don't know if I have it in me anymore.

10 comments:

I am Landmark said...

Courage, my brother. Letting go of the constraints of organized religion can also free you to embrace the plain and simple truths of the gospel. Being gay does not prevent you from rendering Christ-like service to your fellow beings, from caring for the fatherless and widows, from mourning with those who mourn, or from being humble, meek or long-suffering. To paraphrase a fellow blogger: Perhaps the detours in your life just define your personal straight and narrow way. You are not alone.

santorio said...

to every thing there is a season and a time.. or something like that, being too lazy to look it up.

i have always found it interesting that just about every priesthood meeting begins with a plea for the brethren to go to the temple. if it is such a spiritual high, you'd think that the brethren would be lined up waiting to get in. imagine if you had to make a reservation weeks or even months in advance to attend the temple, because so many wanted to go.

Alan said...

I'm with ya, Abe.

Crisco said...

I don't think I've been to the temple more than once or twice a year for the last few years, and the temple is only 30 minutes away for me. I struggle with the purpose of the endowment. It was great when I was young and for a few years after my mission. It just seems like the temple would be a great place to have deep discussions about the doctrine and learn more, but that is lacking. I also find it interesting that there is so much focus on the creation and fall and only indirect references to the atonement.
Also, ever since I read a newspaper journalist describe the celestrial room as a fancy hotel lobby, I've really come to see our temples as lacking in art as an expression of faith. They are beautiful, and I'm not talking about turning our temples into baroque style cathedrals, but we could use the temple as a place to encourage local artisans to place their paintings or sculptures, and not just rely on a few standard paintings that you can find in any church building or manual.
That being said, it's still nice to go, but I rarely think about it. I think it would be different if I had a moment to do some genealogy. That might motivate me more.

Bravone said...

I can relate to your feelings Abe, but am trying really hard to find specific application to my life as I attend the temple. Sometimes I feel a bit enlightened and other times not.

I don't see attending the temple so much a matter of faith in the church as faith in Father.

I am already thinking about the recommend questions coming up in a year though. My faith in God has returned, but I am working through questions about Church.

Bravone said...

Oh, and btw Crisco, the most recent temples in Idaho and Utah have beautiful murals of the surrounding areas. It reminds me more of the old temple full wall murals.

Beck said...

I'm sorry you feel this way. Maybe I'm one of "those" that can "separate their feelings".

I went to the temple the other day. It was a family member's first time. I didn't feel much of anything, until my wife hugged me in the Celestial Room. There was a confirmation to a prayer that I needed and was answered.

Could it have been answered somewhere else? Sure. But, it was there and there was a spirit that whispered that it's still true despite some things that aren't so clear right now in my life.

I know that it's a "conundrum" and a "cross roads", but I hope you can separate your feelings enough to see the bigger picture.

BTW, I face this same conundrum in a month.

Anonymous said...

Some possible honest answers to the recommend questions. I promise, I got no coaching on this from Bill Clinton. :)

yes, save it be that...
I've said yes to that my whole life...
I could say yes to that because...
I want to say yes and here's why...
I can say yes...

yes, because...but also no, because of... so if I had to put a percentage on it I would say yes, because...is about 90% in my mind and the no part is about 10%.

I understand that this is a yes or no question, but I can honestly tell you that I see more than one way. Yes, in terms of...
but No in terms of...

It may also be helpful to take a look at various definitions of words like:

strive - endeavor: attempt by employing effort; to exert much effort or energy; To try to achieve a result; to make strenuous effort; to try earnestly and persistently; To struggle in opposition; to be in contention or dispute; to contend; to contest

affiliate - consort: keep company with; hang out with; join in an affiliation

chastity - abstaining from sexual relations (as because of religious vows); morality with respect to sexual relations; sexual behavior of a man or woman acceptable to the ethical norms and guidelines of a culture, civilization, or religion; the state of abstaining from sexual intercourse outside of marriage; avoidance of sexual sins; the quality of being chaste; moral purity

believe - accept as true; take to be true; judge or regard; look upon; judge; be confident about something; to follow a credo; have a faith; be a believer; sexual behavior of a man or woman acceptable to the ethical norms and guidelines of a culture, civilization, or religion

Frank Lee Scarlet said...

I can really relate.

Daddy Bear said...

Going to the temple is one of the things I miss about being active in the LDS church.

Now I dream that I am in the temple and worry about someone finding out that I don't have a current recommend. Kind of like my dream where I am serving another mission. Not going to happen.