I loved this quote from Jeffery Bradshaw’s talk at the 2014 Temple on Mount Zion Conference. I’ve been trying to find a way of saying the same thing, but now I can just quote someone who hit the nail on the head.
“It is my personal witness that the LDS temple ordinances are, as Elder John A. Widstoe affirmed, “earthly symbols of realities that prevail throughout the universe” they point to heavenly meanings beyond themselves – meanings that can be revealed through our “minding true things by what their mock’ries be.” The ordinances perform an essential earthly function, helping make us ready someday to behold the face of God as did Moses. Indeed, those who participate in the ordinances of the temple are shown in ritual what Moses and others throughout ancient and modern history have experienced in reality.” (Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, ”What Did Joseph Smith Know about Temple Ordinances by 1836?”) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhQWrMXt2Mc#t=1856
The temple endowment, has become to appear more and more like a symbolic version of the great visions experienced by the ancients like Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Nephi, Mahonri (the brother of Jared), etc.
Some of the themes we see are the creation story, ritual cleansing and clothing, ascension and an invitation into the presence of God. The temple endowment appears to be, at least on one level, a gift from God to help us prepare to receive the same experiences.
I’m excited to announce the official publication of a little temple-related project that I’ve been working on. It all began with this idea: “What would it look like if you reconstructed the temple experience purely from scripture alone?”
As I pondered this idea, I realized how valuable something like this could be for people preparing to receive their endowment the first time. It would essentially be a primer to study both before and after an individual’s temple experience. So much of the temple experience is right there in the scriptures anyway but many people don’t seem to realize it. For some, it takes years of study and searching to make certain connections that give context to the purpose of temple blessings.
The culmination of these thoughts has led to the production of a 14-page document that I have titled: “Through the Veil: Pondering the Temple Experience Through Scripture.” I have done my best to preserve the sacredness of the temple while providing a study tool (with wide margins for making notes) that can serve as a fantastic temple prep resource.
This document, which has existed for a year as just a list of scriptures, has apparently been helpful enough to certain individuals that I think making it available here at oneClimbs could bless the lives of many more people, even those that have attended the temple for years.
I offer this document freely to anyone to use or share however they see fit (no permission necessary).
Deutsch (German) “Durch den Schleier” (Translation by Sebastian B.)