Pilgrimage as a Temple Theme

Eastern Orthodox Christian pilgrim at Kiev Monastery of the Caves, Ukraine.  Women often cover their heads as prescribed by Paul.

Eastern Orthodox Christian pilgrim at Kiev Monastery of the Caves, Ukraine. Women often cover their heads as prescribed by Paul (1 Cor. 11:13). Many pilgrims wear all white. (Photo by Petar Milošević)

William Hamblin and Daniel C. Peterson have a regular religion column in the Deseret News.  Their latest article is entitled “Pilgrimage: A sacred journey in search of God.”  They point out that many religions have their own types of pilgrimages towards a holy place, shrine, or temple, where the pilgrim seeks to connect with God.  Truly, the Temple Mount, or current location of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, is such a location for several major religions.

Latter-day Saints also have pilgrimages to temples.  Many members of the Church throughout the world still have to travel great distances, over a number of days, at the cost of lifetime savings, to reach the closest temple to their home.  In recent years, this has improved as temples have been built in more locations, closer to more members.

The temple itself can also be considered a pilgrimage within itself, a journey from a lower sphere to a higher one, even heaven, where one comes to God.

The article notes the ritual aspect of many religions’ pilgrimages:

Most pilgrimage is associated with special rituals and ceremonies. Pilgrims are often required to don sacred robes and undergo spiritual exercises such as prayer, reading scriptures or meditation. Many pilgrims abstain from ordinary activities of life by fasting, sleepless vigils or sexual abstinence. Sacrifice or offerings are often required of the pilgrim, even if it is only placing of a flower or rock in a special place. In return many pilgrims obtain tokens of their pilgrimages — special clothing, jewelry, books, medallions or relics — which they proudly wear or display as symbolic of their spiritual status as pilgrims.

Read the full article at the Deseret News:

One Comment

  1. Posted September 13, 2014 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    When a person or couple hold recommends and go to one of the many temples is it not a pilgrimage? Whether
    it is 20 minutes or 3 to 4 hours or a day travel time, is it not well worth it? The arrival at,the ordinances as well as
    the fellowship with other Saints,the prayers,collective and individual,add to the experience.
    It does not matter if you are a patron or a worker that day,the effort is worth it. It does not matter if you are in the
    western United States,Europe,Asia,South America,Canada, or any other region or country.
    The Gospel,the presiding authority,the ordinances are all the same for each individual has to have the same ordinances done, the same pattern as for the living.The experience gained,the lessons taught are all done so each
    one can be prepared to return to the Savior and the Father. Saints,think on this the next time you go to the House of the Lord.

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