Back in April I posted a quote from Professor William J. Hamblin about the relationship between the ancient Israelite temple and the endowment. Just recently I had the opportunity to attend a fireside where Professor Hamblin explained this much more fully, particularly what we can glean from the Old Testament about what happened inside the temple anciently, or, more importantly, what it all meant. His talk is embedded below as a video presentation.
I highly recommend this for those who would like to better understand the teachings and meaning of what occurred within the ancient Israelite temple, and how it might relate to our modern LDS temples today.
After talking with a few people, I have decided that the Temple Prep manual that the Church has published is probably not a good choice to serve as a springboard for our Google Hangout temple discussions, for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that we do not want to appear to be supplanting the Temple Prep course, as it is taught under the guidance of a bishop. There is no replacement for that course, offered by the Church’s local units, and it should be taken with care by every individual preparing to go to the temple for the first time.
So I’ve turned to considering other texts as guides for discussion. Again, I don’t want the text to be the focus, but serve as a springboard for discussion. To achieve this end, I think the book should be relatively short, concise, but broadly consider many aspects of the temple, both modern and ancient. It should also come from a trusted author.
One book I read recently that seems to fit these qualifications well is Temple Worship: 20 Truths That Will Bless Your Life by Andrew C. Skinner. It is relatively short at only a couple hundred pages, it is divided between 20 different concise chapter-topics that cover a wide spectrum of temple studies, and it’s a relatively easy read because it was written for a wide audience, and in a clear and forthright manner. Dr. Andrew Skinner is a trusted religion scholar from BYU. I also enjoyed the book.
Have you read this book? What were your impressions? Is there another text that you think might be better as a guide for our discussions? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
I’m sure many of you are aware of the new Google+ Hangout feature, but let me explain briefly. Essentially it is a group video chat, where you can see video and hear audio from all the other participants in the chat. Google also provides a “On Air” feature which will broadcast the Hangout video and audio live on Google+, YouTube, and anywhere the video is embedded into a website. This provides the opportunity for live events to be broadcasted around the world quite easily, and for many people to participate in them, both by contributing directly with their webcam, or by just viewing the live broadcast, or viewing the recording later.
Some enterprising members, such as Sheila DuBois, have begun using Google Hangouts to broadcast live “firesides” on Sundays. I think this is an innovative use of the technology to help build up the kingdom, and allows members of the Church to connect in ways previously not possible. [Read more…]
This blog will not always have posts about temple studies, I admit, as there are other things that are at work today, about which I feel I must write a little. They keep in the same genre of sustaining and defending the Church and its members.
Over the past few days I’ve never heard so much negative criticism of the Maxwell Institute and FARMS, in the various venues online. You’d think BYU had been harboring a criminal all these years. Even Mormon apologetics in general is now taboo, unfit for the Church, a view which even some members are advocating. The fad of the week is to say that “FARMS-style” apologetics is hurting the Church, is damaging to members, destroying their faith, is a losing affair, and does nobody any good, and that’s why its remaining vestiges were finally eradicated, wholly and completely from BYU. Even the Brethren must be against apologetics and the apologists to allow, nay, to cause, nay, to be the force behind, nay, to have directly requested what happened at the Maxwell Institute last week. Ousting Dan Peterson and stopping the work of “FARMS” must have been the goal of BYU and the Church all along. It’s so clear now in hindsight. The very first moderated comment on my last post? “FARMS was an embarrassment.”
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. They even go so far as to determinedly conclude that it is Mormon apologetics, in fact, that is having a negative influence on the Church, which you’ll notice is completely backwards from its true meaning and purpose. Indeed, they are saying that the defenders are now essentially those doing the damage, which is almost comical in its twistedness. [Read more…]
Anyone who has been following this blog for some time knows that I love new technologies, and most particularly how those new technologies might be used to benefit the Church and the work of the kingdom of God on the earth. Last week I received a nomination to the “preview” of the new Google Wave service from a friend on Twitter (thank you!). Last night I finally received my invitation to join the service and test it out. I quickly hopped on board and began exploring.
I’ve only used the tool for a few hours, and its only available in a very limited preview release at the moment, but I’m already wondering how this cool new technology could be used in the Church to help the work roll on. For those who are not familiar with the service, it is being touted as the ultimate collaboration tool, an amalgam of email, instant messaging, wikis, social networking, document collaboration, picture/video sharing, and much more. Many are still not sure what exactly its potential is, or if it will even catch on. But from my limited encounter so far, it does seem like a powerful tool for working on things together, and I think it will be of use to many.
So the question that’s been rolling around in my head then is, how can we use Google Wave in the Church? How could it facilitate those things we already do in the Church to make them better? How can we harness its power to help the threefold mission of the Church accomplish its ends in a quicker, easier, or simpler way? [Read more…]