1. I was walking on campus today, talking on the phone to my dad about Margaret Barker. Someone over heard me, came up to me, and asked me if I knew about your blog. Maybe he’ll drop in and say hi here!

    I thought that was pretty cool. Keep up the good work!

  2. That’s great! Good to hear the word is getting out about the site!

    Speaking of Margaret Barker, do you think that we Mormons are being unduly uncritical of her scholarship just because a lot of what she says seems to be right in line with LDS theology and thinking? Should we be more critical of her scholarship? Just a comment from someone I read the other day.

  3. Should we be more critical of Margaret Barker? Yes, we probably should be. We should analyze with a critical eye all that we read. Margaret Barker is burning new trails and advancing ideas that are quite controversial in the field of religious studies. She is making waves that people are starting to notice and that some don’t appreciate. Some are starting to criticize her methods. They say that her theories are based on gross assumptions with too little evidence and that she doesn’t provide sufficient footnotes to show where her ideas are coming from. I’ve talked to professors who don’t like to cite her for that reason. There are other criticisms.
    However, I really think that despite such issues, Barker is truly brilliant, perceptive, and courageous. Moreover, I believe that she is correct in most of her theories. I am always comparing what I read in other works with her research and I have found that the ideas of other scholars back up much of what she proposes–she has brought a lot of these ideas together to form a smooth picture of historical reconstruction.
    Do I think she is right on everything? No. I have my issues with her ideas on resurrection, Melchizedek (as a theophany of Yahweh), and other things–so we shouldn’t, as with any scholarly work, accept everything she says at face value–but she is one of the best and most exciting scholars out there for LDS readers and I believe that if we help promote her ideas there will be tremendous (positive) consequences for the future of religious studies.

    David Larsen

  4. I think you are right David. Thank you for your commentary and analysis. Clearly there are going to be things that we disagree with her on (e.g. I don’t think I agree with her view of baptism). But where she is in line with the restored gospel, I think she’s making waves. As with many incredible scholars through history, it will probably take some time until those waves make it to shore.

  5. Particle Man

    Guilty as charged, Andrew . . . saying “she” and “temple” and “king Josiah” and whatnot could only lead to one logical conclusion, you know: Margaret Barker! I recently picked up and finished Temple Theology, but drool at the book you mentioned on the phone. 😉

    It’s true, this site is premiere, IMHO. I’m so pleased at its quality and to have stumbled upon it! It’s a wonderful venture, Bryce, but I’ve told you that. I love the temple, and my thirst for studying its mysteries has been rekindled.

    Regarding Bro. Brigham’s quote, it expounds on Bro. Joseph, who said, “it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned [the principles of exaltation]. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.”

  6. Thank you Particle Man for your kind compliments. It gives me a good sense of fulfillment to know that I’ve been able to provide faith-promoting insight about the temple, and a forum where we can appropriately discuss these things.

    Right now I’m working on Hamblin’s Solomon’s Temple, but I want to get into Barker’s Temple Theology too. That sounds like a great book.

  7. Dr. Hamblin’s book is great. It’s not “deep” by any means, but it is one of the best books I’ve read.

    It’s good to see you here, Particle Man

  8. […] “Many more ordinances.” A nice little post by Bryce discussing a talk by Brigham Young on other ordinances such as resurrection. This is a topic that doesn’t get as much theological discussion as it perhaps should. (Perhaps due to the context in which it is usually taught as part of the marriage ordinance) This and a few other talks by Young really ought, I think, contextualize how we view the temple but also how we view progression. […]

  9. Frank Jones

    I have been thinking about all the temples during the millennium and who is going to man them for a thousand years. Will ressurected beings be able to work in the temple? If ressurected beings will be on the earth during this time, they could bring with them many names and much information. I always thought only mortals could work in the temple. This would mean that thousands, maybe even millions would need to be born during the millennium to do temple work. I’m sure mortals would need to be alive at the end of the millennium to finish the work of the earth. What do you think? Is there anything written on this subject?

  10. Yes, I believe that resurrected beings will be working alongside mortals in temples to do the temple work necessary. They will help provide the names and information necessary to do the work. However, angels and resurrected beings cannot do the actual physical ordinances. Those must be done by mortals only. I’ll have to see if I can find a reference on the subject.

  11. Bookslinger

    I once ran some numbers about the time and number of temples to do endowments for 60 billion people. (60 billion is a number sometimes assumed to be the total offspring to date of Adam and Eve. The highest estimate I’ve read is 100 billion.) Assuming 2 endowment rooms per temple, 2 hours per endowment, full utilization at 5.5 or 6 days/week etc., (I forget if I used 2 or 3 8-hour shifts/day) some time off, I calculated that an _average_ of 1500 temples utilized over the 1,000 years of the Millennium ought to do it. Assume starting at square zero at the beginning of the Millennium, (assume both live and proxy endowments for people born _during_ the Millennium will not be a “challenge,” so ignore them for this calculation) and that temples would be built at a constant rate right up until the end, that would mean 3000 temples in existence at the end, 1500 at the midpoint, or an average of 3 new temples put into service per year.

    3 new temples/year is very doable, as the church has been announcing/building/dedicating 5 to 6 temples per year since about 2002.

    So even if most of today’s existing temples are physically destroyed in the pre-Millennium cataclysms, and even if a large percentage of LDS die off (at least 1/3rd of the earth’s population is predicted in scripture to perish in the tribulations _prior to_ the actual 2nd coming), sustaining a pace of building 3 temples/year seems doable.

    Assume 10 stakes are needed to support and staff a temple and maintain a decent schedule. That’s approximately 20,000 active members. So 3 new temples/year, would require a growth rate of 60,000 new (active) members/year. (side note question: Would converts go inactive in the Millennium?)

    So even if there is a big reduction or “die off” of LDS in the tribulation/2nd-coming, it would likely take only 2 or 3 generations (50 to 75 years) to build back up to a membership growth level (children of record plus converts) to sustain the temple work needed to get it all done by the end of the Millennium.

    And it may be safe to assume that conversion rates and convert retention rates will likely be much better in the idyllic conditions of the Millennium. Whether or not that is so, even a _constant_ growth _rate_ (% increase per year) means _exponentially_ increasing raw numbers. And since the number of temples that the church can support is based on raw numbers, the number of temples could then increase exponentially, not just arithmetically.

    So the idea of getting temple ordinances for everybody back to Adam and Eve is very doable from a time-and-resources standpoint.

  12. Frank Jones

    What about those people we don’t know about on the other of Jesus Christ’s creations, and the Lost Ten Tribes? How would you add those numbers into the needed ordinances?
    Since the heavens will be open, and communication between heaven and earth will be easier, could we be told who needs ordinance work performed, and who doesn’t want any ordinance work performed? That would free up a lot of needless work. Also, the proxies for ordinances must be mortal. Since men will be changed when they reach the age of a tree, how many spirits have been reserved to be born during the millienum? Families could probably be bigger. When Christ came to the Nephites, all the people were converted within a few years.

  13. Dawn

    Brigham Young gave resurrection and creation as examples of ordinances after death and said that there are many more. What do you think some of those others might be? Given that there are ordinances that come after death, do you believe there might have been some that were received before birth? If so, what might those be?

  14. In the Church we have all the ordinances for this life, President Young taught there are others to be gotten in the
    afterlife. We have been taught we eventually will gain the ordinance and keys of the resurrection,that is a given.
    As each of us have the opportunity to become like the Savior and Father by nature, what is to follow?
    There is not just the advanced knowledge, the light and truth(glory), but the keys to have spirit children, to go on
    to organize other earths,for the advancement of other intellegences. All within the framework of the same plan,
    called the Gospel or plan of Salvation or Exaltation See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.354 and 373.
    As long as we do what is expected of us in this life, by living the Gospel,and passing through the ordinances here,
    we can progress to a greater extent after this life. With our spouses as our partners such eternal life will be
    glorious indeed.

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