It is fascinating to me all the places that I hear or see or read glimpses of temple theology, the “scattered fragments” of ritual tradition ((Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment, xxvii)). As Nibley found out, and taught extensively, these remnants are found all around us, everywhere. My wife was listening to the radio on the way to the grocery store last week, and heard part of a program on Classical 89 that related to the Creation song. She came home and told me about it, and I was immediately interested, and tracked down the transcription. I’m still studying that, and will write about it soon. But today, again, I was reading the February 2010 edition of Runner’s World, of all places, and came across references to ritual initiation and rites of passage. [Read more…]
One of the most frequent questions I receive from readers is “how should I prepare to go to the temple?” Or if it is not for them personally, “how do I help someone else prepare to go to the temple?” It is an important question, and one that should be carefully considered.
Preparing to go to the temple is one of the most important things someone can do, not only for the first time they go, but for the rest of our lives. The temple experience is incredibly rich in symbolism and meaning, and only a lifetime of study can reveal all its teachings. Elder Boyd K. Packer once related an experience he had with President David O. McKay in the Salt Lake Temple: [Read more…]
I just finished Dan Brown’s latest thriller, The Lost Symbol, which was published a few days ago on September 15th. There has been a lot of anticipation surrounding this book, since 6 years have passed since the publication of his bestseller The Da Vinci Code, with 80 million copies sold worldwide to date. Many wondered if Brown would repeat his success with this book, and while the jury is still out on the answer to that question, I must say that I’m personally fascinated by the material that Brown discusses in this novel.
As was predicted, the story centers around the subject of Freemasonry (or simply Masonry), which most people have heard of but know little about. This is perhaps the reason Brown chose to explore this subject, one that was ripe for novelty in historical fiction. However, as before, Brown branches out into a myriad of related subjects and connections, weaving a web of mystery and puzzles which must be solved once again by his favorite character, Robert Langdon.
But this is not going to be a review of the book. There will be ample time for that, with more qualified critics analyzing the merits and faults of Brown’s work. In addition, I don’t want to spoil anything while the pages are still wet. I do quote some brief excerpts from the book below, but they are mostly circumstantial details, and won’t give much away about the plot, if anything.
What I do want to point out are some interesting general impressions I had while I read, particularly as they relate to me, my studies, and the LDS (Mormon) faith. Call them synchronicities or coincidences, or just interesting tidbits, either way they have called my attention. [Read more…]