Hugh Nibley once made this audacious claim: “All the arts and sciences began at the temple. Dance, music, architecture, sculpture, drama, and so forth – they all go back to the temple” ((Nibley, Hugh, and Gary P. Gillum. Of all Things!: Classic Quotations from Hugh Nibley. 2nd, rev. and expand ed. Salt Lake City, Utah; Provo, Utah: Deseret Book Co.; FARMS, 1993, 45)). The more I learn, the more I am convinced of that statement.
My mind returns again to posts I’ve written in the past about subjects that do not cease to fascinate me. Today I was reminded of a post in 2009, The Traditional Greek Folk Dances and their Ancient Roots. The Greek dances are some of the most ancient dances in the world, and have been passed down by tradition to the present day where they maintain many of their archaic forms. [Read more…]
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:
I’m very pleased to welcome another guest post by Matthew B. Brown. Some of his writings, particularly his book The Gate of Heaven, are what inspired me to study the temple more in depth. He offers a wealth of insight and learning for the Latter-day Saints. ~Bryce
Matthew B. Brown holds a degree in history from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He is the author of ten books and has published articles with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at BYU (aka FARMS). Matthew has served as a volunteer researcher, editor, and respondent for The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR) and has spoken at several of their annual conferences. He is one of the directors of the upcoming EXPOUND symposium on May 14, 2011, and will also be a presenter (expoundlds.com).
It is publicly acknowledged that Latter-day Saints who participate in the central temple rites of their faith dress in several layers of ceremonial clothing, consisting of a “white undergarment” (which is worn as part of everyday life) and “other priestly robes” (which are only worn during times of temple service).1 [Read more…]
On Sunday I had the opportunity of going to the Daybreak Stake Center in South Jordan and listening to a wonderful fireside given by Dr. Daniel C. Peterson about the temple. I audio recorded the fireside, and have a digital copy. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get a hold of Dr. Peterson to ask permission to post it on TempleStudy.com. But as I said previously, I also took notes as well as I could, and I hope that they might reproduce some of the excellent thoughts Dr. Peterson conveyed. [Note: Not all of the images below are the exact same as Dr. Peterson used, but I have tried to use similar ones.]
One of the first things he said was that the dedication of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple (which stands only a few blocks from the stake center) would be, in a way, a fulfillment of prophecy.