Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

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cpy911
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Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by cpy911 » Sun Feb 26, 2023 1:58 pm

A couple weeks ago, the bishop called me into the office and asked me about getting a temple recommend.. I’ve been expired for many years. I told him the temple does not work for me, too ritualistic and ceremonial. I have had negative feelings and experiences with it and could not make it work. I started to bring up some negative things about the temple, but held back and just said it does not work for me and I didn’t want to be negative as I respect his beliefs. I witnessed to him my own path (biblical Christianity) and the teachings of grace and the biblical Christ has really worked for me. “Jesus is my recommend, I said”. I talked about grace, the law being fulfilled and having a direct connection to God outside of anything or institutions. He did not refute my thoughts much, which I was surprised. I think he did not want to go there and he did not stand up for the institution and try to correct my “incorrect” beliefs. I told him I respect people’s beliefs and would not speak negatively about the temple in church. He said we just agree to disagree.

Temple is such a painful topic for me. The concept of issuing or obtaining a temple recommend is just so controlling. I want nothing to do with it. I just want freedom!

So, I heard the following last week at stake conference from a temple presidency member: “ If you have not been in a long time, you need to go to the temple. Yes this sounds painful. If you are squirming in your seat because of what I am saying, then good. You deserve to feel this way and it should help you get back to the temple.” He literally said you are squirming in your chair. It was true, my back side was very sore sitting in a hard metal chair for the last 1.5 hours, but not because of a fear or need to visit a building that the church makes exclusive and requires payment to enter.

Today in Elder’s Quorum (painful for me to attend sometimes) I heard EQP say not attending the temple is to your spiritual detriment. The lesson topic led others to say only in the temple can you come closer to Jesus than anywhere else. The EQP said something to the effect: if you have not attended in a long time, you better come, and soon. Once you lose the feeling of being there, it is very difficult to get back. You then don’t comprehend what you are missing and that feeling can be gone forever. I really wanted to speak up and say that I have found other places both physical and in my mind that have been better or just as good as the temple. But it was not the right place or time for that.

Anyhow, I am struggling to keep up with all of this rhetoric. I recognize that I am a 2nd class citizen and am ok with that. If someone asks about why I have no temple attendance in a private setting, I will witness to them what I believe.. But I really hate this rhetoric in a group setting (group think) where I can not offer much counter opinion. EQ is an echo chamber of thought! Maybe I should just skip EQ?

Next month, I get to show my true colors to family and extended family for the first time by NOT attending a sealing of niece. Very apprehensive about this and hope to survive and come out better for it. The church is setup in such a crazy way like this, either 100% in with temple recommend or OUT. Group think, mind control, etc. The middle way is tough! Thanks for reading and commiserating with me!

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Angel
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by Angel » Sun Feb 26, 2023 3:49 pm

cpy911 - those who stay, and go to church are so much stronger and more mature than I was. I wasn't gentle with anyone - I yanked my family out, wasn't going to take what screwtape called the "safe" road to hell - "the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts"

Anyways, I was not gentle. I guess, I was allowed to be harsh - being the one called to ID kids in porn videos made by a high priest - I guess that circumstance gives you certain privileges of being direct.

Anyways, probably the wrong thing - to spit out advice, but try self-care? healthy food, exercise, bubble bath, aromatherapy? fishing trip? work towards something for yourself - find yourself. At least for me, the transition from unhealthy co-dependent community (see my other thread) to healthy relationships and healthy mindset - if such a thing is possible while still surrounded by oppression - you have to really take ownership of yourself, you know? Define yourself, define your beliefs, dependent → independent you know? That is the big draw of religious groups, they do everything they can to keep you from being your own person.

Temple trip? How about something better. Why not:
  • Go on a hike or nature walk
    Plan a picnic in the park
    Visit a nearby museum or art exhibit
    Take a bike ride around your city or town
    Attend a concert or music festival
    Try a new restaurant or cuisine
    Go to a farmers market or craft fair
    Have a game night with friends or family
    Attend a comedy show or improv night
    Visit a nearby amusement park or water park
    Go to a sporting event or play a game with friends
    Take a day trip to a nearby city or town
    Attend a theater performance or musical
    Try a new hobby, such as painting or cooking
    Go to a wine tasting or brewery tour.
↑ take your family. so much better than the temple.

Best wishes to you. That is really tuff. You are not second-class, you are the pioneer :)
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tangent
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by Tangent » Mon Feb 27, 2023 4:32 pm

Hi cpy911,

I don't have any profound advice for you, but I extend to you my heartfelt sympathy. The temple is a difficult topic for many of us. My DD was married last year and I stayed outside the temple with all the little kids while everyone else was inside. I remember the during the week before waking up at night feeling anxious and sick. In the end the anxiety beforehand was worse than the actual experience. It wasn't fun but I survived. And I the rest of the day was wonderful.

I wish you the best of luck and peace. I agree, the middle way is not easy.

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Hagoth
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by Hagoth » Mon Feb 27, 2023 4:44 pm

cpy911 wrote:
Sun Feb 26, 2023 1:58 pm
Next month, I get to show my true colors to family and extended family for the first time by NOT attending a sealing of niece. Very apprehensive about this and hope to survive and come out better for it. The church is setup in such a crazy way like this, either 100% in with temple recommend or OUT. Group think, mind control, etc. The middle way is tough! Thanks for reading and commiserating with me!
Good luck, cpy911! This is the one aspect of the church that really makes it hard not to want to call it a cult. Maybe the church isn't a cult, but there is a cult that resides within it.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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moksha
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by moksha » Mon Feb 27, 2023 6:01 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Mon Feb 27, 2023 4:44 pm
This is the one aspect of the church that really makes it hard not to want to call it a cult. Maybe the church isn't a cult, but there is a cult that resides within it.
Grafting Masonic ceremonies onto a church and having a secret church within a church via the Second Anointing does seem rather cultish, not to mention how some Church leaders shout hallelujah every time the stock market goes up.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

Gatorbait
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by Gatorbait » Tue Feb 28, 2023 10:14 am

Interesting post. Thank you. I'd like to have been a fly on the wall whist you had your discussion with the Bishop.

For whatever reason, temples and things related to them give a lot of comfort and peace to people and so be it. Others like to be outside, as mentioned, enjoying God's real creations. That's where the wonder is, not in a stuffy building where the person next to you farts or burps and stinks the place up and there's no where to go. Yuck.

It seems that more and more we seem to have the group that associates themselves with temples wherever they go and delight in taking selfies of themselves outside of them. Seems pretty childish I'd say, but so are selfies in general. Forget what you looked like when you combed your hair or brushed your teeth this morning? Look at us smiling in front of a temple in Rome. Look- now we are in Montana. Who cares? Ain't we sweet?

Seems that there is a badge of honor associated with temples, with an implication that if you are a good person you naturally are obedient and don't mind sitting down for an interview for a temple recommend. For some of us, it's easier to just say as Moksha said that we just are not jiving with the temple stuff at the moment- check back later, and when they do, put them off again.

Anyways, thanks again for a meaningful and interesting post, together with the comments, which I've quite enjoyed as well.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

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græy
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by græy » Tue Feb 28, 2023 10:15 am

cpy911 wrote:
Sun Feb 26, 2023 1:58 pm
Next month, I get to show my true colors to family and extended family for the first time by NOT attending a sealing of niece. Very apprehensive about this and hope to survive and come out better for it. The church is setup in such a crazy way like this, either 100% in with temple recommend or OUT. Group think, mind control, etc. The middle way is tough! Thanks for reading and commiserating with me!
Good luck, cpy911! It is scary showing those true colors. But I, for one, admire your bravery and commitment to integrity! The church cannot survive openly allowing the middle-way approach and the all-or-nothing setup currently in use causes a lot of individual and family harm, despite their claims to the contrary.

Unfortunately, I think 2023 will be the year of "covenant path", "ordinances", "temple", etc. At least our area that is the decided focus for the year. Even our SP warned us that it was likely going to get a bit repetitive because they want the ordinance/covenant/temple message to be proclaimed as the focus of every non-sacrament meeting throughout the year.
Well, I'm better than dirt! Ah, well... most kinds of dirt; not that fancy store-bought dirt; that stuff is loaded with nutrients. I can't compete with that stuff. -Moe Sizlack

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nibbler
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by nibbler » Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:09 pm

græy wrote:
Tue Feb 28, 2023 10:15 am
Unfortunately, I think 2023 will be the year of "covenant path", "ordinances", "temple", etc. At least our area that is the decided focus for the year. Even our SP warned us that it was likely going to get a bit repetitive because they want the ordinance/covenant/temple message to be proclaimed as the focus of every non-sacrament meeting throughout the year.
Wasn't last year the year of covenants, ordinances, and temples? And wasn't the year before that? And the year before that?

When we were all on a "hasten the work" trip it got maddening but this "covenant path" trip is worse. We're masters at latching onto a phrase and running it into the ground. We desperately need a new slogan to run into the ground.

Covenants. It's all we ever talk about at church now. Covenants aren't actual principles. When are we going to get back to talking about actual principles, or is "covenants" pretty much it from here on out?

Do your ward a favor and don't follow that plan. Even the orthodox members are weary of hearing the "covenant path" parrot quawk endlessly. They'll thank you for it if they ever find out you spared them of that plan.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
– Anais Nin

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deacon blues
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by deacon blues » Tue Feb 28, 2023 7:09 pm

What if every time, instead of going to the temple, each member donated the time and expense of temple attendance to a charity, or their community school, or senior center? That's what pure religion is. (James 1:27)
What if someone gave a talk and said, "The keystone of our religion is, and then quoted James 1:27?
What if a bishop said, "this month have cook-out with your neighbors in place of going to the temple?
My 2 bits. :(
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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Ghost
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by Ghost » Tue Feb 28, 2023 8:52 pm

Since the last time I've been inside a temple, I've twice been the one to watch various kids outside while someone in the family was getting married. One mistake I won't make again is waiting in the temple's waiting room. It's very boring for kids and they kind of go crazy.

I periodically have family members suggest that I "work on" going to the temple again. I guess it would simplify things if I just said that there's very little chance I will ever enter a temple again, but I'm still intentionally keeping my current views ambiguous when talking with said family members.

Conman52
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by Conman52 » Sat Mar 11, 2023 9:07 am

I myself cannot do the temple thing anymore it's to cultish and I do not agree you must pay to go !!! God would not allow this and I hope someday he will tell the leadership that they have sinned like no other. I cannot give all my time and talents to an organization that would hoard billions of dollars instead of feeding the hungry and homeless then lie to the members about having it !! I place a huge value on telling the truth !! I cannot and will not participate in this Bullshit anymore !!!! Peace to all my Nomies, Love you all.
By their fruits ye shall know them

Cnsl1
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by Cnsl1 » Sat Mar 11, 2023 5:17 pm

One of the last times, if not THE last time (I can't remember for sure) that I attended the temple, it was for a nephew's wedding. A large number of people were there gathered at a temple taking pics. We all then went into the temple waiting room for several minutes while the soon-to-be bride and groom went inside.

Then finally... a nice little old lady came round and asked those of us with a temple recommend to follow her round the corner where we checked in while some aunts, an uncle, cousins, all the siblings, grandparents, and most friends stayed behind.

All of us privileged souls with the golden ticket went round the corner to a sealing room to watch the event and it made me sick to my stomach that the others weren't there. It felt so wrong, exclusionary, and not Christ-Like. Why why why did we ever think this was right? Why did I exclude my grandparents and beloved aunt and siblings and best friend from my wedding? In a church that purports to bring families together, we certainly do a great job of pushing them apart at some of the most memorable moments of their lives.

I was so grateful that some of my kids deliberately decided not to do that. Now they're all mostly out or totally out anyway so it's a moot point.

I'm glad the church now allows folks to marry civally then get seal right away without the year penalty. That's a step in the right direction. But, the push is still to marry in the temple, is it not? It seems like the vast majority of the local Mormon kids getting married are still marrying in the temple. It's a hard habit to break.

I've heard that one upside to temple marriage is that it can be pretty cheap. Middle class Mormon families are not paying thousands of dollars for a wedding venue.

Or.. are they?

Gotta pay to be there.

What about this business venture: build a beautiful wedding venue. Anyone who uses it for their wedding has to pay 10% of their income as long as they have an income. Oh, and all the guests have to give 10% as well, and they'd better continue paying 10% if they want to attend any other weddings in the future. And we'll provide the person to perform the wedding. You probably won't know them. It will always be a man, usually an old man, and he may or may not add some creepy things at the end.

As soon as it's over, you'll need to hurry on out. You can't have the reception here, but take all the pictures you want outside.

I just need a loan to build that first venue.

What's a nice Mormon wedding chapel costing these days? 20, 30 million?

It's a f#@%ing good scheme.

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DPRoberts
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by DPRoberts » Sat Mar 11, 2023 5:53 pm

Cnsl1 wrote:
Sat Mar 11, 2023 5:17 pm
All of us privileged souls with the golden ticket went round the corner to a sealing room to watch the event and it made me sick to my stomach that the others weren't there. It felt so wrong, exclusionary, and not Christ-Like. Why why why did we ever think this was right? Why did I exclude my grandparents and beloved aunt and siblings and best friend from my wedding? In a church that purports to bring families together, we certainly do a great job of pushing them apart at some of the most memorable moments of their lives.
That was when I realized how forked up the whole thing was, when I got a recommend so I could support a niece, but then could see how it hurt my sister, the niece's mother, to wait outside. Never again. My kids are all out, but there are still nieces and nephews to go. At this point waiting outside feels like the moral high ground.
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken or cease to be honest. -anon
The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world. -Max Born

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alas
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by alas » Sun Mar 12, 2023 12:40 am

I decided several years ago when a niece or nephew (I don’t even remember which) that I wasn’t sitting outside waiting like an outcast. My husband went and I stayed home. I guess I won’t be in any family pictures, but I refuse to be treated like an unclean unworthy untouchable. Nope. I’ll stay home for the temple part and come to the reception. It will hurt more when it is one of my grandkids. But sorry I missed the family pictures outside the temple, but I won’t sit outside and be treated as an outcast.

Yes, treating family as unworthy is horrible. But so is the ceremony inside, and I am just not going near the place.

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Just This Guy
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by Just This Guy » Mon Mar 13, 2023 5:08 am

alas wrote:
Sun Mar 12, 2023 12:40 am
I guess I won’t be in any family pictures, but I refuse to be treated like an unclean unworthy untouchable. Nope.
Here! Here! Well said.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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Hagoth
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by Hagoth » Mon Mar 13, 2023 1:15 pm

Ghost wrote:
Tue Feb 28, 2023 8:52 pm
I periodically have family members suggest that I "work on" going to the temple again.
Maybe you could suggest that the church needs to "work on" not being such exclusionist, elitist buttheads who think "worthiness" can be bought?
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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nibbler
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by nibbler » Mon Mar 13, 2023 3:04 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Mon Mar 13, 2023 1:15 pm
Ghost wrote:
Tue Feb 28, 2023 8:52 pm
I periodically have family members suggest that I "work on" going to the temple again.
Maybe you could suggest that the church needs to "work on" not being such exclusionist, elitist buttheads who think "worthiness" can be bought?
Or measured.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
– Anais Nin

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Red Ryder
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Mar 14, 2023 10:00 am

We have a friend who recently waited outside with her 3 daughters and grandparents with temple recommend in hand. She stood in solidarity outside the temple with them while her oldest son was inside getting married. She let everyone know she was fully worthy and had a TR, but felt it more important to support the majority of her family outside. Her son was totally cool about it too.

We’re attending a nephew wedding next week.

I’ll probably skip the temple part and attend only the reception. I’m curious how they will have decorated the basketball court!

End temple exclusivity. End temple garments.
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

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nibbler
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by nibbler » Tue Mar 14, 2023 1:46 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Mar 14, 2023 10:00 am
End temple exclusivity. End temple garments.
The people in attendance of a sealing aren't even in temple clothes, just Sunday dress with little booties. I guess the reason they don't open it up to members in general (which is still too restrictive IMO) is because the couple is in temple clothes and they do one of the secret handshakes.

When it comes to the public, I think they really do have to ease people into being introduced to the temple clothing. You can't just cold water splash that in the face of uninitiated people. The clothing is weird. Period. People really would talk if they saw the clothing for the first time and they were outside the context of being locked into an ordinance that's required for their wedding or mission.

The handshake is the handshake. They probably should rework that whole thing such that it's no longer done at all or no longer secret.

Here's the thing though, they currently let children that are not endowed be sealed to their parents in a live parent/child sealing ordinance. IIRC that ordinance has the exact same issue of temple clothes and handshakes. Maybe they're banking on little children forgetting all that stuff? The point is that if unendowed children can take part, why can't the unendowed, non-TR card carrying members take part in a simple sealing?

What's the harm in simply witnessing the event? The orthodox might say that non-TR holding people in the temple would defile it but there are plenty of people with TRs that do that. I think one principle reason is that it's weird and it might scare some people away from the only carrot the church has to dangle.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
– Anais Nin

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Red Ryder
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Re: Temple attendance, temple recommend, temple, temple temple!

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Mar 14, 2023 4:56 pm

nibbler wrote:
Tue Mar 14, 2023 1:46 pm
The handshake is the handshake. They probably should rework that whole thing such that it's no longer done at all or no longer secret.
It’s pretty offensive to call it the patriarchal grip. It emphasizes the misogynistic characteristics of the church where the women (used to) harken into their husbands. They’ve removed that language but the name of the token is a clear reminder that a Mormon woman isn’t getting pulled through the veil into heaven without the patriarchal grip of her husband.
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

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