Mine and my wife's temple recommends expire this month. No big deal, I figure can nuance my way through an interview. But this whole ordeal serves as a reminder to DW that we haven't been to the temple for quite a while. At least not together. I've been compelled to go with the youth a couple of times, but that is just me.
So, DW is pushing for us to go. She has been doing so for a couple of months now and I have been dragging my feet. After some church-related discussion last night she asked me straight out why I didn't want to go. Why have I never been the one to initiate or organize a trip to the temple? I had to ask if she really wanted to know and she said she did, so off we went.
I told her that I have never really objected to the temple. Some people have real issues with phrasing or actions. I understand that, but it has never really bothered me. However, to me, the powerful place in the temple has always been the Celestial Room. It is calm. It is quiet. I can convince myself that while I'm in there, I am separated from the world. I feel like I can really be at peace and meditate in there.
But, you can't just go to the temple and site in the celestial room. At least I don't know anyone who ever has. Maybe you can do just that. Who would stop you? Anyway, you're there to serve right? So the endowment it is, but its just so long, and boring, and repetitive.
Having come across the masonic ties to the mormon temple more than a year ago, I realized the temple is not at all what I was taught it was. The new (?) topic essay on masonry states:
But I'm left wondering, what was actually restored? We know what happened in Solomon's temple in OT times. It wasn't the endowment, it was animal sacrifices. We also know the masonic parts of the endowment weren't a restoration of anything. They originated between 1400-1600CE from a trade guild. So what exactly was "restored" and when/where was it lost from?The Lord restored the temple ordinances through Joseph Smith to teach profound truths about the plan of salvation and introduce covenants that would allow God’s children to enter His presence.
What are the truths that are taught? The creation story? I'd go out on a limb and say that's not truth. Christ as the Savior? I don't need the temple to learn that.
What about the covenants? They've evolved over the course of church history. So were they "restored" incorrectly? How do I know they're the correct covenants now? Does God really require me to promise everything I have to the church rather than Him? Also, I can't laugh loudly any more?
In the end, I don't know what is left. I told my wife most of that line of thinking. The temple once meant something to me. It was boring, yes, and I never really felt like I was learning anything there, but I always assumed that was my fault. I just wasn't spiritually minded enough. Now, I know the truth. I never learned anything because there is nothing there to learn. I feel like if I go back through, that will become a demarcation line between my old TBM days and my new mostly apostate self.
Tears were shed by both of us. In the end she hugged me and pointed out that I am frequently a pessimist and things often work out better than I expect. I agreed with her there. She feels like "the adversary" is working hard on me and trying to convince me not to go back. I had no response to that one. She still doesn't really get how deep this disaffection runs. I've tried keeping her in the loop. We have semi-frequent conversations, many of which have been very painful for both of us. But I think she's partially in denial about the implications of what I've said.
In the end, she recognized that this process of unraveling the truth about the church is painful for me. She doesn't feel a need to do it herself, she's happy where she's at. But she is OK with me "continuing to study" and I guess that's all I can do for now.
TL;DR - Tearful talk about why I don't want to go to the temple. Aaaannnd... we're going back to the temple someday soon.