28 comments

  1. I can’t even tell you how creeped out I was watching the clip from Big Love. It brings back pretty bad memories of that whole experience in the Washington D.C. “temple”. Yikes!

  2. The LDS Church apparently isn’t very concerned about it either.

    What I’m wondering is how Barb’s mother and sister ended up in the Celestial Room with her when the show just got done telling how she borrowed one of their recommends to get in. How does that work again.

    Cry me a river Arthur.

  3. I don’t have HBO or any movie stations for that matter. I did receive a clip on the ceremony and was saddened for my parents. I do know the clip was accurate.

    Many, I am sure, feel blessed to have received “Eve” for their temple name. Yet, in reality, Eve fell into sin, thus removed from the garden. The LDS teachings teach that Eve feel UPWARD. It was the only way to gain knowledge.

    Even though they are in bondage, God can break those chains and free them out if the lies of Satan.

    I praise for God for HIS deliverance, freeing me and all the others that are out. I pray that many LDS people will one day see HIS truth and be free and in Christ.

  4. I’m pretty sure there is nothing going on in LDS temples that is quite as creepy as Bill Paxton’s naked ass gyrating against the body of one of his on-screen wives. Big Love fans should have been creeped out long before they showed the endowment.

  5. Yeah, Sido, I looked at your website. You just don’t get it, do you? The temple endowment is a symbolic ritual of ascension to God’s presence in the heavenly temple as kings and priests — a ceremony very similar to those ascension experience recounted in a number of early first century Judeo-Christian documents including the experience recounted in Revelation. If you were creeped out, I suspect that is because you were too busy judging to get it.

  6. Yes Blake, the hats and the oaths and the old guy dabbing oil on you under the sheet. All very similar to the New Testament church. All in keeping with the idea of the finished sacrifice of Christ, of justification by faith, of Jesus as our High Priest. Sure thing!

    Seth, I still have my funny hat, makes a good prop at presentations.

  7. Can you find those words? Sure! Being used in the way that mormons do? No. The appearance of the same word in mormon doctrine that is found in the Bible does not require that they mean the same thing.

  8. Aaah… but the COULD mean the same thing Arthur. They certainly could.

    Bet that keeps you up at night.

    Kinda like that sneaky feeling that you left the car door unlocked outside.

  9. “a ceremony very similar to those ascension experience recounted in a number of early first century Judeo-Christian documents including the experience recounted in Revelation.”

    Please Blake, be VERY specific on explaining which documents you are talking about!

    I know the documents you are talking about but I still want to hear you defend using them to support LDS temple ceremonies.
    Thanks

  10. HBO does get one thing right about a BIG LOVE. Here it is:

    Agnus Dei,
    qui tollis peccata mundi
    miserere nobis.

    Agnus Dei
    qui tollis peccata mundi
    dona nobis pacem.

    I have been listening to my voce CD, tonight (I can listen to Barber’s piece over and over and over again). The love displayed in John’s Gospel infinitely transcends the creaturely husband/wife love.

  11. The love I feel for my siblings now probably transcends the love I felt for them at age six as well.

    If you’re trying to turn this into some half-baked argument against marital relationships in Heaven, it’s not working Todd.

  12. Blake: no surprise here, I’m with Christopher on this one…..you jump from “covenant oaths and anointing oil are in the Bible” to something like “our ceremonies have a NT precedent”….. (not your exact words, but that’s the idea) this is a leap of Bob Beamonesque proportions. I’m new to the “documents” you reference, I’d be glad to hear about that.

    Not all leaps of faith end well
    GERMIT

  13. Seth, I like that song. It’s interesting that it would be played during the temple ceremony of this flick. I found out that even the Mormon Tabernacle Choir likes to sing this song.

    Ok, since you like to compare God’s love to our love experiences, tell me this:

    What is God’s BIG LOVE? What should be exalted at the top (or should we say at the innermost) level of our temples?

    In your legal estimation as you curiously seek evidence, what does God persuasively argue/contend for in a public and private way to struggling men’s souls throughout the centuries?

    Tell me about the Biggest Love, Seth, thundering from God’s heart.

  14. Germit and Christopher: Perhaps you could look at my article “Clothed Upon” by clicking my name. It will give you most of the documents. The documents that I have in mind in particular are the Testament of Levi, 2 Enoch, the Apocalypse of Abraham and especially two late first century Christian documents the Ascension of Isaiah and the Odes of Solomon. The fourth century catechetical sermons of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Cyril of Jersusalem are also very important.

    I will of course demur from the request to be very specific about how they match the temple initiatory ordinances and the endowment.

    I would also look at the investitures of the sons of Aaron in Ex. 28:40-43 and 29:5-9.

    And Germit: I don’t claim that the ceremonies are in the NT, but for obvious reasons. Not all accusations are justified.

  15. I would like to share my feelings with you. I know that God the Father and Jesus Christ live and I know that they love all of us no matter what religious we are. They are aware of each of our lives, our struggles, our needs, and the desires of our hearts. I know that Jesus Christ died for each of us on the cross and suffered for each of our sins in Gethsemane all so we could return back and live with him someday- to live as God’s and Goddesses, just as He does with our families forever- forever in happiness. The LDS temples make all this possible and I am so grateful for the sacred ceremonies held within that seal the ones we love most to us for eternity.
    I am not perfect and I do not know everything- especially about my church and the temple, but one thing that I do know is that they are true and everything that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saits does within the walls of our temples and churches is what Jesus Christ would do if he were here on this earth. Our gospel has been around since Adam and Eve, we learn this in the temple and through the Bible and through the Book of Mormon. Jesus Christ taught while he was on this earth “Come unto me, ALL ye that are heavy laden, and I will give ye rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and loley in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is ligth” He wishes everyone- HBO producers, ex-mormons, Catholics, Jews, Orthodox, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to come unto Him. It doesn’t matter what you think about each other’s religion and their beliefs, who is right and who is wrong, He just wants ALL to come unto Him. Pray. Read the scriptures- the Bible, the New Testament, The Book of Mormon- whatever you can find, and learn of him. Let him give you his yoke that is light and easy and give him your burdens. Ask him to guide you in your life and you will find rest unto your souls because through his sacrifice and atonement, he is able to give you that rest because he knows what you are going through and he wants to help lift your burdens.
    He knows what all of us are going through- all people throughout the world. He doesn’t care what religion you belong to, all he cares about is YOU. He cares about each of his children and wants us to return back to him safely home in his presence- to not get entangled in the world and it’s fashions and arguments- he wants us to come unto him. It’s easy. Get on your knees and ask him if he cares. Ask him if he is there. Ask him to lead you to the right church and as you study the scriptures and live your life by keeping the commandments and following what Jesus would do, he will lead you to where you need to be. Let us come unto Christ because He is the perfect one and He knows everything. I testify that this is true will all of my heart because I have knelt down and asked these same questions and I have received an answer through a burning in my bosom and soft words that whispered that He lives. I have found happiness because of it and even though I am LDS and I have been through the beautiful temple and have been sealed to my wonderful husband, I do not know everything, but I do know that the temple ordinances are beautiful and sacred and can only be that way while in the walls of the temple and I know that through the sacred temple ordinances, I am able to become perfect someday and be sealed forever to the ones that I love in never ending happiness. I know that Joseph Smith restored Jesus Christ’s gospel here upon the earth in this last dispensation- he restored the same gospel that was on the earth while Jesus was here, and the same gospel that was in the beginning with Adam and Eve. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it’s writings of the ancient American prophets and people are true and they testify of Jesus Christ. I have found Jesus Christ and he has blessed me for coming unto him, however, I do fall short everyday because I am not perfect, but he is there to pick me back up again. And for all of this, I am eternally grateful for my Savior and owe him everything I have. I have received ultimate happiness because of Him…and isn’t that all that really matters? I believe that you can find that happiness in whatever religion you belong to and wherever you live, and I know that Jesus Christ will answer your prayers if you get on your knees and talk to him. It may take a while but don’t give up. Come unto Him. I say all this and testify in His holy name- Jesus Christ that I know it is true.

  16. Germit and Christopher: I also suggest reading ch. 3 of the third vol. of Exploring Mormon Thought. I explain how the ascension experience thru the various heavens is an initiation into the heavenly temple thru rituals of washing, anointing, clothing, confronting and casting out Satan (or other obstacles), accepting covenants and ordinations and passing thru the veil of the temple into the seventh heaven where God’s throne resides and the thrones and crowns of the faithful are there waiting for them.

    I also suggest this website: http://www.heavenlyascents.com/

    Look especially at the earlier posts about how ascension is a temple endowment. You could also look here: http://www.templestudy.com/home/

  17. Blake, I agree with your articles. The connections between LDS practices and Gnosticism are incredible. The problem is that most of the teachings of Gnostics can directly be traced to pagan and heathen sources. It can easily be demonstrated how Greek mythology and other pagan practices found their way into Judaism, like the different Ebonite sects, and then into Christianity.

    What you do not do is demonstrate how Christ and His Apostles taught these practices.

  18. Blake,

    All you have managed to do is show us that some people in the earliest days of the church believed in false doctrines. I could have saved you the trouble of writing the articles and pointed you to Paul’s teachings combatting error creeping in the church from the earliest days. It is true that there are no new heresies, just the same ones recycled over and over again. From the wolves among the sheep in the first century to Pelagius to Joseph Smith to David Koresh, the truth has faced false prophets and teachers. Good thing we were given the clear teaching of the Bible and clear warning that false prophets like Smith and Koresh would arise.

    Seth,

    Shhhh. The adults are trying to talk.

  19. “All you have managed to do is show us that some people in the earliest days of the church believed in false doctrines.”

    Why false? Because you said so?

  20. Contrary is a big word, but it means:

    1: a fact or condition incompatible with another : opposite

    See, the Bible says one thing and mormonism say something else. Thus it is contrary. Does that help?

  21. Christopher and Sido: It may surprise you to know that the Ascension of Isaiah and the Odes of Solomon are both documents created within the mainstream of late first century Christianity. It is well established that the Odes, for example, were written by an individual who was very familiar with the community that gave us the gospel of John.

    Your knee-jerk reaction to these sources is very revealing. It doesn’t surprise me that you are just unwilling to actually listen to something that doesn’t support your preconceived prejudices. After all, you have your Bible and you don’t need any other words from God. Unfortunately, from my view it is rather clear that you got up and walked out on God while he was still talking.

    But let’s be clear. The earliest Christians didn’t base their faith on the New Testament. They didn’t even have it. Their trust was in Christ and later the living oracles that were called to lead the Christian communities. It was the refusal to listen to the new revelation that constituted the apostasy of Israel when God sent a new dispensation of revelation. It is no different today.

    Further, you’re long on easy assertions without anything to back it up. You’re entitled to your opinions, but it isn’t at all persuasive to anyone who is actually knowledgeable about these documents and the rites that they describe.

    That said, you might want to read the scriptural citations to washings, anointings and investiture in Lev. 16 on the day of atonement and the others that I cited.

    We got started on this because Sido indicated that he was weirded out by washings and anointings in the temple. Well, there are washings and anointings throughout the biblical documents. He is actually just rejecting well-established biblical practices. When I pointed that out, he then demanded some kind of proof that the endowment is in the NT. Well it isn’t . . . because the 1st century Christians didn’t openly discuss these rites and they didn’t case pearls before swine. I won’t either.

  22. “See, the Bible says one thing and mormonism say something else. Thus it is contrary. Does that help?”

    Not really. You’re still just throwing out bare assertions and refusing to back them up. Still all we have to go on from you is “because I said so.”

    No one cares what your “testimony” on the matter is Arthur. Unless you are willing to actually back-up what you’re claiming, you are wasting everyone’s time here.

  23. Blake, I am familiar with the Ascension of Isaiah and the Odes of Solomon, but in your article “Clothed Upon” the bulk of your arguments came from Gnostic sources. It also bothers me that you are not upfront about the sources you are referencing. You point out small areas that can possibly be taken to be LDS practices or beliefs, but do not mention vast areas that directly contradict LDS teachings.

    Also, the Odes of Solomon are poetic writings and a terrible source for extrapolating the practices of the early church period. Especially when you have many individuals that clearly state what they believed and what they practiced. You do not address those individuals or documents at all.

    “But let’s be clear. The earliest Christians didn’t base their faith on the New Testament. They didn’t even have it. Their trust was in Christ and later the living oracles that were called to lead the Christian communities.”

    One of the biggest criticisms of the earliest Christian writers like Polycarp, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Mathetes, etc, was that they were not original in their thinking. The reason is because most of their works are direct quotes from Scripture. Yes they did not use terms like “New Testament” or “Bible” but “memoirs of the Apostles”. There is no doubt what their authority was. Their use and dependence on the writings of the NT would out do an evangelical.

    Polycarp alone, in his short book to the Philippians, quotes from about 17 books of the New Testament. He refers to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians as “sacred scriptures” and the letter of Paul to the Philippians as “the means of building you up in that faith which has been given you.”

    A proper view of the patristic studies will always lead back to the “memoirs of the Apostles” because that is what the patristics studied and followed.

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