Monday, September 27, 2010

Secret versus Sacred

My brother in law, Matt Woodruff, wrote a "note" on Facebook that answers one question I've heard about Temples: Why is it a secret (what happens inside LDS Temples)?

Here is his eloquent answer:

The dictionary defines secret as "done, made, or conducted without the knowledge of others: secret negotiations" or "kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged: a secret password."

It defines sacred as "devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated" or "entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things; holy." and also "pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to secular or profane ): sacred music; sacred books" and pay close attention to these next three:
"reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object: a morning hour sacred to study."
"regarded with reverence: the sacred memory of a dead hero."
"secured against violation, infringement, etc., as by reverence or sense of right: sacred oaths; sacred rights."

Pay particular attention to the last definition because it in particular pertains to my thoughts tonight. In fact I want to combine a few particular definitions: "reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object, regarded with reverence, and secured against violation, infringement, etc., as by reverence or sense of right: sacred oaths; sacred rights."

I am a Latter-Day Saint, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a Mormon. Many, if not all of you know this, it is no secret, nor are any of my beliefs secret, nor are any of the practices, rights, ceremonies, or ordinances of my religion secret. But they are sacred. I hold a few so sacred and holy, that I do not even discuss them with other members of the church outside of the temple where those sacred ordinances are performed. I know it sounds secret, it sounds "kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged" but that is not how I see it. They are sacred promises that I made to my Heavenly Father, "Reverently dedicated" to Him, that I regard with reverence and keep "Secured against violation."

I share these promises with many of you, and would love to share them with all of you, but in the right time and in the right place.

The LDS Temples are beautiful places, both inside and out. I personally feel the Washington DC is one of the most beautiful, but maybe that is because that is where Becky and I were married and "Sealed for time and eternity." In the Church of Jesus Christ we do not marry for this mortal life only, but we make sacred vows and are bound together forever, to each other and to our children. I love my wife and I love my children, my love for them is beyond words, and coming from me that means a lot. Words are what I do and yet I have no words to adequately describe just how much I love them. I'm sure you feel the same way about your family. Can you begin to understand then how much it means to me that we will be together forever, even should death claim our mortal existence, it cannot break that bond that was sealed in the Temple. It is the other ordinances, the other work we do in the Temple that make it possible for us to realize that great blessing of an Eternal Family. Can you understand why I keep these things so sacred?

Again, those things, those blessings as I view them, are not secret, I just hold them so sacred I do not talk about them outside of the Temple. They are promises if you will, that I have made between God and myself, and that is who they stay between, Him and me. I would love to share these blessings with each of you, you would just need to prepare yourself to enter into the temple to receive them. If you are interested in doing so I can help with that, I know some missionaries who would love to help out. Just let me know and I will send them your way. :-). But that is not why I am on my soap box tonight.

Tonight I am on my soap box because this week a TV show plans to violate what I hold sacred by fictionalizing and trivializing it. I read an article about this today, and how the Church responded to it. I was going to name the show and the cable station that plans to air this show, even though the leaders of our church has asked them not to, but for my own reasons I decided not to. I don't want to guilt you into not watching that show, or anything like that. I will only say this; if you ever see something on TV about my religion that leaves you with questions, if you want to receive true and accurate answers to those questions come to me, or to another member of the church to get answers, not the media or any who would seek to trivialize, violate, or profane what I hold sacred. If you are really curious about what goes on in the Temple, find out from the real source, not some fictionalized account. If you really want to see that TV show, well you can figure out what show it is for yourself :-). If you want to make sure you don't watch it, well, stick to Network TV this weekend and you'll be fine.

I think I have said all I had to say. I step down off of my soap box.

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