Sunday, November 30, 2014

I Want To Understand

In conversations about the temple, particularly first temple experiences, at least one person mentions how awkward or strange they found their first temple experience to be.

I have been thinking about this as I have been studying the temple covenants and rituals in the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. As I read the words of the scriptures my mind turned back to my first temple experience. I didn't understand everything - I still don't - but I remember having a fierce testimony of the importance of the temple before I even went for the first time. I knew that whatever was going to happen in the temple was going to be what needed to happen, and that I would certainly learn things - which is what I always expected I would do in the temple - learn new things.

So I think that there are two keys to a good first temple experience:

1.) A strong foundational testimony of the importance of the temple


2.) A strong desire to learn something new every day, an open mind, an attitude that if something seems strange it's probably because you don't understand it completely.

What do you think are the important aspects of preparing for a good first experience in the temple?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Heard It All Before

I have posted before about inoculation - the idea of exposing members of the church to all of the possibly critical positions people might hold toward the church, and all of the less - appealing aspects of church history. There has been much discussion about whether or not it should be the church's responsibility to inoculate it's members again such question - raising topics.

On a slightly related note, I was reading in Alma 30 tonight about Korihor and as I read his arguments against God and Christ and the gospel I couldn't help thinking, "These are all of the same anti-religon arguments you hear today!"

And then the thought struck me. This isn't the only place in scripture where debates between believers and doubters is recorded. If we have studied the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon, we will be so familiar with this line of doubt and questioning that we will simply be able to wave our hands at those who would tear down our faith and simply say, "Pooh,  pooh - been there, done that, got the tshirt."

The best inoculation we can give our children is probably a love of the gospel and of the Book of Mormon and a deep understanding of those two things rather than a superficial familiarity with them. If we can help our children develop a deep love for and understanding of the Book of Mormon, all the naysayers in the world won't be able to sway our children from their testimony of the true and living gospel.

What real-life events has the Book of Mormon prepared you for? How do you feel the Book of Mormon has strengthened your testimony such that it cannot be shaken and you are not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine?

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