Author’s Note: I have a pronounced respect and love for the Temple. It is a place where I have received inspiration and made promises that draw me closer to my Family, my Savior, and my Heavenly Father. All the information shared is available through official church public sources. I have taken great care to be respectful to the sacred nature of the Temple and I hope that you would show the same respect in comments.
Today I went to the Newport Beach Temple; being inspired to see the new Temple Film after talking with Mormon Movie Guy, Jono Decker, during the recording of our last Podcast. I had first heard about it while listening to the This Week in Mormons Podcast.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a section on their public news site giving an explanation of the Temple. It gives the history of Temples stating:
“The sacredness of the temple anciently can be seen in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, Moses had the children of Israel carry with them the Tabernacle (a large, portable temple) as they wandered in the wilderness. King Solomon built and dedicated the great temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. It was rebuilt and later substantially expanded, but again destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. The great Western Wall can still be seen in Jerusalem today, and even after millennia, remains a sacred site for Jews. The New Testament gives an account of Jesus Christ clearing the temples when its sacredness was violated by people using its courts as a common market.
Latter-day Saint temples are considered houses of God, a place of holiness and peace separate from the preoccupations of the world. They provide a place where Church members make formal promises and commitments to God. They are also the place where the highest sacraments of the faith occur — the marriage of couples and the “sealing” of families for eternity.”
Part of the experience is instruction we receive. Elder William R. Walker who oversees the Temples of the Church says in the video below, “…instruction about life would be given, about the creation of the earth, and those who were attending would be instructed about God's plan of happiness for us.”
In the new Temple Film “an overview is given of God's plan for His children. Latter-day Saints learn of their premortal and mortal lives, the creation of the world and the Fall of man, the central role of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of all God's children, and the blessings they can receive in the next life,” states LDS.org. "The new temple film is the first update in more than 20 years,” said church spokeswoman Ruth Todd. The Church has done a wonderful job raising the bar on their films since then. You can see wonderful faith promoting shorts on the Church’s YouTube Page.
I thought there might be an uptick in temple attendance with the new film so I went during the day. I was amazed that at 12:00 in the afternoon the session was filled! They made room for me and I soon discovered why the session was so full. Our Stake Patriarch was having a family reunion. I forget how many kids he has, but it is less than 15 and more than 10. They were all there with their spouses and endowed children. Those who were teenagers we doing baptisms for the dead. Brother Richardson was actually officiating the session and as he stood and looked over his righteous posterity; I could see an smile of gratitude on his face; that they were all there together. I was glad to be in their company and I remembered an answer he once gave when asked about having all his children active in the Church. He said, “If the doors were open, we were there.” It made we want to improve my resolve to attend every available church meeting and function with my family, even building clean-up.
Although this isn’t quite the forum to discuss the specific details of the Film, I did want to share how I felt experiencing some of the updates. I have a better understanding of the creation. Some think the creation was literally 6 days. When I think of the immense majesty and beauty of our planet it must have taken a considerable amount of time. Making sure bumble bees were able to fly and that seeds had the right ph soil balance to thrive I think the Earth needed time to acclimate and even evolve, they must have been creative periods. I want my marriage to be like Adam and Eve. They loved each other so much that when Eve took of the fruit, Adam didn’t dismiss her and say “have fun in the real world”. He joined her; that they could work together to overcome the trials of life. And lastly, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us so much! They take great joy in seeing our accomplishments and provided a way for us to be redeemed of our personal fall.
I have a renewed desire to attend the Temple more often. If it has been too long since your last visit, use this as an opportunity to invigorate your desire to go back. If you are not a member of our faith I hope you got a better understanding of why we as Mormons love the temple, and why we hold the experience so sacred.