Thursday, March 29, 2012

Does it Matter that Temple Ordinances Have Changed?

I have read sites against the church presenting the idea that because temple ordinances have changed over the years that they must be false. Also some genuine members can feel concern as to whether they are practising the correct ordinances after changes are made. To understand this subject requires an understanding of what temple ordinances are for. If we look back to the temple ordinances delivered to Moses by God we can begin to understand what we need to keep in mind.

For example a sacrifice was required yearly for the sins of each individual. The person would place their hands on the sacrifice and the sins were said to have passed to it. However we know that this was purely symbolic of the reality that Christ was to come and be the real sacrifice onto which their sins would pass. In other words the ram or kid wasn't really anything but a symbol pointing to the reality that had to be found by revelation to the individual. The individual had to come to understand that a Savior would come, and that they were to accept in faith and receive a true saving from their sins by praying for forgiveness and changing.

Ordinances, whether done in or out of the temple, are like parables. If women's lib complain about the parable of the sower saying that it was a male who went out to sow, we could change the parable to say it was a "person" who went out to sow. And the point won't have changed just because of this.

So then temples are about symbols that point to realities. Practise the reality and the promise made in the temple becomes a reality also.

As there were individuals who complained about the harshness of penalties (demonstrated in the temple ordinances by symbols) they were, sadly, removed. Thus making it more difficult for people to discover the message delivered in the session. However the message behind the symbols is still delivered without the penalties.

Due to women complaining other changes were made to make the marriage contract sound better to them. But the message remains unchanged.

In spite of changes to the washing and anointing ceremony the message remains unchanged also.

Looking at the changes that have occurred over the centuries I don't see any that detract from the message being delivered in those ordinances.

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