August 7, 2009

Daniel C. Peterson: The Temple as a Place of Ascent to God

The following are my personal notes of the presentations. They are incomplete and likely contain mistakes, omissions and especially spelling errors. FAIR is going to provide full transcripts and recordings, and I encourage checking them out. As we go you'll notice these notes get shorter as I slowly burn out. These notes are weak.   

Privilege to be here, etc. I hope everyone has enjoyed this as much as I have, maybe some of you are new here, but the quality has been increasing, a great thing, and I am proud of everyone involved with it. Conferences becoming first rate. Tell your friends, this can do a lot of good. Anyway.

I was struck by Br. White's comments yesterday about being Saints, disciples of Christ first and apologists second. I have known a few people who were apologists first, and I don't mean they were rude or whatever, but they were not attending church but defended it online. Priorities are a little mixed it seems.

I had a number of topics to choose from and typically I am still deciding at this point, but powerpoint presentations have made me be more precise.

Those who disagree with me are idiots chapter 4, my usual type of thing, is not going to be presented here.

So this isn;t going to be all that original or all that funny. This is a fireside I gave in connection with the temple open house a few weeks ago and I am not changing it, but I was asked to do this so I will.You can see commonalities of ascension all over the world, so you can call this parallelomania if you wish, but there are these common elements all over the place [names places, etc.]

[This Fireside was noted well by TempleStudy blog, so check it out here while I just listen and rest my fingers: click here.]

[Dan broke from the talk to related a story about Samarra he likes, I don't think it is on the TempleStudy notes:]

Arab folklore about a kindly master who sends servant to market in Baghdad, who comes racing back terrified. What's wrong? I went into marketplace and saw death there and he made a threatening gesture at me. Can I go to Samarra tonight? The master goes into marketplace and finds death, and says how dare you threaten him. And death says no, I wasn't threatening him. You see, I have an ppointment with him in Samarra tonight and was surprised to see him here"

I'm going to refer to Margaret Barker, who seems to have become sort of quasi-canonized (laughter). Have you heard of her? Well, I discovered a book of hers at a SBL conference. (Cost and space of books! Bane of my wife's existence.) Bought her book The Great Angel and didn't read it for a while. She discussed the Father and Son ideas. It is Jewish, older tradition of Father El, and Son, Yaweh. And God might have a consort or a wife. He was thinking this had to be a Latter-day Saint. She talked about priesthood and temple, etc. Discovered she is Methodist. Had her do presentation at BYU and she was going on about these things, sort of apologetic, "earliest God might have had a wife, I hope I am not offending you.." etc. We were kind of snickering and casting glances, she finally realized something was going on here. Anyway, she is very interesting....

[Continues with talk, quoting Barker, rest of talk.]

It is remarkable that JS was able to restore these forms and ordinances. I don't say that as an evidence, this isn't a matter of defending things, but of living things, it is far more than we deserve or merit, the blessings are beyond comprehension.


Q: Why would Muslim artwork depict Muhammed when Islam forbids it?

A: It doiesn't. Only the more radical Wahabi form which I don't partocularly like. They will tell you that, but that is their one perspective, etc. There are plenty of depictions etc. Particularly the Sunni minority hold that view.

Q: Response to critics who say King Tyre's desire to become a god as evidence against theosis?

A: Well, there are proper ways. The door is the way, by the way Lord outlined. Enter the sheepfold by the door, not some other way. There is a wrong kind of thinking we become deified without getting rid of sins and being granted gift of God, etc.

Q: Could the similarities in current temples be considered relics of ancient temples?

A: Absolutely, you can find survivals in Eastern Orthodox and in older churches elsewhere, etc.

Q: Considering Big Love rendition can the church hinestly claim it was taken out of context if the church fails to describe the context?

A: Well, in a sense it is out of context because of spiritual and doctrinal requirements; it will be to the greeks foolishness and the Jews a stumbling block as the gospel always has been. Try to prepare people to get prepared for it and some never get out of it what they should. In regards to HBO, the truths of it are to be communicated spiritually and probably won't be by Big Love.

Q: Mention Margaret Barker summary in next FARMS Review

A: The next FARMS Review, here's a commercial plug, will contain a few articles about Barker's recent work on the Temple, so place your orders now! She has endlessly interesting things to say to us.

Q: What about the Nephite experience?

A: We don't know much about hteir temple stuff, I suspect they kept them fairly quiet but I can't prove that because they kept them fairly quiet. There were some things from early Christendom that are similar. Baptism for the dead is mentioned in one bleak aside but we don;t see a lot about it though we know it was going on and that non-members were not to be there. Mass originally indicated that only members were to be there. They may have been more secretive then than we even are today.

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