Thursday, March 18, 2004

LDS Temple Collector's Items 

by NA
A word of advice to you with white scriptures: hang on to them! Mormon Ebayers may someday pay a fortune for them now that the Church doesn't make them anymore. Now, when I was a young'un, I recall that with the temple, everything had to be white. I remember thinking that the food would be white, if they could've made it that way.

Is this a change in attitude towards the temple? A recent discussion over at The Other Board has made me think that the decision to not have white scriptures anymore is the result of temple culture being more widely disseminated, while temple blessings are more wide-spread. My theory is that people are realizing that white scriptures aren't inherently more sacred than standard brown. I don't mean to say that mormons are treating the temple less seriously -- it's still the most sacred place on earth. But we don't have the same overall respect of sacred places we had a hundred years ago. We're not approaching temple-related cultural trappings like when Manti was the latest thing. Attitudes towards, say, garments (not to mention their stylings), towards discussing temple blessings, and towards temple symbolism are all changing. No more white scriptures -- is the temple so common now that its raw uniqueness is fading? How do we preserve the sacredness of the temple even while we discard some of the vestigial cultural elements?

Update: Some other random blog has noted that the issue of baptizing the Jewish dead has again resurfaced. I would add waning agressiveness towards baptism for the dead as another indicator of cultural temple shifts. We still baptize for the dead, of course, but we're not nearly as concerned as we used to be, it seems, with baptizing celebrities, politicians, etc.
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