Sunday, September 21, 2014

Some Thoughts on the Temple

Today was the Ogden Temple re-dedication and I've been thinking about the importance of the Temple to me and want to share some thoughts.

I have good memories of performing baptisms for the dead in high school when we would go the Ogden Temple as early as we could muster and a group of us would go before school--once even ventured to the Salt Lake Temple. I have good memories of receiving my endowments in the Ogden Temple in 2008. As a missionary in the MTC, I was able to attend the Provo Utah Temple, after moving out to Chile as a missionary, I had the privilege of attending the Santiago Chile Temple multiple times and participated in baptisms, confirmations, initiatories, endowments and sealings. I now live in Logan Utah and have spent years attending the Logan Utah Temple. In December 2013, I was sealed to my wife in the Logan Utah Temple. The Temple has been involved in the most pivotal moments of my life, however, I think that my attendance during the ordinary, average, even difficult days, are what keep me moving closer to God as I honor those covenants I have made at the pivotal moments.

I have received answers while serving in the Temple and have found peace in difficult times. I have found strength and been reminded of how much Heavenly Father loves me, ME, Ben Byers, not a general love for everyone (which He does have), but for me as an individual.

I love learning about the Temple. So, a few book recommendations are up! I haven't read some of these cover to cover yet, but I am working on it and they are all sitting on my shelves, so feel free to borrow them, unless I'm currently reading them :-)

"The Gate of Heaven" by Matthew B. Brown--A great book about symbolism and history of the Moses Tabernacle, Solomon's Temple and some on modern day Temples.

"Symbols in Stone" by Matthew B. Brown--Discusses symbolism on the outside of the Temples.

"The House of the Lord" by James E. Talmage--History and importance of Temples. If I remember correctly, this was the first book written about Temples by a Mormon.

"The Holy Temple" by Boyd K. Packer--Discusses the why of Temples in modern days.

"Temple and Cosmos" by Hugh W. Nibley--A wide array of articles discussing the why of Temples, the history of Temples and some things about creation and the plan of salvation--I would say this is the most dense/scholarly of the books on the list.

I know that the Temple is the House of God. I love being there. I love thinking about it. Today, I attended the 10am dedicatory session and when President Monson spoke, he said,
"Love the Temple. Appreciate the Temple. Attend the Temple."
I will.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Some Thought-Provoking LDS Podcast Episodes Part 2

Here is part 2 of my recommended and favorite LDS podcasts!

The Good Word Podcast--this podcast is always from a faithful perscpective. The host, Nick Galietti interviews LDS authors and writers. He is a host for FairMormon as well.

Jeffrey M. Bradshaw Interview, Episode 2.18--This is an interview with one of my favorite LDS scholars on the Pearl of Great Price and Temple imagery. This podcast doesn't go into details from what I remember, but it gives you a taste of what he does--and I think they talk about his job as researcher...which is really cool too!

Matt Meese and Mallory Everton Interview, Episode 2.2--Those who watch Studio C will enjoy this interview quite a bit. Matt and Mallory talk about how they got into sketch comedy and a little about the birth of Studio C and how they work on sketches. Fun stuff.

A Thoughtful Faith - Mormon/LDS--like it says, this is a "thoughtful" faith. They don't always have the most faithful members being interviewed at times, sometimes they have left the church or have been excommunicated, but they try to cover a spectrum of academics and experts. The ones I'm recommending here are from faithful members of the church who specialize in sometimes difficult topics and they discuss their faith, the history, the doctrine and share their testimonies.

John Sorenson on Book of Mormon Historicity, Episode 005--Lots of interesting information on Book of Mormon geography. He talks about his book that was forthcoming, "Mormon's Codex", but has since been released and I am currently trying to dig through, slowly (I read WAY too many books at once), but have enjoyed the bits I have read. It makes the Book of Mormon even more fascinating providing the best model (in my opinion) of where the Book of Mormon took place.

The Wisdom and Faith of Thomas Alexander, Episode 008--This is a faithful LDS scholar who is a professor emeritus of Brigham Young University, specializing in American and Mormon history who probably knows more about the growth, expansion and history of the church from 1890-1930. If you like history a lot and politics, this may be for you.

Terryl & Fiona Givens - Faith, Doubt, and The God Who Weeps, Episode 010--I always enjoy listening to the Givens talk about the uniqueness of the LDS faith and yet it's universality. They talk about doubt, faith and a God who weeps with us and for us. If you want to hear some very thoughtful faithful Latter-day Saints who are extremely well read outside of the LDS world, these are two to listen to. This is the shortest interview of theirs, it's a little taste of their thoughts.