The Meaning of the Kirtland Temple and Beyond

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The Meaning of the Kirtland Temple and Beyond

Post by SkyBird » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:30 pm

"This narrative is written to those who are interested in understanding the meaning and purpose of Mormon temples and will focus on the temple built at Kirtland, Ohio. Temple buildings, like all symbols, tell stories. There are powerful messages written in their structures, rituals, and histories for anyone to read who is willing to decode the message.

This narrative comes with no claims of being complete, correct, or authoritative. The sole purpose of these writings is to offer ideas in the spirit of free thinking and freedom of expression. There is no expectation by the author of this narrative that any of it be accepted as gospel. Nor is it the intention of the author that any of what follows be part of a belief system of organized religion in any of its forms.

The Kirtland Temple has a different floor plan and endowment ritual than is found in LDS temples today. Compared to today, the Kirtland endowment was the higher endowment. A major thrust of it’s symbolic message is about the very thing that carnal man as a religious zealot seeks the most, but which always seems to elude him: Zion.

The Kirtland Temple comprises a portion of a larger parable told in the structure and the evolution of temples as the church moved from its eastward place in New York to its westward location in Utah. The movement of the church and its people westward is an integral part of the message, symbolizing a loss of spiritual ideals and a journey into materialism.

Subsequent temples were built at Nauvoo, Illinois, and Salt Lake City, Utah. As alluded to in the previous paragraph, the parable being told in the evolution of the structure and ritual of these temples is a familiar one, though few will recognize it at first. Ironically, it is the same story being told in the LDS endowment ritual today. It’s nothing less than the familiar story of the Fall of man and his imprisonment in illusion, bringing about a state of spiritual death. To find the true meaning of the temple and its symbolic parables, one must go beyond them and discover what is being represented.

Temples and Parable. Before proceeding with a discussion of Kirtland Temple symbolism, it may be helpful to make a few general statements about symbols and parables in regard to the outer structures of temples. It should be fairly evident to students of the endowment that the inner ritual is a highly symbolic act that communicates profound messages through parable, allegory, and metaphor. However, few may have taken the time to notice the symbolism that is contained in the outer structures of temples such as their floor plans, utilization, and history. To understand the message, one first needs to notice that the symbols exist. Afterwards, one will need to read them.

In decoding temple symbolism, it helps to notice that there is a great redundancy in message. Different symbols and parables that may appear to be unrelated at first glance are really highly interwoven into communicating a single idea in different ways. For example, in contemporary LDS temples, endowment patrons are treated to a story of the organization of the earth, the placement of Adam and Eve in the Garden, and the subsequent imprisonment of Adam and Eve by illusion represented by partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This is called the Fall in the popular vernacular. Those who are paying attention to symbols of the Fall might first come to notice that this same story is retold over and over throughout religious culture. One of the more obvious places for a retelling of the Fall is in the parable of Noah and the flood. After emerging from the ark, Noah drinks wine and is found to be naked in his tent. His sons walk backwards to cover him with a garment. It should be noticed that the symbolic motifs in the story of Noah are redundant with those found in the creation parable. Like Adam, Noah is a first man on a new world. His drunkenness carries synonymous meaning with eating the fruit of illusion and his tent is symbolic of the Garden residence of Adam. Like Adam, Noah receives a garment to cover his nakedness. These stories are about the same thing, not opposites. Both tell the story of the Fall, though in a different way.

Again, the story of the Fall is the same story being told in the evolution of temples from Ohio to Utah. To recognize this parable, it is important to notice the symbolic motifs of earliest temples compared to temples today. One will also need to notice symbols in regard to their order of appearance in temples and what each of them represents. To uncover the meaning of these symbols, we might first discuss the structure of the Kirtland temple and its allegorical message. The structure of the Kirtland temple will be compared to the Nauvoo Temple and finally to the Salt Lake Temple in order to see how the message evolves into a meaningful parable.

Gathering in the Holy Place. One of the more obvious symbolic messages of the Kirtland Temple is in regard to gathering to Zion. Gathering is symbolized in the two assembly floors that comprise the bulk of the Kirtland temple space. This is quite different from LDS temples of today which are primarily used for ritualistic ordinance work. There are two assembly halls in the Kirtland Temple, one at ground level and another that is a second story above the first. The third floor of the Kirtland temple is an attic floor used for administrative offices and classrooms. One thing that is very important to notice about the Kirtland Temple is that there is no basement. The symbolic message of a basement will be discussed later as will the significance of three floors. But first, it may be better to briefly discuss the two assembly halls in terms of their symbolic significance.

The two assembly halls are symbolic of a place for the gathering of saints. Many LDS of today are familiar with the topic of a Holy Place or a Center Place as a site for gathering. It should be fairly obvious that the Holy Place for gathering refers to the temple, more specifically inside the temple. However, few seem to remember that they are the Temple being spoken of. Since it is we who are the true temple, the Holy Place for gathering to God is within us.

Because it is such an important concept to understand, readers may want to take additional time to contemplate the idea of gathering in regard to the symbolism just mentioned. Although the meaning of the symbolism might appear obvious, few seem to get it. Popular notions of a gathering place for the saints seem to lie in terms of a literal-physical proximity of a lot of other people. The Holy Place is sometimes thought to be in the Temple building itself. The Center Place is often seen as a place set aside for a future homeland, again in terms of a physical address. Even today, highly devoted LDS or those from offshoot groups have moved to Missouri in an effort to establish Zion. It is widely believed in LDS culture that central Missouri is the original site of the Garden of Eden as well as a place for the establishment of a future ecclesiastical system of government delivering a law unto all. However, few seem to take time to consider that these outward and carnal interpretations may be wide of the point. Any such gathering would result in a lot of crowding and living conditions reminiscent of cities under siege. Being locked into such a physical address is not representative of freedom at all, but its opposite.

It may help to consider other possibilities in regard to what gathering means as well as what is meant by Holy Place. The temple is a symbol. Again, we are the temple spoken of, therefore the holy place for gathering is within each of us. It may be rightly said that the Holy Place is the place of the heart. This is why Zion is said to be the pure in heart. All true saints gather unto God. This gathering is done by going deep within oneself and meeting God in the Holy Place, so to speak.

Some may have already noticed that the message described in the above paragraph is the same one being described in the Missouri gathering place and Garden of Eden metaphors. Missouri lies at the approximate center of this continent and is often referred to in the Mormon vernacular as the center place. In terms of metaphor, the center place is the heart. This is synonymous with symbols of the Holy Place, the Garden of Eden, and others. It can rightly be said that this symbolism is about you. Moreover, it is the same message as told in the Kirtland Temple metaphor, only using other symbols.

The entire point being made in the above paragraphs is that the outward interpretation in regard to gathering and establishing Zion is highly misleading and dead-ended. Zion is established by purifying the heart and mind, not some spot of dirt. Moreover, those who are purified in mind and heart are all gathered unto God in a very real way, despite where their physical bodies are at any given moment. This is part of the powerful message of Kirtland Temple symbolism. It is a message of freedom by going within. This is despite the fact that most of us, being carnal and fallen, totally miss the point of what is meant.

The Triune Being. It may be helpful to notice the symbolism in the Kirtland Temple having three floors, two gathering floors and an attic for offices and classrooms. These symbolize the triune nature of man.

Symbolism of man as a triune being is found throughout gospel teachings. Man is popularly said to be comprised of body, mind, and spirit. Although this phrase is allegorically correct in its symbolism of Fallen man, it is backwards in its presentation of Spiritual man because it places body first and Spirit last. It may be better to say that man is Spirit, Mind, and body or, to use other terms, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial, God the Father, Jesus the Christ, and church, or awareness, perception, and action. The triune nature of man is symbolized in the three floors of the Kirtland Temple with the attic floor representing the Spirit or awareness, the middle floor representing the Mind or perception, and the ground floor representing the body or manifestation.

This triune nature of man is also symbolized in the contemporary LDS endowment in the personages of Peter, James, and John. Again, the phrasing is, appropriately, backwards. Peter in the endowment represents the body or physical creation, James the Mind and John the Spirit. It may help to remember that the church is (allegorically) built upon Peter. That is why the church is often called the body as well as the bride in other symbolic representations. Peter, as the symbolic representation of the creation, also symbolizes the proto-typical Lucifer. It may help to remember that in the New Testament it is Peter that Jesus called Satan and told to get behind him as well as Peter who denied the Christ thrice.

To comprehend the symbolism of the role of Peter in the endowment ceremony, it is important to notice what is happening. It should be noticed that Peter is the one who speaks to Adam after the Fall and it is Peter who is the de facto narrator of the endowment. As narrator, Peter symbolically represents the leaders of the church. It might help to notice the parallel in the Catholic Church, which claims their foundation on Peter as the first Pope and founder of the church. A major clue as to the role of Peter in the endowment emerges when Adam makes himself an apron in obedience to Lucifer’s suggestion and immediately afterwards the narrator’s voice booms over the loudspeaker telling patrons to put on their aprons. It‘s a perfect parallel with all present performing the same way as Adam and Eve.

So, what’s so great about Peter? Well, that is part of the symbolic parable. Carnal man, because of his nature, is prone to get everything inverted. He mistakenly places that which is first, last and visa versa. That is why it is appropriate for carnal man to see himself as a triune creature of body, mind and spirit as well as why he sees Peter as the first in the trio of Peter, James, and John. To carnal man, the body comes first. Although he doesn’t know it, that is the problem. Carnal man identifies himself with the body rather than the Spirit. It is this identification with the body, creation, or church, that is symbolized in the endowment with Peter being placed in front of John and James and why Peter occupies the position of the talking head in the endowment ritual.

James and John do not utter lines in the contemporary endowment ceremony except to say that “I am James” or “I am John”. These lines are profoundly symbolic, but time will not be taken to discuss the symbolism here. John is, appropriately, the one whom Jesus is said to have loved the most and this has everything to do with the meaning behind the symbolic metaphor. John is symbolic of the Spirit and thus synonymous in symbolic metaphor with the Father as Eternal Spirit. To the Christ figure, it is Spirit that is always placed first, then follows Mind, and body, these being the proper order. In the same way, the proper order for appearance of the three messengers is John, James and Peter rather than Peter, James and John. In the mind and heart of (w)Holy man, Peter comes last rather than first. The popular way of having the order inverted is meaningfully symbolic of what is happening in the temple this day. Again, ye are the temple spoken of.

At a risk of being overly repetitive, it is important to see the symbolism in the floors of the Kirtland Temple in their proper order. The top floor, the highest from the earth, is the attic. Again, the attic of the Kirtland temple was used for administrative offices and classrooms. The attic floor is synonymous with the Father, Spirit, Celestial, or Awareness. The next floor of the Kirtland Temple, going down, is representative of the Son, Terrestrial world, Mind, or perception. This second floor is also symbolic of the Christ as the mediator between the Spirit and body. The ground floor represents all things Telestial and is synonymous with such things as Holy Ghost, creation, body, or church.

All of these symbols are representative of carnal man and his spiritual counterpart, Father and Son. The word ‘man’ is short for manifestation, an appropriate term since carnal man infatuates himself with appearances and image. However, the body creation and all of manifestation is that which does not have life in and of itself. Despite this being the case, carnal man erroneously interprets his world in terms of the illusory outer image and this is why he thinks in terms of a reversed order of body, mind and spirit, rather than the other way around. Carnal man loves man. It is truthfully said that carnal man obsesses himself with the manifestation, himself. Since that is his nature, it is appropriate that man be given a name that shows it: Man. Fallen man and carnal man are each redundant phrases because the name ‘man’ is sufficient to communicate what he is about without adding fallen or carnal as adjectives to man.

Spiritual Death and the Baptismal Font. One important difference to notice when comparing floor plans of the Nauvoo Temple with the Kirtland temple is the presence of a basement. Other than the basement, the floor plans of the Kirtland and (original) Nauvoo Temples are virtually identical. It may also help to notice that all temples built after Nauvoo contain a basement. The reason for this becomes clear after the symbolism of basements is fully understood as well as what temples from Kirtland to Utah represent in terms of symbolic parable.

The primary fixture in the basement of the Nauvoo Temple was a baptismal font resting on the backs of twelve oxen. The font is a place of baptisms for the dead. Baptism for the dead is a redundant phrase and highly symbolic. In truth, all baptisms are for the dead. The dead are those who are spiritually dead, carnal, sensual, or Fallen. The dead are the only ones in need of baptism since the (spiritually) living (symbolized by children) have no need for it. This is despite a widespread misunderstanding of the teaching in LDSism that Jesus needed baptism despite being perfect. The topic of perfection and its relationship to our experience in the Telestial world will be discussed in a later narrative.

The basement of the temple is appropriately constructed below ground level, symbolizing spiritual death. Among other things, the baptismal font symbolizes a way out of this state of being (spiritual death) which is by passing through death of the old way of being and a birth into the new. In a way, it represents death to death and birth to life, notwithstanding the baptism ritual is merely a symbol of what is really to happen and can never substitute for the real event. In actuality, baptism has no real meaning because what is meaningful is beyond the ritual.

The twelve oxen beneath the font represent the twelve tribes of Israel. The tribes of Israel are popularly looked upon as positive religious symbols. However, it is quite the opposite. The tribes of Israel represent what needs to die in symbolic sacrifice to free carnal man from the mindful illusion that holds him in bondage. Separation of Israel into twelve tribes symbolizes a destruction of Israel, not the building of Israel. Tribes do not symbolize the establishment of Zion, but represents its opposite of disunity. A keyword in this symbolism is ‘tribes’. Again, the separation of men into tribes symbolizes division and disuniting of men, not the opposite. The phrase “lost tribes” is a redundant phrase since lost and tribes symbolize the same thing. In emerging from the state of spiritual death, man will need to stop thinking that tribes are good. In the process of gathering all things into one, tribes will cease to exist.

The baptismal font resting on the backs of the oxen is integral to the symbolism of what is represented by tribes. It may help to notice that oxen are beasts. As beasts, they carry a heavy burden, represented by the baptismal font. The symbolism of oxen facing outwards in four different directions is representative of carnality (looking outward) as well as their state of disunity. The oxen hold the font on their backs, symbolizing them being burdened down with the sins of the world.

It is important to remember that the Kirtland Temple lacked a basement and its attendant baptismal font to do work for the dead. The presence of the basement in the Nauvoo Temple, most especially with its font for baptism for the dead, the beasts of burden, and tribal symbolism, represents a state of disunion and spiritual death accompanying the descent into illusion. Prior to building of the Temple at Nauvoo, these symbols were not present. It should be noticed that these symbols have persisted from Nauvoo up to the present time, at least in regard to the latter-day church.

Latter-day temples, being buildings, are built with wood and stone, symbolizing the nature of carnal and fallen man as the proverbial polluted temple. Metaphorically, the head of carnal man is wood and his heart is stone; He is unable to hear (comprehend) the Word of the Lord. These are the reasons why carnal man gets temple buildings (symbols in creation) such as those seen today. Unbeknownst to carnal man, the church and temples are perfect. Carnal man receives these because he fails to understand what they mean, not because he understands. As carnal man begins to understand his error, these symbols will pass away because they will no longer have a purpose.

The Kirtland and Nauvoo Endowments. It is important to notice that the Kirtland Temple did not utilize an endowment ritual as it is practiced today. Activities in the Kirtland Temple included the School of the Prophets, the sacrament, and the washing of feet. These are meaningfully symbolic of the triune nature of carnal man as well as other things that will not be discussed further at this time.

Despite the (original) Nauvoo Temple being built on the same floor-plan as the Kirtland Temple, it was never utilized for the same purpose as the Kirtland Temple. The assembly floors in the Nauvoo Temple were never completed, despite the dedication of the structure in 1846. This by itself is part of the symbolic metaphor. At the time of the murder of the three Smith brothers (Hyrum, Joseph, and Samuel) in 1844, the Nauvoo Temple was still under construction. After 1844, the outer design of the Kirtland Temple was revised to include symbolic motifs of sun, moon, and star stones. The star stones were inverted pentagrams, the common occult symbol of the fallen star from heaven and these decorated the temple at the level of the attic floor where the main activity in the Nauvoo Temple was carried out. It should be noticed that the attic floor of the Nauvoo Temple, originally meant for offices and classrooms, was never used for the purposes for which they were originally designed. Instead, the attic floor was retrofitted for an endowment ceremony similar to what is given today.

The last-minute co-opting of space originally planned for offices in the Nauvoo Temple and its use for endowment ordinance work seems to reflect a lack of foresight and planning in regard to building the Nauvoo Temple. Again, the two main floors were never completed and never used. This prompts the question of what is going on? Could it be that God could not foresee how this temple was going to be used? Readers might consider that all things are in perfect order and this is no exception. The symbolic message of this (as well as other things in creation) are what carnal beings are prone to miss. Ironically, this is why they exist. In reality, all is perfection.

To understand what is going on, one needs to be able to read the symbolic metaphor. It is important to remember that the leaders of the church unsuccessfully attempted to sell the Nauvoo Temple. Shortly after, the Nauvoo Temple was taken over by non-Mormons and destroyed by fire before the temple stones were carted off to be used in foundations of homes of Nauvoo residents and to build a local school. All of these events are part of the symbolism of the Nauvoo Temple and comprise a profound parable. As explained above, the Nauvoo Temple was never used for the purpose originally designed. Being such, it comprised a temple that is polluted, so to speak. The scriptures say that the unclean temple will be destroyed and this is fulfilled in the Temple at Nauvoo. The real meaning of this parable is how this is fulfilled in us, except it is in real time. It is not so much that an unclean temple will be destroyed as much as it is destroyed. This destruction of the temple is synonymous in meaning with spiritual death. We are the temple spoken of in these parables.

Many are aware that the Nauvoo Temple was rebuilt a few years ago, or so it would seem. Although the outside of the rebuilt Nauvoo Temple resembles the earlier structure, it is not the same temple at all because the inside of the rebuilt Temple is quite different from the former. Again, the earlier structure consisted of an attic story for administrative offices, two assembly floors, and a basement: Four levels total. Four is related to the number of levels of understanding per the ancient Egyptian endowment as is the same in regard to symbolism here. But, the modern Nauvoo structure was built to administer the contemporary endowment so they added a level, making five. This is an interesting symbolic feature, since five is a number that symbolizes carnality, being the number of the senses, the five wounds of Christ, and so forth. Among other things, the dressing room (third level) is above the assembly room (first level), representing an inversion in regard to the proper order. These are symbols that contain parables of a profound order. Although such messages are not flattering to us with inflated personal egos, they are powerfully instructive.

A major point to notice is that the modern Nauvoo Temple is not the same on the inside as the earlier one. That is, the newest Nauvoo Temple looks like the former structure on the outside, but it isn’t like it on the inside. Again, these are parables. At the minimum, one must admit that the appearance of the rebuilt Nauvoo Temple does not accurately reflect the reality since the inside differs from what was before.

The Relationship of the Kirtland and Salt Lake Temples. The Salt Lake Temple is one of the most recognized icons of Mormonism and represents one of the greatest achievements of early Mormon effort and endurance. But, what does it mean? Part of what is meant is symbolically illustrated in its floor plan, decorative motifs, and utilization.

Those who have been patrons or workers in the Salt Lake Temple know that the endowment ceremony proceeds through several rooms including the creation room, the garden room, and the world room, before the ceremony ends in the Celestial room. The ceremony starts out below ground level, symbolizing spiritual death, and passage from one room to the next is often accompanied by steps upward that seem to represent a progression forwards and upwards as one moves from one room to the next. However, this doesn’t seem to make sense. That is, it doesn’t appear to make sense unless the Fall represents a step forwards in progression, a belief that most Mormons seem to hold true. Before unraveling the meaning of this apparent anomaly, one might ask a harder question of why it is that the Creation Room and Garden Rooms are below ground level? Why is it that Adam Falls and is not cast downwards into the next room representing the Lone and Dreary World? These apparent anomalies are meant to attract the attention of those who are passing through the ceremony in an apparent state of walking sleep. In many ways, the contemporary endowment is a messed up story, though at the same time, perfect. It is upside down, inverted, or that which is first being placed last. In going beyond the anomalies, one finds great truths in the symbolic representation, much of which is very unflattering to those who are patrons of the ceremony.

An important feature to notice in regard to the layout of the Salt Lake Temple is in regard to the rooms appearing near the top of the structure. The Celestial room is not on the highest floor of the Salt Lake Temple, despite that being where the contemporary endowment ends. Even the room considered more important and sacred than the Celestial room, the Holy of Holies, is off of the Celestial room and it too is not on the highest floor in the temple. Looking form the outside of the building, the highest floor in the Salt Lake Temple is the one that is behind the highest row of oval-shaped windows and this room is an assembly hall that is identical in its design to the main floors found in the Kirtland Temple. This, by itself, is an important symbol not to be overlooked.

In symbolic metaphor, the Celestial room should be at the highest floor of the temple if it was true that the Celestial is the highest level of attainment as popularly believed in LDS doctrine. The presence of an assembly hall as the highest floor in the Salt Lake Temple, seems to suggest that what it represents is higher than what is symbolized in the contemporary endowment ritual. There are more teachings beyond. Moreover, higher teachings were given at Kirtland compared to those given in the Salt Lake Temple.

Summary and Final Thoughts. Most LDS view the history of the church from the Kirtland until now as a gradual evolution from a low spiritual state to a high one. However, the symbolism of temples say that it is exactly the opposite. The Kirtland Temple consists of three floors with no basement. These symbolize the triune nature of Adam, the true temple, and the idea that gathering is within the temple, which temple ye are. The arrival of a basement with baptismal font in latter-day temples started with the building of the Nauvoo Temple. It is in the baptismal font of temples that work for the dead is performed. The arrival of a basement and font symbolize the arrival of the state of spiritual death that continues until the present. Again, these symbols are not about what went on as much as about what is going on now. This too is the same message of the current endowment ritual, though told in a different way.

In the contemporary endowment ritual, a parable is told about the creation of the earth, the entrance of Adam into the garden, his fall into illusion, and his subsequent journey in the lone and dreary world. Again, this same story is redundantly told in many other symbols that surround us. It is a fundamental message in the symbolism of the establishment of the church in New York, its movement westward to Ohio, Illinois, and Utah. East is a common symbol for that which is Spirit and west is a symbol for things which are material. The movement westward is symbolic of the movement of the church into materialism and spiritual death. This reliance on materialism is also symbolized in popular phrases like Peter, James, and John, or body, mind, and spirit. Each of these place that which is material first rather than last. This Fall into materialism and spiritual death is also symbolized in the evolving structures of the temples and their rituals from Kirtland to Utah. Readers might notice that the Egyptians built pyramids on the west side of the Nile River which they rightly called the land of the dead. It is the same with the modern Egyptians, so to speak, since Egypt too is a symbol for the worldliness in parallel to Babylon.

These same parables are revealed in modern church structures as well. For example, the newly constructed Conference Center in Salt Lake City is primarily underground. Being below ground represents that which is hidden as well as that which is (spiritually) dead or earthly. What small part of the Conference Center that does appear above ground is a concrete re-enforced building covered by a thin layer of natural stone (granite). In symbolic metaphor, concrete represents man-made stone and granite as natural stone, represents God-made stone. The thin façade of granite over a building of concrete symbolizes the deception of appearance. What appears to be God-made is really man-made or what appears to be heavenly is really earthly.

The newest temples being constructed today often consist of a single floor and a basement, representing the spiritual state of carnal man as a consummate single dimensional being who is (spiritually) dead. It should be noticed that this is the same story being presented in the current endowment ritual. Again, there is a great redundancy in these symbols. One might notice that the story of the Fall is told first in the outer symbols (the structures), then later in the symbols inside the temple (its ritual).

Devout LDS may find the ideas above to be offensive because of an interpretation that they denigrate the church and its leadership. It is not the intention of this author to give offense to those who believe in the church, but to offer ideas that some might find valuable at some point in time. The idea being offered in these writings is that one must go beyond all things that are believed to find what belief really means. The Kirtland Temple indeed had a higher endowment than is given today, but will one find meaning by going back to Kirtland? No, one must go beyond Kirtland. It is suggested that it is the same with the church. One must travel beyond all symbols to find what they really mean.

In symbols lies a profound irony. The irony is that truth can never be found in symbols because all symbols are meaningless. The word symbol is synonymous with other words (words are more symbols) like tokens, names, and signs. At best, symbols can point the way, but they are not the way. In truth, one can truthfully say that tokens, names and signs are counterfeits of that which they represent. It is what symbols represent that is real, not the symbols. Moreover, it is not though symbols that one comes to understand meaning, but the opposite. It is after one finds meaning, then one comes to understand symbols, notwithstanding symbols can help to see things in new ways. That is the profound message that is beyond the latter-day temples. One needs to let go of them and then look beyond.

Some may find this narrative to be incomplete because many questions have been left unanswered and relevant issues not discussed. This is perhaps appropriate because true meaning is always beyond the message. At best, this narrative is merely another symbol. Too many of us get caught up in symbols even though that is not where we will find the truth. To those who find these writings helpful, it is suggested that you hang onto them only as long as needed, then let go of them.

The LDS endowment embodies a powerful symbolic message that proclaims our failure to understand. Adam descends beneath the creation in the Fall and becomes immersed in the illusion. It is only after he rises up above it again and travels beyond it, can he look back on it and comprehend it for what it is. When Adam emerges from his fallen condition as a carnal being, the endowment will pass away because it will no longer have a purpose.

As Adam begins to remember himself, he will stop naming the creation. He will eventually comprehend why he doesn’t need to. Adam will understand that the creation is already named and he will come to see what it means. He will come to understand how everything has been perfect from the beginning.

Adam will understand that all he needs to do is live. In coming to life, it will be Adam who will have changed, not the creation. However, when Adam changes himself, then the creation that surrounds him will also change because the creation is all about him."

"for any portion of the human family to be assimilated into their likeness is to be saved" (Lectures on Faith 7:16).

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