Date: August 31, 2014 04:31PM
[latest in a series]
When the Mormons build a new temple, before it is opened for the performance of Mormonism's most sacred ordinances, it must be "dedicated": a high Mormon official comes to the temple, members holding a certificale of their worthiness (a "temple recommend") fill the temple to attend the ceremony, and the official says a "dedicatory prayer," which sanctifies the building and makes it sufficiently holy that the Spirit of God can enter it comfortably.
Here's the problem:
Usually the dedication ceremonies extend over several days, often four or five. The same ceremony is performed, with the same dedicatory prayer. The purpose, of course, is so that more members can attend the ceremony than if it was done only once. It is a faith-inspiring experience to be able to attend a temple dedication.
But questions arise: if the ceremony is performed on four different days, at what point is the temple truly sanctified?
If the first day's prayer is valid and effective, then the following days' ceremonies are vain repetition. They are meaningless, only for show. Those attending on following days are only watching a re-enactment, like the re-enactment of a historical battle: it's not real. But if the temple is not effectively dedicated until the final day, then the previous days' ceremonies were vain and meaningless. Or does the first day's ceremony consecrate it 25%, with each following day adding to the consecration? The Kirtland temple was dedicated with one prayer. Why does it take more nowadays? To hold multiple ceremonies seems to be an admission by the church that they don't have enough power or authority to do it in one swoop.
It's like a theater production that announces four "opening nights." Once they have opened, there can be no more "opening nights."
So, dear Mormon, tell me: at what point is the temple actually dedicated?
Previous posts in this series:
#1: Baptism wording: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1013735
#2: "sun" vs. "son": http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1089659
#3: Name of church 1834-1838: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1102694
#4: Bible prophecies: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1121855
#5: Languages in the pre-existence: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1127558
#6: What is doctrine? http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1135995
#7: Worshiping Jesus: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1187412
#8: Priesthood: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1218790
#9: Prophecy of JS' murder: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1274661
#10: Sacrament: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1287928