Mormon temple changes are a step forward for women

Religion News Service | 2/15/2019 | Staff
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Guest blogger Kristin Lowe with one of her five children at her baptism, July 2018.

Late last year, I sat with my husband in an empty sealing room of the Atlanta, Georgia LDS temple. He led me there to talk about some small comfort he had found in the phrasing of the sealing ordinance. He knew that for years I had been unsettled by the words that bound us together for eternity. He pointed out that the ceremony was historically progressive as far as marriage was concerned. In the sealing, women gave themselves away; they were not given away by another.

Covenants - Temple - Covenants - Temple - Faith

But, I told him, the covenants he made in the temple, and the covenants I made in the temple, were not the same. My faith didn’t reside in the words as they were, but in the words as I felt they should be. Words that would put me and my agency in equal standing with my husband. Words that would connect me directly with God. Words that would ring true to everything I was taught as a child and a young woman about my identity as a daughter of God.

We talked about our daughters—we have two of them, ages 8 and 2. Now in tears, I told him I would be sad to take them to the temple one day to receive their own endowment the way things were.

“They won’t stand for it,” I said. “How will they ever want to stay?”

There was room for change. Reading Devery S. Anderson‘s documentary history The Development of LDS Temple Worship, I learned curious details about the history of temple rituals, like how the church briefly entertained the idea of a sailing temple that would dock in cities around the world. Most importantly, I learned that the words and rituals of the temple ordinances...
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