Sisters Speak: Changes in the Temple – Part II
The Exponent blog is sharing guest and reader responses to the news of the changes to the LDS temple endowment and other temple ordinances announced 2 January 2019. We welcome your contributions in the comments or as a guest post using this link
“I’m in tears over this. So much pain and angst over this for the last 15 years. The darkness I felt in the temple, the visceral sickness in my gut during those parts- I had always heard that influences like that couldn’t be present in the temple. What did it mean that I felt them? This is where we are taught about Eternal Truths- is this how God really feels about his daughters?
Years of crying in the shower and in prayers raging against an unresponsive heaven. Thinking something was wrong with me because this hurt. Everyone acts like it’s fine what is wrong with me? I don’t have to tools to make sense of this. And I can’t talk about this with anyone. It’s too sacred. It would damage other people’s testimonies. I’d get released from my callings. Ostracized from my peers. If people knew how I really felt.
Me silently searching for answers for years, looking for the key of knowledge that would make it ok. Me finally telling my husband, in tears, afraid he’ll reject me for feeling this way. Many tearful conversations later, still trying to make sense of it and what it means for me and our relationship.
Me talking to my visiting teacher, my bishop, and them telling me ‘there is no sexism in the temple!’ Me wondering what it means if heaven is like the temple but I don’t want to go there. Is there a place for me in heaven? Afraid to die because I’m afraid of heaven. Instead of heaven I found myself hoping for oblivion.
Me stepping away from the temple and feeling alienated from friends, family, fellow Mormons, and even God for my own mental and spiritual health. Marking the boundaries, holding it at arm’s length because letting it closer will hurt. Removing my garments because more than anything they remind me of being complicit in my own dehumanization. I no longer trust the people who told me to go there. I can no longer sing I love to see the temple to my children because I feel like a hypocrite.
And now it’s changed. And they’re not going to tell us why our suffering was necessary.
I fought this Balrog all the way down and at the end of the day it all meant nothing. I wrestled with the angel. Everything broke into a billion pieces as I struggled. And it meant nothing. Jacob was left with a promise and a limp. I’m left with a spiritual wound and I don’t know what to do with the promise I’m left with. I don’t know if it’s worth anything or if I even want it.”