I’ve struggled for a little while about asking those of you in the bloggernacle who read FPR about this topic for some time, but I resolved that I really, really want your opinion on it. I know what my file leader’s response to some of these issues would be, but your opinion is the one to which I most adhere, and to which I listen best. It’s also a carefully calculated opinion, and is generally well thought out. I like that about you, bloggernacle. You’re smart and courteous.
We change our rituals and ceremonies on occaision, for reasons which are largely nebulous. Some say it’s because of sociological changes, others due to direct revelation, others say it’s in order to speed up the posthumous ceremony process. Regardless of why they might change, the fact is that they change. And when they do, something is usually trimmed off. Something new is rarely added, unless it’s some form of clarification or alternate way of doing what was once done in the past.
In my own temple-going lifetime, the changes in 1990 were the most drastic. Again, details aside, much was trimmed off which was probably uncomfortable for many people. In fact, it has come to my attention that this is perhaps why some of those elements were trimmed off. People were uncomfortable.
A good friend of mine pointed out to me that the 1990 changes (and perhaps even the February 2005 changes to the initiatory) were survey-driven changes. Folks in certain regions were polled on what they thought about this or that, and then changes were made. My own grandparents were among those who were polled. Before I knew about the surveys, I remember asking Grandpa about the changes, and why the church would do such a thing. His response: “Progress!” He said that this is what the Lord revealed. It made me wonder: if we keep “progressing,” will the Lord continue to “bless” us by trimming away his ceremonies until they’re all gone? Probably not. I learned a few years later that he was polled about the 1990 changes before they went into effect. It seems that even though Grandpa was polled, he still thought that it was revelation which kickstarted the changes. Enter the paradox.
So it makes me wonder: Are our rituals susceptible to our own wills? If so, what changes can we expect in the future?