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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

309: THE UPPER ROOM IN THE TEMPLE



Photograph taken on March 13, 2015 from a video display in the South Visitor Center on Temple Square.

 The First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles meet each Thursday morning in this room. It is called the “Council Room” and is located above the Celestial Room in the Salt Lake Temple. 
 
A news article printed in the Church owned Deseret News stated, "Every major decision in the church is made on Thursday mornings in the temple by the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. Every decision of the council must be unanimous, according to a scriptural mandate. That can take time.” Elder M Russell Ballard is quoted in this same article, "None of the Twelve are shrinking violets. We each have strong personalities. So when we are unified in a decision, you can rest assured that we have counseled together and come to that decision after much prayer and thoughtful discussion." 
 
In Websters 1828 Dictionary, the word 'revelation' is defined as communication of truth to men by God himself. It is sacred truths which God has communicated to man for His instruction and direction. It is important that we dont confuse a consensus in voting with revelation from God.
 
Todays announcement must have reached an unanimous decision in order for an Apostle to make a public statement. Elder D. Todd Christofferson said that Mormons who support gay marriage are not in danger of losing their temple privileges or church memberships.  This possibly will open a can of worms for members who need to answer "no" to the temple question: Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Brethern will need to revise this question.
 
 
In the above photo, it is hard to miss this huge portrait of President Monson.  I think this life size portrait would be somewhat distracting to sit in a solemn meeting trying to recieve revelation from the Lord.  I highly doubt that Joseph Smith would commission a painting of himself to hang on the walls of a Temple especially in a sacred room above the Holy of Holies where you go  humbly in prayer to recieve revelatioin.. Personally I think Joseph would find it to be arrogant and vain to hang such a portrait. When there is an intense devotion to a particular person it is called "cult of personality". It's purpose is to create an idealized, heroic, and at times, worshipful image, often through unquestioning praise or flattery. Do we do this?
 
Sidenote:
 
A few weeks ago my nephew recieved a letter in the mail that he was excited to show all of us at Sunday dinner with our extended family. Before showing us the letter he explained that as part of their Family Night lesson, he drew a picture illustrating a talk President Uchtdorf gave in the most recent General Conference. For fun, they sent his drawing to the Church Office building hoping that maybe it would make it into the hands of President Uchtdorf. A few weeks later a large letter came in the mail addressed to my nephew. Enclosed was a letter and an autographed picture.  Elder Uchtdorf has personally autographed a photograph of himself and expressed gratitude to my nephew for taking the time to read and draw a picture of his talk. My nephew has now framed the picture and has in hanging in his room. When my nephew showed us this picture, you would have thought it was more valuable to him than getting an autographed photo of Tom Brady or Michael Jordan.