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Sacred Time vs Profane Time

In the temple, it is easy to see the edifice and the things done therein as 'sacred space'. On the other hand, it is probably harder to see that entering into the temple is to experience 'sacred time'. The late Non-LDS historian from the University of Chicago, Dr. Mircea Eliade, explains 'sacred time' this way which got my mind reeling about a few aspects of LDS/Temple Theology:

"One essential difference between these two qualities of time [(sacred time and profane time; sacred being the kind of time experienced in the temple and profane time is what we experience during our day-to-day lives)] strikes us immediately; by its very nature sacred time is reversible in the sense that, properly speaking, it is a premordial mythical time made present. Every religious festival, any liturgical time, represents the reactualization of a sacred event that took place in a mythical past [(mythical means tradition and legend and does not mean untrue)] "in the beginning." Religious participation in a festival implies emerging from ordinary temporal duration and reintegration of the mythical time reactualized by the festival itself. Hence sacred time is indefinitely recoverable, indefinitely repeatable. From one point of view it could be said that it does not "pass," that it does not constitute an irreversible duration." (Sacred and the Profane, p. 68-69)

In scientific terms, it sounds as if the temple and the rituals are a reenactment of the relativity of time. It ought to be pointed out that our most meaningful relationships are actualized and sealed together within this 'sacred time'. As if speaking to this very point, Elder Bednar has stated:

“The Sabbath day and the temple, respectively, are a sacred time and a sacred space specifically set apart for worshipping God and for receiving and remembering His exceeding great and precious promises to His children. As instituted by God, the principle purposes of these two divine sources of help are exactly the same: to powerfully and repeatedly focus our attention upon our Heavenly Father, His Only Begotten Son, the Holy Ghost, and the promises associated with the ordinances and covenants of the Savior’s restored gospel.

Importantly, a home should be the ultimate combination of time and space wherein individuals and families remember most effectively God’s great and precious promises.” ("Exceeding Great and Precious Promises", October 2017 General Conference)

Elder Maxwell once stated that "moments are the molecules that make up eternity!" I can't help but think he had in mind that the day-to-day things we do with our families and what we do inside our home actually blend with the fabric of eternity. It is as if every moment with our little ones, our spouse, and those whom we love actually take place in a reality and realm in which time is conceived of differently (see Abraham 5:13). It still takes place within linear time, but it is something that becomes a part of the relativity which exists within the cosmos. It is as if those moments take place above the fall and give us a foretaste of the "things as they really are (see Jacob 4:13 and D&C 93:24).

"Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness." This isn't just a theologically trite idea that makes us feel warm and fuzzy. It captures our relationship and puts them in the realm of sacred time and space:

"The Sabbath and the temple can help us to establish in our homes “a more excellent way” as we “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” What we do in our homes with His sacred time and with what we learn in His sacred space is pivotal to becoming partakers of the divine nature." (Elder Bednar, "Exceeding Great and Precious Promises", October 2017 General Conference)

Evidence for this is put well by Elder Maxwell:

"... [profane] time is clearly not our natural dimension. Thus it is that we are never really at home in time. Alternately, we find ourselves impatiently wishing to hasten the passage of time or to hold back the dawn. We can do neither, of course. Whereas the bird is at home in the air, we are clearly not at home in time—because we belong to eternity! Time, as much as any one thing, whispers to us that we are strangers here. If time were natural to us, why is it that we have so many clocks and wear wristwatches?" ("Patience", October 1980 Ensign)


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