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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Book Review: The Temple Experience: Passage to Healing and Holiness, by Wendy Ulrich

The Temple Experience: Passage to Healing and HolinessThe Temple Experience: Passage to Healing and Holiness by Wendy Ulrich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of the few books I give a wholehearted 5 stars to. I have read the whole thing through once and several chapters a few times each. I am currently rereading it slowly and doing the journaling exercises.

Wendy Ulrich has a unique and insightful way of looking at the temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its symbols, ceremonies, and meanings. It truly is the best book I've read on the topic. The interesting thing is, I don't know that everyone would "get" this book. She takes a very different approach than you will get from a general authority.

Wendy Ulrich uses her personal journey and insights and her counselor's toolkit to help the reader ask himself the questions that will enhance individual understanding. In order to avoid speaking of specifics of temple ceremonies inappropriately, she uses different techniques, like dream symbology, to help the reader think through the temple experience and connect the dots for himself, as it were. I can completely understand how that might be confusing or off-putting to a few readers. But it really worked for me.

I found that her writing is rich and multi-layered, and although I am a fast reader I have to slow way down to read this. I especially appreciated Ulrich's insights into understanding the temple as a house of healing, including a chapter on healing from abuse. I feel as I read that I am sitting with an older and wiser friend and confidant who gently guides my perspective to examine things in a new way, under a new lens. This book has been a wonderful tool for me that continues to inform my personal temple worship.

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