Wearing all white for activities / Airplane crash activity

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  H. Berkheimer 1 year ago.

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  • #245001 Reply

    Jenny Smith

    I got a copy of this letter from the LDS-YW Yahoo Group:


    November 17, 2004
    50 E, North Temple St. Rm. 400
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84150-6400

    To: All Temple Presidents

    Dear Brethren:

    Wearing of White. Non-ceremonial Clothing Outside the Temple

    The Temple Department continues to hear reports of events where
    the white, nonceremonial clothing is being worn outside the temple and
    where the sacred symbolism of temple ordinances is being spoken of
    publicly. Such events have included a stake presidency dressed in white for a session of stake conference, appearances on handcart treks and at firesides, and participation in an activity depicting an airplane crash
    where the passengers end up in a room full of people dressed in white.

    The white, non-ceremonial clothing worn in the temple is a
    reminder not only of the purity required of those who participate in the
    sacred work of the temple, but also of the special and sacred place in which that work takes place. Such clothing should always be treated with great respect and never allowed to become commonplace.

    Inasmuch as there is significant symbolism attached to changing
    from everyday street clothing to white clothing in order to participate
    in sacred temple ordinances, it is felt that this clothing should not be worn outside the temple.

    We request that you discuss.this matter with priesthood leaders as
    you meet and counsel with them. It would be particularly helpful if
    this matter could be on the agenda of a Coordinating Council at which you
    or one of your counselors were invited to attend.

    It would also be helpful to remind priesthood leaders and members
    who have been endowed of the sacred nature of the temple covenants and
    of their obligation to avoid speaking outside the temple of ordinances or instruction that should only be spoken of in the temple.

    Ronald A. Rasband
    Executive Director

    I used to have the airplane crash activity on this website, but because of various doctrinal concerns, I removed it. Now it appears there are several temple-related flaws including the wearing of all white (among others).

    So, my advice is — avoid the airplane crash skit:

    1) it’s insensitive to those who have actually had a friend die in a plane crash — this did happen in our branch
    2) the skit called flight 409 is actually based on a real event! How offensive to the families of those deceased!!!
    3) even with my own limited knowledge, I’ve spotted serious doctrinal errors in every airplane crash skit I’ve seen.
    4) we’ve been asked not to try to recreate the reverence found in the temple by wearing all white
    5) in those skits where people are separated — some don’t “make it” to the Celestial Kingdom — this can be taken as judgemental by those struggling members, and spiritually crippling to youth and adults trying to be better.
    6) the skits come dangerously close to mimicing temple patterns
    7) motivating people by fear isn’t an effective long-term teaching strategy

  • #245003 Reply

    Anonymous User

    I agree. We have been told not to use this one.

  • #245002 Reply

    Anonymous User

    I saw the Q&A about the airplane skit and thought I would sent you a little note. I am in the YW Presidency in my ward. I had the idea of teaching our youth about the Plan of Salvation. For a moment I remembered something like the Flight 227 done for us when I was in mutual, they did not wear white though.
    Anyway my thought is that Flight 227 was a way of showing what may happen to us after this life. People looking for this skit are looking for a creative and memorable way of teaching this principle. However, there are other ways to teach the Plan of Salvation. If you are interested I made a Plan of Salvation board game. We used different colored candies as pawns and 2 dice. By rolling a 1 or 6 you are Born, Earth Life has spaces to move through, you have to get the exact number at the end then you die and move to the Spirit World. It is doctrinely sound. I think I even had scriptures to go with the different steps we make on our journey. I hope this was not a waste of your time.
    Sincerely, Amy

  • #251332 Reply

    Jennifer Smith

    I am not certain that I feel okay with the idea of “rolling a dice” to get through the degrees of glory. For me, it’s not okay to perpetuate the idea that our circumstance at the end of this life is based on chance.

    Do what you like — people always do — but for me, if you’re just looking to keep student attention, I think the play dough plan of salvation activities are better. Here are several Plan of Salvation activities.

  • #330006 Reply

    H. Berkheimer

    I love this discussion. When I was in the youth program, we participated in the plane crash activity. It made me uncomfortable. I felt my emotions were being manipulated. As I have served in YW as an adult, this activity was never suggested. Maybe it fell out of favor, thankfully. However, one year at a girls camp in Virginia that I attended as a leader, there was an activity where Priesthood came rushing into a meeting we were having and told the YW to go pack their things so that we could all go to the Stake building and join their families because we had been told by the Prophet that it was time to gather in Missouri. My daughter had a non member friend at camp with her. The friend thought that we were all crazy. I was concerned for the YW who were clearly believing this and were very emotional. I remember a couple of the YW in my care started crying and saying that their fathers were out to sea, or deployed in the military and that they were worried their fathers would be killed. It was horrible. I whispered to the YW in my Ward that this was just a play, a dramatization. Many of the leaders were shocked by this event and spoke to the camp director about how wrong it was.
    I now find myself living in a different part of the country, and just las week a brother in Sunday School talked about how he, as a YM, and 30 years ago. had this same experience . He talked about how wonderful the experience was and how today he wonders if the same thing happened, who would and who would not answer the call to go to Missouri.
    My question is, has the Church made any “Official” declarations about this type of activity? Who,e it is somewhat different than the “plane crash” activity, I feel that this still uses an extreme form of the manipulation of people’s emotions to make a point. What does anyone know about this? Is this an acceptable activity? I appreciate any input on this.

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