Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

No Need for a Temple?

Many people tell me that we Latter-day Saints are silly to build temples, and the there is no need for temples anymore now that Christ has come. I would encourage them to reconsider their viewpoint in light of scripture. For example, when the Lord returns in glory, guess where He is going to go, according to Malachi 3:1-3? And after that, during the great Millennium, guess where the saints will be serving God day and night, according to Revelation 7:15? And before all that, in the last days, guess what will be established in the tops of the mountains as a focal point of the international gathering of people following the Lord, according to Isaiah 2:2-4? And after Christ came, guess where the early Christians were daily, according to Acts 2:46 and Acts 5:42? And for good measure, you may want to ponder on other passages like Rev. 15:5-8; Matt. 23:21; Luke 24:53; Psalms 27:4; and Psalm 26:8.

According to the Bible, the temple, the sacred house of the Lord, was a place of covenant making, worship, and instruction that was important before Christ came, during the ministry of Christ, and during the days of the early Christian Church. Prophets foretold that it would still play a critical role in the last days before the coming of the Messiah, during the coming of the Messiah, and after the coming of the Messiah in the Millennium.

One can offer lots of reasons to explain why the temple is not needed, but it's a case of special pleading to justify the troubling absence of the temple. Regrettably, the mainstream Christian world (and Jewish world) has lost the temple and an understanding of what the temple is. One can justify that fact with all sorts of arguments, but the Bible is pretty clear that the Lord will continue to use the Holy Temple right up to the end. This would be a terribly puzzling thing if it weren't for the wonderful news that we have: the Temple is back. The ancient temple concept has been restored, established not just in the tops of the mountains at the focal point of the gathering, but also throughout the world.


Anonymous said...

Weren't former temples used quite a bit for 'formal' (student/teacher - question/answer) instruction? I wish we could obtain formal instruction in our modern temples.

Anonymous said...

I always thought that the Temples of old were used as a way of instructing followers. New ideas were discussed and an active engaging dialogue ongoing to bring light to God's mysteries. Are our new Temples such places.
Jeff, I get the idea from your post that you do not think the Jewish people use their Temples correctly. Also, who has said to you that Mormons building Temples is silly? Don't know why they would say that and why they would care if we build Temples.
Thanks, Great Blog BTW

Sir Jon said...

In response to the first anonymous post, which brings forth an excelent point, I personnaly believe that our current temples are exactly used for formal instruction. We are taught during temple preparation that temples are a house of instruction and learning. The teacher during the ordinances is the Holy Spirit, and we are the students. The question/answer sessions are held in prayer, because that is the way we communicate with the Holy Spirit. The reason everyone is so quiet in the temples is so that we can hear the teacher, who whispers to us in a still, small, voice. There are discussions among students between ordinances, and there are many chances to speak with temple officials to ask questions. In fact, the temple may be the only place that it is appropriate to ask certain questions. I have been fortunate to have personal interviews with some very knowledgable brothers and sisters in the temple.
I have learned something new every time I have gone to the temple. I have heard many times from avid temple attenders that they learn something new every time as well. This is no small accomplishment given that some attend the temple almost daily!
I am very grateful for the temple and the learning experiences I have had there. There is no other place on Earth where I could have had those experiences.

Bookslinger said...

With all of ancient Israel's apostasy periods, it was rare that there was a genuine prophet at the same time there were leaders and a people willing to learn.

And when there was a genuine prophet, most times the king and the people were astray.

I think it was rare that they were all in sync.

In the days of the Lord's earthly ministry, those in "authority" who taught in the Temple may have held the seat of Moses (Matt 23:1-7), but he also denounced their example.

Someone once said that we aren't going to get the 2/3rds sealed part of the plates of Mormon revealed until we start living up to the 1/3rd part we have.

I think when (if) I ever live up to what's in the Book of Mormon, the 1st presidency conference talks, and the 1st presidency columns in the Ensign, then I'll have standing to go to the Lord in prayer, and ask "Ok, what's next?"

I've experienced the condemnation that follows not living up to what one has been given. Ouch.

But I know the Lord is willing to pour out revelation/knowledge/teaching to those who seek it, and are ready, willing and able to live by it. In those times when I was on the right path, running in the right direction, the windows of heaven were opened.

Anonymous said...

I bet there is a lot of teaching and instruction going on when President Hinkley meets with the Brethern in the Temple.

Are Temples really supposed to remain the same? I have heard a few people complain that the Temple ceremony has been changed again in the past few months.

Bro. Brandon B. said...

I think that the general purposes of the Temples are supposed to remain the same, however what is taught or focused on may change for each individual that enters. Different people come to the temple for different purposes...bottom line the Lord will tell you and reveal to you what you need to know. I think that this could also be related to Patriarchal Blessings in that if one reads theirs many times, at some times specific parts will communicate to them, but the words remain the same. This is true to the scriptures as well, and is just another one of those tricks Heavenly Father uses to get our attention and communicate with us.
BOM in Indy,
I always look forward to reading your comments on Jeff's post's, do you comment on a regular basis anywhere else?

Bookslinger said...


i have my own blog at:

"Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon"

And I have posted older stories at Mahonri.org