Friday, 12 September 2008

Mormons Restore Temples - But Which Ones?

These temples are costly to build and maintain and demand of Mormons a level of commitment that is exceptional, both in proving worthy to attend and in the sacrifices involved in attending; travel, financial sacrifice, time commitment and physical effort. It is not called temple "work" for nothing. This illustrates a point often overlooked by those who comment only casually on religious issues. Faith is a commitment unlike anything else in life. Of course, there are always those nominal members whose involvement is marginal, but for a great many believers of any persuasion it is a life-defining, heart-felt commitment.


It is worth asking whether our loyalty is wisely placed, our commitment wisely invested. The apostle Paul urged Christians to, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves" (2 Cor.13:5) Wise advice when your faith will shape profoundly your life and determine your eternity. For that is what Mormon temples are about, time and eternity. Presenting the familiar Mormon view of temples, the official Mormon web site report on this latest temple said:


"The Old and New Testaments include many references to temples. The children of Israel used a portable temple, the tabernacle of Moses, during their journey in the wilderness; later Solomon's temple was built in Jerusalem, and Jesus Himself was found teaching in Herod's temple at a young age..."


Referring to the sacred nature of temples, Elder David Bednar, an apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says:


"There were particular special ceremonies, rites and sacraments that were administered only in this sacred, set-apart place. That was the purpose of the temples. It provided that supernal special place to be able to perform those sacred rites."


Mormons believe their faith is a restoration of Christ's New Testament Church and therefore build temples just as Christians did in ancient times.


Elder Bednar adds that Mormon temples are primarily places of learning and instruction and likens them to the Lord's university: 'We learn about our relationship with God. We learn about the purposes of our life here upon the earth. Questions such as where did we come from? Why are we here? What happens to us after we die? Those questions are addressed and answered in the instruction that's presented in the temple. We also make promises to live honest, upright and virtuous lives.'" (Emphasis added)


If this is true then Christians should be building temples. Indeed we should put down whatever we are doing and make every effort to become a worthy temple Mormon - no mean feat I assure you. The temple is at the centre of the Mormon faith and the impression is given that temples have always been at the centre of worship for God's people. But did ancient temples fill the role attributed to them by Mormons and did Christians in ancient times build temples?

To read more follow the link

Reachout Trust - LDS Mormon - Mormons Restore Temples - But Which Ones?

11 comments:

ldsneighbor said...

Thank you for bearing your testimony about the importance of Temples. I second what you are saying.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

Hello neighbour

I wonder if you have followed the link through to the full article? Perhaps you are not aware that it is not a testimony aout the importance of temples, quite the contrary. On the other hand perhaps you have read the article, know its purpose and are being ironic?

I ask the question, "did ancient temples fill the role attributed to them by Mormons and did Christians in ancient times build temples?" and go on to answer in the negative. Perhaps you should address that conclusion and, if you disagree with it, I would be happy to engage with any points you wish to raise in defense of Mormon temples.

ldsneighbor said...

Mike, I took a quick scan through your blog and thought it was a positive article on the importance of Temples. My misunderstanding. In that case, I don't second what you are saying. Sorry about that.

On the question of "did ancient temples fill the role attributed to them by Mormons?". Right on the surface I'm guessing this is a strawman argument, because we don't really attribute an uber-specific role to ancient temples, other than recognize they existed, that they were a sacred and holy place, a place of instruction, a place of ordinances and covenants, a house of prayer, a house of God. A special place, not just like a synagogue or church building, but the House of the Lord. Here's an interesting article on it: http://mormanity.blogspot.com/2004/07/lds-temple-restoration-of-ancient_10.html

On the question of "did Christians in ancient times build temples?". Again I'm guessing this is another strawman argument. Does your definition of "Christians in ancient times" include the ancient covenant people of the House of Israel? Or are limiting this syllogism to just christianity in the centuries after Christ? The "christians" at the time of Jesus thought of themselves as Jews, just with newer information. There was a temple during the time of Jesus, which is clear even in the Bible. And it was clearly recognized by Jesus as a special place, because driving the moneychangers out of the temple of God was one of the few times in scripture where Jesus was "angry" (although never out of control).

I am not interested in debating on this topic. And, notwithstanding strawman arguments to the contrary, I don't require that every exact nit of modern temple worship be precisely what it has always been in ancient times. It suffices me to recognize that there were temples in ancient times and that they were an extra special place set apart as the "House of the Lord", unlike just Sabbath meetinghouses. And I know of no other mainline religion other than The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that even claims to have special places like Temples today. That is further confirmation in my eyes that this church is the Church of Jesus Christ and that there is a "restitution of all things", as spoken of in the Bible. I appreciate your interest. Take care.

ldsneighbor said...

Mike, if you interested in open conversation, why do you have your blog setup so that comments require blog owner approval?

Mike's 4 Tea said...

neighbour

This is our blog and that's how it works. Why do Mormons assume that they can come along and straight off tell others how to run things? I find this happens a lot. Why assume that running it this way isn't "open"? Your posts have been published and so you have no reason to suspect anything underhand or to complain. If you have had experience in running blogs and forums you will know that some posts can become abusive while others can, one way or another, abuse the privilege of being invited to comment.

I suspected that you hadn't read it through. Indeed, I suspect you still haven't since you respond, "Right on the surface I'm guessing this is a strawman argument". A strange way to judge a thoughtful and challenging article "on the surface". You seek to comment on something you haven't read; what am I to make of it?

It is not a strawman argument and you have probably been to the FAIR school of apologetics, i.e. assume you know exactly what critics will say before they say it and so don't bother to actually listen, and if you can't answer it call it names and walk away.

The rest of your post seems rather irrelevant since you are not responding to what the article says but to what you believe it might have said had you read it.

Strange way to correspond all-in-all; you commend it for being positive, having been disabused you condemn it as a strawman argument, in either case clearly not having read it and then you suggest WE might be working to a double standard because we invite open discussion but insist on vetting posts before allowing them to stand.

Another thing Mormons do; discuss motives, method and integrity - anything but the subject in hand. If you wish to do that then by all means read the article, post your comments and be assured they will be seriously considred for publication.

ldsneighbor said...

Mike,

Have a nice day friend. Sorry for the chip on your shoulder. I did answer substantively to your two questions, but all I got in response was exactly what you accused me of doing: "discuss motives, method and integrity - anything but the subject in hand." That's funny. Take care.

Mike's 4 Tea said...

neighbour

There is no chip, just a growing impatience with the fact that you have, typically, not engaged with the points made in the article, which you have clearly not read since you say that you are guessing at what it says. Nothing in your post comes close to addressing the issues raised, just a rehearsal of some general and rather hackneyed thoughts you have on what you think I meant by what I wrote but you didn't read.

Whether you engage or not, however you think of me it is important for other visitors to this blog to realise what you have and haven't done. It would be quite wrong to allow someone to go away with the mistaken notion that a Mormon had given thoughtful answers when it is patently clear you have not.

I bear no hard feelings towards you. I just insist on a higher standard of engagement than you seem capable of offering. You are always wecome here and I hope your visit has given you something to think about.

ldsneighbor said...

On this topic, here is a good video entitled "Mormon Temples vs Ancient Bible Temples":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHPYTxH-kPY

The focus of temple worship has always been focused on the Savior, even though the sacrifice we bring today is a "broken heart and a contrite spirit".

Mike's 4 Tea said...

neighbour

I had an interesting conversation with a german friend of mine who became a Christian while serving a Mormon mission in America. I was trying to explain that you had thought I had a chip on my shoulder and, although her English is very good, she falls down on idiom and colloqialisms. I tried to explain that it meant to bear some sort of irrational grudge but she didn't know what a grudge was. It was a struggle but I got there in the end - either that or she was being kind in pretending I had done a good job.

I just hope she understands when I explain that I suspect you of being obtuse and evasive. BTW the video is innacurate, misleading and unbiblical.

ldsneighbor said...

I'm glad you liked the video! I kind of liked it too. :)

Your obtuse friend,
ldsneighbor

Mike's 4 Tea said...

neighbour

I'm glad you posted it. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I was fascinated from the moment I picked it up. One day I hope to watch it.

BTW why is there only ever one temple in the Bible and Mormons have well over one hundred? And why did the veil in the Jerusalem Temple tear in two at the death of Jesus? Just a couple of questions that came up recently.