Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What Goes On Inside Mormon Temples?

In a day and age in which online conversations about Mormonism can sometimes make your head spin, it's refreshing to encounter a video so simple, informative, and presented in such a way that even the most informed can appreciate:


Matt W. said...

We discovered these over the weekend. My 6 year old really enjoyed them.

NM said...

Clean Cut, are the practices inside Mormon temples a continuation of Old Testament practices?

Clean Cut said...


NM said...

Should another Jewish temple be erected: whose practice would be closer to the Old Testament principles? Just a thought...

I've been skimming though Leviticus lately and what strikes me most is how incredibly gore-y everything was! So many animals were killed - to satisfy the many offerings needed for the atoning of sin. An archetype [protestants would argue] of what Jesus achieved - when God handed His Son over to die in our place...

Are the practices carried out in Mormon Temples recorded in the Book of Mormon?

Clean Cut said...

NM, you might be interested in checking out this link for more detailed information about Mormon temples, what we do there, and why we do it.

The Book of Mormon doesn't record temple practices, but it does record that temples were built and an important part of worship. It also happens to span the time before Christ (when those gory sacrifices were made as a type of Christ) to the time when Christ came and fulfilled the law through His "great and last sacrifice":

Alma 34:
13 Therefore, it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice, and then shall there be, or it is expedient there should be, a stop to the shedding of blood; then shall the law of Moses be fulfilled; yea, it shall be all fulfilled, every jot and tittle, and none shall have passed away.
14 And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal.
15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.

3 Nephi 9: 19-20
19 And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost"

NM said...

What I can read is that there are basically three main ordinances:

1) Baptism for the dead
2) Sealings
3) Covenants i.e. receivership of Aaronic and Melshisidek priesthoods.

At a guess, would Mormons argue that these are practices that early-Christians did shortly after Jesus' death - and were somehow lost?

Papa D said...

NM, I would phrase it differently if trying to condense it to its simplest core:

1) Figurative and symbolic instructions and actions in the form a great morality play that chronicle eternal life and the granting of power to receive all that Heavenly Father has promised to those who love and follow Him.

2) The extension of these symbolic ordinances to all God's children - thus extending God's grace to all His children by covering them with the atonement of Jesus, the Christ, and sealing them together again as one great, united family.

I believe what happens in the temple must be viewed symbolically to be imbued with the type of power and significance that imbued the early Israelite ordinances - and I think it is a grave mistake to try to conflate the ordinances with the message they are intended to convey in EITHER time. The actual form they take can be radically different in different times and cultures, but the core meaning (the binding of God's children to each other in a familial kingdom) is the same regardless of time and space.

Clean Cut said...

Well put, Papa D. Thanks!

NM said...

Thank you Papa D; that was useful.

Clean Cut/Papa D, are the modern practices in Mormon temples based on any historical data? Clean Cut, you say that there is no record in the Book of Mormon. I'm just guessing here, but would Mormons argue that modern LDS temple practices are based on something that maybe Jesus imparted to his followers, or something? Is there some sort of historical data that we can attribute these practices to?

I'm sorry if I'm asking a non-question here; I don't even know if what I'm asking makes sense to me =/

Clean Cut said...

NM, I think it's more accurate to say that they are based on revelation. Revelation is a hallmark of Mormonism.

NM said...

I see.

Thanks Clean Cut. As always, this all points to the truthfulness of Joseph Smith's claims. It all hinges on this man. :)


Clean Cut said...

So true, NM.

Of course, my perspective is that Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God. Too often people miss out on a more accurate view by dismissing him too easily, whether as a con-man or worse.

The test, to me, is in the fruit he brought forth--beginning with the Book of Mormon.