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Guest saintish

are temples necessary?

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Guest saintish

the title of the post might be a little misleading but here goes:

Is it an absolute that the ordinances of the temple today are the same as the ones of the the Old testament temples?

My hypothesis: is that our modern temple ordinances existed in one form or another since before the apostasy but that they weren't necessarily required to be preformed within the sanctuary of a temple.

My evidence: there are well know examples of temple ordinances being preformed outside of temple walls. the first endowments were preformed in Joseph's red brick store and later Brigham Young preformed and endowment on a mountain top. many sealings were preformed in the endowment house before the Salt lake and saint george temples were built. It is also commonly known that Baptisms for the dead were preformed in the mississippi river while the Nauvoo temple was being constructed.

My conclusion: the element required for temple ordinances are a) the proper authority to administer said ordinances. b) an area (not necessarily a temple) set aside for the purpose and c) worthy participants.

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Guest saintish

d) Permission from our Heavenly Father and our Savior. Who have instructed our Latter-day prophets to build temples for the purpose of temple work.

i though about including that separately but felt that is is encompassed by a).

Im not arguing that temples are the method we use to administer those ordinances today, but i think its clear that that is not always the case, if it has ever been the case before this dispensation. there is little to no evidence that our modern temple ordinances were ever preformed in the temples of old. yet i firmly believe that these ordinances are of ancient origin. so then where were these ordinances preformed in ancient times?

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IMO, to suggest that temples are somehow superfluous to covenant is to misunderstand what the world is.

Every building you see is a temple. Every home, school, store, and laundromat. Every grove of trees, every "place". A covenant and an endowment of power occurs in each one. In a school the endowments are the classes, the teaching is the performance and the consequence is that anyone who enters the school is permanently transformed by the knowledge they obtain therein (regardless of the quality). That an education ends with a ceremony, robes, and miters on the heads of the graduates merely drives home the point.

In a hospital it is healing. In a stadium it's a game. In a venue it's a concert. Always there are individuals gathering up into congregations to view a performance & receive instruction. There is a certain garb for every given activity. Always people walk out of buildings different from when they entered. This is why we love shopping, browsing the net, exploring, working, schmoozing, partying, searching for holy grail collectibles, going to concerts, and decorating our homes. This is why people love cars. This is why local bars become "sacred space" for all the regular patrons. This is why online communities have rules of conduct. Every place is a temple because people make them so.

Jesus stated that his body was a temple, and Paul clarified that all of us are temples "bought with a price". But everyone, Christian or no, understands on an implicit level that there is something sacred about people, and that sanctity causes us to want to sanctify our homes and the places that we frequent. That sanctity also makes it easy for us to profane ourselves.

What happens after you see a really good movie in a theater? You walk out of the building energized and altered. Oftentimes you even feel it in your spine or in your flesh. It is as if the theater is a womb and we are reborn from it. This is why so many people treat film as if it were something sacred, and why millions of teenagers will memorize and repeat lines from dozens of movies (and song lyrics... and sports stats...) as if it is holy writ but give you a blank stare when asked about their world history class or a gospel principle. Actors and rock stars are messiahs, and seeing films and concerts are essentially sacraments.

The Lord's temple is a lens with which the rest of the world can be properly viewed for what it is: a massive collection of temples with sacred texts, deities and hierarchies of priesthoods. The Lord's basic message is to prioritize his temples over all the others so that you can be free from temporal enslavement.

And when the Lord returns, what will the world become? A massive temple where his ordinances will be performed everywhere 24/7 for a thousand years. Until then, the world is dominated by the Adversary who leads us to profane this planet that is destined to become a great Urim & Thummim (section 130).

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An interesting side note. When the church was expanding to the Pacific Islands and foreign lands, there was a consideration of having a ship that was dedicated to temple work. Essentially it would be a floating, transportable temple that would go from land to land to literally bring the temple to the people.

I also find it interesting that the NYC temple (and I think the Hong Kong) is housed in a building that is not fully a temple, but also includes a church for Sunday services.

The Kirkland and Nauvoo temples were also used like a tabernacle with services not exclusively for temple rites. I found it interesting that the Kirkland temple had curtains which could be used as dividers making several smaller rooms. Although it was never fully utilized, I can totally see the main hall transformed into several sealing rooms, or other spaces that we now find in modern temples.

I imagine that in the Millennium, our chapels will be consecrated as temples, simply because we will need thousands of temples to complete the work.

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the title of the post might be a little misleading but here goes:

Is it an absolute that the ordinances of the temple today are the same as the ones of the the Old testament temples?

My hypothesis: is that our modern temple ordinances existed in one form or another since before the apostasy but that they weren't necessarily required to be preformed within the sanctuary of a temple.

My evidence: there are well know examples of temple ordinances being preformed outside of temple walls. the first endowments were preformed in Joseph's red brick store and later Brigham Young preformed and endowment on a mountain top. many sealings were preformed in the endowment house before the Salt lake and saint george temples were built. It is also commonly known that Baptisms for the dead were preformed in the mississippi river while the Nauvoo temple was being constructed.

My conclusion: the element required for temple ordinances are a) the proper authority to administer said ordinances. b) an area (not necessarily a temple) set aside for the purpose and c) worthy participants.

For 40+ years in the wilderness "God dwelled in a tent", then he demanded a house. So yes we need them, many more.

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the title of the post might be a little misleading but here goes:

Is it an absolute that the ordinances of the temple today are the same as the ones of the the Old testament temples?

My hypothesis: is that our modern temple ordinances existed in one form or another since before the apostasy but that they weren't necessarily required to be preformed within the sanctuary of a temple.

My evidence: there are well know examples of temple ordinances being preformed outside of temple walls. the first endowments were preformed in Joseph's red brick store and later Brigham Young preformed and endowment on a mountain top. many sealings were preformed in the endowment house before the Salt lake and saint george temples were built. It is also commonly known that Baptisms for the dead were preformed in the mississippi river while the Nauvoo temple was being constructed.

My conclusion: the element required for temple ordinances are a) the proper authority to administer said ordinances. b) an area (not necessarily a temple) set aside for the purpose and c) worthy participants.

God works with what people have and can do. We are able to build and do work in temples today and do so because we are told today to do so. God may at some point decid to change how things are done, but for today we need temples and do the work therein.

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Is it an absolute that the ordinances of the temple today are the same as the ones of the the Old testament temples?

You ask this, but then go on to reference the early days of the modern Church, and allude to New Testament times. I don't think the ordinances of the temple today are anything like they were in Old Testament times. In the OT, temples were used for ritual animal sacrifices -- specific animals for specific purposes.

The Kirkland and Nauvoo temples were also used like a tabernacle with services not exclusively for temple rites. I found it interesting that the Kirkland temple had curtains which could be used as dividers making several smaller rooms. Although it was never fully utilized, I can totally see the main hall transformed into several sealing rooms, or other spaces that we now find in modern temples.

Pet peeve: It's Kirtland, not Kirkland. Kirkland is Costco's store brand.

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An interesting side note. When the church was expanding to the Pacific Islands and foreign lands, there was a consideration of having a ship that was dedicated to temple work. Essentially it would be a floating, transportable temple that would go from land to land to literally bring the temple to the people.

Do you have a source for this I can reference? I would hate to bring it up in conversation and have it turn into a gauge of your offline popularity.

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Do you have a source for this I can reference? I would hate to bring it up in conversation and have it turn into a gauge of your offline popularity.

It comes from a new volume in a series of books on temple worship.

Mark Garff, chairman of the Building Committee, proposed a visionary plan in which a “temple ship” would be outfitted and travel constantly to areas far from a temple and thus serve the needs of the people. In the middle of serious meetings on the possibility, additional counselor Alvin Dyer pipes up with the non sequitur, “What about the curse on the waters mentioned in the D&C,” and due to this, or (hopefully more germane) additional factors, the plan was eventually scrapped.

Signature Books review – The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000

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Yes. Joseph Smith received revelation from Christ that temples were to be built. Although they are important, the main thing is being obedient to Christ who is the Son of God. If Christ says do something, do it. It's not the thing he says to do that's important, it's the fact that it's Jesus that commands it.

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A temple does not have to be a building. The Garden of Eden was a temple. Sinai was a temple. The Mount of Transfiguration was a temple. The Tabernacle of Moses was a temple.

The key is it must be sacred space and reserved for sacred ordinances. The temple of Solomon was based upon the Aaronic Priesthood, and so probably had only a partial endowment involved, if any. Even with that temple available, Lehi had his endowment via a dream, and Nephi was carried off to an exceeding high mountain.

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Guest saintish

A temple does not have to be a building. The Garden of Eden was a temple. Sinai was a temple. The Mount of Transfiguration was a temple. The Tabernacle of Moses was a temple.

The key is it must be sacred space and reserved for sacred ordinances. The temple of Solomon was based upon the Aaronic Priesthood, and so probably had only a partial endowment involved, if any. Even with that temple available, Lehi had his endowment via a dream, and Nephi was carried off to an exceeding high mountain.

i find this subject very interesting

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Is it an absolute that the ordinances of the temple today are the same as the ones of the the Old testament temples?

.

If you mean do they both bring about exaltaion, then yes, but otherwise there is very little similarities.

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The temple endowment has changed just in the 180 years of the Church. The Kirtland endowment was a small portion of what the endowment would be like in the Nauvoo temple, which took almost an entire day. Joseph Smith gave Brigham Young the responsibility of shortening the endowment, and he succeeded in bringing it down to around 3 hours (including the instruction at the veil). In 1991, the endowment grew shorter as much of the Masonic rite and Protestant theology illustrated in it were dropped. This was done because a global church, with members from outside the USA would not understand the symbolism.

Early texts, such as the Conflict of Adam and Eve Against Satan suggest that the early Jewish/Christian endowment may have had Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, instead of Peter, James and John. All explained the purpose of Creation, the Fall, and how mankind may re-enter into the Presence of God. This is the focus of the endowment today, as well.

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part of the reason i brought this up was because a lot of the anti-mormon rhetoric against the church is based on the fact that ancient temple ceremonies dont appear to be similar to modern ones and that they have changed since the beginning of this dispensation.

I firmly believe that it is the meaning of the symbols in the temple that is important and not the actual symbols themselves.

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Most of what we know about ancient temple worship, is the acts performed pre-Christ. They consisted of animal sacrifices, and priestly washings. After the Atonement, animal sacrifices were no longer part of worship, the Gospel was extended to Jew and Gentile, and temple worship was extended to men and women and not just performed by those of the Levite tribe (although they do still have a special role before the second coming). Also, work for the dead was established because Christ opened the door for their salvation. So, a lot did change in temple worship, but because the temple was sacred then, as it is now, we do not have a complete record of ancient temple worship.

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I firmly believe that it is the meaning of the symbols in the temple that is important and not the actual symbols themselves.

You are correct that we still have many symbols representing the same thing. Today we are symbolically washed and anointed, whereas Aaron and his sons had the same symbol in a literal manner. Today we move from room to room to approach the presence of God, whereas the Temple layout was divided similarly and also leading to God's presence. For us, we have a room representing a fallen world where we are taught the principle of sacrifice, for them they had an outer courtyard filled with death and sacrifice. For us, we have a room where we prepare to enter God's presence where prayer is included. For them, they had a room where everything was named in a way to remind them of the Lord's presence, as well as an altar of incense to represent prayer. For us, we pass through a curtain (which is labeled "veil") where we see a symbol that welcomes us where God lives (the third room). For them, they pass through a curtain (which is also labeled "veil" where they see a symbol that reminds them this is where God lives (also in the final room).

Of course there are other differences and we should acknowledge that. But we shouldn't be faulted for seeing similarities as well.

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Today we move from room to room to approach the presence of God, .

Actually in most Temples you only move to the Celestial Room. I believe there are only 3 Temples left that you have movement.

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Actually in most Temples you only move to the Celestial Room. I believe there are only 3 Temples left that you have movement.

Actually it isn't uncommon for the smaller temple designs. I know the Spokane and Louisville Temples have you do such from personal experience.

Edit: I just got a vouching for the Columbus, OH temple doing such as well.

Edited by Dravin

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I agree with Dravin. Virtually all of the smaller temples have one move. There are three rooms, just as in the ancient temple: the first room one is instructed in Creation, the Garden, the Fall and the Telestial World. The second room one is instructed in the Terrestrial World. The last room is the Celestial World.

Even those that only have two rooms, have a symbolic movement occur by a changing of lights/brightness showing one is moving from the Telestial to the Terrestrial. Still, there always is a movement from that room to the Celestial Room.

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I'm a little surprised that no one has quoted D&C 124 in this discussion. I think it pretty much answers the original question.

28For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and estore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.

29For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be baptized for those who are dead—

30For this ordinance belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me.

31But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.

32But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.

33For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;

34For therein are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained, that you may receive honor and glory.

35And after this time, your baptisms for the dead, by those who are scattered abroad, are not acceptable unto me, saith the Lord.

Edited by gruden

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