Defending the Faith: Latter-day Saints and the study of the temple

Published: Thursday, Oct. 24 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

But this is no mere academic subject, no mere hobby for professors to play with. It is vital, and vitally important, for literally every person who has ever lived upon the earth: “As a result of the sacred ordinances performed in the holy house of God,” President Thomas S. Monson has declared, “no light need be permanently extinguished, no voice permanently stilled, no place in our heart permanently left vacant.”

Last Saturday, I attended a lecture in which, among other things, a former president of the Guatemala City Temple showed photographs of long lines of local Guatemalan Saints waiting patiently for the opportunity to participate in temple ordinances. They plainly understand the urgently pressing (and thrilling) importance of these matters. Do we?

Daniel Peterson teaches Arabic studies, founded BYU's Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, directs, chairs, blogs daily at, and speaks only for himself.

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