Defending the Faith: Temple is the center of the LDS universe

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  • Monsieur le prof Sandy, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 11:28 p.m.

    Almost all theologians recognize that baptism for the dead was practiced by the early Christians, but they are not sure why. Many of Christ's teachings were gradually changed down through the centuries because of a lack of revelation. Constantine pretty much crushed many of the early truths by convening the Council of Nicea and having leaders vote on doctrine, trying to come up with a concensus. That's where the Trinity was conceived and other theological mysteries. The doctrine of apotheosis lived on until the eighth century before Church Fathers finally quashed it, as well.

    Mainline Christianity doesn't resemble the early church very much anymore.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Oct. 9, 2011 2:30 p.m.

    Baptisms for the Dead contradicts the following scriptures:

    Philippians 2:12 "... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

    Alma 34:37 "... work out your salvation with fear before God ..."

    Mormon 9:27 "... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before Him."

    Notice that it says "YOUR OWN" salvation and not "THEIR" salvation.

    There is absolutely nothing anybody can do or perform that can have any effect on a deceased ancestor.

  • GaboonViper67 GLENDALE, AZ
    Oct. 7, 2011 10:59 p.m.

    The context of I Corinthians 15 is how Paul is explaining the fact that there is a resurrection of the dead and how Christ was resurrected. He is stating evidences to prove this.When you get down to verse 29 he is asking if there is no resurrection of the dead then what would be the point of baptisms for the dead.

    You can plainly see here why it is important to have Apostles because people were going around confusing the gospel. Paul was correcting them. Same as today. Open the yellow pages and see how many churches there are.

    There was also requirements or a standard of worthiness to enter into the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. The High Priest was the only one who could enter it at that time. He wore a bell and had a rope tied around his leg. The bell would let people outside know he was still alive. The rope was to pull him out if he died. It's a sacred place. This bit of Temple info. I learned at a Christian Bible College.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Oct. 7, 2011 7:18 p.m.

    Acts.7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,

    Acts.17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 3:35 p.m.

    To: dotp, pay attention to the grammar in 1 Corinthians 15:29 -30 you will see that they misunderstood it because the practice had been discontinued after the deaths of the apostles.

    Else what shall THEY do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? (1 Cor 15:29).

    Notice the Apostle Paul uses the 3rd person they, Paul excluded himself from the practice. THEY practiced it not we or I practiced it.

    Coach Bill. If they were sacred why did they make several changes 4/10/1990?

  • hc1951 Bend, OR
    Oct. 7, 2011 1:43 p.m.

    Apologies to dotp; my earlier comment about the Savior's expectations was meant for mightymite.

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    Ah, but dotp, Sharrona and others aren't here to edify. They are here to quibble and detract. Best not to engage them.

  • dotp POTEAU, OK
    Oct. 7, 2011 12:06 p.m.

    @sharrona: The ordinances of the temple are NOT secret -- they are SACRED. That is why we do not speak of them outside the temple and that is why one must be living according to the standards set by Jesus Christ to enter the temple.
    Baptisms for the dead was "condemned" by several 3rd and 4th century Church councils, but if you will read and pay attention to the grammar in 1 Corinthians 15:29 -30 you will see that they misunderstood it because the practice had been discontinued after the deaths of the apostles because no one knew WHY they did it. The fact that we perform baptisms for the dead is what converted me to the church in 1976. I had attended many churches and asked many pastors about that verse and got many different answers -- all negative -- but none that explained the procedure. When I asked about these verses to the missionaries, they were able to explain it to me. In my heart I knew they were right. You are free to believe whatever you wish. Free agency is a gift that all men and women are given freely by God.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    RE: Tyndale1. For those who are not aware, this is exactly what is happening today when we worship in the Holy Temple. Jesus Christ is the center of our worship.
    "I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the Temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret.(John 18:20)
    Baptizing for the dead was condemned by several 3rd and 4th century Church councils .

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    Our temples are houses of the Lord. On each beautiful edifice is the inscription "Holiness to the Lord. The house of the Lord The building is not, per se, the center of LDS life, rather, what takes place therin. It is a conduit between this life and the next. Everything in the temple revolves around our Savior and everything is done in His holy name. Those who attend the temple only once or a few times cannot possibly know the deep, spiritual richness of the holy temple. It is the University of the Lord.

    The things which are taught there need to be learned line upon line. We may not learn all it teaches in one lifetime, but we can learn much through regular attendance. The Lord does go into these holy places and they are pleasing unto Him. I cannot write of the holy ordinances of the temple because those things are sacred. What I can say is that the temple brings our soul close to the Divine. It teaches the true purpose life here and hereafter, as well as our eternal relationship with God, our families, and the human race in general.

  • tyndale1 Pullman, WA
    Oct. 6, 2011 9:27 p.m.

    As I was reading this evening, I read in the second chapter of Acts where Peter called on all men to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. The chapter then says that those who did so continued daily with one accord in the temple praising God.

    For those who are not aware, this is exactly what is happening today when we worship in the Holy Temple. Jesus Christ is the center of our worship. We are so grateful for the sacrifice of the Savior for us, and want to follow in His footsteps. He did His work, and we are made whole because of it.

    Now, it is up to us to go and do likewise and to bless others lives. In addition to blessing lives all around us wherever we can, when we go to the Lords Holy Temple we are there to bless others lives, even lives of departed individuals. It is really pretty cool, and it lifts our own spirits as well, not just literally, but also figuratively. It is really a great blessing to be a part of such exalting teachings, and practices.

  • hc1951 Bend, OR
    Oct. 6, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    No, dotp; God leaves out those of us who don't meet HIS standards. Too many scriptures to quote them all, but in John 5:14 & 8:11 the Savior tells two people who have accepted His aid to, "sin no more" making it quite clear that He has expectations of them.

  • Mel50 Nashville, TN
    Oct. 6, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    Two weeks from this Saturday, I will enter the LORD's House to receive my endowments. I can't wait to go through, so that I can return to do the work for my family. We are blessed to have a temple nearby so I intend to go at least weekly. There are Saints who walk over mountains barefoot to get to a temple... yet some people balk at having to drive 40 minutes. Crazy.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 6, 2011 8:22 p.m.

    RE: dotp

    I guess you are right. I don't know sripture, hmmm. You are right?, we leave out those who don't meet "your" standards - is that what you believe Christ taught? If so you need to go back a study "your" scripture.

  • dotp POTEAU, OK
    Oct. 6, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    @Kevin -- Thank you for your astute comment. I have noticed that those who dissent concerning LDS beliefs don't really know much about the scriptures. The Lord has always been very clear in His teachings. In order to go where He is, one must be striving to live in the manner HE laid out for us in the scriptures. I love the temple and all it represents. Just because there are some who don't believe it's true, doesn't mean it isn't.

  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    Oct. 6, 2011 2:15 p.m.

    mightymite | 1:52 p.m. Oct. 6, 2011

    You are right, Christ is the centre of Christianity. Since we(LDS) are Christians in every sense of the word, we include him in everything we do. As far as being a building that excludes others, no one who is worthy to enter is excluded. This is a representation of how things will be in the next life. Not everyone will be admitted to the Celestial Kingdom, just those who are worthy to enter. Are you saying then that Christ is wrong because he is exclusionary? God has always said that mankind will be cut off unless they obey HIS commandments. No unclean thing can enter the Kingdom of God. Building and worshiping in temples is following another of HIS commandments.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    Oct. 6, 2011 2:14 p.m.

    Mightymite, you're wrong.

    Some Christians -- Mormons, for example -- do most definitely worship in temples.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 6, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    Chritains do not worship in Temples and Christ is the center of Christianity, not a building that excludes others.

  • hc1951 Bend, OR
    Oct. 6, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    Megan & IndependentLiberal: Thank you for expressing legitimate concerns. Were it not for our love of Christ, we would not build temples. Our desire to get closer to Him is precisely why we worship there, where the noise of the world cannot come (at least not easily). True, the article's title may seem truncated & thus have caused confusion, but we honestly don't think to separate WHERE we worship from WHO we worship; like the Israelites of old, our world is incomplete without these sacred places.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    Oct. 6, 2011 1:14 p.m.


    I'm reasonably certain that Professor Peterson would say that Christ is at the center of LDS faith, and of his personal faith.

    Don't push a metaphor further than is reasonable.

  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    Oct. 6, 2011 1:04 p.m.

    to: IndependentLiberal | 11:52 a.m. Oct. 6, 2011

    Judging from your comments is appears that you have not been in an LDS temple. Everything about the building and what goes on in there centre on Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. The building itself is just a quiet and sacred place to do the Lord's work. We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ and that is why the Church bears HIS name in everything it does. The title of the church is something the Lord declared himself because it is HIS church. Like was said before, you can mention the temple without mentioning the Saviour as well.

  • ADN Weiser, ID
    Oct. 6, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    There is a reason why Christ spent so much time at the temple in Jerusalem, teaching and even cleansing it. There is a reason why the Lord had Moses create a portable temple (tabernacle) to be the center of the camp of the children of Israel. The Lord makes covenants with His people, He always has and always will. There is a building on earth which any can enter worthily to participate in these covenants with God which tie us to Jesus Christ and His glorious Atonement. Therefore, the temple is the doorway to Christ and entering the presence of God the Father. The reason why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints builds temples because not only do we believe in Jesus Christ, but we BELIEVE HIM!

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Oct. 6, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    In answer to questions raised by Megen at 10:25:

    Those who know Christian theology and especially restoration theology understand that Christ and Temple are entwined, interwoven, dedicated and sanctified. Mentioning one implies the other. Each temple bears the inscription "Holiness to the Lord" and "The House of the Lord."

    Christ is Lord. Each temple is dedicated in His name.

    There is no intent in the article's content or title to offend or raise questions about the Christ-centered nature of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    As in ancient days, temples are happily built to more fully worship Christ the Lord, learn of His ways and walk in His footsteps.

    The title could easily be changed to "The Temple and Christ" without altering content. Perhaps it should have been. Sometimes our Lord's name is not mentioned out of reverence. Hope that helps answer your questions. To investigate more fully, please visit any temple visitor's center when you are near one.

  • IndependentLiberal Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 6, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    Imagine my and tens of millions of Christians all over the planet mistake in not understanding that the LDS temples being the center of the universe. (sarcasm)

    The Bible is replete with statements stating that OUR creator God is the center of the universe and we are taught in the permanency of HIS title and Majesty. Just a sampling,

    Hebrews 1:10-12
    In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world Gods invisible qualitieshis eternal power and divine naturehave been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

  • megen Truth or Consequences, NM
    Oct. 6, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    Why isn't Christ the center of the LDS universe? Why a biulding? Why a ritual? Why not God, who gave His Son? The center of a Christian's worship should be God.

  • kenny Sterling Heights, MI
    Oct. 6, 2011 9:43 a.m.

    I was in the temple last evening. The crowd was large and electrifying. One is never in the wrong place when they are in the temple. This I know to be true.

  • Carrick Layton, 84041
    Oct. 6, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    An excellent essay. The temple is the center of the LDS universe -- as it should be -- and what a great way to remember Matthew Brown.