The Temple—what is its importance in Mormonism?
“Just wait till you go through the temple. It's glorious!”
We heard this statement over and over from church members. "My friend…insisted, 'It's the most spiritual experience I've ever had.' "Finally, after one year of proving ourselves worthy, Jim and I were eligible to be interviewed for a temple recommend." (Excerpts from No Regrets, How I Found My Way Out Of Mormonism, By Judy Robertson P.43)
A Mormon Temple is a separate building from the Sunday meeting chapels. In a visitor's center in front of the temple we are told this structure is a copy of the Old Testament temple in Jerusalem.
A modern day temple is a denial of Christ's finished work on the cross. For at the exact moment of His death when He cried, “It is finished,” the veil or curtain in the Jerusalem temple supernaturally tore in two from top to bottom. At this moment temple worship with its priests and animal sacrifice ended, opening the way for all to enter into the “holy of holies” through "a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His [Jesus'] body" (Hebrews 10:20). All are now granted free access into the very presence of God through Jesus who is our one and only great High Priest.
Today, "We are the temple of the living God"(2 Corinthians 6:16). Christ dwells in the believer through the Holy Spirit. This spiritual temple replaces the temple building of the Old Testament or Old Covenant.
Even if it were not replaced by this “new and living way,” the persons participating in the temple rituals would have to belong to the Aaronic priesthood according to the Old Testament law of temple worship. However, in the Mormon temple, women, who are not allowed to hold the priesthood, enter into and participate in the temple ceremonies. In the Old Testament we read how Jeroboam led the Israelites into sin by building other temples than the only temple designated by God for worship and by appointing priests from “all sorts of people even though they were not Levites” (1 Kings 12:28-31).
Mormon temples are open only to Mormons. And even those members must be found morally clean, pay a full tithe and not have habits of coffee and tea drinking, or alcohol or tobacco, to be allowed into the building the Latter-day Saints call "The House of the Lord."
Though The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is exclusive and claims to be the “only true church,” Jesus does not exclude anyone but said, "…whoever comes to me I will never drive away" (John 6:37). His invitation is open to all to come to the temple of “His body” (John 2:19, 21) and accept freely what is offered to all mankind: forgiveness for sin through His blood shed on the cross and life in eternity with Him.
For further reading on-line
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Should a Christian pray about the Book of Mormon? Answer
Author: Judy Robertson of Concerned Christians.
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