As many of you probably know temple attendance is at the very center of the Mormon faith. From a very early age Mormons are taught that the temple is the most important place on earth because the work they do there is imperative to not only their salvation but the salvation of their loved ones as well.
Howard W. Hunter said:
“All of our efforts in proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead lead to the holy temple. This is because the temple ordinances are absolutely crucial; we cannot return to God’s presence without them.” (Ensign, Nov. 1994, 88)
The chapters referenced in this lesson are about King Solomon and the temple he built for God, but in true Mormon fashion are turned into a lesson about themselves and their temple.
In 1 Kings 5:1-7 we learn that building a temple in Jerusalem was a task handed down to Solomon through his father David. The purpose of the temple was to worship God according to the Law and not for people to perform works to merit their eternal life. However, Mormons build temples for the sole purpose of performing ordinances to merit their salvation, and by proxy for the salvation of the dead.
Jesus paid our debt, and freed us from the consequences of our sin with His blood (Colossians 2:13-14). The only work necessary for our salvation has already been completed. A relationship with Jesus is the only thing “crucial” to our salvation, He’s the only one who can help us enter God’s presence.
Melissa Grimes (firstname.lastname@example.org)