Sunday School Old Testament: Lesson 44

10 April

old-testament-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual-35570000When I began to read over this next lesson I couldn’t help but shake my head and sigh in disgust at its objective. The “purpose” is:

“To encourage class members to partake of the life-giving, healing powers that are available in the temple.”

In lesson 43 we left off in Ezekiel chapter 37, where Ezekiel has a prophecy of the Lord’s sanctuary, and we learned what this meant to us and to the Jews. The following lesson begins in chapters 43-44 where Ezekiel has a vision of the millennial temple, and the glory of God returning and fulfilling the temple with His glory.

The lesson tries to apply this vision to not only the temple that will be established in Jerusalem, but to their temples as well. Some examples of this are:

All must be worthy to enter the temple. (Ezekiel 44:6–9)

One of the things we learn from these scriptures is that one must have a circumcised heart in order to enter the millennial temple; this applies to everyone whether they’re from Israel or another nation. This type of circumcision is one where someone truly desires to remove sin in their life and be devoted to the Lord completely.

The qualifiers of worthiness to enter a Mormon temple are more superficial, and have little or nothing to do with one’s heart attitude. For a Mormon their worthiness is based on their actions and willingness to follow their prophets, than if their hearts are right with the Lord.

There are ordinances that the Lord wants us to perform in the temple

The reference given for this application is Ezekiel 43:11 but for a little more context lets back up to verse 10.

“Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. (11)And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.”

First of all, the only two “ordinances” we’re commanded to participate in are baptism and the communion. Every other ordinance or law was nailed to the cross at the time of the crucifixion (Colossians 2:14).

Secondly, this is the millennial temple Ezekiel has a vision of, what ordinances do Mormons think they’re going to be performing? Going back to the purpose of the lesson, what “life giving”, “healing powers” can a building have? It’s a ridiculous notion especially when Jesus is the one who gives eternal life to all those who believe, and who has the power to heal us not only physically but spiritually as well.

Mormons spend so much time and money trying to make themselves worthy to enter the temple.  However, the set of standards they use to judge worthiness come from man, not God. Jesus doesn’t expect us to clean ourselves up first before coming to Him; He wants to come to Him just as we are so that He can mold us into the person we’re meant to be.

In Christ,
Melissa Grimes (melissa@lifeafter.org)

References

Teachers Manual 

Class Members Manual

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