Temple Worship; or is that Idol Worship? 

“A Temple-Motivated People,” Liahona, Oct 2010, 36–39; “Keep a picture of a temple in your home that your children may see it. Teach them about the purposes of the house of the Lord.”

The temple is the great symbol of our membership

What a glorious thing it is for us to have the privilege of going to the temple for our own blessings. Then after going to the temple for our own blessings, what a glorious privilege to do the work for those who have gone on before us. This aspect of temple work is an unselfish work. Yet whenever we do temple work for other people, there is a blessing that comes back to us. Thus it should be no surprise to us that the Lord does desire that His people be a temple-motivated people.

It is the Lord Himself who, in His revelations to us, has made the temple the great symbol for members of the Church. Think of the attitudes and righteous behaviors that the Lord pointed us toward in the counsel He gave to the Kirtland Saints through the Prophet Joseph Smith as they were preparing to build a temple.” – Howard Hunter

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Habakkuk 2:18; “What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?”

There are so many things to touch upon in today’s dilemma! 

The first thing that comes to mind is my father who’s spent his entire adult life as a contractor in Utah. As a contractor he often took jobs with the Church doing refurbishing work in temples around Utah or when they’re putting in a new temple and he’s the one that put in drywall or painted, hung wallpaper, etc.  He is helping to perpetuate the lies…he helps build the temples they go in for worshiping these false idols and gods. My heart is heavy for him.  Please, pray for his salvation. 

I can’t imagine having a picture of a temple in my home for my kids to stare at each day. Idol worship is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this. 

They said what a “glorious thing it is to go to the temple for their own blessings”… 

Why aren’t they going to God to be blessed?  God blesses us through knowing we are saved, knowing He’s provided for us in a myriad of ways i.e., clothing, job, shelter, family, etc.  He blesses us when we worship Him or if we’re praying and studying His word.  If we’re fabricating our own blessings are we following God, ourselves or an idol? 

Think of all the time spent wasted when you could’ve been in a bible study or in prayer having a conversation with God directly! 

Next, if we go to the temple to redeem our dead relatives this is a form of necromancy and we’ve totally thrown out Jesus’ explanation to the Pharisees when they questioned Him about Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31; 

“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” 

From what Jesus said in Luke how could he also desire for them to be a temple going people? These two things are diametrically opposed to each other!  And why would God give a revelation to someone, namely Joseph Smith, to build a temple when in fact the temple for the NT era is the inside of man with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?  1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19.  Again, these two examples of what Paul told us and what Smith claims are both opposite of each other.

The Bible tells us that God is not a God of confusion – 1 Cor. 14:33 – so why would He do such a thing?  The answer is that He wouldn’t! He loves us and doesn’t want to lead us astray. A loving Father would never do this, but a father who has no feelings of compassion or care for you will always do this. 

And lastly, our membership and identity is found in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Galatians 2:20-21.  One of my favorite authors, Amy Carmichael, once said; “If I covet any place but the dust at the foot of the cross I know nothing of Calvary Love”.

Sorry, there is one more item to look at.  Mr. Hunter said “Think of the attitudes and righteous behaviors that the Lord pointed us toward in the counsel…”  

A “righteous attitude and behaviors” is actually what the bible refers to as the fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22. This comes as a result of the Holy Spirit working inside of the believer and supernaturally changing that person. It’s certainly not a result of God pointing to something he wants for you to do or be. if that was the case no one would find their way to “that place” – wherever that is.