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The Mormon Temple Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
July 28, 2021 9:05 pm

The Mormon Temple Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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July 28, 2021 9:05 pm

This week Bill and Eric discuss the Mormon temple, discussing the reasons why Mormons consider this to be most important and any relationship today’s LDS temples have with the temple in Jerusalem.

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You are knocking the door and opened it to find two friendly representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon church.

So what you say will you send them away without a Christian witness or will you engage them in a meaningful and Christ honoring conversation if you desire. The latter, we suggest the book, answering moments questions by Romanism research ministries Bill McKeever and Darren Johnson answering woman's questions is available wherever you find quality Christian books on Mormonism program and examine the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a respected viewpoint.

One more minute is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism is what goes on in a Mormon temple sacred or secret. Welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM this week we've been looking at the Mormon temple ceremony. The ordinances that are a part of the ceremony and the origination of the temple ceremony. If you were to bring this subject up with let's say member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, don't be surprised if there is a reluctance to talk to you about the temple ceremony. Oftentimes you will hear the Latter Day Saints say something like, well, we don't discuss the ceremony because it's so sacred. But what did Mormon historian Richard L bushman say about that. Eric and this is found in an article that was in the desert written news back on March 6, 2008.

The title of the article was seek understanding, not converts.

Bushman urges Mormons. He said while some members will claim that Mormon temples are sacred, not secret. Bushman said that temples are secret, plain and simple, noting that even members don't speak to each other about it.

So if a latter-day St. is reluctant to even discuss the ceremony with another like-minded, Latter Day Saints.

Couldn't you say as bushman is alluding to hear that that that there is an element of secrecy that involves this ceremony we have a website and it's called sacred or secret.com we like to take the sign for the signs for that website out to temple open houses and stand on the street as cars passed by, I cannot tell you how many times I've been approached by Latter Day Saints and they oftentimes will say smugly it's sacred and I said oh okay can you tell me what's inside what what what the different ordinances are will know that's the definition of secret. So yes, as bushman has said they would. We agree there sacred but there also secret because there promising when they go into into the temple not to tell anybody about what goes on inside. And the question that you asked a latter-day St. shouldn't have a problem at least giving you an outline of what goes on in the temple because in yesterday show we did exactly that and we were siding from the encyclopedia of Mormonism that listed the various ordinances that take place in a Mormon temple we've already discussed washing and anointing's today we want to look at the endowment, but there's also marriages for eternity and ceilings of family members for eternity as well as doing works on behalf of the dead, such as baptism for the dead.

This is clearly spelled out in volume 4, page 1444 in the encyclopedia of Mormonism. So that is not really a secret at all, though, don't be surprised that you might come across a Latter Day Saints that doesn't even want to divulge that much information as to what goes on in the ceremony will let's talk about the endowment ceremony today. There is a definition of what this endowment is and you can find it on the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints under the title of endowment. What does it say on that page in a general sense, a gift of power from God were the members of the church can receive a gift of power through ordinances in the temple that gives them the instruction and covenants of the holy priesthood that they need in order to attain exultation. The endowment includes instructions about the plan of salvation. Now again I want to go back to one of the main themes of this series as we been saying members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints firmly believe because this is what they are told by their leaders that what they believe and what they practice is what was believed and practiced by the first century church.

Hence, it is referred to as a restoration. They have a restored gospel that they believe Joseph Smith brought back to light that had been hidden for centuries. They also believe that they are part of a restored church this the endowment is a part of that restoration within that definition that you gave Eric I'm trying to imagine did the first century church really believe and practice this worthy members of the church can receive the gift of power through ordinances in the temple that gives them the instruction and covenants of the holy priesthood that they need in order to attain exultation with that really done in the temple in Jerusalem.

No of course not, you brought that out on Monday that the Jewish leaders would not have allowed the Christians have come into the temple because they wanted to do this work out for themselves and for the dead eye. It just doesn't make any sense that that would happen. We have no evidence historically that it happened well, you know that there's a saying that it's not a conspiracy theory if you quote them saying it and so were going to quote for you to LDS leaders.

The first being a Mormon apostle by the name of John Witte so he's going to explain where Joseph Smith received this temple endowment and as you listen to this definition. Ask yourself, is that really then, something that could have possibly been restored. Is that something that we find in biblical days. Remember this is supposed to be patterned after what was done in biblical days, but how did it come forth, obviously not from any type of Scripture, that's for sure. What did John Witte so say about this. Joseph Smith received the temple endowment and its ritual as all else that he promulgated by revelation from God by revelation from God.

Will that tells us that obviously it's probably not written down anywhere. It's certainly not in the Old Testament.

It's certainly not in the new Eric let me ask you this is the ritual that was performed in the Jerusalem Temple. A huge secret. There's books that have been written about what went on in the temple in Jerusalem. Alfred Edgar Schein probably wrote the classic on that in a book titled the temple where he goes in great detail to explain specifically not only what the priest wore, but what the priest did and the function of the temple at large. There is nothing hidden about the temple and so if this is really something that was done anciently.

Why is it we we compare what the Mormons are doing to let's say a book written by a scholar like Alfred Edgar Schein, do we not see a similarity there are very different in what they are promulgating to use a word from apostle John Witte so, but we also have Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkey what did he say on page 779 of his book Mormon doctrine, they were given in modern times of the prophet Joseph Smith by revelation.

Many things connected with them being translated by the prophet from the papyrus on which the book of Abraham was recorded so he agrees. Basically that a lot of this came by revelation to Joseph Smith but then he heads many things connected with them being translated by the prophet from the papyrus on which the book of Abraham was recorded with the book of Abraham is a fraud and we firmly believe it is and what does that say about the temple ceremony.

If there's any connection between it and the book of Abraham.

Certainly that would raise a whole lot of suspicions regarding its authenticity. Bill there was Temple sacrifice in the Jerusalem Temple and we know all about that because the Bible specifically talks about how these animals were slaughtered on behalf of the sins of the people and certainly the book of Hebrews explains how Jesus was sacrificed in lieu of the animals, but we have other things such as Psalms that were sung in the temple we get this from Jewish records. The Mishnah says that there were seven songs sung by the Levites at the daily sacrifices in the temple. So one Psalm every day of the week. Psalm 24 and the first day some 48 on the second 82 on the third Psalm 94 in the fourth Psalm 81 on the fifth Psalm 93 on the six in Psalm 92 on the Shabbat or the Sabbath, and I asked the question how many Psalms have ever been recited in an LDS temple, but that's what they were doing back in the days of the temple and in the old and New Testament. It is not that a Mormon can say will I remember we recited a Psalm one day because there is a chapel in the temple, but did they do it on a regular basis like the priest did in ancient Israel.

No of course not, so there's no similarity there as well.

Was also fascinating to me is Joseph Smith's involvement with Freemasonry. According to the history of the church, volume 4, page 550 to 551, under the date of March 15, 1842. Joseph Smith said.

I officiated as grand chaplain at the installation of the Nauvoo Lodge of Freemasons at the Grove near the temple in the evening I received the 1st in Freemasonry in the Nauvoo Lodge assembled in my general business office. But then, on May 4, 1842.

Not long after he becomes a Mason himself.

He introduces the Nauvoo endowment ceremony, which surprisingly contains a lot of elements very similar to that which is found in the Masonic ceremony do we find anything Masonic in the way the original Jerusalem Temple was conducted. No of course not. So again, you cannot say that this is a restoration one thing about this Nauvoo ceremony. There was no temple in Naboo. Joseph Smith died before the temple was finished. So where did they do all this well at that time because there was not a temple for them to use. They used to perform the ceremony on the second floor of Joseph Smith's red brick store. I might mention that it was at the red brick store that Joseph Smith try to put the moves on a very young daughter of Sidney Rigdon, a young girl by the name of Nancy Rigdon.

So here we find holy things supposedly being done in the red brick store and holy things being done in the red brick store so they didn't even need a temple at that particular time. The point that were bringing out and I don't think it can be stressed strong enough. There is no similarity between what Latter Day Saints do in their temple with first century Christians as we brought out earlier in this week temple worship was not of significant importance to the early Christians. You might say is it's been said in modern times. Jesus is our recommend he is our temple. We don't need a building to go to and we don't need to perform certain rituals in order to gain God's approval or ultimately be exalted as Latter Day Saints are told there is no similarity between what happened in the first century and what Mormons are doing in their temples today. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry.

We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is


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