Monday, August 4, 2008
Temples: The House of the Lord. Part 1
One thing that sets our church apart from other Christian religions is our use of temples. We can read in the Bible about some temples, including Solomon's temple, Zarrubbabel's temple, Herod's temple, and the portable tabernacle that served the children of Israel as a temple. Today, the restored church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints once again performs sacred ordinances such as those performed in temples in ancient times.
Temples are a place of worship similar to a chapel, but require a certain level of faithfulness to be able to enter. The opportunity to enter the temple is extended to all, but they must first meet the requirements of worthiness. In the temple, sacred ordinances are performed, and solemn covenants are made with God. Because of the sacred nature of the temple, and because one must attain a certain level of understanding to comprehend the meaning of the temple, those who enter do not speak of their experience when they are outside the temple. Those of us who attend the temple hold our experience in reverence because we do not want others to demean those experiences in any way, or misinterpret due to lack of understanding.
When in the temple, we dress in modest white clothing. Not only does this equalize us as brothers and sisters, but it symbolizes the purity that we all should have when entering the temple. The temple is a place to escape the cares and sinful nature of the outside world. Just as Moses climbed Mt. Sinai to find a place to be alone to commune with God, so too, the temple for us is a place where we can escape the worldly influences that weigh us down, and commune with God.
In part 2, I will discuss in further detail the purpose of temples. If you have a question that I am able to answer, please leave a comment and I will do my best. :)