Solomon's TempleThe origin of Solomon's temple began in 1440 B.C. with the Tabernacle.
God gives Moses designs for the Tabernacle
Solomon builds the first temple
Babylonians destroy the temple
The temple is rebuilt
Herod the Great renovates the temple
Romans destroy the temple
The Tabernacle was a mobile tent and courtyard.
- Its design was given to Moses from God (Exodus 25:8-9).
- The courtyard had an altar for temporary sacrifices to atone for sins. The tent was partitioned into two rooms, separated by a thick curtain (veil).
- The back room was called the Holy of Holies which housed the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 26:33-34).
- King Solomon built a permanent temple to replace the mobile tabernacle.
Christ's death on the cross was the last and final sacrifice, ending the use of the temple and its regular sacrifices.
Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins for all time...
— Hebrews 10:12
The torn veil (Mark 15:38, Matt. 27:51, Luke 23:45) exposing the Holy of Holies symbolizes that God does not dwell in man made temples but in believers. Christ's apostles teach that believers are God's temple.
If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
— 1 Corinthians 3:17
For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
— 1 Corinthians 3:9
In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
— Ephesians 2:22
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
— Romans 8:9
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
— 1 Corinthians 6:19
The Book of Mormon echos these teachings, but Joseph Smith contradicts it:
And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell...
— Alma 34:36... the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.
— Doctrine & Covenants 130:3
- The destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans in 70 A.D. guaranteed the end of the temple.
Endowments are ceremonies for a Mormon to make solemn promises of personal obedience and secrecy. An endowment is a prerequisite to both missionary service and temple marriage.
The apostles and prophets of biblical times gave no instruction for temple endowments. Likewise, the Book of Mormon is silent on this matter.
Baptisms for the dead
In subsequent endowments Mormons perform baptisms for deceased people.
Granite Mountain VaultIn order to facilitate baptisms for the dead, the LDS church spends millions of dollars to maintain genealogy records at the massive Granite Mountain Vault (which warehouses over two billion records); and maintains over 4,500 facilities world-wide to assist those searching records.
The apostles and prophets of biblical times gave no instruction to perform baptisms for the dead. Contrary to LDS practice, they instruct that man cannot aid another's redemption and to avoid genealogies:Nor pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.
— 1 Timothy 1:4
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
— Titus 3:9
No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him.
— Psalm 49:7
Furthermore, the Book of Mormon teaches that there are no second chances in the after life as it is impossible to change our minds.And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.
— Alma 34:33-35
Temples serve as facilities for exclusive Mormon weddings and non-Mormons are not allowed to participate.
The doctrine that temple weddings are an essential work is an evolution in Mormon doctrine. For at least 40 years marriages were conducted outside of temples. The church has altered its scriptures on this matter.
See Doctrine and Covenants 101
ConclusionThere is no historical evidence or biblical teaching that Jesus Christ or His apostles instructed the Christian church to construct or perform ceremonies in a temple. The notion of modern temples are not rooted in Christian teaching. What is practiced in Mormon temples is foreign to that which was practiced in biblical times.