“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands" (Acts 17:24).
What's their function?
Mormons believe that their temples are the most sacred places on earth. They use them only for special ceremonies, unlike the numerous neighborhood LDS chapels which are for Sunday worship & various programs. Until recently, only regions with a high concentration of LDS members had a temple. Today there are over 140 of these unique buildings. According to the LDS Church, the purpose of the temple is to enable one to "receive the ordinances that will enable us to return to the presence of God" (Temple Preparation Seminar, Teacher's Manual, p.15). The secret-sacred ceremonies that are conducted within these walls are considered essential for personal salvation.
TEMPLE RITUALS INCLUDE...
• Washings & anointings.
• Clothing in temple garment.
• The Endowment ceremony/dramatic presentation & instruction.
• Giving of tokens (handshakes), oaths, and names at the veil.
Baptism for the Dead
In order to assist in the conversion of deceased individuals to the Mormon faith, the Mormon Church performs a ritual called "baptism for the dead." The Latter-day Saints have completed over 140 million proxy baptisms for the dead (with plans to perform the ritual for every person who has walked the earth). Since there are no genealogical records for most people, the LDS believe that God will eventually reveal to them the necessary data so that the temple work can be completed during the Millennial Age.
Besides the rituals for the dead, Mormon temples include the performance of "eternal marriages." The LDS teach that a marriage ceremony outside the temple is good for only "time" or "until death do us part" whereas the temple offers a marriage that will never end. These temple marriages are believed to be essential for exaltation, or "godhood" for the Mormon people.
Parents (usually converts) have their children "sealed" to them immediately following the sealing (marriage) ceremony to each other. This is believed to enable the family to remain a unit in the eternities. Other family sealings are performed in a similar way. One of the wedding couple may be sealed to his or her deceased parents or have their parents sealed to each other by proxy.
RITES & WRONGS: Mormon and Jewish temples compared
LDS: Over 140 temples & many more under construction.
Jewish: Only one temple at a time to represent the worship of the one true God.
LDS: Temple work in behalf of the dead.
Jewish: Temple work for the living only.
LDS: Baptisms for the dead
Jewish: No baptisms of any kind in the temple.
LDS: Endowments for the living and the dead.
Jewish: No endowments of any kind.
LDS: Marriages for the living and the dead.
Jewish: No marriages of any kind.
LDS: Sealings for the living and the dead.
Jewish: No sealings of any kind.
LDS: No animals sacrificed.
Jewish: Sacrificing of animals on behalf of sinful people.
LDS: Many rooms.
Jewish: Two rooms: The Holy Place & the Most Holy Place.
LDS: Seating throughout the temple.
Jewish: No seats at all to illustrate the unending work of the priests until the time Christ finished the work and "sat down at the right hand of the Father."
LDS: Both men & women permitted inside.
Jewish: Only male priests allowed inside.
LDS: Two priesthoods: Aaronic Priests (age 12 and up).
and Melchizedek Priests (age 18 and up).
Jewish: One priesthood: Levitical Priests must be at least 30 years old.
LDS: Many High Priests.
Jewish: One High Priest at a time.
LDS: Priests from any background.
Jewish: Priests only from the tribe of Levi.
LDS: All white garments with Masonic markings stitched into the undergarments.
Jewish: High Priest's clothing was white, blue, purple, & red, decorated with pomegranates and bells on the hem.
LDS: Only those deemed "worthy" allowed inside.
Jewish: Priests made intercession for the unworthy; he first needed purification for himself.
LDS: Purpose of temples: to attain Godhood.
Jewish: Purpose of the temple: A picture of Christ and His redeeming work.
As in Old Testament times, God still demands an atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Jesus Christ, the only High Priest, by virtue of His perfect sacrifice of Himself on the Cross, paid that price in our place. We must humbly accept the fact that the debt for our sins has already been paid at Calvary and that we cannot work for or contribute anything toward our salvation.
WHAT ABOUT TEMPLE SYMBOLS?
On the exterior of some early LDS temples we see startling images. On the Nauvoo temple we see suns, moons and stars. On the Salt Lake temple there are suns, moons, stars, earth stones, the all-seeing eye, hand grips, and other symbols. All of these symbols are also found in Freemasonry and within the occult. Interestingly, Joseph Smith joined the Masons in 1842 in Nauvoo. The inverted pentagram stars are especially surprising to see on a supposed "house of the Lord."
The inverted five pointed star, known as the pentagram, is the symbol of the Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey in San Francisco, CA in 1966. It is also found on the cover of LaVey's "Satanic Bible." The pentagram is also a common symbol found throughout the Nauvoo Temple --built and operated by the LDS Church. It is seen encircling the exterior of the building in the form of both windows and carved stone. The following statements regarding the use of the pentagram are troubling:
"The pentagram with one point upwards repels evil, but a reversed pentagram, with two points upward, is a symbol of the Devil and attracts sinister forces because it is upside down and because it stands for the number 2. It represents the great Goat of the witches' sabbath and the two upwards points are the Goats horn." (The Black Arts, Richard Cavendish, G.P. Putnam's Sons Publishing; 1967 p. 265).
The spiritual knowledge of the Five pointed Star is identical with its practical application. Let us beware that the key figure is always well drawn, leaving no open space, through which the enemy can enter and disturb the harmony existing in the Pentagon. Let us keep the figure always upright, with the topmost triangle pointing to heaven, for it is the seat of Wisdom, and if the figure is reversed perversion and evil will be the result" (Magic - White and Black, Franz Hartmann, M.D., Newcastle Pub. 1971, pp 290-291)
"Inverted pentacle. The sacred symbol of Witchcraft often is misunderstood because of associations of the inverted pentacle, with single point down and double points up, with the infernal. If an upright five-pointed star represents God or the deity, then the reverse typically represents Satan... in Europe, some Witches have used the inverted pentacle to denote the second-degree rank. This use has declined, because of the association of the symbol with Satanism" (The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Facts on File, Inc., 1989, p. 266).
See images below of the Nauvoo Temple and its round "star windows" and carved "star stones."