Temples Of Old

 

screen-shot-2016-08-18-at-3-40-50-pm

A comparison of the Israelite tabernacle and temple, with the modern LDS temples of today.

 

As I begin a basic historical comparison between the ancient tabernacle and temple of the bible, with modern, Latter Day Saint temples, I would first like to establish one biblical fact: Within the bible, there was never more than ONE “House of the Lord” on earth, at any given time. While many different “temples” did indeed exist throughout the pages of the bible, only one, was commanded to be built by God, and was considered to be “The House of the Lord.” With that, our comparison between the tabernacle and temple in the bible, and the words of modern day LDS prophets and apostles, begins to differ.

This post, along with those that follow, are not meant to be all inclusive, comprehensive examinations of every aspect of the given topic. This topic for example, the comparison of ancient temples of the bible, with modern LDS temples, has taken me through several years of study, and volumes of books now in my library. While I do attempt to be thorough and absolutely accurate, in my comparisons, I do recognize that there is always much more to any given topic, than can be covered in a short blog entry. And so, I would encourage anyone reading this to do their own research, ask questions, find the answers, and learn the truth. Oh, and don’t hesitate to leave a comment. No one should be afraid to share what they believe and ask questions, so long as it leads to finding truth.

“The Lord Has Commanded His People To Build Temples”.

“From the days of the Old Testament, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples-sacred structures where He could teach, guide, and bless them.”    https://www.lds.org/church/temples/why-we-build-temples?lang=eng)

Here are the words of Mark E. Peterson; Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1944 – 1984: While these are the words of only one LDS apostle, his words have echoed throughout all of Latter Day Saint belief and doctrine, as presented by LDS church leadership.

“In biblical times sacred ordinances were administered in holy edifices for the spiritual salvation of ancient Israel. The buildings thus used were not synagogues nor any other ordinary places of worship.”

This quote, from Mark E. Peterson, goes on to state;

“Following the pattern of biblical days, the Lord again in our day has provided these ordinances for the salvation of all who will believe and directs that temples be built in which to perform those sacred rites. Anciently, to obtain the saving blessings of the Lord, it was necessary for an individual to do two things:

(1) Live the righteous life described in the commandments of the Lord, and

(2) Participate in the saving ordinances administered by the Lord’s truly authorized servants.”

In regards to Mark E. Peterson’s first requirement; The scriptures are clear on the topic of salvation. In the old testament, salvation came by/through faith alone, and the mercy of Jesus Christ – not by or through ordinances, or “works” of any kind. Through repentance and forgiveness, even the sinner could, and would, obtain salvation, regardless of the “righteous” life they did or did not live.

I fail to find anywhere in the Old Testament, such a requirement as stated in Mark E. Peterson’s second requirement. In fact, Israelites were expressly forbidden to enter into the tabernacle for any purpose, unless they were a Levite priest. So it would be impossible to “participate” in any “saving ordinance” within the tabernacle, or temple.  Also, I fail to find any “saving ordinances” being performed in the tabernacle or temple, outside of the animal sacrifices performed by Levite priests, and an annual prayer given by the High Priest, in the Holy of Holies – none of which of course, allowed for anyone to “participate” in, other than the Levite priests, and the High Priest.

“Although some of these ordinances could be performed wherever the people found themselves, others were so sacred that the Lord required that they be performed in a specially built edifice, such as the tabernacle or temple, as at first, or the great temple which replaced it.”

This last statement begs the question; some of which ordinances could be performed “wherever the people found themselves”? I find it curious that while LDS leaders, scholars, even apostles and prophets, constantly refer to  ancient “ordinances” being performed, they rarely describe what those ordinances were? The Lord’s Sacrament was not yet introduced, baptism was not yet introduced, marriages or “sealings” were certainly not being performed within the tented walls of the tabernacle – so what are these “ordinances” Mark E. Peterson is speaking of?

“There the priesthood ministered in solemn rites. Not everyone could enter, only those of proven worthiness. Unauthorized officiators suffered the wrath of God. The holy ordinances were never fully made known to the world at large; they were too sacred, but the chosen and faithful participated in all solemnity.”  https://www.lds.org/liahona/1980/10/why-we-build-temples?lang=eng

Mark E. Peterson states that “only those of proven worthiness”, could enter the tabernacle (or temple). This is simply an inaccurate statement, it is false, and an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, should know this. Worthiness alone did not allow a person to enter the tabernacle, or temple. As has been made clear, ONLY direct decedent, Levite priests, could enter the tabernacle, and later, the temple. It did not matter how “worthy” an Israelite of any other tribe may have been, they were FORBIDDEN to enter. Even the Levite priests themselves were forbidden to enter the Holy of Holies under direct threat of death should one even touch the veil that separated the courtyard and that holy room. While I do believe God may have frowned upon the idea of an “unworthy” Levite priest, or even High Priest, entering his house, “worthiness” was not a significant or measured aspect of who could or could not enter – it had everything to do with being a direct descendant of Levi.

As for any particular ordinance being “too sacred” to even be spoken of? This is a phrase one will hear often and continually among Latter Day Saints – even when speaking to each other, in regards to modern LDS temple ordinances. Here’s the thing though; Levite priests sacrificed animals on an altar, in behalf of the Israelite people, in similitude of the forthcoming atonement of Jesus Christ. What could possibly be more “sacred” than the sacrifice and atonement of Jesus Christ? And yet, this “ordinance” is spoken of in absolute detail, throughout the Old Testament. The desire of Latter Day Saints to not speak openly about their experiences in the temple, is relatively new (within the past century). During the times and leadership of Joseph Smith, Latter Day Saints spoke openly and freely of their spiritual experiences. In many cases, one could say that the saints even boasted of their “sacred” experiences, going so far as to print them in public periodicals and distant news prints. Sacred ordinances did not become “secret”, until Joseph Smith began to openly teach the principle of Plural Marriage. The practice of keeping things secret was not simply the idea of not sharing “sacred” things, as Latter Day Saints protest. Keeping the activities and “sacred” promises being made in an LDS temple SECRET, was in fact a commandment, emphasized by threat of death, if one were to brake this promise. The physical enactment of this punishment (death) was a part of the LDS temple endowment ceremony, until it was removed in 1990. No such activities are known to have taken place in the ancient tabernacle, or temple. Most of today’s LDS endowment ceremony which takes place in LDS temples, appears to have come from Joseph Smith’s interest, and involvement in Freemasonry rituals, that were taught and practiced, by Joseph Smith just prior (two months) to the initial introduction of LDS temple endowment ceremonies – but now that, is an entirely different topic for another post. With their own words and actions, Latter Day Saints have made it clear that the activities that take place within their temples are not simply sacred, they are meant to be secret, as well, which is contrary to Christ’s teachings.

picture1

The Tabernacle

So, what were these “solemn rites” that were being administered in the tabernacle, and later, the temple, that Mark E. Peterson is speaking of? And how do they compare with the ordinances performed in today’s modern LDS temples?

When the Israelites left their 400 years of captivity in Egypt, it did not take long before they felt lost among the vastness of the Sinai Peninsula, where they wandered for 40 years. It was not simply the wild expanse of the desert that made the Israelites feel lost, they were also suffering from generations of separation and lack of communication with their God. In an effort to reestablish the relationship between God and his people, God commanded Moses to build a tabernacle. The tabernacle that Moses was commanded to build had two purposes; The first purpose was a physical purpose, to provide a place to store the Arc and the Covenant – the Law, between God and man. The second purpose was a spiritual purpose, to reestablish communication between God, and his covenant people, through their leader and prophet, Moses.

According to the bible, God was very specific in the design and construction of the tabernacle. Within the tabernacle there were only two rooms. The first room was an outer room or courtyard. This room, or courtyard, was used by Levitical priests to offer animal sacrifices on an alter. The second room was a small inner room used only once a year by the High Priest. This room is known as the Holy of Holies.

Levitical Priests & Temple Duties

Only direct descendants of the tribe of Levi, could be priests, and perform the duties surrounding the tabernacle, on behalf of the people of Israel. Not all Levite men were priests. Although the Levite priests were referred to as “priests”, there was no established “priesthood”, as is practiced in Mormonism today. A Levitical priest’s only duties were dedicated to the purpose of service within the tabernacle. These duties included setting up and taking down the tabernacle, along with packing and carrying all the contents of the tabernacle. Other duties included the performance of animal sacrifice, and preparation of the 12 loaves of “showbread,” or “bread of the presence”. While decedents and members of Levite families were later looked upon as examples of proper or pure spiritual living, Levitical priest’s only duties in regards to their “priesthood” were limited to the tabernacle. There was no organizational “authority” or special “power”, other than that of being assigned to the duties of the tabernacle.

Animal Sacrifice and Bread of The Presence

table_of_show_breadThe purpose of the animal sacrifice was to provide a means of “forgiveness” or “atonement”, for the sins of the people, a recognition and similitude of the forthcoming atonement and death, of Jesus Christ. In addition to the altar for animal sacrifice, there was also a table for “showbread” or “bread of the presence”. Upon this table, the priests would set 12 loaves of bread. Each loaf represented one of the 12 tribes of Israel. At the end of each week, the priests would eat this bread in a similitude of their relationship and friendship with God. Only the priests were aloud to partake of this bread. Levitical priests were also responsible for packing, transporting, and assembling the tabernacle each time the Israelites moved their camp. No other Israelites were allowed or afforded this responsibility/duty, no  matter how “worthy” they may have been. No member of any other Israelite tribe or family was ever allowed, given, or adopted into, this Levitical, priesthood calling.

Holy of Holies

The second room in the tabernacle was a small inner room, surrounded by the courtyard. This second room was called the Holy of Holies. Only the designated High Priest could enter this room. There was only one High Priest. The High Priest entered this room only once a year to offer prayers to God on behalf of the House of Israel. There was only one known item within the tent walls of the Holy of Holies, that being the golden Arc, which held the “covenant” or the law, between God and his people – this of course, being the stone tablets containing the 10 commandments. Together, these two items are known as the “Arc and the Covenant”.

The Veil

The entrance from the outer court, into the Holy of Holies, was separated by a large heavy carpet which was referred to as “the veil”. Hundreds of years later when Solomon built the temple, wooden doors separated the main courtyard from the Holy of Holies, the veil however, was still used as a symbol of separation between the presence of God, and his people. This veiled entrance into the Holy of Holies was considered to be so sacred that any man, even a Levitical priest, other than the High Priest, that touched it would die. The Veil served as the ultimate separation between God, and man. Only the High Priest could enter through the veil, into the presence of God.

The High Priest

Throughout the Old Testament, there was never more than one High Priest at any given time. This High Priest, was always referred to as “THE” High Priest, as there was no such thing as a/the “High Priesthood”, as now exists in Mormon theology – also known as the Melchizedek priesthood. It was not until the Israelite nations were once again conquered and ruled over, did there begin to appear more than one High Priest at any given time. The new rulers over the Israelite people appointed several High Priests at a time, as political positions, rather than a spiritual one. The High Priest was considered to be in the “order of Melchizedek”. The order of Melchizedek, meant that the High Priest was considered to be a priest AND king, as Melchizedek was, which is also why there was never meant to be more than one High Priest at any given time. Today, Christ is our High Priest. There are no other High Priests, as there is no other King. – Joseph Smith was anointed and ordained to be a high priest, and in fact, was anointed and ordained to be the “king”, of God’s kingdom, here on earth. Brigham Young, and John Taylor, were the only other two presidents (or prophets), to receive this anointing and ordination. One can read more about his in very recent publications on the “The Council of 50”.

https://www.amazon.com/Council-Fifty-Documentary-History/dp/1560852240

Taking Measure

Ok, so I realize that up to now we have only been talking about the tabernacle, and have yet to discuss the actual temple, but since Mormonism includes the tabernacle in their comparison of their modern temples, AND since the purpose of the temple once it was built carried the same purpose as the tabernacle, let’s go ahead and begin our measurements here. We will however discuss the actual temple a bit later.

Boyd K. Packer, said this; “If you understand why we build temples, you must understand first that we believe in revelation, and in the restoration of the gospel. To restore means to bring back something that was lost, not a new invention but a restoration of that which was known anciently.”

Boyd K. Packer. Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Interview “Why We Build Temples”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x_-TQivCx8

As we move forward, keep in mind the words of Boyd K. Packer; “… To restore means to bring back something that was lost, NOT A NEW INVENTION BUT A RESTORATION OF THAT WHICH WAS KNOWN ANCIENTLY.”

06500_all_02-06-james-jpgThe leaders of the LDS church have historically and continually tied the Mormon religion to the idea of “a restoration of all things”, this would of course, as Boyd K. Packer stated, include the temple(s).

Some time in December of 1830, Joseph Smith received a revelation instructing the Saints to gather in Ohio, where they would be blessed with a “promised land”, on which they could build a modern Zion. As part of this blessing, the saints were told that they would be “endowed with power from on high”. In neither of these two revelations; directing the saints to move to Ohio, or that they would be “endowed with power from on high”, did Joseph Smith ever mention the building of a “temple” or structure of any kind.  Near the end of 1832, over a period of 3 days, Joseph Smith received a revelation to  build a “house of God”, where the saints could worship and praise God, as well as provide a place for church leadership to meet, study, and learn – a “school of the prophets”. Although not expressed at first within this revelation period, it was later determined that this house would also be where the saints would be given “the endowment of power”, that Joseph had spoken of 2 years previously.

Now, in order to avoid confusion right from the start, one must be aware that much of LDS history has been written retroactively – meaning things have literally been rewritten to fit, or correspond with revelations that were revealed/written at a much later date. Even while men still lived and events were unfolding, LDS history was being rewritten to fit previously released revelations, statements, and actions. So while one may find “historical” writings containing the word “temple” to describe the house of God, in Kirtland, Ohio, it was never referred to as a “temple” until many years later. Any history that describes the Kirtland house of God, as a “temple”, has simply been rewritten to include the word “temple” in place of “house of God”. An example of this would be Doctrine and Covenants, section 88:

jesusWhen reading this entire section, one will find not a single mention or use of the word “temple”, nor even the more official name “House of the Lord”. Section 88, of the D&C, contains no description or purpose of this house of God, that resembles anything that we have discussed so far as it pertains to the tabernacle of Moses. Nor in fact, does anything revealed or written in section 88, resemble a single thing that is now part of the LDS temple ordinances. The one thing that was revealed to take place within the house of God in Kirtland, aside from general congregation to worship and study, was the washing or “anointing” of the feet. Joseph revealed that; “This we have not done as yet”, “but it is necessary now as much as it was in the days of the Savior, and we must have a place prepared, that we may attend to this ordinance, aside from the world.” A few select saints did participate in the performance of the washing of feet in the upstairs room of the house of God in Kirtland. Today however, there is no washing of the feet in LDS temples* – even though Joseph clearly stated it’s absolute necessity “… now as much as it was in the days of the Savior”.

*for further information on modern day LDS “washing/annointing of the feet”, in modern LDS temples, seek information on “The Second Anointing”   http://www.mormonstories.org/tom-phillips-and-the-second-anointing/

The only instance of the word “temple” at all, in D&C section 88, is in the section heading, where it is used in parenthesis as an added descriptor to the actual words “house of God”. LDS scriptural section headings are of course written by CES administrators and are not considered to be doctrine, and clearly they are not historically accurate – although most Mormons will accept them as such. So what does it matter whether the building is called a “house of God”, or “House of the Lord”,  or “temple”? The house of God, in Kirtland, was never designated as such, was never “set apart” as such, and was never used as such. LDS teachings and theology have historically made a clear separation between it’s houses of worship, and a temple. According to the very words of Joseph Smith’s revelation, the “house of God” in Kirtland, was meant to be a “house of worship”, and “education”. Rewriting historical documents to better fit a modern narrative is not simply inaccurate and misleading, it is blatantly dishonest.

Nevertheless, let’s look at the purpose of the tabernacle, and compare it’s “solemn rites”, as Apostle Mark E. Peterson has described them, to those ordinances now performed in modern LDS temples.

Solemn Rites and Ordinances

Moses was given by God, exacting detail and description on how to construct and use the tabernacle, from the very beginning. LDS history tells us that Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon,  and Frederick G. Williams, were appointed as a committee to whom God would show how the house was to be built. All three men claimed to have had a revelation showing them the exterior and interior of the house, and could then draw the architectural plans for construction from memory. None of the men on this committee claimed to have had a revelation revealing anything about the construction of the house of God in any detail, other than simply seeing what it looked like. The house itself was in fact meant to be one of several houses to be used by church leadership, and was initially given no outstanding or significant purpose that differed than any of the other houses to be constructed in the new city of Kirtland. Construction of the house, was delayed several years due to the destitute condition of the saints living in Kirtland, as well as a long delay due to most of the faithful men leaving Kirtland, to follow Joseph Smith on an arduous rescue mission to Missouri, (Zion’s Camp) which ultimately ended in failure. The house of God was eventually completed and dedicated on March 27, 1836. Due to the poor condition of the saints, as well as internal unrest among church leadership, none of the other planned houses were built.

Never the less, through revelation from God, Joseph commands the saints to build a “house of God”. The house that the saints built was a large two story building with a single spacious open room on the top and bottom floors, along with several smaller rooms used as offices for church leaders.  Neither the upstairs, nor the downstairs of this house, resembled anything that God commanded Moses to build. Nor was any part of the house used in any fashion that would even slightly resemble the purposes that God commanded for the tabernacle or temple. Also unlike the tabernacle, all were free to come and go within the house. There were no sacred duties to be performed, nor any qualifications of priesthood required to enter. In addition, there were certainly no animals being sacrificed in the saints house of God. During the dedication of this house, a majority of saints partook of large amounts of wine, to the point of drunkenness, including leaders of the church.

The Priesthood

During the entire time of the Kirtland house of God, from the first revelation to the dedication, the church had no “priesthood” of any kind. While Joseph had begun to create a formalized structure of leadership and “authority” among church members, the “priesthood” was not established nor revealed at that time. LDS church documents and official teachings will tell you that the “priesthood” was established or “restored” in 1829. The problem with this narrative is similar to the problem that exists with nearly all aspects of written LDS history, it was written retroactively. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, never mention the revelation of restoration or the visitation of John the Baptist, until 5 years after it was supposed to have happened. The church’s official 1933 publication of the Book of Commandments (now known as the Doctrine and Covenants, since  it’s 1835 publication), never mentions a single thing about a/the priesthood, nor it’s restoration by John the Baptist. Also, to this day, no official LDS source will recognize a specific date for the restoration of the High, or Melchizedek priesthood. In most official modern teachings, only a year is given for the restoration of this higher priesthood. Oliver Cowdrey gave conflicting dates to this event, while Joseph Smith first stated that he received this priesthood by the hands of Lyman Wight – not Peter, James and John. It was not until the publishing of the Doctrine and Covenants (1835) that we hear the story of John the Baptist, and Peter, James, and John, restoring both priesthoods. When the Doctrine and Covenants (1835) was published, the section that describes the restoration of the priesthood was rewritten to include the narrative of angelic visitations by John the Baptist, along with Peter, James, and John. There is not a single document in existence that contains a single sentence referring to a priesthood restoration of any kind, until AFTER the publication of the Doctrine and Covenants, in 1835.

Shortly after the house of God was dedicated, Kirkland fell into financial chaos. Bitter disputes broke out among the saints over financial disagreements that came from the failed banking ventures of Joseph Smith. When the Kirkland Safety Society failed, ownership of the house of God (along with many other real estate properties) were disputed among the highest leadership in the church. Eventually Martin Harris (and others) took financial control and ownership of the house of God. Joseph Smith was forced to leave Kirkland due to the pressure of outstanding arrest warrants related to non payment of debts, and for banking fraud, including federal banking charges of counterfeiting. With the one exception of the administering of the Lords sacrament, and a few select instances of the washing and anointing of feet, the house of God was never used for any sacred purpose. Once the main body of saints left, the building was used mainly as a school house.

Eventually, the LDS church did indeed incorporate the real idea of a “temple” or “House of the Lord”. As with most of LDS history, it is difficult to pin point when this idea came to fruition, as so much of it has been written retroactively. I see no need however, to delve further into this never ending cycle of incorrect dates and conflicting historical accounts. Lets move on to modern day LDS temples, and how they compare with the tabernacle and temple(s) of old. Are they in fact a “restoration of that which was known anciently, or simply a new invention.

Are They The Same?

The tabernacle was designed and constructed with only two rooms, nearly every inch of these rooms was measured out and instructed with exacting detail according to God’s word. Only a Levitical priest could enter the outer courtyard of the tabernacle. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies, and that only once a year.

The LDS “house of God”, was built upon memory, and that being a simple vision of the entire house, inside and out. No construction details of any kind were given. The Kirkland house of God, had two large rooms, it also had several other smaller rooms, including an attic which was also used as an office space.

The tabernacle was used to burn animal sacrifice on behalf of the Israelite people in a similitude for forgiveness or atonement for sin. The Holy of Holies, considered to be the most holy place where man could stand and speak with God, was only used by the High Priest, to pray on behalf of the house of Israel, and this done only once a year. If anyone, including a Levitical priest even came near enough to touch the door/veil of the Holy of Holies, they would perish immediately.

The Kirtland “house of God” was used for general worship services, as well as civic meetings and as a school house. The Kirkland house of God was meant to be just one of several similar houses used for church leadership. While the attic was set aside as a meeting place for church leadership, all rooms were accessible to all saints and even non-Mormons. There was no Holy of Holies in the Kirkland, house of God. There was no veil. There is literally, not a single item that can be compared one with another when measuring similarities between the tabernacle of Moses, and the Kirtland, house of God. One could claim, as Latter Day Saints often do, that the Kirtland, house of God was a modern manifestation of continuing revelation, that “new” things were revealed to Christ’s “Latter Day” saints. The problem with this however, is that in doing so, one would be directly contradicting the very precise words of Boyd K. Packer; “To restore means to bring back something that was lost, not a new invention but a restoration of that which was known anciently. So far, I have been unable to find a single thing either physically or in practice, that is similar to anything that was “known anciently”. Most Latter Day Saints would say that it is not the structure itself, that is significant, but rather it’s purpose, the “saving ordinances” that take place inside, that are significant, sacred, and of most importance. Well then let’s continue with our comparison.

Solomon’s Temple

King David had built himself an elaborate palace to live in. At some point, David felt ashamed of his living style, and believed that the Lord deserved the same, at least here on earth. King David began to speak of building a magnificent temple to replace the tattered remnants of the tabernacle, and create a proper place to store the Ark and the Covenant, and provide a more suitable place for the priests to do their sacred work. The Lord’s prophet at the time, Nathaniel at first agreed with David, that this would be a good idea. The very night that David told Nathaniel about his construction plans, Nathaniel was visited by the Lord, and was told to tell David not to build a temple. David insisted, and went ahead with his plans, against the words of his prophet. Eventually, the Lord told Nathaniel to tell David, that he (David) was a man of war, and was not worthy to build such a house unto the Lord. The Lord allowed for David’s son, Solomon, to build the temple. With exacting detail, the Lord commanded to have his house built. Upon completion of the temple, the purpose and use of the it was no different than that of the tabernacle – only that it was a lot bigger and a lot nicer!

 

Like the tabernacle, the construction of the temple was done under specific direction from God. Nearly every minute detail of the temples construction was given by God. The physical size of the temple was much larger than the tabernacle, but the basic design, layout, and function of the temple, was identical to that of the tabernacle. The tabernacle was strictly off limits to all but select Levite priests, and the High Priest. No other Israelite, no matter how “worthy”, was allowed to enter within the tented wall of the tabernacle. By the time of Solomon’s rule, there were a great many people living within his kingdom – not all were Israelites. The construction of the temple included outer courtyards where non-Levitical priests could come and spend time close to the temple, but still, none were allowed to enter the inner courtyard (similar to the tabernacle), but Levitical priests. Like the tabernacle, the main temple courtyard was separated from the Holy of Holies. While the temple did have large wooden doors constructed to separate the main courtyard, from the Holy of Holies, there still hung a large “veil”, symbolic of the continued separation between God and man.

As time went by, many new additions were added to the design of the temple. Along with new physical additions, traditional symbolic additions were also added. One new and significant addition to the temple, which was not found in the tabernacle, was a large wash bin. In the tabernacle, each Levitical priest was required to wash and anoint themselves prior to performing any official ordinance (animal preparation and/or sacrifice, partaking of Bread of The Presence). Due to the traveling nature of the tabernacle, no permanent edifice was prepared to provide the water for this ritualistic washing. More than likely, these ritualistic washings were done from water contained in animal skins that could be easily transported from one place to another across the desert.

 

Molten Sea

measuring mormonism 1Once the temple was built, a more permanent edifice could be established to provide this opportunity for the ritualistic washing of the Levitical priests. The new temple also contained hundreds of gold wash bins for the priests to wash themselves, as well as the animals that were being offered as sacrifice. All of this washing would of course require a lot of water. A large bin for all this water was formed and is referred to in the scriptures as the “molten sea”. Mormonism refers to this molten sea, as a “baptismal font”. There is no record nor mention of this molten sea being used as a baptismal font. In fact, it can only make one wonder why there would be a baptismal font, in Solomon’s temple, nearly 1000 years prior to Jesus Christ, and John the Baptist. In an effort to create this baptismal font imagery, the chapter description in the LDS King James Bible has inserted in parenthesis the words “baptismal font”, to describe the molten sea – although the scriptures themselves say no such thing.

the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:

Did not Jesus tell the woman at the well that the true worshippers of God will neither worship Him on the hills as the Samaritan woman’s father’s did or at the temple in Jerusalem as the Jews did? The true worshippers are worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth with their bodies, which are living temples.

The original temple was built upon a specific location. The foundational stone where upon the Arc and The Covenant was placed, within the Holy of Holies,  was said to be the very foundation of the world – the corner stone of the world itself. The site was also said to be the very location where Abraham bound his son Isaac, prepared for sacrifice to God. It was also at this location that God created Adam from the dust in this very place. Here also is said to be the place where Noah came to first give thanks to God in gratitude after the flood waters had receded.