Sandra Tanner Explains Mormon Temples.

Below are the three parts to an interview with Sandra Tanner about the Mormon Temple rituals compared to the Old Testament Temples which is what the Mormon Church claims their temples are a modern day fulfilment of.

For those who dont know Sandra Tanner is a descendent of Brigham Young who left the Mormon church many years ago and since then has produced masses of information about the Mormon church. Their Ministry website is probably the best website on the internet to see many aspects of the Mormon church you would never hear through official Church releases.

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3 Responses »

  1. Hello from the Bahamas!!!

    I haven’t watched the video, and I’m not planning on it (too busy snorkeling). I just wanted to comment briefly on your statement that the LDS Church claims that their temples are “a modern day fulfillment” of the temples in the Old Testament.

    Latter-day Saints certainly do believe that there is a connection between the ancient temples and modern temples, but I personally have never been taught that modern LDS temples and the rituals and covenants engaged therein are an exact replica, copy, or “fulfillment” of ancient Israelite temples. I do not doubt that some past Latter-day Saint leader perhaps has said something to that effect. I simply would disagree. We have more information now and can better assess the situation. There are many, many obvious differences between modern LDS temples and ancient Israelite temples.

    On the other hand, the overall idea of a temple as being a “sacred space” which is set apart as a holy location where special covenants are made with God, and where God’s presence is particularly strong, is of course a parallel with the ancient Israelite temples. Unlike ancient Israelite temples, in modern LDS temples any person is allowed to enter and participate regardless of gender, race, or lineage. There is no justification from the New Testament that “temples” should be done away with; the ancient apostles regularly taught and preached in the temple, and Paul even continued to participate in temple rituals long after his conversion (see Acts 21:26). I personally believe that the loss of temples (and more importantly a covenant-based soteriology) was one of the great tragedies of the Great Apostasy.

    Getting down to specifics, there are some peculiar parallels between modern LDS temples and ancient Israelite temples which deserve attention. For example, in modern LDS temples we view a reenactment of the Creation of the world. In ancient Israelite temples, scholars are just now beginning to realize that the Creation was a major theme of the temple, and that it was possibly reenacted by ancient Israelites (see “The Lost World of Genesis One” by Walton, an Evangelical scholar). This is not knowledge which would have been available to Joseph Smith.

    As another example, in ancient Israelite temples the symbol of Asherah (an idealized “pole” or “tree”, representing the tree of life), Yahweh’s female counterpart, was present in Solomon’s Temple for nearly 2/3 of it’s existence (See “The Hebrew Goddess”, pg. 50, by Patai. Of course, it was highly controversial because of Yahweh-only purists who wanted to squelch the old religion). The idea of a “mother” god is implicitly taught in LDS temples, though not directly. I once visited the San Antonio, Texas temple where there is a huge stained glass image of the Tree of Life, including the rich symbolism of twelve pieces of white fruit. I personally believe that the menorah (found in later Israelite temples) is a sort of forgotten symbol of the tree of life, the symbol of Asherah.

    Those are just a couple of examples off of the top of my head. Latter-day Saint scholars have published lots on parallels between modern LDS temples and ancient Israelite temples. What does it all mean? It certainly doesn’t mean that LDS temples are replicas of ancient temples. It doesn’t mean that it is a “fulfillment” of ancient temples (whatever that means). But there are reasons to believe that some continuity exists between the ancient and the modern.

    • Hi James thanks for the comment, maybe fulfillment was the wrong word but what I meant is essentially said here.

      “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. They were specially constructed for this particular purpose.… Following the pattern of Biblical days, the Lord again in our day has provided these ordinances for all who will believe, and directs that temples be built in which to perform those sacred rites” (Mark E. Petersen, Why Mormons Build Temples, p. 3. Ellipses mine).

      I guess as you said there is a quote to support what I am saying, but what I simply meant was the LDS church claim is that the temples of today perform the same function as temples yesterday, maybe fulfillment wesnt the best word but regardless of your opinion on the matter, this is the impression the LDS church has given over the years.

      Now enjoy your snorkelling this video will still be here when you get back :)

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