I want to tread softly here. But it may be difficult. I realize the ceremonies in the temples are considered to be SACRED to Mormons. Most participants have not thought through any of the following issues. I do not fault them in any way for what goes on in the temple. They are not to talk about the ceremonies, so it would be inaccurate to say the ceremonies are not secret. But former Mormons have in fact provided written copies of what is said in the temple drama and what is done. (Google Mormon Temple Ceremony). It is because I question whether the activities of the temple are sacred (seen in the light of God's Word) that I choose to pose questions regarding the temples.
1. While the temples are supposedly a parallel to Biblical temples, I would ask why there are many of them, when Biblically, there was only to be one temple on the earth at any time. The Israelites feared God's judgment when they thought some of the tribes were going to set up a second temple for sacrifices. Deut 12:6-12, Joshua 22:29
2. While the ceremonies are to be kept secret, why would that be the case when Jesus on earth said that he had done NOTHING in secret? John 18:20
3. Since the purpose of the temple ceremonies is related to eternal life, why would they be necessary when the Bible presents eternal life a GIFT received on the basis of faith in Christ alone? Romans 6:23, Romans 5:1, John 3:16
4. Since temples are considered to be holy places, why is it that Satan plays ANY role at all in the temple drama? Wouldn't his very presence being portrayed pollute the temple? And why is it that when Adam prays, Satan (Lucifer) answers? Is he not assuming God's role( Jer. 33:3 "Call unto me and I will answer thee...")
5. Why is God (Elohim) absent from the creation of the world scene. Why is it only Jesus and Michael who do it? Compare Genesis 1:1-2 (the Spirit is active too) and Exodus 20:11 And why are Jesus and Michael asked to report their activities to Elohim each day, as if to suggest that God is neither omnipresent nor omniscient?
6. Why is Satan's role to dominate and dictate to people that they will be in his power if they don't 'walk up to' their vows in the temple? Considering how far-reaching the vows are... I wonder what is really being accomplished here.
6. Why is Satan allowed to "talk back" to God, threatening what he is going to do..."I will reign with blood and horror on this earth."? Why does Satan in the drama fail to crawl on his belly when God tells him to in the drama? Who is in control in the temple? Who is being glorified?
7. Although it is a side issue to me, I would ask why so much of the temple ceremony is obviously taken from Masonry. (Google Masonry, Mormon Temple)
8. Why are green aprons that are symbolic of fig leaves worn by patrons in the temple on top of their clothing when fig leaves were REJECTED by God in the Garden of Eden? Satan says they are the symbol of HIS power and priesthood. Why is the symbolism backwards?
9. Why are patrons making vows that they cannot consider in detail in advance to be sure they feel they can live up to them? The Bible condemns this in Eccl. 5:5
10. Why are patrons vowing to obey all the commandments to gain eternal life when the Bible does not set such a requirement? Why is this impossible requirement given rather than asking patrons to TRY to obey. Do we obey... or do we try to?
11. IF patrons DO obey as required, why would handshakes and secret passwords also be required? Wouldn't the obedience be enough? On the other hand...what if you know the passwords but don't obey?
12. Isn't the very idea of a temple being a place of God's special presence inaccurate in view of Acts 17:24? It says God does not dwell in temples made with hands. God has said that WE are the temples of the Holy Spirit -- that is, those who have received forgiveness and eternal life as a gift through faith in the shed blood as sufficient for salvation.
13. What if baptism is not necessary for salvation, and thus baptism for the dead is unnecessary? See Does Baptism Save? and Baptism for the Dead
14. Can you understand why it is that I have heard more than one story from former Mormons who said they felt an evil presence in the temple they attended?
15. If the ceremony came from God, why has it undergone many revisions --including changes in 1990 and 2005 (we are talking about thousands of words deleted, and others changed)?
16. What would you expect from the climactic ending invocation of the ceremony? It isn't even addressed to God... it doesn't request exaltation, celestial glory, eternal life, love, joy peace or God's presence. Here's what it does ask for:
Health in the navel, marrow in the bones,
strength in the sinews, power in the priesthood
be upon me and upon my posterity
through all generations of time throughout all eternity.
(Former attender: Is this why YOU went to the temple?)
Shrouding the temple ceremonies in secrecy is a way to get people NOT to analyze what is being said and done there. Is this really how God operates? No, it isn't! Instead we have been COMMANDED to test all things and hold fast to that which is good. I Thess 5:21. My biggest objection to the temple ceremonies is that people are trying to earn what God has offered as a PAID FOR gift...paid for by the shed blood of Christ.To add anything to that sacrifice DEVALUES the shed blood, and in that regard at least, I stand against the temple ceremonies as.....false, and, dare I say it?....blasphemous. I use that word very cautiously! You see, if there is ONE thing in the universe that is HOLY and PRECIOUS and SACRED... it is that shed blood of Jesus Christ my Lord... and anyone who says it is not enough for salvation, justification (eternal life), is trampling on what is truly sacred! Sorry...but I MUST tell it like it is. The Bible indicates that the shed blood is propitiatory (Romans 3:24 and I John 2:1-2) which means it is a 100% satisfactory sacrifice to bring about our forgiveness, not just for today, but forever. That is why it is called ETERNAL life.
(It may be that other changes have been made since I wrote this. I will check that out and modify what was written if necessary.)