Mormon Temples and the Restoration

© Spotlight Ministries, Vincent McCann, 2003

Jordan River Utah

The Mormon Church claims that true Christianity disappeared from the earth sometime after the death of the first apostles. It is further claimed that in 1830 Joseph Smith restored true Christianity once more, along with certain truths that had been long lost. Mormonism claims that one of the things Smith restored was the temple and its various ceremonies. There are many problems with this claim though. One would think that if the Mormon temples, and the ceremonies performed within them, were actually a restoration of what formerly existed, there would be at least some evidence or hint of similarities between Biblical temples and modern LDS temples. However, the truth is that the differences are far more numerous than any similarities, as the following chart demonstrates:

Mormon Temples
Biblical Temples
Celestial marriage ceremonies performed in the temple. These are required for full salvation.No marriages performed in the temple. Marriage not required for full salvation.
Mormons need to be worthy enough to go to the temple. Need to obtain a "Temple Recommend" to prove they are worthy enough to enter the temple.Unworthy people and "sinners" went to the temple to make atonement for their sins. Luke 18:9-14 clearly illustrates this.
Design of temples - many rooms, which even include such rooms as kitchens, bridal chambers, and laundrey rooms. Three sections in the temple - tripartate.
Lots of temples in existence at once. Plans underway to build more, along with new "mini temples".Only ever one Jewish temple in existence at any given time.
Endowment ceremonies, which originate in Freemasonry, with tokens, signs, and key words.No Masonic endownment ceremonies performed.
Ceremonies are secretive.Activities inside the temple were well known.
No animal sacrifices performed.The main function of the Biblical temple was animal sacrifice.
Baptism for the dead performed in temple.No baptism for the dead performed in the temple.
Brazen Sea/Molten Sea. LDS temples have these, but they are used for baptizing on behalf of the dead.Brazen Sea/Molten Sea - used by the priests for ceremonial cleansing.

Apart from the Biblical temple and the modern LDS temples both being called "Temples", there seems to be virtually no similarity at all. Mormon temples are certainly not a restoration of the Biblical temple and should therefore not claim to be so. You can only restore what once existed. As there is no evidence that the temples we see in Mormonism existed in times past, they are not a restoration but rather a completely new phenomena, unique to the religion of Mormonism.

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