I’m a recent convert and my parents are dedicated mainstream Christians who are very concerned about my decision. Their biggest worry is about temples, they say that since the veil was torn in the temple after Christ’s death on the cross He took away the need for temples on earth and the work done in them is unnecessary. They’ve also sent me anti Mormon stuff revealing the sacred things in the temple and I don’t know how to talk to them about this. Thanks for your help!
You can’t really talk to them about this because they’re already convinced that it’s evil. And no amount of discussion is going to change that. What you can do is love them and ask that they love you too. You can respect them and ask them to respect you.
But to help you in your understanding of temples, I’ll tell you about the rending of the veil.
It is often misinterpreted by those who don’t understand what the temple was for in the first place. Many think that the temple was only there for animal sacrifices. With the Atonement of Christ, animal sacrifices were done away with. So, naturally they think all things temple related were also done away with. This is a perfectly natural conclusion by people who don’t know what the temple was really for.
This is why you can’t really explain it to them. Unless they first convert and receive the Holy Ghost, they will never have an idea of what the temple is for. Reading all the anti-Mormon literature stuff that talk about what goes on in the temple doesn’t really help with understanding what the temple is about. They could have memorized the all the ceremonies perfectly — and they still would not understand what the temple is about if they don’t believe and have the Holy Ghost to guide them.
This is one reason why the Church has a policy of the 1 year waiting period before one can receive endowments. It really wouldn’t mean anything to you unless you really understand the meaning behind the ordinances and the covenants you make.
In the Ancient Temples, the veil separated the main body of the temple from the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies was similar in function and symbolism to the Celestial Room of our modern temples. It is symbolically the dwelling place of the Lord. Only the High Priest (or prophet of the day) would be allowed to enter the Holy of Holies.
Prior to the Atonement, there was no obtaining the Celestial Kingdom for anyone. We could be in a sacred place (the temple). But we would never gain the presence of God without the Atonement. So, the body of the temple was representative of Paradise (as opposed to Spirit Prison). All the souls who have passed on would be waiting for their resurrection and exaltation until after the Atonement was realized. Once that happened, all the righteous who had received their ordinances could enter into the Celestial Kingdom.
That is what the rending of the veil meant. We now have access to the Holy of Holies!
Think of it this way. Once we had access to the Celestial Kingdom, I would think everyone would do everything to gain access to it. Instead, the sectarians would have us destroy the temple and never use it again. They would say, “No, we don’t want a Celestial Kingdom. We don’t want exaltation. We don’t need no stinkin’ temples.” (sorry, I couldn’t resist on that last one).
But in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have the ordinances given to us by revelation. We have the teachings that tell us of exaltation and the three degrees of glory. We have access to the Celestial Kingdom. We invite all to partake of the Celestial Kingdom. And all can. Rich and poor. Bond and free. Male and female. Black and white. All can partake of these ordinances and start on the covenant path to exaltation.
I hope you can now see the importance of why we need temples today.