Dear Gramps, n
In the Bible, The Book of Acts, Chapter 17 verse 24 says God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth NOT in temples made with hands. With that stated, how do you explain the LDS Temples?
We may as well ask why the Law of Moses? Why the entire Jewish history? Why the whole Old Testament? These were not apostate buildings that were designed by man. These were places of worship to welcome the people of the Lord to gather and offer their sacrifices and oblations to the Lord. Remember that wherever the Saints of God gather to call upon the Lord, the Lord will bless them with His presence.
Ever since the days of Adam, sacrifices have been made. And ever since man was able to build them, they’ve been commanded to build temples of some form or another — whether it be a simple altar, a portable tabernacle, or the Temple of Solomon, or the modern temples we have today.
We read 1 Kings Ch 6 where it describes the lavish standards to which the Lord commanded the temples to be built. Some of these items were:
18 And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen.
21 So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.
32 The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees.
Now, I would ask: Does the Lord need gold? Does he need a building? Does he need carving and workmanship out of cedar? We both know He doesn’t. Yet the Lord approved of it.
11 And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying,
12 Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father:
13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel. 1 Kings 6:11-13
18 And the Lord said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart.
19 Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name. 1 Kings 8:18-19
Notice that the building of the temple was sealed by the Lord with a covenant (1 Kings 6:12-13 above). And as long as we remain faithful to the covenants we make in the temples, he will not forsake us (v.13).
So, we say that the temples are the “House of the Lord” because His presence can certainly be found wherever we make covenants. And the temple is where we are commanded to make covenants today. The sectarian world today does not believe in covenants anymore. So they cannot understand the importance of having a special place in which we make such covenants or perform our highest sacraments/ordinances.
In the end, it is not that we find the Lord there because we built a building. We find the Lord there because we have consecrated it as a place where we gather to make covenants with Him.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20