A Simple Question about Temple-Worship

The year is 2050, and Jesus has not yet returned. Things have radically changed. Muslim buildings have been completely removed from Palestine, the Jews have rebuilt a temple in Jerusalem, and the Mormons have built a temple of their own in Samaria.

What would Jesus say to them concerning the “hour”?

Can you imagine a Jew and a Mormon discussing whether either place was more appropriate to worship at? It’d be the first century all over again.

The words of Jesus two thousand years ago still ring true and relevant for today.


HankSaint asked, “Why Samaria?”, and Martin gave a great answer:

Possibly Aaron is referring to Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan Woman (John 4:4-26) [Aaron’s note: exactly]. She asks Jesus his views on the Temple in Jerusalem, and He answers “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem (John 4:21-23).

We often intepret this as meaning that the worship of the heart is more important than the physical location of the worshipper Its a valid exegesis, but it goes from A to C whilst leaving out B.

What’s not immediately apparent from the text is that the Samaritans had actually built a Temple on Mount Gerazim to rival the one in Jerusalem. It had been destroyed by John Hyrcanus, one of the Maccabees, about 130 years earlier.

If we note the Jews’ dislike of their gentile neighbours, then the subtext of the encounter between Jesus and the woman becomes apparent. Jesus, a Jew, passes through a Samaritan town, and after a discussion about buckets and water, the woman confronts Jesus with the most important issue of her day; something like “We had a temple, but your guys came and ripped it down. Now we have to go to Jerusalem to worship, but when we do, you treat us like dirt.”

Here’s the important bit. If Jesus had been promoting a temple-building movement, he would have said something along the lines of “Your temple was illegitimate, but ours is the real deal” – kind of “our temple is better than yours”. He should have defended the Temple in Jerusalem.

But he doesn’t. In fact he removes both temples from the equation, stating that true worship doesn’t come from the Temple, it comes from the worshipper; “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24).

So, Jesus did not consider the Jerusalem Temple to be an essential part of true worship. It was destroyed in AD 70, never to be rebuilt and I believe the early Christians saw this as God vindicating their message.

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140 Responses to A Simple Question about Temple-Worship

  1. HankSaint says:

    Why Samaria? Do the Jews even remember how to build the Temple, was it not by revelation?


  2. setfree says:

    He’d probably say something like “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me?”

  3. I had a heart-leap at your comment, setfree. Amen!

  4. shematwater says:

    I like HankSaint’s question.

    Why Samaria?

    Personally, from what I read in the Bible, regardless of where the LDS temples are built Christ will return to the Temple at Jeruselem after it is rebuilt. At this time (as said in Zachariah 13) “(1)In that day there shall be a afountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Meaning that the Jews will receive a forgiveness of all past acts (this is as a group, not individually). Then (6) “one shall say unto him, What are these awounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was bwounded in the house of my friends” and the Jews will know him as Jesus who was crucified.

    After this Christ will begin his personal reign over the earth as King, and thus the need for temples will no longer exist.

  5. setfree says:

    Why Samaria? The answer comes directly from the text of John 4 that Aaron was referring to.
    Click on: “hour”.

    The thing about priesthood and temples can be resolved by knowing the Bible. I’m going to try to use as few words as possible to summarize.

    The Old Testament temple was a place for Levitical/Aaronic priests to go and mediate between man and God. What did they do there? They sacrificed (unblemished animals) to make atonement for the people.

    The reason? To point forward to Jesus as the Atonement for us. To foreshadow what Christ was going to come to do.

    What did Jesus do? He was perfect (unblemished), He took our sins on Him, He died for us. In doing that, he showed Himself to be the One that had been pointed to by the old sacrifices. When Jesus died, the veil in the man-made temple was rent(Mark 15:38). Jesus had fulfilled the law.

    After Jesus resurrected and departed, he sent “the comforter”, or the Holy Spirit, to indwell those who would believe on His Name (John 14:16)

    So, in OT times, God could be near the people in the temple, where only certain people could go, and had to be completely sanctified to go near His glory.

    When Jesus was here, He was God’s temple. He was, of course, perfect, thus God could dwell in Him. (Mark 14:58)

    Now that the Comforter is here, God’s spirit indwells those that are called to be set apart by God (known as “the church”), hence those people are “the temple”. They are “perfect” by nature of their standing in Christ; they have God’s righteousness imputed them.

    It’s as simple as that. There were no marriages in the old temple. No baptisms. No work for the dead.

    Just a pointing to Jesus, who would come to destroy the barrier (veil) between God and man.

    Simple simple simple.

    What JS and his organization have taught has convoluted and distorted the plain and precious truths of the Bible.

    To believe we need man-made temples today is to not believe Jesus or many hundreds of years of Bible history.

  6. shematwater says:


    Prove there was only sacrifices in the Temple.

    I would agree that that was true about the Tabernacle, but I really couldn’t say about the Temple.

    Also, if you actually knew the doctrine of the church you would know that Marriage, endowments, and all other ceremonies that are performed in the Temple can be performed in other locations, outside of the Temple. As I understand it, only tall mountain or hill can be used if a Temple is not available.
    This has been done before, for God will always provide a way for the faithful to fulfill his law.

    Thus, while the Temple itself may not have had these ordinances in them (though I think they did) it really doesn’t matter, as they could have been performed anyway.

    However, I would also point out that only one of the ordinances you list would have been in the Temple anyway. Baptism is not performed in the Temple, but in any available body of water, which is why John was baptising in the river Jordan.
    Work for the dead was not done in Old Testiment temples because the work was not done at all until Christ came “to proclaim liberty to the captives.” He began the work for the dead. It was not done before the Atonement.

  7. Thus, while the Temple itself may not have had these ordinances in them (though I think they did) it really doesn’t matter, as they could have been performed anyway.

    Ahhh the endless grab-bag of available appeals. Treating the temple as a necessary venue for ancient ordinances, and then appealing to examples of the ordinances being performed outside the venue when challenged with the lack of historical-backing.

    At the end of the day, the burden of proof is on Mormons show that marriages, masonic hand-clasps, and temple dramas including Satan as a character were ever prescribed or even allowed as temple ordinances for non-Aaronic Israelites.

    I’m not willing to believe without evidence the conspiracy theory that all this was lost in an apostasy.

    Let alone that Gentiles apart from the lineage of Aaron are allowed to come right through to the deepest parts of the temple with a special pass (now with a bar code). Or that sewage pipes and urinals are allowed not only inside the “camp”, but also inside the very temple. This list goes on an on.

    The real issue is whether Joseph Smith gets a free pass to say and prescribe just about anything he wants, all in the name of God and going against not only thousands of years of church tradition but ancient scripture (like John 4).

  8. jackg says:


    Has the Church stopped teaching that Jesus will come to Missouri (I think it’s Missouri)? The last time I sat in an LDS class (approx. 2 years ago), they were still debating this issue, with some saying that the church had great land holdings there in preparation of the Second Coming. Thanks.


  9. setfree says:


    Please take the floor and give me a complete lesson of what they DID do in the Old Testament temple. Not from opinion, but from the Bible or Book of Mormon please.

  10. kholland says:

    To quote shematwater

    “for God will always provide a way for the faithful to fulfill his law.”

    Thank God for Jesus! he already fulfilled the law.

  11. setfree says:

    “if you actually knew the doctrine of the church you would know that Marriage, endowments, and all other ceremonies that are performed in the Temple can be performed in other locations, outside of the Temple. As I understand it, only tall mountain or hill can be used if a Temple is not available”

    I want to thank Shem for bringing this to my attention.

    Big problem Shem.

    Biblically, anytime someone was worshiping or whatever else in “high places”, they were shown to be disobeying God and/or behaving like the heathen to do so. Most of the time, they had to tear their high places down to get right with God.

    They just keep on coming, don’t they?

    You can believe in Mormonism, or you can believe the Bible. But you can’t believe both, because they are opposing forces.

  12. Ralph says:


    So that’s why Moses smashed the tablets containing the 10 commandments when he CAME DOWN from Mt Sinai. He realised that they were not from God because he received them while in an ‘high place’. I guess it didn’t matter that God had requested Moses to go UP the mountain to talk with Him, nor did it matter that it happened more than once. Thanks for the clarification.

    We all know that Satan copies God’s ways in every detail. This includes worshiping and communicating with God in ‘high places’. It all depends on whether or not it was of God. Now we both know where we stand about the LDS church so I can say that Shem is correct and you can say that he isn’t. So what – this point about where temple ordinances can be performed is not important.

    What would Jesus say? Here are a couple of things I believe He would say to His true believers, the LDS –

    Matt 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

    Matt 28:19, 20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    Matt 24:45-47 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

  13. setfree says:


    I don’t hate you Ralph. And you are not his true believer, because you gather around the altar and pray to Lucifer in the temple, while wearing the emblem of Lucifer’s power and priesthoods. That is the clarifying difference right there isn’t it? Your scripture/revelation/prophets vs the Bible that I believe… well, that seems to be a question we can’t agree on. But at the end of it all, I say “Jesus, thank you”. And you go into your temple and celebrate the god of this world.

  14. jeffrey b says:

    Shem said “After this Christ will begin his personal reign over the earth as King, and thus the need for temples will no longer exist.”

    I got a little secret for you Shem.. that time is now.. oh, but dont take my word for it, pick up the Bible, take off your Mormon glasses, and READ IT.

    Your still put Jesus in the back seat. You still feel you need a mediator to decide if you are worthy enough to take part in what you believe are saving/exalting ordinances in some fancy building.

    What a slap in the face.. Thanks for dying for me Jesus, finishing all that needed to be done to be right with God and to live with him.. BUT I do need to find a mormon lady and learn these handshakes and do do do do do do do do do do do, not only because I love you, but thats going to reap some big rewards as far as my celestial exaltation goes! So, quiet back there! Put on your seatbelt! It’s all me.

  15. Olsen Jim says:

    Anybody want to provide an interpretation for the following Isaiah verses?

    “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
    And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us ago up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

    Major points:
    1. Last days
    2. Lord’s House to be established in the top of the mountains
    3. People will travel to the House of the Lord in the top of the mountains in the Last days to be taught of His ways and walk in His paths.

    By the way- the Law of Moses was the lesser law. Israel had failed to live up to the higher law before Moses. Therefore, the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood were lost and not performed in the first and second temples in Jerusalem.

    Many people lump everything before Christ into the Law of Moses when in reality, from Moses to Christ was merely 1400 years. In so neglecting everything before Moses, they ignore a great deal of history and show their hugely simplified perspective on history and the gospel.

  16. HankSaint says:

    Just for Aaron, and how the Temple was built, sanitation etc.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=YK_MK0H9vygC&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=biblical temples and toilets&source=bl&ots=NvVRI0INII&sig=f-Au1-udwLjW7OQuUbnET7-7XtM&hl=en&ei=1VldSrCrNZKqtgPVje2mCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7

  17. Olsen Jim referred to Isaiah 2:2-5, requesting an interpretation;

    We could break it down verse by verse, but the overall picture is that Isaiah is describing Israel’s vocation (what Israel was called to do). Its likely that this is what Jesus was alluding to when he spoke about the city on a hill (Matt 5:14). Notice that the purpose of Zion was to draw people to itself by incarnating (living out in a demonstrable, tangible manner) the light and law of the Lord.

    It seems that Israel wasn’t living up to her vocation, else Isaiah would not have to appeal for her to do so (Isaiah 2:5). Jesus’ appeal, about 700 years later would have sounded familiar to an audience well versed in Isaiah’s prophecy.

    I hope you’re not trying to use this passage to argue the case for building temples in north America in these “last days”. Isaiah has the temple of Jerusalem firmly in his sights (Isaiah 2:3). There was only one of them, and it wasn’t built on your continent.

    If these are the “last days”, and if we should be going to the current version of the temple in Isaiah’s vision in order to learn its laws, then we’ll need to pack our bags, go to the Al Aqsa Mosque in present day Jerusalem and convert to Islam.

    If you want to get to grips with this passage, I suggest you do some homework on how the temple functioned, what it represented in the Biblical context, and why its destruction in AD70 may have been considered by the early Christians as irrefutable vindication of their Gospel.

  18. gundeck says:

    I am on my way out the door so I only have a minute. Two things strike me in the Isaiah 2:2-5 passage that Olsen Jim point out. 1) When Isaiah says “Last Days” he is generaly refering to the time of or the coming of the Messiah and. 2)This is a passage of triumph and hope showing Gods power over all the earth and all the nations.

    In light of those two important themes it seems shallow to confine the meaning to the building of a man made temple(s).

  19. setfree says:

    Christians, correct me if I’m wrong, but that I know of, there were two specific “high places” God used/will use according to the Bible. One is Sinai, where He gave the Law. The other, Zion, where He gave Grace.

    The other “high places” where men went to worship, were not God’s chosen places. They went there to do things their own way. That is why He did not approve.

    Would God approve, much less visit, the fancy LDS “high places”? Don’t you think He knows that you give glory to Lucifer inside them?

    One more question while I’m here.

    The LDS claim seems to be that the teaching that there is only one God is for people who weren’t ready to hear the whole truth, and that the teaching that there are many gods came with further revelation. This is just amazing to me as they are CONTRADICTORY teachings! Why would we lie to someone at first, and then teach them the truth later, all under the guise that we are telling the truth.

    I’m praying that the Lord will give you ears to hear, eyes to see…

  20. HankSaint, thanks for the informative link. Are you reading that to describe toilets in the temple itself, or in the larger temple mount (36 acres; 15% of the city)?

  21. fourpointer says:

    shematwater said, “God will always provide a way for the faithful to fulfill his law.”

    Does this “God always providing a way to fulfill His law” include the 1,820 years from “the apostasy” until the “First Vision?” Because, according to LDS teaching, NOBODY kept the “First Ordinances and Principles” after the apostles died. So, by that reasoning, God was not “always providing a way to fulfill His law.”

    jackg made a good point about the LDS temple in “New Jerusalem” being built in Missouri. Doctrine and Covenants 84:2-5 (emphases mine)–…for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. Which city shall be built, BEGINNING AT THE TEMPLE LOT, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, IN THE WESTERN BOUNDARIES OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, and DEDICATED BY THE HAND OF JOSEPH SMITH, JUN., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased. Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, WHICH TEMPLE SHALL BE REARED IN THIS GENERATION. For verily THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS AWAY UNTIL AN HOUSE SHALL BE BUILT UNTO THE LORD, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.”

    In other words:
    1) Mount Zion = New Jerusalem
    2) Mount Zion/New Jerusalem is to be built in the western borders of Missouri.
    3) The city shall be dedicated by Joseph Smith, Jr.
    4) This temple would be reared in the 1832 generation.
    5) The generation living in 1832 would not pass away until said temple was built.


    And if you want to throw in #6: The land is currently owned by The Church of Christ (Temple Lot).


  22. kholland says:

    fourpointer, You must have forgot that the mormon god is just a man. After all, men make mistakes.

  23. setfree says:

    A Simple Analogy

    Here is a sentence: The cat ate a hotdog.

    Let’s take the words and rearrange them a few times.

    1. The hot dog ate a cat.
    2. The dog ate a hot cat.
    3. The hot cat ate a dog.
    Going by the truthfulness (what the author was saying) of the first sentence, can we assert that any or all of the other three sentences are true?


    This is Mormonism. It takes pieces of passages, regroups them with other pieces of other passages, and calls them true because that is ‘their understanding’ of the Bible.

    I could call myself a prophet, and tell you that the hot cat absolutely DID eat a dog because those are pieces of the initial sentence. But I’d obviously be lying.

    Joseph Smith was lying, and so is the LDS leadership.

    Now, the LDS claim that it’s the Bible that has been changed away from what your prophets have said. I am going to reissue the challenge of some others here. PROVE IT. Not with vague conspiracy theories, not with the all encompassing “Great Apostacy”. But with actual text passages, alternate translations, SOMETHING that can show where the wording of the Bible has been so corrupted that it has lost its plain and precious truths.

    I have, do, and will again show how the LDS’ use of certain verses do not apply in context. So here is another challenge. Prove that the verses you use do apply in context, or prove conclusively that the context does not matter.

    Will anyone accept this challenge?

    Fourpointer and kholland: exactly! (and nice to meet you)!

  24. Olsen Jim says:

    Martin- yours is the normal response I get to this passage, which is an extremely vague attempt to dismiss what are quite clear references and words.

    “Top of the Mountains.” “All nations show flow unto it.” “Lord’s House.” “Established.”

    “Last days” usually refers to the days or period of time before the second coming of Christ. Consider the fact that after the verses I quoted, the very next verse reads, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isaiah is clearly using the term “last days” to describe the period before the second coming when “they shall beat their swords into plowshares….”

    Isaiah wasn’t talking about the temple of his day that he could look at with his own eyes. That is quite clear. And he is not referring to some vague “body of believers” or “mystical body of Christ.” The “Lord’s house” would be “established” in the “last days.”

    This is just one passage that, I believe, shows what a narrow, uninformed, and unsupported view Evangelicals have of the prophecies relating to Israel, America, and the last days before Christ’s second coming. There is a whole world of compelling and fascinating prophecy about the gathering of Israel before Christ’s second coming. Yet, in talking with evangelical Christians, it seems they know next to nothing of these things.

  25. Olsen Jim says:

    Another example:

    Consider the prophecies and blessings bestowed upon Joseph, son of Jacob, promised just before Jacob’s death: “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.”

    These were not insignificant prophecies or blessings. How and when were these prophecies fulfilled? We know about the fulfillment of the prophecies of Judah in the mission and atonement of Christ. What about Joseph?

    Setfree- the explanation of the relationship between God and His Son are explained in the first discussion missionaries have with people. To suggest we hide our doctrine on the matter is reaching in a big way.

  26. Michael P says:


    You take those lines very literally. What of God saying that there are no other Gods before him or after him, and that there are no other Gods? DO you take that literally?

    And I would disagree that you are 100% forthright in what you believe when your missionaries explain your faith when they meet with folks the first time. The whole milk before meet metaphor and there are too many stories of what happens when various topics are brought up in that first meeting to suggest you are completely upfront. Call me crazy, but…

  27. kholland says:

    “the explanation of the relationship between God and His Son are explained in the first discussion missionaries have with people.”

    B.S. I have had missionaries come over 4 times. First 3 times they could not even explain to me their understanding of God. Then the last time they came over they brought along an older man from their ward and when I asked him he came right out and said. God was once a man and if we follow the laws and ordinances we can become gods our self. You should have seen the look on the missionaries faces. Their mouths were wide open jaw on the table. I’m sorry the missionaries over in my neck of the wood don’t know shit from Shinola when it comes to what they believe or what there wards teach. I was kind of hoping for a debate when they first came over but in 4 visits the missionaries them self could not answer a single question of mine.

    Just a little back ground on myself. My wife is Mormon and am Christian. We made a deal that she would go to church with me if we could have missionaries come over and talk to me about her church. Needless to say she has told the missionaries not to come over anymore. I think it’s because she realizes something is not right in the LDS faith. I know the one and only true God of the Bible with replace her heart of stone with one of flesh when God sees fit.

  28. shematwater says:


    You are right that the “burden of Proof” rest on us, at least in some degree. You do not have to prove the LDS church false, we need to prove it true. On the other hand, we do not need to prove the rest of Christianity false, you have to prove it true.
    It would seem that we are on even ground, except for one thing. You intent is to prove the LDS church false, while we really don’t care to prove anything, only explain our side of the argument. Thus, for us to fulfill or goal we do not have to prove anything, but for you to fulfill your goal you have to prove that which is unprovable (as you can’t prove something false).


    Yes, Christ will come to Missouri, but he will also appear in Jeruselem. During the battle of Armaggedon the will appear, he will split the mount of Olives and destroy those attacking Jeruselem. However, the grand counsel that will bring all the holy prophets to Adam-ondi-amon where they will give the keys of the priesthood back to Christ will be in Missouri. I think this grand counsel will be after the Jeruselem appearance, but I am not sure. Either way, his first appearance in the middle east will be as I described.


    As I said, I really don’t know all that was done in the Old Testiment Temples. I know of the sacrifices, but that is it. However, I will not say that there wasn’t other things done, as no where does it say that.

  29. shematwater says:


    As to your challenge. There really is no proof that it has been. However, there is no proof that it hasn’t. With this there are many contradictions in the text of the Bible, places that even learned scolars believe were mistranslated. So, if there were some places that were mistranslated, can you prove that others weren’t?
    All the actual evidence can be taken either way. There is the Christian logic that God wouldn’t have let the doctrines of the Bible become corrupt, which is based completely on faith, disregarding the contradictions that do exist. Then there is the LDS logic that states if there are contradictions in the small things, how can we truly trust the big things? We do not say God did not have the power to preserve it, but we allow him the flexability of choosing not too.

  30. shematwater says:

    On last comment on the Isaiah 2 quote.

    Not that any Christian will really care, and I expect my intelligence and reasoning powers to be openly ridiculed for saying this, but here is what I say.

    The Last Days, as Jim points out, refers to the time before the second coming. Yes, Isaiah usually talks about the coming of Christ, but determining if it is the first or second coming seems to be difficult for many.

    Now, the Lord’s house means the temple. Frequently the Temple in Jeruselem is refered to as the House of the Lord. So, it is not a big stretch to say that this is what Isaiah is speaking about.

    Top of the Mountains. Yes, Jeruselem is in the mountains. But I would love to share this tidbit of information for any who do not know it. When the saints first petitioned for statehood, they wanted to name the state Desseret, which was the name of the territory. However, one senator who did not like the saints wanted to name it Utah, after the Ute Indians. The Name Utah means “people of the Mountains” or “Top of the Mountains.”

    Just thought this was an interesting fact when you consider that in the last days (in our day) the mountian of the Lord’s house (the temple) is to be established in the “Top of the Mountians” (Utah).


    “Does this “God always providing a way to fulfill His law” include the 1,820 years from “the apostasy” until the “First Vision?”

    Yes. First of all, just because he provides the way, does not mean we have to follow it. This is the reason for the apostacy, people not following God’s way. As for those who lived after the apostacy, who never had the choice, the way is prepared for them through the work for the dead. So, yes, God provided a way.

  31. setfree says:

    Your tone has really softened.
    I’d also like to say that I like your thinking on the whole mountain thing.
    However, it’s just a nice hope that is not based on the truth of the Bible. As can be proven in many many ways, the Bible does not support Mormonism (unless you piece together scraps to make new passages).
    I’m sure there are lots of hopes and hopefuls that would like to read themselves right into the pages of God’s Word. The terrific thing is that you can individually write yourself into His Kingdom by accepting that God is the only God there ever will be and ever was, that His Son provided complete forgiveness for you so that you could live “freed from prison”, and that that is the only way. Jesus, God’s Only Begotten (the rest of us become adopted when we believe on Him) Son, is the only Way, Truth, and Life.
    The Bible gospel is a very hopeful gospel. Just take it for what it is, and quit trying to make yourself the hero of the story.

  32. Olsen Jim says:


    I take that passage in Isaiah as it is written, not reading into it or out of it anything that is not there. Did “all nations flow unto” ancient Jerusalem to the temple? No. And wasn’t the second temple (the temple you are arguing Isaiah spoke of) desecrated with apostate practices such that Christ chose to cleanse the temple? Hardly the temple Isaiah seems to be speaking of.

    In my opinion, EVs are manipulating, or at least glossing over very real statements. You say we are seeing things that are not there. I say you guys are ignoring or refusing to see tons of significant things that are scattered throughout the Bible, giving very wishy-washy, vague explanations for some pretty important stuff.

    I think this results in an extremely simplified and narrow-focus, resulting in a very superficial, shallow view of history, God, and prophecy. From what I read from posters here, EVs really see no significance in Israel after Christ’s resurrection. None of the prophecies regarding her seem to indicate anything after that point to ya’ll. If so, then why so much prophecy and emphasis on Israel, her scattering, gathering, etc? Why the importance of Abraham, Jacob (Israel) and their descendents/seed?

    It is as if you see the entire Bible teaching a very minimized, brief gospel that really only covers 1500 years, Moses to Christ. Everything before Moses and everything after Christ’s resurrection is neglected.

  33. Michael P says:


    Good answer, but it didn’t answer my question. I asked if you take literally that God says there is only one God.

    Do not gloss over this question, as it is a key point to talk about. If you take some very literally and not others, are you not picking and choosing? If you wish to take something like this as literal as you do, shouldn’t you look at the rest of the Bible? What role does Christ play as the temple, if any?

    And from this last post, I don’t think you really understand Christian thought, as Jerusalem and Israel are terribly important to our faith now, and I think every poster here would say so. And for whatever it is worth, there are efforts to rebuild it in Jerusalem, as prophesized. Check out this site: http://www.templeinstitute.org/main.htm

    Your last comment is revealing, because it really does show your lack of understanding of our faith. Abraham played a huge role in our faith, as did Noah, Israel, Cain and Abel, and so on. Christ fulfilled all we ever need to be able to know God, and the apostles spread that information in the epistles. After that, we have all we need. Your comment suggests that there was an apostasy, but you have no proof to suggest this, except your “testimony”. Your comment really shows an ignorance to our faith. There is much out there to educate yourself on it, I suggest you read it.

  34. gundeck says:

    Something has been bothering me about of Shematwater’s and Olsen Jim’s comments and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Shematwater said “As I understand it, only tall mountain or hill can be used if a Temple is not available.” I took this to mean that Mormon temple rituals could be preformed on a tall mountain or hill if a temple was not available. Olsen Jim pointed us to Isaiah 2:2-5 claiming that “Lord’s House to be established in the top of the mountains.” Note the plural “mountains” that Olsen Jim used. Note the “mountain” singular that Isaiah 2:2 uses. Isaiah uses the same singular in Isa 14:13 and Isa 25:6 referring to the “mount of assembly” and “mountain the Lord of hosts” respectively.

    In fact in all of the old testament there is only ever a single temple. J. A. Motyer points out in his commentary on Isaiah concerning the Mountain of the Lord (Isa 2:1-5) that, “The Canaanites worshiped their gods at the “high places”, and these became a snare to the Israelites.” He continues, “Isaiah forsees a day when only one holy mountain will stand supreme, reducing all others to utter insignificance.”

    A cursory review of “high places” in the Bible gives us a stark reminder that we are only to worship God as He has commanded (Lev 26:30; Num 21:28; 23:3; 33:52; Deut 12:2; 32:13; 33:29 there are more but that makes my point).

  35. jackg says:

    Once again, the Mormons not only show their lack of understanding the Bible, but now they want to use it–this is how they operate. They only use it (errantly) when they think it proves their point, but neglect it when it strikes a blow against the heresies of JS. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Either it’s authoritative for you ALL the time or it’s not. Take Jesus’ words literally when He says that those who BELIEVE in His Name will NOT perish but have everlasting life. Justified by faith and saved by grace. Take that literally and you will do yourselves a favor.


  36. HankSaint says:

    1. The hot dog ate a cat.
    2. The dog ate a hot cat.
    3. The hot cat ate a dog.
    Going by the truthfulness (what the author was saying) of the first sentence, can we assert that any or all of the other three sentences are true?

    1. The Trinity is three Gods
    2. The Trinity is three but one God
    3. The Trinity is three and but one in God.
    4. God is Three, but only one God.
    4. I never understood it, but it’s a Creed and that is enough.


    This is Mormonism. It takes pieces of passages, regroups them with other pieces of other passages, and calls them true because that is ‘their understanding’ of the Bible.

    This is Creedal Christianity, trying to explain the unexplainable, when in fact the unexplainable is explainable but not explainable enough to articulate what they are trying to explain. Interesting concept.


  37. FIGJAM says:

    on a lighter note – those whom have facebook, email me: [email protected]

    i have an idea i want to run across the Christian (not mormon) members of this blog. feel free to contact me when you have a moment.

  38. FIGJAM says:

    also, aaron, you should start a post comparing Emanuel Swedenborg and Joseph Smith’s supposed “revelations” regarding the degrees of glory and celestial marriage …

    that was another “coincidence” that led me out of the morg. coincidence … 🙂

  39. Olsen Jim says:

    So the EVs here really don’t have a decent explanation for Isaiah 2- It looks like this is the first time you have thought about that passage. Gundeck wants to explain it away by pointing to plurality issues. Still doesn’t explain the timing of the establishment of the “Lord’s House” and “Temple” in the “Last days.”

    How about Malachi 3: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.”

    The timing of this is clearly the days before and the day of the second coming of Christ. Christ will suddenly come to His temple. Wait- I thought no temple was needed after His resurrection. Explain that.

    How about these verse from chapter 4:
    “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

    Don’t really want to argue about when Elijah came. He will come sometime before the “great and dreadful day of the Lord.” That “great and dreadful” day was not his mortal ministry, but His second coming.

    My question- what does that mean that the “hearts of the children would be turned to their fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children?” And why would the earth be cursed if that did not happen?

    Statements that we “pick verses that support our doctrine” are very predictable. I am simply asking for believable explanations of a tiny fraction of prophetic verses. Waving the hands doesn’t work.

  40. shematwater says:


    I have said before that I am willing to take any doctrine of LDS belief and show it in the Bible (if I can).
    However, the problem with this is you want me to do it from a “Christian perspective” which is impossible. As I said on another thread, these doctrines can be found in the Bible, but only when you start with the assumption the LDS doctrine is true. You do not have to believe, only temporarilly accept the assumption.

    The Bible will always be authoritative, for those points that it addresses. However, it does not contain all truth, and thus cannot be authoritative on all truth. Even in the last verse of the Gospel of John he tells us that if all things done by Christ were to be recorded there would not be room on earth to store the volumes. So, those things not recorded in the Bible cannot be supported in the Bible. Just as the History of the United States cannot tell us the history of Egypt.

  41. setfree says:


    Suppose that you create a computer program. You type it up out of your own knowledge, and you set it in motion. Does this mean that your program understands YOU? Even if it is a reflection of you (your personality or whatever), does it know who YOU are?

    It may bother you that three identities can be one God. But the Bible says that God CREATED us. Thus, we will probably never understand all that He IS, and how, and why.

    Let me give you evidence of this from what God said:

    A terrific place to begin is in Isaiah 44. God is saying that He is the only God, but people keep creating idols for themselves. They create idols so they have something they “understand”. But these “gods” do not have power, and God wants to make it clear that He is the ONLY one who does.

    I’m not accusing you of fashioning yourself a graven image, but of having an idol in your mind, so that you can worship what you can “understand”.

    Rom 1:22-23, 25 “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man
    Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

    Job is another good place to read about just how unable we are to understand God.

    And why should we be? According to the Bible, We are the Creation, He is the Creator.

    Back to Isaiah 44. Verse 18: “They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; [and] their hearts, that they cannot understand.”

    If you are having trouble believing that the three identities are the same God, you should give up your idol/creature worship, get on your knees and ask God to forgive you of your foolishness and pride and let Jesus be your Savior, and open your eyes and ears to what He has said about Himself in the Bible.

  42. Olsen Jim says:

    Extreme environmentalists worship the earth instead of the God who creatd the earth.

    Evangelicals here worship the Bible instead of the God who gave the revelations that are in the Bible.

    Setfree- your citation of these verse proves nothing of your argument. Of course, we read these verses too and claim our view of God is the correct one that is corrupted by others. The passage can be interpreted either way. So what. Proves nothing.

    Oh- and God should not be that terribly hard to understand. Read John 17:3- “this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent.”

    I guess if you don’t know and understand God, you must not be saved and have eternal life “right now” like you and others claim.

  43. setfree says:

    Olsen Jim,

    I agree. Your “use” of the Bible — taking it out of context and away from the other parts to make it agree with your “doctrine” — leads you to be able to say that you are correct and my argument was wrong.

    John 17:3:
    The word “know” in the verse means “to come to know, become acquainted with” in the Greek.

    How were Jesus’ disciples coming to know God? By being around Jesus, because He was revealing God to them.

    That’s why you have to take the Bible as a whole, and read everything IN ITS CONTEXT.

    Jesus goes on to say (in John 17):
    “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

    In John 14:9 “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?”

    Let me reiterate:

    When a Bible-believing Christian uses a verse from the Bible, it’s only a “representative” verse that demonstrates concisely a concept that is well played-out in the Bible, and can be supported by the Bible as a whole.

    When a Mormon uses a verse, you can be pretty sure that the meaning has been changed from what it said in context, that it doesn’t go with the Bible as a whole, and that it is being used to support LDS doctrine, even though the Bible, as a whole, does not.

    Keep claiming that “the Evangelicals here worship the Bible” if you want. The closest we can get to Jesus nowadays is to read The Word (John 1:1). This is when His Spirit is most able to reveal God to us.

    My invitation to HankSaint was born of love and freedom in Christ, not spite. Me asking you to repent and stop misusing the Bible is the same kind of invitation. Please, by all means, read the Bible for itself and quit going by an LDS manual.

  44. Olsen Jim says:


    That is all good and fine. I am simply asking for an explanation of these prophetic verses- an explanation that is based in substance, not grasping for straws. Simple request. If you cannot provide such, you have no grounds to claim I am misusing the Bible.

    I used “representative” verses to demonstrate the role of the Temple after the resurrection of Christ. Please provide something linear and coherent to refute those verses.

  45. setfree says:

    Olsen Jim

    I have scrolled back up through the comments on this post, and see that some of the others have already answered you on some of your verses.

    Please give me a list of the verses that you feel have not been answered yet.

  46. jackg says:


    I am asking for a “biblical” perspective, which means there will be no eisegesis, which is the same as approaching the Bible with a particular perspective. No 8th AOF lense. This will take you time, because it takes time to learn the principles of biblical interpretation, so I don’t expect anything tomorrow.


  47. jackg says:


    The problem is that you are working from the premise that the mountains are the Rockies. I think you would do better to study Is. 43:10, and learn that the idea of other gods is totally unbiblical. When you have that right, then try to reread this passage and, I would suggest, do a real exegetical study on it from a biblical perspective.

    Hoping you allow yourself to be liberated from Mormonis….

  48. gundeck says:

    Olsen Jim,

    Clearly Isaiah 2:2 has not been accomplished and will not until the Second Advent. This is not rocket surgery.

    Looking at the Mal 3:1-2 reference I recommend you look at how the First Evangelist interpreted this passage (Matt 11:10-14) because you clearly are contradicting his inspired and inerrant view. Continuing to Mal 4:5 we see another verse that was interpreted for us by the holy and inspired word of God as written by Matthew, see Matt 11:10-14 and Matt 17:10-13. I think that you should let the New Testament writers help you with your interpretations.

    I am loath to even acknowledge your remark that Evangelicals worship the Bible, I am not going to engage in a game of pointless name calling with you, let me just say that I have read the Bible and I am convinced that it is true. What I have read drives me to worship the God that is testified to in the Bible. If this is your definition of Bible worship so be it.

  49. Olsen Jim says:


    To answer your question- all of the verse I have quoted. None of the explanations come within mellenia of the right time frame.

    The explanations for the verse I cited all claim the passages describe the temple at the time of Christ- which is clearly not the case. And they all pretty much claim some vague version of: “This is a passage of triumph and hope showing Gods power over all the earth and all the nations.” I must be honest in saying I expected a more concrete and thought-out response.

    The context of the text is quite clear that the temple that is spoken of is to be “establsihed” in the “last days.” The Lord will “suddenly come to his temple” before the “great and terrible day.” For folks who claim such meticulous and methodical interpretation of the Bible, you are really missing the mark.

    Jackg- my points do not depend on the “Mountain of the Lord” being in the rockies, although I do believe that is one correct fulfillment. Read my posts again. My point is that there is a role for the temple of the Lord in the “last days,” the days before the second coming. THIS IS MY POINT.

    Gundeck- read my post. Wasn’t interesting in determining WHEN Elijah would return, rather the meaning of the statement “he shall turn the hearts of the children to the fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children” otherwise the earth would be cursed.

  50. setfree says:


    I am going to start “from scratch”, which means I may cover some things you know. Don’t hold me in contempt for this, please, as I don’t know what you understand and what you do not, ok?

    The Bible starts out with a lot of big events which are covered all very quickly, and then quickly gets to one guy, Abraham, and suddenly starts to really slow down and give lots of detail. Have you ever wondered why?

    Abraham is the guy that started out the race (Israel) that God would use to bring the world God’s law, and to show all men that it (God’s commands) can not be done perfectly. Thus, we would see our need for a Savior, which God would also bring forth from the nation of Israel.

    Isaiah is a prophet to Israel. We can learn a lot from what he had to say to them, but his words are TO them.

    The first chapter of Isaiah starts out with God grieving: “Oh, Israel, you have forgotten me, and have lost all the benefits of being with me”. That’s how I’d summarize chapter 1, verses 1-15.

    In verse 16, He changes His tone for a second and says “If you would just come back to me, I’ll take you back and give you the blessings I want to give you”.

    Then he starts up again in verse 21, showing them how their forsaking of Him has gotten them into trouble, and letting them know that He will have to come to their rescue, even if it means He has to let their evil deeds come to their natural consequences.

    Isaiah Chapter 2, then, is Him back to giving hope. Ultimately, He says, He will set up a perfect kingdom, with Jesus as the perfect King. Now we already know that the Jews thought that Jesus was going to do this the first time He came, which is why they rejected Him.

    Notice that all of the language of verses 1-5 of chapter 2 are talking about only one temple, and only one person ruling, judging, and teaching. And it’s in Jersualem. And He has brought peace.

    This is Jesus in His millennial reign on Earth. Every bit of it is about Him.

    (to be continued)

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