Mormon Temples: One Way

Thomas S. Monson, the current LDS president and prophet, has a Facebook page. Well, actually, a Thomas Monson Facebook page exists, but it is “not an Official church Facebook page.”  The page describes itself as, “Quotes and talks from Thomas S. Monson.”

A couple of weeks ago (24 June 2012) the page posted a picture of a Mormon temple with a “One Way” sign in the foreground, pointing at the temple. The caption said, “Millions of ordinances are performed in the temples each year in behalf of our deceased loved ones. May we continue to be faithful in performing such ordinances for those who are unable to do so for themselves.”

The implication, of course, is that Mormon temples — or perhaps more specifically, the ordinances performed in Mormon temples – constitute the “one way” to “celestial glory” (as one commenter on the thread put it).

Mormonism teaches that to live in the celestial kingdom is to “live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father” (Gospel Principles, p. 277). Therefore, as the photo on the Thomas S. Monson Facebook page so graphically portrayed, the “one way” to Heavenly Father (i.e., God) is through Mormon temples.

But the Bible says something different.

“Jesus said to [Thomas], ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6)

To expand a bit, John MacArthur wrote,

“The biblical message is clear. Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ (John 14:6). The apostle Peter proclaimed to a hostile audience, ‘Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). The apostle John wrote, ‘He who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him’ (John 3:36).

“Again and again, Scripture stresses that Jesus Christ is the only hope of salvation for the world. ‘For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus’ (1 Timothy 2:5). Only Christ can atone for sin, and therefore only Christ can provide salvation. ‘And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life’ (1 John 5:11-12).”

Mormon temples – or Mormon temple ordinances – are not the way to the Father; according to Jesus, He is.

Mormons may argue that “everything in the temple testifies of Jesus Christ’s divinity and sacrifice and teaches us to follow his example of love and service,” (a statement from temple open house brochures that requires another blog post to examine); nevertheless, the Bible is clear that following Jesus’ example is not the “one way” to the Father. Jesus Himself is the way.

Mormon apostles teach:

 “Ordinances and covenants become our credentials for admission into his presence. To worthily receive them is the quest of a lifetime; to keep them thereafter is the challenge of mortality” (Boyd Packer, Conference Reports April 1987, p. 27. See also Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1987, p. 24).

“Temple ordinances, covenants, endowments and sealings enable individuals to be reconciled with the Lord and families to be sealed beyond the veil of death. Obedience to temple covenants qualifies us for eternal life – the greatest gift of God to man” (Russell M. Nelson, “Eternal life comes from obedience to temple ordinances,” Church News, April 7, 2001, p. 10).

Where is Jesus in this? Disagreeing with Jesus Himself, Mormonism teaches that the ordinances, covenants, endowments and sealings found in Mormon temples are the only way to be reconciled to God and gain eternal life. In fact, Mormon temples promise what they cannot deliver. Rather than “a stepping stone to eternal glory,” (Russell M. Nelson, “Prepare for Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign, March 2003, p. 22) Mormon temples are like the “whitewashed tombs” of Matthew 23:27 – they may appear beautiful on the outside, but they are full of dead people’s bones.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Mormon Temple, Salvation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Mormon Temples: One Way

  1. falcon says:

    Did you come up with that “do not enter” picture on your own? That is priceless!
    I know I’m being really picky here but the comment on the Thomas Monson blog:
    “Millions of ordinances are performed in the temples each year in behalf of our deceased loved ones…….”
    “Millions”? They perform “millions of ordinances each year”. OK so how many temples are there? How many days in a year are there? So how many ordinances would have to be performed to perform “millions” with a big fat “S”. How many Mormons would it take realistically to perform “millions” of these ordinances?
    And that’s not to say what a gigantic waste of time all of this is. Mormonism claims to be a restoration of first century Christianity. We have no record of Christian temples and thus no ordinances being performed.
    One would think if there were temples and ordinances we’d have some record of it. Yet there is none which gets to the point that Joseph Smith lifted the “rituals” from the Masonic Lodge of which he was a member and incorporated it into his fantasy religion.
    Jesus is true. Mormonism is not. Jesus is the way to the Father. Mormon temples are not. Jesus death secured for all time eternal life for those who come to Him in faith believing that His shed blood (on the cross) settled the issue of sin and our separation from the Father.
    Putting on costumes and doing Free Mason rituals thinking that they are going to result in the performer becoming a god, is not only nonsense, but an affront to God.

  2. Mike R says:

    Thomas Monson, who claims to be the very mouthpiece of God on earth has a personal site on
    Facebook but it’s not an official source for anything ? Why not ?

  3. Mike R says:

    Sharon cites a LDS brochure : ” everything in the Temple testifies of Jesus Christ’s divinity
    and sacrafice and teaches us to follow His example of love and service.”

    Everything in the Temple ? Or just the current version ? Before 1990 parts of the sacred
    Endowment ritual had attendees mimicking having their throats slit from ear to ear if they
    divulged any of their secret names, tokens, to anyone . This was the penalty for breaking
    their covenants of secrecy . Even though this part of the Mormon gospel was only a
    symbol yet first time attendees knew enough that it had nothing to do with Jesus’ gospel .
    They testified of being troubled at such behavior , result : parts of this secret ritual of Jesus’
    restored gospel were changed . Discarding important teachings related to the Temple is’nt a
    new behavior by Mormon apostles . Despite the claim that important ” laws and ordinances
    of the gospel ” would not change , Mormon leaders have succumbed to that very behavior
    ( a behavior that they teach is a identifying mark of apostate churches ! ) by promoting certain
    “laws” and certain “ordinances” as being Jesus’ gospel , even some connected with the Temple,
    only to dump them later . All this said to be Jesus’ new Testament Church supervised directly
    by Him since 1830 . For those who desire a relationship with the Lord Jesus there is ample
    guidance in the New Testament on this . The gospel that saves is still available , it was preached
    by His apostles 2000 yrs ago and because of it’s quality it did’nt need to be revised by future
    apostles in the 19th century. Gal1:8

  4. Mike R says:

    Why is there so much power in the simple profound statement by Jesus Himself in Jn 14:6 ?
    Because it reveals that Jesus is the way for receiving salvation and being accepted into God’s
    presence — it’s THROUGH Jesus Himself that this can all take place in the life of everyone .
    Access to God presence through Jesus , His shed blood purchasing our redemption , enabling
    the Father to pardon us and accept us . we stand declared not guilty before Him because Jesus’
    righteousness is credited to us –Phil 3:9 . Jesus died for us as our substitute, He’s our mediator
    He’s our Savior and the WAY to the Father , He is our ACCESS to God’s “home ” after we die .
    Eph 2:18 ; Heb 10:19 .

    Apparently, according to Mormon apostles this is’nt enough to gain access to the Father above.
    Mormon leaders have said that to them the Temple , the house of God , is the gate of heaven
    Access to heaven ? Mormon apostle Joseph Fielding Smith after citing Jn 14:2 states :
    ” Sons and daughters have ACCESS to the home where He [ God] dwells , and you
    cannot receive that ACCESS until you go to the Temple . Why? Because you must receive
    certain key words as well as make covenants by which you are able to enter. If you try to get
    into the house and the door is locked, how are you going to enter if you haven’t your key ?
    You get your key in the Temple which will admit you.” What ??? sounds like Gal1:8

  5. Mike R says:

    The above statement by Mormon apostle Joseph Fielding Smith is in , Doctrines of Salvation
    vol. 2 p. 40 .
    It serves as a sobering reminder of how pertinent for today is Paul’s warning in 2 Cor.11:13
    about apostles who will come and claim to be directed by Jesus , but in reality they are not .
    Rev 2:2

  6. Ralph says:

    You gave two quotes, one from Boyd K Packer and the other from Russell M Nelson, then ask the question “Where is Jesus in this?” but forget one major point which you all say we LDS forget when interpreting the scriptures – the context of the statements. In this case, the context of the two quotes is to the LDS people. Whether you agree or not, we believe in Jesus Christ, and we believe that He has asked us to go to the temple to receive these ordinances and make these covenants. So it is through our faith in Jesus that we do these things. That is where Jesus is in these quotes, already in the hearts of the intended audience, listening to the inspired words of His apostles trying to hear what He wants us to hear and follow it, including if it tells us to go to the temples and gain our ordinances and make our covenants. The first question and most important in a recommend interview is do you believe in Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

    Without faith in Jesus those ordinances and covenants mean nothing. That is what you all continually point out – because the LDS church cannot be true in your minds we do not follow Jesus and thus the temple is vain and a fallacy.

    But if we are the true church and follow Jesus, then the temple is a necessity because He has said so and anyone with true faith will follow His guidelines and go to the temple.

    Say what you like about the LDS church not being true, but can you fault the above thesis, that faith in Jesus is necessary for the temple ordinances and covenants and without it they mean nothing?

  7. falcon says:

    So Jesus tells you to go to the temple and perform these ordinances? And just where might I be able to find that Scriptural reference…… know where Jesus gives these instructions. Oh, I forgot! Jesus spoke to your prophets and told them to tell you to do it. Well that’s sure a reliable source of information, your prophets. I’d really depend on what these “prophets” tell you because they have never gotten anything wrong.
    We know that there are all kinds of references that tell us first century Christians went to temples and practiced rituals that turn out to be right out of Free Masonry. While we’re at it, the first century Christians practiced polygamy, getting sealed to lots of women in these temples, believed there were many gods and that they also would become gods.
    How do we know these things? Well of course, the Mormon god told the prophets who then told the people.
    If you’re trying to link Jesus to the temple Ralph, I think it’s back to the drawing board. To put it simply; your prophets made it up. Yes you do follow these things in “fallacy” because your prophets are false prophets, your temples and what is practiced there are an abomination to God.
    Born again believers in Jesus Christ are born again by the Spirit of God and are the temples within which the Holy Spirit dwells. The ordinances which are practiced in the Mormon temple will, according to Mormonism, result in the practitioners becoming gods. We know this, how? Because these prophets, who claim they are hearing from God, say so.
    No Ralph Jesus isn’t in these rituals. Your rituals are void of the Spirit of God and the works that are performed there are dirty rags before God.
    You need Jesus Ralph. Not temples with fake rituals.

  8. falcon says:

    So Ralph is putting his trust and confidence in some men who thinks were/are prophets; who get messages directly from God. Now there’s a little confusion here I think because Ralph tells us that Jesus gave the messages regarding these Mormon rituals. I don’t know if Jesus appeared to these guys or if they have some way of distinguishing when the Mormon god the father is telling them things, Jesus is telling them things or the Holy Ghost is telling them things. Ralph’s under the impression that Jesus gave them orders to do rituals.
    I have a couple of questions. First of all do these rituals center on the person and work of Jesus Christ? I know from experience, that the Catholic ritual of the mass is focused on what Jesus did on the cross and culminates with communion. I know Jesus gave communion as an ordinance and I know He gave baptism also as one.
    In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus says that He has been given all authority on heaven and earth and then says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
    I can’t find anything here that would indicate what Mormons are doing in their temples. I suppose anyone could fill in the blanks anyway they want to with Jesus having told the disciples to “observe all that I commanded you”. We can read through the NT to get the information regarding what Jesus commanded them to do so it’s no real mystery.
    No, Jesus hasn’t told Mormon prophets anything. They don’t even know who He is and thus don’t know His voice.

  9. Mike R says:

    Ralph, I think you’re confusing Jesus with Joseph Smith . Joseph Smith may have told LDS
    to go to the Temple and receive secret rituals but Jesus never did , and never would .
    There’s no need for a Mormon Temple Ralph , that’s the simple truth . Access to eternal
    life in heaven with God is through a person —Jn 14:6 — not some secret words received in
    some Temple.

  10. falcon says:

    One of the “hooks” that Joseph Smith used to get people to join his fledgling religion, was telling them that they too could receive direct revelation from God. People liked this. It was a tremendous selling feature. The problem was that people took Smith seriously. So if these folks could also receive direct revelation, what was so special about Smith? He had some serious repair work and back-filling to do in order to keep himself a notch above the rank-and-file.
    Man these Mormon prophets have it made. They’ve sold people on the idea that they are hearing directly from God and then relaying the messages to the people just like Moses did. Mormons have labored under the assumption that the boys at the highest levels of the Mormon religion have had Jesus actual appear to them. The prophets have most recenlty backed off of that notion and now bill themselves as having a “witness” of Jesus Christ instead of actually having seen/witnessed Him.
    These Mormon prophets have been so totally miserable at the job of being prophets that you’d think the folks would catch on to the fact that its all a scam. It truly is a Wizard of Oz world these Mormons live in.
    Just think how badly Mormons want to believe in these prophets. They will make any excuse to keep the fantasy going in light of evidence to the contrary.
    It’s not so much about the prophets as it is the desire of the people to believe something that they find emotionally appealing and spiritually satisfying. So in the end, they are responsible for propping up these frauds.

  11. falcon says:

    I think it would behoove Mormons who think that Mormon temple rituals came from Jesus, to take the time to read the article that appears on this link.

    Yea, I know it’s all @nti-Mormon persecution propaganda, but there’s far more evidence to support the notion that Smith lifted his rituals from the Free Masons then he got them from Jesus. In fact there’s no evidence that Jesus directed the Mormon prophet Smith in these rituals but significant evidence of what the source really was.
    With Mormons, the point of the rituals is so that they can follow a pathway to personal deification. The rituals, they think, have some magic power attached to them. First of all the idea of becoming a god is sheer folly. Such a notion had no place in Judaism and it certainly doesn’t in Christianity.
    This is what happens when people forget about the Savior and put their trust in man made ordinances. Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross finished it all. He completed the Law and he made the perfect sacrifice for sin. Mormons have no clue what the ancient Jewish tabernacle and then the temple were all about. They know nothing about the Day of Atonement and the sacrifices made by the Jewish priests.
    The Mormon rituals aren’t really all that clever or creative. They are the result of Joseph Smith’s penchant for borrowing ideas and repackaging them to suit his own needs.

  12. Mike R says:

    Ralph, let’s look at some of what you said. You stated: ” Whether you agree or not , we believe
    in Jesus Christ , and we believe that He has asked us to go to the temple to receive these
    ordinances and make these covenants . So it is through our faith in Jesus that we do these
    things.” I personally think that LDS are striving to follow Jesus , and that they are sincere .
    What do I do with this ? Is being sincere and having a passion in striving do to something good
    the best test of that person’s other beliefs being from God? I think we both know better than
    that . Fact of the matter is that good people can be detoured by prophets , this is not any new
    problem hence there are guide lines in the Bible ( and BofM ) to help in avoiding being detoured
    into inaccurate doctrines —false doctrine—Gal.1:8 ; 2Jn 9 . If we relegate the Bible to be some
    sort of out dated measuring rod in evaluating the teachings of prophets/apostles today and
    replace it with an “inner witness” or the words of modern-day prophets , that’s dangerous.We
    should start with theBible in our investigation of prophets in these latter days .Your leaders
    have said that it ranks first and for-most among their scriptures , so let us start there to evaluate
    any prophet in these times. If their gospel or teachings about God fails that test why go any
    further ? This is a valid criteria because Mormon leaders have claimed to have restored the
    very same gospel of salvation Paul preached, so we should start with that claim. [ cont]

  13. Mike R says:

    It’s very enlightening to see that the claim by Mormon leaders to have the one and only true
    gospel , the same Gospel of salvation preached by Jesus’ original apostles , appears factual
    yet it is only partially true , and that raises a red flag considering Paul himself
    warned about such behavior —Gal.1:8. Mormon apostles have in fact been guilty
    of altering Paul’s gospel by inserting their own notions onto it thus they have revised the true
    gospel of salvation –Rom 1:16 ; Col. 1:21-23 . Mormon Temples are an example of this .
    Fact of the matter is Ralph , Jesus did’nt instruct any LDS to build a Temple and proceed to
    create secret rituals with attendees asked to promise ( covenants) to not divulge secrets of
    these rituals with penalties attached . It was’nt Jesus who devised this as part of His gospel
    of salvation, rather Mormon prophets devised this . But that’s what false prophets do
    i.e. they claim they have heard from God and He is directing their counsel — Jer.23: 21 ;
    2Thess 2:2 ; they “introduce ” new teachings –2Pt2:1 that revise and alter the true Gospel
    of salvation, and many of these prophets can be moral , polite , individuals that’s the hook .
    So Ralph , the only fair way to evaluate your “following Jesus” is to compare what your apostles
    have taught as the gospel of salvation and about it’s author —Jesus . That’s pretty basic .
    Do they fail the test ? 1 Jn 4:1 . A saving faith will be anchored in the right Jesus , the author
    of the true gospel OF SALVATION that Paul preached.

  14. Mike R says:

    Ralph, you stated : ” The first question and most important in a recommend interview is do
    you believe in Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost ? ”

    While I certainly agree this would be the most important question a person should be asked ,
    it’s strange that this question appears to absent from some past Temple recommend interview
    questions. That would make your argument anemic . John Smith , a christian Pastor who
    served in Utah for many years wrote a book, ” I visited The Temple ” ( 1966) . In his book he
    has a facsimile of the Temple recommend questions . Even instructions from the First
    Presidency ( David O McKay, Hugh B. Brown , N. Eldon Tanner ) to Bishops and Stake Pres.
    Interestingly the ” first and most important question ” , as you called it , is not one of the
    questions listed . But it sure makes a point to ask if the interviewee will submit to the General
    Authorities of the Church ! And that my friend is the whole problem with Mormonism i.e.
    decent people being misdirected by men into following ” a Jesus ” 2Cor 11:4 and ” a gospel ”
    Gal.1:8 instead of the authentic true Jesus and true Gospel of salvation His apostles
    preached . That Gospel is still mighty to save to the uttermost anyone who embraces it —-
    Heb 7:25 . Mormons deserve that gospel . We pray that they will ask God for the strength to
    dismiss their apostles in favor of the ones Jesus actually appointed to preach His truths .
    There is much to lose not to.

  15. Kate says:

    Acts 17:24-25

  16. falcon says:

    I know religious rituals. Growing-up when I did and attending Catholic school, I went to mass everyday except Saturday. I witnessed and participated in most of the sacramental rituals including infant baptism, communion, confession, confirmation, matrimony, and extreme unction. I think I’m forgetting one.
    During lent I went to the stations of the cross on Wednesday afternoons. We had twenty-four hours of adoration where a large communion host was displayed on the alter. I was sprinkled with holy water and engulfed in smoke from the incense burner as it was swayed back and forth by the priest. I prayed the rosary and wore a variety of medals and other religious icons.
    All of these things were done with great sincerity, piety and with firm conviction.
    Guess what? They contributed nothing to my salvation nor did any of it secure my eternal destiny.
    Catholics have parish churches, cathedrals and basilicas. They have a pope who is thought to be infallible when he speaks on matters of faith. They have priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals. It’s quite an array of holy men.
    Even right now I have on my desk a plastic statue of the Virgin Mary and another one I think it’s Jesus as a child. I had given these to my parents as a kid and when my mother died I found them in her house. I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them because of the memory of the gift.
    It’s all just religious stuff. In-the-end a person has to get right with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Doing religious rituals won’t get the job done.
    As-a-matter-of-fact, these things can be impediments to saving faith. How can that be? Because people begin to look to these things and their own efforts for their salvation and not the Lord Jesus Christ.

  17. Mike R says:

    Brigham Young apparently felt that the Bible could be used to teach Mormon doctrines
    as he challenged anyone to take up the Bible and compare the religion of the Latter-day
    Saints with it to see if it passed the test—-JofD v.16 p. 46

    Since Temple marriage is a necessary requirement for gaining eternal life ( exaltation) then
    this doctrine should be revealed in the Bible according to Brigham Young . Is that right?
    Yet Mormon apostle LeGrand Richards teaches : ” This glorious principle of eternal marriage
    did not come to the prophet Joseph Smith by reading the Bible, but through the revelations of
    the Lord to him . ” [ A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, p. 190 ] .

    So Brigham evidently felt this doctrine was taught in the Bible , but Joseph did’nt find it there ?
    Strange .

  18. falcon says:

    The Mormon temples with there rituals is not about God; at least not the God of the Bible. The Mormon temple has as its center piece the deification of men. As such these temples are an abomination before God.
    There is one God. He doesn’t share His deity with anyone. He would want us to share in His character qualities which are called the “fruit of the Holy Spirit”. In Galatians 5:22-26 the apostle Paul identifies the fruit of the Spirit. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
    Paul says that those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. He also says that “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit”.
    Putting on religious costumes, learning secret handshakes and passwords and taking oaths aren’t going to cause anyone to crucify their flesh. In fact what these things do is lead men to glory in their flesh and puff themselves up with pride. Pride was Lucifer’s great sin. He led a rebellion against God because he wanted to become God.
    That’s the point of the temple rituals; that men can make themselves into gods.
    Mormons try to excuse and alibi their way out of this hideous belief by making themselves think that it’s God’s goal to make each of his creatures a god.
    This is the insidious lie told by the devil. It can be made to sound so reasonable. Especially when the belief that there are mother gods who procreate spirit children fathered by their god husbands.
    This is no ancient secret revealed in these latter days to god’s chosen few. This is a lie as sure as the lie that Satan told Eve in the garden. It sounded reasonable to her but the end result was spiritual death.

  19. grindael says:

    Jesus never told anyone to build Mormon temples. Jo Smith did. Instead, Jesus predicted their destruction, because they would no longer be needed. He also didn’t tell his church to build shopping malls, another “prophet” did. I don’t think Jesus was behind Thomas Monson when he stood at the City Creek ribbon cutting and shouted, “Let’s go shop”. Rather, Jesus said,

    A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’ 21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    Mormonism has invested in the world. Mormon temples are anathema to Jesus.

  20. pimaqueen says:

    Kinda off-topic, does anyone know if ordinances performed in the temple by proxy are considered invalid if the person who performs them is not worthy?

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