The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) is building temples with increasing frequency. They will be dedicating new temples in Colorado and Wyoming later this month (October 2016). They will be dedicating a temple in Connecticut in November. Temples are currently under construction in Rome, Paris, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, South Africa, Congo and Portugal. They just recently dedicated a new temple in Philadelphia.
For about a month before a temple is dedicated, the LDS Church allows tours for the public. Hearing about the new temple in Philly, Sue (my wife) and I decided to take advantage of this opportunity. So in mid-August we made our way to Pennsylvania for a visit to the temple on Friday, August 19. It was an experience well worth the trip to Philadelphia.
We arrived early for our 8:45 a.m. appointment. We were directed to a visitor’s center across the street from the temple. There we were shown a 10 minute film extolling the virtues of Mormonism, especially emphasizing the idea of families being together for eternity. Then our group (about 20 people) were led across the street to visit the temple itself. (Pictured above you see Sue and me inside the reception area, at the end of our temple visit in Philadelphia.)
The new Philadelphia temple is situated on prime real estate in the city. It is directly across the street from the Roman Catholic cathedral, the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul. It is quite an impressive structure. Although a rather small temple, as they go, it is still quite a facility. The decor was elegant and lush, and luxuriously furnished. (One article estimates that the temple probably cost around $100 million.) Even the elevators are paneled in beautiful wood, with crown molding around the top.
We were shown most of the rooms. I know some were left out, for example, the washing and anointing room–where Mormons are prepared for the temple rituals, and receive their special temple clothing, including the temple “garments” (sacred under-clothes). It was fascinating. My only complaint would be it was rather rushed. There was really no time for questions. I suppose one reason for the hurry was practical… they had many groups, scheduled 15 minutes apart. But I also felt that they didn’t want to field too many questions.
I wish I had been more assertive and asked some questions. Like…
Is it true that when people are baptized for the dead, that the spirits of the deceased sometimes appear?
What’s behind that gold curtain? Is that where you learn your secret handshakes and passwords? Is it true that if you don’t know these “grips” and secret words that you won’t be able to enter the Celestial heaven? Is true that these secret rites come almost directly from the Masonic Lodge?
Is the Sealing Room where a man and woman are sealed for all eternity, not only enabling them to be a family forever, but also to be exalted to become gods? Isn’t it true that man may still be sealed to more than one woman, and have multiple wives in heaven?
And… well, you get the idea…
Even though I didn’t get to ask any questions, I did have a chance to spend time witnessing to one of the Mormon missionaries on duty in the reception area. I pray that the truth she heard that day will be seed in her heart, and eventually the Lord will bring her to salvation in Christ.
The Mormon temple is integral to the Mormon experience. A Latter-day Saint will not experience all that he/she should without receiving their endowments, being sealed in marriage, etc. There are many Mormons who attend church faithfully, and have yet to go through the temple rituals. But sooner or later, all good Mormons will go through these ceremonies created by Joseph Smith.
If you would like to see a brief overview of some of the secret temple rituals, check out this video…
It is sad to see how deluded the LDS people are. If you have Mormon friends, pray for them, and share the true Gospel of Christ with them. They are lost. They need salvation.
If you have questions about Mormonism, please contact us. We would be glad to help in any way we can.
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