I found this article on CNN and it troubled me slightly. The opening line reads, Authorities stormed the temple of a Texas ranch that’s home to a rogue Mormon sect Saturday, as part of a search for victims of physical and sexual abuse, police said.
I’m glad that the raid on the compound happened because of the reported abuse that is happening in the FLDS Church. What concerns me is that they raided the temple. Now, the story doesn’t give details as to whether or not the raid on the temple happened because they thought children were being hidden inside or whether or not church leaders were not complying with the authorities. The story doesn’t even have any details of what was found inside the temple, if anything.
Though I do not agree with the practice of polygamy, nor do I believe that an arranged marriage between a teenage girl a man of any age is appropriate, I’m concerned over the apparent lack of respect that the government has shown for this religious site.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we have 124 functioning Temples world wide. My wife and I were married in the Bountiful Utah Temple, seen here.
Many people have questions about LDS Temples. What goes on there? Who can enter? Why don’t LDS people talk about what happens inside? Here are some answers to these questions from LDS.org, the Church’s official website.
What goes on inside the Temple? To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the temple is the “House of the Lord.” It is a sacred building, and after its dedication only faithful members of the Church may enter. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man. In addition, they participate in religious ceremonies that reach beyond mortality, such as baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors and eternal marriage.
Who can enter the Temple? After [a] temple is completed, there will be an organized open house (typically multiday) for the general public. During the open house, information [is] provided to explain the different functions and ceremonies performed in the temple and answer questions. After the open house, the temple [is] dedicated to the Lord and open only to worthy Church members.
Why don’t LDS people openly talk about what happens inside? A careful reading of the scriptures reveals that the Lord did not tell all things to all people. There were some qualifications set that were prerequisite to receiving sacred information. Temple ceremonies fall within this category.
We do not discuss the temple ordinances outside the temples. It was never intended that knowledge of these temple ceremonies would be limited to a select few who would be obliged to ensure that others never learn of them. It is quite the opposite, in fact. With great effort we urge every soul to qualify and prepare for the temple experience. Those who have been to the temple have been taught an ideal: Someday every living soul and every soul who has ever lived shall have the opportunity to hear the gospel and to accept or reject what the temple offers. If this opportunity is rejected, the rejection must be on the part of the individual himself.
The ordinances and ceremonies of the temple are simple. They are beautiful. They are sacred. They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared. Curiosity is not a preparation. Deep interest itself is not a preparation. Preparation for the ordinances includes preliminary steps: faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, worthiness, a maturity and dignity worthy of one who comes invited as a guest into the house of the Lord.
All who are worthy and qualify in every way may enter the temple, there to be introduced to the sacred rites and ordinances.
Temples are the most sacred edifices that we as members of the LDS church have. I hope that our Temples will be held with higher regard and dignity, than was the FLDS temple in Texas.
If you would like to know more about Temples in the LDS Church, please visit this site. Also, if you have any questions for me, please email me and we’ll start a dialog.