The LDS church claims that its temples and temple practices are patterned after God’s instructions, as given to the Israelites in the Bible. But contrary to what many Mormons believe, Modern LDS temples bear little, if any resemblance to the Temple in the Bible.

Here are 5 reasons why:

THE BIBLE GIVES VERY SPECIFIC BLUEPRINTS:

God gave His people VERY specific instructions as to how His “sacred sanctuary” should be built. In Exodus 25, God commanded,

“Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.” 

God instructed that the inside of the Temple must have two rooms: the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. The holy place had the following furnishings: The Golden Lamp-stand, the table of the bread of the presence, and the altar of incense. No more, no less. The Most Holy Place, separated from the holy place by a floor-to-ceiling curtain, was furnished with the Ark of the Covenant, also known as the “mercy seat”.

The construction of modern LDS temples, however, do not follow these exact instructions given by God, nor do they contain  the rooms, or furnishings commanded by Him.

THE BIBLE ONLY AUTHORIZES ONE TEMPLE: 

At any given time in Jewish History, there was only ever 1 authorized Temple for Israelite worship, and one set of sacred furnishings. While there were synagogues all over the world, Jerusalem was and is the only authorized place for the Jews to build a physical Temple. In fact, building a temple anywhere other than this uniquely sanctioned place of worship was considered an act of blatant rebellion against God.

This is why the Temple is commonly referred to in the Bible as the [singular] “house of prayer for all people” (Isaiah 56:7). In contrast, the LDS church boasts more than 140 Temples in operation around the world today, none of which are within more than 1000 miles of “God’s holy mountain” in Jerusalem.

THE BIBLE STRICTLY LIMITS TEMPLE ACCESS:

The Bible provides strict rules concerning who was and was not allowed to enter the Temple. Of all of Israel, only direct descendants of Aaron were allowed to enter the Temple. And of those descendants, only the men were permitted to enter. And while these “priests” could enter the Holy Place to carefully perform specific religious ceremonies, it was the one High Priest alone who was authorized to enter the Most Holy Place, and even then, just once a year.

LDS Temples, however, permit both men and women who are not in the bloodline of Aaron to enter the Temple, dishonoring God’s specific instructions given in the Bible.

The Bible prescribes specific practices:

Not one of the Temple ceremonies commanded in the Bible is currently practiced in LDS Temples. The Old Testament Temple was established to both provide a visual representation of God “dwelling in the midst of His people”, and to be the center of the Israelite sacrificial system. Some of the ordinances prescribed in the Bible were:

The lighting of the lamp stand (Exodus 27:20-21)

The anointing of the sacred furnishings with oil (Exodus 30:22-38)

The lighting of Incense (Exodus 30:1-10)

The offering of Grain (Leviticus 2:1-16)

And most importantly:

The animal sacrifices offered to God as blood atonement for the sins of the people. 

None of these ceremonies, which were the primary reasons for the creation of the OT Temple, are currently practiced in LDS Temples.

The Bible prohibits additional practices

Not a single one of the ordinances that are currently practiced in LDS Temples were ever allowed in the Old Testament Temple. Consider some of the most important ceremonies performed in modern Mormon Temples:

Baptisms: No baptisms ever took place inside the Old Testament Temple. First, the wash basin described in the Old Testament was never used for baptism, but for regular ceremonial cleansing of the priests (Exodus 30:21). Furthermore, the wash basin was not even in the Temple, because its purpose was to cleanse the priests BEFORE they entered (Exodus 30:18).

Marriage Ceremonies: Weddings were never performed in the Temple of the Bible. Not only is Temple marriage completely absent from the Bible, as already stated, women weren’t even allowed into the Temple for there weddings to have been performed there.

Works For The Dead: One of the primary functions of LDS Temples is to perform rituals on behalf of the dead. But the Old Testament Temple had no such purpose, and not a single verse in the Bible commands these works of the dead to be performed anywhere, let alone in the Temple of God.

What’s the Point?

Modern LDS Temples and temple practices are not found in the Bible. Therefore, the LDS Church cannot claim any biblical authority for either construction of, or the ordinances performed in modern Temples. Simply put, LDS Temples are NOT Biblical.

Take the Temple Quiz!

Verse References
  • Exodus 25
  • Isaiah 56:7
  • Exodus 27:20-21
  • Exodus 30:22-38
  • Exodus 30:1-10
  • Leviticus 2:1-16
  • Exodues 30:21
  • Exodus 30:18

“Contrary to what many Mormons believe, Modern LDS temples bear little, if any resemblance to the Temple in the Bible.