Monday, July 16, 2012

Temple Worship

"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour" (Acts 3:1).

What function did the temple serve for the apostles at this point?  Was it just a place for prayer, or something more?  It seems they at least went to teach others of the resurrected Christ, which teachings were not well received by those in charge of the temple (Acts 4:1-22).  

What were the purposes for which they went?  Was it still a holy place?  Would the Lord visit his people there?  Indeed, he visited with men and women elsewhere (Luke 24; Matt 28; Acts 9). Christ had overturned tables and cast out the money changers calling it a den of thieves (Matt 21:13).  Among those who ran the temple were those who hated the Lord, despised his teachings, and had him crucified.  He even prophesied that the temple would be destroyed (Matt 24:2).  What was it that desecrated the temple?    

It is also interesting to reflect on the faithful Simeon and prophetess Anna.  These two were temple goers.  God considered them righteous.  The Holy Ghost was upon Simeon and he received revelations thereby (Luke 2:25-27).  Anna served God with fastings and prayers night and day (v. 37).  They both saw the Lord and believed on him.  

What was it about them that made them perceive the voice of God that others working in the temple did not have?  I have to believe that they worked right along side others who would later persecute, spit upon, smite, and curse God.  How is it that these two very different types of people are gathered together in the House of the Lord?       

Perhaps things are different in our day.  I don't believe they are.  A temple recommend does not make a man holy.  Using a recommend does not, independent of true worship and devoted discipleship, make a woman righteous.

We should be grateful for the temples in our midst.  Temple worship is a vital part of Mormonism, as it should be.  We should carefully consider how God can make us more like the righteous, and consider our own perceived righteousness as nothing.

No comments:

Post a Comment