Bible Verses Relating to LDS Teachings on Temple Work | John Ankerberg Article Archive

Bible Verses Relating to LDS Teachings on Temple Work

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By: Sandra Tanner; ©2012
How does Mormon Temple work contradict the Bible?

Eternal Marriage

There is nothing in the New Testament about “eternal marriages” and secret rituals in a Christian temple. The Jewish temple ceremonies are clearly explained in the Old Testament (Exodus, chapters 26-30) and have no relationship to the LDS temple ceremony.

The only eternal marriage in the Bible is the spiritual marriage of the believer to Christ. Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth: "I have espoused you to one husband [Christ], that I may present you [the Christians] as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:2). Paul also wrote in Romans 7:4 that Christians are to be "married to another, even to him [Christ] who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." This is a spiritual union, not an actual marriage. Christ never mentions the need for an eternal marriage. In fact, he taught just the opposite. In Luke 20:34-36 Christ said: "The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God,…” Notice that Christ equated those who are not married in heaven with “the children of God.” Christians look forward to being with their loved ones in heaven. As brothers and sisters in Christ we will be together as one large family, the family of God. However, the Bible does not indicate that this would include marriage relationships.

There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that the Christians were to build temples. Some of the early Jewish Christians met in the courtyard of the temple in Jerusalem for prayer but they certainly were not performing any rites like the Mormon ceremony. The New Testament teaches that God’s temple is a spiritual building made up of all Christians, with Christ as the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:16). This is emphasized in Ephesians 2:19-22: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers…but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

Baptism for the Dead

When trying to establish the need for baptizing the dead, Mormons use 1 Corinthians 15:29: “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?”

This is the only verse in the Bible that mentions baptism for the dead. Notice that Paul is not advocating this practice. He merely makes a passing reference to some group that had such a practice. His emphasis throughout that chapter is on the resurrection. Had baptism for the dead been a primary function of the early church surely there would be more teaching on it than this casual reference.

Genealogy

LDS spend millions of dollars and man-hours to research the names of dead people in order to do their proxy baptisims and marriages. However, the Bible has no such teaching.

  • 1 Timothy 1:4 – Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies
  • Titus 3:9 – Avoid foolish questions and genealogies

Marriage

The Mormons teach that every one needs a temple marriage in order to enter the top level of the Celestial Kingdom. Yet the Bible has no such emphasis.

  • Luke 20: 34-36 – Neither marry nor given in marriage – children of God

Married to Christ – The Bride Groom

LDS teach that marriage is essential for Eternal Life. But the Bible only mentions our spiritual marriage to Christ.

  • 2 Cor. 11:2 – I have espoused you to one husband
  • Rom. 7:4 – Married to another

We Are Temple

The Mormon Church builds temples all around the world for their baptisms and marriages for the dead, as well as their marriages for the living. But the temple of the Old Testament was used for animal sacrifice, not marriage. Christ fulfilled the Old Testament use of the temple. Now we are the spiritual temple of God.

  • 2 Cor. 6:16 – Ye are temple of God –
  • Eph. 2:19-22 – household of God – built on foundation of apostles and prophets. Christ is chief corner stone, we are built together as God’s holy temple

Christ – Our Only High Priest

The LDS have thousands of High Priests but Jesus is the only High Priest in the Christian church.

  • Heb. 9:6-12 – High Priest went into the holy place once a year – figure of Christ – Christ, as our High Priest, “by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
  • See Heb. 5:9-10, 7:11-17,7:24-27

Sandra Tanner is the great-great granddaughter of Brigham Young, second president of the LDS Church. As a teenager, she was challenged on the truth claims on Mormonism, which eventually led Sandra and her husband on a quest for truth. This led her to leave the LDS Church and embrace evangelical Christianity. Together, Jerald and Sandra started and led a ministry to help other Mormons investigate their faith and embrace the Bible’s teachings. Sandra has published numerous books and appeared on many media programs on this topic. Find out more at Utah Lighthouse Ministry

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