Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Temple, Part 1: House of Glory




And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; Yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God.
—D&C 97:15-16


An effort is now underway to gather funds in anticipation of the future temple that will be built at New Jerusalem. In my opinion, this announcement marks the beginning of the temple building project. (Luke 14:28) This is a project I enthusiastically support.

Reading the announcement was a moment of joy for me for several reasons. The timing of the announcement, the method of gathering funds, and the meaning of the project now underway all bring me particular delight. This is a topic I’ve studied for some time, and looked forward to with great anticipation. Those with eyes to see will realize that prophecy is being fulfilled (again!) as we watch.

Of course, as with every instance when the Lord moves His hand to further His work, some will misunderstand, doubt, and even object. This is completely understandable, as the Lord’s work is, after all, strange and therefore not likely to be accomplished in the way we expect. It can be tough to deal with the cognitive dissonance that comes from false expectations. You like to think you have it figured out—and that’s usually about the time the Lord steps up and mentions the tool you’ve been cracking nuts with is actually a grenade.

Because my own expectations have been off so many times, I’ve come to recognize that hallmarks of the Lord’s work include surprise, brilliant solutions to complex problems, and small and simple means to accomplish great things. But the Lord’s fingerprints are also easily overlooked and often opposed.

Though I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind, I hope that what follows will at least provide some explanations and fill in some gaps for people who are wondering why things are happening as they are. What follows is my own opinion, unless otherwise cited, and I certainly don’t speak for the three women spearheading this effort, Denver Snuffer, or anyone else. So with that framework in place, I’d like to share some thoughts about a temple.

Forget It!

Before we start, I invite you to forget what you think you know about temples. If your background is LDS, you likely already have strongly ingrained ideas about what a temple is, and what goes on there. For purposes of this discussion, let’s just assume those ideas are, at best, woefully inadequate, and at worst, utterly false.

Fact is, we don’t have much in scripture to give details about how an actual, fully functional temple operates, or what goes on there. You’ve never seen one, and neither have I. The Nauvoo temple was never completed, and Joseph never gave details about how it would be used. Section 124 only speaks in broad strokes about things we hardly understand. Furthermore, the only area used was an attic built after Joseph died. He did not provide any plans for the upper floors of the temple, and so what was built was guesswork, not revelation.

Therefore, if you object to the idea of a temple out of hand, you object to something you know nothing about—which, if you ask me, isn’t a great idea. A better course is to suspend judgment until you gain a better understanding.

OK, with that introduction in place, let’s start digging.

What is a Temple?

The word comes from the Latin Templum, meaning “sacred space.” The purpose of a temple is to provide a sacred space, apart from the pull and corruption of this fallen world, where holiness can exist and sacred, even “most sacred” things can be taught, performed, understood and received. Such an internal space can be personally visited by the Lord in His glory. The temple provides the enclosure separating the sacred from the profane.

While reading the above paragraph, I’ll bet you pictured a building with walls. If so, you were right. But now, read it again with the idea that your body is also a temple. Inside is the home of your spirit, which is sent from God and meant to be holy. It is sacred space separate and apart from the fallen, telestial world on the outside.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Cor. 3:16)
But whether you refer to a building or a body, the inside of a temple is necessary to allow holiness to exist in this dark, fallen world. The rest of this post will primarily speak of a building, though it’s well to remember the many parallels to the personal temple of your body.

Why a Temple?

The short answer is that God has always required his people to prepare a sacred space where He could come and provide what is required to rescue people from the fall and allow them to continue their ascent in eternity. Whenever there’s a people who will listen to God, he offers to exalt them to where He is, and this process begins with, and requires, a covenant with Him. For those who are unable to obtain His direct presence and personal covenant, a temple provides the means for a valid covenant nevertheless to be established using authorized ordinances.

There’s much more information at this link.

Now, I realize some people question why it’s such a big deal to have a building, tent, tabernacle, or other structure. God can do anything He wants, after all, wherever He wants, can’t he? Why go to all the trouble of a building?

This view is based on a very incomplete understanding and fails to take a number of laws into account. Eternal laws cannot be changed, even by God, and He is subject to them as we are—but He knows much better how to properly apply them. One of these is the law of sacrifice. God does what He does by covenant, and covenants require sacrifice. The sacrifice entailed in constructing the sacred space is what enables the Lord to sanctify and make it holy so it can function.

When it is sanctified and made holy, the Lord can safely visit it in His glory without destroying it. This may be a lot less mysterious and a lot more practical than it sounds. I’ll use an example to illustrate:

Our sun gives off its massive energy due to a thermonuclear fusion reaction, which is contained and kept at a safe distance from earth by the sun’s own gravity. Putting thermonuclear fusion power to practical use on earth, however, requires that the reaction be artificially contained and safely harnessed as a power source (which has yet to be accomplished). Due to the high temperature, the reaction plasma cannot be in direct contact with any solid material, and must be contained in a vacuum. But since plasma tends to expand immediately, some force is necessary to act against this expansion pressure and keep the reaction contained in the vacuum chamber without expanding. Current research uses powerful magnetic fields to contain experimental thermonuclear fusion reactions.

Ok, so what happens if there’s a failure of the magnetic containment? Well, we’re familiar with that as well. We call that a thermonuclear explosion and is exactly what powers some of our most terrible and destructive weapons, capable of leveling whole cities.

The holiest part of a temple can be likened to the containment chamber, with the brightness of the Lord’s glory safely within, and that which cannot endure such glory kept outside. Those who are prepared for a higher glory can safely enter the temple and endure God’s presence, while those who are not prepared can remain protected outside.

My point here is that this is not some hypothetical construct the Lord is free to change at will. There are physical laws at work here and power we can’t begin to imagine. There’s no other way for the glory of heaven to safely visit earth. God needs a temple to provide what He offers to mankind.

What Goes on There?

The answer to this question is central to understanding the Lord’s work and what He intends to accomplish. In fact it’s not only about what the Lord intends to accomplish, but also how the Lord intends to accomplish it. I don’t claim to know details about the things that will happen in the temple, but it will have, at minimum, the following uses:

Teaching

The temple will include a library and suitable facilities for teaching. Here’s why:
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)
Let’s look more closely at this statement. Our immortality and eternal life are defined as the Lord’s:
  • Work, meaning his labor and purpose in laboring;
  • Glory, which is defined in D&C 93:36 as intelligence, or in other words, light and truth. 

The Lord’s purpose is to give us His light and truth, with the aim of providing us eternal life—or the opportunity to continue our ascent to be like Him.

Light and truth must be conveyed to replace the lacking and false ideas that currently damn us (or in other words stop our progress). Such teaching requires sacred space. Since the beginning, such things have been taught in temples, isolated from the world, where the mysteries of God can be discussed, taught, and implemented. It is there that we learn to “walk in his paths.”

One of the results of these teachings will be the establishment of a Zion society, built on eternal truth and united as one with the Lord in understanding. Without the temple, Zion cannot be established. There’s no other way to accomplish the education required.
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)
Ordinances

God’s necessary covenants include ordinances—not preliminary, practice ordinances designed to point to the real thing, but the actual, binding ordinances that provide actual, binding promises. Though individuals can receive these things from the Lord directly, in His presence, group participation in these ordinances requires sacred space where these things can be properly offered through an administrator the Lord has authorized.

An excellent example from the Book of Mormon is King Benjamin, who provided a group covenant, at the temple, by which those present became the sons and daughters of Christ:
And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. (Mosiah 5:7)
It ought not be lost on us that this group covenant involved sacred space and an authorized administrator. Such will be required again if there is to be a Holy City.

Connecting Heaven and Earth

A third function of a real temple is to provide a literal connection between heaven and earth. Such connections are referred to in scripture as a pillar of fire, pillar of light, encircled by fire, etc. Such a fiery conduit connects the telestial earth to realms of higher glory. It enables association between the levels of glory and is the means by which heavenly messengers visit this realm.

The glory and power coming through such a connection are dangerous to this corrupt, fallen world. When such conduits appear in scripture, they are always temporary. But a temple provides a sacred space apart, where a conduit can be permanently kept open, and men and women can come into the presence of heaven, literally before the throne of God.
Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. (Revelation 7:15)
Such a conduit is the means by which translated beings in the cities of Enoch and Melchizedek, and even the cities themselves can return to this world.

Lacking a temple, these things cannot happen, Israel cannot be gathered, the Ten Tribes cannot be restored, Zion cannot be built, Enoch cannot return, Christ cannot personally dwell here, and the earth cannot be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. (Article of Faith 10)

In other words, a functioning temple is quite literally necessary to save the earth, as well as those upon it who will receive salvation. Let that sink in. We need a temple to save the earth. Kinda gives a whole different slant to the “save the planet” environmentalist ideals, doesn’t it?

So Why Start Now?

Some have questioned why we should start the effort to gather funds now, when there’s been no command given by God, no location appointed, no design revealed publicly, and no indication of when these things will progress beyond concepts.

Here are some things to think about:
For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. 
Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.
But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned. (D&C 58:26-29)
  • We ought to be anxiously engaged.
  • We know the commandment is coming. 
  • We have the failure at Nauvoo to inform us. 
  • When the commandment comes, there will be a limited time allotted by the Lord to complete the assignment. In Nauvoo, that time was three and a half years. With the Nauvoo failure to inform us, I don’t expect the Lord to give us more time than they had. 
  • A construction project of this magnitude, from initial design to full completion and dedication will easily take more time than that. (Heck, it took months just to navigate the myriad legal, financial, tax, regulatory and liability issues involved in even beginning to gather funds for such a project.)

Therefore, if we have any sense at all, since we know the command is coming, we will do all we can to be prepared to hit the ground running when the Lord designates the location and tells us to get started. Suppose at that day we have funds at the ready, stand-by engineering plans for utilities, site work, perhaps even preliminary design work for parts of the temple, preparation and organization for supplies, labor, understanding of permits, required trade skills, and ready people who have already organized, having provided all these things by their sacrifice. Suppose that’s the case when we are commanded.

Well, then, we might actually have a chance of succeeding.

Remember, this is a mortal undertaking, to be accomplished by our own labor and sacrifice. It’s not going to happen by magic or fairy dust. It will not be built by angels or paid for by manna. If we “do not anything until we are commanded,” we will fail. 

Like I said, it’s taken months just to figure out how to begin gathering money so any work can be done at all. And then, as soon as the results were announced, a chorus of people who have no understanding of the legal, financial, tax, and other ramifications started complaining that it should have been done differently.

We can’t afford to burn time like that once the command comes, and we most certainly can’t afford to immediately condemn that which we don’t understand.

But What About the Poor?

Some have suggested, or even insisted, that we are, by definition, neglecting the poor if we save money for a temple, and that using money in this way may even offend the Lord.

Let’s review a similar objection made in the past:
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 
Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 
Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always. (John 12:3-5, 7-8)
The Lord spoke truth when He said the poor we always have with us. In other words, money will NEVER cure poverty. We could all give all we have, for the rest of our lives, and never eliminate poverty—or build a temple. That’s two failures in one.

But the even greater point is that this was a correct and necessary use of money. Christ’s anointing by Mary was necessary to allow His resurrection. Without what she provided, Christ COULD NOT have broken the bands of death, attained unto the resurrection, and returned to Mary on resurrection morning. All humanity would have become forever miserable, angels to Satan, and subject to him, to rise no more (2 Nephi 9:8-9).

Remember what I said above about the body also being a temple? Mary literally anointed, or dedicated, Christ’s temple—providing him with the power of resurrection, and our own means of escape from death, hell and the devil. (2 Nephi 9:10)

Judas Iscariot’s argument that a better use of that money was to buy a few meals for the poor is not only absurd, but actually Satanic.

Of course we must do what we can to help the poor among us. But the very best way to permanently help the poor is to bring Zion—which is, in the end, the only cure for poverty. 

Conclusion

I’ll just conclude with a couple of thoughts. First, I absolutely support this project, and I hope I’ve made at least some of my reasons clear in this post. I have sufficient reasons to believe the things I've written here. Second, what I’ve shared is my opinion, and I don’t speak for anyone else, including the three women who have sacrificed and labored to provide a way for funds to be gathered. 

I know there are still questions about how the money is being gathered, and I hope to address some of those in a future post. Until then, my prayer is that the Lord will bless our efforts and help us prepare for what lies ahead.

The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
—Psalm 11:4

39 comments:

  1. Thanks Adrian,

    It is simple really, ask GOD if this is his will, and if you get a "yes" donate, and if you get a "no" don't. I am sure James, CHRIST's brother would agree, as would Joseph Smith.

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  2. There's a reason why a temple is given another name besides a house of learning but it is a place of "refuge". While the Lord can visit "a temple" or our bodies a temple is about a family. It's familia or community and resolves around the work of the Father.

    What if all are equal in Zion because all are poor (at least at first)? Or possibly what if building a temple brings about a people who will be able to relieve the poor through that effort and ceasing to be idle.

    Joseph Smith said,

    From TPJS 329: Some say it is better to give to the poor than build the Temple. The building of the Temple has sustained the poor who were driven from Missouri, and kept them from starving; and it has been the best means for this object which could be devised.

    "Instead of consecrating, we tithe." pp.255-256 PTR, "If you have no poor among you, donate to build a temple." “Doctrine of Christ,” Sept. 11, 2016, p. 17

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    1. I like that Tyson, thanks. After all, it is about bringing about a fulfillment of the covenant made to the Fathers, in order to prevent utter waste. They need a place to return as well.

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  3. I guess I should add I personally think each fellowship should provide a fund for themselves. Prevent the temptation on a few. Same reasons for not wanting one or two to Govern the tithing funds. But for some it may be the best way. Maybe the money will never be used anyways for whatever reason but it won't matter.

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  4. Adrian, you have (in my opinion) made some very good points to which I'm seriously taking to heart.
    I just read D&C 97 a couple of days ago. I don't think it's coincidence. I find that when the Lord wants me to pay close attention to something He will make it known to me somewhere else as a second witness for me.
    It's very exciting that we are seeing prophecy unfolding before our very eyes. May we see it be fulfilled in the building of "The Temple", the New Jerusalem and Zion.
    May our temples be prepared for "the great and dreadful" day of our Lord's return.

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  5. Bravo!!!

    Let's Roll!!!

    What a glorious opportunity we have before us!

    An opportunity to sacrifice is granted to us.

    This is what prophets have looked upon through the ages and desired and longed for it to be in their day.

    It is not requisite for a man to run faster than he has strength, but let us increase in strength.

    The Lord has set His hand again the second time!

    Let's not let this opportunity slip through our hands.

    Forward!

    Ride to the sound of the battle!

    The seed of Lehi is about to be blessed. The covenants to him and Abraham will be fulfilled.

    Let's Roll!!!!!!!!!

    Gary

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    1. Oh so you guys are actually gathering and teaching the native americans?

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  6. Thanks for your insights. In our meeting on Sunday this very issue was raised and ultimately we agreed to meet in 10 days to pray fully consider whether we as a group should use our tithing funds for temple construction. I was initially opposed and thought we were better served to donate individually or set up a separate " temple fund " at the community level to which we could individually contribute. You post has provided some new insights and thou almost persuadeth me. Thanks Bellamy

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  7. There are many good points on this post. I'm more inclined to keep the gathering stage very small because of people's disposition at this point still, but freely give others permission to think differently. I will act in accordance to my inspiration and pray earnestly that others will too. If that is where this temple find idea has come from I rejoice in that and if not I pray we will be open for correction. Either way I will support anyone seeking to do the Lord's will.

    I do think that before any temple can come with any real efficacy that most seek we must let go of our desire to be "right." (Their making others "wrong.") I think we have drawn boxes that are keeping us trapped in a telestial sphere and we cannot receive the full endowment until we become willing to learn what those boxes are. Otherwise it will be to our condemnation.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights. Much love and let us all ramp up our prayers to be found worthy before the throne of God that we might then be able to go and bring others.

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  8. While not explicit (because that would interfere with our agency) you can get an idea of the purpose of the temple in 3rd Nephi. More specifically, if you look at the 3 Nephite disciples who were "more blessed" with the gifts of the Spirit in order to convert an entire generation, you'll see that the temple in its true form was meant to pour out the Spirit to those who seek to heal, succor and convince a people who are presently in captivity. (Yes, that includes the "poor" you speak of, Michelle). The Lord needs to have a place which is sanctified and dedicated where He can purge His children of their corruption and present His sacrament (as was done in Bountiful). Can this be done on an individual basis in the temples of our bodies? I suppose so, but the physical structure of the temple on the "tops of the mountain" gives a beacon or an ensign that the rest of the world can seek, especially as the chaos is magnified in this generation. It also fulfills prophecy and promises the Lord has given to the House of Israel. It's possible that in order to be "numbered among" the seed of Lehi, we Gentiles need a spot dedicated to the cause of rescuing the lost ones, that we may "assist" them in building Zion. In my opinion, to say that the Lord will only house the temples of our bodies is a bit of a selfish mindset, and lays aside the commission we have been given to be "nursing mothers and fathers" to Israel. How will we nurse them if we are not healed and sanctified ourselves? If that edict is given only on an individual basis, it seems that it sets aside the prophesied route and opens the door to confusion and disarray.

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    1. DJL, there's much more that could be said about the ordinances the Savior performed at the temple in Bountiful. A close reading of the text with eyes to see reveals a wealth of astonishing information. Perhaps a topic for a future blog post...

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  9. Thank you Adrian. Good thoughts and input. My wife and I support the fund raising efforts underway. We are glad to donate and will continue to pray for the coming temple.

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  10. Well said.

    In gathering tithes, and in accordance with scripture, I have two goals in front of me. 1) To eliminate the suffering of the poor and 2) To build Zion.

    The Law of Consecration in the early was initially meant to be a donation of surpluses to the storehouse, but it was only used among Zion, and to build Zion, including a temple. Funds weren't given to the local poor house in general. In truth, there were enough poor among them, so maybe the debate wasn't needed at the time. Tithing replaced that, but the proceeds of tithes didn't change in Nauvoo. They were to help build the temple and to help the poor. Heck, they even built the equivalent of a mall there (Red Brick Store). Chew on that for a moment.

    We help the poor among us, and often that extends beyond our fellowships. It is a commandment given from the Lord, from King Benjamin, and in Malachi. Tithes help the poor. But they also are meant to redeem Zion. It is up to each of us how we segregate those offerings. We need to lean upon the Lord to know how to segregate them and when to segregate them. For my family, we split it down the middle. We give about half to the poor, perhaps a beggar, perhaps the local food pantry, and we give the other half for needs in our fellowship or families that perhaps aren't so poor, but have secondary financial needs that can crop up, like medical bills.

    I think in the early days of this movement we spent some of our outrage capital brandishing the LDS Church for it's lack of caring for the poor, admonishing it for ANY capital funds spent, be it on temples, churches, or malls. The point, however, was never the temples, churches, or malls. It was how those things neglected helping the poor and how it gets in the way for people belonging to a large institution in fulfilling that commandment.

    In other words, ratios matter more than the projects built.

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  11. I have been studying on this for a couple of months. Reading through your blog, Adrian, I found a few things that didn't seem to jive with my insights as I have studied this.

    I do not want to be a distraction to others who are in favor of the temple project. I just hope everyone is open to seeking the Lord's opinion on it today.

    I always appreciate your work on the blogs Adrian. Keep up the good work.

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  12. Adrian, the scripture reference you used in Revelation 7:15, I thought, refers to the martyrs who suffered and died during the last days tribulation and were there waiting around Gods throne. I'm not understanding why you used it in conjunction with a temple on earth. Please help me understand.

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    1. Hi Tammy,

      Though the martyrs are specifically mentioned in Revelation 6, the reference in 7 only refers to those "which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." These serve the Lord in His temple.

      It's useful to consider how one might "wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the lamb." How might we be those people?

      I selected this scripture to illustrate how it is possible to be before the throne of God and yet in an earthly temple, when a conduit between heaven and earth is open.

      And, it's worth noting, "he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." I believe this is a clear reference to Christ dwelling in Zion.

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  13. I am in favor of doing Gods will, however i fall much to short, way to often. It still smarts to think of the tithes and offerings that were paid which i thought were fire insurance, which turned out to be nothing more than priestcraft, and idolatry. It is still tender.
    It has been wonderful to actually see tithing and offerings actually benefiting the poor instead of squandered on real estate, ect. I had a conversation with a close relative about the homeless in Salt Lake, and the move by the church to relocate them, and his comment was the poor we will always have with us, is now the same aurgument we get here, which in both instances was taken out of context. Christ was only there for a while, and soon to make an atoning sacrifice, it was essential to anoint Him with oil. But since we do not have his association, then the poor do take priority. King Benjamin says it best. therefore we have a responsibility to do both, care for the poor, and build Zion (temple). However it should be done in the same method as in the past, which in Moses day was to gather together then revelation was given to build the temple how, where, and when. It was the same in Joseph's day.
    Now i go to the temple building web site and it has a legal disclaimer that the church would be proud of, and all of a sudden this feels much like what i just came from. I wish to know Gods will and do it, but this seems a bit like charging the pass. Is God still a God of Order?

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    1. Amen, Don.

      My biggest concern is that when the economy collapses and all the money (in every institution) disappears, there will be those who will be angry. At themselves, at Denver, at the women, and at anyone who urged saving up money for a temple before there is even a society worthy of it.

      But that seems to be the Lord's m.o. to let us go off and do something that will give us the future opportunity to lose faith in him - or to believe in spite of feeling let down by him, even though all he did was let us do what we wanted. I think it is a way to painfully have our "warts" knocked off - and is probably necessary.
      Toni

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    2. LJn,

      On the other hand, is it possible the economy will not collapse until some point after the temple is completed and the gathering has begun? Your assumption that everyone will have contributed for nothing is not necessarily the only way things might happen.

      It's clear that economies and governments are now so fragile that they could collapse at any time. And yet, the Lord keeps things in check and holds forces in balance still. I believe He has done so for the specific purpose of giving us time to repent and accomplish His will.

      But at some point His patience will end. We've got to show progress to continue to merit His protection. If we do so, I believe He has the power to provide the conditions needed to complete the temple while money still means something.

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    3. I have been donating for a couple of months now to that temple fund after a long period of prayer about it, and I just want to add my witness that it is the Lord's work. It may not be the only inspired vehicle for gathering funds, but it is nonetheless correct. And about the economy, that is fear talk. Fear and faith cannot exist in the same space. I suggest thoughtful, earnest prayer on the subject, then do what you know to be right regardless of consequences, real or imagined.

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    4. After praying about and studying the matter for months, my family began donating to the temple fund and it has blessed us enormously. I would like to add another witness to all of this that it is the Lord's work. This may also not be the only vehicle being used to prepare for this project. As far as the economy is concerned, that is fear talk. Fear and faith cannot occupy the same space. Either it is the Lord's work or it is not, but each of us have to make a prayerful decision about it.

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  14. People should really pray regarding this decision and then do what they feel led to do. We should be able to do all things uprightly, legally, and lawfully under the Constitution. Someone still has to own the building trust, 501c3, individual. The IRS and GOV can still come in and take it when they want despite the existence of a corporate structure or lack thereof. Besides, by the time Zion is really established there won't be an United States Government so in the meantime while they exist my opinion is stay in the light and do things according to the law of the Land-- anything else proves to be more dangerous or risky. I have seen numerous groups do this same type of thing and in the end the Governement walked right on in and took possession anyway and they had no legal protection that other structures could have had. Also they got sued by their own people later and the individuals who took the money ended up in CLUB FED. As for the First Nations part, well at least the gift could be used to help people if not for a temple and a little more protection is provided from taxation, but still you have no voice or oversight. They are a separate nation. I really think we need to stop hiding in the darkness thinking that we are hiding from anyone because while they are in power- Render to Caesar what is Ceasar's and to God what is Gods'.

    While completing my Master's thesis I did a project on Cooperative and Intentional Communities. Honestly this has all been done before and it appears that they are starting to do all the things that caused other communities that ended up as failures. I think the parable in Luke 16: 8 really applies here, sum of which is this, "“The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light."

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    1. Robert,

      I really don't think that giving money to known/named individuals is "working in darkness". Many tax sheltered donation strategies are entirely legitimate and are carried out in an orderly and legal fashion, with no attempt to defraud any government of their duly owed taxes, and with no attempt to defraud contributors as to the stated disposition of the funds.

      My guess is that the temple is going to be built within the boundaries of the Siksika Nation (Alberta Canada) or possibly within the boundries of the Nez Perce Reservation (Idaho USA).

      In this regard, I think that you are mistaken that 501c3 requirements would attach to the project, or that an individual or legal corporation will have to "own" the land or the building. Check out "Tax Status of Tribes" on the IRS website, and read through some of the various categories and rules.

      It makes sense that the blood descendants of Lehi will have the ownership / lead of this project, and that we European gentiles will not be able to dominate, control, or stake claim to the land or the building. The Native American tribes have a significant measure of legal independence from the US and Canada, and if employed righteously, there is no reason that such freedom can't be used to create an "untouchable" or dedicated area for a temple, open to anyone whom the Tribe deems worthy to enter, and closed to anyone whom they deem unworthy.

      In this regard, being a federal agent of the US or Canadian government will be essentially meaningless. Those agents will have little to no authority to issue any demands, little to no authority to inspect or permit/unpermit buildings, and little to no authority to levy any taxes.

      I think that the US will still exist when the New Jerusalem is built, and this will be important because the US will continue to honor the existing reservation boundaries of the Native American peoples, and this will allow people to move to those locations and seek refuge from the wickedness that will prevail everywhere else.

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    2. By working in darkness I am not trying to imply it is evil but that of undercover. As I have done work in regard to financial and liability issues with 2 other First Nations Reservations of the last two years, there are still legal implications when it comes to liability and don't think for a second that the Federal government doesn't still have over arching authority over them which they regulate to this day. My point is that it is always good to have transparency and oversight on any big project.

      If the Tribes will be owning the temple and controlling things then I think that that should be disclosed to people before they engage in donating $5 million to a Temple that they don't own and have no oversight or at least a voice in.

      If such is the case then it would be nice to hear this from real representatives of such tribal governments and would like some disclosure on ownership and management of the temple. I think if people knew more about what was going on instead of confining it to 3 people with no real accountability then I think you are asking for trouble.

      If you would like a real time reality check into the potential problems may I suggest looking at the RICO act and the potential problems these people who are gifted money could face. I have had to handle cases where this is involved and it is not a fun ride. Again, just be careful and prayerful.

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    3. I do not believe there's any intention for a native tribe to own or control the temple.

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  15. Adrian,

    I love your post. I especially like the point about the temple being the only place where God's full glory can be revealed -- due to the quality of the temple (built by an acceptable sacrifice, which creates a force field of some kind), and that if God were to reveal his full glory outside of the temple, it would burn up the nearby cities or the whole world. (Which makes me think there are times when he appears in partial or veiled forms of glory -- 1820 in the Sacred Grove, etc).

    With regard to the thermonuclear analogy (which I think is an excellent one overall) -- I wanted to offer a few thoughts...

    There is a group of scientists who have dissented from the mainstream and rejected the idea that the sun is nuclear. They believe the sun's core is cold, and that only the surface is hot -- heated by an intersection of large electromagnetic plasma fields. I've looked at their work, and I think they are right:

    Thunderbolts of the Gods (you can find the video on YouTube)
    The Electric Sky (book by Don Scott)
    The Electric Universe (book by Wallace Thornhill and David Talbott)

    Mentioning this doesn't have much to do with the overall message of your post, other than to offer a slight criticism of you calling the sun nuclear.

    In any case, I love your blog, and I look forward to additional posts regarding the temple! This is an exciting time.

    Thank you for your hard work, and all of your insights and knowledge.

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    1. An excellent background for reconsidering the purpose of a temple, Adrian. In the absence of actual revelation on the matter, the LDS mantra that the temple is the pinnacle of their worship seems quite self-satisfied and and short-sighted.

      In no way do I want to detract from the focus of the post. I do concur, however, with Anonymous's belief in the Electric Universe. In that paradigm, the sun is not a celestial body fueled by thermonuclear processes which inexplicably result in the corona of the sun being millions of degrees hotter than the core. Instead, what if the sun is an anode receiving power from outside itself along with other stars, like lights on a Christmas tree?

      The electric universe view dovetails nicely with the events connected with the judgments of God—both anciently and those prophesied at end of the world. For an extended exploration of this view, check out Anthony Larson's work at mormonprophecy.com.

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  16. Oh Adrian,
    We loved your post. Our first thought was when it was announced realizing how close things really are! My husband and I were able to gain much from your post that made us stop and think of things we hadn't realized before! We appreciate you using your God given talents to put things into words that are not possible for so many of us. Thank you for your diligence, patience, and love that your express!

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  17. I personally beleive that the train wreck that Denver saw in vision was this movement, and it appears to be quickly picking up speed.

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  18. In agreement. Amen!

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  19. 15 Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power;
    16 Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel.
    17 For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched–out arm.
    18 And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.
    19 Therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers: Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence.
    20 But I say unto you: Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land.
    21 Verily, verily I say unto you, that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun. is the man to whom I likened the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spake in the parable which I have given unto you.
    22 Therefore let my servant Joseph Smith, Jun. say unto the strength of my house, my young men and the middle aged—Gather yourselves together unto the land of Zion, upon the land which I have bought with money that has been consecrated unto me.

    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 103:15 - 22)

    I don't think we are going to see Zion or a Zion Temple be built until the Lord does as he did previously. One will be appointed to lead the effort. The angels will gather. The Lord will be there too. The actual construction of the Temple or of Zion will not be done after the manner of men. Zion and the Zion Temple will be built by those who already know the Lord and can be instructed by the Lord on how it is to be done. At some point a collection will take place so that land can be obtained; but once serious construction begins, if the Lord's servants go forward in power there will be none able to stop them because they already have Zion among them.

    This is all just my opinion on how it will be. I admit I don't know for sure exactly how it will be. I just don't think that the prophesied Zion will be raised up conventionally.

    Without the Lord commanding it, I think that any efforts to begin this process will be futile and a waste of property. I say, wait on the Lord!

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      You speak of one who will be appointed to lead the effort. Is it possible the Lord has already appointed this person?

      Likewise, you note that at some point a collection will take place so that land can be obtained. Is this not what's currently underway?

      Yes, we must wait for the Lord to command, meaning the timing, location, temple plans, etc., are all in the Lord's hands. But I think there's great wisdom in being prepared against the day of that commandment. As I stated in the post, if we don't prepare, we will fail when the time comes. There's no way to get it all done in 3-1/2 years if we start from zero.

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    2. Good job anonymous

      This temple endeavor is not in accordance to the D&C.

      Joseph Smith will return to the earth.

      G.azelem

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  20. This is an interesting post and interesting commentary highlighting a variety of reactions to the fundraising project. I have wondered myself about the potential futility of the effort, as expressed by a handful of commenters. I don't know if economic collapse will occur before a temple is built, since I can't see the future, but I hesitate to worry about it too much. In one sense, Nephi's first effort at obtaining the brass plates from Laban was futile and resulted in needless loss of money. Was there value to the effort nonetheless? Certainly the Book of Mormon wouldn't be quite the same without the initial failure. Would Nephi have received the later guidance from the Lord had he not made his own, apparently futile, effort first? If the same thing happens to us, could there still be value in our initial failure?

    These questions make me think that the fundraising effort might not be a bad idea, regardless of any personal opinion I might have about their likelihood of success. That leaves the lone question of whether I think the hope of a temple is worth separating myself from my money, which also implies becoming a fool to those who subscribe to the old saying (and at least some in the "movement" of sorts that's occurring in Mormonism right now)...

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  21. I read the scripture references you provided to support your statements about Mary that "Without what she provided, Christ COULD NOT have broken the bands of death, [and] attained unto the resurrection" and that Mary was "providing him with the power of resurrection".

    This assigns Mary a role way beyond what I can deduce from Scripture. It is an interesting idea and I don't wish to reject it out of hand so I will take it to the Lord. But could you elaborate further?

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    1. Hi Yvette,

      Thank you for asking. Here's some further information from Denver Snuffer's lecture 7--Christ: The Prototype of the Saved Man.

      "Without stating something inappropriate, Christ could not have done what He did, if He had not had a woman to fulfill a role in relation to Him. She anointed Him preliminary to His death, burial and resurrection. She was the first one to greet Him when resurrected. It was not possible, under the process required for salvation of a God, for Him to accomplish all that was needed without the presence of the woman. There is no Father without a Mother. There is no God without a Divine Consort at His side. She has a distinct role to accomplish some needful things in connection with finishing the path to godhood."

      And from Preserving the Restoration (the book):

      [Everything we hope for in the next life, including all our “expectations,” must be obtained from God through a valid covenant. Remember the role of the woman is significant, even in the Christ’s life. A woman anointed Him preliminary to His death and burial. That authorized anointing gave Him the expectation to come forth out of the grave. This is the reason Joseph Smith received the original rites of washing and anointing, which promise to preserve functions of the body in the resurrection. Those rites are now discarded. The temple anointings are not for this life. They give an “expectation” for eternity. If the expectation is not ratified by the Holy Spirit of Promise, we are left to obtain it in some later estate or cycle. Everything from God must be obtained by covenant.

      And:

      "If the details were important now, the scriptures and temple rites would include them. Paul wrote of the Father and Son possessing “all riches” through what he calls “a mystery” by which both God the Father and Christ held “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Those treasures are found in the union of male and female, the truest “image of God.” Such things are best left unexplained with the present state of mankind. The challenges we face and the burdens we must bear to escape this prison are great enough. There is no reason to be distracted by what is far beyond this generation’s present reach. The scriptures wisely allude to them but do not elaborate on these events in the Lord’s life."

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  22. "32 What shall then answer the messengers of the nations? That the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it."

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