Temples as Condemnatory (Merciful) Substitutes

September 1832

"And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion." (D&C 84:54-58)

December 1832

Kirtland Temple announced.




"Chosen people" juxtaposed with those who actually receive Him:

"The life of Christ illustrates the need to distinguish between a necessary order, organization or 'chosen people' among whom He will always work, on the one hand, and actually receiving Him as individuals, on the other. His work with mankind begins when He first establishes a people. They are 'chosen' to receive a body of teachings which preserve truths and gather tithes to build a House of the Lord. Then He allows those people who are chosen to live freely, exercising their agency to preserve or neglect the light He has dispensed to them. In every past dispensation, including the one established by the Lord in the Meridian of Time, there was always a foundational prophet or dispensation head. The new dispensation's teachings were then perpetuated, in a less-than perfect way, by stewards who inherited the presiding offices. The tradition quickly eroded, and what remained was a hollow, spiritless entity which venerated the founder, claimed to follow His (or His messenger's) teachings, but drifted away from contact with heaven." (Come Let Us Adore Him, p. 68)

We read this last night, and wondered about the purpose of a temple, and tithes etc. with a new group. This seemed pretty obviously directed at the LDS church, but we wondered too if it meant the new temple/tithes in the fellowships. We wondered if this was known and God's plan from the beginning, perhaps written wittingly or unwittingly.

Joseph said the poor can receive God on the mountaintop, but the rich must build a temple. I wonder if that meant, not worldly riches, but that those who value the sureness of their path and way and build temples are, even in this group, unwittingly "rich" until they become "poor" and actually receive God on the mountain top, or in Nephi's words, "caught up to an exceedingly high mountain." But even being unwitting, they are promoting God's work through symbol. There are some in the movement who value their knowledge and relationship with Denver and is sure of his position and actions they take.

Perhaps during the tenth talk, Denver or the Lord already knew temples were an inevitability that that were always needed for the rich, because there would always be rich, which the Gospel net gathered in. And by not explaining why temples were needed, he allowed self-delusion to continue.

It seems self-delusion is used for good, because it is those who are head-strong create organizations, raise funds and push forward without questioning their motives, or rightness of their path. Heaven knows my continual questioning of myself, renders me of little use to organizational goals.




Moses sought to bring the children of Israel into the actual presence of God, because only a few did, they were cursed with carnal Commandments and temple ordinances or temple worship.

The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God. Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand? Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power. I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended." (D&C 88)

"But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." (Alma 30:44)

God is already everywhere, in everything. It is our unbelief (or false beliefs) that prevent us from seeing and understanding.

The alternate to being stiffnecked is juxtaposed with those having "communion with the Holy Spirit which maketh manifest," and receiving "many revelations."

"And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiffnecked. And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith." (Jarom)

Temples seem to be given to those with an inability to see so that it can be a teaching tool, in hopes that one day they will see.

Joseph's primary drive after the condemnation was to get a temple built which came only at great sacrifice, unloading of all their riches. The temple being a symbol of our own temple, our riches required to build it perhaps are a symbol to those false ideas we treasure.


See Also

Describing how similar to what happened in a dungeon mirrors what happened at the Bountiful Temple rubble—without a temple. Also notice it was heathens and dissenters that received these blessings and not idol worshippers. (Link)

Why a Temple? (Link)


Stephen: "the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands"

"This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon. Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him an house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it." (Acts 7:38-53)

Paul, basically quoting Stephen who had died:

"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;" (Acts 17:24-25)

Salvation comes by no other way nor means

"And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent." (Mosiah 3:17)

John: "I saw no temple therein"

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God...And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." (Revelation 21:2-3, 22-23)


"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)


It's also interesting that it seems like it's the people fighting against God that receive these revelations as often as it is people like Nephi. Maybe more often because of the quantity of them, like these Lamanites when they were surrounded by fire or Alma and the sons of Mosiah who fought against the church. Maybe God is serious, when he says I would that you were either hot or cold.