The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reported dates for the open house and dedication of the Fort Lauderdale Temple in Florida. This will make the 143rd temple in operation by the Mormon Church. These buildings are exquisite in their architectural designs, with beautiful landscape, and interior artistic designs. In these buildings, faithful Latter-day Saints are able to take out sacred oaths and covenants and draw closer to God. Works for those who have passed on are done, as well as families sealed for all time and eternity. Temples are part of the Mormon doctrine and central to their worship and devotion. This includes living a righteous life as best as one is able to in compliance to the commandments and teachings of the Church. Confessions of sins and repentance are required for those seeking enter into this sacred place.
As beautiful these buildings are, and the symbol of those Latter-day Saints who live out faithful lives, the reality is that a Christian believer is to become a temple unto God. This happens at the moment of one’s conversion and confession that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:13-20). We move from our past lives, associated behaviors and perceptions through the process of transformation through the power of a Sovereign God (Romans 12:1-2). It is through this process of transformation that we become a sacred temple where the Spirit of God is able to dwell within us. Paul shared this insight to the Christian believers at Corinth:
12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:12-20; NASB)
The apostle is admonishing us today, just as much as he wrote to and spoke with the Christians in Corinth, about the nature of our bodies and how we ought to strive to glorify God. To do this, we must present ourselves as living sacrifices on a daily basis (Romans 12:1-2). The Psalmist teaches us that we are to take delight in the law of the Lord and meditate upon it day and night. For the Christian today, we are to take delight in the Grace of God through Jesus Christ and meditate upon the words and teachings that we find within the Bible.
The nature of our transformation from our old life and into the new life as a fellow believer and disciple of Jesus Christ involves the individual to dedicate his or her body as a sacred temple unto God. By doing so, we are able to worship our Sovereign God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24; NASB). Unlike those who are faithful to the teachings of the Mormon faith, Christians have the ability to worship God without seeking approval to enter into a sacred dedicated building. For the Christian, they are the sacred temple of God, bought with a price and transformed into a new creation where the Holy Spirit resides to guide us into all things. Let us, therefore, continue to strive in transforming our lives into a authentic Christian lifestyle. As beautiful as the LDS Temples are, we are far more sacred and beautiful when devoted to the doctrine of Grace and living out an authentic Christian life.