Mormon temples compared to Catholic Basilicas and Cathedrals

I was Mormon for a short time and only got my temple recommend. I never went. IN fact… I left the church after I got it. I didn’t want to baptize the dead. Long story. Anyway, I always felt like I missed something. They make temples seem sooo amazing and beautiful. I have seen pictures… there is a lot of white, but I don’t know if I see beauty beyond that. May be it is in the ceremonies performed?

I went into a Basilica on Prince Edward Island in Canada and was just taken away. The pictures could not describe how beautiful it was. All the artwork, statues, etc. So much detail. I went to Mass there.

I often wonder why temple access is denied if Mormons believe God is in there while we open the doors wide open to nonmembers in very holy places. Just seems odd to me.

What are your thoughts? Also, aren’t we really not in need of temples anymore?

Mormon temples are not comparable to a Christian church. Joseph Smith was a Mason. The Mormon temples are based on Masonic Temples, hence the secrecy and limited access.

Mormon temples are, essentially, empty halls. God in there, in so far as he is everywhere, but Mormon temples lack even the remotest echos of the True presence of Christ. They are nothing more than an assembly hall, no different from a convention center.

They are closed because there is nothing of consequence in them that would warrant them being open at all times. There’s nothing in them that cannot be found anywhere else.

As for needing Mormon temples, no, we don’t need them anymore, in fact, we never needed them. There has never been a point in the entirety of history where a Mormon temple was useful to anyone, beyond perhaps sheltering them from the weather… spiritually, they serve no purpose.

On the other hand, we could always use more Catholic Churches, because it is in the Catholic Church that one can prostrate themselves before the true, physical presence of our Lord, and speak to his physical self. There is no other place on Earth that this is possible. This is why, barring legitimate needs for security in certain areas, Catholic Churches are always open, we always want people to be able to spend time before our Lord. regardless of the time of day.

I know this sounds harsh, but you did ask our thoughts.

Well from the LDS perspective, the temple is the pinnacle of their religious life. It symbolizes returning to the presence of God, as well as where families are sealed for eternity. As far as the aesthetics, I liked the temples I visited. Yes, there’s a lot of white, gold color, etc, as well as paintings of Jesus, nature, Biblical scenes, etc. The grounds often have fountains and nice greenery.

I went into a Basilica on Prince Edward Island in Canada and was just taken away. The pictures could not describe how beautiful it was. All the artwork, statues, etc. So much detail. I went to Mass there.

Nice. I’ve been to the Basilica of the National Shrine in DC, I LOVE that place. It’s huge, so many chapels, an indoor fountain with a statue of Mary, etc.

I often wonder why temple access is denied if Mormons believe God is in there while we open the doors wide open to nonmembers in very holy places. Just seems odd to me.

Mormons believe that one must be worthy to enter the temple. They often point to practices involving the OT Tabernacle and Temple involving restriction of access to various parts of the temple.

What are your thoughts? Also, aren’t we really not in need of temples anymore?

This is a topic that I’ve talked about many times. Firstly, I don’t see anywhere in the New Testament where the first Christians taught or practiced Endowment and Sealing ordinances necessary for eternal life. Yes, a number of elements (though certainly not everything) of the LDS temple, specifically the Endowment, come from Freemasonry (either direct borrowing or modified, though the meaning is changed to fit the LDS context). There are various books on this topic. A new one that I have is “Joseph’s Temples: The Dynamic Relationship between Freemasonry and Mormonism”. Some Mormons believe that Freemasonry has ancient origins. Others believe that used Freemasonry as a tool to explain these concepts. :shrug:

Secondly, Catholics do have temples. Every single one of our churches, basilicas, cathedrals, etc are temples. Indeed, in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, they are often specifically called “temples”. Just think about everything that happens in a Catholic church/cathedral/etc, and you’ll realize that it all goes back to the Jewish tabernacle and temple. This includes:

-a sacrificial priesthood
-purification with water prior to entry to the church proper
-altars
-incense
-singing of psalms
-bread and wine offering
-literal presence of God
-perpetually burning flame symbolizing the presence of God
-covenants made/renewed

and on and on. There are a number of books on this topic. As well, you may be interested in the book “The Church: Unlocking the Secrets to the Places Catholics Call Home”.

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I know we don’t need Mormon temples… I meant in general.

Honestly, I don’t know why you need to be harsh to me, since I am not Mormon, but Catholic. I asked a simple question.

My favorite basilica/cathedral I’ve seen is the Mission Basilica in San Diego. I love the mosaic they have of the Stations of the Cross.

Secondly, Catholics do have temples. Every single one of our churches, basilicas, cathedrals, etc are temples. Indeed, in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, they are often specifically called “temples”. Just think about everything that happens in a Catholic church/cathedral/etc, and you’ll realize that it all goes back to the Jewish tabernacle and temple. This includes:

-a sacrificial priesthood
-purification with water prior to entry to the church proper
-altars
-incense
-singing of psalms
-bread and wine offering
-literal presence of God
-perpetually burning flame symbolizing the presence of God
-covenants made/renewed

:thumbsup: I never actually noticed this until I saw it mentioned here a few days ago. My favorite is still the sanctuary lamp. It’s the first thing I look for whenever I visit a church. (Well technically the Tabernacle, but the sanctuary lamp provides that important bit of information of if there’s consecrated Host inside)

Thanks everyone… great topic :slight_smile:

Mormon Temples are briefly open to the public before they are officially opened for worship. Even after worship begins, non-members such as fireman are permitted to tour the premises to plan for emergency response. Certain sacred artifacts are covered or removed prior to such planning tours.

The alleged purpose of a Temple serves very different purpose that that of a Catholic basilica or cathedral. Catholic churches are meant to be public places of worship, suitable for all sacraments. Larger churches merely hold more people. Cathedrals hold a special throne, called the cathedra, which symbolize the bishop’s authority, but the church building itself is otherwise identical in function to any other Catholic church building.

Mormon Temples serve to house specific sacred ordinance ceremonies, and are not used for general worship, nor for large congregations. Their size and decor merely reflect the importance of the ceremonies to Mormons. General Sunday worship takes place in local chapels, including celebration of the sacrament (communion with water and bread). Temples are not even open on Sunday!

Thank you. I was aware of this since I was Mormon at one point.

Several years ago as I was touring the Sistine Chapel, I actually spoke with my daughter about the fact that everyone is welcomed into that very holy chapel, but unless you pay your 10% you could never enter a Mormon temple even if you were the most devout LDS follower!:smiley:

You didn’t miss out on much. Temples generally look like nice hotel lobbies with a few paintings of Jesus. Nice, but nothing all that special.

The ceremonies are not all that special either. As others have stated, the endowment ceremony is masonic in origin. You can watch it on YouTube. The biggest thing I hated about the temple was having to veil my face during the prayer circle. I found that to be dehumanizing.

In ProdglArchitect’s defense (which is not really necessary) I don’t think it was meant as being harsh to you directly, rather the comment may be viewed as harsh in general, especially by those of the LDS faith.

oh I see. Sorry Prodglarchitect

Wow…I disagree with this.

Temples are beautiful. Very ornate and peaceful. Very comfortable. Different sections for different ordinances. The sealing room is especially beautiful.

I do not accept the ordinances as from God. But one cannot deny the beauty and peace of an LDS Temple

All Mormon temples are open for public tours before they are officially commissioned for use. When one opens in your area, take a look!

Personally, the ones I’ve visited look more over-decorated hotel lobbies, especially the celestial rooms. Just my opinion. You can see photos here:

lds.org/church/temples/why-we-build-temples/inside-the-temple?lang=eng

Hi everyone, new LDS poster here. The response above I believe accurately describes the inside of LDS temples and their intended use. Since the LDS church is actively building more temples across the world, there may be an opportunity to take a tour prior to a temple dedication. I would encourage you to do so.

Although entrance to dedicated temples is limited to those with a recommend, you can feel free to go to a temple and explore the grounds, sit and reflect, pray, etc. We believe that the spirit of these holy houses can be felt even outside the building proper.

We believe that temples are truly the ‘House of the Lord’ as the ancient Israelites experienced it, and that the presence of Jesus Christ may be experienced in these temples unlike any other place on earth.

Concerning the relationship between LDS temple rites and Masonic ritual, much has been written. Personally I hold the view that Masonic ritual stems from ancient temple ritual, specifically the temple of Solomon, as the Freemasons themselves portray.

Do the you know the Old Testament history or the temple?

Welcome to CAF

Do you have any references to support your view that the Masonic rituals stem from ancient temple rights, or is it just a “feeling”?

Are you aware that JS was a freemason, and the institution of mormon temple rights began about the same time?

Shinehah,

Do you really believe that the ancient Israelites went to the temple to gather in a big room, watch an endowment play, give one another secret handshakes and mime various gruesome ways to be killed? Do you believe the ancient Israelites performed baptisms for the dead? Do you believe that the ancient Israelites went to the temple to get married and sealed? References, please.

The bible is very, very clear about what went on first in the tabernacle and later in the temple. Everything about the temple is described in excruciating detail. It was all about slaughtering and burning animals and other offerings (flour, grain, oil, etc.) as a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and as guilt offerings, tithes and other kinds of offerings.

No baptisms for the dead, no signs and tokens, no prayer circle, no Pay Lay Ale. If anything of the sort occurred in those days, there would be some allusion to it in the bible. There is none.

If you want to see something that truly hearkens back to ancient Israel, especially the synagog, attend a Catholic mass. The Catholic faith is the fulfillment of Judaism.

Paul (formerly LDS, now happily Catholic)

They look like really beautiful funeral parlors, and I guess that’s fitting since they baptise so many dead people in them.

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