Thursday, October 29, 2015

To keep the temple a holy place

"Jesus Cleanses the Temple" is the title of a video in the LDS Media Library at LDS.org (click here). The subtitle of this video states:

"Jesus clears worldly merchandise from the temple courts in order to keep the temple a holy place." (Emphasis added.)

James E. Talmage provides additional details, explaining that between the outer wall and the inner temple was a spacious courtyard, the Court of the Gentiles:

"It was in this court that money-changers and traffickers in animals used for sacrifice had established their stalls at the time of our Lord's ministry, and from which they were expelled through His righteous indignation." (The House of the Lord, 1968, p47; see also D. Kelly Ogden, "Jesus and the Temple," Ensign, April 1991.)


During the past thirteen months, my wife and I have spent a fair amount of time in the Ogden Utah Temple. On numerous occasions, on our way home, we have encountered crowds of people waiting for a newlywed couple to exit the temple doors. Twice, we have been startled by sudden cheering from the crowd when our own exit happened to coincide with the exit of the newlyweds. And once, such cheers from outside the building disturbed the quiet reverence of the work in the basement baptistry.

I'm not talking about the laughter of small children or the joy and exuberance of youth. I'm talking about grown-ups yelling and cheering just outside the temple doors.


God spoke with Moses out of a burning bush, as recorded in the book of Exodus. And God said: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." (Ex. 3:5.) According to President Gordon B. Hinckley, this instruction pertains to modern Israel as well:

"We do not ask our people to remove their shoes when they come into the chapel. But all who come into the Lord's house should have a feeling that they are walking and standing on holy ground and that it becomes them to deport themselves accordingly." (General Conference, April 1987.)

The Ogden Utah Temple and grounds were dedicated in 1972 by President Joseph Fielding Smith and rededicated in 2014 by President Thomas S. Monson. Therefore, one might say today:

"We do not ask visitors to remove their shoes when they set foot on the temple grounds. But all who enter there should have a feeling that they are walking and standing on holy ground and that it becomes them to deport themselves accordingly."


It is wrong to stand on the temple grounds and conduct a pep rally for newlyweds, yelling and cheering them on as they exit the temple.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you!

10/31/2015 09:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed this same rowdy behavior a few months ago on my first trip to the Ogden temple. From up in the sealing room, we could clearly hear the screaming.

11/07/2015 05:37:00 PM  

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