First Time in the Temple

So yesterday evening I attended the Manhattan New York Temple for our Ward Temple Night.  It really was a great, spiritual experience.

The Manhattan Temple is somewhat different from most other temples in The Church of  Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in that, firstly, it is right in the middle of the city, instead of off in a more suburban setting.  You can just step out of the subway and the temple is right there.  Also, the temple is actually only part of the building, with the rest of it including a meetinghouse, small Distribution Center, Public Relations Office, and I believe a Family History center.  When you walk into the building, there is a separate ornate door to enter the temple.

As soon as we stepped through that door, I was pretty surprised.  Everything was bright, with white and gold colors everywhere, and paintings of Jesus and scriptural events on the walls.  Everyone was dressed in white, and the sisters were in these flowing white gowns.  It really felt like if we were in a special sacred space (which we were).  Everyone kept telling me “welcome to the temple”, which was nice.

We were doing baptisms and confirmations for the dead that night, which offers the opportunity for the deceased to hear the gospel and choose to accept or reject it, if they did not have that opportunity in this life.  This concept is one that makes a lot of sense to me, not only because of its scriptural and historical basis, but because many other churches simply do not know what happens to the unbaptized (leaving it at hoping in the mercy of God who may save them anyway if they would have received baptism if they knew about, which seems to deny that baptism is really necessary for eternal life for those that need it), or say that they will go to Hell.  Instead, the restored Church of Jesus Christ teaches that, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we are able to receive these ordinances for and in behalf of deceased persons, who will then have the opportunity to accept or reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Spirit World.  God has provided a clear way for people to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ if they were unable to do so in this life.  Proxy work has always been a part of Judaism and Christianity, whether it was animal sacrifice in the ancient temples, or the ultimate atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf.

So after we walked in, we received a white baptismal suit to change into.  After that, we sat in front of the baptismal font.  It is HUGE.  It is set on the backs of 12 oxen, similar to the brazen sea of Solomon’s Temple in the Old Testament.  A few other people from another ward were also there, and were already doing confirmations for the dead.  We joined them in doing that first.  After that, we started to do the baptisms for the dead.  It was a great experience, and you could really feel the Spirit in the Lord’s House.

I can’t wait for the next time I’m able to go to the temple.  It’s great to be able to step off the busy streets of Manhattan and be in such a peaceful, sacred space, where you can’t hear the hustle and bustle of the city.  Going to the temple was definitely a testimony building experience, and I am grateful for having a temple so close to home.

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3 comments

  1. I’m very happy you attended the temple my friend but you will soon see as I and many others have that you will be sorry you ever joined the church. At this point in your journey they have not told you everything that the church believes and which you must believe. Remember “The milk before the meat..” is what they always say and you are still being fed milk. You will be sadly dissapointed when you get larger chunks of meat and, God willing, you will leave at that point and find a chuch that believes that Jesus christ “IS” the only savior and Joseph Smith (and any other person) has no claim to that title. –Please study more of what they really teach so that your eyes will be opened. The Book of Abraham should stand for the fact that Mr. Smith was not a prophet as he did not translate the papyrus correctly. I will pray that you search out the truth of Joseph Smith and the church so that you will find yourself having been deceived on the day of judgement.

  2. I was also a Catholic that became LDS. I have since returned to Catholicisim and realized what gifts I had given up when joining the LDS church. I went back to the Catholic church with a new set of eyes and realized thet it is there (Catholic Church) that we receive the fullness of the Gospel.

    1. Hello stanri, thank you for your comments.

      I was a Mormon critic for a number of years, and I have read it all (including the books put out by Catholic Answers). I’ve read all those books and articles telling people what Mormons “really” believe. I used to post on CARM and Catholic Answers forums as an Mormon critic. The missionaries did not really need to tell me anything because I’m VERY familiar with the beliefs and practices of the Lord’s Church (including the “meat”). This was not an uninformed decision, as one can see from this blog. I guarantee you that there is nothing that you can tell me about what Latter-day Saints “really” believe that I haven’t heard already (or that I used to say myself!).

      Members of the Church of Jesus Christ firmly believe that Jesus Christ is the only Savior, and it is only through Him that we can receive eternal life. This is not the Church of Joseph Smith or the Church of Brigham Young. It is the Church of Jesus Christ. The only Person that can be and is our Savior is Jesus Christ.

      As far as the Book of Abraham, there are plenty of evidences for its authenticity. It is fascinating that the BoA is supported by many other ancient texts that non-LDS scholars have discovered. Try this website for a brief introduction.

      I am grateful for the fullness of the Gospel that I have received in the Lord’s Church.

      Have a good day!

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