Temple among the Nephites

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 StumbleUpon 0 Email -- Filament.io 0 Flares ×

I came across something interesting while reading my scriptures last night. In Mosiah 1:18, Mormon states that Mosiah issued a proclamation to the Nephites from King Benjamin to meet at the temple for some instruction.

And now, it came to pass that Mosiah went and did as his father had commanded him, and proclaimed unto all the people who were in the land of Zarahemla that thereby they might gather themselves together, to go up to the temple to hear the words which his father should speak unto them.

What is interesting is that nowhere in the instruction Benjamin gives his son (Mosiah 1:10–14) does he mention gathering at the temple.

I am left wondering whether Mormon forgot that part during his compiling, or whether it was an assumption Mosiah made. We read in Jacob 1:17; Alma 16:13 and 3 Ne. 11 that temple was a place of instruction. In each of those scriptures, repentance is a part of the message from each of the speakers.

That leads me to wonder if temples then were different from the LDS temples today. Even the Kirtland Temple was different from what our temples are like today.

2 thoughts on “Temple among the Nephites

  1. I am going to argue that a Nephite Temple would almost be more recognizable to us today than Kirtland would be.

    My thoughts are based off we know Nephi built a Temple like Jerusalem but not quite so fine-that’s pretty different but he also had the Plates—that revealed many things. It’s my personal supposition that they had the endowment as we know it and therefore their Temple would be even more akin to what we know today than than Kirtland.

    Part of my rational is what is revealed within the Temple ceremony and what can be gleaned from the Pearl of Great Price, Nephi studying things out in Egyptian I propose would be that same knowledge of which Joseph translated.

    Ergo, I may be jumping out on a limb by some peoples standards but thats what I think. As to gathering at the Temple in Mosiah for all we know it was a gathering of people gradually being instructed within the Temple as it takes time for everyone to get through or there could be an amphi-theater type structure outside for more people to gather and be taught.

    For what Mormon includes or leaves out is in relation to what he assumes his audience would already know and therefore not need to be said-unfortuneatly time and the differences in culture throw us some curveballs.

  2. “I am going to argue that a Nephite Temple would almost be more recognizable to us today than Kirtland would be.”

    I am going to both agree and disagree with this statement. It is true that it would be more recognizable as a place for ritual vs. the Kirtland as a place of preaching and admonition. Yet, we do know what the Temples were like for the Nephites by description of the culture they came from: post-Babylonian Jewish. The Nephites observed the law of Moses that most likely would have the same Temple rituals.

    I have no doubt, by the way, that Benjamin would not need to specify where to meet for his instructions. Unlike today, ancient religions were always some combination of religious and secular authority. In fact, the book of Mormon seems to indicate when there was a separation that it was confusing to the general practice of the law. The back and forth of an accused criminal between the Chief judge and Alma is an example.

Leave a Reply