Iâ€™m willing to bet that if a Nephite entered a modern Mormon temple, they would be surprised at what s/he saw.
I started reading the Book of Mormon again about 3.5 years ago. To this point, Iâ€™ve made it as far as Mosiah 11. Yes, Itâ€™s taken me 3.5 years to get this far in the Book of Mormon. I read 1â€“3 verses per day. What his has allowed me to do is look for meaning and messages I normally over look when trying to race through the text.
Something I have noticed is what appears to be the purpose of the temples of the Nephites. They seem to be places of instruction. Granted, someone might argue modern Modern temples are places of instruction as well. True enough. But not in the same way.
We read in 2 Ne 5:16 that Nephi and his people built a temple in the land of Nephi. It was in this temple that Jacob gave his famous address in Jacob 2 to the Nephites. It was at this temple that Limhi (and subsequently Ammon) told his people that Ammon had come to offer themÂ deliveranceÂ from the bondage of the Lamanites (see Mosiah 7).
King Benjamin taught hisÂ angelically-inspiredÂ sermonÂ foundÂ in Mosiah 2â€“5 from the temple in Zarahemla. Jesus taught the Nephites from the temple in Bountiful.
It seems to me based on these examples, is that the temples of the Nephites were used as places of instruction. Not like ours today, where we learn the same rites and rituals. More like a spiritual university; a place where you were taught a myriad of sermons, doctrines, and principles.
Actually, of all the Mormon temples built, I have to wonder if the Kirtland Temple would have been the closest to that purpose.