Jesus cleanses the temple of Solomon, while this happened so long ago there are many lessons we can take from this act and apply them into our lives today. Jesus’s act shows us how important temples are and why we should strive to attend the temples today.
What Is A Temple?
“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.” Ecclesiastes 5:1
A Jewish or Christian temple is built as a holy place for Heavenly Father. It is literally God’s house here on earth. In ancient times before Christ, it was a place where Jewish Priests would perform rituals before entering the house of the Lord. These rituals were to make them spiritually clean so that they could reside in God’s presence. Washing rituals, blood sacrifice, and priesthood clothing were used depending on what ritual they were performing.
In Jewish temples, only priests were able to enter the temple. Their priesthood clothing had the 12 tribes of Israel engraved in them representing all the children of the earth. The priest would be the proxy for the sins of the world, and he would purify them on behalf of the people until the savior of the world comes.
There are three tiers to the temple symbolizing the telestial, terrestrial, and celestial kingdoms of God. Only the Holiest of Holiest could enter the celestial or Holy of Holy’s room. It is said that it is in the Holiest of Holy’s is where God’s presence resides.
Solomon’s temple was the first Jewish temple that was erected as a permanent building. There had been previous temples in the past although they were temporarily made of cloth. The temples always housed the arc of the covenant. It was this arc that carried the 10 commandments written by Moses.
Solomon’s temple was torn down in 586 BC just as Jesus said that it would be. He said this shortly after Jesus cleanses the temple.”Jesus left the temple and was going away when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:1
What Do The Scriptures Say About Jesus Cleansing The Temple?
“Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changing of money.
And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” – John 2:13-17
Matthew tells us that: He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
“Jesus left the temple and was going away when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:1
Jesus cleanses the temple of it’s matters of men, to make it once again a house God.
What this means is that a temple is a holy place. It is not a place of the world it is a place of God. Heavenly treasures are very different from earthly treasures. Temples are used to connect with God to seek his presence, inspiration, guidance and to build our heavenly treasures through the acts of prayer and rituals. To have people dealing with goods for money in the temple is blasphemy. (Blasphemy is the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.)
Why Did Jesus Cleanse The Temple?
Simply to make it a house of God once again.
Jesus cleansed the temple as it is meant to be a house of God not a house of men, merchants, and money. The sin was in gouging the people, focusing on money, rather than serving God.
The scriptures warn us against earthly treasures. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21
What We Learn From Jesus Cleansing The Temple
To Keep Holy Things Sacred
Definition of holy. 1 : exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness. 2 : divine for the Lord our God is holy — Psalms 99:9 (King James Version)
Definition of Sacred – dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity.
So as we can see from these two definitions above we must keep the Lord’s things sacred. The act of working in the temple was defiling. It is repeated several times in the Bible that our bodies are also holy temples. This means we must strive to keep them holy.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1
How Do We Keep Ourselves Holy?
Just as Jesus cleanses the temple, we need to cleanse and keep our bodies spiritually pure. Children are seen as innocent in the eyes of the Lord. While we all grow up and don’t stay childlike forever we can choose the right in all that we do, to maintain a certain level of spiritual hygiene.
In the old testament before Jesus Christ, the 10 commandments were given to us as a guideline of how to live our lives. After the birth of Christ, we also have Jesus’s teachings that pave a new road to compassion, meekness, and humility. These teachings tell us that a law can be broken such as healing someone on the sabbath. It is not about the law it is about being like Christ and Heavenly Father himself.
To start from the beginning let’s look at how we can apply the 10 commandments into our lives to increase our worthiness to the lord.
“I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any strange gods before Me.”
I think that this point is so important in today’s society. Did you know that 6/10 of Christians believe in or practice new-age materials?
A recent report from Pew Research Center shows that a large percentage of Christians believed in or use materials such as a belief that spiritual energy can be located in physical things, such as mountains and trees; belief in psychics; belief in reincarnation; and belief in astrology. The share was virtually the same among Christians (61 percent) and “nones” (62 percent).
If we are to follow Christ we must remember that there are no Gods other than he. Secondly that Heavenly Father spoke out about sorcery and how we must not partake with any of these things such as magic and necromancers.
Thirdly the bible speaks of life after death with Heavenly Father, not as another human or creature on this planet. In fact, reincarnation is extremely dangerous as our one and only life on this planet impacts where we spend eternity. We must take righteous actions, stay strong and follow the rod of iron.
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”
The Lord’s name is sacred and we must not use it in anything else but a holy manner such as in prayer or ordinance work. In fact, the Jewish priests were only able to say the Lord’s name once a year, which a good indicator of how seriously we should take saying the lord’s name.
Just as Jesus cleanses the temple, we must also cleanse our thoughts and words, remembering to keep our bodies pure, to not defile it with our speech.
“Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.”
And on the seventh day, he rested. We too shall rest. The sabbath day is to rest from the work of the world and to indulge in all things that are spiritual. If you think of all the things the Lord gave you, you can at least give him one day a week to learn about him and express your gratitude. By reading about Heavenly Father you will grow closer and develop a new level of spiritual cleanliness.
The merchants were selling goods on the temple steps on the sabbath. Jesus cleanses the temple of its impurities of breaking the sabbath. Sundays are an open opportunity for us to cleanse ourselves of sin. This can be done by simply taking the sacrament and renewing our baptismal covenants every Sunday. This along with heartfelt repentance helps make us clean in the eyes of the Lord.
“Honor thy father and mother.”
Enough said. Looking back on those teenage days I was not doing that! We should also not just honor our physical parents, but our spiritual parents too. Honoring our parents also honors God, we gain more insight into this from Timothy:
“Because parents stand in the place of God to their children, performing God-like functions (loving, providing, caring, protecting, etc.) as God’s special agents. When young children disobey their parents, they are rebelling against God. Disobedience to parents indicates a corrupt, out of control, anti-God spirit (2 Tim. 3:1-5).”
“Thou shalt not kill.”
Enough said. In fact, in modern-day revelation, Latter-Day Saints are told to eat meat sparingly in only times of famine or winter.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
Marriage is a sacred covenant between the Lord and man and women. Adultery is not only of the flesh but the mind too. We must cultivate a worthy mindset if we are to draw closer to God.
“Thou shalt not steal.”
We must appreciate what we have and not be enveloped by the spirit of greed. We should not take what is not ours nor should not covet it. This attitude is seen prominently today with the art of gratitude. We can encompass gratitude with reflection and journaling as well as thanking the Lord for all he has blessed us with.
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”
Put simply one should not lie about others. God rejoices in the truth.
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”
In this day and age, you can’t go a day without seeing celebrities in scandalous clad clothing and performing sexual movements. (Think Arianna Grande walking from side to side.)
It has become popular and the norm to sext, hook up with strangers over tinder, go topless at the beach and even hear through music about affairs and men coveting women.
The pressure and peer influence on men and women today on how to act and interact with one another is at an all point low. As it is seen as a norm people feel they must act or look a certain way to have a boyfriend, girlfriend or be attractive to the opposite sex.
This is a great example of how we must live in the world yet not become of it.
Each one of these humans is someone else’s wife, husband, daughter or son. Is this the way you would like to see your loved ones be looked and thought about? How would you act differently when dating women or men if he/she was your wife or husband?
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.”
The bible tells us to strive for peace with one another. “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14 This was one of Jesus’ great teachings.
Jesus also taught us that our bodies are temples and that God’s presence can reside within us if we are worthy. “You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5
After the birth and mission of Jesus Christ, his teachings taught us that there were other ways we can purify our bodies and be washed clean in the eyes of God. This through the baptism of water and fire, was only this way we could take upon us the Lord’s name.
Are There Physical Temples Today?
What Do We Do In The Temples?
Temples are the house of the Lord, in his house we perform God’s work.
It is in these holy houses that faithful couples enter into the ordinance of celestial marriage through which they become parties to the Abrahamic covenant.
—Bruce R. McConkie
A sealing is a sacred ordinance, whatever is bound or sealed in a special ceremony on earth will be bound or sealed in heaven. The point of the sealing is to establish a covenant for a marriage that survives death.
We also make other sacred covenants in the temple which are very similar to the rituals by the Jewish in the temple of Solomon. Such as washing and cleansing ceremonies and spiritual purification ordinances.
Who Can Attend The Temple?
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have a current temple recommend may be invited in the temple. A temple recommend is a small card that demonstrates they have interviewed with the appropriate priesthood leaders and been found worthy to enter the House of the Lord.
What Can You Do At The Temple Without A Temple Recommend?
Temples provide waiting rooms and some have visitors’ centers on-site, which provide information about Jesus Christ, the LDS Church, and the importance and sanctity of LDS temple ceremonies. Also, the grounds of every temple are beautifully maintained and offer individuals a peaceful atmosphere for quiet contemplation.
What Should Guests Wear To The Temple?
Those attending the temple should wear clothes that would be appropriate for church, such as a modest dress or skirt and blouse for women, and a suit (not a tuxedo) or white shirt and slacks for men.
Why We Should Strive To Become Temple Worthy?
The simple answer is to become closer with Heavenly Father. To reside in his house and sacred presence.
The Temple Lifts And Exalts Us
Residing in God’s presence lifts our spirits and speaks to our hearts. The lessons that you will learn from the Holy Ghost will exalt you and provide you with guidance on how Heavenly Father wants you to live.
The Temple Can Be A Place Of Comfort
When tough times hit the temple is a wonderful place to reside. The community of Christ and the humility achieved by putting others before yourself in ordinance work, can help us put situations into perspective as well as providing a heart-opening experience.
The temple experience “brings peace to our souls—not the peace provided by men but the peace promised by the Son of God when He said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”2 T. Monson
Many people have reported seeing loved ones that have passed in the temple and have received comfort from this experience.
Miracles Can Occur From Temple Work
Many people have testified to the miracles the temple can bring. I myself experienced my very own miracle through temple attendance. If you make the time to do the Lords work he will reward you and bless you.
I love this story that President Thomas S Monson wrote about:
“Many years ago, a humble and faithful patriarch, Brother Percy K. Fetzer, was called to give patriarchal blessings to Church members living behind the Iron Curtain.
Brother Fetzer went into the land of Poland in those dark days. The borders were sealed, and no citizens were permitted to leave. Brother Fetzer met with German Saints who had been trapped there when the borders were redefined following World War II and the land where they were living became part of Poland.
When Brother Fetzer returned to the United States, he called and asked if he could come visit with me. As he sat in my office, he began to weep. He said, “Brother Monson, as I laid my hands upon the heads of the members of the Konietz family, I made promises which cannot be fulfilled.
I promised Brother and Sister Konietz that they would be able to return to their native Germany, that they would not be held captive by the arbitrary decisions of conquering countries and that they would be sealed together as a family in the house of the Lord.
I promised their son that he would fill a mission, and I promised their daughter that she would be married in the holy temple of God. You and I know that because of the closed borders, they will not be able to receive the fulfillment of those blessings. What have I done?”
I said, “Brother Fetzer, I know you well enough to know that you have done just what our Heavenly Father wanted you to do.” The two of us knelt down beside my desk and poured out our hearts to our Heavenly Father, indicating that promises had been given to a devoted family pertaining to the temple of God and other blessings now denied to them. Only He could bring forth the miracle we needed.
The miracle occurred. A pact was signed between the leaders of the Polish government and the leaders of the Federal Republic of Germany, permitting German nationals who had been trapped in that area to move to West Germany. Brother and Sister Konietz and their children moved to West Germany, and Brother Konietz became the bishop of the ward in which they resided.
The entire Konietz family went to the holy temple in Switzerland. And who was the temple president who greeted them in a white suit with open arms? None other than Percy Fetzer—the patriarch who gave them the promise. Now, in his capacity as president of the Bern Switzerland Temple, he welcomed them to the house of the Lord, to the fulfillment of that promise, and sealed the husband and wife together and the children to their parents.
The young daughter eventually married in the house of the Lord. The young son received his call and fulfilled a full-time mission.” You can read more about what he says about the temple here.
Residing closer to God means that see, hear and feel his presence more often in our lives. When he communicates with us it is important to follow his direction.
My Personal Miracle
My greatest desire at the time of my conversion was to have a loving husband and build a family together. Living in sunny Bondi Beach I was starting to feel like that was never going to happen. The men seemed to have Peter Pan syndrome unless you wanted to marry someone 20 years your senior, which I tried still had Peter Pan Syndrome. It was also kinda strange to me since my father was only 21 years my senior.
I didn’t want to settle. I wanted to be with someone whom I simply clicked with and loved. Not someone I was not that into but gave so many concessions because I wanted marriage. A little over seven months after my conversion back to Jesus Christ I was married and had a family on the way. This miracle never would have happened if it was not for myself and my husband Garrett continually following the promptings we were given to us by Heavenly Father.
It was another girl’s night at Bondi Hardware a chic hipster restaurant on the beaches of Bondi, Sydney Australia. A group of us girls from the YSA (Young Single Adults) church congregation went out for dinner and drinks to chat life, boys and everything else. Of course, marriage came up most of us were in our 30’s to 40’s so we really wanted to move on with our lives and settle down and build what was important to us. Family and Family Values.
Kerry had mentioned online dating and how all of her friends that had registered on the website LDS singles were all married within three months. That was enough information for me! I was sold and getting on that website as soon as dinner was done and dusted.
I signed up and started networking away. There were a lot of men on there but none really in Australia, they were mainly American. I wasn’t going to let that get in my way though. So I began networking getting to know a few people. I would always get them to add me on FB so that I could screen whether their pics were a good representation of what they looked like now. I mean these days who doesn’t love a good Facebook stalk when you are looking into a prospective partner. We all do it! A couple of months had passed and it hadn’t lead anywhere. The conversations were pretty superficial and the spaces in-between conversation were long which lead to more distance. I ended up throwing in the towel and worked on networking with the few and far between men in my local church.
After exploring trying many dating paths for a few months I got down and prayed with all my heart for Heavenly Father to help me find a husband.
A whisper of hop
A week later, we had a conference for Young Single Adults. This was a day that I will never forget. Instead of our normal Sunday activities, we all headed down to the conference center and had different teachers, classes and weekend of inspiring talks and revelation. I was broken up into a class with my friend Alexis.
We went in and an older man from the United States was teaching us about the blessings of the temple. He told us a story about how his family almost became destitute. They were living paycheck to paycheck and may have been needing welfare assistance from the church.
He spoke about how the temple can change your life and bring real blessings. He decided to take a challenge and go to the temple twice a week for a month. The results were dramatically life-changing. In short, his family went from being broke to having the ability to put a deposit down on a house within a month. It was nothing short of many miracles.
Inspired to take action
To me, I was sold. I was going to go to the temple twice a week for the month of July for a husband. My friend Alexis laughed at me and said I am pretty sure it does not work like that. I knew it didn’t. But I also knew that Heavenly Father knew the deepest desires of my heart and that eternal families were part of his heavenly plan so I hoped that if I continued to dedicate my time to him that he would bless me with a loving family.
It was a righteous desire. If not it didn’t matter. I loved the temple but going twice a week would be a sacrifice because it was at least a 90-minute drive each way with traffic and after a long day of work it was not the most convenient thing to do. But I committed. I told a few friends and they all laughed! They also said if they end up married they are all going to the temple twice a week too!
I called it not so dry July. In Australia, many of us do dry July, where we stay sober for a month. It’s a pretty big thing for us. It would be like Americans giving up soda for a month or the English giving up tea. We give up beer and booze. Since I was going to the temple and I would be performing baptisms by immersion of water I called it my “Not so dry July”.
Around this time I started to have personal revelations. Deep down I had this knowing that if I would take my endowment that I would get married. (An endowment is a higher commitment to Jesus Christ than baptism and has no relation to marriage.) It was simply a personal revelation. I couldn’t explain it but I just knew. At the time I had 0 prospects but somehow I was getting married soon. I started working towards becoming worthy and knowledgeable enough in order for my Bishop to recommend to the church for me to take my endowment.
The church classes I decided to take on a Tuesday night was the class on Eternal Families. I had a knowing that I had to go and learn about eternal families because I was going to receive one soon. Even though all my friends and a few males I thought were attractive were in another class I was being guided to something bigger than that and I had to stay on track. That was exactly what I did. I could have chosen to go with them to a gospel doctrine class but I knew where I had to be.
Being diligent and faithful in my actions, I made sure I read scriptures every day. Even if it was only one paragraph. I even had a few tests along the way on whether I would choose the right. My first love, Ryan had popped back into my life with the help of the digital world these days.
He was married with two children but things were not so happy at home. He wanted me to fly to South America to meet him. Just to give you a bit of context nearly 15 years later I still dreamt of looking for Ryan every single night. It was hard but I knew that families are forever and I tried to counsel him on things that he could work on to improve his relationship and restore his marriage. After this, something deep down inside me knew it was coming and it was.
The Low Before The High
All out of prospects and slightly exhausted from the dating scene I thought I would try LDS singles again. Feeling a little defeated from my past experience as, I really did not want to my love story to be online Internet dating. Wasn’t that for people that are desperate, weird nerds that can’t find love in the real world?
I secretly wished that someone would find me and hunt me down on Facebook. I wanted to be chased, Isn’t that what we all want that right? We want to feel desired and wanted. But beggars can’t be choosers and I was high and dry. I started looking at profiles on LDS singles. I remember coming across Garrett’s profile. He had a beautiful smile and he looked so happy. I sent him a wave.
On the other side of the earth in San Diego California, Garrett had just gotten back from the temple and was inspired to go online. He had seen that I had viewed his profile and decided to hunt me down on Facebook.
We Skyped a few days later and as soon as I saw him I knew that he was the man I was going to spend my life with. Six weeks later we were married in Las Vegas and I was packing up my life in Australia and moving to the United States.
Have you ever experienced the blessings of the Temple? I pray that you become temple worthy so that you can experience the miracles the temple can bring to you.
This article contains excerpts from my book Finding Light. To join the exclusive pre-sale list simply place your details below.
Wishing you blessings and great faith,
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