Temple work

(also see “Families, Eternal”, “Genealogy”, “Plan of Salvation”, and “Priesthood”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
For many, temple work is the crown jewel of Mormon theology. God loves all his children and has revealed his plan to give everyone a fair shot. The peacefulness inside the temple can provide a great opportunity for self-reflection and meditation, and is prime territory to receive abundant spiritual manifestations. The personal revelation given in the temple, the knowledge of our savior, the eternal perspective, and the knowledge of eternal families that comes in the temple is priceless.
 
Temple work is a pro for many women because they get to exercise the priesthood there.
Some (not all) nonbelievers look back on their time at the temple with fondness. The peacefulness inside the temple can provide a great opportunity for self-reflection and meditation.
 
Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Temple work is time consuming, often boring, and can be expensive. Temples themselves are an extreme cost, and there is great opportunity cost for what other good things this money could otherwise be spent on.
 
The believing Mormon might, perhaps, find it odd that the grace and mercy of Christ are tied up and only released for a deceased person when a random person in a temple haphazardly performs a short ceremony.
 
Many believers have a hard time with the temple because of the sexism present in some of the ceremonies.
 
The temple is a place where important promises and commitments are made. However, you are not allowed to know what exactly these commitments and promises are (except for vague teachings in temple prep classes) until you are inside the temple and faced with little time to think about it. Furthermore, when going through the temple for the first time, family and friends are usually watching, which means it is very difficult and rare for someone to back out.
Temple work is time consuming, often boring, and can be expensive. Temples themselves are an extreme cost. The time and money involved on all fronts can seem entirely unjustifiable to the unbeliever. Since they don’t think there is an afterlife, the non-member can be tempted to hold a cynical view that the only real purpose the temple serves is to keep the members of the church busy with rituals and covenants that ensure loyalty to the church. Imagine how much real good could be provided to the world if the millions and millions of dollars that the church or individuals put into temple work went to charities, like building or supporting hospitals, food kitchens, community centers, and so on.
 
For people that believe in God and Christ but not the church, temples are an assault on Christ’s mercy. Claiming that the grace and mercy of Christ are tied up and only released for a deceased person when a random person in a temple haphazardly performs a short ceremony is offensive.
 
Some nonbelievers who are familiar with temple ceremonies are often strongly repulsed by the sexism present in some of the ceremonies.
 
The temple is a place where important promises and commitments are made. However, you are not allowed to know what exactly these commitments and promises are (except for vague teachings in temple prep classes) until you are inside the temple and faced with little time to think about it. Furthermore, when going through the temple for the first time, family and friends are usually watching, which means it is very difficult and rare to back out. This is another aspect of Mormonism that makes it seem like a cult to outsiders.

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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