What Defiles a Temple

I used to think that what defiles a temple was what quality of men entered into it. I was surprised to know that the ancients did not feel the same. What I learned about defilement of the temple will surprise most of us. But before I address that, let me set the stage a little by sharing my experience in priesthood quorum today.

Today our priesthood quorum discussed the contrast between being concerned about the things of the world versus being concerned about the things of God. The common concerns arose. They wanted to know how to deal with the beggars, for are we not all beggars, they asked? Then the conversations switched perspectives to the rich people who by boats and big screen tv’s, etc. Some say that those who buy the boats are as the rich man who couldn’t give away all that he had and follow Christ. Others brought up the eye of the needle. We went from one extreme (beggars) to the other extreme (the extravagantly rich). The final conclusion was, …as it always is, we have to follow the spirit.

I agree that we ought to follow the spirit, but the entire lesson concludes with the question we should have started out with, “What does the spirit say should govern our perspective when dealing with the rich and the poor?” Now we would be asking to understand the mind and will of God concerning the matter. Now the words of Christ can tell you all things what you should do. It is about the principles governing, rather than a body of men convincing one another to all look the same, as if being the same meant being correct. We first made suggestions from our understanding, but when we had no satisfying answers, we say to …follow the spirit. That is what we lack in the matter, PERSPECTIVE on the spirit concerning the matter. 

I tried to raise my hand six times during class and the teacher “would” not call on me. Other men flinched their two fingers and the teacher called on them. I could have done the wave, and the teacher would not have called on me, so I didn’t say anything. I waited till after class, addressed him ignoring me, told him that it didn’t much matter to me, and went on to explain the following.

We are the body of Christ. If your body received a cut, you would stop the bleeding, get stitches, and nurse the injury to health. Likewise with a broken bone, a stomach ache, a headache, a tumor, etc. We would address the problem, knowing that if the problem went unaddressed, we run the risk of the problem worsening and perhaps it may even cost you your life. That is the very idea of how we deal with the poor and needy. It is as if they (the poor and needy) are a part of our body. Many of us could survive without our pinky finger, but cut it off, and you will surely miss it. When we see the sick and the afflicted as an indicator of the health of our body, then we would address it by either nursing it back to health or cutting it out altogether. Looking at others, we see our own health, and we must obtain their trust, speak the words of Christ and let them fix themselves.

A temple of God is the tabernacle that houses the spirit of God. In that respect our bodies are temples, the church’s are temples, and the temple is a temple. Each houses the spirit of God within them. What I found significant in my recent scripture study is what defiles a temple.

I used to think that what enters into the temple is what defiled it. We learned in the New Testament that the money exchangers defiled the temple by bringing their market into the temple place. But what I learned is that most people weren’t even allowed into the temple. Therefore, it wasn’t what was brought into the temple that defiled it. Then what?

What defiles a temple is the way those within it’s service district lived their lives. That is what either kept the temple clean or defiled it. The quality of Godly lives they lived, both members and nonmembers alike, the purer the temple was kept. What I am saying is that people don’t realize that whether they believe or not, they effect the purity of the temple. If the temple is pure, Christ will enter therein and dwell amongst us. With Enoch, Christ dwelt there for 365 years, before their translation. However, if the temple district is not pure, Christ will not enter therein. It’s all dependent upon purity, our mind and heart.

Now God understood that we would constantly make mistakes, so along with the temple, the ancients were given the year of the Jubilee. The year of the Jubilee occurred every seven years, and was purposed to cleanse the temple by forgiving all debts. It’s interesting to see the Jubilee connecting debt elimination with cleansing the temple. Debt caused men to sin, to covet, to contend with one another, and to hold back our support of the poor and the needy. It still has the same effect in our day. Wiping out the debt was a release of all slaves, so that all men could become independent once again. And in this way the temple was cleansed every seven years.

I find it interesting that we still celebrate a “seven-day” Jubilee (so-to-speak), when we partake of the sacrament on Sunday. That too was to forgive all debts so that our temples can be cleansed. Not only are we to be forgiven, but we are to forgive all who trespass against us so that our temple can be cleansed, so that the Spirit of the Father can dwell within us. This brings us full circle to the lesson in priesthood. We are all the body of Christ. The cleansing of the temple is about seeing the poor and the needy as a part of our own body. Poor and needy can apply to all income levels. All have value. All bodies house spirits that were created by God.

Satan is the only enemy. When we desire to see things God’s way, He will tell you the truth of what is written here. All people house the spirit of God within their tabernacle of clay. “The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:17).

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4 thoughts on “What Defiles a Temple

  1. Three things popped into my head as I read this blog: the first being if we take a look at how Christ lived his life then we would see that he first concentrated on what God wanted him to learn, the second being that if we were to view each other as part of the body of Christ then naturally we would like to help others come unto Christ and third we tend to like to separate ourselves from God when it is convenient for us.

    If we were to analyze Christ’s life we would find that at all times he sought out what God wanted him to do. He sought this out, he acted it out and he taught it to others.This is what he teaches us to seek out, the mind and will of God. He didn’t necessarily throw money to the poor and the afflicted but taught them the mind and heart of God. When we think about helping out the poor and the afflicted we tend to look to the way of the world to solve this- we will throw money at them, we will mow their lawns and we would even give them friendly advice. I think the way to help the poor and the afflicted is to bring them unto Christ because that is where the real gold and silver lie. When we talk about charity we think about cooking a meal, washing some one’s dishes and mowing someone’s lawn- are these acts good, of course this helps people trust us, but if we leave it there, have we really helped them? What I am trying to say is that we have to open our mouths and talk of Christ (But in order to do this we need to know the word before we declare the word). Opening our mouths and talking about Christ, to me, is real Charity.

    It seems to me that we like to separate ourselves from God. We tend to justify our actions by saying we don’t want to be too hard on ourselves. So what do we do, we do things that are pleasing to our bodies- watch tv, play sports, listen to music etc. We do these things because that is what the world says will help us. So when we leave the temple, we tend to forget the things that we are taught and rely on the world. We tend to separate ourselves from God because we don’t want to be too hard on ourselves.

    • I agree, we often see through the eyes of our traditions, which is in the likeness of the world. The word of God was intended to transition our minds from the likeness of the world into a higher degree of the likeness of our God. While it is commendable that many of our opinions are somewhat conservative, and that the traditions we teach are learned in a church setting, you are absolutely correct in that we must first seek to obtain the word of God. That is the key to understanding truth. Those who have command of the word, can spot the very subtle inconsistencies.
      Once we reconnect ourselves to God, as opposed to separating ourselves, we will be able to recognize that not only is Satan the only enemy, but our fellow man is also a part of your body. For this reason, their sickness, death or disease, even though it may not seem to connect to you at first, is actually yours as well. This is why we read quite often that the blood of the saints cry out to God.

  2. So the first comment is wanting to know what your teacher’s response was after class when you asked him why he was ignoring you. I would like to know how he responded as a Sunday School Teacher called of God and set apart with the keys to that calling.

    Next, is to tell you how I answered that very same question of being concerned about the things of the world versus concerned about the things of God. After much of what you just explained as far as comments went, I raised my hand and simply said that it is not how much money we make or what we spend it on, or whether or not we have to work on the Sabbath, but even in the smallest simplest things like cleaning your baby’s bottoms, we need to check ourselves and ask when doing this or saying this or thinking this, are we building the kingdom of God? Think about it. Everything we do and say should be to build the kingdom of God here upon the earth. Yes?Teaching our children cleanliness, learning, manners, confidence, etc., etc. is building where we stand.

    Lastly, maybe your comments should be reserved for another time, just do what Christ did, and just write in your note book the comments the teacher makes and say nothing. Look at it and if you feel so inclined to comment, do so on paper and hand it to him. If he reads and acknowledges it, great. If not, do not throw your pearls before the swine. Save it for when moved upon by the spirit. The truth need not be challenged. It is the truth. It manifests itself.

    And you are right. All income levels have value. All intelligent levels have value. All men have value. We just need to see with the eyes of Christ.

    Happy Sabbath.Mom

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