Temple Worship

10 Episodes

Temples: It’s difficult to overestimate their importance in the Latter-day Saint movement. In fact, it could be said that what is accomplished inside Latter-day Saint temples is at the beating heart of the purposes of the Restoration. In this series we explore the development of Latter-day Saint temple worship, starting from the very beginning.

Art Credit: Image created by Scripture Central


Episode 1

The Beginnings of LDS Temple Worship

Temples: It’s difficult to overestimate their importance in the Latter-day Saint movement. In fact, it could be said that what is accomplished inside Latter-day Saint temples is at the beating heart of the purposes of the Restoration. In today’s episode of Church History Matters, we begin a new series exploring the development of Latter-day Saint temple worship. We’re starting at the very beginning and probing such questions as, how early on did Joseph Smith understand the temple-centric nature of …

50 Min

Episode 2

The Kirtland Endowment: What it Was and Why it Matters

In 1831 the Lord promised the New York Saints that if they would gather together with church members in Ohio, they would there “be endowed with power from on high.” Trusting this promise, most of them moved to Ohio in full expectation of receiving this endowment or gift of power from on high. But what exactly was this endowment? What power was given from on high? Was it one thing or several things? And how was this gift, or gifts, of power received in …

75 Min

Episode 3

Restoration of “the Priesthood” Through Temple Ordinances?

As the climax of the Kirtland Endowment on April 3, 1836, Joseph Smith received sacred keys in rapid succession from Moses, Elias, and Elijah. This was the primary purpose for which the Kirtland Temple was built. Joseph had now received all that was necessary for the next phase of temple building, which he hoped would take place in northern Missouri at the settlements of Far West and Adam-ondi-Ahman. But due to heinous persecution, neither of these temples ever …

53 Min

Episode 4

The Origins of the Temple Endowment

What Latter-day Saints today call the temple endowment was first given by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842, two years prior to his death, to a small group of nine of his trusted associates in Nauvoo, Illinois. It was a key piece of the larger, vibrant temple liturgy then developing in Nauvoo. But where did this temple endowment come from? What was its relationship to the Prophet’s previous revelations? And what, if anything, was its relationship to Masonry, which Joseph Smith had …

74 Min

Episode 5

An Interview with an LDS Freemason

Welcome to our special bonus episode, where Casey and I interview a friend of our show, Lon Tibbitts. In our previous episode we discussed at length the relationship between masonry and the development of the temple endowment in Nauvoo, a topic people have a lot of questions about. So we thought you might enjoy hearing from Lon Tibbitts, who has served both as an LDS ward bishop and as a master of his Masonic Lodge in Utah. Lon is a keen student of both Masonic and …

62 Min

Episode 6

Marriage Sealings: A High Fusion of Theology + Ritual

The Prophet Joseph Smith’s final years in Nauvoo, Illinois constituted a season of rich theological and ritual convergence. It was a time when various threads of biblical and revealed theology gave birth to the Latter-day temple rituals that would enable us to enact that very theology. It was in Nauvoo that the picture became clear. Every revealed ordinance builds with deep meaning to the next, until finally reaching the pinnacle ordinance of sealing wife and husband together for eternity. …

58 Min

Episode 7

The Second Anointing, The Law of Adoption, & Non-Temple Prayer Circles

During the last years of his life the Prophet Joseph Smith gave multiple public sermons dealing with 2 Peter 1, wherein the Apostle Peter encourages his readers to, “give diligence to make your calling and election sure.” Commenting on this phrase, the Prophet Joseph explained that to have one’s calling and election made sure meant to, “obtain a promise from God for yourselves that you shall have eternal life.” And he went on to explain that such a promise …

66 Min

Episode 8

Temple Work Without Temples

Beginning in 1846, thousands of Latter-day Saints left Nauvoo, Illinois and trekked over 1,000 miles west to the Salt Lake Valley. Having of necessity abandoned the Nauvoo temple for which they had worked so hard and sacrificed so much, they were now a temple-centered people without a temple. Now, they certainly would go on to build more temples, the first of which would be the St. George Temple, completed in 1877. But how would they do temple-related work in …

64 Min

Episode 9

Temple Garments and Temple Changes in the 20th and 21st Centuries

1904 marked the beginning of what would become a grueling, four-year-long Senate hearing of U. S. Senator and Apostle Reed Smoot. It is intriguing and important to learn how this crucible of intensive government examination into every aspect of the Church led Church leaders to a posture of much greater openness about the temple to outsiders. In fact, those hearings, followed by a backfired blackmail attempt by a man who threatened to release illicit pictures he had taken of the …

70 Min

Episode 10

Temple Q&R with Dr. Richard Bennett

What do we know about the purposes and function of the Holy of Holies? And do all temples have one? The word “seal” or “sealing” seems to have multiple meanings. What are those meanings? Also, has the Church’s teachings on wearing garments changed over time? And is there anything doctrinal about the length of garments? Since the garment length has changed in the past to accommodate changes in modern clothing styles, could we expect them to change again as …

47 Min