1. Bryce: I like your take.

    We cannot do without either temples or humanitarian service. We need both. Temple work is SERVICE, but clearly it should spark humanitarian service as well. Why do we build temples? Because they create a synergy for maximizing humanitarian good. They are a source of renewed commitment. In other words, there is a clear NEED for both prayer and action. Mormonism has always been about both.

  2. Amanda

    President Hinckley stated, “That which goes on in the House of the Lord, and which must be preceded by research, comes nearer the spirit of the sacrifice of the Lord than any other activity of which I know. Why? Because it is done by those who give freely of time and substance to do for others that which they cannot do for themselves, and for which they who perform this service expect no thanks or recompense.”

    I believe those who are willing to serve in our temples are also those who are most willing to serve the poor, in whatever capacity they may be asked, and with whatever means the Lord may have blessed them.

  3. richard caldwell

    The Church has several missions. Temple work and Charity and service to the poor and sick are both essential to the building up of the kingdom. I think its as simple as looking to our Savior. Doing his work here on earth and for those that have passed on are both on the agenda.

  4. DavidH

    The most important thing we can do is love God and love neighbor as ourself. Period. How that gets translated among the many other ways to implement this great commandment is merely a footnote or commentary to the great commandment. There are times when it is more important to help the poor than to go to the temple. For example, if we, like the good Samaritan, meet a person who needs our help while we are on our way to the temple, it may well be that helping that person in need is more important than attending the temple that day. Or vice versa.

    See, e.g., “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and study it.” – Babylonian Talmud, tractate Shabbat 31a

  5. Mark Greene

    Very interesting and meaningful use of the term “poor in spirit “. Those in the spirit world who need our help are spiritually poor without the blessings of the ordinances of salvation and exaltation. As you stated in a previous post, the Hebrew word “avad” means to serve and to worship. Therefore, the meaning of temple worship is to learn how to share God’s love in service to others both in and out of the temple. This was an important message in King Benjamin’s temple sermon. President Hinckley said at the Taiwan Temple dedication, “the greatest selfless act of Christian service that we can perform in this mortal life occurs in the temple”.

  6. Thank you for all your insightful comments. I particularly like Isaiah’s take on this in Isaiah 61:1-3:

    1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
    2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
    3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. (Isa. 61:1-3)

    Christ also quoted this same passage in Luke 4:18-19 with some differences:

    18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
    19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. . . .
    21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (Luke 4:18-19, 21)

    By doing the service in the temple we are literally helping bringing good tidings (the gospel) unto the meek (poor), binding up (healing) the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty (preaching deliverance) to the captives, and opening the prison (setting at liberty) to them that are bound (bruised) in the spirit world. We proclaim to these that Christ’s atonement has been wrought and that the redemption of the dead has been organized by the Lord. The temple ordinance work literally brings the oil of joy and the garments of praise to such as accept the Lord’s gospel in that sphere.

  7. An excellent analysis and explanation. I especially liked your points about how the deceased are poor, and how thus our service to the poor is universal and for those on both sides of the veil.

  8. A thought: the Lord’s mission was to bring salvation, and not necessarily physical needs, to the peoples of the world. It is in the Temple that we come closest to doing what may literally be Christ-like work. Like Christ, we provide for the spiritual salvation of others, and do for others what they cannot do for themselves. It is in the Temple, above all, that we are able to be saviors upon Mount Zion, as the Lord has told us to be.

    Just my two cents (very insignificant amongst the great comments above).

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