The late Krister Stendahl (1921-2008), who was a Swedish theologian, New Testament scholar, and a Professor and Dean of Divinity at Harvard University, once addressed the press about one of the Mormon temples that was being built nearby, and spoke about three important rules for religious understanding. These rules have since been recognized for their tremendous insight and application in interfaith dialogue and learning. They are:
- When you are trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies.
- Don’t compare your “best” to their “worst.”
- Leave room for “holy envy.” In other words, recognize those aspects of other religious traditions that you admire and wish could be reflected in your own.
I think there is great truth embedded in these principles, and we have the opportunity to exercise them every day. In fact, we use them often here on TempleStudy.com to compare the similarities and differences of Mormon temples with other religious traditions and sacred worship practices.
Below is a short new video which succinctly explains what Mormon temples mean to the Latter-day Saints, from the Latter-day Saint perspective. Hopefully those that are inquisitive about the Church will be able to learn, from us, what the temple means when investigating and evaluating LDS temple worship.
A more comprehensive video of 44 minutes, of which this is only a snippet, is also available to watch, entitled “Between Heaven and Earth,” which includes commentary and interviews from a number of scholars and theologians, both LDS and from other faiths.