Mormon Temples Made Simple Video

Because of the sacred nature of the ordinances that members of the Church perform in temples, it can be difficult sometimes for us to describe to others what the temple is and what we do inside. I thought the video embedded below gave a good introduction to the temple.  You can watch it below (on the website), or you can see it and other videos like it on the Mormons Made Simple website.

How do you feel this video does in explaining in simple terms what the temple is for? Could it be used for sharing with family and friends what the temple is about? Please share with us your thoughts in the comments.

12 Comments

  1. chad
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    I don’t plan on spreading this video via facebook nor twitter. It doesn’t do temples or their ceremonies justice. I thought the clip board and the caption “baptize for Joe” was very near unacceptable. I definitely don’t think it was bad, but – from an LDS perspective – it was lacking the Spirit.

  2. Posted September 29, 2009 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I think I agree with you Chad. I have mixed feelings about the video. I think it gave a good intro to the temple, but I’m not sure about the presentation. Something makes it all feel a little petty.

  3. Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I actually don’t mind the video. The website is obviously trying to capture the essence of the subject in 3 minutes or less in a very simple way as stated. They are using visual cues that most people will be familiar with to explain complex concepts. I agree that a clipboard doesn’t truly capture the sacred nature of temple ceremonies, but I think the uninitiated will understand the clipboard analogy better than trying to delve into some doctrinal discourse on the need of salvation, baptism, and priesthood authority.

    For a majority of today’s “viewers” this type of message will probably reach those wanting to “research” the church easier than violins and sweeping panoramas.

  4. Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Good thoughts, Brad.

  5. dee
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I like the video, it was meant to be simple and it was. I also understand the clipboard not being in keeping with the sacredness of the temple, but for those interested in what we are about, it fills in the blanks. A then serious viewer would be ready to learn the appropriate format. The Spirit will then aid in the understanding. The adult learner is best taught at a 6th grade level, for those who don’t have sophisticated understandings.Then they will be ready for true instruction, if they are truly seeking, and not ridiculing.

  6. Brad Minick
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I was uncomfortable with the idea of the clipboard. It made it seem that our salvation is only a matter of checking things off a list. Our salvation is made possible ONLY through the grace, mercy, and merits of Jesus Christ. Bryce, I believe you have post about works and grace. I’m afraid that other christians greatly misunderstand the doctrines of the church and I hope this video doesn’t seem like we save ourselves.

  7. Steve
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    I saw where a couple of things could have been done better. I once heard a good explanation that I think goes along with how to look at things like this. An old institute teacher I had once spoke about people being on different levels of understanding, both temporally and spiritually.

    He said that if you have person A on a spiritual level of 7 and person B on a spiritual level of 3, what happens when they go and see a movie, for instance, when it is at a spiritual level of 5?

    Well, person A will most likely not be edified by the movie, while it may bring person B up by watching it, they will probably both have conflicting reviews. I think that these videos can be understood through a similar lens. While I was a little critical of things here and there, I think they are a very inviting way for someone to learn about the church if they come across them. I probably wouldn’t recommend them to any people not of our faith because that’s just not my style, but I’m glad that they are out there just the same.

    No matter what you put out there or whether it has clipboards or not, people will find fault if they are looking for it anyway.

  8. Posted October 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I don’t mean to suggest that this sort of thing would be important to the intended audience, but the diagram showing temple locations around the world seems to indicate that there are temples in or near Algeria, Somalia, and Iran!

  9. Brett
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Long time lurker/first time poster here…

    The part in this video that has been discussed previously has bugged me enough that I felt I needed to post about it. While the clipboard, as an illustration in and of itself, is not in the least offensive to me, the blatantly false statement that “mormons believe that to be saved a person must meet certain requirements, such as being baptized” is. The only requirement to be “saved” is to be born, live and then die as a child of God. The Grace of God, through the Infinite Atonement (including the Resurrection) of course, “saves” all of God’s children from death. The “requirements” to be met, mentioned in the video, are for Exaltation, NOT Salvation. It is this type of incorrect statement that gets mainstream Christians so angry at us and say that we have nothing in common, that we are not Christians. We ALL have salvation in common whether baptized or not, whether or not we even know who Christ is… This type of video is so great in getting people to know and understand who LDSs are in a clever, unobtrusive and easy way. What a shame if someone were to use the content that seems to come from the source (a LDS), against us.

    Is there a way to get in touch with the producers of the video to correct this?

    BTW, I love this site and am very grateful to all who have contributed to its content.

  10. Steve
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I think Brett makes some good points. Even the Telestial Kingdom IS salvation, even though it’s not exaltation. I think one of the big divisions we have with the Post-Apostolic Christian world is that their view of the ultimate heaven is, really, the Terrestrial Kingdom while the LDS view of the ultimate heaven is the Celestial Kingdom. Think about it. In the Terrestrial Kingdom, you will stand in the presence of Christ again, you will will part with your spouse at death and enjoy no marriage in the resurrection and you will not be a god and have an eternal progeny. You will find happiness and joy beyond imagination; it’s heaven. But, what was lost during the apostasy, in my opinion, was knowledge of a Celestial glory and everything that pertains to it. So when words like “Salvation” are discussed with our friends of other faiths, there’s really only one salvation and that’s the opposite of hell. Our doctrine is a tad bit more involved than the black and white line down the middle, saved or damned view held by others.

    Modern Christianity is becoming watered-down; major religions are breaking off into non-denominational sects that will not survive doctrinally as secularism and political correctness takes them over.

    Personally, I don’t really care too much about what others think about us. I love our friends of other faiths, many are family members. I want to work with them, and serve with them and live by them as neighbors. But our doctrines cannot be apologized for. If they don’t want to consider us Christians then that’s their choice. Until we adopt the Trinity, reject modern revelation and tear down the temples, we will NEVER be Christians to them and we will NEVER reject our doctrines that we know to be true. If Christianity means that you believe in a triune God, with no concept of exaltation as we understand it, where all who don’t know Christ are damned and a God who no longer speaks with man, then I’m sorry, but according to that definition, I’m not a “Christian”, but I AM a latter-day saint of Jesus Christ the Messiah, the one and only mediator between God and man. How’s that for ya?

    Good points, Brett, the waters ARE unfortunately pretty muddied between religions.

  11. Posted October 4, 2009 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    You make some valid points Brett. But for what it’s worth, the word “salvation” can be used in more than one context. You describe the salvation which is “unconditional and general” as Elder McConkie describes (Mormon Doctrine, “Salvation”). This is true – every person born on earth, except the sons of perdition, will receive the resurrection and be “saved” into one of the kingdoms of glory.

    But the word “salvation” is also used in 2 other ways, according to Elder McConkie:

    Conditional or individual salvation, that which comes by grace coupled with gospel obedience, consists in receiving an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of God. This kind of salvation follows faith, repentance, baptism, receipt of the Holy Ghost, and continued righteousness to the end of one’s mortal probation.

    There is one more sense in which the word “salvation” is used, which is in the context of exaltation:

    Salvation in its true and full meaning is synonymous with exaltation or eternal life and consists in gaining an inheritance in the highest of the three heavens within the celestial kingdom. With few exceptions this is the salvation of which the scriptures speak. It is the salvation which the saints seek. It is of this which the Lord says, “There is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.” (D&C 6:13.) This full salvation is obtained in and through the continuation of the family unit in eternity, and those who obtain it are gods. (D&C 131:1–4; D&C 132.)

    Full salvation is attained by virtue of knowledge, truth, righteousness, and all true principles. Many conditions must exist in order to make such salvation available to men. Without the atonement, the gospel, the priesthood, and the sealing power, there would be no salvation. Without continuous revelation, the ministering of angels, the working of miracles, the prevalence of gifts of the spirit, there would be no salvation. If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 1-350.)

    So, yes, the word “salvation” can be used, and has been used, in the context of exaltation, even within the Church. Almost every time the scriptures speak of “salvation,” it is exaltation they are speaking of. When we speak with members of other faiths, it is alright to use the word “salvation,” because they do not yet understand what “exaltation” is. It would take at least another 3 minute video to explain what “exaltation” is. I think that is why the producers of the video chose to use “salvation” instead. I don’t fault them for that.

  12. Posted October 4, 2009 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I might add that there are numerous scriptures, most in the Book of Mormon and D&C, that specifically say that in order to be “saved” we must be “baptized.” See the list of scriptures here. So it is not a blatantly false statement. It is much more nuanced than we might think.

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