Professor Hugh Nibley often taught that the temple was the source of many of the institutions, forms, and trappings of our modern-day society. He once remarked:
There is no part of our civilization which doesn’t have its rise in the temple. ((Hugh Nibley, Don E. Norton, Temple and Cosmos: Beyond This Ignorant Present, 25.))
Nibley also made the comments:
So poetry, music, and dance go out to the world from the temple-called by the Greeks the Mouseion, the shrine of the Muses. ((ibid., 23.))
All the arts and sciences began at the temple. Dance, music, architecture, sculpture, drama, and so forth-they all go back to the temple. ((Nibley, Hugh, and Gary P. Gillum. Of all Things!: Classic Quotations from Hugh Nibley. 2nd, rev. and expand ed. Salt Lake City, Utah; Provo, Utah: Deseret Book Co.; Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1993, 45.))
The more I study the temple the more I am convinced of these statements. I have found evidence for the temple in language, literature, poetry, dance, music, theater, drama, education, custom, astronomy, architecture, art, science, politics, and of course in the many religions of the world. Even our daily personal patterns of awakening, opening our eyes, arising, washing ourselves, getting dressed, eating breakfast, working out our salvation while the day of probation lasts, then going to sleep and awaiting to arise the next morning clearly has connections with the temple.
In what patterns of our civilization do you see the temple?
That is an enlightening perspective. Thank you for sharing it.
Baptism and reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost is in essence a “washing and anointing” prepatory to becoming members of the Kingdom of God.
Studying any fraternal organization or mystery religion shows many parallels to our idea of initiation and endowment.
Something funny I just thought while typing…
When we find evidence of Greek and pagan ideas in other Christianity, it’s b/c of the Apostasy,
When we find it in our Church, it’s called the scattered fragments that have been restored.
I know I’m showing up to this more than six years late, but reading Brother Nibley’s comments here reminded me of articles I’ve read about the Gobekli Tepe site in Southern Turkey- considered to be the oldest temple found, it is now believed that religion did not come about to meet the needs of man once they became civilized, but that the need to gather and worship is what made banding together in permanent societies necessary.
As the following article shows, there is growing evidence that the temple came first, and that domestication of animals and grains- mankinds first ‘revolution’- came as a consequence.
Once again, Hugh Nibley was ahead of his time, showing that everything we take for granted in our societies originated from the sacred space where our ancestors pondered this life and the next.
Thanks for your comment. I wrote a piece about Gobekli Tepe. http://www.templestudy.com/2008/10/22/the-first-and-oldest-temple-in-the-world-gobekli-tepe/