Final Videos from “Mormonism and the Temple” Conference Available

The rest of the videos of the presentations given at the October 2012 Conference “Mormonism and the Temple: Exploring an Ancient Religious Tradition” have been posted to the Academy for Temple Studies website, and on YouTube. This includes great presentations from John Hall, John L. Fowles, Le Grande Davies, and Laurence Hemming, covering subjects such as ancient Mediterranean temple ceremonies, temple archaeology, parallels in Mormon and Catholic worship, and insights into the temple, the Book of Revelation, and Joseph Smith.

You can view all the videos here, or the remaining four presentations embedded below.

Laurence Hemming – “Chapel, Church, Temple, Cathedral: Lost Parallels”


John Hall – “Ancient Mediterranean Temple Ceremonies”


Le Grande Davies – “Temples—Bridges of Eternity”


John L. Fowles – “The Temple, The Book of Revelation, and Joseph Smith”



  1. FrancisE.

    thanks, Bryce, for keeping us posted…
    but, i was wondering if can help with a link to, say, the transcript or audio?

  2. Hi Francis. A proceedings book will be published within a month or two with the written form of the presentations. If you would like only the audio of the presentations, there are some great tools to strip the audio from YouTube videos. One that I have used is called

  3. Mike Johnson

    I have been enjoying very much the videos of this conference. I sounds like it was a good exchange. I have learned a great deal about ancient temples. I hadn’t heard of Laurence Hemming before and was intrigued by his remarks. I did find him listed as a Permanent Deacon on the Archdiocese of Westminster’s website and also his own webpage with some of his writings. I note he is now a professor of philosophy at Liverpool University. He mentioned the London Temple and compared it to Gatwick Airport (and having been through Gatwick Airport on several occasions a long trainride to the south of London, I think I understood his point). But, if he is at Liverpool University, perhaps he should be pointed toward the Preston Temple.

    I noted a division of work between (1) ancient Israelite temples, (2) other regional temples that might have influenced Israelite temples, and (4) LDS temples. I wondered about the possibility of other temples or similar that might have been influenced by Israelite temples. In particular, there are those who claim that ancient Japanese Shinto shrines are based on the Temple of Solomon and identify ties that may have arrived with elements of lost tribes going to Japan. We know that the lost tribes have been scattered throughout the world and many countries have advocates for a Lost Tribes connection. Some of the similarities I have seen pointed out between the layout of Solomon’s Temple and some of the large ancient Shinto shrines appear to be very interesting.

    As an example, here is a link ( to a site hosted by a Japanese Christian minister documenting his claims of a Lost Tribes connection to ancient Japan. While this might be dismissed as simply his attempt to link his Japanese heritage with his current Christian beliefs, he does present some interesting parallels. I am not in a position to research whether there is anything to these claims, but there might be a graduate student (perhaps a returned missionary from Japan) looking for an area of research and the theme of temple cultures that may have been influenced by the ancient Israelite temples could be a interesting addition to Temple Study Group themes.

    Some temple-related comparisons gleaned from his site with the various talks from this conference and other FARMS and Maxwell Institute papers and Margaret Barker’s 2003? BYU talk in mind include:

    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Layout of Solomon’s Temple; Japanese Theme: Similar layout of large ancient Shinto shrines
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Ark of the Covenant; Japanese Theme: Omikoshi (ark carried in annual religious festival)
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Attempted Sacrifice of Isaac; Japanese Theme: Ontohsai festival at Suwa-Taisha shrine depicting a planned sacrifice of a boy, that is stopped.
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Mount Moriah; Japanese Theme: Moriya-san
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Sacrifice of a Ram; Japanese Theme: Sacrifice of a deer (no sheep in ancient Japan)
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Priestly robes; Japanese Theme: similar priestly robes, with a number of similarities.
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Wave sheaf of first fruits; Japanese Theme: Wave sheaf for sanctification
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Wisdom (goddess); Japanese Theme: Amaterasu
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Sacred items (rod, manna, tablets) in the temple; Japanese Theme: Sacred items (sword, bead, mirror) in the shrines
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Temple guards; Japanese Theme: Shrine guards (both human and stone lion figures)
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Ritual bathing; Japanese Theme: Ritual bathing
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Pillars of stone; Japanese Theme: Pillars of stone
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Serpent of Moses; Japanese Theme: Mt Inomure snake around a pole
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: Day of Atonement; Japanese Theme: Ooharai and Nagashi-bina festivals
    Ancient Israelite Temple Theme: King is “God with his people”; Japanese Theme: Emperor is “God with his people”

    There are apparently hundreds of words used in ancient Japanese ceremonies that don’t mean anything in Japanese, but sound like appropriate Hebrew words to Jewish scholars and visitors.

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