by Doug Cox
I recently wrote this letter to the Cowboy State Daily. It was too long so I cut it down but haven’t seen anything published. I thought I would share it with you because it has to do with my perspective on Mormonism’s temple building program and I bet you never looked at it this way.
I’m commenting on Leo Wolfson’s article, “Gigantic 101-Foot-Tall LDS Temple A Done Deal, As Far As City Of Cody’s Concerned”. He said “A controversial Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple has the green light from the city of Cody to begin construction after church representatives threatened federal legal action.” Somehow, I’m not convinced everyone is jumping up and down about a 101 foot tall steeple, “impacting the local viewshed.”
I think the word ‘controversial’ fits nicely with this story. Many including myself consider Mormonism controversial. As a pastor, Joseph Smith’s claim that all Christian “creeds were an abomination in God’s sight, that those professors were all corrupt” and that “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” rubs me the wrong way. They condemn long held Chrisitan beliefs, and yet peddle themselves as just another Christian denomination. It could be resistance to the towering steeple stems from more than just a blocked view.
Just a little overview of what their steeple represents. They claim to be the only true church. They claim their Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth and is a necessary companion to the Bible. The whole story behind it creates a big conundrum because not a single artifact has been found proving the existence of Nephite or Lamanite people here in the Americas. There’s not a single coin, city or temple.
On the other hand, the Bible, which they insist is corrupted is backed by all kinds of artifacts, along with fulfilled prophecies, including the destruction of the Herod’s temple in 70 ad. It reveals the now aligning (never aligned before) nations that will attack Israel in the future in Ezekiel 38. The Bible is continued to be affirmed as new discoveries are being found.
Now to the Mormon obsession with temple building as part of the restoration of the gospel. There were only two stationary temples in Old Testament times. God never told the Jews to build multitudes of temples in other nations. Only one more will be built and will be defiled by the antichrist. (See Mark 14:13) Jesus never sanctioned massive temple building projects. To emphasize that, after saying “it is finished” He died on the cross, and the veil of the Jewish temple was torn from top to bottom. A sign that the time of Holy temples was over, and God was doing a new thing. The Apostle Paul wrote, “do you not know your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Now, you’d think the wealthy Mormon church would have been willing to shorten the steeple to appease the citizens of Cody. After all, a shorter steeple would not violate doctrine or the purpose of the temple. Instead, they threatened a lawsuit. Their bully tactic worked. They can now build their towering steeple, not realizing that many will only see it as a California howdy jutting into the skies over Cody.