Useful Resources for Understanding the Ancient Nature of the LDS Temple

In addition to some of the books and articles I have previously discussed in my LDSFAQ essay about Masonry and Mormon Temples (or Mormons and Masons), today I ran into another outstanding online resource. It’s a legal online copy (PDF format) of John M. Lundquist’s scholarly article, “What Is a Temple? A Preliminary Typology,” originally printed in H. B. Huffman, F. A. Spina, and A. R. W. Green, eds., The Quest for the Kingdom of God: Studies in Honor of George E. Mendenhall (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 1983), which was republished in Temples of the Ancient World, ed. by Donald W. Parry and Stephen D. Ricks (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1994, pp. 83-118), now made available online with permission (I love it when people get permission!) on Ben Spackman’s site, Resources for Understanding the History and Symbolism of LDS Temples. While Lundquist’s article is not explicitly about the LDS Temple, those familiar with LDS temples will find strong evidence for its ancient roots.

Also see “Early Christian and Jewish Rituals Related to Temple Practices” by John A. Tvedtnes, available at This offers strong evidence for the ancient nature of the Temple. For related background information, see Mormonism and Early Christianity, the excellent Website by Barry Bickmore.

Just for fun, read the Coronation Ceremony for Queen Elizabeth II to learn about details of the Queen’s coronation, based on ancient English traditions, which include anointing the queen with oil in several places, offering some interesting parallels to the Temple. It’s one of many examples of ancient Temple-related practices that have diffused into other systems. (Thanks to Wade Englund for pointing out this page.)


Author: Jeff Lindsay

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