How could temple worship be wrong? It seems so selfless.

In this ongoing series, we attempt to answer questions from a searching Mormon.

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How could temple worship be wrong? It seems so selfless.

The concept of worship carried out in a temple does appear like a selfless act.

In studying the Bible, we discover that the act of worship is a joyful response of whom God is and what He has already done for us. It is an opportunity to join with other believers to not only remind themselves of God's promises, but also celebrate their eternal status. When the focus of our worship is on God, and not of our selves, it not only becomes a true selfless act, but an act that is pleasing to God.

What helps to grasp the concept of worship is to examine the origin of the word. "Worship" is an interesting Old English term that means "acknowledgement of worth."  The act of worshipping God means to proclaim that He is worthy. Faith means to believe in His promises and to worship God means to celebrate and trust that He is worthy to keep them. The emphasis of a believer's worship is placed entirely on God's worthiness and not on our own.

How does this concept compare with the teachings of Mormonism?

Upon consulting with many Mormons, I believe the majority would agree that God is worthy of our praise and in keeping His promises. The follow-up question would be, "How do I receive God's promises?" Perhaps examining temple worship would be a way to answer that question.

Consulting with LDS resources, temple worship in Mormonism consists mainly of carrying out ordinances essential to following the plan of salvation. This involves sealings performed in the temple and making covenants with Heavenly Father. Temple worship is also referred to as temple work. This phrase describes the work in behalf of ancestors and others who have died. But is that really the point of worship?

God desires for all people to worship him. To take the aspect of temple worship even further, Mormonism requires that a person needs to receive a temple recommend to enter a temple. The only way to carry out the act of temple worship is to be worthy.

I can only make the conclusion that temple worship focuses more on our self rather than it being a selfless act.

The Bible expresses grave concerns whenever God is displaced in the act of worship. It's a form of false worship known as idolatry. This includes the worship of our self, the attempt to use worship as a means to fulfill a "divine potential", or eternally progress to advance one's status in heaven. If this is truly the case in temple worship, then it is wrong no matter how selfless it may seem.

  One of the greatest promises given in the Bible is to take God at His Word. He promises full forgiveness right now. To believe God means to trust this promise and that God is completely worthy to fulfill it. Having the knowledge of receiving the full forgiveness of our sins prompts a soul to respond, "You are worthy!"

This self-less act of worship is what truly pleases God.

Questions from a Searching Mormon:

1.         The Godhead- the LDS perspective makes the most sense.  Why did Christ cry out and pray to his father even calling him "Abba" in desperation and why was he called the son of God if he was God?  Who is God? 2.         Why have I had so many spiritual experience reading the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenant and Pearl of Great Price? 3.         Why do most Christian churches I have attended the last year seem so messy and broken? 4.         How could temple worship be wrong? It seems so selfless. 5.         Is the plan of salvation wrong? 6.         Was there really no pre-existence?  There seems to be substantial Biblical support as well as much western and eastern culture support in literature for it but I haven't talked to a Christian who believes in it. 7.         What is the relationship of families eternally? 8.         Are we children of God? If so how? 9.         Who is Satan, how is he associated with God and what role does he play?