“What Is The Mormon Obsession With Temple Building?”

“What Is The Mormon Obsession With Temple Building?” September 27, 2023


ES speaks to invisible BY
Emma Smith speaks with Brigham Young (who is off camera). Still photo courtesy of James Jordan


More material has gone up — surprise! surprise! — on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:

Conference Talks:The Ancient Israelite Tabernacle, Its Accoutrements, and the Priestly Vestments

This presentation was originally given by Daniel Smith to the Interpreter Foundation’s 2016 Temple on Mount Zion Conference, on Saturday, 5 November 2016.

Come, Follow Me — New Testament Study and Teaching Helps: Lesson 41, October 2 — October 8: Ephesians — “For the Perfecting of the Saints”

Once again, Jonn Claybaugh provides a set of concise but helpful notes for students and teachers of the 2023 “Come, Follow Me” curriculum of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The New Testament in Context Lesson 41: “For the Perfecting of the Saints”: Ephesians

In the 10 September 2023 Come, Follow Me segment of the Interpreter Radio Show, our discussants Terry Hutchinson, John Gee, and Kevin Christensen commented upon New Testament lesson 41, “For the Perfecting of the Saints” covering Ephesians. A recording of that conversation is now available to you, at your convenience, commercial free and, well, just plain free.

The other segments of the September 10 radio show can be accessed at https://interpreterfoundation.org/interpreter-radio-show-september-10-2023.

The Interpreter Radio Show can be heard every week of the year on Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 PM (MDT), on K-TALK, AM 1640, or, if that ain’t good enough fer ya, you can listen live on the Internet at ktalkmedia.com.


Good weather!
Some of the members of the cast and crew for “Six Days in August” in Upper Canada Village, Ontario


I’ve been pointing out for some time that, while the immediate neighbors of the site for the small proposed Cody Wyoming Temple might plausibly complain about nighttime lighting and blocked views, or at least be pardoned for having concerns, most of those in Cody really can’t.  I’ve also noted multiple times that some of the objections raised agains the temple’s construction are so transparently bogus that they must probably be taken as at least somewhat disingenuous, as attempts to disguise the real grounds for the objectors’ opposition.  For example, the temple simply won’t “loom over” Cody and it simply won’t block out the entire town’s views of the night sky and it simply won’t clog the city with traffic and it simply won’t dominate views of the city for all of the tourists entering town.

Finally, I’ve observed that some opponents of the temple have been candid that their objections are theological, that they dislike the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that they might even favor using the coercive power of the state, if they could commandeer it for their purpose, to bar construction not only of the Cody Wyoming Temple but of all temples more generally.

This letter in the Cowboy State Daily comes from a Protestant pastor who spent his childhood and youth, at least, as a Latter-day Saint but who has apparently devoted a substantial portion of his Evangelical ministry to criticizing Latter-day Saint belief.  (He’s easily found online.)  While also nodding toward the planning and zoning issues, he forthrightly describes his religious objections to the temple, and to the idea of temples:

“Letter to the Editor: What Is The Mormon Obsession With Temple Building?”

He also sent what appears to be the same letter to something called the Ground News:

“Letter to the Editor: What Is The Mormon Obsession With Temple Building?”

Summary by Ground News:  Mormon obsession with temple building was never part of historical Christianity. Jesus never sanctioned massive temple building projects either. Many will only see it as a California howdy jutting into the skies over Cody. Douglas B Cox is a pastor in Evanston, Wyoming and a member [sic] of the Mormon Church.

I also note with interest that he’s based in Evanston, Wyoming, which (depending on the route that is chosen) is between 358 and 470 miles from Cody.  That is to say that driving between his location and the site of the proposed temple would require between nearly six hours and seven and a half hours.  I find it interesting because some have suggested that Latter-day Saints who have commented on the controversy regarding the Cody Wyoming Temple have no business doing so if they don’t live in Cody.  Curiously, however, I have not seen that objection raised against comments from those who have opposed the building of the temple.

For my previous discussions of this matter, see, in chronological order, “A small tempest about a small temple in Cody,” “In the world after the Fall,” “Once More, on the Conflict in Cody.” “An Update on the Continuing Crisis in Cody, Wyoming,” “Peggy Brown, Dale Brown, and the Cody Wyoming Temple,” “My Last Comment on the Temple in Cody? (Probably Not),” “My last post on the temple in Cody? Maybe, for a while at least,” “What if Sacha Cohen were to visit Cody, Wyoming?” “Sigh. Cody, Wyoming. Again,” and “You can, if you choose, count this as yet another comment on the controversy about the proposed Cody Wyoming Temple.”


BY and MAY (or MWY) in a nighttime dance rehearsal
Rehearsing for a nighttime outdoor dance scene in “Six Days in August.”  I’m a big Jane Austen fan.  Think of this as a nod in the direction of an Austen period movie.  (Which it isn’t.)


But let’s close now with some much-needed abominations from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File™:

“Backpacks and cereal: How Texas children, youth, young single adults and others serve those in need: Stakes in Dallas and Prosper, Texas, reach out to fill specific needs in their communities through JustServe”

“Meet the ‘Service Dudes’ — 2 Young Men Who Began a Club to Serve Others Around Arizona: Arizona high schoolers used JustServe to earn service hours for college applications, and now their friends and siblings are continuing their efforts”

“BYU is one of the top universities in the nation, according to new Wall Street Journal rankings”  (It probably isn’t coincidental that this ranking comes very soon after my retirement from the University.)

“The Growth and Momentum of the Church Educational System: “No matter where you are in the Church of Jesus Christ, you now have access to an affordable, high-quality, spiritually based education””

“USAID’s ‘Power’ Play on Religious Engagement”  (Incidentally, Katrina Lantos Swett is a Latter-day Saint.  See “Meet the Democrat who may be America’s fiercest advocate for religious freedom: Katrina Lantos Swett, a Jewish child of Holocaust survivors, human rights advocate, Democrat and Latter-day Saint, invites everyone to make more seats at the table”)



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