Temples of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


"The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2:1-3)


I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is God's church here on the Earth. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I invite all to give heed to its message.


The Purpose of Temples

My Publications Relating to the Temple:

James L. Carroll "Wrestling Before God, Jacob and Enos" presented at The 2009 Sperry Symposium.
Abstract: Enos's wrestle "Before God" has many similarities to the Jacob story in the Old Testament. Better understanding the themes and morals of the Jacob story can aid our understanding of the implications and message of the book of Enos. From this comparison we learn that the greatest blessings that God has for us are often only attained after intense spiritual effort on our part.
Draft available upon request.

James L. Carroll "An Expanded View of the Israelite Scapegoat, A Representation of Physical and Spiritual Death," invited talk for Temples and Ritual in Antiquity, presented by the BYU Religious Studies Center and SANE's Studia Antiqua, Provo UT., 7 November, 2008.
Abstract: There have been many divergent interpretations of the scapegoat in LDS and other Christian commentaries. Some see the scapegoat as a symbol of Christ, others as a symbol of Satan. In order to better understand the spiritual significance of the scapegoat, this paper analyzes several parallels that are similar to the Day of Atonement, specifically rituals and stories involving the elements of death, banishment, release and substitution. Usually one person or group is put to death, and another person or group is either cast out or released. It is then possible to understand the first goat (the Lord's goat) and the second goat (the scapegoat) in terms of physical and spiritual death respectively. Spiritual death involves banishment or exile, and is a common punishment in the ancient world. It is also one of the fundamental penalties assigned to sin in the scriptures. If we interpret the scapegoat in this way, then it does not directly represent Christ or Satan. Rather it represents a vicarious substitute, suffering the penalty of banishment on Israel's behalf. Such an interpretation can explain how some have seen the Savior in the scapegoat since he took spiritual death upon himself for those who repent, while at the same time others have seen Satan in the scapegoat since he was banished from the Father's presence, thus suffering spiritual death for his unrepented sins.
The presentations were recorded by the conference and are available at: Google Video and YouTube. The paper is currently unavailable because the draft is currently in submission to the Religious Studies Center for publication. Some of the ideas presented here were published in Selections From the Seventh Annual BYU Religious Education Student Symposium, 2005, which is is available here: doc. A draft of the more complete version of these ideas, the paper behind this presentation is available upon request.

James L. Carroll, "An Interpreters History of the Israelite Three Room Temple Design," in The Ninth Annual BYU Religious Education Student Symposium, 2007.
Abstract: In 1842, Joseph Smith revealed the endowment which connected the temple tradition with the creation, the Garden of Eden, and the ritual activities of Adam and his descendents immediately after the fall. Ancient Israel under the Law of Moses also built several temples. These temples were not primarily used for endowments as we understand them today, but were part of an Aaronic order designed to be preparatory in nature. These temples each contained three main rooms or divisions. We survey several of the most important LDS and non-LDS theories that attempt to explain the meaning of these rooms and show that even most non-LDS scholars believe that the Israelite temple design was connected with the creation, the Garden of Eden, and the fall of man. Thus, although these temples were not identical to the modern temple pattern revealed through the Endowment, they were designed to teach many of the same fundamental gospel principles. The majority of these scholarly opinions were given many years after Joseph revealed the Endowment, illustrating the inspiration of the prophet.
Paper: pdf, Presentation slides: ppt.

James L. Carroll, "Egyptian Craft Guild Initiations," in Studia Antiqua, The Journal of the Student Society for Ancient Studies, 2007, vol. 5:1 p. 17-44.
Abstract: Initiation seems to have played an important role in Egyptian religion from the beginning of recorded history. Initiations are rites whereby the initiate is symbolically moved from one state of being into another or from one part of the temple into another, the passage involves various trials or tests of knowledge, the rites often deal with death and resurrection, various oaths are taken either of an ethical or of a sacramental nature, and the ceremony itself is usually secret. The initiation paradigm can be seen in the Egyptian funerary literature, the Daily Temple Liturgy, the initiations of the Egyptian priesthood, and the later Isis mystery cult initiations. All these ritual elements can also be seen in modern craft guild initiations, however it is unclear how early this paradigm became part of craft guild initiations. Although it can be shown that craft guilds existed in ancient Egypt from the earliest times, little direct evidence of their nature has remained. However, several elements from the earlier Egyptian initiations show evidence of having been influenced by guild initiations. This indicates that the guild traditions may have adopted the initiation paradigm at a very early stage. If this is the case, then it would have significant ramifications for the origins of modern guild initiations, and would indicate that they are connected to ancient traditions of initiation into the afterlife, and to ancient temple traditions.
Paper: doc.

James L. Carroll, "The Second Coming of Christ as Covenant Renewal," in The Eighth Annual BYU Religious Education Student Symposium, 2006.
Abstract: The second coming of Christ, especially his appearance at Jerusalem, can be thought of as a covenant renewal ritual in which the people at Jerusalem rediscover the identity of Jehovah, their God, and recommit their lives to him.  This covenant renewal ritual is similar in form to the ancient covenant patterns found throughout the ancient Near East and in the Old Testament accounts of Abraham and Joshua.  Viewing the second coming in this manner can help us to understand several passages that would otherwise be difficult to interpret, especially the division of the Mount of Olives.  In this context, the division of the Mount of Olives can be seen as a re-creation of the sacred landscape that was present at Shechem when the Israelites made their covenant with Jehovah before possessing the Land of Promise.
Draft available upon request.

James L. Carroll, "A Revised Temple Typology" in Hagion Temenos, 2nd Edition ed. Stephen Ricks, Provo Ut. BYU Press, 2005.
Abstract: John M. Lundquist's "Temple Typology" has been highly influential in the past several years. This "Revised Temple Typology" attempts to build upon what he has created by synthesizing several of Lundquist's publications and by adding several new elements to the typology. Further, the typology is reordered, and organized into three main categories, "the Temple Space," "The Temple Rites," and "The Tempe and Community." Short titles have also been added to the typology elements. It is hoped that these changes will improve the use of the typology in teaching situations.
Paper: doc.

James L. Carroll, "An Expanded View of the Israelite Scapegoat" in Selections From the Seventh Annual BYU Religious Education Student Symposium, 2005.
Abstract: There have been many divergent interpretations of the scapegoat in LDS and other Christian commentaries. Some see the scapegoat as a symbol of Christ, others as a symbol of Satan. In order to better understand the spiritual significance of the scapegoat, this paper analyzes several scriptural stories that are similar in form to the Day of Atonement, specifically stories where one person or group is put to death, and another person or group is cast out or released. It is then possible to understand the Lord's goat and the scapegoat in terms of physical and spiritual death respectively. Such an interpretation can explain how the scapegoat can represent the Savior, who took spiritual death upon himself for those who repent, while at the same time representing Satan, who was cast out of the Father's presence, thus suffering spiritual death for his unrepented sins.
Paper: doc.

James L. Carroll, "The Reconciliation of Adam and Israelite Temples," in Studia Antiqua, The Journal of the Student Society for Ancient Studies, Winter 2003.
Abstract: Modern researchers have shown that ancient temples were often associated with the creation, the Garden of Eden, and reconciliation. All three of these elements can be found in Genesis 1-3 if one assumes that Adam and Eve repented of their transgression in the Garden as many apocryphal elements attest.  The methods of reconciliation that they record form a unifying principal for understanding the significance of the tripartite divisions found in Israelite temples which seem to have represented the heavenly throne of God, the Garden of Eden, and the fallen world where Adam and Eve worked out their reconciliation with God. 
Paper: doc.

James L. Carroll, Elizabeth Siler, "Let My Prayer Be Set Before Thee: The Burning of Incense in the Temple Cult of Ancient Israel," in Studia Antiqua, The Journal of the Student Society for Ancient Studies, Fall 2002.
Abstract: A survey paper concerning the burning of Incense in its relation to the temple cult of Ancient Israel.  We place the burning of incense in its contexts from the religions surrounding Israel, attempt to identify the ingredients mentioned in Ex. 30.  We also survey various rabbinic commentaries on the methods for burning incense, and give an LDS interpretation for the meaning of this part of the ancient Israelite temple ritual.
doc.

My Talks on the Temple:

  • Stand in Holy Places That Ye Be Not Moved The temple is compared to Noah's Ark, as a place of safety.

    FAQ:

  • Freemasonry
  • Recommended references:

  • "Temples of the Ancient World" by Donald W. Parry; Deseret Book Company, and FARMS.
  • "The Temple in Time and Eternity" by Donald W. Parry and Stephen D. Ricks; Deseret Book Company, and FARMS.
  • "Temple and Cosmos, Beyond this Ignorant Present" by High W. Nibley; Deseret Book Company, and FARMS, Copyright 1992
  • "My Father's House, Temple Worship and Symbolism in the New Testament" by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and David Rolph Seely; Bookcraft, inc. Copyright 1994.
  • The "Mormon Monastery" and its excellent list of references relating to the Temple

  • Links

    The Official Website for the Church's Temples

    The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies FARMS is the hottest place for reliable LDS Research!

    Forty Day Teachings of Christ...A Gnostic Endowment Good information on the Gnostic temple rituals.

    Gnostic Virtual Library For those of you who, like me, like to poke around in old documents looking for gospel parallels.