Evidences of Mormon
A compilation and review of the claims made by the Book of Mormon compared against non-apologetic data

Sneaking into a Mormon temple

Mormons have two different types of buildings that they use in their worship of Jesus Christ. The most common is a church, where anyone is welcome to attend any of the meetings. Churches are used for regular Sunday worship, and meetings are held at various times throughout the world. The second building is the temple. These are not used for Sunday services, so you will not find someone giving a sermon there. They serve a different purpose and are closed on Sunday.

To Latter-day Saints, temples are considered houses of God and places of holiness. They are held as one of the most sacred places on earth. They are a quite and peaceful refuge from the world. At a temple dedication, they are dedicated to Christ. Only members who have a current temple recommend are allowed into the temple.

What would happen if you were to sneak into a Mormon temple?

Since this topic has crept up in some rare conversations I thought I would address a few key points of this idea. What happens if you were to sneak into a Mormon temple ceremony? What are the benefits to you for doing so? What are the consequences?

Imagine if God, whether the Mormon faith was true or not, actually held you accountable for the promises that you made to Him. Could you live up to the promises that you would make in the temple if you snuck into it? If you attended the temple, you would promise to live righteously and live the gospel according to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You would have to do so to keep your end of that promise. If you broke your promise because you did not have a testimony of the LDS church or of God, you would than have to be held accountable for it. Therefore, in order to keep those who do not believe the teachings of the Mormon church from making such promises that they are not ready to make, the church requires that you actually have a testimony before you make them.

Latter-day Saints believe the temple and its ordinances were established by commandment from the Lord and are things that the Lord would not have taken lightly or mocked. In other words, latter-day saints believe that these things are sacred to the Lord. Latter-day Saints also believe that "whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required," as stated in Luke 12:48. Accordingly, they believe that a man who has made promises to the Lord will be held more accountable than the man that has not.

So what happens if someone were to sneak into a Mormon temple and go through the services? This is best illustrated by a story that I once heard, and while I have not been able to confirm its source, its point is accurate:

At one point, the president of the church was in a public setting where there were many members. A man approached the prophet and shook his hand, and then proudly stated "I snuck into your temple and went through one of your temple ceremonies. What are you going to do about it?"

The prophet simply looked at the man and asked, "Well, you made the covenants. What are you going to do about it?"

There has been one time that I know of where the person who was officiating the endowment ceremony has stood in front of the group and stated, "There is someone here who is not supposed to be." Then he just stood there and waited. After a minute or two, someone got up and left, and the endowment proceeded.

If you were to sneak in to the temple using a stolen or fraudulent recommend, and you were caught, they would either ask you to leave or turn you over to the local authorities for trespassing. Every temple has a group of security to ensure the safety of the patrons.

If you were to make it through the endowment ceremony, then the risks and responsibilities of performing those ordinances would be upon your own head.

Allow me to illustrate this with an example:

Imagine two men, who, for all intents and purposes, lived exact duplicate lives. Both men have the same circumstances, both men do not have faith in any religion, and for illustration purposes, lets assume that both men have no sin. The one exception to their duplication is the temple ceremony. In one way or another, the first man gets his hand on a temple recommend, and goes through the temple ceremony without a belief and testimony of the Mormon faith. After this event, believing that there are no consequences to their actions, both men then break most of the Ten Commandments in the same manner. At the end of their lives, both men have not repented, and both men have committed the same sins. According to Mormon belief, the first man will be under greater condemnation than the second man.

This is why the Mormons require that you have a testimony of the Mormon faith before you can enter the temple.

Compare that to the man who has a testimony of the LDS faith, goes through the temple, and keeps his covenants and repents as necessary. According to the LDS faith, this man will continue to learn and progress through eternity. He will have blessed the lives of numerous people who have already died. He will get to be with his family forever. While the consequences are greater for not treating sacred things as sacred, the rewards are worth it.

What would you gain?

What would be the point of sneaking into a Mormon temple? Assuming that there is no God, the best you have done is trespassed and profaned someone's sacred place just to say that you could and to satisfy your curiosity. You would learn that the Mormons are actually honest about what happens in the temple.

Assuming the Bible is true, you have now also transgressed against the commandment to love they neighbor as thyself, assuming that you would not profane your own things that you consider sacred.

Assuming that there is some type of God who holds you accountable for the promises that you make to Him, or the latter-day saints are correct when they say you can prove their religion true, then you have made some serious covenents with God.

One could argue that they could benefit from sneaking into an Mormon temple to be prepared "just in case" the LDS church is true. However, as noted above, this would require the misuse of sacred things in the eyes of the Lord which can require greater consequences.

An easier solution: Seeing the inside of a Mormon temple AND understanding what happens inside

If you really want to know and understand what happens inside a Mormon temple there are other resources you can use. At the bottom of the 'About Mormon temples' page of this site is a list of temple resources including interior pictures, an in-depth look at the ordinances, and the history of the temples.