If you'd like to expand your understanding and appreciation of the truly majestic LDS temple concept, you could begin with Daniel C. Peterson's recent article, "The Temple as a Place of Ascent to God." He touches upon some of the many parallels to ancient religion that are expressed so richly in the restored LDS temple. He does this not by way of apologetics, but to remind us LDS folks of the treasures that we have been given and that we should be enjoying these blessings and living the Gospel to the fullest, not just defending it.

Here is a brief excerpt from the end of his essay:
I'll conclude with a quotation from 3 Enoch, chapters 11 through 13, which is one of the greatest ancient texts that I haven't referred to yet.
"Rabbi Ishmael said: The angel Metatron, Prince of the Divine Presence, said to me [Metatron is Enoch, but at this point, he's been changed into the angel Metatron, who dwells before the Throne]: The Holy One, blessed be he, revealed to me from that time onward all the mysteries of wisdom, all the depths of the perfect Torah, and all the thoughts of men's hearts. All mysteries of the world, and all the orders of nature stand revealed before me as they stand revealed before the Creator. From that time onward, I looked and beheld deep secrets and wonderful mysteries. Before a man thinks in secret, I see his thought. Before he acts, I see his act. There is nothing in heaven above or deep within the earth concealed from me." (3 Enoch 11:1-3)

"Rabbi Ishmael said: Metatron, Prince of the Divine Presence, said to me: Out of the love which he had for me, more than for all the denizens of the heights, the Holy One, blessed be he, fashioned for me a majestic robe, in which all kinds of luminaries were set, and he clothed me in it. He fashioned for me a glorious cloak in which brightness, brilliance, splendor, and luster of every kind were fixed, and he wrapped me in it. He fashioned for me a kingly crown in which 49 refulgent stones were placed, each like the sun's orb, and its brilliance shone into the four quarters of the heaven of Arabot, into the seven heavens, and into the four quarters of the world. He set it upon my head, and called me the lesser YHWH in the presence of his whole household in the height, as it is written, "My name is in him." (3 Enoch 12:1-5)
Now listen to that! "He called me the lesser Jehovah." That's deification. This is a Jewish text!
"Rabbi Ishmael said: the angel Metatron, Prince of the Divine Presence, the glory of highest heaven said to me: Out of the abundant love and great compassion wherewith the Holy One, blessed be he, loved and cherished me more than all the denizens of the heights. He wrote with his finger, as with a pen of flame upon the crown which was on my head, the letters by which heaven and earth were created; the letters by which seas and rivers were created; the letters by which mountains and hills were created; the letters by which stars and constellations, lightning and wind, thunder and thunderclaps, snow and hail, hurricane and tempest were created; the letters by which all the necessities of the world and all the orders of creation were created." (3 Enoch 13:3)
In other words, he gives him the capacity to be a creator. He deifies him, declares him to be "the lesser YHWH," and gives him the power of creation. It's a remarkable thing.

It is my firm belief that the temple represents a model, which itself represents a cosmic reality, a reality that involves access to divine mysteries, access to the waters of life, access to cleansing and ascension, access to the presence of God, a symbolic representation of admission into the presence of God, an endowment of power that goes with that, with the ultimate culmination of a blessing of exaltation in the presence of God. That's remarkable stuff, and it's remarkable that Joseph Smith restored these ancient models from the ancient world, living in 19th Century America.

But I'm not making this only as an apologetic point. I'm making it as a point to say that we, as Latter-day Saints, who aspire to defend and sustain the kingdom, should be aware of the riches we've been given. We should not forget what it is that we've been given. It's not only a matter of defending it; we should live it, and observe it ourselves, and treasure what's been given to us. It's a remarkable thing. It's far more than we deserve or merit. It's the grace of God that gives it to us.
The language around deification or theosis from ancient Jewish texts will upset or confuse some people, as do early Christian writings on that topic. Perhaps reading up on the Christian doctrine of theosis will help some of you realize that the Biblical call to "put on the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:3-10) is not a threat to God's divinity and status as our Father, but an expression of His infinite grace toward His children whom He calls to enter into His presence and share of the fullness of eternal life as joint heirs with His Son (Romans 8:16-17).
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