My father, in 1952, just in his 20s, my father became the chief spokesman for the Nation of Islam. From 1952 to 1959, there were four temples. My father was responsible and credited for having maximized this membership. From four temples to 50 temples, there was so much work involved.
One of the bellwether marks of the growth and vitality of the Church is the construction of temples. . . . We will keep on working to bring the temples to the people, making it more convenient for Latter day Saints everywhere to receive the blessings which can only be had in these holy houses.
Gordon B. Hinckley
In Japan, the people preserve their temples for their exquisite beauty, and there are a great many sincere Buddhists; but China is irreligious: a nation of atheists or agnostics, or slaves of impious superstitions. In an extended tramp among temples, I have not seen a single male worshiper or a thing to please the eye.
Renovating temples does not mean building great gate towers or receptacles for offerings. What we should focus on is the regular conduct of worship according to tradition, regular satsang, devotional singing, and so forth. Our devotion and faith give life to temples, not rituals and ceremonies. Children, we should remember this when we are involved in temple matters.
Isn't it human beings who impart vitality to the image in the temple? If no one sculpts the stone, it doesn't become an image. If no one installs it in the temple, it does not acquire any sanctity. If no worship is done, it does not acquire any power. Without human effort there cannot be any temples. What is wrong then in saying that we should view great masters as equal to God? Temples installed by such spiritual masters have a special energy of their own.
If men lived like men indeed, their houses would be temples -- temples which we should hardly dare to injure, and in which it would make us holy to be permitted to live; and there must be a strange dissolution of natural affection, a strange unthankfulness for all that homes have given and parents taught, a strange consciousness that we have been unfaithful to our fathers honor, or that our own lives are not such as would make our dwellings sacred to our children, when each man would fain build to himself, and build for the little revolution of his own life only.
Too often scholars have thought and even suggested that what happened during and after Constantine was that the church sought to replace the pagan temples, priests, and sacrifices with their own. This is at best a half truth. If this had been primarily what was going on, we would have expected to find priestesses showing up in the mainstream church in and after the time of Constantine, since there were certainly priestesses in the pagan temples. But this we do not find in the historical record. This is because the church of that period was not merely trying to supplant pagan religion with Christian religion, though some of that was going on. More to the point, there was a rising tide of anti-Judaism, and one of its manifestations was this Old Testament hermeneutic. The Torah had been claimed as the church's book, Jews were being ostracized and then later ghettoized, and a hermeneutic of ministry was being adopted which co-opted the Old Testament for church use when it came to priests, temples, and sacrifices, and indeed sacraments in general. Thus ironically enough while the structure of the ecclesial church was becoming more Old Testamental, the church hierarchy was not only becoming less tolerant of Jews, it was forgetting altogether the Jewish character of Jesus' ministry and his modifications of the Passover that led to the Lord's Supper celebration of the early church in the first place.
Ben Witherington III
... I see the green earth covered with the works of man or with the ruins of men's work. The pyramids weigh down the earth, the tower of Babel has pierced the sky, the lovely temples and the gray castles have fallen into ruins. But of all those things which hands have built, what hasn't fallen nor ever will fall? Dear friends, throw away the trowel and mortarboard! Throw your masons' aprons over your heads and lie down to build dreams! What are temples of stone and clay to the soul? Learn to build eternal mansions of dreams and visions!
The captain put his fingers to his temples as if he had a headache. 'So, let me get this straight. Edgar, an immortal, who I assume is as unscrupulous as his sisters, tried to take that bracelet from you... ' 'He did take it, ' she corrected. 'I thought you said Zmey kept him from doing so.' 'No. Edgar did snatch it from me at first, but Zmey made him give it back. I guess because King Wennergren gifted it to me. That means no one else is allowed to have it-that is, unless I give it away.' 'So it's good that you had Zmey there to help.' 'Well... not exactly, ' she hemmed again. 'Not exactly, again?' Derian's face tightened with frustration. He pressed harder on his temples. 'Zmey protects the bracelet because he has to, but he doesn't care much for me.' She hesitated before uttering the next sentence. 'He actually tried to kill me.' 'What? What! Why? Eena!' 'It's okay, really, I'm fine! Naga protects me from those other dragons.' 'Other dragons? For criminy's sake, how many more are there?!
Richelle E. Goodrich