So, technically, it’s not IN my backyard, but it’s not much more than a stone’s throw away from my backyard. January, 2014 marks the Grand Opening of the newest Mormon Temple, and this one just happens to be a few blocks away. It also happens to be the only sky scraper that the town of Gilbert boasts, so it’s hard to miss. The temple in my backyard.
During the first month of its opening, they will host close to 500,000 visitors from around the globe – some Mormon and some not. I was able to “tour” the temple today, and I must say that the feelings that rose to the surface while walking through it weren’t much different than the spiritual awareness I experienced in Thailand at the Buddhist temple or in Egypt at the Islamic mosque. Pagan temples, arrayed in splendor, esthetically pleasing to the eye, glorious architecture, but all of it resting on the foundation of deception.
As I sat through the 12-minute video that introduced the tour, I was reminded of how crafty our enemy really is. Lots of lies laced with just enough truth to bait whomever is lost and looking for truth but doesn’t really know WHO truth is. Jesus Christ – and not man’s version of Him. My intention for going on this tour was to prayer walk through the temple. And that is exactly what I did. No, I wasn’t praying that God would send fire and brimstone down from heaven to consume this building and its followers. I prayed for the light of Jesus Christ to illuminate this darkness. I prayed for the veil of deception to be lifted off of their eyes, and I prayed for them to find truth, undistorted truth, the whole truth…Jesus Christ.
To every Christian reading this, we are engaged in a battle, and the enemy doesn’t fight nice. He is a liar, and he preys on those who don’t know the truth because they are far easier to deceive. He prowls around like a lion seeking to devour anyone and everyone who can’t or won’t wield their Sword – the Word of God. When we know God’s Word, we are far more likely to recognize lies, and therefore less likely to be deceived by them. This is precisely why it is so important and vital to our faith to know God’s Word and to make it known. But when it remains nothing more than another book collecting dust on the shelf, we forfeit its power at work within our lives and we become delicious prey for our enemy.
As my eyes took in every bit of that temple today, my mind was drawn back to a few verses in 2 Timothy 4:
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
There is nothing more man-made about a religion than when it seeks to be self-centered, self-glorifying, and sadly self-deifying. Do your homework. Investigate just a bit about what these false religions actually believe. Even more so, read God’s Word, study it, and know it inside and out. The God of the Bible is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through faith in the Son, Jesus Christ.