5 new temples planned for Mormon church
SALT LAKE CITY: Mormon church president Thomas S. Monson said Saturday the church has plans to build five new temples worldwide, three abroad and two in the United States.
The temples are planned for Calgary, Canada; Cordoba, Argentina; Rome, Italy; Philadelphia, and the greater Kansas City, Missouri, area.
Monson’s announcement came as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opened its two-day semiannual General Conference. The event draws more than 100,000 to the faith’s downtown campus, which includes the Salt Lake City Temple and the Salt Lake City Tabernacle, home of the renowned Tabernacle Choir.
The 13 million-member Utah-based church currently has 128 operating temples worldwide.
Plans for an additional 12 temples were already in the works before Saturday’s announcement.
A Kansas City-area temple should hold great significance for Mormons. In the 1830s church founder Joseph Smith led an early Mormon migration to Independence, Missouri, and declared the area would be the center of Zion and the New Jerusalem. Now a Kansas City suburb, many Mormons also believe the area was the original site of the Garden of Eden.
Temples play an important role in the lives of Latter-day Saints. Only members in good standing may enter the towering white buildings, where members perform sacred religious ceremonies, including proxy baptisms and wedding ceremonies known as sealings.
There are currently 11 Mormon temples in Europe, but none are in the Mediterranean region or in Rome, the historical seat of Christianity and the home of the Roman Catholic church.
Mormons have had a presence in Italy since 1850, although the church’s missionaries have not always been allowed to proselytize there, according to information on a church Web site. Currently the church has more than 22,600 members in Italy. In May, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy issued an order to Catholic dioceses worldwide to withhold member registries from Mormons. Officials said the step would prevent Mormons from posthumously baptizing by proxy their Catholic ancestors.
The Calgary temple will increase the number of temples in Canada, where the church has more than 170,000 members, to eight. The Cordoba temple will be the second in Argentina and bring the total number of temples in Latin America to 34. Argentina has more than 363,000 Latter-day Saints.
There are 51 temples in the United States, according to a data on a church Web site. The Kansas City-area temple will be Missouri’s second. The Philadelphia temple is Pennsylvania’s first.
The Mormon ROLEX?
Not every watch that says ‘ROLEX’ on the faceplate is in fact a ROLEX. Likewise, not every religious group that calls itself Christian is in fact Christian.
Given that the theology and practice of the Mormon Church violates essential Christian doctrines, Mormonism does not represent historical, Biblical Christianity, is not a Christian denomination, and is not in any way part of the Christian church.
Stating this does not deny the LDS Church its right of existence. However, just as slapping a Rolls Royce symbol onto a Volkswagen does not turn the latter into a Rolls Royce — and just like selling a counterfeit ROLEX would be an act of fraud — the Mormon Church ought to acknowledge the fact that it has attempted to hijack Christianity and attempted to turn it into something it is not.
Due to its attempts to pass off Mormon doctrines and practices as being compatible to — or even representative of — Christianity, the Mormon Church is considered to be, theologically, a cult of Christianity.
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