The Temple Which Was in the Land Bountiful

Bryan Richards

This is the third temple mentioned in the Book of Mormon. The first one was built by Nephi, after the manner of the temple of Solomon (2 Nephi 5:16), in the land of Nephi. The second one was located in Zarahemla and was the site of King Benjamin's great sermon (Mosiah 2:1). The third was located in Bountiful. From other passages, we know that many other temples were built and used but their specific locations are unknown (see Alma 16:23; 23:2). Therefore, we can see that the Nephites and the Lamanites were temple-building people. Their temples were gathering places which had the same symbolic meaning of holiness and spirituality as our temples do today, but the ordinances performed therein were, up to this point, according to the Law of Moses.

Temples are gathering places for saints in all ages. "The temple of Zarahemla served as a gathering place where solemn official business was transacted. As mentioned previously, gathering at the temple was mandatory under the law of Moses: 'Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God' (Exodus 23:17), especially so that they could 'hear' the word of the Lord." (Donald W. Parry, Temples of the Ancient World, p. 352) The temples are also a place of refuge—the best place to be in time of crisis.

Later, Mormon tells us that the number of the multitude was 2500 people (3 Nephi 17:25). Undoubtedly, there were some who considered making this trek to the land of Bountiful but decided not to go. Can you imagine how sorry they were to hear of what happened that day? Think of what they missed because they were "not in the mood" to attend the temple on that particular occasion? We never know what kind of spiritual experience is waiting for us in the temple of the Lord. There may be times when we have missed out on incredible spiritual experiences because we didn't take the opportunity to attend the temple. On those occasions when Satan disturbs our routine, makes temple attendance inconvenient, or otherwise places a roadblock to temple attendance, we would do well to remember the 2500 in Bountiful who were so greatly blessed because they had made the effort.

Ezra Taft Benson

"Sometimes in the peace of lovely temples, the serious problems of life find their solutions. [At times] pure knowledge flows to us there under the influence of the Spirit. I am grateful to the Lord for temples. The blessings of the House of the Lord are eternal. They are of the highest importance to us because it is in the temples that we obtain God's greatest blessings pertaining to eternal life. Temples really are the gateways to heaven. May we remember always, as we [visit and work in these temples], that the veil may become very thin between this world and the spirit world. I know this is true." (Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 408)

Howard W. Hunter

"Let us truly be a temple-attending and a temple-loving people…We should go not only for our kindred dead but also for the personal blessing of temple worship, for the sanctity and safety that are within those hallowed and consecrated walls. As we attend the temple, we learn more richly and deeply the purpose of life and the significance of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us make the temple, with worship and temple covenants and temple marriage, our ultimate earthly goal and the supreme mortal experience." (Ensign, Feb. 1995, p. 5as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 409)