“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying: Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” -Revelation 21:3
Dr. Michelle G. Wiener has written an excellent paper on the temple and unity. As her paper points out, the four traditional methods of unifying the Saints, “(1) Faith and Order, (2) Life and Work, (3) Common missionary efforts, and (4) A renewed commitment to theological education,” historically fall flat repeatedly. Why? Maybe it is because all of these share the same focus: human egoism. It is the “mysticism” of the temple that allows for personal interpretation and personal growth that will ultimately lead to Christian unity.
From her paper:
The newly emerging academic field of Temple Theology offers insight into the true nature of Christ’s ministry while on earth, which finds continuity in the life of the Body of Christ today in anticipation of the final eschaton, with the cosmic Temple – the New Jerusalem – descending from heaven in the form of a cube, as recorded in Revelation 21. In fact, as will be argued, mystical unity is found within the image of the cube itself as it stands as a testament to the unified nature of the Divine Reality in accordance with Jesus’ prayer for unity in which he prayed for us to be joined with him as he is joined with his Father. This mystical unity culminates in the cubeshaped Holy of Holies, or inner sanctum, as it was originally housed in the inner sanctum of King Solomon’s Temple. (p. 15)
In her paper, Dr. Wiener points to the temples of our brothers and sisters in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Brighamites, as an example of temples today. She also mentions the tree of life found in the Book of Mormon, and points out the lost sacred feminine presence. Without giving too much away or attempting to restate her words, I recommend taking the time to read her work. We, as Latter Day Saints are, after all, a people of the temple.
Read “Temple Vision as a Catalyst to Theological Convergence: Ecumenical Renewal in a Post-Ecumenical Era” by Dr. Michelle G. Wiener here.