Jeremiah 7: Jeremiah's Temple Sermon

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 157

If you want to be with your family eternally and enjoy eternal life, you must be married in the temple. Just being married in the temple, however, does not guarantee us a place in the celestial kingdom with Heavenly Father and our families. We must keep the commandments and covenants, which are a vital part of that important ordinance, and we must endure faithfully to the end.The Jews in Jeremiah’s day believed that participating in temple ordinances and other religious ceremonies meant they were righteous, regardless of whatever else they did in their lives. As you read, look for what Jeremiah said defines true righteousness.

Understanding the Scriptures

Jeremiah 7

Amend (vv. 3, 5)Change 
Execute judgment (v. 5)Deal fairly 
Oppress not (v. 6)Do not treat badly 
Profit (v. 8)Do good 
Delivered (v. 10)Safe, acceptable in the sight of God 
Abominations (vv. 10, 30)Actions or practices that disgust God 
Intercession (v. 16)Plea in another’s behalf 
Quenched (v. 20)Put out 
Inclined their ear (vv. 24, 26)Paid close attention 
Lamentation (v. 29)Words of sorrow and remorse 
Carcases (v. 33)Dead bodies 
Mirth (v. 34)Happiness 
Desolate (v. 34)Empty 

Jeremiah 7:3–4—“The Temple of the Lord”

Jeremiah did not tell the people that the temple was unimportant; the people felt that because they worshiped in the temple they were justified before God no matter what they did. Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “After we have been baptized, after we have been married in the temple, after we have taken all these covenants, we have to keep them. Every promise that we receive is conditioned upon our subsequent faithfulness” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1950, 16–17).

Jeremiah 7:12–14—Where Is Shiloh?

Shiloh was the site of the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant in the days of the judges. When the priests and the people became wicked in the days of Eli the priest, the Lord allowed the Philistines to destroy the tabernacle and capture the ark. Later, Israelites of the Northern Kingdom built at Shiloh a temple for idol worship that the Assyrians destroyed. Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said He would allow the temple in Jerusalem to be destroyed if the people did not repent. See the map section of your Bible to find Shiloh.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Jeremiah 7.

Activity A iconWorthily Attending the Temple

  1. 1.

    List what Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 7:1–22 that the people had to do to worthily attend the temple.

  2. 2.

    What are the requirements to worthily enter the temple today? (Ask one of your leaders if you do not know.)

  3. 3.

    According to Jeremiah 7:8–15, what did the Lord say would happen if the people continued to attend the temple unworthily? Elder J. Ballard Washburn said:

    “We cannot go to [the Lord’s] holy house unworthily without bringing upon ourselves the judgments of God. …

    “… If a man who is dishonest in his personal life, as it pertains to his wife and children or his business dealings, goes to the temple, he is heaping damnation upon his own soul and is in great need of repentance” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 12–13; or Ensign, May 1995, 11–12).

Activity B iconWhat the Lord Really Wants

  1. 1.

    The people of Judah offered sacrifices in the temple, but they did not obey the Lord in their daily lives. Elder J. Ballard Washburn reminded us that “we go to the temple to make covenants, but we go home to keep the covenants that we have made” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 13; or Ensign, May 1995, 12). According to Jeremiah 7:21–28, what were the sins of Judah?

  2. 2.

    What did the Lord want the Jews to do in addition to worshiping in the temple?

  3. 3.

    Apply this principle to sacrament meeting. What do you think the Lord really wants from us in addition to our attendance at sacrament meeting? (see D&C 33:12–14).