Examining the claims of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland movement

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

David Hocking’s claim about temples and steps

Yesterday I posted about Heartlander David Hocking’s claim that Church-approved Book of Mormon art is “visual pornography.” The quote I provided from Hocking included this claim:
If [the Church is] going to be truly neutral, they need to remove that kind of image and make it more Hebrew, not some other weird religion that has stone steps with a little square box [at the top]. I’ve never been to a Mormon temple or go to Hebrew [sic] when you go to the temple after the manner of Solomon that has multiple steps with a little square box at the top.
As it turns out, this is one of the primary arguments Heartlanders make to refute the Mesoamerican setting for the Book of Mormon: According to Hocking, a temple designed after the law of Moses cannot have steps or stairs due to the prohibition in Exodus 20:26.

Spencer Kraus saw my blog post and wrote a response to Hocking’s claim. Unlike Hocking, Kraus can read Hebrew, and he has some interesting insights into the meaning behind Exodus 20:26 and how some Mesoamerican structures fit the pattern for temples revealed to ancient prophets of Israel.
Read “A Note on Temples, Stairs, and Mesoamerica,” by Spencer Kraus.
—Peter Pan


  1. So many steps in Mormon temples: up to the chapel, down to the baptistry...

    1. Yes, Hocking's statement is just plain weird. Very few Latter-day Saint temples are all on one floor. The one I attend, in fact, requires patrons to assemble in the chapel before being escorted up a flight of stairs to the endowment room.


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