The Body of the Church as a Temple

In 1 Corinthians 6:19, it says: ”What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” As some Mormon youth teachers used to like to say to encourage chastity: ”Your body is a temple, and he doesn’t have a recommend!” or as I saw on a tee shirt: ”Your body is a temple, not a visitor center.” This scripture is often trotted out in opposition to tattoos or piercings, likening those actions to vandalism of the exterior temple walls. It’s also used to support the Word of Wisdom, and this interpretation isn’t unique to Mormonism. Other faiths use it to enforce modesty, anti-smoking and temperance.

But what if this scripture is not referring to our individual bodies, but the body of saints? Consider this passage from 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14:

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one abody, whether we be Jews or bGentiles, whether we be cbond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.

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