Topic Study: Mountain

(September 2001 TG Entry: Mountain, Includes Hill)


The term Mountain is a key word for temple.  By learning about mountains we learn

  1. Why temples are important, and what happens there
  2. That temples are a foundation for Zion
  3. The sacredness of temples
  4. That Christ will come to his temples when he returns
  5. And that for us to obtain the blessing, we must have faith to move (ourselves into) temples

I             Temples

The term “Mountain” in the scriptures is very often a word meaning “Temple”.  I have found the following references to mountain are very similar to things performed in the temple:

  1. Offer sacrifices (Gen. 22:14)
  2. Receive direction (Ex. 3:1, Ether 3:1, Gen. 22:14, Rev. 21:10, 1 Ne. 11:1,Ex. 40:2)
  3. Place of refuge (Gen 19:17)
  4. Meeting place (Ex. 18:5)
  5. Receive commandments (Gen. 20:18)
  6. Place of glory (Gen. 24:12)
  7. Different from the world (Gen. 32:15)
  8. Temporary place, not for permanent dwelling (Deut. 1:6)
  9. Place of revelation (1 Kgs. 19:11)
  10. Place of mourning (2 Sam. 1:21)
  11. Place of strength from unseen (2 Kgs. 6:17)
  12. Place to receive inheritance (Josh. 24:33)
  13. Tops of mountains (Isa. 2:2-4)
  14. Associated with tabernacles (Isa. 4:5-6)
  15. Place for families (Isa. 8:18)
  16. Place of peace (Isa. 11:9)
  17. Place of worship (Isa. 27:13)
  18. Recommend required (Ps. 24:3)
  19. A place for converts (Isa. 56:6-7)
  20. Offerings made (Ezek. 20:40)
  21. Place of vision (Ezek. 40:2)
  22. House of God (Joel 3:17)
  23. Place of light Matt. 5:14 (3 Ne. 12:14) city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
  24. Place of prayer (Matt. 14:23)
  25. Place of power (Matt. 17:1)
  26. Place to learn of second coming (Matt. 24:3)
  27. Place of refuge from 2nd coming (Matt. 24:16)
  28. Place for meeting of the 12 (Matt. 28:16)
  29. False temples exist as well (John 4:20)
  30. Place to hear God (2 Pet. 1:18)
  31. Place to go often (1 Ne. 18:3)
  32. Place to receive glory (Mosiah 13:5)
  33. Place of safety (D&C 133:13)

II            Mount Zion

The reference for mountain or mount often refers to the place where Zion will be built.

2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Isa. 2:2,3

(See Isa. 4:5, Isa. 8:18, Isa. 18:7, Dan. 9:16, Zech. 8:3, Joel 2:32, Heb. 12:18, 2 Ne. 27:3, D&C 76:66, D&C 84:2, D&C 84:32,D&C 133:18)

  • D&C 49:25 Zion shall flourish upon the hills.
  • D&C 64:37 church . . . like unto a judge sitting on a hill.
  • Gen. 49:26 utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
  • D&C 133:31 everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.

III           Feet

Moses, while standing upon Mount Sinai, was told:

5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

Ex. 3:5

When we are doing work for our kindred dead, we are “publishing” salvation in a very real sense.  Our feet, the lowliest part of our bodies, are beautiful, standing upon these spiritual mountains called temples.

7 ¶ How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Isa. 52:7

After Joseph Smith explained the purposes of temples, found in D&C section 128, he quoted the above scripture, in this passage which exults at the greatness of the message we have received, including temples.

19 Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received?  A voice of gladness!  A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy.  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth!  As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!

D&C 128:19

IV          2nd Coming

At the second coming of our Savior, he shall stand upon Mount Olives.

4 ¶ And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

(Zech. 14:4)

It reminds us of the passage about the Lord coming suddenly to his Temple.

1 BEHOLD, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Mal. 3:1

(Other passages about the Savior coming to the mountains: D&C 29:13, D&C 45:48, D&C 133:20, Micah 1:4)

Before his coming, temples will be built in the tops of the mountains (Isa. 2:2, Micah 4:1).

His enemies will have their tabernacle of dwelling between the seas in the Holy Mountain Dan. 11:45.

Daniel speaks of the stone that is cut out of the mountain that fills the whole earth (Dan. 2:35).

Every valley being exalted and every mountain made low (Isa. 40:4, Isa. 54:10, Isa. 55:12, Isa. 64:1, Rev. 6:14, Hel. 14:23, 3 Ne. 8:10).

  • 4Ps. 97:5 hills melted like wax.
  • 4Isa. 40:4 (Luke 3:5) mountain and hill shall be made low.
  • 4Nahum 1:5 mountains quake at him, and the hills melt.
  • 4Luke 23:30 say . . . to the hills, Cover us.
  • 42 Ne. 20:32 shake his hand against . . . the hill of Jerusalem.

V           Faith to Move

Certainly the scriptures contain numerous references to having faith enough to move mountains: Ps. 114:4, Matt. 17:20, Luke 23:30, 1 Cor. 13:2, 2 Ne. 4:6, Alma 12:14, Hel. 12:17, Ether 12:30, Abr. 2:7, Moses 7:13.  But if we think about the mountain as a temple, perhaps we should think about having the faith to move into the mountain (temple).  All the benefit of temples is lost if we do not have faith to follow the commandments, and obtain a temple recommend

VI          Other References

  • Gen. 7:19 waters . . . upon the earth:and all the high hills.
  • 1 Kgs. 11:7 hill that is before Jerusalem.
  • Luke 4:29 led him unto the brow of the hill.
  • Acts 17:22 Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill.
  • Morm. 6:2 gather together our people . . . by a hill which was called Cumorah.
  • Abr. 1:10 (Abr. 1:20) altar . . . by the hill called Potiphar’s Hill.
  • JS-H 1:51 Convenient to the village of Manchester . . . stands a hill.

Related Hymns

“High on a Mountain Top” Hymns No. 5

“Holy Temples on Mount Zion” Hymns No. 289

“Behold the Mountain of the Lord” Hymns No. 54

Continue At

Transfiguration [Forward Reference]


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