Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “temple” as “a building for religious practice”; “either of two successive national sanctuaries in ancient Jerusalem”; “a building for Mormon sacred ordinances”; “the house of worship of Reform and some Conservative Jewish congregations”; “a local lodge of any of various fraternal orders” or “a place devoted to a special purpose”.
Tabernacle in the Wilderness
In the book of Exodus, God directed Moses to build a sanctuary that He may dwell with His covenant people.
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it”. (Exodus 25:8-9)
God instructed that worship would be in a centralized tent structure where there would be a physical manifestation of His presence.
“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle,” (Exodus 40:34).
Here we see God commissioning the tabernacle as a house of worship where He intended to manifest His presence visibly.