Mormon Beliefs Temples
Mormon Beliefs about Temples
To members of the Mormon Church, Mormon temples are houses of the Lord. They stand as symbols of “membership in the Church, as a sign of our faith in life after death, and as a sacred step toward eternal glory for our families and us.” 1
Temples are different from regular meeting houses because they are set aside for sacred and eternal ordinances. After a temple is dedicated, only members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are living the principles of the gospel may enter.
Since the establishment of the Church, members have built temples. The Lord told the prophet Joseph Smith, “And verily I say unto you, let this house (temple) be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein unto my people.” 2
Within Mormon temples sacred ordinances are performed for both the living and the dead. President Gordon B. Hinckley taught, “The work that goes on in these buildings sets forth God’s eternal purposes with reference to man, who is God’s child and creation.” 3
Mormon temple work is concerned with eternal families. It is within Mormon temples that the eternal nature of marriage and family is established. One of the temple ordinances performed is that of sealing husbands, wives, and children together into eternal family units. A marriage performed within a Mormon temple, using the power of the Holy Priesthood, ensures that the earthly relationship lasts for eternity, as long as the participants remain worthy.
Another ordinance performed is that of the endowment. The Mormon endowment ceremony is a series of covenants made between an individual and God. “In every detail the endowment ceremony contributes to covenants of morality of life, consecration of person to high ideals, devotion to truth, patriotism to nation, and allegiance to God.” 4 Members are asked not to discuss, outside of the temple, the sacred covenants that they make there, “lest they be given to those who are unprepared.” 5
Since temple ordinances are essential for an individual to return to live with God, a loving Heavenly Father has provided a way for those who are deceased to receive the necessary ordinances. Within Mormon temples members “set aside [their] own selfishness and serve for those who cannot serve themselves.” 6 The sealing and endowment ordinances as well as baptisms are performed by proxy for those who are deceased. Mormon doctrine teaches that the deceased still live on, first in the “Spirit World,” and then as resurrected beings in a kingdom of glory. The dead have volition and freedom of choice, just as those who live as mortals on earth do. When temple ordinances are performed for those who are dead, the dead have the choice whether to accept or reject those ordinances.
Above all, Mormon temples are “a place of instruction for all those who are called to the work of the ministry… that they may be perfected in [their] understanding… in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God on the earth.” 7
Other interesting information about Mormon temples
(by Annie L. Henderson Cechini). A great compehensive article about Temples.
(1) Russell M. Nelson, “Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings,” Ensign, May 2001, 32
(2) Doctrine and Covenants 124:40-41
(3) Gordon B. Hinckley, “Why These Temples?” Tambuli, June 1992, 3
(4) Talmage, James E. The House of the Lord: A Study of Holy Sanctuaries Ancient and Modern. Chapter IV.
(5) Boyd K. Packer, The Holy Temple [booklet, 1982], 2.
(6) Gordon B. Hinckley, “Why These Temples?” Tambuli, June 1992, 3
(7) D&C 97:13-14