Inside a Mormon Temple
Temples are made up of many rooms, which are designed for performing certain functions as part of Latter-day Saint temple worship. Examples of these functions are the ordinances of baptism and marriage, as well as sessions for instruction. Temples are built in various sizes, layouts, and décors, but all have the required rooms.
While inside, Church members wear simple, modest white clothing. There is a spirit of reverence inside the temple. After a temple is completed, an organized open house for the general public is held by the Mormon Church. During the open house, members of the Church hold tours and explain the different functions and ceremonies performed in the temple. After the open house, the temple is dedicated to the Lord. After this dedication, only worthy church members may enter the temple.
The rooms inside a temple include the following: On the basement level, there is usually a cafeteria, a laundry, offices, and a baptistry. The baptismal font is always mounted on the backs of twelve sculpted oxen, as prescribed in the Old Testament. There are dressing rooms and rest rooms that serve the baptistry, and a welcome desk where temple recommends are checked. A recommend is needed to certify the worthiness of the patron, and it is obtained during an interview with the person’s bishop.
On the main floor is an entry lobby with a waiting room, a welcome desk where recommends are checked, dressing rooms, offices, family file office (for family history records), and depending upon the temple design, ordinance rooms.
The most important rooms of the temple are the endowment rooms, sealing rooms, and a celestial room. There is usually a chapel where patrons wait to enter scheduled endowment sessions, and a waiting area for wedding guests scheduled to attend a sealing of bride and groom. There are also special changing rooms for brides and grooms. Endowment rooms are rooms for instruction regarding the Plan of Salvation and the Lord’s expectations of us as we progress spiritually. Covenants are made here to serve the Lord and help build His kingdom to receive His Son. When instruction is complete, patrons exit the endowment room and enter the celestial room, the most beautiful and ornate room of the temple. Patrons greet each other there, converse quietly, or ponder and pray.
Sealing rooms are set apart for eternal marriages. An altar is situated at the center of the room, and bride and groom kneel on either side and hold hands across the altar. Guests sit on chairs around the periphery, dressed in Sunday-best street clothes. Mirrors on the wall face each other, so the bride and groom can see themselves in an infinity of repeated reflections.
To read more, go to Inside the Mormon Temple.
To see more images of temple interiors, go to Inside Mormon Temples.