Why do the Mormons have temples?
Elder Bangerter explains why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints uses temples.
"First: LDS temples are for the living members of the Church."1
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
"The endowment in the temple is a necessary and sacred blessing as
essential for the members of the Church as baptism. Thereafter comes
the sealing of wives to their husbands and of children to their
parents. Without these blessings there is no fullness of the gospel."1
Mormons believe that in order to receive "eternal life", which is
spending eternity with God. Sacred ordinances must be performed first
including baptism for the dead, the endowment, and sealing of families
within LDS temples.
"Second: Temple work is for the redemption of the dead,"1
more specifically our own deceased relatives. Ordinances cannot be
performed in heaven they must be done upon the earth. So within Mormon
temples members perform the ordinances necessary for their ancestors
and others who have died to enjoy the blessings of eternal life.
For this reason the Mormon Church has compiled countless genealogical records from around the world. These records are available to anyone, free of charge, at www.familysearch.org.
What happens inside Mormon temples?
Sacred ordinances for both the living and vicariously (performed by
a member in substitute) for the dead are performed inside Mormon
temples. Among these ordinances are:
Baptism for the dead
– Baptism is an essential ordinance. " For the gate by which ye should
enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission
of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost."2 In order for
those who have died to enter the gates of heaven they must first be
baptized. Many did not have the chance to receive the baptismal
ordinance while on this earth so the ordinance is performed vicariously
in the LDS temples.
Endowment – Every member who enters the Mormon temples for the first time receives their own endowment. The LDS endowment
is a series of covenants that the person makes between God and
themselves, with promises from God attached if the covenants are kept.
After the first time members stand as proxy for a person who has died
and receive the endowment for the deceased person.
Sealing – This ordinance is used to seal husbands and wives as well as their children together forever in an eternal marriage.
This means that marriages that are performed in LDS temples, using the
sealing power of the priesthood, are not just for this life, but also
for time and all eternity. Within Mormon temples sealings are performed
for both the living and vicariously for the dead.
The exact wording of ordinances performed within the LDS temples
is not shared outside of the temple. But all of the information and
ordinances performed in the temple can be found in the scriptures for
those who are willing to search and listen to the promptings of the
Why can't anyone go inside Mormon temples?
are not secret they are sacred. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines
sacred as something "dedicated or set part for the worship of deity",
"holy", or "highly valued and important". Because of the sacred nature
of temples only faithful members of the Mormon Church, with a current
temple recommend, are allowed inside the Mormon temples after they are
Before they are dedicated nonmembers are encouraged to ask questions
as they walk through the temples during an open-house period.
(1) Elder Bangerter. "What Temples Are For." May 1982. Ensign.
(2) D&C 97:12-14
(3) 2 Nephi 31:17