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Mormon Temples

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 earth.2

"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 Holy Ghost.

Why can't anyone go inside Mormon temples?

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 dedicated.

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

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