I consider one of the great treasures of my religion to be able to attend the Temple. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints preparing for attendance in one of our Holy Temples, and then going back as frequently as possible, is a prime focus. I love going to the temple! I am so blessed to live just down the street from the Bountiful Utah LDS Temple, and I try to attend at least once per week.
I’d like to clarify the difference between our Temples, and our Chapels.
CHAPELS / Meeting Houses: Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”) attend church services each Sunday in a chapel. Our chapels are used on Sunday for worship services, and on other days of the week for social activities, youth and women’s meetings, baptisms of age 8 and older, and many other general purposes. Our chapels are always open to the public when a worship service or event is taking place, and anyone is welcome to enter!
TEMPLES / HOUSE OF THE LORD: Latter-day Saint (“Mormon”) Temples are closed on Sundays. They operate during all other days of the week and are used for holy ordinances (ceremonies), and the making of sacred covenants (promises to God), including marriages for Eternity (“sealings”), and ceremonies for the living and deceased ancestors (“Initiatory”, “Endowment”, “Sealings” and proxy “baptisms for the dead”). After a public open house and dedication, our temples are closed to the public. Afterward, only members of the church who are living high standards may enter (such as; adherence to our health code ‘The Word of Wisdom‘, paying a full tithe, living the law of Chastity, regular church attendance, and having a testimony of God, Jesus Christ, and LDS church doctrine). After an interview with a bishop and a higher church leader, a signed “recommend” is issued allowing entrance to the Temple.
WORK FOR THE DEAD: The first time a member of the church attends the temple, they participate in all of the ceremonies for themselves (except baptism, which they’ve already received sometime in their life prior to entering a temple). Ever after, members attend the temple as a proxy for a deceased ancestor who did not have the opportunity to receive these sacred ceremonies during their lifetime, which we believe are critical to their progression in the next life.
We believe that our ancestors have the opportunity to watch these ceremonies taking place for them, and then may choose to accept or decline. We don’t know what their choice will be (we pray that they accept!), but what matters to us is that no one is denied the opportunity to choose!
FAMILY HISTORY / GENEALOGY: As you can imagine, Mormons have a great love and fervor for doing family history research & genealogy! We seek out our ancestors with religious devotion not only because we desire to be connected to our past (like so many others feel in the world), but also so that ultimately, we can lovingly take their names to our temple.
Recently, I’ve been using the new FamilySearch.org website. Developed and managed by the LDS church, it is FREE and open to the public. ANYONE who is interested in finding their ancestors should go here. It holds millions of records and links to tools to access census, immigration, birth & death records from databases all over the world – all 100% FREE. It is so FANTASTIC that I have to admit, I’ve become quite addicted to it. The site is simple enough that even I can use it – which is saying a lot. Over the past 3 weeks I have had so much fun and so much success. I’ve already found the records of 3 dozen ancestors that I never knew about, and I’ve linked them to my tree (or, in the case of this website, my “fan chart”).
Naturally, finding all of so many ancestors has led to an increased attendance at my Temple! And this has led to feeling a deeper bond to my ancestors, and a huge increase of peace inside the past 3 weeks. It’s hard to put into words. What I can say is that there is nothing in the world I want more than for everyone I know to get to have the experience of going to the temple. This is one of the reasons Mormons send our missionaries out into the world. We want YOU to have the opportunity and blessing of coming to a Temple – The House of The Lord – for yourself, and your ancestors!
Be sure to watch this beautiful new video which lets you see inside Mormon Temples, and learn more about them!
Hat Tip To TEMPLESTUDY.com
Check out my many posts about Temples
Want More? WATCH THIS MORMON TEMPLES IN-DEPTH VIDEO SERIES