The Lord’s University – Heaven On Earth

This morning, the public tour reservations for the new Payson Utah Temple opened! Hooray! I’ve been watching this beautiful holy house rise for the past 3 years and I’m so excited to get to go inside! I have my reservation for the second week of May. 🙂 Before a temple is dedicated there is always an open house with free tours offered to the public for about 4-5 weeks. Thousands of people are expected to attend these tours, and an army of amazing volunteers will perform a beautiful streamlined process of bringing all those people through. Here’s a recent photo I took of the Payson Temple (Note: That’s my poor photo skills leaning, not the building!) I particularly love all of the curved edges, and the spire design on this temple. And aren’t the mountains behind gorgeous?

One of the most precious and important blessings members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints receive is to have temples on earth. Our temples are not used for weekly Sunday worship services – they are actually closed on Sunday. We use chapels for Sabbath meetings, but temples are open during the rest of the week for a higher level of worship. Our temples are patterned after ancient holy temples of Biblical times. The Old and New Testaments include many references to temples. The children of Israel used a portable temple, the tabernacle of Moses, during their journey in the wilderness; later Solomon’s temple was built in Jerusalem, and Jesus Himself was found teaching in Herod’s temple from a young age.

A Model of Herods Temple
A Model of Herod’s Temple

“There were particular special ceremonies, rites and sacraments that were administered only in this sacred, set-apart place. That was the purpose of the temples. It provided that supernal special place to be able to perform those sacred rites.” – David A. Bednar, LDS apostle

We believe our church is a full restoration of Christ’s New Testament Church, and therefore we build temples in latter days just as Christians did in ancient days. As of this moment today, there are 144 operating temples, 14 under construction and 15 announced for a total of 173. These numbers grow each General Conference. Latter-day Saint temples are places for the highest sacraments of our faith. Everything in the temple is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, and on our Heavenly Father and His plan of happiness. Everything inside the temple is ennobling, uplifting and edifying. There is the greatest peace and serenity in the temple. Whenever I enter the temple I always feel like a heavy weight is being lifted off of my shoulders. I am able to leave all of the world and its trouble outside, and simply focus on heavenly things. I emerge feeling refreshed and strengthened, and ready to take on the world again. This is my temple – very near my home –  the Bountiful Utah Temple. I love it so much.

Temples are primarily places of sacred learning and instruction. They are considered in a very real sense the Lord’s University. 

“We learn about our relationship with God. We learn about the purposes of our life here upon the earth. Questions such as where did we come from? Why are we here? What happens to us after we die? Those questions are addressed and answered in the instruction that’s presented in the temple. We also make promises to live honest, upright and virtuous lives.”

The crowning glory of a temple is the celestial room, which is a representation of heaven.

The Vancouver Washington Temple Celestial Room
The Celestial Room / Vancouver British Columbia Temple

Once a temple is dedicated, it is closed to the public. I love Elder Bednar’s insightful explanation,

 “There are pre-requisites in many forms of life. You cannot take advanced courses in chemistry until you have mastered the basics. And the same thing is true of the Lord’s university. You have to meet the pre-requisites. Anyone can come if they are willing to abide by those commitments.”

My greatest desire is to share the blessings and joy I have of the temple with others. If I could, I would help everyone in the whole world learn about the temple and meet the pre-requisites so they can enter the Lord’s University – His Holy House – Heaven on Earth. There’s nothing more wonderful in all the wide world than this! – MoSop

Don’t miss this lovely video! ♥

9 comments

  1. That is probably the Vancouver, British Columbia temple. There is no temple in Vancouver, Washington. It is in the Portland Oregon temple district.

    Regardless, as usual, I love your posts.

    Yours,
    Rod Johnson
    Harden, Idaho

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love looking at the Temples. There is one in Crestwood, KY, which is just outside of Louisville. I was riding through there one day on my way somewhere else and there it was. I almost ran off the road looking at it. It was beautiful. I’ve always had a fascination for architecture. I even signed up to take Architectural Drafting my senior year of high school, thinking I might like to be an architect. I was in the class 2 days, when my stepfather found out and made me drop it because “girls can’t be architects”. He made me switch to something more suitable for a girl, chorus (no disrespect Holly). He said I probably couldn’t even pass drafting. However, when I went back to school at 40, I took the closest thing I could, Interior Design. My first semester I got an A in drafting and told my professor I was going to go to the cemetery with my report card and hold it over the grave, and say, see, I told you I could do it. But, I didn’t. While at the University of Louisville, I needed only one more class to have a minor in Art History, which has a lot of Art and Architecture classes. I have studied the great Cathedrals of Europe, and from what I’ve seen of these Temples, they are every bit as beautiful as those huge Cathedrals. The one in Crestwood is smaller and not as tall, but it’s set in a wooded area, and when you come upon it, it just takes your breath away. I turned around and passed it several times, going as slow as I could, to take it all in. So beautiful.

    One thing different about your Temples, they have the spirit of God inside and are actually used to honor God. The Cathedrals in Europe are huge and beautiful, but seem to just be architectural wonders. They are empty of spirit. They were built many times just to outdo another town or because a particular king or person of wealth or standing wanted to impress someone. Most of them are simply tourist attractions and not really used for worship.

    Thanks for this interesting and informative article.

    Here is a link to the Louisville Temple:

    Love, Lynnella

    Like

    • I love your comment, Lynne! Congratulations on your A. I totally wish you’d gone to the cemetery, but the idea was good enough. – Hahaha!

      Thank you for sharing such thought provoking insights about the temples. Interestingly enough, the Church is constructing a temple in Rome (see design here)! So exciting! Just one more miraculous and historic event.

      Your Louisville Temple is so very beautiful on the outside – I love the surrounding trees, and I’m certain the beauty and spirit inside is even more stunning. That temple was built as part of a wonderful revelation received by President Gordon B. Hinckley in 1998 – the inspired “100 Temples” revelation announced in General Conference. Up to that point, all of our temples were very large structures – much fewer and farther between. But, in 1998 the Lord inspired His prophet to have the church build many smaller temples so that people throughout the world could have the opportunity and access to receive all the blessings of a temple near them! You can watch a clip of that historic announcement here – Mormon Temples Dot The Earth – Fulfilling Prophesy. At the time of President Hinckley’s announcement there were less than 40 temples in the world. Today, only 17 years later, there are now over 175 Temples operating or under construction, and exponentially counting! The Lord is truly pouring out His spirit on the earth through temple blessings in such exciting and marvelous ways, preparing the world for His Second coming. One of President Monson’s favorite Conference subjects is temples. I love his talk The Holy Temple – A Beacon To The World.

      Wherever a holy temple is built and dedicated the Spirit of God begins to call and beckon to every soul living within its boundaries – “Come! Come to me!”

      Like

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