What Are Temples?

Temples are holy places of worship where we come closer to God. 

Overview of holy temples 

The House of the Lord

Temples are literally houses of God built on earth. They are places where individuals can go and make sacred promises with God, feel the peace of the Spirit, and escape from the hectic demands of day-to-day life. 

History of temples

Temples have been around for a long time. The Bible describes the beautiful temple of Solomon in great detail. Moses had a tabernacle. Jesus taught at the temple in Jerusalem. Today, there are over 150 temples worldwide, where faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints go to worship, reflect, and learn more about God’s plan of happiness. 

Learn about temples today

The blessings of the temple

Because the temple is the House of the Lord, we can feel a special closeness to God when we visit one. This feeling can provide hope when we have challenges, and direction when we need guidance in our lives. 

The temple is also where we can receive the greatest blessings God has to offer us. When couples get married in the temple, they are united for “time and all eternity” instead of “until death do us part.” Temples are also places to serve our ancestors and loved ones who have died. We do this by performing ceremonies (such as baptism) on their behalf if they never had that opportunity in life. 

Temples are different from meetinghouses

Regular Sunday services are held weekly in meetinghouses around the world, and visitors are always welcome to participate. These buildings might include a neighborhood chapel or even a rented space in a city building. In any case, these meetinghouses are where members of the Church gather together for Sunday School, to take the sacrament (or Communion), and hear sermons. Activities are also held during the week, such as youth groups and sporting events. 

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Common Questions

People have a lot of questions about “Mormons,” or more respectfully, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Click here to see the full list.

Jesus taught that baptism is required to enter the kingdom of heaven. But what about people who die without being baptized or even knowing about Jesus? How can they be saved? 

Thankfully, God is loving and has provided a way for everyone to receive all of His blessings—even after death. In the temple, baptisms and other essential ordinances are performed on behalf of those who have died without the opportunity. The Apostle Paul spoke of baptism for the dead in the Bible (see Corinthians 15:29) and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continue that same practice in temples today. 

Here’s how it works: Latter-day Saints study family history to discover names of people who have died without being baptized. Members are then baptized on behalf of those ancestors in the temple. This service for others is offered in love—and because life continues after death, those who have died are aware of the ordinances and can choose whether or not to accept them. 

Families are central to God’s plan for our happiness, and marriage is meant to last beyond “until death do you part.” In the temple, husband and wife are united forever. This marriage ceremony is called a temple “sealing” because the couple is joined together for this life and for eternity. The bride and groom promise to honor and love one another completely and commit to follow the teachings and example of Jesus. In turn, they are promised that their marriage and their family will endure into the next life. 

It depends. Temples are only open to members of the Church who have worked to prepare themselves to get the most out of their temple experience. But when temples are first built, and at other special times, open houses are held for the public so they can take a tour inside. Also, many temples have visitors’ centers and grounds that are open to all.