What Happens in Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
Temples are houses of the Lord, where members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regularly go to worship. Inside these holy buildings, faithful Church members make promises with God, feel His Spirit, and come closer to Him through sacred ceremonies called ordinances.
What really goes on inside a Latter-day Saint temple?
Inside temples, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perform sacred ordinances or ceremonies. When members take part in these ordinances, they show their commitment to follow Jesus Christ and receive blessings and direction from God. There are three main ordinances that happen inside the temple.
Baptisms for the dead
Jesus taught that baptism was required to enter the kingdom of heaven. But what about people who die without having the chance to receive baptism?
In temples, faithful Church members are baptized on behalf of these people—a practice that also took place during biblical times. Participants dress in white and are baptized by immersion for family members who passed away without having been baptized into His Church. Baptisms for the dead give those who have passed on the opportunity to choose whether or not to accept that baptism and follow Jesus Christ.
Marriage ceremonies called temple sealings also take place inside temples. Because God wants us to be happy forever, marriage and family relationships are meant to last far beyond “till death do you part.”
During a temple sealing, the bride and groom kneel and join hands across a simple altar. They promise to honor and love one another, and they commit to follow Jesus Christ. In return, they are promised sealing blessings of receiving all the Father has, including having their marriage and family last forever, even beyond death.
The word endowment means gift. Those who receive the temple endowment receive various blessings, such as greater knowledge of God’s purposes and the power to resist temptation and follow Jesus Christ.
The endowment ceremony teaches of God’s love for all of His children and His plan for their happiness. Participants make special promises with God called covenants. They covenant to obey God’s commandments and follow Jesus Christ. In return, God promises wonderful blessings in this life and the opportunity to live with Him as eternal families after this life.
Who can go inside temples?
After a temple is built or renovated, all are welcome to attend a public open house and tour the temple. After a temple has been dedicated, everyone is still welcome to enjoy the beautiful grounds and visitors’ centers. However, entrance into temples is then reserved for faithful members of the Church who wish to participate in the temple ceremonies.
Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are places of peace, happiness, and service. They help us draw closer to God, learn about His plan, and serve those who have passed on by giving them the opportunity to receive saving ordinances that they did not have the opportunity to receive in this life.