Thank you for your interest in temples. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declare that a temple is literally a house of the Lord. Each temple is a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed by and for the living, and also in behalf of the dead. The Church builds temples all over the world. You may have seen one in your community. They are beautiful, holy houses of the Lord. We build temples so our faithful members can visit often and receive the most sacred ordinances of our faith. Before our temples are dedicated for their sacred purpose, the public is invited to see the beauty of the temple and learn about the commitments we make there with God. I invite you now to enjoy this video and see inside one of our temples. In this recording made in the Rome Italy Temple, you will hear from two Apostles of the Lord about promises devout members make there to become better people by following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Hello, and welcome to the house of the Lord. My name is David Bednar, and this is Ronald Rasband. We both serve as members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are here in the Rome Italy Temple, and we're delighted that you can join us for this brief tour. This is the recommend desk of the temple. Members of our Church come here to this recommend desk, and they are met by two temple workers who are wearing white suits. And they present a small card called a temple recommend. The card is issued by their local Church leaders, affirming that they are prepared to participate in these sacred ceremonies of the temple. Now please notice how, immediately as you enter the temple, the focus is on the Savior, represented in the painting behind me and in the other artwork that you find throughout the temple.
Welcome to the baptistry of the temple. This room houses the baptismal font, and one of the very first things you'll notice is that the font sits upon the backs of twelve strong oxen. Those oxen represent the twelve tribes of Israel, and they also represent the strength and the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Savior said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of [heaven]." Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins is an essential saving ordinance in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And here in the temple, we do baptisms for the dead. Two members of our Church will come into the baptismal font dressed in white, and there they will be baptized for their departed ancestors. Baptism for the dead was taught by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament, and we have the privilege of continuing that ordinance in the Church today in all of the temples throughout the world. One of the great questions in Christianity is what happens to those who have never heard of Jesus Christ. His is the only name under heaven whereby a man or a woman can be saved. But yet among all those who have ever lived, only a relative few have heard of Him, have had the opportunity to learn His doctrine, and to receive the saving ordinance of baptism by immersion. That is made possible through proxy baptism for the dead. There are some people who will ask if we are compelling or constraining our ancestors to become members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And the answer is no. It is a loving offering. And they then have the opportunity to accept or reject that ordinance.
When a person comes to the temple to perform baptisms for the dead, he or she would come to a dressing area like this--separate area for the men, separate area for the women. This is what the lockers look like, and you would dress in this kind of clean white clothing.
One of the things I love most about this staircase is the combining of the oval and the olive tree. The oval reminds us that the Lord's course is one eternal round, that His ways are endless, while the olive tree recalls the Garden of Gethsemane, that sacred site of the Savior's Atonement. This is the chapel of the temple. In this room, members come who are preparing to go through the ordinance sessions in the house of the Lord. They come into the chapel dressed in white, which creates a sense of unity and reminds us that we are all equal before God. Now there's beautiful artwork in the chapel, there's soft music that might be playing in the background, all enabling those who are going to go through the temple to have a quiet spirit and contemplative time before going through their ordinance sessions. An ordinance is a sacred religious ceremony. This is one of the instruction rooms of the temple. Here we begin the endowment. The word endowment represents a gift of light and of power to those who come here and receive this sacred instruction and honor their commitments. In this instruction room, we learn about the plan of happiness, and we learn about God's purpose for us here in mortality. We're also able to make special covenants with the Lord about our journey throughout life. A covenant is a pledge, a promise, and a commitment to God. And here, as a part of the endowment, we pledge that we will obey God's commandments; that we will be selfless; that we will live clean, pure, and chaste lives; and that we will develop and dedicate ourselves to God's holy purposes. We have just come from the first instruction room, where the walls were painted in beautiful murals of the world we now live in. We have progressed into this instruction room now that is lighter, brighter, and gives us a sense of our progression through life. That progression is made possible because of honoring the covenants that we entered into in the previous instruction room. You'll notice that there's also an altar in this room. These altars are an essential element of the process of entering into covenants with God. Now we'll move into the celestial room representing the ultimate destination of our eternal journey--back to the presence of our Father in Heaven.
The celestial room of the temple is a representation of our heavenly home--the ultimate destination of our mortal journey.
The celestial room is also a place of personal, private prayer, reflection, and meditation.
I'm delighted to introduce Susan Bednar. This is the bride's room. Imagine coming in here as a bride before your wedding. In this beautiful setting, brides are tenderly reminded that regardless of their circumstances in the world, they are precious and honored. Imagine how this helps us understand that every bride is a beloved daughter of our Heavenly Father.
What a wonderful, beautiful room for a bride.
We're in the sealing room of the temple. The word sealing can be equated to a marriage that is forever binding, or put together permanently. At this altar, a man and a woman kneel, take each other by the hand, and by the authority of that holy priesthood power, they are sealed as a husband and a wife. And if they are true and faithful to the covenants that they have entered into in the temple, then that marriage lasts not just till death do they part, but for all of eternity. This great power connects all generations, as children and parents can also be sealed together as families for eternity. I love coming into this room. It helps me remember what it was like when I was a new bride here in the temple. And I remember the hopes and the dreams that I had, the excitement that I felt, and the love that we had for one another. Every once in a while, when we have a misunderstanding or a disagreement, I like for my mind to come back to the temple and remember those things I felt on our wedding day. And then it helps put things into perspective. Something that seems big becomes small and insignificant. And I remember that we're married not only for this life, but forever.
There were temples anciently. There are temples on the earth today. Anciently, there were Twelve Apostles. Today, there are also Twelve Apostles, with the same authority. We are now in the Rome visitors' center, celebrating the resurrected Christ. And here, standing in front of this marvelous Christus statute, I bear witness to you that I know that Jesus Christ lives, that He is our Savior, that He is our Redeemer, and that we are true servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. All that we have discussed today, all that we have attempted to show you, is focused on Christ. And because of Him and His atoning sacrifice, the work that is performed in the holy temples endures now and throughout all of eternity. With all the energy of my soul, I declare His living reality, His divinity as our Savior, and I do so joyfully in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen. [MUSIC PLAYING]