“What Is the Purpose of the Temple?” Families and Temples (2016), 8–11
“What Is the Purpose of the Temple?” Families and Temples, 8–11
Some gospel ordinances and covenants are so sacred that God permits us to receive them only in special places called temples. A temple is literally a house of the Lord—a holy place set apart from the rest of the world. In the temple, you learn more about the plan of salvation and how to follow Christ’s perfect example. God’s greatest blessings are available in His temples.
The scriptures teach that God has commanded His people to worship in temples since ancient times. When the Lord restored His Church through the Prophet Joseph Smith, He directed that temples once again be built. Having temples on the earth is a witness of God’s love for us. Everything in the temple testifies that God is our Father and that Jesus Christ is His Son and the Savior of the world.
For members of the Church, a temple is the most sacred place of worship on the earth. It is unique from all other places of worship. It is designated as the only place where families can be united forever and where the most sacred gospel ordinances are performed. It is also a place where you can feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, a place of peace and revelation, a place where family relationships are strengthened, and a place to seek direction concerning life’s challenges.
Although all people are invited to attend worship services in Church meetinghouses, a temple is different. After a temple is dedicated, visitors are welcome to enjoy the beautiful and peaceful temple grounds, but entrance into the temple is reserved for faithful members of the Church—those who are willing and prepared to receive these special ordinances, covenants, and blessings.
Because the temple is the house of the Lord and the place where His most sacred ordinances are performed, God has established a standard that His children must meet before entering. As you prepare to go to the temple, you will have an interview similar to your baptismal interview. This interview is called a temple recommend interview. In this interview, your bishop or branch president will ask you some questions to confirm that you are keeping the commandments. If you are worthy and prepared, you will receive a temple recommend that will allow you to enter the temple.
In addition to receiving your own temple ordinances, in temples you can receive ordinances on behalf of your ancestors and others who have died without the opportunity to receive them. These include baptism, confirmation, and every other ordinance necessary for salvation.