Literally the house of the Lord. The Lord has always commanded His people to build temples, holy buildings in which worthy Saints perform sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel for themselves and for the dead. The Lord visits His temples, and they are the most holy of all places of worship.
The tabernacle erected by Moses and the children of Israel was a portable temple. The Israelites used it during their exodus from Egypt.
The best-known temple mentioned in the Old Testament is the one built by Solomon in Jerusalem (2 Chr. 2–5). It was destroyed in 587 B.C. by the Babylonians and was restored by Zerubbabel about 70 years later (Ezra 1–6). Part of this temple was burned in 37 B.C., and Herod the Great later rebuilt it. The Romans destroyed the temple in A.D. 70.
In the Book of Mormon, the righteous followers of God were led to build and worship in temples (2 Ne. 5:16; Mosiah 1:18; 3 Ne. 11:1). Building and using a temple properly are signs of the true Church in any dispensation, including the restored Church in our day. The Kirtland Temple was the first temple built and dedicated to the Lord in this dispensation. Since that time temples have been dedicated in many lands across the earth.