Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are holy places of worship where the Lord may visit. Only the home can compare with temples in sacredness. Throughout history, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples. Today the Church is heeding the Lord’s call to build temples all over the world, making temple blessings more available for a great number of our Heavenly Father’s children.
Ordinances for the Living
The principal purpose of temples is to provide the ordinances necessary for our exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Temple ordinances lead to the greatest blessings available through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. All we do in the Church—our meetings and activities, our missionary efforts, the lessons we teach, and the hymns we sing—should point us to the Savior and the work we do in holy temples.
One ordinance we receive in the temple is the endowment. The word endowment means “gift,” and the temple endowment truly is a gift from God. The ordinance consists of a series of instructions, and it includes covenants we make to live righteously and comply with the requirements of the gospel. The endowment helps us focus on the Savior, His role in our Heavenly Father’s plan, and our commitment to follow Him.
Another temple ordinance is celestial marriage, in which husband and wife are sealed to each other for eternity. A sealing performed in the temple continues forever if the husband and wife are faithful to the covenants they make.
Children born to parents who have been sealed in the temple are born in the covenant. These children automatically become part of an eternal family. Children who are not born in the covenant can also become part of an eternal family once their natural or adoptive parents have been sealed to each other. The ordinance of sealing children to parents is performed in the temple.
Ordinances for the Dead
People who have died without essential gospel ordinances may receive those ordinances through the work done in temples. You may do this work in behalf of your ancestors and others who have died. Acting for them, you can be baptized and confirmed, receive the endowment, and participate in the sealing of husband to wife and children to parents.
Worthiness to Enter the Temple
To enter the temple, you must be worthy. You certify your worthiness in two interviews—one with a member of your bishopric or your branch president and another with a member of your stake presidency or the mission president. Your priesthood leaders will keep these interviews private and confidential. In each of the interviews, the priesthood leader will ask you about your personal conduct and worthiness. You will be asked about your testimony of Heavenly Father and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and you will be asked whether you support the general and local leaders of the Church. You will be asked to confirm that you are morally clean and that you keep the Word of Wisdom, pay a full tithe, live in harmony with the teachings of the Church, and do not maintain any affiliation or sympathy with apostate groups.
Blessings from Attending the Temple
In addition to being a place where sacred priesthood ordinances are performed, the temple is a place of peace and revelation. When you are troubled or when crucial decisions weigh heavily on your mind, you may take your cares to the temple. There you can receive spiritual guidance.
The Lord will bless you as you attend to the sacred ordinance work in the temple. And the blessings He gives you will not be limited to your time in the temple. He will bless you in all aspects of your life. Your labors in the temple will strengthen you and refine you spiritually.