A few months ago, I wrote a post-entitled “Why I Go to Church Every Sunday.” This could be viewed as a follow up or a relatable post.
For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, worshipping God in one of over 140 temples that currently dot the earth is quite different than the weekly general Sunday services.
Temples are not a new concept. Since the beginning when Adam built an altar to offer sacrifice to the Lord, man has been building temples as a conduit between heaven and earth. Moses and the children of Israel built a portable tabernacle during their journey in the wilderness. Solomon built a temple also. Each served as a direct link to God. Even Jesus from a young age, and throughout his mortal ministry was found in the temple.
The temple of God is a very special, sacred, and most of all, holy place. It is a place where the world can be forgotten. In fact, nothing going on in the outside world matters in these buildings. Before temples are officially dedicated for service, they are open for public tours. After that, only members in good standing may attend temple services.
Within the walls of the temple, members receive higher ordinances and education with eternal significance, the most significant of these ordinances/ceremonies being the sealing, or marriage. In the church, we believe that a marriage in the temple is a bond for eternity, and not just “until death do you part.”
Once an individual has received his/her ordinances personally, they can then do the same ordinances in behalf of their ancestors. Vicarious work for the dead was a doctrine restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith in the early days of the Church. It was practiced anciently, and it is practiced today.
I go to the temple for many reasons. Firstly, the temple offers peace. Every time I walk in to one of the temples, a great feeling of peace fills me. In the temple, I feel closer to God than anywhere else. In the temple, I learn about who I am in relation to my Father in heaven, and more about His plan for the eternal destiny of His children. Things of eternity are brought into a much clearer perspective. Most importantly, the temple links my family together.
Having not grown up in the Church, my family is not sealed together. My wife and I were married in the temple though, making our marriage relationship eternally bound in the next life. I’m thankful for that special gift and blessing, and look forward to the day when my entire family is a part of such a blessing.
For those who have never been to a temple, I invite you to find the temple nearest you. All are welcome to walk the grounds, and even sit in the foyer of the building. So take advantage, and experience the powerfully spiritual atmosphere that exists there. It’s real. It’s God.
“…I have hallowed this house, which thou has built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.” – 1 Kings 9:3
Please feel free to visit my Ask a Question page if you have any questions about the temple, or the Church in general. I would be happy to answer them.