Recently, Ive been thinking a lot about the central beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If I were to choose a symbol of our faith, it would be the Mormon Temple.
“What do you do when you go to the temple?” One friend asked me. I had to think about it for a minute. Honestly, no one outside the faith had ever asked me this basic question before.
People seem to think that the temple is a big secret to Mormons. It is sacred, but it is not a secret. Our whole goal as a church is to offer the blessings of the temple to everyone who wants them.
In the temple, we pledge our lives to God. We promise to live good, moral, decent lives and to follow the example of Jesus Christ.
Also, in the temple, we learn about who we are, where we came from, the purpose of life, and the role of the Savior Jesus Christ. The temple has been described as a “house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” (D&C 109:8)
THE BIBLICAL HISTORY OF TEMPLES: From the days of the Old Testament, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples-sacred structures where He could teach, guide, and bless them. For example, the Lord told the Israelites to build a portable tabernacle that would be their temple while they traveled in the wilderness (see Exodus 26-27; 40:35). Additional Old Testament references to temples are found in 2 Chronicles 5:1-14; 7:1-2 (Temple of Solomon) and Ezra 3:1-13; 6:3 (Temple of Zerubbabel).
When Jesus Christ was on the earth, the only existing temple was known as the Temple of Herod. Jesus was often found in this temple (see, for example, Luke 2:40-49; Matthew 21:10-14). Reference: LDS.org/Why Latter-day Saints Build Temples
THE MODERN HISTORY OF MORMON TEMPLES: The earliest temples of the modern LDS Church were built in Ohio, Illinois, and eventually in Utah. Today, the Church has 140 operating temples around the world.
PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON, current president of the LDS Church Said this about temples: “Each one stands as a beacon to the world, an expression of our testimony that God, our Eternal Father, lives, that He desires to bless us and, indeed, to bless His sons and daughters of all generations. Each of our temples is an expression of our testimony that life beyond the grave is as real and as certain as is our life here on earth. I so testify.”