The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints build temples around the world. There are currently 159 operating temples with 11 under construction and 12 announced. Most of these temples are erected magnificently on hill or mountain tops. They stand differently from building structures in the world—both in physical structure and purpose. Having seen these temples during temple open houses for the public or in pictures made available on the World Wide Web and church magazines, have you ever wondered why money, time and effort are being invested in building these beautiful temples?

In the bible, there are various accounts where the Lord commanded his people to build temples where he could teach, guide and bless them. In the 25th chapter of the Book of Exodus, while the Israelites were travelling in the wilderness, the Lord spoke unto Moses saying, “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering…and let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25: 2,8) Moreover, in the days of King Solomon, Son of David, spoke to Huram, the King of Tyre, saying, “Behold, I build an house to the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual showbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the solemn feast of the Lord our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel.” (2 Chronicles 2:4) We learn from these scripture verses that even in the times of old, building of sacred temples has been a commandment from the Lord and these temples are built to perform saving ordinances. In our day, the Lord commands to build temples for the same purpose – to perform sacred rites for the salvation of men.

In the olden times and even today, not everyone can enter into these temples. It requires worthiness and faithfulness to the Lord’s commandments of Church members. When a temple building is finished, the public are invited to visit inside the temple where explanations concerning the work done in each room are given.  However, after the temples are dedicated and sacred activities have already begun, public visits are no longer permitted.

Sacred ordinances performed in the temple unite family relationships beyond the grave for time and all eternity. Mormon temples are built both for the living and the dead. Some ordinances performed in temples are baptism for the dead, institution of marriage which unites a husband and wife, and the sealing of families together for eternity.

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