There are 134 temples throughout the world either in operation, under construction or announced. The members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are a temple building people.
Temples serve as the only place where ceremonies such as baptism and eternal marriage can be performed in behalf of those who have died —a practice that Latter-day Saints believe was followed in New Testament times but that later was lost.
Baptism is a sacred covenant that we make with our Heavenly Father, and is essential to our salvation. In Luke 7:29-30 we are taught…..Those who refuse baptism, reject the counsel of God. In John 3:3-7 we learn that “Except a man be born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”.
This brings us to one of the ordinances perform only in the temples – baptism for the dead. As far as I know, this practice of baptizing for the dead is only perform in the sacred temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe that this was a common practice in the old and new testaments of the Bible, for we read in 1-Corinthians 15:29 ” Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” There is a very provoking thought about those who died without baptism. What about them? What will happen to those who died without baptism? We know that baptism is essential, so what happens to these who died without baptism? Non – Christian religions outnumber all the Christian religions put together, so what happens to all of these people who never heard the word baptism? I cannot believe the God would simply write off the majority of the people who ever lived on this earth simply because they didn’t know about baptism. Yes, we of the LDS faith do baptisms for the dead. We search for our dead ancestors and are then baptized in proxy for them. The dead then have the option of accepting or rejecting the baptism in the spirit world where they reside.
As mentioned in an earlier posting, the Latter day Saints believe that marriage can be an eternal blessing, and not one of until death do you part. In the sacred temples of the Lord, husband and wife can be sealed together and with their families for time and all eternity. This is most comforting, because Heaven would be Hell without my lovely wife beside me. Let’s face it honestly………I depend on her so much here on earth that I just know that I will need her in the next life! ;-)
Other ordinances performed in the holy temple are endowments, sealing ordinances, and ordinations. But not all who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can enter into The House of The Lord.
Only a member in good standing holding a temple recommend can enter in The House of The Lord. First, a member must meet with a Bishop and will be asked several standard questions . The answers to the questions are not only being heard by the Bishop, but by the Lord also. Then you must sign the recommend yourself. By signing the recommend you make a commitment to the Lord that you are worthy of the privileges granted to those who hold such a recommend. We must be morally clean, paying a full tithing, keeping the Word of Wisdom, living in harmony with the teachings of the Church, and not have any affiliation or sympathy with apostate groups. Once given a temple recommend, you need not apply for another for two years.
The temples are beautiful and peaceful on the inside. When a new temple is finished being constructed, and before it is dedicated, the general public may enter and view a temple. Many people have been converted simply by having been through a temple before its dedication. Once the temple is dedicated unto the Lord, only those members holding a valid temple recommend may enter the Holy Temple.
The temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are the most sacred edifices on the face of the earth today. Revelations are being received in them. The dead are being baptized in them. Marriages are sealed for time and all eternity in them. Holy covenants are made in them.
Much of this posting has been taken from one of my favorite books entitled ” The Holy Temple” by Boyd K. Packer. This is an excellent book for believer or unbeliever. IMHO.