Monday, June 8, 2009

I Love to See the Temple

A week ago Saturday, our children were invited to attend a special Primary (the organization for children in our church) activity at the grounds of the Seattle Temple. It was a gorgeous day. The kids were invited to walk around the grounds and learn about why temples are sacred and important in our faith. At the conclusion of their tour, they were able to sit quietly in the waiting area just inside the temple doors and hear some special words from one of the temple workers who explained to the children that the temple, is the "House of the Lord". I was reminded of how important the temple is to us as members of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, & that the work that is done inside allows us to be sealed as families, not just for time, but for all eternity. I reflected on my own marriage in the Salt Lake City, UT temple and how grateful I am that my marriage is eternal & my family relationships can be forever.

*If you are not of our faith, but are interested in learning about why temples are such an important part of our religion, click HERE .

Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions about the temple:

What is the purpose of the temple? To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the temple is the "House of the Lord." It is a sacred building, and after its dedication only faithful members of the Church may enter. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man. In addition, they participate in religious ceremonies that reach beyond mortality, such as baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors and eternal marriage.

What is it like inside the temple? Many people are under the impression that the interior of a Latter-day Saint temple is like a great hall or cathedral. Actually, temples are made up of a number of rooms designed to accommodate certain functions such as marriages, baptisms and instructional sessions. Inside the temple, Church members change into simple, modest white clothing previous to performing their temple labors. The white temple clothing is symbolic of purity and reverence.

Will members of the public ever see the inside of the temple? Yes. After the temple is completed, there will be an organized open house (typically multiday) for the general public. During the open house, information will be provided to explain the different functions and ceremonies performed in the temple and answer questions. After the open house, the temple will be dedicated to the Lord and open only to worthy Church members.

What is the difference between a temple and a meetinghouse? Regular Sunday worship, instruction and other social and recreational activities occur in Latter-day Saint meetinghouses, or chapels. In temples, on the other hand, faithful members receive specific instruction about the purpose of life and their relationship to God. There they take part in family-oriented ordinances, both for themselves and in behalf of deceased ancestors. Sacred ordinances available only in temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

What will happen to the value of the property around the temple? As visible symbols of honor and reverence to God, Latter-day Saint temples are built using the finest craftsmanship and materials available. Further, they are beautifully landscaped and maintained. In all, they are designed to complement the community and enhance the environment.