Mormon temples are often a topic of rumors and misunderstandings. This may be because many have never heard about what goes on inside. Some of these rumors may make our temple worship sound mysterious, weird, or un-Christian. You may have heard stories about strange rituals or be curious about why it all seems so secretive. So here’s the truth about what goes on inside Mormon temples.
1. Spiritual Instruction
For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the temple is a place of worship and spiritual instruction. Anyone is welcome to visit the beautiful temple grounds around the world. After a temple is built, it is open for a short period of time for the public to see what will soon be considered the Lord’s house here on earth. After a temple closes to the public, only members of the LDS faith, who are keeping the commandments, are permitted to enter. In the temple, Mormons learn about the creation of the world, the purpose of our lives on Earth, and the role of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. We pray together and look forward to returning to God’s presence again someday.
2. Eternal Marriage
One of the most unique and cherished doctrines of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is that we believe families are meant to be eternal – lasting beyond the grave. Couples can be married for this life and the next through restored priesthood authority, as long as they continue to keep the commitments and promises made in the temple. Couples unable to receive the blessings found through a marriage in the temple, will still have the same opportunity, if they choose, later on in their lives.
3. Ordinances for the Dead
Mormons believe that baptism is essential to return to live with our Father in Heaven. Still, some find it surprising that we do baptisms and other work for those who have passed on. This practice was also performed in Christ’s church during New Testament times, and is referenced by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:29. We believe that God loves each of his children equally, regardless of the circumstances they were born into. He wants each of us to receive our own baptism so we can return to live with him. Each individual will be given the chance to accept or reject any work done on their behalf.
4. Temple Worship
In the temple, church members make promises with God, and consider them to be holy. We don’t discuss these ceremonies with others because they represent our commitment to love, serve, and follow God’s commandments in faith. Because this commitment is sacred in nature, we show our respect by only discussing temple worship within temple walls.
5. Temple Clothing
Adult members of the Mormon church who have chosen to enter the temple, wear a garment under their clothing. The garment is similar in appearance to modern undershirts and shorts that we wear as spiritual protection, and to help us always remember the Savior and the promises we made in the temple. Just like religious clothing in other faiths, the garment is an expression of devotion and a way to become closer God. Mormons also wear white clothing while inside the temple, symbolizing purity, and to show that we are all equal before the Lord, without any marks of worldly status or wealth.
For Mormons, temples are the closest we can come to our loving Heavenly Father, where we can catch a glimpse of what heaven is truly like. We regard temples as a link between Heaven and Earth, where we can feel at peace, be reminded of the purpose of life, pray, receive answers, and feel close to God. In addition to temples, we attend Sunday services in local chapels, take the sacrament, and learn from the scriptures. We invite everyone to come, whether they are members of our church or not.