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The Mormon Temple

 

The Mormon temple is the focus of the Mormon religion.  In the temple are performed the highest ordinances of salvation.  Mormon temple ceremonies are very sacred so most of it is not discussed outside of the temple.  This has led some to believe that there are secret ceremonies going on in the temple.  There is a difference between sacred and secret.  The Mormon missionary effort is evidence that Mormons hope that all people would join their church and become worthy to enter the temple, but the temple ceremony is so sacred that they do not discuss it outside of the temple, even with each other.  Giving the Mormon temple and its ceremonies a special place maintains a reverence for it that is easily lost when incorporated into everyday conversation.  Despite Mormons best efforts to keep the temple ceremony sacred (and probably because of it), many attempt to reveal “the secrets” of Mormon temples in books and websites, but they are not exposing any secrets, they are merely showing their true nature and blaspheming what Mormons hold most sacred. 

Each member of the Mormon Church that is found worthy, through a temple recommend interview, may enter into the temple.  The ordinances performed in Mormon temples include baptisms, marriages and a ceremony called the endowment.  The first time a member goes to the Mormon temple, they perform the endowment ceremony for themselves.  In this ceremony a person makes further covenants with the Lord just like they covenanted when receiving baptism.  The endowment also provides spiritual instruction.  It begins with the Creation, traces the Fall, the Redemption, and the return to the presence of God with rich symbolism.  It is a participatory ritual and at specific times during the endowment those in attendance make covenants with God and then receive instruction related to those covenants.   

Each time someone returns to the Mormon temple they perform the same endowment ceremony by proxy for someone who is dead.  The great work in Mormon temples is performing the ordinances of salvation for the dead who did not or could not receive them while living.  The Mormon Church teaches that all may be saved through the Atonement of Christ and that there are ordinances necessary for salvation.  The vast majority of people who lived on earth did not have the opportunity to accept the gospel of Christ.  If those who did not have a chance to have faith in Jesus Christ never got one, it would not show Go to be very merciful.  Mormons believe that the gospel is preached to those who are dead (1 Peter 4:6).  Performing the ordinances for them by proxy gives them the chance to accept the gospel in the spirit world and then have those ordinances take effect.  This is the main reason that the Mormon Church is invested in genealogy.  The goal is to administer the ordinances of salvation to every person who ever lived. 

For this reason baptismal fonts are built in Mormon temples.  Baptism may be performed for a living person in any body of water deep enough to immerse him or her, but baptisms for the dead are reserved to be performed within the sacred space of a Mormon temple.  Marriages, called a "sealing," for both the living and the dead are performed in Mormon temples.  The marriage ceremony not only joins a couple for the rest of their lives, the couple married in the Mormon temple is sealed together for eternity.  Performed with the same authority Jesus gave unto Peter to bind in heaven what is bound on earth, their union surpasses the bands of death.  The marriage sealing in the Mormon temple is the ultimate ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The ordinances of baptism, the endowment, and finally a temple sealing, prepare a person to return to the presence of God and gain all the blessings that God has promised the faithful.  The Mormon temple provides a place on earth to receive these sacred ordinances.



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