Salt Lake Temple The Temple Is The House Of The Lord
The temple is not like a Protestant temple or the modern Jewish temple. The best way to understand it, is by understanding the ancient Jewish temple. In ancient times the Jews has synagogues where they held services to meet together and read the scriptures, and they had a temple for the daily sacrifices and other ordinances. The ancients saw the temple as a juncture between this life and the life to come with God, a place for special rites and ordinances not to be discussed with the outside world. Likewise the Church of Jesus Christ has Chapels (Ward Chapels and Stake Centers) that we meet in every Sunday, and also we have temples for daily sacrifices and other ordinances.

But since the fulfilling of the Law of Moses and the changing of many ordinances (like Baptism and the Sacrament (Eucharist)), the temple ordinances have changed also. The daily temple sacrifice is no longer an animal sacrifice (which foreshadowed the sacrifice of Jesus Christ) our sacrifices today are the sacrifice of a broken heart, a contrite spirit, and the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the last and only true sacrifice. Instead of the Jewish High Priest being allowed to pass through the veil to the Holy of Holies only once a year (a year representing the entire history of the Earth all of which represents Christ, the Great High Priest, passing through the veil only once), now the veil has been ripped and Christ symbolically takes all who come to Him through the opened veil into His Kingdom.
Cardston Alberta Temple
The temple is a beautiful place where we learn of God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, and our relationship to them. The temple is a symbolic and sacred place. Symbolic because many of the temple ceremonies are like parables, in the sense that on the surface they are very simplistic, yet they have great depths of meaning to those who will search them out, sacred because these parables are private and not to be trivialized by open public discourse. Many specifics of the ceremonies are not discussed outside of the temple because of this sacred nature.

The Temple Ordinances Are Forever
As stated in Genesis the man & the woman in marriage are to become one flesh (Genesis 2: 23-24 - And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh). You do this through the covenants you make and enduring the good and bad together in life. As you seek to experience true selflessness and charity for your spouse, you will achieve this special oneness. And then you will inevitably get divorced. Because without templeThe Sealing Room in the Alberta Temple - where Keith and Catherine were joined for time and all eternity marriage, you have accepted a marriage with a built in divorce, Until Death Do You Part. What do you think - when you die will you become a different person, with a different mind and different likes / dislikes? In Alberta Temple Celestial Room other words will you stop being you? The testimony of the Bible (such as the parable of Lazarus and the rich man - Luke 19:16-31 ) joined with the Book of Mormon ( Alma 34:34 ) and even with those who report having had near death experiences, tell us you will still be you - you will still care for your loved ones just as much and be pained by your separation - but you've accepted a divorce . You are eternal, and you will always be you, but you will be you - alone - unless you are given the power over time and space that you will need to bring your family back together again.

This power comes through the Lord's Temple. The temple is the only place were a couple can be joined together for time and for all eternity. There is no forced divorce. The love and bond you've built over the years through your struggles and work are yours throughout eternity. This blessing extends to your children so that your family and the love you share is sealed together in one, and also one with Jesus Christ as He is one with His Father John 17:20-21 ) .

Else What Shall They Do?
When I was a new member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, someone who came from a church which had been around for over a thousand years thought it was humorous that such a 'new' church could claim to be the source of salvation for man. "What about those millions of people in my church for all those hundreds of years", he asked "what happens to them?" "Well, what happens to the millions more who your church never got to, the hundreds of millions in Africa, Asia, and America who lived and died without ever hearing about Jesus Christ or baptism, according to you they are condemned forever". What is the solution?

In his long and powerful defense of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians, one of Paul's arguments for the validity of Christ's physical resurrection is Chapter 15 verse 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"? It is so unambiguously stated in the original Greek that all major Biblical translations present the same meaning, { "Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?" (NIV) "Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?" (RSV); "If the dead will not be raised, then what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again" (NLT - 'The Book'); "Another thing, what good is it for people to be baptized for dead people? If dead people are not raised, why are some people baptized for them?" (WE) "Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?" (NASB) "Or else what will they do who are immersed for the dead? If the dead aren't raised at all, why then are they immersed for the dead?" (HNV) (Notice the Greek word "baptize" means "immerse" - a sunken ship was said to be baptized) }. Religious leaders in "mainstream" Christianity have tried to turn & twist it around in all sorts of directions because they just don't know what to make of it. ( My Commentary On Commentaries )

They try to pretend that Paul is talking about a people other than the early Saints, and/or the performance of a false rite. But of course it doesn't make much sense to invoke a false ritual as proof of the resurrection. Imagine if Billy Graham were trying to prove the resurrection by saying, 'Of course there will be a resurrection, otherwise why are the Mormons baptized for the dead? If the dead aren't resurrected why are the Mormons baptized for them?' How ludicrous it would be to try and prove your point by citing what you consider to be a false doctrine, and not even mention that it is a false doctrine that should not be performed! It is not only ludicrous it is a logical impossibility. Paul had to be talking about a legitimate authorized practice of the Early Church - that is the only thing which would make it a proof of the resurrection. Those who take this view believe that people were being baptized by proxy for others who had died not having had the opportunity, although most do not understand why.

Alberta Temple Baptismal Font So why would they want to do that? Because of another hotly contended topic among the "mainstream" Christian churches about baptism. Jesus said, "Except a man be born again he can not see the kingdom of God". (John 3:1) When Nicodemus didn't understand, he explained what born again means, "Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he can not enter into the Kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Christ also said, "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). Based on the words of Christ when taken in a literal sense, some churches say everyone has to be baptized to attain salvation. Others, who find evidence from the scriptures that God is just, can not believe that He would condemn good and honest people merely because they did not have an opportunity to be baptized, therefore these verses can not be understood in a simple wooden literal fashion. The True Restored Gospel has revealed further light and knowledge and teaches us that both groups are correct! The scriptures are to be taken literally, AND God is just. Baptism is an Earthly ordinance requiring water, which can't be performed on a spirit. Baptism for the dead allows us living, physical people to be baptized, and receive other ordinances, by proxy in behalf of all of our deceased ancestors who for whatever reason, never had the opportunity to be baptized. As spirits these people have the opportunity to accept or reject the ordinances performed for them. In this way everyone is on an equal footing with the Lord, and the commandments He established can still be understood in the literal sense in which He gave them.

Why did Paul say, "else why are they baptized for the dead"? This makes it sound like it wasn't the early Saints who were doing it. Well, that's right it wasn't - at least not the Saints in Corinth. The ordinance can not be done just anywhere, it must be done in a temple of God. When the Latter-day Saints learned of the doctrine from Joseph Smith, they were so excited about giving all their departed loved ones the opportunity of accepting the Gospel, they immediately went down to the river and started baptizing for everyone they could think of. Joseph had to run down and stop them, explaining that all these things must be done in order, and it can't just be done anywhere. The same as in the Meridian of time (when Christ came), the Corinthian Saints probably would not be allowed to perform the ordinances (remember Paul said he only fed them the milk of the gospel, not the meat). When the Israelites didn't have a temple they used a temporary traveling tabernacle for the temple. When the Latter-day Saints were finishing the construction of the temple, they were permitted to dedicate a special area temporarily. The Meridian-day Saints would also have been allowed to dedicate a special site as a type of temporary temple, probably around the area of Jerusalem where the headquarters of the Church was.

Bountiful Utah Temple Oakland California Temple Palmyra New York Temple Washington D.C. Temple San Diego California Temple Jordan River Utah Temple Manti Utah Temple Dallas Texas Temple

Christ's atonement is sufficient for all mankind and the temples which provide for Salvation for the Dead give all people of all ages the opportunity to obey all of God's commandments and instructions.

Other Temple related sites we like:

Nick Literski's LDS Temple Page
LDS Church Temples
Teachings of the Temple
Richard Satterfield's Temple Webpage
Temples to Dot the Earth
Kim Siever's Temple Site
Nathan's LDS Temple Page Temple Page
Family Forever

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* Alberta Temple Pictures from The Ensign (July97)
* Most other Temple Pictures from Family Forever

And HERE is my Standard Disclaimer

This is not an official web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . The opinions expressed, although generally representing the beliefs of the Church, are my own responsibility. I do not speak for the Church as a whole or any other individual members. Any errors are mearly a reflection of my own limitations, don't condemn the things of God based on my faults.
[All quoted Bible scriptures are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise indicated.]

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There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

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Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

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Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.