Temples Bring Latter-day Saints Closer to Christ
Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which church is frequently misnamed the “Mormon Church”) are one of the important elements in God’s Plan of Salvation. They are so important that there are forms of sacred worship that can only done in the temple. Temples are considered the most holy place on earth, and only the home can be compared to them in sanctity. Temples are a holy sanctuary where the Spirit of the Lord can be strongly felt—for they are literally the House of the Lord.
There are many examples in the scriptures that describe temples’ significance. For example, during their wanderings and travels in the wilderness, the Israelites, under the leadership of Moses and under the direction of God, built a portable temple known as the Tabernacle. God Himself gave them details on what standards His holy sanctuary should meet, including its materials and design. “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it” (Exodus 25:8–9). After its construction, the Tabernacle became the dwelling place of the Lord, where He gave His people, the Israelites, instructions and where sacred ordinances were performed in which ordinances were intended to bless the Israelites in their tribulations.
The New Testament also tells us of the significance of the temple. In the Gospel of Matthew, the record shows Jesus being brought to the temple as a baby and being presented to the people as the Savior of the world. “And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34–35).
The Savior often taught in the holy temple and He has been the greatest example of how people should view the importance of the temple in their lives. “And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him” (Luke 19:45–48). The members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”) view the temple as the place of most sacred worship and follow the commandments of the Lord regarding it.
In the latter days, God commanded His children to once again commence the building of holy temples as part of the restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The first Mormon temple was dedicated to the Lord on March 27, 1836, and is known as the Kirtland Temple. Today there are around 135 temples currently in operations to bless the lives of the children of God.
Mormon beliefs focus on the power and righteous influence of the temple and the knowledge that temples bring Latter-day Saints closer to Christ. That is why there are many Mormon temples built all over the world. The temple helps the members of the Church to understand the purpose of earthly existence as a mere fraction of the Plan of Salvation (God’s plan for His children) which provides hope that all the unfairness and trials of life are just temporal. The temple also provides many blessings and rich experiences for qualified Latter-day Saints, as they often testify of. In the temple, Mormons learn more about Jesus Christ and His infinite love for all people, and that salvation can only come through Him. “And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:17).
Roy Patrick is currently working as a Call Center Agent in the Philippines. He served a full-time mission in San Francisco, CA. His family is one of the pioneers of the LDS Church in Panay Island, Philippines.