Mormon temples belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This church is frequently misnamed the Mormon Church, and the misnomer “Mormon” is adhered to many different things to distinguish them from other Christian beliefs and buildings. A Mormon temple open house is a special event where a temple, right after its completion, is being presented to the public: both to the members of the Church and to non-member friends. This is in part to acknowledge that Mormon temples bring blessings for all of God’s children, not just members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Whenever the Lord has had a people on the earth who will obey his word, they have been commanded to build temples in which the ordinances of the gospel and other spiritual manifestations that pertain to exaltation and eternal life may be administered. “And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually” (1 Kings 9:3).
A Mormon temple is literally a house of the Lord. It is a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed by faithful members. It is a place where the Lord may come and His Spirit can be strongly felt. It is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.
In a Mormon temple open house, all who will be respectful are allowed to come to see the beauty and grandeur both outside and inside of the new temple. People from all different sectors, including those of various religious groups and the media, are welcome to visit the temple, but all must comply to the standards, policies, or instructions for the protection of the new temple. There are dedicated personnel and missionaries assigned to mingle with non-member friends and to guide or assist them in their needs. These volunteers are also available to answer any questions visitors may have and to help visitors gain an understanding of and respect for the purpose of Mormon temples and the ongoing open house event. Volunteers also love to hear comments from visitors and listen to their concerns.
Mormon temple open houses usually last for a couple of weeks so that people from distant places might have the chance to come and visit the new temple before its dedication. Picture-taking is not permitted inside the temple, though some passes may be granted for media. However, there are pictures available of different temples on the LDS Church’s website for all who wish to have the best possible quality picture of the temple.
All things that can cause damage or may disrupt the event are not allowed at the temple open house. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Psalms 24:3–5).
The dedication of the Mormon temple to the Lord is the highlight and culmination of the open house time. During the day of the dedication, the President and Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers a dedicatory prayer to the Lord, turning over to the Lord all protection and power to help the temple accomplish its purpose. The dedicatory prayer also includes words of praises to God, expressions of joy and gratitude for the blessings now available to those who are worthy to receive the temple blessings, and supplications for protection and sanctification of the temple.
Today, there are around 134 Mormon temples in operation around the world for the blessings of those who strive to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. More are being built to bring the blessings closer to the faithful members. Participating in a Mormon temple open house is a unique, enlightening, and peaceful experience. Mormon temples are beautiful places dedicated to the Lord, and any visitors feel that special spirit.
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.
In mid-March 2012, the foundation and basement walls of the Phoenix Arizona Mormon Temple neared completion. The city of Phoenix planned to widen the road in front of the temple complex. The project is expected to be completed in late 2013.
The basement will contain the baptistery, some patron dressing rooms, temple-worker preparation, instruction and dressing rooms, and storage.  Underground plumbing at the basement level had just been started.
The construction of the Phoenix Mormon Temple faced two years of protests mounted by neighbors concerned about height, lighting and traffic congestion. An accord was reached less than a year ago, allowing construction to move forward. A committee comprised of neighborhood representatives, the Mormon temple president and the president of the local Mormon stake (group of congregations) meets regularly to make sure concerns are aired and addressed.
Neighborhood organizer Scott Anderson, a member of the Phoenix Property Rights Coalition, said the relationship between neighbors and the church “is cordial.” 
Everyone seeks to be happy in this life. There are many different ways that one can find happiness, but for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which church is often misnamed the “Mormon Church”), true happiness comes from living as Jesus wants them to live. To be a faithful member of the LDS faith, one will decide to follow the commandments of God as well as following the example of Jesus Christ. This example includes receiving sacred and essential ordinances (sacred acts or ceremonies performed by authority of the Mormon priesthood) of being baptized, receiving the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and other important ordinances that show a deep commitment to and love for God. This deep love is the form of a covenant (or promise) made between the individual and God. Many of these ordinances are received in Mormon temples.
As members of the “Mormon Church” learn more about the Plan of Happiness (God’s plan for us), there is often a desire to share this message with others. There is also a strong desire to ensure that those who came before them have the opportunity to receive the blessings from this Plan of Happiness. In order to allow this happen, LDS Church leaders have been inspired through modern-day revelation the way in which those who have left this life can still receive all the necessary ordinances, or steps, to return to live with God and Jesus Christ again someday. These ordinances can only be received on this earth, so if a person died without being able to receive them, a person must stand in as a proxy and participate in behalf of the deceased person.
Searching out one’s ancestors is not necessarily something new, as people have always found interest in where they came from. That being said, the purpose of doing one’s genealogy as it is known in the LDS Church carries with it a very spiritual purpose. As family members are searched out and there is the confirmation that these important ordinances have not yet been performed, worthy members of the church have the opportunity to go to one of the beautiful Mormon temples and stand in as proxies for their ancestors to receive these sacred ordinances.
The purposes of temples are many. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints go to the temple to receive more instruction about where they came from, what their purpose is here in this life, and where they will go after this life. As they gain more knowledge, their personal testimony grows. As this happiness, they often talk about how happy they are and the peace that comes into their lives. It is this happiness and peace that they desire for their ancestors to have as well. Mormons believe that our spirits live on after we die. These spirits are very real and are the same spirits that our physical bodies possessed on earth. Thus, those spirits can make decisions, and many have a desire to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ as is taught by the LDS Church.
For those that struggle with this “work for the dead” as it is often referred to, more often than not it is because they have not taken the time to try and understand its full purpose. There are many misconceptions about it, and often the media has tried to paint a more skeptical picture of this very sacred work. The truth is, for members of the LDS Church, this work is one of the most important to be done, and there is often not enough time in the day to accomplish all they want to accomplish.
As one begins to work on one’s family history, that person will start feel a warmth in his or her heart. There is something special in learning about your ancestors. You begin to put together a more complete picture of your life, and it can often lead to amazing stories and profound respect for those who came before you. One of the positive things that happens when one finds interest in doing his or her family history is a realization that keeping one’s own personal history is very important. Many journals or personal diaries have been started and have had quite an impact on individuals and families as a direct result of learning about one’s genealogy.
For those not as familiar with how to search out their ancestors, the LDS Church has created free resources that have brought great benefits and blessings to those who have gotten involved. It can seem overwhelming, but these resources can quickly help you get started, and the key is just getting started. All LDS Church family history resources are free to the public, regardless of Church membership. In addition, LDS Church family history facilities are staffed by volunteers who can help individuals with their personal family history.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes firmly that because God is just, fair, loving, and merciful to all of His children, all of them should have the opportunity to receive the ordinances necessary to return to live with Him and Jesus again. It is this belief that drives the members of the “Mormon Church” to work hard to provide the blessings of the Plan of Happiness to all of God’s children. Without them doing this important work for those who have passed on, they would miss out on the eternal blessings that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings. Members of the LDS Church often share very personal spiritual experiences that have occurred in direct correlation to searching out their ancestors. These experiences help to strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ, and they feel the love that God has for them and for their loved ones who have passed on. Whether one has a misconception about this very sacred work or not is directly connected to their willingness to learn more.
There are more and more people who are not members of the LDS Church who are doing their family history. They are finding joy as they learn about their past. Maybe one of the greatest things that happens is the joy those ancestors experience as they see their loved ones learning about them and the experiences they had in life. For members of the “Mormon Church,” the peace that comes from knowing your loved one on the other side has accepted the gospel can bring a love that is often indescribable. According to leaders of the church, it is both a privilege and responsibility for members to give the gift of the gospel through performing these sacred ordinances for them.
It is important to understand that Latter-day Saints believe in the gift of agency, or the power of choice each individual has. If an individual’s temple ordinances have been completed, they have the choice of whether or not to accept them. No one is forcibly baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In addition, members can only take names to the temple of their direct ancestors. Names that are found in helping those not of the LDS faith in their own family history are not secretly taken to the temple. In addition, there has been a great deal of contention about extraction projects where people take it upon themselves to take names of celebrities, influential figures, or Holocaust victims to the temple. The Church of Jesus Christ has a strict policy against this, which is linked to below.
Mormon genealogy is an endeavor which brings peace and joy to those who participate in finding their ancestors and helping to give them the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
LDS News on Genealogy and Mormon Temples
Find a Family History Center near You
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”) has two types of weddings. These two weddings include the Church wedding and the most preferred and highly-encouraged temple marriage. Temple marriage is emphasized because when a couple is married in the temple, they may be together for eternity and not just for this life.
However, not all members of the Church may avail themselves of the opportunity to be married inside a Mormon temple. The temple is a holy place—a House of the Lord. To be married in the temple, the couple must be worthy to enter. The standard for worthiness is very high and includes being sexually pure. For this both bride and groom must have lived the Law of Chastity. The Law of Chastity demands abstinence from all sexual relations outside of marriage and perfect fidelity within marriage. The couple should also be:
- active in the Church,
- full-tithe payers (donating 10 percent of their income),
- actively involved in reading the scriptures and praying,
- adhering to the Word of Wisdom (the Mormon health law),
- and spiritually prepared for the covenants made in the temple.
Facts about Mormon weddings in Mormon temples:
The bride has a choice of wearing her wedding dress during the temple wedding ceremony. Some just wear a simple white long dress of the type normally worn in the temple, and then they change into a wedding gown for photographs on the temple grounds and the reception held later.
In the Salt Lake Temple, and in all the temples of the Church, the dress requirements are much the same. The bride can, indeed, wear a lovely, modest bridal gown for marriage (or temple sealing). It may be made in any appropriate style becoming to the bride. The gown must be white, including trim. It may be decorated with lace and/or seed pearls or small beads. However, sequins or other, very showy trim are inappropriate. There may be a train on the gown, but for convenience, it should be so arranged that the bride can comfortably carry it. The wedding gown should have long sleeves and a modestly high neck. If, for any reason, the gown does not meet the full requirements of modesty for the temple, the bride’s dressing room is supplied with lovely yokes and sleeve linings in all materials to match and enhance the gown so that it will be acceptable for the temple ceremony.
All-white slippers worn with the gown should have either no heels or very low heels and should be simple in a style. A higher heel may be worn when photographs are taken outside in the temple gardens.
The exchange of wedding rings is not part of the temple marriage ceremony, but it is a beautiful custom and is permitted in the temple after the ceremony is over.
Corsages and wedding bouquets are not used in the temple. All guests have to be temple worthy and hold “temple recommends” to attend a wedding inside a Mormon temple.
The actual temple marriage ceremony lasts less than five minutes, but the beautiful relationship that begins at that altar in God’s holy house will extend beyond the grave and throughout eternity, dependent upon the faithfulness of the marriage partners.
The couple is asked to be at the temple an hour before the appointed time so temple officials can check the marriage license and related papers and prepare the necessary documents for the recording of the marriage. The bride then proceeds to the lovely bride’s room where she can change into her wedding gown. At the same time, the bridegroom dresses in a separate dressing room in his temple clothes: a white suit with white shoes and necktie. In both cases, temple workers are on hand to give very special care and attention to the couple on such an important occasion.
Everything in the temple enhances the sacred importance of the wedding day so that the experience in the house of the Lord is a never-to-be-forgotten event in the lives of both bride and groom.
Below is a story of a joyous marriage performed in the temple:
We Wanted to Renew Our Vows
by Diana Berry
Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect day for Rich and me to get married and begin our new life together. We had chosen Las Vegas as the place to exchange our vows, anticipating an exciting, magical honeymoon.
Unfortunately, at least three hundred other couples had the same idea. We waited in line for more than two hours just to have the justice of the peace spend two minutes declaring us husband and wife. Then off we went on our honeymoon in the glitter and lights of the city.
After about six months of marriage, we both felt something was missing. We were happy, but wondered if we hadn’t shortchanged ourselves. What a shame that the joy of our beautiful union had not been shared with our family and friends. There had been little ceremony, no flowers, no cake. We didn’t even have pictures for our scrapbook.
At the time, it was a trend to renew wedding vows on the first wedding anniversary, so we decided we would do just that—but in a church this time, with family and friends witnessing.
First, however, we needed to find a church to attend. Neither of us had attended church services in several years, and we felt awkward calling just any local minister and asking him to participate in our celebration. We wanted to attend the church first.
Each Saturday, we would turn to the yellow pages, call one of the listings, and go to that church’s services the next morning. Each Sunday we left the services unnoticed and unfulfilled, so we continued searching by this method each week, checking each off our list of possibilities. As we continued down the listings alphabetically, we purposely skipped over The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We knew that the Mormons were very committed to their faith, and we were not looking for a life-style change. We just wanted a church where we could renew our vows and visit occasionally on Sundays when it was convenient. Finally, however, we had exhausted our listings, so just to be fair, we decided to visit the LDS Church.
The first time we attended meetings in a Latter-day Saint ward, the bishop shook our hands and welcomed us personally. Many other members came over and welcomed us, talking with us as if they really cared! We couldn’t figure out how they knew we were visitors.
The meeting itself was unusual—a preacher didn’t address us. Instead, members of the ward spoke on prayer and family home evening. We were impressed with this church.
When we returned to the ward the next Sunday, we found the same warm feeling. That week, the bishop asked us if we would like to have the missionaries come visit us at our home. We said yes.
The missionaries showed us the film “Man’s Search for Happiness” at our first lesson. We were touched with our Heavenly Father’s plan for us. By the time they taught the lesson on baptism, in which we were challenged to be baptized, we had already marked a date on our calendar.
After our baptism, Rich and I revised our goals as a couple. Now we wanted something much greater than simply to renew our vows as we had once hoped. We now wanted to make covenants together in the house of the Lord. A year later, we went to the temple, where our marriage was sealed for time and all eternity. Many of our loved ones were there as witnesses.
Our marriage ceremony in Las Vegas pales in comparison to the warm glow of our being sealed to one another for all eternity.
Diana Berry writes the ward bulletin in the Meridian Third Ward, Meridian Idaho Stake, where her husband, Rich, serves as bishop.
A non- temple wedding or “temporal” (for mortality only) wedding in brief:
A non-temple wedding is open to anyone, whether a member of The Church Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not. A temple recommend is not needed to be able to attend to it, and a local bishop at any LDS meetinghouse can officiate the wedding. Weddings can take place in a Mormon meetinghouse in the “cultrual hall,” but not in the chapel. The wedding can also take place in a private home or other venue. After being marreid civilly, a couple may be sealed in a Mormon temple one year later, if they meet the requirements to enter the temple.
Latter-day Saints consider marriage their most crucial decision. For them, it will determine their eternal future and relationships. Many are determined to be married in the temple of the Lord. Not all will do it. But the Church is hoping that most of the rising generation will choose to be married at the right place, right time, and to the right person, because this will make their marriage and family much stronger, and help them in their eternal progression.
Throughout the ages God has spoken to mankind by revelation. He has called ancient prophets such as Noah, Moses, and Abraham to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world and establish His kingdom in days past, and he has done so in our day. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly misnamed “The Mormon Church”) are grateful to know that God “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 10:18). Given ahead is a brief history of how the gospel of Jesus Christ was once again restored to the earth by God through a living prophet. The establishment of religious freedom in the United States was a key event that contributed to the unfolding of God’s work. It allowed people the freedom to seek out truths about God’s will, and live according to those truths–a young boy living in upstate New York did this very thing.
It started with a simple prayer of a young boy named Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith was eager to know about God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was born on December 23, 1805 in the town of Sharon, Windsor County in the state of Vermont. His family moved to Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) County in New York when he was about 10 years old. At age 14, Joseph Smith became concerned about his life and was wondering what God’s plan was for him. In about the year 1820, there was a great excitement about religion where people everywhere were saying different things about their idea or belief in God. He was diligent in studying the scriptures, which gave him guidance. One day while he was reading the epistle of James, he came across these verses, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” (Bible, New Testament, James 1:5-6).
These passages of the scripture entered deeply into the heart of young Joseph Smith. He said,
Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passage of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by appeal to the bible. At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture. (Joseph Smith – History, 1:12-13)
Through careful consideration, Joseph Smith decided to pray to God. He went into a grove of trees near his home and finding a good spot where he could say the prayer without disturbance, he went on praying. He said, Read more
Many people wonder what goes on in Mormon temples. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon Church is officially known, has been building a lot of temples across the world in the past few years. Because they are becoming more common, more people are asking questions about them. Why aren’t other people allowed in them? What happens inside? Why can’t people who go to the Mormon temple talk about it?
While it is true that only members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can enter temples once they are dedicated, being a member of the LDS Church does not give a person automatic entrance into a Mormon temple. Standards for entering Mormon temples are very high because those who participate in the ordinances of Mormon temples (also called Mormon temple rites) make very serious promises (or covenants) with God to live a very high standard in their lives. Mormon doctrine teaches that breaking these covenants brings very serious, eternal consequences. Therefore, the standards to enter temples are very high because the standards one must live after participating in Mormon temple rites and ordinances are even higher. God has set high standards to ensure that only those who are ready and who are serious about keeping these covenants really make those covenants. The consequences for making mistakes are much higher once a person has been through the temple. Thus, having high standards to enter a temple is really a way of protecting people who are not yet ready to live a higher standard.
There is nothing secret about Mormon temples. The rites and ordinances performed in them are, however, very sacred. These things are not talked about outside of a temple because of their serious nature. They should not be made light of or shared with people who are not prepared to understand them. This is why people who have gone through the temple are limited in what they can talk about outside of the temple.
There is nothing cultish or offensive in Mormon temples. This article will take the reader on a short tour of a Mormon temple.
The first ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ is baptism and confirmation. The Bible teaches that a person cannot enter into heaven unless he has been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. How can all those who died without a knowledge of the gospel then be saved? It is not fair or just to condemn them to hell for something they had no control over. This is why the Mormon doctrine of Baptism for the Dead exists. Baptisms can be done by proxy (or by a living person standing in for the deceased person). When a person is baptized and confirmed on behalf of someone who has died, Mormon doctrine teaches that the deceased then has the opportunity to choose whether or not to accept that ordinance.
The baptistries in Mormon temples are always located under ground. This adds to the symbolism of the ordinance of baptism by immersion of death, burial, and resurrection as well as the death of the old, sinful person, and the coming forth of the clean, sinless person. Temple baptismal fonts rest on the backs of twelve carved oxen. These oxen represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Mormons believe that Israel was a chosen people of God, and those who join the covenant of God today are adopted into one of the tribes of Israel.
A worthy member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints usually receives the ordinance of the endowment when he or she is going on a mission for the Mormon Church or is getting married. There are cases when single memebrs of the Church who are not going on a mission may get permission to go through the temple, though. The endowment is a series of lectures teaching participants about their true relation to God and about His plan for them. Here particpants receive instructions and make covenants with God to live His higher law and to help build His kingdom in the world they live in today.
While no ordinances are performed in the Celestial Room, it is the ending place of the endowment ordinance. Here people may pray, study the scriptures, ponder, and discuss quietly the things of God. It is a beautiful and peaceful place where one can be in the presence of God and receive revelation. This room is many people’s favorite room in the temple.
When two worthy members of the Mormon Church decide to get married, they may do so in a civil ceremony, which is no different than any other denomination’s ceremony: the union ends at death. In a Mormon temple, however, a couple can be married (or sealed in Mormon lingo) for eternity. Their union will go on beyond the grave, and any children born to them under this covenant will be sealed to them for eternity as well, as long as the couple is faithful to the covenants they make in the temple, both to God and to each other. The gift of eternal families is central to Mormon doctrine, and Mormon temples are key to eternal families.
My husband and I were married in the Los Angeles California Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints forty-three years ago.
I was a recent convert to the Church, and he had just finished serving a full-time mission for the Church in Europe. I was nearly finished with college, but he had barely started. It was a huge leap of faith, but the Holy Ghost had given us both a strong witness that we belonged together and that the time to marry was now.
Our backgrounds were very different, and we quickly discovered that men and women neither see things the same way nor communicate in the same way, but we anchored ourselves to our faith. In forty-three years we have seen the usual bouts of ill health and financial setbacks that assault everyone in mortality. We’ve raised six children and now have numerous grandchildren.
We came of age in the sixties, and our membership in the Church and our faithfulness to it protected us from the decade’s fascination with drugs and sex. Purity is a prerequisite for entering the temple. Repentance is an important aspect of the gospel, also. Purity and repentance continue to be important in our lives as we continue to strive to be worthy of the constant blessings of the temple.
Many nowadays think it is wise to live together before marriage to test compatibility. Statistics prove otherwise. Couples who cohabit before marriage are much more likely to be divorced later, than couples who do not live together. And couples who save intimacy for marriage have an even better chance to achieve a lifetime together. The divorce rate for Mormon couples who marry in the temple is only 7%, and that is still lamentable.
We look at our challenges differently than many other married couples, because we’ve been married in the temple. We don’t view ourselves as soul-mates, together only as long as we satisfy each other. Rather, we are co-partners serving the eternal marriage covenant. This is the way marriage is meant to be. Our children also serve the covenant. We all work together for the happiness of the family.
This doesn’t men we’re stodgy. One of us is a Blue-grass performer and the other a Hard Rock addict. We were both gorgeous and popular when we were younger, and can still impress a crowd. We’re both educated professionals, too. But the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important thing in our lives, and an eternal, happy family is central to it.