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What is the difference between attending a church and attending a temple?

Official Answer

Our churches are dedicated public places of worship where Mormons and visitors can meet to pray, study scripture, partake of the sacrament, and continue to learn their responsibilities as children of God. The temple is literally, as it has been throughout history, the "house of the Lord" (see 1 Kings 6:1, 37). The primary purpose of the temple is to provide a dedicated place where sacred ordinances needed for eternal life can be performed. Because of its sacred nature, attendance in the temple is limited to Mormons who obey God's commandments and therefore are worthy to enter.

  • Church meeting houses are used for daily meetings such as worship services, youth activity nights, and social gatherings for families or other groups. They are places where we meet together to strengthen one another. While we respect and care for our Church buildings, they are meant to be used--by everyone for any good purpose--as often as needed. In contrast, temples are special buildings dedicated to performing ordinances (sacred rites performed under the authority of the priesthood) that we believe are necessary in our journey home to Heavenly Father. Those ordinances give us knowledge and let us enter into covenants (sacred promises) with Heavenly Father. We perform those ordinances first for ourselves, then, as we return to the temple, we can serve our family, and all of the human family, by performing those ordinances for others who have passed from this life. In the process, we have a chance to listen, learn, ponder, and pray about the covenants we previously made ourselves. Because of the sacred and serious nature of the covenants we make, we do not share details of those ordinances outside of the temple. In addition, only church members who demonstrate commitment to living the principles of the gospel may enter the temple. All members are invited to become and remain worthy to enter the temple, receive the sacred ordinances, then return again and again to deepen their understanding and serve our ancestors. Show more

  • Attending church: I have had many voluntary positions in the Church like Sunday school teacher, leader of the adult priesthood quorums, and an employment specialist. Each month I am responsible to visit five families in our ward (parish), teaching them gospel principles and helping them in times of distress or sickness. Attending the temple: Every other Wednesday, my wife and I attend the temple and volunteer our time to help record baptisms done for those people who have died and did not have the opportunity to hear the gospel, accept it and be baptized for themselves. It is an ordinance that must be done here on earth, so we, the living, perform them vicariously. It allows these people who have already passed to the other side to continue their progression and eventual exaltation. However, it is up to each individual to accept or reject the work done for them. It is never forced upon them. Show more

  • I think the difference between weeking attendance at church and temple attendance is similar to that of high school and a university. Today, everyone is expected to attend high school and there you learn the basics and continue to build upon the foundation you received in elementary and middle school. Depending on how well you performed in high school in classes and extra curricular activities, and depending on your desire, you can apply to a university for further learning and specializing in a specific field that will hopefully lead to employment and the ability to be self sufficent and a contributing member of society. Weekly church attendance is like high school. On Sundays, we participate in the sacrament, serve in callings, learn & benefit from reading scripture & hearing the lessons. The spirit there helps motivate us to continue through the week. We have homework too: personal scripture study, prayer, & other assignments or activities. All this helps prepare our spirits & minds to be ready to meet the requirements to attend for the Lord's university: the temple. Before entering the temple, each member has to meet certain requirements. Once those are met, through two interviews, we are given a recommend stating we are ready & worthy to receive more knowledge, to make & keep more promises with the Lord which in turn, as we keep those promises, or do our homework, He can bless our lives in ways unimaginable. As we earn those "good grades" we can gain eternal life. Show more

  • Please come to church! There are so many buildings built for Sunday worship that people don't realize they are welcome to attend. Please come, and ask questions. These buildings are open pretty much all day on Sundays. The temple is a place where we perform sacred ceremonies. It is a place of peace and reflection. Were it to be open to the public, some of that quiet peacefulness could be compromised. After a person has been a member for a year and has come to understand the importance of the temple, they receive a recommend to go to the temple whenever they are seeking its blessings. Show more

  • We go to church weekly to worship and take the sacrament, which is like communion. Everyone, no matter their faith, is welcome to come to church services and learn more about the Gospel. The temple is a special place where members make further promises to Heavenly Father that they will keep his commandments. It is also where we are married, or sealed together, and where we can be baptized and sealed for our family members who have died before having those opportunities in life. To go to the temple you need a card called a temple reccomend from your church leaders that confirms that you are currently doing your best to follow Christ and His Gospel as a member of the Church. Show more

  • Attending a Mormon church is where we hold regular Sunday meetings. All are invited to attend. We sing hymns, listen to speakers talk about gospel subjects, and partake of the Sacrament which helps us to remember Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he made for each of us. Attending the Mormon temple is different in that worthy members of the church attend on days other than Sunday. Sacred ordinances are performed there for ourselves and our ancestors. Show more

  • "Church" is held weekly on Sunday at a local meeting house. We worship God and partake of the Sacrament, the emblems of Jesus Christ's death, in Sacrament meeting. We study and learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ in our other meetings. People attending our weekly meetings do not need to be even members of the church to attend. On the other hand, our temples are especially sacred places, where one must be members of the Church in good standing to attend. This means we need to sustain our leaders, pay our tithing, and obey all the commandments of God to be able to attend the temple. In the temple we make sacred covenants with God. We receive knowledge we need to return to live with God after this life. We also can be sealed when we are married to our spouse eternally. We are then also sealed to our families forever. If a couple wasn't married in the temple originally, they have the opportunity to be sealed when they are ready. Nothing done in the temple is contrary to teachings in the Bible. Show more

  • Attending church on Sundays is a weekly activity that involves everyone. Anyone can attend our church meetings and are welcome to do so. We do try hard to make people feel comfortable, but occasionally we forget and fall into our "Mormon lingo". If that happens to you just kindly ask you neighbor what they are talking about and they will gladly explain. Sunday services include partaking of the sacrament. The sacrament is a priesthood ordinance where we partake of a morse of bread and a sip of water to remind us of the atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ and to renew our promise to always remember Him in our daily lives. Attending the temple is different. We do not partake of the sacrament in the temple, and all who enter the temple have proven a basic level of worthiness to enter therein by firstly becoming members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You need to have been baptised for at least one year to qualify for a temple recommend, this and have two worthiness interviews with your bishop and a member of the Stake Presidency. These interviews are meant to see if you have a basic testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and undrstanding of the gospel. The temple is a sacred place, a holy place where only those who have strong faith are allowed to enter. The temple is where other sacred ordinaces are performed that allow the individual to progress even futher towards becoming more like the Savior than before. Show more

  • We attend church each week and partake of the Sacrament to renew covenants that we made at Baptism to follow him and remember him. We attend the temple to gain a better understanding of Gods plan for us and make covenants that will allow us to return back to him some day as famlies and with those we love.  Show more

  • Attending church is a weekly thing. It is to strengthen you, and your in a "community" of members striving to do their best. Serving and living. Yes, we have separate families, but belonging to a "ward", or congregation, is like a family all together. No one is perfect - and I am probably not the first one to tell you that - right? But being part of a ward helps you in staying stronger in the Gospel, not only in your personal life, but in your family life as well. You don't have to be perfect to be a member of this church, just keep living and trying your best every day! The temple gives serious direction. It is like you can sit back and focus on things in your life, and in your families lives and ponder more directly about them. As you do that, within the walls of the temple, you can receive inspiration from Heavenly Father. It can truly happen, because I have had that happen to me. I testify of that. It is true. I don't receive answers all the time, but sometimes I go there to find peace and get away from it all. When you walk into the temple, you can leave out all the things that happen out in the world and can "get away from it all". Attending the temple also gives you more strength to deal with things when you are done there. Trust me, I need the temple and the peace that it brings to my life. I would HIGHLY recommend you investigate the church, join and then learn about the temple, pray, have your couple of interviews and then go! You will be glad that you did! Show more

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