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What Happens inside a Mormon Temple?

By Mormon.org

Along with Sunday worship services, Mormons regularly attend and worship inside Mormon temples. Inside a Mormon temple, worthy Mormon members make covenants with God and perform sacred saving ordinances such as baptism for the dead.

What Really Occurs inside a Mormon Temple?

While Mormon temples look different than other Mormon meetinghouses, it’s not their outward appearance that makes them special. It’s what goes on inside Mormon temples and what happens in the hearts of those who visit them that makes them different.

Mormon temples are where sacred saving ordinances are performed. Those saving ordinances include baptisms for the dead, marriage sealings, and the endowment.

Baptism.

Mormons don’t perform regular baptisms inside their temples. They perform baptisms for the dead, which is where a Mormon Church member stands in and is baptized for someone who is dead. This ordinance is performed to give those who weren’t baptized, or who weren’t baptized with the proper authority while they were alive, the chance to be baptized and to accept that baptism and receive the blessings of eternal life.

Marriage.

Mormons believe that marriage doesn’t have to end when you die. They believe that both marriages and families can be eternal. But in order for them to be eternal, couples have to be married, or sealed by the proper authority, for time and all eternity inside Mormon temples. Jesus gave this sealing power to His Apostles, saying, “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (see Matthew 16:19).

The Endowment.

The endowment is a gift of power that includes instruction about God’s plan of salvation, as well as instruction and covenants a person needs to make with God in order to achieve eternal life. Those covenants include promising God to keep all of His commandments, being a faithful husband or wife, and sharing of one’s means and talents to help build up God’s kingdom.

Mormon temples are a place of peace and happiness. They provide a chance for people who enter them to feel peace and happiness as well as reflect on life, learn about eternal truths, and seek answers to personal prayers. 

Who Can Enter Mormon Temples?

Mormons believe that temples are the most sacred buildings on earth, and that entrance into a temple requires a certain level of understanding and belief in LDS doctrine, as well as personal worthiness. Because of this belief, not just anyone is allowed to enter a Mormon temple, not even every Mormon.

After a temple is built, but before it’s officially dedicated and opened, there is an open house where anyone can take an educational tour inside of the temple. Once the open house period is over, only Mormons who are at least 12 years old and who keep God’s commandments may enter. Those who are younger only participate in baptisms for the dead, while adults take part in other ordinances.

Mormon temple services aren’t done in secrecy; rather, Mormons hold these services privately because of the sacred nature of temples and the ordinances performed inside them.