Mormon Temple Endowment

Mormon Temple Endowment

By Doris

The Mormon Temple Endowment is the main ordinance that is received in a Mormon temple. Mormon doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often misnamed the “Mormon Church”) teaches that there is a series of ordinances that are essential to obtaining salvation. They are all equal in importance, so the endowment is not any more or less important than the others, but it often comes to mind as the ordinance performed most frequently in Mormon temples.

The first ordinance necessary to salvation is baptism and confirmation. The second is the Sacrament, which is similar to the Eucharist or Communion, and is administered every Sunday to members of the “Mormon Church.” It is a renewal of one’s baptismal covenants. The third ordinance, according to Mormon doctrine, is the Mormon temple endowment. In this Mormon temple rite, the participant learns more about his or her true relationship to God. Participants covenant to live a higher law than other people are held to, though there are no surprises in the covenant. All these commandments are contained in the scriptures; the difference is participants are making sacred promises to live these commandments.

Consequences come along with the covenants. If the person keeps the promises he or she has made, specific, wonderful blessings are promised in return. If the person fails to keep those covenants, there will be eternal consequences. The purpose behind all of this is to live with God again. However, God cannot tolerate the least degree of sin. This means that in order to live in His presence, we must also be perfect beings and live His laws exactly. This lifetime is a probationary time we have to learn, by trial and error, to live the laws that God lives. Certainly no one will achieve perfection in this life, but if we are doing our best to live these laws, constantly exercising the cleansing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives, we will be much further along the road in the next phase of our existence.

The Mormon temple endowment is a sacred ordinance and is a wonderful experience. It is filled with symbolism to keep the participant learning at his or her own level. Each time someone returns to the temple, he or she can learn something new. Impressions come through the Holy Spirit which speak peace to the heart and soul and enlighten the mind.

Some people feel suspicious that there must be something shady going on if people refuse to talk about these things outside of Mormon temples. However, it is only because of the sacred nature of these things that they are not discussed outside of Mormon temples. They are not to be mocked or treated lightly, so only those who have already proven themselves willing to live a higher standard are permitted to enter Mormon temples. Again, this is not to keep people from participating; it is to protect them from the consequences of breaking eternal covenants with God if they are not prepared to keep them.

The gospel of Jesus Christ invites all who will come to come and partake of the living water of His teachings. His whole purpose is focused on bringing souls back to God. There is not one soul He esteems above another. However, He also recognizes that God’s law is absolute and those who wish to be in His presence must abide by that law.

I can say from personal experience that participating in Mormon temple ordinances like the Mormon temple endowment is a wonderful opportunity that I cherish. It brings me closer to the Savior and makes me a better person. I am grateful each time I go to a Mormon temple for what I learn and am able to participate in. It gives me a chance to separate myself from the cares of the world and serve selflessly, boosting my spirit and bringing me peace.

Additional Resources:

Mormon Temples

Mormon Temple Ritual

Mormon Doctrine

 

Rome Italy Mormon Temple Construction Continues

Rome Italy Mormon Temple Construction Continues

By Doris

Construction is continuing on the Rome Italy Mormon Temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which church is often misnamed the Mormon Church). Pictures of the progress were recently released. The Rome Italy Mormon Temple is being constructed in the Settebagni area of Rome. The temple and its complex of beautiful buildings reside on a 15-acre piece of land and will serve more than 23,000 members of the Church in Italy and neighboring countries.

Rome Mormon TempleThe groundbreaking ceremony for the temple took place on October 23, 2010, with church president Thomas S. Monson in attendance. “My heart is filled with gratitude,” President Monson declared. “Members throughout Italy, and the entire Mediterranean area, will be able to come here.”

The Rome Italy Mormon Temple has been a long time in the making. Local authorities recognize the advantages of cultivating such a nice area for committed religious worship, however. “A ceremony that profoundly touched me for the sincere and heartfelt appreciation of those attending,” said Senator Lucio Malan, one of the local government representatives, “A positive day for Italy because those who profess to obey the laws of the state and the laws of God make the country in which they live a better place.”

The beautiful temple grounds will focus on the Rome Italy Mormon Temple, but will also house a new religious and cultural center, including a multifunctional meetinghouse, a visitors center, a family history center, and housing for patrons of the temple. Many of the buildings will be open to the public and will be of benefit to the community. The gardens will also be open to the public.

Rome Mormon TempleWhile the Rome Italy Mormon Temple will not be open to the public once it has been dedicated, there will be an open house period during which members of the public can take a free guided tour and learn a little bit more about what temples mean to Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”) and what takes place in them. Faithful Latter-day Saints participate in sacred ordinances in Mormon temples like eternal marriages. Mormon doctrine teaches that families can be together forever, not just for their temporal lives. In order for a family to receive the blessing of eternal ties, however, certain covenants must be made in a Mormon temple. Other ordinances take place in Mormon temples where participants covenant with God to live a higher law. These covenants are taken very seriously.

The Rome Italy Mormon Temple exterior will be made from granite with decorative glazing. As with all Mormon temples, the interior will also be made of and decorated with the finest workmanship. This temple will be decorated with marble, woodwork, Venetian plaster, and decorative painting. The final size of the temple will be about 40,000 square feet. It will have two large spires.

When it is completed, the Rome Italy Mormon Temple will be the twelfth Mormon temple in Europe and the first in Italy.

Additional Resources:

Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ

The Gospel of Jesus Christ Has Been Restored

How do Mormon temples differ from synagogues?

How do Mormon temples differ from synagogues?

By Dallin Kimble

From Adam to the present day, men and women have always sought communion with God. He is our Heavenly Father and will answer our prayers as we show our faith in Him. One way the Lord has taught us to show our faith in Him is through the construction of holy structures and the participation in sacred rituals and worship within them.

Mormon TempleIn ancient and modern Judaism, construction of altars, tabernacles, synagogues, and temples have been used to provide a place for the words of God, for the gathering and teaching of the people, or the performance of sacrifices and other rituals, respectively.

The synagogue is perhaps the most prominent structure for modern-day Jews. It functions similarly to how a church building may function in Christianity as the center of a religious community. Synagogues are always deliberately constructed to face Jerusalem. Synagogues are places of prayer, study, and education. They are also used for charitable efforts and as social centers.

Synagogues are considered second in sanctity only to the Temple, (which for faithful Jews means the temple of Solomon to be rebuilt in Jerusalem by the Messiah). Though Jews can pray anywhere, certain prayers can only be said in the presence of a group of 10 adult men and greater merit is given to prayers spoken in groups. Children receive their basic religious education in synagogues, and observant Jews will study their entire lives from the library found in most synagogues. For these reasons, rabbinical literature sometimes refers to a synagogue as a “little temple.”

A synagogue may also host both religious and non-religious social events and activities. Synagogues provide a place for people to discuss the important issues in their communities and for collecting and dispensing money and goods to aid the poor and needy.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (called“Latter-day Saints” or often nicknamed “Mormons” for their belief in the Book of Mormon) also build different kinds of structures with different purposes and different degrees of sanctity. Church buildings, also sometimes called meetinghouses, serve the general needs of the membership much like a synagogue does for Jews. Here Mormons will hold worship services, participate in the sacrament (or communion) which takes place in the chapel of the meetinghouse), study the scriptures, and host various social gatherings or activities in less sacred areas of the building such as the cultural hall.

To faithful Latter-day Saints, temples are the holiest structures on earth. In temples, couples may wed and families can be bound together forever. God promises in temples to give all that He has to those who covenant to obey His commandments and to lead virtuous lives. Those same blessings can be extended to deceased family members as living descendants complete the same ordinances and rituals on behalf of their ancestors. Latter-day Saints believe that deceased individuals may then choose to accept or reject these ordinances.

Mormon temples are dedicated as houses of the Lord where the Lord himself may come. They are sanctuaries from the world where we may feel closer to our Heavenly Father. As a result, temple worship brings peace, spiritual strength, and answers to the prayers of those who participate. Worthy Latter-day Saints may return frequently to learn the Lord’s will for them, pray for comfort or strength for themselves or those they love, or to participate in ordinances that bring families together forever.

Though Jewish synagogues are more similar to Mormon meetinghouses than they are to Mormon temples, all of God’s children from Adam to the present day have found answers to sincere prayers as they have shown their faith in God. If you desire to know whether temples really are houses of God where we can unite ourselves with our families for the eternities, we invite you to kneel in prayer. If you ask in faith, God will surely answer.

Dallin Kimble is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (ʺMormonʺ). He is a devoted husband and father of two, a freelance writer, a leader is his local town and a graduate student of Public Administration at Arizona State University. More of his writing can be found on his blog at principlesofthegospel.blogspot.com.

 

Additional Resources:

Why Latter-day Saints build Temples

The Church of Jesus Christ

Worship With Latter-day Saints

Temples Bring Mormons Closer to Christ

Temples Bring Mormons Closer to Christ

mormon-temple-Campinas-BrazilTemples belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which church of often misnamed the Mormon Church) seem mysterious to a good part of the world. Because admittance is limited to faithful Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”), many people of other faiths feel a suspicion of what must go on inside Mormon temples. However, the truth is that entrance is limited because these buildings are set apart and dedicated to the Lord. In Mormon doctrine, there is no more sacred place on the earth than a temple. It is literally the house of the Lord. Mormon scripture states that “no unclean thing shall be permitted to come into thy house [the temple] to pollute it” (Doctrine and Covenants 109:20). Thus, only those who are living the laws that God has set as the standard for entering His house are permitted to do so.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am very grateful for Mormon temples. From the time I first went through to make personal and eternal covenants with God, I have returned frequently to feel again of the Spirit of the Lord. Whenever I go to the temple, I learn something more about my true relationship to God and to His Son, Jesus Christ.

Many times I have felt the Spirit touching my heart, soul, or mind, enlightening a principle here or testifying of another principle there. I learn line upon line, precept upon precept (Isaiah 28:10) the deeper doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

After a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has gone through a Mormon temple for the first time, he or she has made covenants with God to live a higher law or standards. These covenants are made only one time. However, Mormon doctrine teaches that the ordinances available in Mormon temples are essential for every individual’s exaltation. Because Latter-day Saints also believe that these ordinances are available only in this life, it is also part of Mormon doctrine that these ordinances must be performed vicariously for those who did not have the chance to receive these ordinances in life.

Any names submitted to a Mormon temple must be submitted by direct descendants of the people whose names are submitted. Other people can then help in completing the proxy ordinance work, but only family names should be submitted. This has caused a lot of controversy in the media, because it is easy for people who do not fully understand the principles behind this work to see this as taking away a deceased person’s free will, performing these ordinances whether that person wants to accept them or not. The doctrine in this area is clear: free will is an eternal principle. No one can be baptized against his or her will. When these ordinances are performed by proxy, it is with the understanding that those people still have the freedom to accept or reject those ordinances. However, before those ordinances were performed by proxy, there was no choice at all available to the deceased.

mormon-temple-interiorServing in a Mormon temple is one of the most selfless acts of service a person can perform in this life. Strictly speaking, this service does not benefit the giver of service in anyway. They are simply giving of their time to perform these ordinances so that others may have the choice of accepting or rejecting this work. Now, anyone who has had the privilege to perform these ordinances, as I have been blessed to do, realizes that there certainly are blessings for this service. That time I mentioned earlier, spent close to the Spirit offers cleansing, teaching, and comfort. This does not, in my opinion, make the service any less selfless, but I want to make it clear that any time spent in a Mormon temple will inevitably result in a person feeling closer to the Savior, whether that person is there for him- or herself or to do proxy work for someone else.

As a Latter-day Saint (“Mormon”), I feel so blessed to be able to attend Mormon temples. My time there continues to testify to me that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He is the literal Son of God, who atoned for the sins of the world. He gave His life to overcome the power of the grave, that each of us could be resurrected. I know that He rose from the grave and that He lives, on the right hand of God, today. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to bring this knowledge to those who have not yet been blessed to receive it.

Additional Resources:

Mormon temples

Jesus Christ in Mormonism

Mormon beliefs 

Photographs of the Rome Temple Site

Photographs of the Rome Temple Site

Rome Mormon Temple Land

Rome Temple Land

 

Rome, Italy Mormon Temple Site

Rome, Italy Temple Site

 

Rome Mormon Temple Site

Rome

 

Rome, Italy Mormon Temple Area

Rome, Italy Temple Area

 

Future Rome Mormon Temple Site

Future Rome

 

Rome Mormon Temple Plans

Rome

On Sunday, July 10, a letter from the Rome Italy Stake Presidency was read in area sacrament meetings announcing that construction of the temple had officially begun. Since the formal groundbreaking in October, activity at the temple site has been limited to site activities including clearing, grading, transplanting, erection of a construction fence, and placement of construction trailers.

 

Rome Mormon Temple Construction Site

*As construction progresses, the submission of regular photographs is highly appreciated by members worldwide who wish to witness the construction of this beautiful temple in historic Rome.

Mormon Wedding

Mormon Wedding

Mormon weddings, when performed civilly, like in churches or other venues, are no different than other denominations’ wedding ceremonies in western cultures. The only difference arises when Mormons are married in Latter-day Saint (LDS) temples.

mormon-marriage-mesa-arizona-templeMormon doctrine teaches that families are eternal units and have the potential to remain together forever, when they are sealed together by the proper power and authority. Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called the Mormon Church) are the only place in the world where these sealings can be performed. In order to be married, or sealed, in a Mormon temple, a person must have been a faithful member of the Mormon Church for at least one year. Then, after an interview with one’s bishop and stake president (which interview is necessary for anyone entering the temple), if a person is found to be living a worthy life, he or she is given a temple recommend which lasts two years.

If a person wants to get married in the temple, this often requires sacrifice. Mormon doctrine teaches chastity before marriage and complete fidelity inside of marriage. This means abstinence from sexual relations before marriage. While the world is saying that sexual activity is normal and acceptable, the Mormon Church maintains that all sexual acts should only be exercised within the bonds of marriage. Thus, if a couple chooses to participate in this behavior before they are married, it will make it much more difficult to be married in the temple, though certainly not impossible. The Atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible for each of us to repent of our sins and mistakes. If this process is gone through correctly, then individuals may become worthy to go to the temple.

Another sacrifice for those who choose to get sealed in the temple is that only those family members and friends who are also worthy members of the Church may enter the temple to attend the marriage ceremony. This may be particularly difficult for any people who have family members who are not members of the Church or who are not worthy to go inside the temple. This may also exclude many friends from being able to attend the ceremony.  Most family members who cannot enter the temple wait outside and gather for photographs when the wedding party exits the temple.  Since a ring exchange is an optional part of the temple ceremony, some couples schedule a ring exchange at their reception, thus making family members not able to attend the temple feel more a part of the union.

mormon-temple-sealing-roomTemple sealings are very simple ordinances. There is no fanfare, no organ playing, no bride walking down the aisle and being given away by her father. The priesthood holder performing the ordinance does just that; he performs the ordinance. He may choose to say a few words to the couple, but the ordinance itself takes only a few minutes. The couple kneel at an altar and look into reflecting mirrors, which cast infinite reflections. This symbolizes the eternal nature of the covenant they make to God and to one another to commit to their spouse forever. It is a unique and wonderful experience.

Reading this, one may wonder what the big deal is and why anyone would choose to get married in a Mormon temple if it would exclude any loved ones from attending such an important event. The answer is simple. Those who have a true understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ recognize that there is no greater blessing than an eternal family. If that blessing can be obtained in no other way and in no other place, it is worth any sacrifice to be the recipient of that blessing. All civil marriages are performed for the balance of this life only. Mormon temple sealings are the only marriages which have the bond placed upon them, by power and authority of the priesthood, for time and all eternity.

When a couple is sealed in the temple, all children born to them afterwards are automatically part of that covenant and are sealed to them eternally also. If a couple decides to get sealed after having been married civilly, any children they had previous to the ordinance must be sealed to them in an additional ceremony in the temple. The blessings which come to those who choose to get sealed in Mormon temples are numerous and powerful. Any family who is sealed has a bond of protection among them, if they are faithful to the covenants they have made. It is easy to see, when one understands the sealing power, why Mormons choose to be sealed in the temple.  Read more…

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