This morning, the public tour reservations for the new Payson Utah Temple opened! Hooray! I’ve been watching this beautiful holy house rise for the past 3 years and I’m so excited to get to go inside! I have my reservation for the second week of May. 🙂 Before a temple is dedicated there is always an open house with free tours offered to the public for about 4-5 weeks. Thousands of people are expected to attend these tours, and an army of amazing volunteers will perform a beautiful streamlined process of bringing all those people through. Here’s a recent photo I took of the Payson Temple (Note: That’s my poor photo skills leaning, not the building!) I particularly love all of the curved edges, and the spire design on this temple. And aren’t the mountains behind gorgeous?
One of the most precious and important blessings members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints receive is to have temples on earth. Our temples are not used for weekly Sunday worship services – they are actually closed on Sunday. We use chapels for Sabbath meetings, but temples are open during the rest of the week for a higher level of worship. Our temples are patterned after ancient holy temples of Biblical times. The Old and New Testaments include many references to temples. The children of Israel used a portable temple, the tabernacle of Moses, during their journey in the wilderness; later Solomon’s temple was built in Jerusalem, and Jesus Himself was found teaching in Herod’s temple from a young age.
“There were particular special ceremonies, rites and sacraments that were administered only in this sacred, set-apart place. That was the purpose of the temples. It provided that supernal special place to be able to perform those sacred rites.” – David A. Bednar, LDS apostle
We believe our church is a full restoration of Christ’s New Testament Church, and therefore we build temples in latter days just as Christians did in ancient days. As of this moment today, there are 144 operating temples, 14 under construction and 15 announced for a total of 173. These numbers grow each General Conference. Latter-day Saint temples are places for the highest sacraments of our faith. Everything in the temple is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, and on our Heavenly Father and His plan of happiness. Everything inside the temple is ennobling, uplifting and edifying. There is the greatest peace and serenity in the temple. Whenever I enter the temple I always feel like a heavy weight is being lifted off of my shoulders. I am able to leave all of the world and its trouble outside, and simply focus on heavenly things. I emerge feeling refreshed and strengthened, and ready to take on the world again. This is my temple – very near my home – the Bountiful Utah Temple. I love it so much.
Temples are primarily places of sacred learning and instruction. They are considered in a very real sense the Lord’s University.
“We learn about our relationship with God. We learn about the purposes of our life here upon the earth. Questions such as where did we come from? Why are we here? What happens to us after we die? Those questions are addressed and answered in the instruction that’s presented in the temple. We also make promises to live honest, upright and virtuous lives.”
The crowning glory of a temple is the celestial room, which is a representation of heaven.
Once a temple is dedicated, it is closed to the public. I love Elder Bednar’s insightful explanation,
“There are pre-requisites in many forms of life. You cannot take advanced courses in chemistry until you have mastered the basics. And the same thing is true of the Lord’s university. You have to meet the pre-requisites. Anyone can come if they are willing to abide by those commitments.”
My greatest desire is to share the blessings and joy I have of the temple with others. If I could, I would help everyone in the whole world learn about the temple and meet the pre-requisites so they can enter the Lord’s University – His Holy House – Heaven on Earth. There’s nothing more wonderful in all the wide world than this! – MoSop
Don’t miss this lovely video! ♥