This article is one in a series of articles about explaining our Mormon beliefs to our friends. See other articles in this series.

A Mormon temple is a sacred building reserved for special religious worship, and the temple experience is a deeply personal one for each participant.

Mormon temples are different from their meetinghouses (churches) used for Sunday worship services. There are thousands of Latter-day Saint meetinghouses around the world, and visitors are always welcome no matter what their faith.

In contrast, there are only about 140 LDS temples around the world. They are reserved for only the most dedicated of Latter-day Saints for religious sacraments and personal devotions. This helps preserve the sanctity and the feeling of holiness associated with temples. However, before a new temple is dedicated for worship, the Church holds “open houses” for the public so everyone can see what temples are like inside.

What happens in Mormon Temples?

The temple experience is a deeply personal and sacred experience, where the most faithful members of the Church make covenants to consecrate their lives to God.  The most significant temple sacraments are the endowment, marriage sealing, and baptism for the dead.

The endowment is a gift of knowledge that the temple visitor receives that teaches God’s plan of redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ. During the ceremony, Church members make individual promises to live the teachings of Jesus Christ and keep the commandments of God.

The marriage sealing is a ceremony that unites a husband and wife in a marriage that lasts forever if they honor their commitment to each other and to God. This ceremony also joins children to their parents in the same way.

Mormons believe that these religious sacraments may be performed for those who have died without having had the opportunity to perform these ceremonies for themselves in this life. Therefore, faithful members of the Church go to temples to perform these services for their ancestors who have died, by being baptized in their behalf, receiving the endowment, and participating in the sealings of husband to wife and children to parents. Participants believe that the departed soul has the right in the next life to accept or reject these offerings of love.

Here are some resources to learn more about Mormon temples:

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