Why are temples important?
By Donovan Marshall and Noah Talley
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has nearly 300 temples built all throughout the world. Why so many you may ask? To bring the blessings of eternal families to all nations, kindreds, and tongues.
A core component of the temple is the power that is given from God to perform sacred acts of faith, called ordinances. This power is called the priesthood, and is it given so “the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption.” (Alma 13:2). Worthy males can receive the priesthood, and use it to perform sacred ordinances in the temple. Such holy ordinances bring us closer to Jesus Christ. When ordinances are performed, promises with Christ are made, which spiritually strengthen us and guide us throughout our lifetime pursuit to live with God again. We can be redeemed, or saved, when we make special promises with Christ, are baptized by a worthy priesthood holder, and are obedient to the promises made.
Not everyone who has lived on earth has had the chance to be baptized. However, we read in the scriptures that “except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5) It is necessary that each child of God be baptized so they can return back to their Father in Heaven. God gave us temples so that people can perform baptisms for and on behalf of deceased ancestors who were not able to be baptized themselves. This is something special that members of the church 12 years old and older enjoy doing as often as possible. This is one way that the temple can bless families, and every individual.
Families have the ability to live together forever through ceremonies performed in the temple. One of these ceremonies is called temple marriage or sealing. In this ceremony, spouses and children can be sealed together forever. Thanks to the ordinances performed in the temple, the phrase “till death do we part” does not restrict families to the grave. Instead, spouses and children can have the comforting assurance that they will live with their families again after death. Only in these sacred buildings can Christ bless us with an everlasting marriage that goes beyond the grave. This is what takes the sting of death away from members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As more temples are constructed, the blessings that come from the temple will be available to more people across the world. To enter into the temple a preparation is required. However, everyone is welcomed and encouraged to come to the temple to admire it, learn about it and feel God’s love. At the Rome Italy temple, there is a visitor center where you can come to learn more about the temple and the promises we make therein.
For more information about temples, visit churchofjesuschrist.org, talk with local missionaries, or schedule a tour at the visitors center.