What’s that church next to the Porta di Roma?
by Benjamin Checketts
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I [the Lord] may dwell among them.” (Ex. 25:8)
What does this have to do with the regal looking church standing to the east of the Porta di Roma?
Quite simply, everything.
This building is the Rome, Italy temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its visitors center is open for free tours from 9 am to 9 pm seven days a week, no reservation required, and take this article as your invite. Just come, we are eager and waiting to share the special significance of this building in the gospel of Jesus Christ with you!
For the most up-to-date information, please visit: https://tempiodiroma.org/visitors-center/
“So, it’s a church?”
Yes, And so much more!
It is definitely a church in the sense that it’s a sacred edifice built by the willing sacrifice of the faithful membership of our church and dedicated to the worship of God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son. However, it is not where our weekly worship meetings are held (generally called simply “sacrament meetings”). You will find a modest, yet elegant chapel on the same grounds as the temple and its visitors center.
“So, why is it special?”
The unique stated purpose of the temple is engraved above the doors: “Santità all’Eterno, La Casa del Signore”. In English: “Holiness to the Lord, The House of the Lord” (see Exodus 28:36;39:30, Ps. 93:5). Like the temple of Herod where both Jesus and His disciples worshiped, before and after His death on the cross; its predecessor the temple of Solomon; and the Israelite tabernacle referenced above, this temple represents our vicinity to God and His desire to “dwell among” His people. It is the house of God on the earth today, so if you feel a special spirit or find that your experience visiting the temple is different from your experience at other churches (even in the Eternal City) don’t be surprised.
“So, if it isn’t a ‘church,’ what happens there?”
In the temple, we follow the command of Jesus Christ when He asks, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29). A yoke is a tool used when working with beasts of burden, such as horses or oxen, that attaches the two animals together and encourages them to unite their efforts. In like manner, in the temple we perform sacred ordinances (take baptism, a religious ceremony, for an example) and make covenants with God. These covenants are commitments to obey His commandments which invite His help into our life, thus binding us to Him and Him to us. In the temple, we learn about our sacred relationship with Jesus Christ, feel His redeeming love, and find a rest for our souls not available anywhere else.
If you already love Jesus Christ, or want to know why we do and what a relationship with Him can do for you, come give us a visit!