Friday, August 22, 2008

Temples: House of the Lord. Part 2

People are often curious about what we do inside temples. There are several purposes for the temple. In the temple we can:
--Learn sacred, eternal truths.
--Receive important ordinances. One of these ordinances binds husband and wife, as well as their children together as an eternal family unit. (as opposed to earthly marriages which declare "Until death do you part".)
--Perform ordinances for those who have died without having the ordinances performed.
In 1 Peter 4:6 we read: "For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." When a person dies, they go to the spirit world. While there, they have the opportunity to hear the gospel. 1 Peter 3:18,19 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;"
One of these temple ordinances is that of Baptism for the dead. 1 Cor. 15:29 teaches us: "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" This was an ordinance practiced in times of old. This ordinance has been restored today and is once again practiced in holy temples.
Through the Priesthood power, sacred ordinances help us to progress and gain spiritual blessings that help us in this life, as well as in the life to come. The temple can give us a place of refuge from the evils of the world. It is also a place to contemplate the eternal plan and our place in that plan. All worthy members are invited and encouraged to attend the temple as often as possible to recieve their own ordinances, as well as to perform those same ordinances for their ancestors who died without that opportunity. Through this holy service, not only are our ancestors blessed, but we are blessed as we have the opportunity to contemplate the meaning of the ordinances and their place in the plan of salvation.
Let me finish the words to an LDS hymn, How Beautiful Thy Temples Lord by Frank I. Kooyman:

How beautiful Thy temples Lord! Each one a sacred shrine,
Where faithul Saints, with one accord, Engage in work divine.
How beautiful some aid to give To dear ones we call dead
But who indeed as spirits live; They've only gone ahead.

How beautiful Thy message Lord, The Gospel pure and true,
In these our days to earth restored And taught to men anew.
How beautiful its faith and hope; All mankind it would save,
Including in its aim and scope The souls beyond the grave.

How beautiful Thy promise Lord, That we may grow in truth,
And live, exalted by the word, In endless, glorious youth.
With loved ones sealed in holiness By sacred temple rites.
Worlds without end we may progress From heights to greater heights.

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