Hong Kong, China Temple
The Church now has a website designed to give information about the temples. It includes a list of all of the temples, and their schedules, as well as pictures. In this past weekend's General Conference, the construction of 5 new temples was announced; Lisbon, Portugal; Indianapolis, Indiana; Urdaneta, Phillipines; Hartford, Connecticut; and Tijuana, Mexico. The website also features recent talks and articles about the temple. There are currently 134 temples in operation.
A temple is different from a normal chapel; in the temple, we perform sacred ordinances for ourselves, and for our deceased ancestors. Some of those ordinances include baptism for the dead, and eternal marriage.
In our religion, as with some other Christian religions, we believe that baptism is a necessary ordinance in this life. But what about those who for reasons out of their control never had the opportunity to be baptized? God loves us, and provided a way that even those who never had the opportunity in this life can be baptized by proxy in holy temples. Baptism for the dead was practiced in Bible times, and because of the restoration of the gospel in these latter days, it has been restored along with other sacred ordinances.
I heard an interesting story lately about eternal marriage. A member of the church was trying to explain the importance of a temple marriage to a non-member. He asked him to think back to the day he got married, and repeat what the Pastor marrying them had said. He reminded him that the Pastor had said, "Til death do you part." Inherit in that marriage contract is also a divorce decree. That marriage has already been determined to end at death. But in sacred temples, through the power of the holy Priesthood of God, we can be "sealed" to our husband or wife, so that after this life our marriage will continue on. The family is the most important unit in God's kingdom. It was never meant to end at death. Through the Priesthood power, we can perform the necessary ordinances to assure that our families are an eternal unit.
I hope you enjoy browsing the Church's website about temples. If you have any question about the purpose of temples, please feel free to ask me here.