Photo Essay

Mormonism in Pictures: The Beauty and Purpose of Mormon Temples

This week, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the open house and dedication dates for the Gilbert Arizona Temple, the next temple the Church will open. The Church currently operates 141 temples around the world. In today’s Mormonism in Pictures, we feature photos of Mormon temples and discuss the role they play in the lives of Church members.

Mormonism in Pictures is a photo essay feature from depicting the Church and its members around the world.

Nauvoo Illinois Temple

Nauvoo Illinois Temple

In addition to regular Sunday worship in more than 18,000 chapels, Mormons also follow the biblical practice of worshipping in temples. The Church operates 141 temples across the globe.

Salt Lake Temple

Salt Lake Temple, viewed from Temple Square

For Mormons, temples are the world’s most sacred spaces, places where heaven and earth meet.

Jesus and the rich man

Jesus Christ

In Mormon temples, Latter-day Saints learn about Jesus Christ, the purpose of life and the importance of marriage and family.

Solomons Temple

Solomon’s Temple

Temples, such as Solomon’s Temple spoken of in the Bible, have been a vital part of religious worship dating back to Old Testament times.

Temple Marriage

Wedding day for a Latter-day Saint couple posing for photos outside a Mormon temple

The Mormon temple is a place where the most cherished human relationships are made eternal. Mormon couples are joined together in marriage in a temple ceremony called a sealing. Church members believe this bond unites the couple and any children they have together forever.

Temple Marriage Hong Kong Temple2

A family poses in front of the Hong Kong Temple following their sealing

For Latter-day Saints, the family is the most important unit both on earth and in the afterlife.

Hamilton New Zealand Temple

Hamilton New Zealand Temple

In a recent general conference address, Carole M. Stephens of the Church’s general Relief Society Presidency said the spiritual strength members receive from worshipping in a temple increases their “faith and determination to face the trials” of life.

kansas city baptismal font

The baptismal font in the Kansas City Missouri Temple

In temples, Mormons perform temple ceremonies on behalf of those who have died, a practice followed in New Testament times (see 1 Corinthians 15:29). This practice enables Latter-day Saints to form eternal connections between family members in heaven and on earth.

Panama City Temple

Panama City Panama Temple

Mormon temples are architecturally beautiful and often prominently placed. Because members see the temple as the house of God, the Church asks those who design and construct temples and their grounds to reflect that belief in what they create.

Once a temple is completed, the Church hosts an open house inviting people of all faiths to visit the sacred edifice.

Temple Open House

Visitors prepare to enter the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple during the open house. Shoe covers are worn to protect the temple floors.

During an open house, anyone is welcome to explore the rooms in the temple, assisted by a tour guide who explains what happens in the temple and answers visitors’ questions.

Gilbert Arizona Temple4

Gilbert Arizona Temple

The next temple open house will take place in Gilbert, Arizona, in January and February 2014. Free reservations for the open house can be made through the website in the coming weeks. The temple will be dedicated in March 2014.

St George Temple2

A couple enjoys a walk around the St. George Temple in southern Utah

Mormons believe that great peace comes from the sacred work they do inside a temple and that all people can feel something of that same peace when they are in or near temples. Mormon apostle Quentin L. Cook has taught that temples are a “source of peaceful refuge from the world” to all, including those “who visit temple grounds or participate in temple open houses.”

Angel Moroni SLTemple

Angel Moroni on the Salt Lake Temple

On most temples there is a golden statue of a man in flowing robes, with a long horn pressed to his lips. The statue depicts the angel Moroni, an ancient prophet and a central figure in the Book of Mormon. The statue is symbolic of the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

Additional Resources on Mormon Temples:

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