This morning Deb and I went to the open house for the Draper, Utah temple. The edifice is beautiful in both design and purpose.
Before a new temple is dedicated and its doors closed to all but faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, any person, Church member or not, may tour the building and learn more about its sacred purpose in God's plan for us, His children.
Once dedicated the Draper, Utah temple will be the 129th operating LDS temple in the world. Amazingly, in my lifetime I've witnessed that number grow from under 50 temples to where it is today. Truly the Lord is blessing us all by bringing the blessings of the holy temples to peoples around the world.
A temple is different than a meeting house, or chapel. Everyone is welcome to come to an LDS worship service, but temple attendance is reserved for faithful members of the Church.
The purpose of temples is to teach God's children His eternal plan for them. There we learn more fully the answers to "life's great questions" such as where do I come from, why am I here, and where do I go after this life.
The idea of the temple is not a new one. In fact, temples have been the center of worship in all civilizations in all ages of the world. The ancient Jews had the tabernacle in the time of Moses, Solomon's temple and its successor after the Babylonian captivity, and the temple of Herod which stood in Jesus' day. Jesus Himself cherished the temple and honored its sanctity, driving out the money changers on two different occasions. Modern scholars such as Hugh Nibley and Margaret Barker have greatly increased our understanding of the centrality of the temple in ancient religious thought and worship.
I am grateful for the blessings of the temple. When I married Deb, I did so in the Boise, Idaho temple. There we received the promise that if we remain faithful to God our marriage relationship will not end at death but endure for eternity. Knowing how much I love her now and that cultivated love tends to grow, I rejoice in the prospect of staying by her side forever. Through temple worship I have a better understanding of Paul's statement to the ancient Corinthians, "neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).
You too may enjoy all the blessings of the temple, God has commanded none to not partake of all that He has in store for His children. Instead, God has given His Son Jesus Christ to stand as the supreme example in whose footsteps we must follow. To learn more about God's plan of happiness, please visit www.mormon.org or ask me a question through the comments feature below.