What Is a Mormon Temple Open House?
Whenever the Lord has had a people on the earth who will obey his word, they have been commanded to build temples in which the ordinances of the gospel and other spiritual manifestations that pertain to exaltation and eternal life may be administered. “And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually” (1 Kings 9:3).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often called the Mormon Church by those of other faiths) teaches the importance of temples. A temple is literally a house of the Lord. It is a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed. It is a place where the Lord may come and His Spirit can be strongly felt. It is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.
Mormon temple open houses are special events which take place after a temple is completed, but before it is dedicated. During this time, which usually lasts a couple of weeks, the temple is presented to the public: to both members of the Church and to non-member citizens in the community. This allows all people to recognize that temples bring blessings to all God’s children.
In a Mormon temple open house, all are allowed to come to see the beauty and grandeur both outside and inside the new temple. People from all different sectors, including those of various religious groups and media, are welcome to visit the temple, as long as they comply to the standards, policies, and instructions set in place for the protection of the new temple. There are personnel and missionaries assigned to mingle with visitors to guide or assist them in their needs. They are also eager to help these visitors by answering their immediate questions and in helping them understand the purpose of the new temple. They would also love to hear comments from them or to listen to their visitors’ concerns.
Temple open houses usually last for several days so that people from distant places may have the opportunity to come and visit the new temple. While picture taking inside the temple is not permitted, some pictures are shown here to give the reader an idea of what the inside is like. Temples are built out of only the best materials available, because they are the houses of the Lord.
Even before a temple is dedicated, it is still a holy place, so the atmosphere at open houses is peacefully and orderly. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Psalm 24:3–5). Nothing unholy or irreverent should interfere with a temple open house.
The dedication of a Mormon temple to the Lord is the climax of the open house period. During the day of the dedication, a member of the First Presdiency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers a dedicatory prayer to the Lord, turning over to the Lord all protection and power to help the temple accomplish its purpose. The dedicatory prayer also includes words of praises to God, an expression of joy and gratitude for the blessings now available to those who are worthy to receive them, and supplications for the protection and sanctification of the temple.
Today, there are around 134 Mormon temples in operation for the blessings of those who strive to live the gospel of Jesus Christ in almost many countries around the world.
Roy Patrick is currently working as a Call Center Agent in the Philippines. He served a full-time mission in San Francisco, CA. His family is one of the pioneers of the LDS Church in Panay Island, Philippines.
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