Press Kit
The Purpose of Temples

Topic

Latter-day Saint temples are not places of Sunday worship. They are erected for specific, Christ-centred ordinances designed to unite family members in an eternal unit. Nowhere is the Latter-day Saint emphasis on the importance of the family better exemplified than in our temples.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recognizes the validity of civil marriages and regards them as legally and morally binding contracts. However, the Church teaches that such marriages end at death, having no validity beyond this mortal life. It is possible for marriage and family to continue beyond the grave only when couples have their marriages and families sealed for eternity. Such marriages must be performed in a sacred temple, by the authority of the holy priesthood.

Latter-day Saints believe deeply in the eternal nature of the family and view temples with reverence and respect. They also believe that for sealing ordinances to be valid, husbands and wives must show complete fidelity to each other throughout life and be obedient to the Lord's commandments.

Members of the Church also believe that these special marriage ceremonies and other religious services can be performed on behalf of departed ancestors by living descendants. Commonly, Latter-day Saints stand as proxies for their own ancestors in these ceremonies, uniting husbands and wives, parents and children, in an eternal union.

Family History

As an integral part of this temple work for deceased ancestors, the Church operates the largest genealogical library in the world. The Family History Library is situated near Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. The Church and its members have gathered millions of volumes of birth, marriage, death, and other records. Today hundreds of millions of microfilmed records are available for research by the public. Hundreds of Family History Centres in Church buildings in Australia and around the world are available to genealogists, regardless of religious belief.

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