Temple 

Summary

A sacred edifice “built unto the Lord.”1 In both the Bible and Book of Mormon, temples were built as places of worship.2 As early as 1830, church members expected to build a temple in the New Jerusalem, or city of Zion.3 Revelations in 1830 and 1831 indicated that Jesus Christ would appear in the temple as part of the ushering in of his second coming.4 On 3 August 1831, JS laid the cornerstone for a temple in Independence, Missouri.5 A September 1832 revelation stated that “the glory of the Lord” would fill the temple.6 In December 1832, a revelation commanded the Saints to build another “house of God” in Kirtland, Ohio.7 The structure was formally known as the “House of the Lord,” but it was occasionally referred to as the temple.8 Aside from worship, this structure provided space for ecclesiastical administration, education, and training of priesthood officers.9 In June 1833, JS and his counselors in the presidency sent Missouri church leaders plans calling for twenty-four temples to be built in Independence; some of these temples were not to be used as places of worship, but instead were to be used for other activities performed in the name of the Lord.10 The House of the Lord in Kirtland was the church’s first completed temple, dedicated on 27 March 1836.11 According to the dedicatory prayer, the structure was built “that the Son of Man might have a place to manifest himself to his people.”12 Those ordained to the ministry were there to receive an endowment of power to enable them to establish Zion.13 In the church’s second completed temple, in Nauvoo, Illinois, Saints were also to receive sacred ordinances pertaining to post-mortal life, including the sealing of matrimonial vows and instruction on progressing on the path back to God; they were also to perform proxy ordinances for the dead.14 See also “House of the Lord” and “Endowment.”