Last August, a Mormon temple was dedicated in Kiev, Ukraine. Youth from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Russia, Moldova, Georgia, Romania, and Ukraine participated in a huge youth cultural celebration to celebrate the coming of a temple in their midst.
Temples are important to Mormons because therein, we can receive saving ordinances, including the sealing of families together. Through temple marriages, husbands and wives are sealed to each other beyond death, not just “’til death do us part.” Children are bound to parents, and generations are linked to each other. Mormon focus on family history work ties closely to our belief in the blessings of temple work for in addition to receiving ordinances for ourselves, Mormons also perform vicarious ordinances for those who have died, who hadn’t received them in mortality. We believe that people can then choose whether or not to accept those ordinances. The doctrine of work for the dead is a testimony of our belief that God is no respecter of persons and provides all of His children the opportunity to receive the ordinances of salvation.
Temples to Mormons are Houses of the Lord. The temple is a place where Mormons go to come closer to God and to keep an eternal perspective in life. The temple becomes a symbol of our faith in life after death, in God’s plan of salvation, and a testimony of the importance of families in that plan, of the reality of resurrection, and in our faith in Jesus Christ.
Before a temple is dedicated, it is open to the public to enter and see what a temple looks like inside. To see some photos of the interior of an LDS temple, see the following:
Inside the LDS (Mormon) Twin Falls [Idaho, USA] Temple [this temple is now dedicated but there are many photos of the inside of the temple in this informational video that was created for the open house for this temple]
My husband served a mission there over 15 years ago. Back then, there were just branches. He was remarking that some of the young men and women in the video were just babies and may not have even been born when he was there. It is very rewarding to see the fruits of your labors. Don has a great story where one day they were on the street tracting and he felt that he was literally placed in front of this one guy on his way to somewhere. He asked, “Do you want to know more about this book?” The guy said, “Yes.” Don got his name and contact info and the man was gone. He was not in his tracting area, so he passed the info onto the place where the guy lived. Months later, a missionary came up to him and asked where he found this guy. He said that the man had not only been baptised, but had brought his family and about 5 other families to the church as well. I think that he served in the branch at some point. It just goes to show you that through small and simple things, great things shall come to pass.