What is a Mormon Temple Open House?
A Mormon Temple Open-House is a special event during which a temple, right after its completion or renovation, is presented to the public — both to the members of the Mormon Church and to non-Mormon friends and families. The purpose of this is to acknowledge that there is a temple being erected for the blessing of all God’s children. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wishes to show the public that there is nothing secretive about a Mormon temple, and to explain what a temple is like inside and what is done in the temple. The guided tours are meant to do that. Most people feel the Lord’s spirit inside the temple, some profoundly so. They see that a Mormon temple is a place of light and peace, a thing of beauty, literally, the Lord’s house.
During the temple open-house all are allowed, including various religious groups and media, to come in and see the temple, provided that they comply with the policies or instructions given for the protection of the temple. There are assigned personnel from the Church and the missionaries to guide people through, as well as to assist them and answer their immediate questions about the temple. The open-house usually lasts for several days to two weeks, so that people from distant places might have the chance to visit the temple. Usually, one must have a ticket to avoid overcrowding, but these are always free. Some pictures of the newly completed temple are taken for documentation and for publication to the temple’s website. Often, a film is shown to people who are waiting, showing interior rooms and giving information about the temple. There are also announcements made for its dedication of the temple to the Lord, to establish all of its functions to glorify God and for the salvation of His people.
The dedication of the temple to the Lord is the highlight and culmination of the event. During the dedication, which is a service held in the temple and in overflow locations such as Mormon meetinghouses, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers a dedicatory prayer to the Lord. The prayer contains words of praises for God, an expression of joy and gratitude for the blessings now available to those who are worthy to receive them, a supplication for the protection and sanctification of the temple, and a request for blessings for the people. The dedicatory prayer is closed in the name of Jesus Christ. (Visit www.lds.org- Temples) Only worthy Latter-day Saints may attend a temple dedication, and they must obtain “temple recommends” from their bishop who determines their worthiness in an interview.
The temple literally is the house of the Lord. It is the most sacred place on earth, where the presence of the Lord can be strongly felt. It is a place where sacred and necessary ordinances or ceremonies are performed for the salvation of mankind. Only those who have accepted the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, repented of their sins, accepted the invitation to be baptized by those with proper authority, and who are living continuously the principles of the gospel in their everyday life can enter the temple. Everyone is encouraged to prepare themselves for the blessings of the temple. Throughout the history of mankind, the building of temples has been considered a sign of prosperity or victory and respect for Deity. For example, Nephi (a Book of Mormon prophet), built a temple after the manner of the temple of Solomon as a commandment from God and as a sign of prosperity. (See 2 Nephi 5:16).
There are around 134 temples in operation for the blessing of the lives of those who strive to live the gospel of Jesus Christ with all their heart, might, mind and strength. There are also places on earth in which temples will soon stand, as well places where temples are currently under construction. (Visit www.lds.org- Temples ).
1) See 2 Nephi 5:16
2) Visit www.lds.org- Temples