There is no better way to start this post than with a few photos of Temples located around the world.
Those admitted inside of the temples hold a current temple reccomend. It can seem confusing to some that we can seem so secretive about what happens inside of such beautiful buildings. I admit that I heard many horrifying rumors about the temple growing up, some stories told in jest, and others thought to be true. The temple is not secret, it is sacred. I think it would help if you heard from one of our church leaders what temples are for.
Elder Boyd K. Packer answered that question:
The ordinances and ceremonies of the temple are simple. They are beautiful. They are sacred. They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared. Curiosity is not a preparation. Deep interest itself is not a preparation. Preparation for the ordinances includes preliminary steps: faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, worthiness, a maturity and dignity worthy of one who comes invited as a guest into the house of the Lord. All who are worthy and qualify in every way may enter the temple, there to be introduced to the sacred rites and ordinances.
LDS.org points out that many people believe the temple is like a large, grand cathedral. In fact it is made up of many different rooms, all of which serve a specific purpose. As members we enter to make sacred covenants with the Lord, and we return often to both perform the same work for others, as well as to remind ourselves of the covenants we have made. One of my favorite things about the temple is that after the first time through, each trip is an act of service for another person. It’s a wonderful sacrifice of my time.
After a lot of digging, I was able to find some images released by the Church of the inside of the magnificent Salt Lake City temple. Did you know that this temple took 40 years to complete? It’s definitely a goal of mine to visit this temple at least once in my life.
The baptistry. Members begin doing baptisms at the age of 12. I used to love our youth temple trips when I was younger.
Per, LDs.org, “The endowment is given in rooms painted to represent the Creation, the Garden of Eden, this world, and terrestrial conditions.” In the Salt Lake Temple this includes the creation room, the garden room, and the world room.
The creation room
The garden room
The world room
The lower grand hallway
The upper grand hallway
The terrestial room
The celestial room
“The celestial room, with its beautiful furnishings, suggests the noble and exalted conditions awaiting the faithful.”
A sealing room
“There are more than a dozen sealing rooms for ordinances of marriage and of sealing children to parents.”
Another sealing room. I was sealed to my husband in a room much like this one. You can barely see it, but each sealing room includes the “forever mirrors”. It is two mirrors set across from each other, which cause the reflection to go on forever. We believe that our marriage lasts beyond death, extending forever, and the sybmolism is very beautiful.
The council room of the first presidency and the twelve apostles
“The Salt Lake Temple also has council rooms for the presiding priesthood quorums of the Lord’s church, and a large assembly room for meetings.”
The main assembly room
“As did ancient Israelites, we Latter-day Saints regard temples as places set apart, places to which we may go to draw close to God. Temple sites are revered as sacred ground. The spiritual atmosphere found in temples is further nurtured by the character of those who enter therein and by the nature of the instruction and ordinances presented.”
I hope that after seeing these photos, and reading a little bit about what happens inside of the temples you understand the term “Sacred, Not Secret” a little bit better.
I know that the work of God happens inside of these temples. I know that because of this work, families are sealed together for eternity. I’m so happy to know that no matter what happens, I’ll be with That Husband again someday, forever.