LDS Question 6: Why do LDS or Mormon Temples exist?
If you are sincerely interested in the truth, then have a prayer before you read any of my writings in answers to these questions . . . ask your Heavenly Father to let you know if what you are reading is true; because only God knows all truth. And, should you feel that it is . . . then, welcome, and learn more . . . contact me or your local missionaries; go to lds.org > Share the Gospel > Referrals for Missionaries . . . fill in the information, and they'll be there soon.
Until the vision and instruction given to the young Prophet Joseph Smith personally by our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Prophets sent to the young man Joseph . . . no faith on the earth knew that God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Ghost are three separate beings!! As well, no human or religion on the entire face of the earth knew anything about these three very important questions; 1. Where did I come from? 2. Why am I here? And, 3. Where do I go after this life?
Now, because of the vision of the young lad Joseph Smith and, thereafter, the coming forth of the modern day Restored Gospel (with the 12 Apostles, etc., that was taken from the earth anciently through the death of the twelve Apostles who Jesus Christ had chosen and ordained to lead his church) such questions are now answered.
We learn, when reading the scriptures, that repentance (sorrow for our mistakes and desire to change) and baptism via the Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ is the only way any human being can attain forgiveness of sins (through the atonement of our Lord) and salvation (or a wondrous life after this mortal test). But, the question naturally arises, "What happens to all the millions and millions of our fellow human beings, who have lived on the earth, but never had the opportunity to hear and accept [or reject] the Gospel of Jesus Christ?" All religions on the face of the earth—prior to Joseph Smith’s vision had no answer to this question. Some say they are damned souls, without choice and without hope. Others have no answer at all . . . for they don’t know. This is why, with the restored Gospel, through Jesus Christ Himself, “personally” . . . the truth is again upon the earth and we know the answers to this question and many others.
In the Book of Malachi in the Old Testament of the Bible, it is written that the restoration of the Priesthood authority of God and the keys of sealing via Elijah the Prophet will again be established on the earth in the "last days." This event has occurred. For the Prophet Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple on April 3rd, 1836 and restored the sealing authority that made it again possible so that that which is bound on the earth, is also bound in heaven. Hence, came the establishment of temples . . . as they existed anciently.
In the temples of God located now all over the world—baptisms for the dead are performed in behalf of all those who have died not knowing Christ (the answer to the above question of what happens to these people who died without knowledge of Jesus Christ?).
And, as you now know, when one is married on the earth in any other church, the marriage is only until death do them part. But, now the keys of eternal marriage are restored, and marriages are performed, by those with priesthood authority, for time and all eternity BOTH for living couples married in the temple . . . and for couples long deceased.
Since the truth has been restored again . . . and the sealing authority again placed upon the earth, the Spirits of those who have died in the past are taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Spirit World; they then have the right to choose to believe and accept, or disbelieve and reject the Gospel taught to them.
As marriages only can be performed in mortality, IF those in the Spirit world "accept" the Gospel, they are then given the opportunity to attend one of the temples on the earth; and, while they are within the temple, a living proxy (person attending the temple in their behalf) takes upon them the deceased’s name . . . and goes with that name through a temple and are baptized, confirmed and through a process called the Initiatory and then goes through a ceremony called an “Endowment.” Which then prepares the way for the deceased person to then be “Sealed” to their spouse who has, likewise, had their names taken through the temple; and then, that couple is married for all time and eternity. Also, the children who were born to that now deceased family can go through the same process in the temples and, therefore, whole families are sealed together for time and eternity. So, we now know that FAMILIES ARE FOREVER and do not end at death.
Since the restoration of truth, we have also learned that little children who die before the age of 8 are Spirits of perfect beings, and only needed to come to earth to receive a body of flesh and bones (like our heavenly parents possess) and are automatically saved in the Kingdom of God and have no need for baptism . . . but will be eternally linked to the father and mother to which they were born . . . as a part of their family.
This is what happens in the Mormon Temples of the Lord?