3 Reasons You Can’t Just Walk Into the New LDS Temple in Utah
Big news for the LDS community in Pacific Northwest!
A new LDS temple is expected to open its doors on October 27 in Utah.
Among many things, LDS temples are known for their beauty, craftsmanship, and their exclusivity. Unlike Catholic cathedrals that invite non-Catholics to join Mass or tour the facility, non-Mormons, also known as Latter-day Saints (LDS), are generally not allowed inside LDS temples for three reasons.
1. LDS temples are sacred spaces.
They're reserved for religious ceremonies and special occasions. All visitors must conduct themselves in a way that respects and honors the sacredness of the temple.
2. To be granted access, you must be considered "temple-worthy."
In the literal sense, there's a process you must undergo to prove your worthiness that includes several interviews, demonstrating appropriate conduct, and declaring your faith in certain LDS teachings. If you're not an LDS member, it's highly unlikely you would meet those standards.
3. Like most private organizations, the LDS Church sees safety in exclusivity.
Like all religious organizations, the LDS church goes to great lengths to safeguard its members, beliefs, and practices. To ensure their temple ceremonies aren't misunderstood or disrespected, limit access to non-members to protect the integrity of their practices.
If that seems unfair, consider this: private local organizations like the American Legion, Boise's exclusive Arrid Club, and even health clubs like The Gym on Eighth & Main do the same thing.
All are welcome to visit LDS temples, just not all the time.
The church isn't opposed to outsiders. Open houses at visitor centers near temples organize public-friendly events on a regular basis. This way, non-Mormons can learn about the religion's rich history and beliefs without going inside the temple itself. It's kind of like a way to share their faith and be open about it.
Friends of LDS members are welcome on special occasions.
Close friends of LDS members are welcome to attend special ceremonies at temples. Just a few years ago, my family and I were invited to the LDS temple on Chinden and Linder for our close friends' daughter's baptism. And just this past weekend, we attended the baptism of their youngest daughter at their church in Nampa.
Over the last several years, the Christmas season has also presented opportunities for non-members to tour the stunning temple in Eagle and enjoy an incredible holiday concert.
LDS temples aren't completely closed-off to the public.
It might seem inaccessible, but the LDS Church basically exercises the same level of exclusivity as other private organizations when it comes to admission into their temples.
In short, they're concerned with respecting their beliefs and the sanctity of the their temples. They do, however, make many efforts to educate and engage with the wider community in other ways. If a non-LDS member has a problem with that, it's probably for the best that they avoid LDS temples and churches altogether.
Book a tour of Utah's new Orem Temple.
Admission to Utah's newest temple is free; because of this, it's best to make reservations to ensure a seamless visit.
The tour is a guided walking experience, lasting about 40 minutes, providing visitors with the opportunity to fully engage with the temple's spiritual atmosphere. Click here to book your tour.
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