On March 27,
1836, Joseph Smith dedicated a temple in Kirtland, Ohio, the
first built in the latter days. "I have accepted this house
and my name shall be here,"1 the Lord Jesus Christ
proclaimed in a vision to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery just a
week later on April 3. Not since ancient times had God
commanded his people to build a temple. He promised
the Saints that in his holy house they would be "endowed
with power" and "taught from on high."2 Thus the prophecy of
partially fulfilled that in the last days the Lord would
"suddenly come to his temple."
At great personal
sacrifice, the early Saints gathered to build temples to
God. Today more than 120 temples across the world stand as
sentinels of "the power of godliness"3 and as sanctuaries from the
storms of life.
In the temple,
the faithful can receive ordinances of salvation for
themselves and act as proxies for their families, learn
eternal truths, and feel the peace of the Lord.
1. D&C 110:7.
2. D&C 43:16.
3. D&C 84:20.
The second elder of the restored Church and one of the Three Witnesses to the divine origin and truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. He acted as scribe while Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from the gold plates (see Joseph Smith—History 1:66–68; The Guide to the Scriptures, "Cowdery, Oliver," 56).
Sacred rites and ceremonies. Ordinances consist of acts that have spiritual meanings, such as covenants with the Lord (The Guide to the Scriptures, "Ordinances," 184–85).
An Old Testament prophet who lived about 430 B.C., Malachi foretold the time when the Lord would restore His temple and visit His people there (see Malachi 3:1). He also prophesied that Elijah would come to restore the keys of turning the hearts of generations toward one another.
The Lord's people have gathered in all dispensations to strengthen one another and to build temples. Today Saints gather to stakes of Zion throughout the world (see D&C 115:6).
Learn more about Joseph Smith's role in building temples.
Learn more about the Kirtland Temple.
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