Temples Make Forever Families

Families Can Be Forever

A distinctive Latter-day Saint teaching is that marriage can be for eternity. Such marriages must be performed in a temple by someone who holds the priesthood, which is the authority to act on earth for God. For temple marriages to remain in effect, a husband and wife must love and be faithful to each other and continue Christlike service and commitment throughout their lives. In 1995, Church leaders emphasized the importance of marriage and family in an official declaration entitled The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

Temples and Genealogy

Millions of people have lived and died without ever learning about the teachings of Jesus Christ and without belonging to His Church. For these people, the Church teaches that ordinances such as baptism and eternal marriage should be performed on earth in behalf of the dead. Latter-day Saints stand as proxies for their own ancestors in these ceremonies, which are held only in sacred temples. They believe these ordinances are valid only if the ordinances are willingly accepted by their deceased ancestors, who even in the next life retain the moral agency to choose.
Church members are taught they have a religious obligation to trace their own genealogies and perform temple ordinances for their ancestors. For Latter-day saints, temples and family history are therefore inextricably connected.
In June 2000, the Church had 85 operating temples and another 36 under construction or in the planning stages.

Family History

To help trace deceased ancestors, the Church operates the largest genealogical library in the world, the Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. The Church and its members have gathered millions of volumes of birth, marriage, death, and other records. Today these microfilmed records are available to the public for research at no cost. The microfilms are available at the library in Salt Lake City, or they can be ordered for use at over 3,400 Family History Centers around the world.

© 2000 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

© 2000 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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