When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints builds a new temple, the sacred building is opened for public tours. Anyone can attend this open house, which usually lasts a few weeks. After that, the temple is formally dedicated and is open only to Church members who are actively engaged in the faith.
During an open house, visitors learn more about the purpose of temples and why they are important to Latter-day Saints. The open house experience begins with a short introductory video, and then a volunteer tour guide takes visitors into the temple. Once inside, the guide explains the functions of the main rooms, which may include instruction, marriage, or baptism. The tour guide also gives a brief explanation of the Latter-day Saint belief behind these functions. At the end of the tour, visitors are led to a reception and refreshment area where volunteers are available to answer additional questions.
Temple open houses are free but may sometimes require tickets due to high demand. In addition to the public tours, temple open houses often include tours for neighbors, contractors, construction workers, local media and invited community and government dignitaries.
To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temples are the “house of the Lord,” the most sacred places on earth. Temple services bind families together forever, teach the purpose of life and explain God’s plan of salvation. Temple attendance emphasizes personal spiritual growth and strengthens Latter-day Saints’ commitment to following the example of Jesus Christ.
There are currently 150 operating temples worldwide and 27 announced or under construction.