Maybe you know some LDS people who were married in one of our temples and you weren’t invited to the ceremony. And maybe that left you feeling kind of hurt, or confused, or upset that you weren’t able to be there when your friends or family members were married. They might have done what we did, which is have a ring ceremony before their wedding reception where more people were able to come, but it probably was different than most wedding ceremonies you’ve been to, because that was not the “real” ceremony--the couple was already married when they had that little ring ceremony.
So what are temples and temple marriages? Temples are literally houses of the Lord. There are currently almost 200 temples around the world, everywhere from Los Angeles, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to the most recently dedicated in Paris, France. They are big, beautiful buildings where especially sacred work is done. A temple marriage is a sacred sealing ordinance. It’s different from “regular” marriage ceremonies because of one crucial thing: temple marriage means eternal marriage. “To Latter-day Saints, marriage is much more [than a social custom]. We believe that marriage is the most sacred relationship that can exist between a man and a woman. This sacred relationship affects our happiness now and in the eternities.” (True to the Faith; Marriage)
In marriages outside of the temple, the phrases “til death do you part” or “as long as you both shall live” are used. But in the temple, those phrases do not exist. A temple marriage means that even after one spouse dies, and after both die, you are still married. In heaven, you will still be husband and wife. In temple marriage ceremonies, the sealer (the one performing the marriage), uses the phrase “for time and for all eternity.”
Why would you want a temple marriage? I feel like once you understand what a temple marriage is, this question pretty much answers itself. A temple marriage means being with the ones you love for eternity. It means that even if your spouse dies before you, you will never completely lose them. It means that any children you have will automatically be part of your eternal marriage, as an eternal family, and you will never lose your children.
“Children born to parents who have been sealed in the temple are born in the covenant. These children automatically become part of an eternal family. Children who are not born in the covenant can also become part of an eternal family once their natural or adoptive parents have been sealed to one another. The ordinance of sealing children to parents is performed in the temple.” (True to the Faith; Temples)
Why are only certain people allowed inside the temple? To enter the temple, one must be worthy. This is because, as we’ve explained before, temples are sacred places. To be worthy to enter the temple, you must: be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, keep God’s commandments, etc.