Note: The Nauvoo Illinois Temple is no longer open to the public. There Open House was held in the spring of 2002 after they had finished the construction. On June 27, 2002, the temple was dedicated and since that time the only persons allowed to enter the temple are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Mormons] who hold a temple recommend. So, if you missed the Open House, I am truely sorry. It was inspiring. If there is another Temple Open House, consider going, for many people it is truely a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Go to their official website for more information: www.lds.org
Nauvoo - a Unique Experience
Thursday May 9th as we drove into Nauvoo the first glimpse of the Temple took my breath away. It is a beautiful sight. Not just for its obvious perfection in workmanship but for what it stands for - the sacrifice and persecution of a unique and devout people.
The five-floors [and a basement], 54, 000 square-foot temple sits upon the original 3.3 acre temple block. It stands 162 feet 5 inches tall with a statue of angel Moroni at its peak. Circular staircases are situated in each of the four corners of the temple. The raw materials were brought in from all parts of the world - such as: mahogany from India; window glass from France and Germany; limestone from Alabama; and the doors and window frames were handcrafted in Nauvoo; other items were fashioned in Canada, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Idaho and Utah. In every way possible, the rebuilt temple is a replica of the original.
Upon entering the grounds, one is directed to parking and transported to the Joseph Smith Visitor Center. From there, tickets are checked and recorded and the line forms. Groups of 30 are taken into a small room where they are greeted and watch a 12-minute video on the purpose of temples in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On the way to the temple itself, cameras are checked so that one is not tempted to photograph the interior of the sacred temple. At the entrance to the temple, street shoes are covered with cloth-like footies by youth volunteers from the church.
Two guides are provided for the group; one to lead and one at the rear to keep the group together. At each room the guide explains the reason for temples and what each room represents. One of the first room that is entered is the baptismal font. The font sits upon the backs of twelve carved oxen - which represent the twelve tribes of Israel mentioned in Genesis of the Old Testament of the Bible. This font is not used for living member baptisms - it is for baptisms for the dead.
The LDS church teaches that all persons must accept God and be baptized to be saved. Those who did not have the chance to accept the gospel while here upon the earth are taught in the spirit world and baptized by proxy. "By proxy" means that a temple member will be baptized in the name of the person who has already passed on. If the person has accepted the teaching of the gospel in the spirit world then they will choose to accept the baptism work that has been performed for them.
Other rooms in the temple consist of: The Creation Room; The Garden Room; The World Room; and the Celestial Room. The rooms are filled with wonderous murals painted by artists. Attending the temple teaches members more about God and their relationship with Him. They also teach the members of their purpose on earth. Ordinances performed and covenents made in the temple are sacred.
The Sealing Room is where couples are sealed, in other words - married, for "time and all eternity." The LDS church believes that marriages and families are eternal and must be sealed together. Children are also sealed to their parents. This ordinance may also be done "by proxy" for our ancestors who has passed on after their baptism work is completed.
After completing our tour of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple, we were led back to a reception area for light refreshments, literature if one was interested, members to answer any questions we might have and a beautiful view of the Mississippi River. Our trip to Nauvoo was fascinating, emotional and spiritual. We'll definitely return.
We also visited a number of the historic homes and businesses that have been restored in Nauvoo. See the article on Historic Nauvoo Restored.
Also for more information read A Brief History of Nauvoo
More information on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Have fun in your own backyard!
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