Joseph Smith in 1841 to build a temple at Nauvoo, Illinois.
"Let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal
mine ordinances therein unto my
For the next four years, the Saints worked mightily on
the temple. "The Church is not fully organized, in its
proper order, and cannot be," Joseph taught the saints of
Nauvoo, "until the Temple is completed."
The temple would
serve as a house for religious assembly, instruction and
ordinances. Joseph taught the doctrine of baptism on behalf
of the dead at a funeral in April 1840. This
ordinance, Joseph taught, should be performed only in
the temple. The news that members could be baptized for
their deceased relatives was received with jubilation. In
addition, the Prophet Joseph began in 1842
administering the first temple endowments to a small group of
faithful men and women in his Red Brick Store and at other
ordinances, a source of "gladness for the living and the
dead," are performed in Latter-day Saint temples
1. D&C 124:40.
2. D&C 128:19.
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).
In a general sense, a gift of power from God. Worthy members of the Church can receive a gift of power through ordinances in the temple that gives them the instruction and covenants of the Holy Priesthood that they need in order to attain exaltation. The endowment includes instruction about the plan of salvation (The Guide to the Scriptures, "Endowment," 73–74).
Blessings of the Temple
Learn more about Joseph Smith, the Temple Builder.
Learn more about the Nauvoo Temple.
Click here to go to the official Temples section of lds.org.