Elder Mark E. Petersen has said that temples built by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “are different from all other buildings in the world. Beautiful structures have been erected by other peoples, of course, and some of them have been called temples, but none has either the purpose or the functions of the Mormon temples.”

Elder John A. Widtsoe, a member of the Council of the Twelve (1921–1952), explained that a Mormon temple is:

  1. A place of instruction.

  2. A place of peace.

  3. A place of covenants, which will help us live righteously.

  4. A place of revelation.

  5. A place where ceremonies pertaining to godliness are presented.

  6. A place of blessing.

  7. A house or home of the Lord. Should He visit the earth, He would come to one of His temples.

Boys and girls in the Salt Lake Valley have been busy the last year helping to build the new Jordan River Temple, just as girls and boys in other areas of the world have earned money to help build temples close to their homes. Some children have made and sold food or other items, and many have gone without something they wanted so that they could accept the invitation of President Spencer W. Kimball to receive the blessings promised to members of the Church who contribute to building temples.

After being sealed to their families or being baptized for the dead in the Washington Temple, several boys and girls wrote their impressions:

“Sealing means to be put together as a family and bonded for eternity with a bond that cannot be seen or heard or touched yet stronger than any earthly force.”

Jeffrey S. Hollar

“Getting sealed to my parents and my sister is about the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Until a year ago my father wasn’t a member of the Church. We had all waited many years for him to join the Church. I am very thankful to know that I will be with my family forever.”

Kenneth Dupree

“I felt good and I felt God. It was a good experience for me.”

Eddie Thwaite

“It was the best thing I ever went to. I wish I could do it all over again.”

Bryon Richwine

“I think the temple is a very happy place to be. So if you happen to need help, get in contact with Heavenly Father.”

Shelia Overdorf

“Well, I waited a long time to be sealed, but just think how long and lonely the wait would be if I weren’t sealed to my parents. I’ve enjoyed being a member of the Church, to know of the truths. I love it and enjoy coming to the house of the Lord.”

Toni Lyn McCartney

“When you get sealed your parents may cry. And do you know why? They want you to know they love you and they will have you forever and ever. And it might make you cry too.”

Tammie Jean Musgrove

“I think being sealed to my parents was the greatest thing that ever happened to me here on earth.”

April Gagner

“I would like to bear my testimony that I know that this Church is true and I’m glad to be a member. When my dad wasn’t a member of the Church I thought that we would never be sealed. My dad grew stronger in the Church, and he was baptized last year. Now we are sealed in the temple and I’m very happy! Now I can live with my family for time and eternity. I love my family very much.”

Sylvia Haarsma

“I’m very glad to be sealed to my parents. Now I hope I will live a clean life and get married here some day.”

Dawn Fehr

“I liked it very much and it was special to me. I started crying and so did my mom. I’m glad I was sealed to my parents.”

Syndee Thomsen

“I thought it was very wonderful when we went up to the sealing room to be sealed to our parents for all time and eternity. We looked in the mirrors and saw ourselves going on and on and on.”

Brian Hubmann

“The feeling I had was the most wonderful feeling I ever had. It is a feeling no one can describe.”

Van Warner

“I think that it helped me better understand certain ordinances of the gospel. I felt the spirit of the Lord so strongly and a warmth within me.”

Taft Benson

“I really enjoyed doing baptisms for the dead. Each time I went down for someone I could almost see in my mind what that person looked like. I am hoping to finish my genealogy and do my own work. I hope to stay worthy and reach celestial glory.”

Brenda Gayle Noland

Illustrated by Jillair Henrie