There is sometimes confusion about our temples from the fact that not just anyone can walk inside and look at one. You can do that at one of our churches or visitor centers at the temple, but inside the temple is considered a very sacred and holy place. It’s called the House of the Lord.
When you turn 12 years old, you are interviewed by the bishop of your local congregation (ward) and he determines the worthiness to enter the temple. Since Gavin just turned 12 recently, we went to the temple Saturday for his first time. We went there to perform baptisms for the dead. This might sound strange if you’ve never heard of it before, but it is simply our belief that everyone needs to be baptized as a saving ordinance. In other words, it is a necessary ordinance in order to return to our Heavenly Father. (John 3:5)
So what about all those who have lived and died without this saving ordinance? Well, that is where these proxy baptisms come in. We search out our ancestors who did not have the opportunity to be baptized, and we are baptized by proxy for them. We do not believe that this requires them to accept the baptism. It just means that now it has been done and if they so choose to accept it, they can enjoy the blessings of baptism just as if they had been baptized while alive. Pretty neat stuff huh?
So Saturday we went and did these baptisms for the dead. It’s a wonderful experience. I believe that those who have passed on to the other side are much closer than we might think. When I hear of someone saying, “I must have had an angel looking over me,” I think it is most likely someone they are connected to. An ancestor. Possibly one they know. We don’t hear much of angels or even of God in public discourse. It seems to be a bit taboo. I’m a firm believer in a loving God who cares about His children here on earth. I find that when I stop my hectic life, push pause on all the things on my crazy “to do” list, and I go to the temple, life seems to be put into perspective and I am at peace. Going to the temple makes me want to be a better person.
From a Facebook Post, August 6, 2017