For the past year, the temple in Boise, Idaho has been undergoing extensive renovation. Now that construction is complete, the temple is open to the public for a short time before it is dedicated. During the open house, everyone is welcome to take a tour through the temple and see what is inside. If you happen to live within driving distance, or are passing through Boise, then it would be great to have you come visit the temple. At the moment, the Boise temple is the only temple in the world that is having an open house, however Brigham City, Utah and Calgary, Alberta had open houses in past months and you can anticipate being able to visit temples in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Gilbert, Arizona in 2013 after construction on each is finished. You can check here for an unofficial list of temples that have been announced or are under construction and here for an always up-to-date list of temple open houses.
If you have questions about temples, you can read our article about them here or shoot us a question.
Q: Do you baptize dead bodies?
A: Ewww. No. Absolutely not. Baptizing corpses would be really creepy. *Shudder*
We do perform ordinances for those who have died by proxy (that is, I might stand in for my great-great grandmother or something). Those vicarious ordinances are a large part of what happens in LDS temples around the world. However agency still applies in the afterlife. What I mean is, once a body and spirit are separated (see Life After Death – Part 1) the spirit retains the ability to make choices, to accept or reject these ordinances. No one is ever forced to become Mormon! Such a thing would inherently be contrary to the nature of God. Being baptized in and of itself does not constitute “Mormonism”. The person who the ordinance is performed for must always exercise faith and repentance before the ordinance of baptism will have any pertinence.
I certainly hope that clarifies that for you and anyone else wondering. I personally find this to be a beautiful doctrine and one for which I am very, very grateful. When understood, I feel it makes a lot of sense as well as being fair and loving. If you’d like to know more, I recommend these other articles from our site:
Does Everyone Get a Chance?
I was asked to write a response to the question: “Can Mormons view pornography?” Sadly the answer to this is yes they can. (That brings up the agency issue, which is a subject for another time.) But to the question, “Should Mormons view pornography?” I would answer NO! It is seen as sinful behavior that is demeaning to both the viewer and the objectified person in the picture.
An excerpt from the LDS Pamphlet For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God, pretty much sums up what Mormon’s believe regarding viewing pornography.
“Pornography in all its forms is especially dangerous and addictive. What may begin as a curious indulgence can become a destructive habit that takes control of your life. It can lead you to sexual transgression and even criminal behavior. Pornography is a poison that weakens your self-control, changes the way you see others, causes you to lose the guidance of the Spirit, and can even affect your ability to have a normal relationship with your future spouse. If you encounter pornography, turn away from it immediately.”
That sums up the church’s attitude toward pornography. There are some policy issues regarding those who indulge. Generally if a person tells their bishop that they are viewing pornography they will be denied access to holy temples and given all the help they are willing to accept to overcome the habit.
They can learn from their bishops how to repent and regain access to the atonement of Jesus Christ, which enables them to fully recover.
Q: If a Mormon couple adopts children, can they be sealed into an eternal family?
A: Absolutely! Any child legally adopted can be sealed to their family in the temple. I know of families who have all adopted children and some who have adopted one and added to their other children. It’s wonderful that our earthly families can be our eternal families.
Question: Can a Mormon marry a Christian?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: First of all, Mormons are Christians, but I’ll respond to the question: can a Mormon marry a non-Mormon?. The answer is yes, but that’s not the whole story. Mormons can marry whomever they please in a legally-binding ceremony, and it will be recognized by the church as as valid marriage. But Mormons also have a ceremony unique to Mormonism called a “sealing”, where a Mormon couple can be married “for time and all eternity” (no “till death do you part” involved). These ceremonies are performed in temples, and like all temple ceremonies are only available to active Mormons. Being sealed is a very important thing in our religion, so interfaith marriages are usually the exception rather than the rule.
More on the subject of Mormons and marriage:
I’m in love with a Mormon: what now?
Can Mormons get divorced?
Why temple marriage?
Jeff Lindsay’s Love, Dating, Marriage, and Morality: The Latter-Day Saint Way