In the Mormon temple, there are a few key rituals that take place.
What is a ritual?
A ritual is defined as “the prescribed procedure for conducting religious ceremonies.” Nearly every major religion has rituals or ceremonies. Baptism is one of the most common rituals in Christianity, where individuals are baptized to show their commitment to God. Additionally, wedding cermonies are performed to create a marriage contract between a husband and wife. These and similar rituals are an important part in nearly every major religion.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, these rituals are typically referred to as “ordinances.”
What ordinances are performed in Mormon temples?
The first ordinance is baptism for the dead. Because Mormons believe that baptism is essential to return to the kingdom of God (John 3:5), Mormons are baptized on behalf of deceased ancestors.
Another ordinance is the endowment ceremony. Mormons participate in the endowment ceremony to make promises to God to obey His commandments, and are promised tremendous blessings from God in return.
Finally, the sealing or marriage ceremony, is another ordinance in Mormon temples. Bride and groom make promises to each other and to God as they are married as part of this ceremony that enables their marriage to last forever, and not only ’till death do us part.’
These ordinances, or rituals, are a central part of the Mormon religion and explain why millions of Mormons around the world seek to participate in the temple ordinances.