Today Jill, Sarah, Paul, and I stopped by the Dallas Texas Temple. In the collage of photographs below, click on the individual picture to see a larger version.
This is the first time for us at the Dallas Temple. We came to take photographs and also went inside to participate in an endowment ceremony. For my readers that are unfamiliar with the temple endowment ceremony I will present a short overview.
The Endowment Ceremony
An endowment is a sacred ordinance. Endowments take place in a dedicated House of the Lord, or temple just like the Dallas temple. Temples were centers of religious worship anciently and Mormons build temples today to administer the ancient ordinances of salvation that have been restored to the earth.
The dictionary defines an endowment as a gift given by a higher power. The temple endowment is a gift of knowledge that helps Mormons understand who they are, where they came from, and where they are going. It helps members like us understand what they should do to prepare to meet God, and how Jesus Christ offers salvation to each of us.
The temple endowment conveys information in a highly symbolic manner. Symbols used in the temple endowment and the meanings of those symbols are sacred to Mormons. Mormons don’t talk about the details of what goes on in the temple—it is too sacred to be discussed, except in the most holy of places.
When presenting the endowment, Church members are required to make very specific covenants with God. A covenant is a two-way promise. In religious terms, a covenant is a sacred promise made between an individual and the Lord:
The ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual, such as covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King, the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions. (James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord, p. 84)
Also be sure to view Why Mormons Build Temples.
About the Dallas Temple
Announced: 1 April 1981.
First President: Ivan L. Hobson.
Location: 6363 Willow Lane, Dallas
Site: 6 acres.
Exterior finish: Faced with light-colored marble tiles and topped with a dark gray slate roof.
Rooms: Baptistry, celestial room, five ordinance rooms, four sealing rooms.
Total floor area: 18,000 square feet. After remodeling: 46,956 square feet.
Height: 95 feet.
District: 50,000 members in North Texas, and parts of Louisiana.
Groundbreaking: 22 January 1983 by Gordon B. Hinckley.
Open house: 7-26 September 1984. 88,000 visitors of which approximately 56% were non-members.
Dedication: 19-24 October 1984 by Gordon B. Hinckley. Rededication: 5 March 1989 by Gordon B. Hinckley.
Major source: 2008 Church Almanac