Religious Buildings: Temples II

The practice of using temples for worship is embraced by a wide range of cultures and religions, including the Mormons and Hindus. In this article, you will learn about the different features and of temples associated with Mormonism and Hinduism.

Mormon Temples

There are many temples that have been built for people to worship the Mormon or Latter-day Saint faith associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are more than 130 temples in operation to this day with more under construction and in the works. Only the most holy and sacred of covenants and other events take place in the Latter-day Saint temples. They are separate from the chapels or meeting houses that weekly worship services are held.

The temples are constructed and follow strict rules of sacredness. There is no defiling of these structures. There are even strict expectations when someone enters the temple. You must have Church membership and regularly attend worship services. The temple is open to the public for tours only during what is called an “open-house period”. This occurs after its construction and before the temple is dedicated.

Examples of temples associated with the Church of Latter-Day Saints and other sects founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. include the Independence Temple in Missouri, the YFZ Ranch Temple in Texas built by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and a temple shaped like a pyramid in Utah that was constructed by the Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Hindu Temples

Temples associated with the Hindu faith construct various kinds of structures for worship. This practice has been around for a long time for the culture, which are known for their large and impressive religious buildings. Some of the Hindu temples date back to the Bronze Age and are associated with the Indus Valley Civilization. The Hindu temples encountered today are also beauties that are found all over the world , in places like the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and South Africa.

The oldest temples associated with the religion were made out of brick and wood, but these no longer exist. A more durable material was chosen for the temples that followed and stone satisfied the needs of temple builders. Temples are also significant to the Hindu faith because they represented the shift from the Vedic religion of ritual sacrifices to a religion that focused on the love and devotion of a deity.

The construction of a Hindu temple and the way a person worshipped at the building came from the ancient Sanskrit scriptures called agamas. This is why there are differences in the style of architecture, rituals, customs, and traditions followed in various temples. Different temples are also dedicated to specific deities all over India.

Worshippers that go to major temples usually bring symbolic offerings for the prayer, such as flowers, fruits, sweets and other symbols of nature. The temples in India are typically surrounded by small stores that carry items meant for offerings that are often wrapped in organic materials, such as banana leaves.

A few Hindu temples in India include the Bhadrachalam Temple found in the Khammam District, the  Yagna Varaha Swamy temple in the Karimnagar district, the Amararama structure that dates back to  1000 and was extensively renovated during the late 18th century.