On Saturday, construction was officially begun on the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Temple. That means that there will now be a temple inside of our mission boundaries! And what an awesome looking temple it is. Sturdy, and with a nice old-fashioned look to match the buildings around it. I heartily approve.
(For information about the Philadelphia Temple, see http://mormontemples.org/philadelphia.)
For those who don't know what a temple is, let's go to the first instance of a temple in the Bible. In Exodus 25, the Lord told Moses that the people of Israel must make him a house, a Tabernacle. It was to be of the finest gold, brass, and the people were to give everything willingly. This would be a holy place where people could go to be close to God, where God could manifest himself to his people. The camp of Israel was organized by tribe, with the tabernacle at the center. You could say that the tabernacle was the center of their lives, since any meat to be eaten had to be killed at the temple. It was symbolic of how God ought to be the center of our lives.
This tabernacle served the Israelites for many years, until it was replaced by Solomon's Temple, a larger, grander version of the temple. It served the same function, as did the Law of Moses, that of constantly reminding the people of God. Although this temple was later destroyed, other temples were built to replace it.
When Christ was crucified, temple worship changed a bit. To tell the truth, in 70 AD the Temple of Herod was destroyed by the armies of Caesar, and the temple was never rebuilt.
As part of the Restoration of the Gospel, God told Joseph Smith to build temples. During his lifetime, only one was built. Nowadays, we have over a hundred.
These unique buildings serve a sacred purpose. We believe the promise given to Peter in Matthew 16:19. Families can be sealed together, not just of this life (til death do ye part), but for all eternity. That means that after you die, you will still be family. Your grandfather will still be your grandfather, your son will still be your son, and your wife will still be your wife.
I know that if I were in Heaven, and were not able to be with my family, I'd want to go whereever they were. It wouldn't be heaven without my family.
Life is good.