(A) temple (from the Latin word templum) is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur. It has the same root as the word "template," a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out on the ground by the augur. Templa also became associated with the dwelling places of a god or gods. Despite the specific set of meanings associated with the religion of the ancient Rome, the word has now become quite widely used to describe a house of worship for any number of religions and is even used for time periods prior to the Romans.
Throughout the ages people of many different religions have built temples as sacred structures where they could meet and worship their God.
A model of Herod's Temple adjacent to the Shrine of the Book exhibit at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. (Wikipedia)
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I have had the privilege of visiting and worshiping in many of our Church's 141 operating temples around the world. We believe that temples are the most sacred place on earth-a place where earth and heaven meet and where we feel close to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. In the temple we are taught principles of the Lord's gospel, we make sacred covenants, we are promised blessings, and we receive ordinances that enable us to return to live in the presence of God. We gain a glimpse of what life after death can be like. In the temples husbands and wives are sealed to each other in an eternal marriage, and children are sealed to their parents in eternal families. In addition to receiving these blessings and ordinances for ourselves, we can receive them for our deceased ancestors. (see http://www.lds.org/church/temples/why-we-build-temples?lang=eng and http://www.lds.org/church/temples/why-we-build-temples/what-happens-in-temples?lang=eng)
Here are just a few of the beautiful temples that I have had the blessing of visiting throughout my life:
For more information on LDS Temples, feel free to visit http://www.lds.org/church/temples?lang=eng