While standards to enter a temple stay the same, these modifications better prepare Latter-day Saints for worship in temples.
President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continued his fervent focus on improving temple worship at the concluding session of the 189th Semiannual General Conference. He read an updated list of questions Church members will be asked when receiving a temple recommend.
Temple recommend questions have been periodically clarified or adjusted to meet the needs and circumstances of God’s children. These current updates clarify, but do not change, worthiness requirements to enter a temple.
“Nobody has had as much association with temples in my lifetime as President Nelson,” Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said while traveling with the prophet in Brazil in September. “He has a deep, deep understanding and is willing to do whatever the Lord is guiding him to do. And he is getting that guidance from the Lord.”
This adjustment to the temple recommend questions highlights some of the things that matter most as Latter-day Saints carefully prepare to enter a temple. The temple recommend permits them to participate in ordinances in one of these sacred buildings.
“The crowning jewel of the Restoration is the holy temple,” President Nelson said.1
“Individual worthiness to enter the Lord’s house requires much individual spiritual preparation. But with the Lord’s help, nothing is impossible. In some respects, it is easier to build a temple than it is to build a people prepared for a temple. Individual worthiness requires a total conversion of mind and heart to be more like the Lord, to be an honest citizen, to be a better example and to be a holier person.”2
The interview questions are made public so members of all ages can better understand the requirements for temple worship and prepare to enter the temple.
The interview questions for temple recommends are below. Verbiage in 11 questions has been modified.
Do you have faith in and a testimony of God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost?
Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and of His role as your Savior and Redeemer?
Do you have a testimony of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Do you sustain the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator and as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local leaders of the Church?
The Lord has said that all things are to be “done in cleanliness” before Him (Doctrine and Covenants 42:41). Do you strive for moral cleanliness in your thoughts and behavior? Do you obey the law of chastity?
Do you follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ in your private and public behavior with members of your family and others?
Do you support or promote any teachings, practices, or doctrine contrary to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
Do you strive to keep the Sabbath day holy, both at home and at church; attend your meetings; prepare for and worthily partake of the sacrament; and live your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
Do you strive to be honest in all that you do?
Are you a full-tithe payer?
Do you understand and obey the Word of Wisdom?
Do you have any financial or other obligations to a former spouse or to children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple, including wearing the temple garment as instructed in the endowment?
Are there serious sins in your life that need to be resolved with priesthood authorities as part of your repentance?
Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord’s house and participate in temple ordinances?
Church leaders began using these questions immediately. A letter from the First Presidency with further instruction was sent to Church leaders worldwide the Monday after general conference.
President Nelson reminded Latter-day Saints that the coming open houses for temples currently announced or under construction in their area will be an important opportunity to educate their local communities about the what and the why of worship in temples.
“Many friends not of our faith will participate in tours of those temples and will learn something about temple blessings. And some of those visitors will be moved upon to know more,” he said. “Some will sincerely ask how they might qualify for the blessings of the temple.
“As members of the Church, we will need to be prepared to answer their questions. We can explain that the blessings of the temple are available to any and all people who will prepare themselves.”3
As he concluded his remarks about preparing oneself for temple worship, President Nelson told Latter-day Saints that “preparatory work brings innumerable blessings in this life and inconceivable blessings for the life to come, including the perpetuation of your family unit throughout all eternity.”4