“Preparing for the Temple,” Liahona, Dec. 1999, 33
The ordinances of the house of God are for the salvation of the human family,” said President Brigham Young. “… Your [temple] endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young , 303, 302).
Whether we are anticipating our first temple visit or our hundredth, we need to prepare to make that experience sacred and sanctifying.
If you have not yet attended the temple, talk to your bishop or branch president about how you can receive the ordinances of the temple. Discuss the requirements for a temple recommend. Ask if you can participate in the next temple preparation class offered in your ward or branch. Even if it appears you may not be able to travel to a temple in the near future, obtain a temple recommend and keep it current.
Be worthy to receive a temple recommend. President Gordon B. Hinckley has said: “We pray that our people will be worthy to use [the temples]. Where repentance is needed, now is the time to turn about and prepare ourselves for their use” (“Benediction,” Liahona, January 1999, 105).
Study, pray about, and ponder scriptures pertaining to ordinances, covenants, temples, and the great “plan of happiness” (Alma 42:16). Study articles and chapters about temples and temple work in the Liahona, Gospel Principles, Teachings of Presidents of the Church, and other Church publications.
In family home evening, discuss the blessings of doing temple work for yourselves and vicarious temple work for the dead (see D&C 128:18).
Work on researching your own family history, and submit family names to the temple.
Sing, memorize, or listen to hymns that focus on the temple.
President Howard W. Hunter said: “The Lord desires that his people be a temple-motivated people. … I would hope that every adult member would be worthy of—and carry—a current temple recommend, even if proximity to a temple does not allow immediate or frequent use of it” (“The Great Symbol of Our Membership,” Tambuli, November 1994, 6).
Members who follow President Hunter’s counsel sometimes find temple doors open to them in surprising ways. One such member was Kuteka Kamulete of Zaire. Although he lived thousands of kilometers from the nearest temple, President Hunter’s words touched his heart. He met with his branch president and received a recommend. Later, through an opportunity at work to travel to North Korea, in unexpected and unusual ways he was able to arrange a stopover in Switzerland and attend the Swiss Temple.
He later wrote: “How humble and grateful I felt! … I received my endowment that day, and it has been the greatest gift in my life” (“From Zaire to the Lord’s House,” Liahona, August 1997, 9).
President Hunter said: “The temple is a place of beauty, it is a place of revelation, it is a place of peace. … It is holy unto the Lord. It should be holy unto us” (Tambuli, November 1994, 6).
Let us all prepare well for the temple and make it the great and sanctifying gift it is meant to be.