“Temple Endowment Q&A,” Liahona, March 2019
“Because a temple is sacred, the Lord asks that it be protected from desecration. Anyone may enter who is willing to prepare well for that privilege. …
“… You prepare physically by dressing properly to go to the temple. It is not a place for casual attire. Latter-day prophets have emphasized self-respect for our physical bodies. That respect should be observed especially by those who would enter a holy temple.”1
“Teachings of the temple are beautifully simple and simply beautiful. They are understood by the humble, yet they can excite the intellect of the brightest minds. “Spiritual preparation is enhanced by study. I like to recommend that members going to the temple for the first time read short explanatory paragraphs in the Bible Dictionary, listed under seven topics: ‘Anoint,’ ‘Atonement,’ ‘Christ,’ ‘Covenant,’ ‘Fall of Adam,’ ‘Sacrifices,’ and ‘Temple.’ Doing so will provide a firm foundation.”2
—President Russell M. Nelson
Additional resources that may be of assistance in preparing to receive the endowment include:
Russell M. Nelson, “Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings,” Liahona, July 2001, 37–40.
“Consecrate,” “Endowment,” “Law of Consecration,” “Temples,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.
As you prepare to receive your endowment, you should feel comfortable talking about the temple with family, friends, and Church leaders. The lessons in your temple preparation class will also provide a lot of helpful information and instruction.
“The temple endowment is … received in two parts:
“In the first part, you will privately and individually receive a preliminary ordinance called the initiatory ordinance. The initiatory ordinance includes special blessings regarding your divine heritage and potential.
“In the second part, you will receive the remainder of your endowment in a group setting along with others who are attending the temple. During this part, the plan of salvation is presented, including the Creation of the world, the Fall of Adam and Eve, the Atonement, the Apostasy, and the Restoration, as well as instruction on how all people can return to the presence of the Lord. Some of the endowment is presented through video and some by temple officiators.
“In conjunction with these ordinances, you will be invited to make specific covenants with the Lord. These covenants include obeying God and keeping His commandments, living the gospel of Jesus Christ, keeping yourself morally pure and virtuous, and dedicating your time and talents to the Lord’s service. In return, God promises wonderful blessings in this life and the opportunity to return to live with Him forever.
“At the conclusion of the endowment, participants symbolically enter the Lord’s presence as they enter the celestial room. There you can spend time to ponder, pray, rest, read the scriptures, or quietly discuss your experiences with family and friends. It is a place of peace, where you can also find comfort and divine direction.”3
Part of the reason we don’t often talk about the endowment in detail outside of the temple comes from the Lord’s instruction to “trifle not with sacred things” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:12). We can appreciate that the Lord teaches us “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30) and will give us only what we are prepared, at the moment, to receive. The Lord invites all to come unto His house, but the hope is that those who receive this sacred gift and responsibility are prepared.
There are many aspects, including temple covenants, that we can and should talk about before we go to the temple for the first time. There are some aspects, specific to the ordinances, that we discuss only in the temple. Temple ordinances and ceremonies are personal and sacred, and part of what makes them special is how reverent, reserved, and careful we are in discussing them.
“A careful reading of the scriptures reveals that the Lord did not tell all things to all people. There were some qualifications set that were prerequisite to receiving sacred information. Temple ceremonies fall within this category.
“We do not discuss the temple ordinances outside the temples. It was never intended that knowledge of these temple ceremonies would be limited to a select few who would be obliged to ensure that others never learn of them. It is quite the opposite, in fact. With great effort we urge every soul to qualify and prepare for the temple experience.”4
—President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015), President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Temple ordinances and covenants are so important because they lead to the greatest blessings that are available to Heavenly Father’s children now and eternally. Elder Robert D. Hales (1932–2017) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated, “The primary purpose of the temple is to provide the ordinances necessary for our exaltation in the celestial kingdom.”5 The temple endowment helps qualify us, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, for eternal life. But it also helps us in our daily lives. The covenants and ordinances of the endowment bless us right now with power, protection, and purpose and help us become what God wants us to become.
Prophets today have reminded us that we have access to these blessings through the temple. President Boyd K. Packer has said, “Our labors in the temple cover us with a shield and a protection, both individually and as a people.”6
Focus on the teachings and covenants of the temple in your personal study. Look for references to the principles and covenants of the endowment found in the scriptures, general conference addresses, and other Church materials. Reviewing these truths in your personal study will help you grow in your understanding of temple ordinances and covenants. When studying the law of chastity, for example, how can Joseph’s integrity when tempted by Potiphar’s wife bless your commitment to obey this law? (see Genesis 39). How can Nephi’s commitment to obey the commandments of God apply to the way you approach your service in your calling? (see 1 Nephi 3:7).
Return to the temple as often as your personal circumstances allow.