“Can we be told beforehand what the temple ceremony is and what promises and commitments we will be expected to make?” New Era, July 1972, 36–37
Answer/President O. Leslie Stone
There are many things you can and should know before coming to the temple for your endowment and sealing. You should know that the endowment is a great gift from God. It teaches you how to return to his presence and gain salvation, exaltation, and eternal life. These are the greatest of all gifts, but they are obtainable only if you keep the covenants you are required to make with the Lord in his holy house.
The following is a quotation from an article written by Elder John A. Widtsoe in the book Saviors on Mount Zion, by Archibald F. Bennett:
“The ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual, such as covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King—the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions.”
A temple marriage is quite different than a civil marriage in that in the temple you are legally married and sealed as husband and wife for time and for all eternity, and great blessings are sealed upon both of you for this life and for the life to come. Your marriage in the temple is the beginning of a new eternal family unit that is essential for your eternal progress. Children born to this union are “born in the covenant” and, therefore, become members of the family for time and all eternity.
You know, of course, that you must be found worthy by your bishop and stake president before you can come to the temple. If you expect to receive the blessings you seek, you must not only be worthy to come, but you must continue to lead worthy lives. If you don’t live worthily, then you won’t receive the blessings. It’s just that simple. If you keep the covenants, you have the promise of our Heavenly Father that you will receive these great blessings:
“I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (D&C 82:10.)
You can be assured that all the covenants you are required to make will, if kept, help you to live better lives. You will be a good father and mother, be good members of the Church, be good citizens in the community, be honest in your business dealings, and in so doing, will honor your mother and father, which is one of God’s commandments:
“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Ex. 20:12.)
Covenants you are required to make in the temple are sacred and are never discussed outside the temple. You may be assured, however, that if you are obedient to God’s commandments, you will have no difficulty in living up to the covenants you make in his holy house.
“And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.” (Mosiah 2:22.)
The great principle underlying temple ordinances was once summed up by the Prophet Joseph Smith in these words:
“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
“And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” (D&C 130:20, 21.)