“Will there be someone in the temple to help me with everything?” New Era, June 1976, 35–36
Answer/Sister Mary Deane Clark
Your first experience in the temple is very important. A special effort is made by the temple workers to make it a happy and a spiritual experience so that you will be anxious to return again and again to the temple to refresh your memories regarding the covenants made there and to deepen your knowledge of the endowment given you by your Father in heaven in his holy house. In the Doctrine and Covenants 88:119 we read, “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.”
It is a beautiful thing to have a mother share this experience with you, but when this is not possible, you may come with an aunt, a sister, your future mother-in-law, or a friend. If you come alone, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you are actually in the house of the Lord where there are humble, inspired workers waiting to serve you. The Lord can and will bless you there, even though you may be alone.
The minute you enter the temple you are greeted by these workers, and someone is assigned to be with you from then until you leave the temple. If you come with your partner as bride and groom, you will stay together for your interview and the final checking of recommends. After a preliminary, separate ordinance, you are brought together again for the remainder of your stay.
The temple worker accompanying you is aware that this is the first time you have been to the temple and is careful to be understanding, answering any questions and giving step-by-step instructions as the holy ordinances proceed. If the girl does have her mother with her, the mother may help her with her wedding dress and be with her to hear the instructions given to the bride. She remains by her side until the endowment is finished and she meets her groom for the wedding.
If a girl is alone and wishes to have someone by her side through the instruction and endowment, she may bring a friend, or we will ask one of the sister patrons on the session to accompany her. Very often this experience turns into a beautiful and lasting friendship between the girl and her companion. If the girl prefers to be alone, the temple workers are always there to direct and assist her. These provisions are taken to help you feel at ease and be in the right spiritual frame of mind to understand and appreciate the great blessings given to you that day in the temple.
Parents who are nonmembers or inactive but who wish to be near the temple when their daughter is married are made to feel at home in the comfortable outer foyer of the temple during the time of the endowment and marriage. While there, the matron and a member of the presidency of the temple usually welcome them, visiting with them and answering any questions. When possible, the person performing the marriage or sealing also visits with the parents. After the marriage, the bride and groom may go to the outer foyer of the temple where the parents can share in the loveliness of their daughter in her wedding gown. Picture taking and friendly greetings are conducted outdoors in front of the temple, with both members and nonmembers of the Church participating. This part of the temple experience frequently plants a desire in the hearts of nonmember parents to want to know more of what has made their daughter so happy in the temple that day.