“Your Temple Recommend,” New Era, Apr. 1995, 6
During a recent general conference we encouraged Church members to worthily attend the temple or to work toward the day when they can enter his holy house to receive their ordinances and covenants. We hope that you, as young members of the Church, will go often to the temple to perform baptisms for the dead. When the time comes for you to go on a mission or be married, we pray that you will go to the temple worthily and feel the beautiful spiritual atmosphere that is present in the temple.
To qualify for the blessings of the temple, each of us must ensure that our lives are in harmony with the teachings of the Church. Before going to the temple, you are interviewed by your bishop. In that interview you certify to him that you meet a standard of conduct relating to the holy temple. We want you to decide today that you will always maintain this standard and be worthy of the privilege of going to the house of the Lord.
Our Heavenly Father has clearly outlined that those who enter the temple must be clean and free from the sins of the world. He said, “And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; … But if it be defiled I will not come into it, and my glory shall not be there; for I will not come into unholy temples” (D&C 97:15, 17).
It might be interesting for you to know that the President of the Church used to sign each temple recommend. That’s how strongly the early presidents felt about worthiness to enter the temple. In 1891 the responsibility was placed on bishops and stake presidents, who ask you several questions concerning your worthiness to qualify for a temple recommend. You should know what is expected of you in order to qualify for a temple recommend.
You must believe in God the Eternal Father, in his Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. You must believe that this is their sacred and divine work. We encourage you to work daily on building your testimony of our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Spirit that you feel is the Holy Ghost testifying to you of their reality. Later, in the temple, you will learn more about the Godhead through the revealed instruction and ordinances.
You must sustain the General Authorities and local authorities of the Church. When you raise your arm to the square when these leaders’ names are presented, you signify that you will sustain them in their responsibilities and in the counsel they give you.
This is not an exercise in paying homage to those whom the Lord has called to preside. Rather, it is a recognition of the fact that God has called prophets, seers, and revelators, and others as General Authorities. It is a commitment that you will follow the instructions that come from the presiding officers of the Church. Likewise you should feel loyalty toward the bishop and stake president and other Church leaders. Failure to sustain those in authority is incompatible with service in the temple.
You must be morally clean to enter into the holy temple. The law of chastity requires that you not have sexual relations with anyone other than your husband or wife. We especially encourage you to guard against the enticements of Satan to sully your moral cleanliness.
You must ensure that there is nothing in your relationship with family members that is out of harmony with the teachings of the Church. We especially encourage you to obey your parents in righteousness. Parents must be vigilant to ensure that their relationships with family members are in harmony with the teachings of the gospel and never involve abuse or neglect.
To enter the temple you must be honest in all of your dealings with others. As Latter-day Saints we have a sacred obligation to never be deceitful or dishonest. Our basic integrity is at stake when we violate this covenant.
To qualify for a temple recommend, you should strive to do your duty in the Church, attending your sacrament, priesthood, and other meetings. You must also strive to obey the rules, laws, and commandments of the gospel. Learn in your youth to accept callings and other responsibilities that come to you. Be active participants in your wards and branches, and be one your leaders can depend on.
To enter the temple you must be a full-tithe payer and live the Word of Wisdom. These two commandments, simple in their instruction but enormously important in our spiritual growth, are essential in certifying our personal worthiness. Observation over many years has shown that those who faithfully pay their tithing and observe the Word of Wisdom are usually faithful in all other matters that relate to entering the holy temple.
These are not matters to be taken lightly. Once having been found worthy to enter the temple, we perform ordinances that are the most sacred administered anywhere on the earth. These ordinances are concerned with the things of eternity.
The gospel plan that the Lord has revealed is not complete without a temple, for it is here that the necessary ordinances for his plan of life and salvation are administered. The Prophet Joseph Smith said during the construction of the Nauvoo Temple, “The Church is not fully organized, in its proper order, and cannot be, until the Temple is completed” (History of the Church, 4:603).
The temples we dedicate are dedicated to our Heavenly Father. These temples are his houses, built in his name for his glory and for his purposes.
Our hearts and hands must be clean and pure and our thoughts must be focused on things of an eternal nature when we go to the temple. We hope you will feel that entering the temple is a privilege given to worthy Church members and not a right that automatically comes with Church membership.
In a January 1841 revelation the Lord said, “For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be baptized for those who are dead—
“For this ordinance belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me. But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; … and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me” (D&C 124:29–31).
Speaking of that revelation, Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve said, “Vicarious baptism also mercifully provides this ordinance for all worthy deceased who have not received it through proper priesthood authority. This glorious doctrine is another witness of the all-encompassing nature of the atonement of Jesus Christ. He has made salvation available to every repentant soul. His was a vicarious atonement that conquered death. He permits the worthy deceased to receive all ordinances of salvation vicariously” (Ensign, Nov. 1990, p. 5).
The temple ordinance the youth of the Church can participate in is baptisms for the dead. If you haven’t had the opportunity to perform this ordinance talk to your bishop and youth leaders and, with their help, plan a trip to the temple closest to you. Below is a list of the Church’s 47 operating temples.
Alberta (Canada) Temple
Mexico City Temple
Apia Samoa Temple
New Zealand Temple
Nuku‘alofa Tonga Temple
Atlanta Georgia Temple
Oakland (California) Temple
Boise Idaho Temple
Ogden (Utah) Temple
Bountiful Utah Temple
Orlando Florida Temple
Buenos Aires Argentina Temple
Papeete Tahiti Temple
Chicago Illinois Temple
Portland Oregon Temple
Dallas Texas Temple
Provo (Utah) Temple
Denver Colorado Temple
Salt Lake (Utah) Temple
Frankfurt Germany Temple
San Diego California Temple
Freiberg Germany Temple
Santiago Chile Temple
Guatemala City Temple
Sao Paulo (Brazil) Temple
Seattle (Washington) Temple
Idaho Falls Temple
Seoul Korea Temple
Johannesburg South Africa Temple
St. George (Utah) Temple
Jordan River (Utah) Temple
Stockholm Sweden Temple
Las Vegas Nevada Temple
Lima Peru Temple
Sydney Australia Temple
Logan (Utah) Temple
Taipei Taiwan Temple
London (England) Temple
Tokyo (Japan) Temple
Los Angeles (California) Temple
Toronto Ontario Temple
Manila Philippines Temple
Washington (D.C.) Temple
Manti (Utah) Temple
In October of 1994, at the dedication of the Orlando Florida Temple, President Hunter gave a talk directed especially to young people. Shortly before his death, he asked the New Era to share that message with all of the youth of the Church.