Preparing for My Endowment
    Footnotes

    “Preparing for My Endowment,” New Era, Oct. 2004, 13

    Special Issue: Dating and Temple Marriage

    Preparing for My Endowment

    The New Era asked Rachel Barton to keep a journal of her preparations to receive her endowment before her temple marriage. Following are a few entries from her journal.

    Rachel Barton met Todd Morris in ward choir, and they were married last November in the temple. In her own words, here’s her experience—from the weeks of preparation to the day she received her endowment.

    After the Engagement

    After Todd and I got engaged, my mom suggested that we go to the temple a lot as a way to prepare for our marriage. Todd and I decided it was a good suggestion. Sometimes Todd performed baptisms with me, and sometimes he went to an endowment session while I participated in baptisms.

    Todd and I were sometimes so busy we thought we wouldn’t have time to go to the temple. We had work and school and wedding preparations, but we wanted to go to the temple. Once we went to the temple instead of a football game that we had tickets to because we didn’t have any other time to go.

    The blessings have been amazing. When I do baptisms for the dead, I learn how the Spirit speaks to me. Being able to forget worldly things and focus on the Savior has been really good. Todd and I haven’t had struggles or felt tempted because we’ve been going to the temple so often.

    For a lot of years I have been looking forward to receiving my endowment as much as getting married there. So after I got engaged, one of the first things I thought about was preparing for the endowment. I found a copy of Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple and read it several times. I’ve also been studying the magazine “Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” My goal was to read it before I received my endowment.

    My bishop has been helpful. When we met, he talked about the power of the temple and suggested the goal to always be temple worthy. He said being worthy to go to the temple helps you find happiness.

    One Month before Receiving My Endowment

    Today I went to try on temple dresses at the Distribution Center. Before, when I had tried on wedding dresses, I was filled with excitement and butterflies, but when I tried on temple dresses, I was filled with peace and joy that came from the Spirit. It was such a great experience to be dressed in white and to think of the covenants I will make in one month.

    27 Days Before

    Today Todd and I took turns reading scriptures about the plan of salvation. Having these basic principles in mind will help me know what to focus on when I enter the temple.

    The temple preparation class has a lesson on being worthy to enter the temple. I am so grateful I am worthy. I am filled with joy that Todd and I have kept ourselves morally clean. I feel a great yearning to enter the temple because I know I am clean.

    21 Days Before

    Todd and I went to the temple early today. It was snowing, and the temple looked so beautiful surrounded in white. We had a wonderful time. Todd was able to baptize and confirm me in behalf of others. I love him even more when I see him in white and watch him using the priesthood.

    I know I don’t fully understand everything about it yet, but the temple is where you go to learn, and it is a place of peace. I don’t feel nervous about what I don’t understand. I just feel the Spirit, which makes me excited to go to the temple and make more covenants with the Lord and become closer to Him.

    10 Days Before

    I am so excited to go to the temple. I think about it every day. I want to make more covenants. I want to draw closer to God. I want to learn more about the Savior. I already feel excited to know everything now, but I know it will take a lifetime and longer to understand the ways of God. It is amazing that He has prepared a place on earth where we can learn things of an eternal nature.

    6 Days Before

    Today I met with my bishop to receive my temple recommend. It was such a wonderful feeling to be able to answer the questions and know I am worthy to enter the temple. I think that feeling will grow when I talk with my stake president.

    4 Days Before

    What joy! I wish everyone could sit with his or her stake president and look him in the eyes and honestly answer all the questions to receive a recommend. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am far from perfect, but the Atonement makes me worthy to enter the temple. The Atonement makes that possible for all who are prepared!

    My temple recommend is the most valuable piece of paper I have. I feel so blessed to hold a recommend. I feel this joy because I have prepared. I have pondered the things I’ve read about temples and have planned my whole life and lived worthy to go to the temple.

    I’m excited and ready to make more covenants with the Lord. I realize the responsibility that comes with that. I’m ready for that. I can continue being good, but I can see how my progression would stop if I didn’t make more covenants. Making the covenants in the endowment and then getting married in the temple will help me progress in ways I couldn’t do on my own.

    The Day I Received My Endowment

    Today has been a glorious day—one of the best. I can’t even describe the way I feel.

    I am an endowed member of the Church. The temple is a wonderful place to be. Before going to the temple this morning, I felt so much anticipation, I could hardly sleep. I also felt so much peace. Todd was more enthusiastic than I’ve ever seen him.

    The blessings and promises I received in the temple were incredible. I have never cried for joy so much in my life. I want nothing more than to always keep my covenants and to be worthy of the blessings promised me in the temple.

    Because I was prepared, the temple felt like home. I was overwhelmed with all the blessings that I was promised. But I loved it. I know I’ll keep learning more every time I go.

    Now that I’ve received my endowment, I think the most helpful preparation was participating in baptisms for the dead because I was doing temple work and was feeling the Spirit there. Studying the temple preparation manual was helpful, as was talking to Todd, my parents, and my bishop about their testimonies of the temple.

    Returning to the Temple

    Todd and I went to the temple again today. I realize now that there is still a lot I need to learn. I feel peace though, because I know I don’t need to learn everything at once. Todd said, “That’s one reason why you go back over and over again.”

    Todd and I are blessed to live near a temple. We have already decided on a day and time to go every week. I can’t think of anything else that will bless our new marriage more.

    Extra! Extra!

    To learn more about the endowment and the temple, read the following scriptures: D&C 43:15–16; D&C 97:12–17; D&C 109; D&C 124:27–41; and “Temple” in the Bible Dictionary.

    Also read the following articles in the Gospel Library at www.lds.org: “Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings” (Ensign, May 2001) by Elder Russell M. Nelson and “The Most Important Step” (New Era, June 2000) by President F. David Stanley.

    • Rachel Barton Morris is a member of the BYU 99th Ward, Brigham Young University Eighth Stake.

    Photograph by Matt Reier

    Center: photograph by Steve Tregeagle; right: photograph by Melidee Barton

    Photograph by Christina Smith

    Photograph by swensenphotography.com