How Are You Talking about the Temple?
November 2023

How Are You Talking about the Temple?

The way we discuss the temple matters.

young adults walking and smiling outside of the temple

I remember being excited to receive my endowment when I was getting ready to leave for my mission. I also remember having that excitement turn to worry and confusion after some family members gave me veiled warnings about attending for the first time.

I knew their intentions were genuine in trying to help me have a good experience. But I wish that instead of focusing on warning me that the temple was unfamiliar, people had helped prepare me for the temple in uplifting and correct ways.

With that in mind, here are four things to consider as you talk to those preparing to go to the temple for the first time:

1. Focus on Truths over Opinions

When someone we love is attending the temple for the first time, we naturally want to share our own experiences with him or her. But we need to make sure what we’re sharing is focused on gospel truths rather than our own opinions.

Correct information allows our loved ones to focus on the Savior and not be swayed into feeling a certain way about their temple experiences. President Russell M. Nelson said, “Good inspiration is based upon good information.”1

You can share correct information (and even pictures!) about the temple from the temple preparation course, the scriptures, and temples.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Sometimes we might get nervous about what to share, but by turning to resources rather than our opinions, we don’t have to worry about oversharing.

By giving correct information about the temple, we offer a more enlightened view about the temple. Opinions are often focused on feelings and experiences we’ve had, while gospel information is focused on allowing your loved one to have their own experience in the temple.

2. Consider the Words You Use

What descriptions of the temple have stuck with you? For example, President Nelson said, “Your service and worship in the temple will help you to think celestial.”2 And President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) said, “Each [temple] stands as a beacon to the world.”3

We can choose words that will offer hope and enlightenment to those we love who are preparing for their temple experience. We can avoid negative descriptors of the temple (like “weird” or “strange”), and we can choose to use positive, Christ-centered descriptions (like “peace” and “hope”).

I find it helpful to think about the many beautiful pictures I’ve seen of the inside of the temple, and often I will share those pictures with friends or family members who are preparing to go.4 What feelings and emotions and words come to mind when you see those images? Try to be uplifting in how you speak about the temple.

3. Find Answers from Gospel Resources

Out of our love and deep respect for the temple, it can be easy to feel afraid of talking about it. We can get flustered and wonder what is OK to say. I know I got caught up in the culture of telling curious friends and family members that we can’t talk about what happens in the temple.

However, as I served in and studied more about the temple, I came to see that we can share more than I realized!5

For example, we can share that “an endowment is literally a ‘gift.’”6 The temple endowment is a gift of sacred blessings from God to each of us, and some of those blessings include:

  1. “Greater knowledge of the Lord’s purposes and teachings.

  2. Power to do all that God wants us to do.

  3. Divine guidance and protection as we serve the Lord, our families, and others.

  4. Increased hope, comfort, and peace.

  5. Promised blessings now and forever.”7

We can also talk about the covenants we make in the temple. The beautiful thing about the temple is that it allows us to draw closer to God and strengthen our relationship with Him by making additional promises with Him. These covenants are:

  • “Law of Obedience, which includes striving to keep God’s commandments.

  • Law of Sacrifice, which means doing all we can to support the Lord’s work and repenting with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

  • Law of the Gospel, which is the higher law that He taught while He was on the earth.

  • Law of Chastity, which means that we have sexual relations only with the person to whom we are legally and lawfully wedded according to God’s law.

  • Law of Consecration, which means dedicating our time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed us to building up Jesus Christ’s Church on the earth.”8

As we share positive messages about the temple, we help our loved ones feel more welcome and ready to attend for the first time. We can help them look forward to deepening their relationship with Jesus Christ through temple covenants.

4. Share Positive Experiences

What I learned most about the temple is that with correct information, it’s not strange at all. In fact, most—if not all—of the information and blessings we receive in the temple are familiar to what we are taught every day in the gospel.

Through my experiences, I’ve learned that fear is not of the Lord. When we avoid talking about the temple or try talking about it with veiled warnings or worries, it gives the adversary greater power to skew the beauty of the temple. Instead of cutting our conversations short by saying, “Just keep going back and it will get better eventually,” we can share the positive experiences we have from attending the temple.

When we find ourselves fearful of answering questions about the temple, that may be an invitation from the Lord to study more about the temple. This not only will bless us but will also bless those around us. The Lord intended for the temple to bless us, not scare us.

Remember President Nelson’s words: “Making covenants and receiving essential ordinances in the temple, as well as seeking to draw closer to Him there, will bless your life in ways no other kind of worship can.”9 And the more we speak positively about the Lord’s house, the more we will keep guiding each other to return and invite those blessings into our lives.