Your Personal Gift from God
President Russell M. Nelson reminded us that “every activity, every lesson, all we do in the Church, point to the Lord and His holy house. Our efforts to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead all lead to the temple. Each holy temple stands as a symbol of our membership in the Church, as a sign of our faith in life after death, and as a sacred step toward eternal glory for us and our families” (“Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings,” Ensign, May 2001, 32; Liahona, July 2001, 37).
Only in the temple can we receive the ordinances needed to be exalted in the celestial kingdom. Temple ordinances, including the endowment, lead to the greatest blessings offered through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. These ordinances help us focus on the Savior, His role in our Heavenly Father’s plan, and our commitment to follow Him.
Receiving your temple endowment can be one of the most sacred events of your life. Preparing for it will make it more meaningful and powerful. Many members of the Church receive their endowment before a mission or marriage. Others simply have a strong desire to move forward along the covenant path. Either way, it’s important to know that your endowment is more than just another step; it’s an essential and glorious part of your eternal journey.
The word endowment means “a gift.” In this context, the temple endowment is a gift of sacred blessings from God to each of us. The endowment can only be received in His way and in His holy temple. Some of the gifts you receive through the temple endowment include:
Greater knowledge of the Lord’s purposes and teachings.
Power to do all that God wants us to do.
Divine guidance and protection as we serve the Lord, our families, and others.
Increased hope, comfort, and peace.
Promised blessings now and forever.
Members of the Church who are at least 18 years old (and no longer attend high school or secondary school) may receive their temple endowment if they are faithful and ready. Because temple ordinances and covenants are sacred and have eternal importance, members must be worthy and prepared. They must also be able to understand the solemn duties they will accept as they make covenants with God. Members who have received a mission call or are engaged to be married in the temple may receive the endowment. The bishop can also counsel with other adult members who wish to receive the endowment.
Preparing to receive your endowment will include following the teachings of Jesus Christ and keeping the covenants you made at baptism. You will have the opportunity to meet with your bishop and then your stake president for a temple recommend interview. They will ask you questions that allow you to share your testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, His living prophets, and His restored Church. Your answers will confirm that you are striving to keep God’s commandments.
When you joined the Church, you received two ordinances—baptism and confirmation. Likewise, the temple endowment is also received in two parts.
In the first part, you will privately and individually receive what are called the initiatory ordinances. These ordinances include special blessings regarding your divine heritage and potential. As part of these ordinances, you will also be authorized to wear the sacred temple garment.
In the second part, you will receive the rest of your endowment in a group setting. This takes place in an instruction with others who are attending the temple. Events that are part the plan of salvation are presented. They include the Creation of the world, the Fall of Adam and Eve, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Apostasy, and the Restoration. You will also learn more about the way all people can return to the presence of the Lord. Some of the endowment is presented through video and some by temple officiators.
During the endowment ordinance, you will be invited to make certain covenants with God. These covenants include:
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.
When you keep your covenants, your relationship with the Savior becomes closer and more powerful. God promises that those who keep their covenants will receive blessings in this life and the opportunity to return to live with Him forever.
At the end of the endowment, participants symbolically return to the Lord’s presence as they enter the celestial room. There you can take time to ponder, pray, read the scriptures, or quietly share your thoughts with family and friends. It is a place of peace, where you can also find comfort and divine guidance.
All who participate in the endowment ceremony are encouraged to pay attention to what is being taught. Your experience will be more personal and meaningful when you go with the intent to be taught by the Holy Ghost. Don’t worry about remembering or understanding everything the first time. Temple workers will always be there to help and assist you. It isn’t a test, but a chance to feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Focus on the joy of being in the house of the Lord and the spiritual impressions you receive.
Draw Closer to the Lord
The temple endowment is a necessary step toward salvation and returning to Heavenly Father. It is also a time to come closer to Jesus Christ—to know Him better and follow His example. Of course, all of the promised blessings of the endowment depend on our faithfulness.
After you’ve received your own endowment, return to the temple if you can. When you do, you can take part in initiatory and endowment ordinances for ancestors and others who have passed away. As with all other ordinances performed in the temple, those who have died know of your service and can choose whether or not to accept what you have done for them.
Your participation also allows you the chance to hear the blessings, instructions, and covenants again. As you attend the temple, you will notice more ways the endowment relates to the plan of salvation and blesses your life. What you learn and feel will become clearer and more precious to you over time. As you visit, you will feel God’s love and be reminded of what matters most.