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 make sacred covenants that include the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God, which is "the greatest of all the gifts of God" (Doctrine and Covenants 14:7). Temple ordinances and covenants have always been part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They strengthen a divine relationship and help us focus on the Savior, His Atonement, and our commitment to follow Him.
Receiving your temple endowment is a very personal experience. Preparing for it will make it more meaningful. 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. Bishops and branch presidents should encourage and counsel with adult members who wish to receive their endowment. 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.
An endowment is literally 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, the Lord has set standards for those who wish to receive them. Members must also be able to understand the solemn duties they will accept as they make covenants with God.
Preparing to receive your endowment will include following the teachings of Jesus Christ and striving to keep the covenants you made at baptism. You renew your covenants every time you partake of the sacrament. You will have the opportunity to meet with your bishop and then your stake president for a temple recommend interview. The standards for entering the house of the Lord will be discussed during the 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 and follow Jesus Christ. Your stake president will then be able to issue you a temple recommend that will allow you to enter the temple and receive your endowment.
An Overview of the Endowment
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 and instructed to wear it throughout your life.
In the second part, you will receive the rest of your endowment in a group setting. This takes place in an instruction room with others who are attending the temple. Some of the endowment is presented through video and some by temple officiators. During the ordinance, events that are part of 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.
During the endowment ordinance, you will be invited to make certain covenants with God. 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.
All covenants with God are intended to be binding. When you keep your covenants and repent of your imperfections, your relationship with Him is strengthened and He will bless you more fully. Your relationship with the Savior also becomes closer and more meaningful. Covenant keepers gain greater access to the power of God and to lasting love, peace, comfort, and joy. God promises that those who keep their covenants will have the opportunity to return to live with Him forever.
President Russell M. Nelson explains that “Making a covenant with God changes our relationship with Him forever. It blesses us with an extra measure of love and mercy. It affects who we are and how God will help us become what we can become.” Because of God’s lovingkindness for those who have covenanted with Him, “He will love them. He will continue to work with them and offer them opportunities to change. He will forgive them when they repent. And should they stray, He will help them find their way back to Him” (“The Everlasting Covenant,” Liahona, October 2022).
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 fulfilling 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 as often as 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.