Your Personal Gift from God
Receiving your temple endowment is one of the most sacred experiences of your life. Personal preparation will make it more meaningful and powerful. Many members of the Church receive their endowment before a mission or marriage, while others simply have a strong desire to move forward along the covenant path. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s important to realize that your endowment is more than just another step; it’s an essential and glorious part of your eternal journey.
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 necessary for us to be exalted in the celestial kingdom. Temple ordinances, including the endowment, lead to the greatest blessings available through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and help us focus on the Savior, His role in our Heavenly Father’s plan, and our commitment to follow Him.
The word endowment means “a gift.” In this context, the temple endowment is literally a gift from God whereby He bestows sacred blessings upon you. 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 direction 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, secondary school, or the equivalent) may receive their temple endowment if they are faithful and prepared. Because temple ordinances and covenants are sacred and have eternal significance, members must be worthy and sufficiently able to understand the solemn responsibilities 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.
Your preparation to receive your endowment will include following the teachings of Jesus Christ and honoring the covenants you made at baptism. As you prepare, you will have the opportunity to meet with your bishop and then a member of your stake presidency 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 also affirm that you are diligently 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 preliminary ordinances called the initiatory ordinances. The initiatory 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 remainder of your endowment in a group setting along with others who are attending the temple. During this part, the plan of salvation is presented, including the Creation of the world, the Fall of Adam and Eve, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Apostasy, and the Restoration, as well as instruction on 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.
In conjunction with these ordinances, you will be invited to make specific covenants with God. These covenants include:
- Law of Obedience
- Law of Sacrifice
- Law of the Gospel
- Law of Chastity
- Law of Consecration
In return, God promises wonderful blessings in this life and the opportunity to return to live with Him forever.
At the conclusion of the endowment, participants symbolically return to the Lord’s presence as they enter the celestial room. There you can spend time to ponder, pray, read the scriptures, or quietly discuss your experiences with family and friends. It is a place of peace, where you can also find comfort and divine direction.
Everyone participating in an endowment session is encouraged to carefully 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 an opportunity 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, but it’s also an opportunity to come closer to Jesus Christ—to know Him better and follow His example. Of course, all of the promised blessings of the endowment are dependent on our faithfulness.
After you’ve received your own endowment, you can return to the temple and participate in both initiatory and endowment ordinances for people who have passed away. As with all other ordinances performed in the temple, those who have died are aware of the service you have provided and can choose whether or not to accept what you have done on their behalf.
Your participation also allows you the chance to hear the blessings, instructions, and covenants again. Through your temple experiences, 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.