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My beloved brothers and sisters, I extend my love and greetings to each of you and pray that our Heavenly Father will guide my thoughts and inspire my words as I speak to you today.
May I begin by making a comment or two concerning the fine messages we have heard this morning from Sister Allred and Bishop Burton and others pertaining to the Church’s welfare program. As indicated, this year marks the 75th anniversary of this inspired program, which has blessed the lives of so many. It was my privilege to know personally some of those who pioneered this great endeavor—men of compassion and foresight.
As both Bishop Burton and Sister Allred and others mentioned, the bishop of the ward is given the responsibility to care for those in need who reside within the boundaries of his ward. Such was my privilege when I presided as a very young bishop in Salt Lake City over a ward of 1,080 members, including 84 widows. There were many who needed assistance. How grateful I was for the welfare program of the Church and for the help of the Relief Society and the priesthood quorums.
I declare that the welfare program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is inspired of Almighty God.
Now, my brothers and sisters, this conference marks three years since I was sustained as President of the Church. Of course they have been busy years, filled with many challenges but also with countless blessings. The opportunity I have had to dedicate and rededicate temples has been among the most enjoyable and sacred of these blessings, and it is concerning the temple that I wish to speak to you today.
During the October general conference in 1902, Church President Joseph F. Smith expressed in his opening address the hope that one day we would “have temples built in the various parts of the [world] where they are needed for the convenience of the people.”1
During the first 150 years following the organization of the Church, from 1830 to 1980, 21 temples were built, including the temples in Kirtland, Ohio, and Nauvoo, Illinois. Contrast that with the 30 years since 1980, during which 115 temples were built and dedicated. With the announcement yesterday of 3 new temples, there are additionally 26 temples either under construction or in preconstruction stages. These numbers will continue to grow.
The goal President Joseph F. Smith hoped for in 1902 is becoming a reality. Our desire is to make the temple as accessible as possible to our members.
One of the temples currently under construction is in Manaus, Brazil. Many years ago I read of a group of over a hundred members who left Manaus, located in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, to travel to what was then the closest temple, located in São Paulo, Brazil—nearly 2,500 miles (4,000 km) from Manaus. Those faithful Saints journeyed by boat for four days on the Amazon River and its tributaries. After completing this journey by water, they boarded buses for another three days of travel—over bumpy roads, with very little to eat, and with nowhere comfortable to sleep. After seven days and nights, they arrived at the temple in São Paulo, where ordinances eternal in nature were performed. Of course their return journey was just as difficult. However, they had received the ordinances and blessings of the temple, and although their purses were empty, they themselves were filled with the spirit of the temple and with gratitude for the blessings they had received.2 Now, many years later, our members in Manaus are rejoicing as they watch their own temple take shape on the banks of the Rio Negro. Temples bring joy to our faithful members wherever they are built.
Reports of the sacrifices made in order to receive the blessings found only in temples of God never fail to touch my heart and bring to me a renewed sense of thankfulness for temples.
May I share with you the account of Tihi and Tararaina Mou Tham and their 10 children. The entire family except for one daughter joined the Church in the early 1960s, when missionaries came to their island, located about 100 miles (160 km) south of Tahiti. Soon they began to desire the blessings of an eternal family sealing in the temple.
At that time the nearest temple to the Mou Tham family was the Hamilton New Zealand Temple, more than 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to the southwest, accessible only by expensive airplane travel. The large Mou Tham family, which eked out a meager living on a small plantation, had no money for airplane fare, nor was there any opportunity for employment on their Pacific island. So Brother Mou Tham and his son Gérard made the difficult decision to travel 3,000 miles (4,800 km) to work in New Caledonia, where another son was already employed.
The three Mou Tham men labored for four years. Brother Mou Tham alone returned home only once during that time, for the marriage of a daughter.
After four years, Brother Mou Tham and his sons had saved enough money to take the family to the New Zealand Temple. All who were members went except for one daughter, who was expecting a baby. They were sealed for time and eternity, an indescribable and joyful experience.
Brother Mou Tham returned from the temple directly to New Caledonia, where he worked for two more years to pay for the passage of the one daughter who had not been at the temple with them—a married daughter and her child and husband.
In their later years Brother and Sister Mou Tham desired to serve in the temple. By that time the Papeete Tahiti Temple had been constructed and dedicated, and they served four missions there.3
My brothers and sisters, temples are more than stone and mortar. They are filled with faith and fasting. They are built of trials and testimonies. They are sanctified by sacrifice and service.
The first temple to be built in this dispensation was the temple at Kirtland, Ohio. The Saints at the time were impoverished, and yet the Lord had commanded that a temple be built, so build it they did. Wrote Elder Heber C. Kimball of the experience, “The Lord only knows the scenes of poverty, tribulation and distress which we passed through to accomplish it.”4 And then, after all that had been painstakingly completed, the Saints were forced to leave Ohio and their beloved temple. They eventually found refuge—although it would be temporary—on the banks of the Mississippi River in the state of Illinois. They named their settlement Nauvoo, and willing to give their all once again and with their faith intact, they erected another temple to their God. Persecutions raged, however, and with the Nauvoo Temple barely completed, they were driven from their homes once again, seeking refuge in a desert.
The struggle and the sacrifice began once again as they labored for 40 years to erect the Salt Lake Temple, which stands majestically on the block just south of those of us who are here today in the Conference Center.
Some degree of sacrifice has ever been associated with temple building and with temple attendance. Countless are those who have labored and struggled in order to obtain for themselves and for their families the blessings which are found in the temples of God.
Why are so many willing to give so much in order to receive the blessings of the temple? Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings. There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, or too much discomfort to endure. They understand that the saving ordinances received in the temple that permit us to someday return to our Heavenly Father in an eternal family relationship and to be endowed with blessings and power from on high are worth every sacrifice and every effort.
Today most of us do not have to suffer great hardships in order to attend the temple. Eighty-five percent of the membership of the Church now live within 200 miles (320 km) of a temple, and for a great many of us, that distance is much shorter.
If you have been to the temple for yourselves and if you live within relatively close proximity to a temple, your sacrifice could be setting aside the time in your busy lives to visit the temple regularly. There is much to be done in our temples in behalf of those who wait beyond the veil. As we do the work for them, we will know that we have accomplished what they cannot do for themselves. President Joseph F. Smith, in a mighty declaration, stated, “Through our efforts in their behalf their chains of bondage will fall from them, and the darkness surrounding them will clear away, that light may shine upon them and they shall hear in the spirit world of the work that has been done for them by their children here, and will rejoice with you in your performance of these duties.”5 My brothers and sisters, the work is ours to do.
In my own family, some of our most sacred and treasured experiences have occurred when we have joined together in the temple to perform sealing ordinances for our deceased ancestors.
If you have not yet been to the temple or if you have been but currently do not qualify for a recommend, there is no more important goal for you to work toward than being worthy to go to the temple. Your sacrifice may be bringing your life into compliance with what is required to receive a recommend, perhaps by forsaking long-held habits which disqualify you. It may be having the faith and the discipline to pay your tithing. Whatever it is, qualify to enter the temple of God. Secure a temple recommend and regard it as a precious possession, for such it is.
Until you have entered the house of the Lord and have received all the blessings which await you there, you have not obtained everything the Church has to offer. The all-important and crowning blessings of membership in the Church are those blessings which we receive in the temples of God.
Now, my young friends who are in your teenage years, always have the temple in your sights. Do nothing which will keep you from entering its doors and partaking of the sacred and eternal blessings there. I commend those of you who already go to the temple regularly to perform baptisms for the dead, arising in the very early hours of the morning so you can participate in such baptisms before school begins. I can think of no better way to start a day.
To you parents of young children, may I share with you some sage advice from President Spencer W. Kimball. Said he: “It would be a fine thing if … parents would have in every bedroom in their house a picture of the temple so [their children] from the time [they are] infant[s] could look at the picture every day [until] it becomes a part of [their lives]. When [they reach] the age that [they need] to make [the] very important decision [concerning going to the temple], it will have already been made.”6
Our children sing in Primary:
I love to see the temple.
I’ll go inside someday.
I’ll cov’nant with my Father;
I’ll promise to obey.7
I plead with you to teach your children of the temple’s importance.
The world can be a challenging and difficult place in which to live. We are often surrounded by that which would drag us down. As you and I go to the holy houses of God, as we remember the covenants we make within, we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation. In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace; we will be renewed and fortified.
Now, my brothers and sisters, may I mention one more temple before I close. In the not-too-distant future as new temples take shape around the world, one will rise in a city which came into being over 2,500 years ago. I speak of the temple which is now being built in Rome, Italy.
Every temple is a house of God, filling the same functions and with identical blessings and ordinances. The Rome Italy Temple, uniquely, is being built in one of the most historic locations in the world, a city where the ancient Apostles Peter and Paul preached the gospel of Christ and where each was martyred.
Last October, as we gathered on a lovely pastoral site in the northeast corner of Rome, it was my opportunity to offer a prayer of dedication as we prepared to break the ground. I felt impressed to call upon Italian senator Lucio Malan and Rome’s vice-mayor Giuseppe Ciardi to be among the first to turn a shovelful of earth. Each had been a part of the decision to allow us to build a temple in their city.
The day was overcast but warm, and although rain threatened, not more than a drop or two fell. As the magnificent choir sang in Italian the beautiful strains of “The Spirit of God,” one felt as though heaven and earth were joined in a glorious hymn of praise and gratitude to Almighty God. Tears could not be restrained.
In a coming day, the faithful in this, the Eternal City, will receive ordinances eternal in nature in a holy house of God.
I express my undying gratitude to my Heavenly Father for the temple now being built in Rome and for all of our temples, wherever they are. Each one stands as a beacon to the world, an expression of our testimony that God, our Eternal Father, lives, that He desires to bless us and, indeed, to bless His sons and daughters of all generations. Each of our temples is an expression of our testimony that life beyond the grave is as real and as certain as is our life here on earth. I so testify.
My beloved brothers and sisters, may we make whatever sacrifices are necessary to attend the temple and to have the spirit of the temple in our hearts and in our homes. May we follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who made the ultimate sacrifice for us, that we might have eternal life and exaltation in our Heavenly Father’s kingdom. This is my sincere prayer, and I offer it in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord, amen.

As temples are prepared for the people, the people need to prepare themselves for the temple
Inscribed on each temple are the words “holiness to the Lord.” 1 That statement designates both the temple and its purposes as holy. Those who enter the temple are also to bear the attribute of holiness. 2 As temples are prepared for the people, the people need to prepare themselves for the temple.
A temple differs from other houses of worship. Unlike chapels, the temple is closed on the Sabbath so that people can attend church and be with their families on that hallowed day. Temples are open for sacred work on other days of the week. A temple is literally the house of the Lord, reserved for ordinances of eternal significance. Those ordinances include baptisms, marriages, endowments, and sealings.
Each temple is symbolic of our faith in God and an evidence of our faith in life after death. The temple is the object of every activity, every lesson, every progressive step in the Church. All of our efforts in proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead lead to the holy temple. Ordinances of the temple are absolutely crucial. We cannot return to God’s glory without them.
Each temple ordinance is an act of solemn promisingIn the temple we receive an endowment, which is, literally speaking, a gift. We need to understand the spiritual significance of it and the importance of keeping the sacred covenants and obligations we make in receiving this gift. Each “temple ordinance is not just a ritual to go through, it is an act of solemn promising.” 3
The temple endowment was given by revelation. Thus, it is best understood by revelation, vigorously sought with a pure heart. President Brigham Young explained that “your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, … and gain your eternal exaltation.” 4
Obedience to the sacred covenants made in temples qualifies us for eternal lifeIn each temple the sealing authority of the priesthood is exercised. President Gordon B. Hinckley explained that “no king, no president of a nation, no official of any entity in the world of which we are a part has any authority over matters beyond the grave. Everyone is helpless before the reach of death, but the humblest, good, righteous high priest who has received the sealing authority may bind in the heavens that which is bound on the earth.” 5
Just as priesthood is eternal—without beginning or end—so is the authority of that priesthood. 6 Consequently, the ordinances and covenants of the priesthood also transcend time. The first revelation given by the angel Moroni to the Prophet Joseph Smith referred to this priesthood authority. 7 In later instructions to the Prophet regarding the temple, the Lord said:
“Let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein unto my people;
“For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times.” 8
We are living in that dispensation. Temples, ordinances, covenants, endowments, and sealings have been restored, precisely as prophesied. Ordinances of the temple provide for reconciliation with the Lord and seal families together forever. Obedience to the sacred covenants made in temples qualifies us for eternal life—the greatest gift of God to man. 9
Anyone who is willing to prepare well may enter the templeBecause a temple is sacred, the Lord asks that it be protected from desecration. Anyone may enter who is willing to prepare well for that privilege. The concept of preparation prevails in other fields of endeavor. I remember when I was but a young boy, I told my parents I wanted to attend the university. They said I could, but only if I worked hard in preliminary schooling and met all the requirements for admission to the university. Similarly, we must qualify for admission to the temple. We prepare physically, intellectually, and spiritually. Eligibility is determined individually for each person applying for a recommend.
Those who hold keys of priesthood authority and responsibility help us prepare by conducting temple recommend interviews. These leaders care for us and help us determine if we are ready to attend the temple. They also love the Lord and ensure “that no unclean thing shall be permitted to come into [His] house.” 10 Thus, these interviews are conducted in a spirit of accountability.
How do you prepare for a temple recommend? You may consult with your bishopric, as well as your parents, family, stake presidency, teacher, or quorum adviser. The requirements are simple. Succinctly stated, an individual is required to keep the commandments of Him whose house it is. He has set the standards. We enter the temple as His guests.
The Lord would be pleased if every adult member would be worthy of—and carry—a current temple recommend. “Interviews … for temple recommends, with [members of your bishopric and members of your stake presidency] are precious experiences. And, in a way, they could be considered meaningful ‘dress rehearsals’ for that grand colloquy when you will stand before the Great Judge.” 11
Prepare physically to go to the templeNow, with a temple recommend in hand, you are ready for additional preparation. You prepare physically by dressing properly to go to the temple. It is not a place for casual attire. Latter-day prophets have emphasized self-respect for our physical bodies. That respect should be observed especially by those who would enter a holy temple. 12
In the temple, all are dressed in spotless white. “The symbolic purity of white likewise reminds us that God is to have a pure people.” 13 Age, nationality, language—even position in the Church—are of secondary significance. I have attended many endowment sessions when the President of the Church participated. Every man in the room was accorded the same high regard that was extended to the President. All sit side by side and are considered equal in the eyes of the Lord. Through a democracy of dress, temple attendance reminds us that “God is no respecter of persons.” 14
Brides and grooms enter the temple to be married for time and all eternity. In the temple, brides wear dresses that are white, long sleeved, modest in design and fabric, and free of elaborate ornamentation. Men do not wear tuxedos or formal wear. President Boyd K. Packer, now President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote: “It is pleasing to the Lord when we bathe our bodies and put on clean clothing, however inexpensive the clothing may be. We should dress in such a way that we might comfortably attend a sacrament meeting or a gathering that is proper and dignified.” 15
Speaking of temple attire, mothers and grandmothers can exert a great influence for good among their children and grandchildren. As their skill and circumstances permit, they can provide tangible motivation for their family. A mother’s gift of a hand-embroidered handkerchief or other article of temple clothing can be a powerful incentive for a loving child or grandchild to cherish.
The temple garment symbolizes continuing commitmentThe wearing of the temple garment bears great symbolic significance and represents a continuing commitment. Just as the Savior gave us an example of His ability to endure to the end, wearing the garment is one way we demonstrate enduring faith in Him and in His eternal covenants with us.
The First Presidency prepared a letter to the Church on this subject. They wrote:
“Practices frequently observed among the members of the Church suggest that some members do not fully understand the covenant they make in the temple to wear the garment in accordance with the spirit of the holy endowment.
“Church members who have been clothed with the garment in the temple have made a covenant to wear it throughout their lives. This has been interpreted to mean that it is worn as underclothing both day and night. … The promise of protection and blessings is conditioned upon worthiness and faithfulness in keeping the covenant.
“The fundamental principle ought to be to wear the garment and not to find occasions to remove it. Thus, members should not remove either all or part of the garment to work in the yard or to lounge around the home in swimwear or immodest clothing. Nor should they remove it to participate in recreational activities that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath regular clothing. When the garment must be removed, such as for swimming, it should be restored as soon as possible.
“The principles of modesty and keeping the body appropriately covered are implicit in the covenant and should govern the nature of all clothing worn. Endowed members of the Church wear the garment as a reminder of the sacred covenants they have made with the Lord and also as a protection against temptation and evil. How it is worn is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior.” 16
Prepare mentally and spiritually to go to the templeIn addition to physical preparation, we need to be prepared mentally and spiritually. Because the ordinances and covenants of the temple are sacred, we are under absolute obligation not to discuss outside the temple that which occurs in the temple. Sacred matters deserve sacred consideration.
In this house of learning, we are taught in the Lord’s way. His ways are not our ways. 17 We should not be surprised if teaching techniques differ from those employed in educational pursuits more familiar to us. Temple ordinances and covenants have been an integral part of the gospel since the days of Adam and Eve. Anciently, symbols were used to teach profound truths, and this method of instruction is used in the temple today.
It is necessary, therefore, that we ponder the symbols presented in the temple and see the mighty realities for which each symbol stands. 18 “The temple ordinances are so imbued with symbolic meaning as to provide a lifetime of productive contemplation and learning.” 19 The teachings of the temple are beautifully simple and simply beautiful. They are understood by those who have had little opportunity for education, yet they can excite the intellect of the highly educated.
I recommend that members going to the temple for the first time read entries in the Bible Dictionary that are related to the temple, such as “Anoint,” “Covenant,” “Sacrifices,” and “Temple.” One may also wish to read Exodus, chapters 26–29, and Leviticus, chapter 8. The Old Testament, as well as the books of Moses and Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price, underscores the antiquity of temple work and the enduring nature of its ordinances.
Keeping a covenant with God is both protective and enablingThere are two concepts we especially need to keep in mind as we prepare for the temple. The first is covenant. We need to remember that a covenant is a promise. A covenant made with God should be regarded not as restrictive but as protective. Covenants with Him protect us from danger.
This concept is not new. If our water supply is of questionable quality, for example, we filter the water. Similarly, divine covenants shield us from harm. When we choose to deny ourselves of all ungodliness, 20 we lose nothing of value and gain glory known only to those who obtain eternal life. Keeping a temple covenant is not constraining but enabling. It elevates us beyond limits of our own perspective and power. It is like the difference between plodding through a muddy field and soaring through the skies in a supersonic jet. Keeping a covenant with God is both protective and enabling.
The second concept to stress in our mental preparation is Atonement. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the central act of all human history. It is the core of the plan of salvation. Without the infinite Atonement, all mankind would be irretrievably lost. Temple ordinances and covenants teach of the redeeming power of the Atonement.
Eternal life is available to us through our obedience to covenants made in the templeService in the temple brings blessings to us in this life as well as in eternity. Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that “temple work is not an escape from the world but a reinforcing of our need to better the world while preparing ourselves for another and far better world. Thus, being in the Lord’s house can help us to be different from the world in order to make more difference in the world.” 21
If we are true and faithful in this life, we may obtain eternal life. Immortality is to live forever. Eternal life means more than simply being immortal. Eternal life is to gain exaltation in the highest heaven and live in the family unit. God declared that His grand mission statement—“my work and my glory”—is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” 22 His gift of immortality is unconditional—a free gift of salvation to all humankind. The possibility of eternal life—even exaltation—is available to us through our obedience to covenants made and ordinances received in holy temples of God.
The blessings of the temple become most meaningful when our loved ones are taken in death from our family circles. To know that our period of separation is but temporary provides peace that passes ordinary understanding. 23 President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, “Through the power of this priesthood which Elijah bestowed, husband and wife may be sealed, or married for eternity; children may be sealed to their parents for eternity; thus the family is made eternal, and death does not separate the members.” 24 Blessed with eternal sealings, we can face death as a necessary component of God’s great plan of happiness. 25
The eternal perspective we receive in the temple gives us strength to endure the trials of lifeAn eternal perspective helps us maintain complete fidelity to the covenants we make. President Packer emphasized that “ordinances and covenants become our credentials for admission into [God’s] presence. To worthily receive them is the quest of a lifetime; to keep them thereafter is the challenge of mortality.” 26
Ordinances of the temple relate not only to our eternal glory but also to that of our departed ancestors. “For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, … they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect.” 27 Service in their behalf provides an opportunity for our continuing temple worship, selflessly rendered as a vicarious work patterned after that of the Lord as He wrought the Atonement to bless all who would ever live.
One day we will surely meet our Maker and stand before Him at the bar of judgment. Scripture teaches us that “the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.” 28 The Lord Himself will determine whether we have been true to the covenants we made with Him in the temple and thus merit the glorious blessings He has promised those who keep their covenants.
This perspective gives us strength to endure the trials of life. President Packer stated, “The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father.” 29
Each temple stands as a symbol of our membership in the Church, as a sign of our faith in life after death, and as a stepping-stone to eternal glory for us and our family. I pray that each member of the Church will prepare for the marvelous blessings of the temple.
Adapted from Ensign, Mar. 2002, 17–23
President Brigham Young explained that “your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father.”
We must qualify for admission to the temple. We prepare physically, intellectually, and spiritually.
You prepare physically by dressing properly to go to the temple. It is not a place for casual attire. Respect for our physical bodies should be observed especially by those who enter a holy temple.
In the temple, all are dressed in spotless white. Through a democracy of dress, temple attendance reminds us that “God is no respecter of persons.”
Mothers and grandmothers can exert a great influence for good among their children and grandchildren regarding proper temple attire.
In this house of learning, we are taught in the Lord’s ways. His ways are not our ways. The teachings of the temple are beautifully simple and simply beautiful.
Without the infinite Atonement, all mankind would be irretrievably lost. Temple ordinances and covenants teach of the redeeming power of the Atonement.
Blessed with eternal sealings, we can face death as a necessary component of God’s great plan of happiness.
“Through the power of [the] priesthood … , husband and wife may be sealed, or married for eternity; children may be sealed to their parents for eternity; thus the family is made eternal.”—President Joseph Fielding Smith
Each temple stands as a symbol of our membership in the Church, as a sign of our faith in life after death, and as a stepping-stone to eternal glory for us and our family.

Although you are preparing to receive your temple ordinances in the future, the temple can have a profound influence on your life right now.
Making the Temple a Part of Your LifeThe temple is the most sacred place on earth—a place where earth and heaven meet and where we feel close to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Although you are preparing to receive your temple ordinances in the future, the temple can have a profound influence on your life right now. Here are some things you can do to make the temple a part of your life while you are young.
Participate in Baptisms for the DeadWorthy young men and young women ages 12 and older can visit the temple to be baptized for their ancestors who have died without being baptized. President Thomas S. Monson spoke of the joy this service brings:
“One morning as I walked to the temple, I saw a group of young women who, early that morning, had participated in baptisms for those who had passed beyond. Their hair was wet. Their smiles were radiant. Their hearts were filled with joy. One girl turned back to face the temple and expressed her feelings. ‘This has been the happiest day of my life,’ she said.” 1
Thirteen-year-old Jessica Hahn of Daphne, Alabama, was baptized for some of her ancestors in the Atlanta Georgia Temple. Though it took five hours to travel to the temple, she says the experience was wonderful. “Being able to put on pure white clothes and be baptized for my ancestors gave me a great feeling,” she said. “I feel like I know them now.”
Go to the temple as often as you can. There you can experience the joy of helping others receive the blessings of baptism.
Support the Work of the TempleThere are many ways to support temple work, even if you can’t go to the temple often yourself. You can learn about your ancestors and see that temple ordinances are performed for them. You can offer to take care of young children so their parents can attend the temple. Because temple service focuses so much on families, you can work to strengthen your own family. And you can share with others your testimony that the temple truly is the house of the Lord.
Live Worthy to Enter the TempleBecause the temple is such a sacred place, the Lord has set high standards for us to live by before we can go inside. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained that “the standards set by the Lord in the temple recommend questions are very similar to the standards found in For the Strength of Youth. In times of calmness but also in times of greatest temptation, these standards and the guidance of the Holy Ghost will help you make the right choices. … How you apply these standards will say much about who you are and what you seek to become.” 2
Live the Lord’s standards, and you’ll be worthy to enter the temple. Having the desire to enter the temple in the future can help you turn away from temptation today. “It gives you a reason to stay worthy,” said Marlon Ruiz, age 16, of Sunrise, Florida. “As long as you have that goal, you always think about what you do because you can’t go into the temple when you’re not worthy.”
Plan for a Temple Marriage“I see the temple and think of being married there someday,” said Annika Reithmeier, age 16, of Oslo, Norway. “I know that the promises you make in the temple are promises with the Lord. The things you learn there won’t just change or disappear.”
Keep a picture of the temple someplace where you will see it often, and look forward to the day when you can receive your own temple ordinances.
When she was 14 years old, Jody Hazelbaker of American Fork, Utah, visited the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple during the open house. “When I was walking through the bride’s room, I paused for a moment and gazed into the mirror,” she recalled. “As I looked, I could see myself in the future, wearing a beautiful wedding gown and a big smile. I knew this was the place where I was going to be married, in the temple, close to my Father in Heaven.”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained that “the standards set by the Lord in the temple recommend questions are very similar to the standards found in For the Strength of Youth.”
Seoul Korea Temple. Dedicated Dec. 14, 1985.

What do people do in the temple?In the temple we are taught, we make covenants, and we are promised blessings. We receive ordinances that enable us to live in the presence of God.
One ordinance we receive in the temple is the endowment. The word endowment means “gift” or “bestowal.” As part of this ordinance, we are taught about the purpose of life, the mission and Atonement of Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. We gain a glimpse of what it will be like to live in His presence as we feel the peaceful atmosphere of the temple.
Another temple ordinance is the sealing ordinance, in which husbands and wives are sealed to each other and children are sealed to their parents in eternal families. This means that if we are faithful to our covenants, our family relationships will continue for eternity.
In addition to receiving these ordinances for ourselves, we can receive them for our deceased ancestors. In this way, people who died without receiving essential ordinances such as baptism and confirmation, the endowment, and sealing have the opportunity to accept these ordinances.
What is it like inside the temple?The temple is a peaceful, sacred place, set apart from the cares and turmoil of the world. All areas of the temple are beautifully and carefully maintained to preserve a spirit of reverence. Because it is the Lord’s house, and because of the sacred work performed there, in the temple we can feel the Spirit abundantly and feel close to the Lord. There we can receive personal revelation and spiritual strength to help us overcome our trials. This is part of the reason we are encouraged to attend the temple regularly.
How should I dress when I go to the temple?Wear modest Sunday dress when you attend the temple. Avoid extremes in dress and grooming, just as you would in a sacrament meeting. You show reverence and respect for the Lord and His house and invite the Spirit by being clean and presentable.
In the temple there are private dressing rooms where you change out of your Sunday clothing and put on white clothing. This change of clothing serves as a reminder that you are temporarily leaving the world behind and entering a holy place. White clothing symbolizes purity, and the fact that all are dressed alike in the temple creates a sense of unity and equality.
When should I receive my endowment?Most likely you will receive your endowment shortly before you serve a full-time mission or before you are married in the temple. Single members in their late teens or early twenties who have not received a mission call and are not engaged to be married in the temple are generally not recommended to receive their own endowment.
New members wait at least one year after their baptism and confirmation before receiving their endowment.
Receiving your own endowment is an important matter. Discuss it with your bishop. Pray and ponder to know when you are ready.
What can I say to others about my experience in the temple?You can talk about what the interior of the temple looks like, and you can freely share the feelings you have in the temple. However, temple covenants and ordinances, including the words used, are too sacred to be discussed in detail outside the temple. By avoiding discussion of these sacred things outside the temple, we protect them from mocking, ridicule, or disrespect. Do not be casual when talking about your experiences in the temple.
Why is symbolism used in the temple?During His earthly ministry, the Savior often taught in parables to represent eternal truths symbolically. He has directed that we be taught in a similar way in the temple. There is symbolism in the temple ordinances and covenants, their presentation, the physical setting, and the clothing worn. If you ponder the meaning of these symbols with the guidance of the Holy Ghost, they can help you recognize truth, learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and grow spiritually.
I have family members who cannot enter the temple. What can I do to help them feel included in my temple marriage?This can be a tender subject. Since the temple is the house of the Lord, dedicated to Him, those who enter must hold a current temple recommend, which certifies that they are living by the standards He has set. However, those who do not have a current temple recommend are welcome on temple grounds, and most temples have a room where they can wait while family members are being sealed. A couple with family members who cannot enter the temple may invite their bishop or another Church member to stay with them in the waiting room.
A couple may also arrange with their bishop to hold a special meeting afterward for relatives and friends who do not have a recommend. This meeting provides an opportunity for them to feel included and to learn about eternal marriage. Although no ceremony is performed and no vows are exchanged, rings may be exchanged at such a meeting.
What should I do to prepare to receive temple ordinances?You can prepare by attending the temple regularly to participate in baptisms for the dead, by participating in a temple preparation seminar organized by your bishop, and by studying the scriptures and the articles in this booklet.
You can also prepare by living the Lord’s standards of temple worthiness. Nurture your testimony of God the Father and of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. Obey the Word of Wisdom and the law of chastity. Sustain your Church leaders, pay a full tithing, and attend your Church meetings. Be honest in your dealings with others, and ensure that your family life is in harmony with the teachings of the Church. Keep your baptismal covenants so that you will be ready to receive the higher covenants of the temple.
Celestial room, Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple.
Jordan River Utah Temple. Dedicated Nov. 16, 1981.
Nauvoo Illinois Temple. Dedicated June 27, 2002.

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