In his April 2019 general conference talk, Elder David A. Bednar quoted President Ezra Taft Benson regarding the sacredness of the temple:
“The temple is a sacred place, and the ordinances in the temple are of a sacred character. Because of its sacredness we are sometimes reluctant to say anything about the temple to our children and grandchildren.
“As a consequence, many do not develop a real desire to go to the temple, or when they go there, they do so without much background to prepare them for the obligations and covenants they enter into.
“I believe a proper understanding or background will immeasurably help prepare our youth for the temple … [and] will foster within them a desire to seek their priesthood blessings just as Abraham sought his.”
But how can we speak of the temple more frequently while also respecting the ordinances received within the temple as sacred? Elder Bednar provided two guidelines:
"Guideline #1. Because we love the Lord, we always should speak about His holy house with reverence. We should not disclose or describe the special symbols associated with the covenants we receive in sacred temple ceremonies. Neither should we discuss the holy information that we specifically promise in the temple not to reveal.
"Guideline #2. The temple is the house of the Lord. Everything in the temple points us to our Savior, Jesus Christ. We may discuss the basic purposes of and the doctrine and principles associated with temple ordinances and covenants.
"President Howard W. Hunter counseled: 'Let us share with our children the spiritual feelings we have in the temple. And let us teach them more earnestly and more comfortably the things we can appropriately say about the purposes of the house of the Lord'" (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter (2015), 184).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has outlined resources to help families talk about the temple in sacred ways at temples.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
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5 Gifts of Receiving Your Endowment
Under the article "About the Temple Endowment," the Church outlines five specific gifts we receive through our temple endowment:
"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."
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 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."
A Gift and Rich Symbolism
About how we learn in the temple and preparing to receive your endowment, President Russell M. Nelson taught:
"Each temple is a house of learning. There we are taught in the Master’s way. His way differs from modes of others. His way is ancient and rich with symbolism. We can learn much by pondering the reality for which each symbol stands. Teachings of the temple are beautifully simple and simply beautiful. They are understood by the humble, yet they can excite the intellect of the brightest minds.
"Spiritual preparation is enhanced by study. I like to recommend that members going to the temple for the first time read short explanatory paragraphs in the Bible Dictionary, listed under seven topics: 'Anoint,' 'Atonement,' 'Christ,' 'Covenant,' 'Fall of Adam,' 'Sacrifices,' and 'Temple.' Doing so will provide a firm foundation.
"One may also read in the Old Testament and the books of Moses and Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. Such a review of ancient scripture is even more enlightening after one is familiar with the temple endowment. Those books underscore the antiquity of temple work" (“Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings,” Ensign, May 2001).
As we return to the temple often, we can better understand the gifts we received through our temple endowment. As President Nelson explains:
"The temple endowment was given by revelation. Thus, it is best understood by revelation, prayerfully sought with a sincere heart. . . . Obedience to temple covenants qualifies us for eternal life, the greatest gift of God to man. Eternal life is more than immortality. Eternal life is exaltation in the highest heaven—the kind of life that God lives" (“Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings,” Ensign, May 2001).
To find more answers about what it means to receive your endowment, visit the "Temple Endowment Q&A" on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.