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Everything You Need to Know to Prepare for the Temple

“(She) who is best prepared can best serve (her) moment of inspiration.”
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge

You're going to the temple! Can we just soak in for two moments how exciting that is?! Whether you've been a member of the Church for 100 years or 1, this is a big deal. Not because anything freaky is going to happen, but because you're about to make another covenant that you came to this very earth for the very purpose of making! Receiving your endowment is how life compensates for bad blind dates and finals.

"Receiving your endowment" is just another way to say "making a covenant." Just like when we were baptized, when we go to the temple we make promises to the Lord regarding how we will live our individual lives. Making and KEEPING these covenants helps us become the people we came to this earth to become.

My favorite scripture on this idea is in Alma 53. Before their "stripling warrior" days, the boys that made up the Army of Helaman were just normal good kids raised by good moms. Their parents made a covenant not to fight, but the boys had not made that covenant. Instead, "they entered into a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites." The good part is in verse 19:

"And now behold, as they never had hitherto been a disadvantage to the Nephites, they became now at this period of time a great support."

Did you catch it? Making a covenant helped them go from good to great. That's exactly what this new covenant can do for you! It's getting you one step closer to the super rad person you're destined to become.

There can be a lot of emotions leading up to attending the temple for the first time and I think they're all justified. (Some more than others.) Some of the more negative emotions come because there is so much unknown. Two bits of advice to help you fight the fears 1. Prepare 2. Chill.

This entire blog post is meant to help you prepare. I'll address the "chill" aspect at the end.

Below you'll find resources that I and many others have found helpful as we prepared to enter the temple. This is not a list to end all lists. I'm sure you know of some awesome resources, too! This is just a good place to start. Pretty please add all the goods you know of in the comments below so everyone can benefit from it.

Study Resources

Tip: Start with a prayer and focus on your thoughts and feelings more than the words you read. The Spirit is like your personal tutor. He will teach YOU exactly what YOU need to learn and understand. The below resources are just tools to help you hear what the Spirit has to say.

Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple

This is a great little 37-page book put out by the Church. You can read, print, listen, or download it HERE, or you can get it from the Distribution Center. If you're like me, getting through this kind of material can be tough because minds tend to wander. Give yourself some time, and don't feel bad if you don't read it in one sitting. My mom always says its best to drink a few glasses of water throughout the day rather than an entire jug before bed.

"Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings" by Russell M. Nelson

This talk goes over some of the basic details of the temple, like recommends, interviews, dress, and covenants.

Preach My Gospel

Whether you're going on a mission or not, Preach My Gospel is a goldmine of resources and study prompts. I've probably gained more from studying it since my mission than I did on my mission. (Don't tell my President Ellsworth.)

I especially suggest

  • Chapter 3, Lesson 3 (pg. 60-70)
  • Chapter 11, “How Do I Help People Make and Keep Commitments?”
    • Change the title to "How Do I Help Myself Make and Keep Commitments?" and you're ready to go!
  • Chapter 6, “How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes?”
    • The purpose of our life on earth as well as the purpose of the temple is to help us become more like Jesus Christ. It never hurts to brush up on the basics of what makes Him the best big brother ever.

"What do I need to do to prepare for my own endowment?"

Pay special attention to the list of scriptures at the bottom of this link. Reading and understanding these will help so much of the temple feel familiar.

There is also a link to a great talk about garments. Win-win.

Tips from My People

I get that not everyone has people that they can talk with about the temple. If you don't, or do, I'll share my people with you. They have great advice and most of them are really normal and good humans.

  • Fast before, specifically to feel the Spirit when you go, but DON'T fast the actual day you go. - Judy Nelson
  • Read The Holy Temple by President Packer. - Marty Evans
  • Just relax. Try not to stress about remembering everything because it is a learning process just like the gospel. - Cindy Ries
  • Take the "small and simple things" approach: focus on the principles and doctrines you recognize and let everything else soak in over time. - John Evans
  • Remember what happens in the temple comes from the Old Testament. And the OLD Testament is very OLD. The same service happened thousands of years ago. - Zach Goodrich
  • I was nervous that something really creepy was going to happen. I wish someone would have told me before that I wouldn't be weirded out. - Mary Parker (Spoiler Alert: NOTHING CREEPY OR SHOCKING IS GOING TO HAPPEN. Scout's honor!)
  • Focus on feeling the Spirit BUT don't be freaked out if you don't have a MASSIVE spiritual experience. - Abrie Shep (Sometimes our nervousness gets the best of us.)
  • Remember all the people who you know and love who have already been there and attend frequently. Trust them and trust the Spirit. - Lauren Merkley
  • Read Moses and the Pearl of Great Price. - Abby Howard
  • Even though wearing the garment is super different from what you're used to, you'll get used to them pretty quickly. - Leighana Chae

More goodness from more good humans found HERE

My Best Advice

As I am sure you're experiencing, everyone has an opinion on how you should prepare for the temple. Listen to those you love and respect, but remember this is between you and your Father in Heaven.

As an MTC teacher, I had the chance to work with a lot of recently endowed people. Some prepared a ton to enter the temple, and some . . . not so much. After talking to so many people, it's my personal opinion that the best way to prepare for the temple is by attending the temple. Go often, before and after you receive your endowment. I see it as sitting front row at a class taught by the Spirit. He is there and most distractions aren't. Show up and you can't help but learn.

What You'll Need to Buy

  • A dress for ladies or white slacks, shirts, and ties for men
    • My company sells beautiful temple dress options at qnoor.com
  • White socks and white shoes
    • White knee highs. Yes ladies, knee highs. You can totally wear full nylons in the temple. Knee highs just seem to be the more popular choice. (Which, I realize, is a statement no one has ever said before.) The Distribution Center has inexpensive and simple white slippers.
  • Ceremonial clothing and garments
    • There are a few items of special clothing only worn within the temple that you’ll need. It's common to refer to this group of items as a "packet." You can buy your packet
      • At a Distribution Center near you
      • Or online. You need to sign in to your LDS account to buy your packet online. If you don't have an LDS account, just text your ward clerk. I'm sure he'd gladly help you out.
  • You'll start wearing the garment during your first visit to the temple so you'll need to bring a set with you. Talk to friends or family about what fabrics and styles (yes, there are different styles) they prefer. Buy a couple different options/sizes to try out before making a huge purchase. It's best to make the big purchase once you know what you like. I'm a Carinessa girl, through and through.
  • Slip and bra for the ladies
    • It's smart to test out your dress before wearing it to the temple. Just try it on in your room and assess the see-through and static situation. White bras and slips never hurt anyone.

Just Chill

Call me crazy, but I was legitimately confused after my first visit to the temple because nothing weird or extreme happened. Did I miss the weird part that everyone was so worked up about? No. Honestly, if you do your part to prepare before the temple, you're going to be FINE. And when I say "prepare" I don't mean fast 40 days and 40 nights while reading every volume of scripture and humming the hymns simultaneously. Just do your best. How and how much you prepare is between you and your Heavenly Father. I have a bunch to learn about Him, but I do know He is a pretty reasonable guy. He doesn't expect you to be perfect right now. That would kinda defeat the whole purpose of going to the temple in the first place.

(I repeat, nothing crazy is going to happen! SCOUT'S HONOR!)

You're gonna love it. And let's be real, if you don't LOVE it after the first visit then keep going till you do! Everyone is different and everyone is allowed to have a different experience. Just do all that you can to make sure your experience is the very best for you, even if it happens eventually.

Lead image of the Rexburg Idaho Temple taken by Michael Lyman, retrieved from ldschurchtemples.com
Rocie

Rosemary Card

Rosemary Card is a former fashion model turned temple dress designer and public speaker. She owns and operates Q.NOOR, a line of temple and baptism dresses designed to help more women feel more comfortable in the House of the Lord. Rosie is passionate about helping women rise up to their full potential as disciples of Christ. She lives in Salt Lake with her goldendoodle, Ted, and is a proud pioneer of the stay-at-home YSA lifestyle. More of her work can be found at https://www.instagram.com/qnoor_templedress/

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