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Rosemary Wixom on temple covenants and the spiritual symbolism of temple garments

by | Aug. 21, 2020

Former Primary General President Rosemary Wixom was a recent guest on the Latter-day Saint Women podcast. In the episode titled “Discovering the Power of Temple Covenants,” Sister Wixom shared insight into what she learned while serving as the Salt Lake Temple matron before it closed for renovation.

During the interview, Sister Wixom answered a question about how to improve one’s temple experience. One thing to remember, she said, is that a temple experience includes so much more than the time spent in the temple itself.

“I believe that that temple experience begins long before you walk through the doors of the temple. It really begins at home. It begins as we anticipate going to the temple, what we’ll feel, maybe going with a question or an issue or a concern that we have in our lives, and He will prepare us if we will allow Him to. Invite Him into your preparation before you even leave to go to the temple because I believe that’s a big part of it,” she said.

Sister Wixom continued by emphasizing the importance of going to the temple with a question in mind and recognizing how God speaks to you individually.

“We need to have inquiring minds and go with a question, going seeking to hear Him. But above all, don’t give up. Keep going,” she said. “How is the Lord speaking to us? Now, He may speak to you while you sit there in that beautiful, comfortable chair in the temple. Or He may speak to you later. But I believe the fact that you made the effort to go and to be in His house and to inquire and to seek to hear Him, He will allow that to happen.”

► You may also like: See photos and watch a time-lapse video of recent Salt Lake Temple renovation progress

Explaining her thoughts on how to make wearing garments more meaningful, Sister Wixom stated that it’s important to recognize the connection between the temple and garments.

“It’s not just wearing the garment and then the temple. They’re connected together. When we recognize everything in the temple is centered on our Savior Jesus Christ, we connect Him when we wear the garment. We connect His presence in our life with that garment itself,” she said. “And I believe that it’s a reverence for the Lord’s part in our life. . . . think about Adam and Eve and how they were cast from the garden, and yet part of that procedure, part of that process—they were wearing garments, or skins, it’s referred to in the scriptures. Well, where did those skins come from? Most likely, they came from the sacrifice that they made. And what was the sacrifice representing? Our Savior, Jesus Christ. So that sacrifice is symbolically our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we look at the garment that way, we have a whole new perspective of the reason to wear it and to reverence it and respect it in our lives.”

► You may also like: 3 ways we’ve been asked to respect our temple garments

Rather than questioning when to wear garments in regard to exercise or working in the yard, Sister Wixom encouraged others to instead look for reasons to wear garments and to see it as an opportunity to remember the Savior.

“I think sometimes we want to put a line, we want to put a definition of ‘now you do and now you don’t.’ I say, look for reasons to wear it. Why not? Why not have the protection? Why not have the covenants that we make next to us? Why not remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, in every part of our day, in everything we do? If it’s possible, wear that temple garment,” she said.

Garments are also a spiritual protection to the wearer, said Sister Wixom. Recalling an occasion when a woman was going through the temple for the first time and asked her about that protection, she shared the following:

“I sought the Spirit like I’ve never sought it before. My answer was, ‘The covenants that we make in the temple to love, to obey, to serve, to follow, to become his disciple are represented in that temple garment that we wear. When those covenants are part of us, regardless of what happens in this physical world, they will protect us spiritually. We will not lose hope, we will not lose testimony, we will not lose the ability to draw closer to the Lord. We will not lose our perspective of our place in His plan when they are a part of us.’”

Listen to the whole episode at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Danielle christensen

Danielle Christensen

Danielle is a features writer and editor for LDS Living. Previously, she served as web producer for Church News, where she managed their website and social media platforms. Danielle is a graduate of Brigham Young University in English and has been published with Deseret NewsChurch NewsBYU Magazine, and Spires Intercollegiate Arts and Literary Magazine.

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