Temple Preparation FAQ

So, you or someone you know is preparing to go to the Temple, make covenants, and receive their endowment. What do you need to do? Is there something you should read or know? Is there something you should be doing to prepare? Whom should you talk to? This page is not affiliated in any way with any official arm of the LDS Church and has no authority per se, but in an attempt to “be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will” (D&C 58:27), I think I have pulled together some pretty good suggestions to commonly asked questions, using the scriptures, Church magazines, and General Authority teachings. My only goal is to help people be prepared for the Temple by acquainting them with relevant scriptures, General Authority guidance and other such things that they might otherwise be unaware of. However, I recommend that you find the official sources (such as the Holy Temple pamphlet from Elder Packer), take the temple preparation class through your ward, etc.

First- If you are serious about going to the Temple, you should talk to your Bishop. Even if you know you’re not going for a while, letting your Bishop know is good for several reasons. First, he can help you prepare, especially if there are things you need to discuss with him. Second, he may call someone in the ward to teach a Temple Preparation class that you can attend. Generally speaking, new members must wait one year from the date of their confirmation before they can receive their endowment, though they can attend the Temple to perform baptisms for the dead within a few months after baptism.

Set up an early interview with your bishop or branch president to review the temple recommend questions and to ensure you can honestly and properly answer each of those questions. In that way, if a change of conduct or repentance will be required, you will be able to discuss it with your bishop or branch president in adequate time to allow it to occur before seeking a recommend.”

- Elder Cree-L Kofford, “Marriage in the Lord’s Way, Part 2,” Ensign, (July 1998): 15.

Second- In order to attend the Temple, you must be living in such a way that you can enter the House of the Lord with “clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3-4). In other words, you need to be living certain moral standards as well as demonstrating that you have kept the covenants you made when you were baptized.

Before you attend the Temple, you need to arrange an interview with someone in the Bishopric and then a second interview with someone in the Stake Presidency. This is called a “Temple recommend” interview, and they are private and confidential. (See the discussion of interviews in the Church’s new book, True to the Faith.) After interviewing you, they give you a small piece of paper, called a “Temple Recommend” and sign it, indicating that they have certified your moral lifestyle and commitment to the gospel and thus can “recommend” you to the Temple. You yourself also sign the Temple Recommend.

“I would hope that every adult member would be worthy of—and carry—a current Temple recommend, even if proximity to a Temple does not allow immediate or frequent use of it”

-President Howard W. Hunter, “The Great Symbol of Our Membership,” Ensign, Oct. 1994, 5)

On the right are my attempts to use the scriptures and words of the prophets to answer frequently asked questions about preparing for and understanding the Temple. ©

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