3 Questions and Answers to Help You Prepare for the Temple
Latter-day Saint temples come in all shapes and sizes. There are the gleaming towers of the San Diego, Washington D.C., or Salt Lake City temples; and there’s also church-building sized temples like those in Louisville, Kentucky U.S.A., Accra, Ghana, and Fukuoka, Japan.
But all temples serve one purpose: to bring all of God’s children of God closer to Jesus Christ.
Similarly, we all bring our important individuality to the temple, but when we are there, we have the same purpose: to come closer to Christ and our Heavenly Parents.
Attending the temple for the first time is an important step in showing faith and a greater commitment to follow Jesus Christ. It is common to have questions and even uncertainties about what will happen in the temple. Some people you love and trust may be uncertain themselves about how to answer your questions.
With some preparation and a little logistical know-how, you can feel assured walking into the temple for the first time. This will allow you to better focus on the things you do know, rather than what you don’t.
Here, we’ll answer three questions that will help you feel more prepared to attend the temple for the first time:
If you’re preparing to enter the temple to receive your own endowment, you’ve likely attended the temple to perform other proxy ordinances before, like baptisms and confirmations. To perform proxy ordinances, you must first receive those ordinances yourself.
The first time you attend the temple, you’ll receive the endowment for yourself, and subsequently, you’ll receive it for someone who is dead via proxy. Previously unendowned members obtain a recommend for living ordinances from their bishops. This is a special kind of temple recommend for members receiving their own endowment or being sealed to a spouse.
There are 15 temple recommend interview questions that ask if a member has a testimony in God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and its leaders; the temple recommend questions also ask if the member strives to keep certain commandments.
After you receive a temple recommend, you’ll call the temple you wish to attend for the first time and ask to schedule an appointment for a living ordinance. A temple worker will tell you when to arrive at the temple.
The first time you attend the temple, you will choose an endowed member of your same gender to be your support person, or escort. This escort, along with the temple workers, want you to have a positive first experience in the temple.
We’ve prepared this handy-dandy temple prep shopping list to help you know what to buy and what to bring to the temple.
Checking off each item from this list can cost as little as $100, or as much as you’d like. White temple clothing and ceremonial clothing can be rented at many temples, and all temples keep extra clothing on hand for missionaries and for other circumstances.
Don’t be intimidated or overwhelmed by cost—buy items little by little and talk to your Relief Society president or bishop who will be happy to assist you pay for what you need.
When looking for temple clothing, choose something you feel comfortable in. The endowment session is over an hour and you’ll want to feel your best. Most importantly, bring your temple recommend, your temple escort, and an open heart that is willing to feel what you Heavenly Parents want you to gain from your temple experience.
Most temple patrons arrive at the temple wearing clothing that is common for Sunday church worship. However, this is not a requirement—come as you are.
Women don’t need to wear dresses or skirts to the temple; many women feel more comfortable at church or other church meetings in dress pants or pantsuits. Some temple patrons don’t have time to change into their Sunday best before arriving at the temple because they are coming from work or other obligations.
No matter what you’re wearing when you check in at the recommend desk, once you enter the temple, you’ll go to the dressing room to change out of your everyday clothes and into white temple clothing. Everyone inside the temple wears white to symbolize purity, unity, and equality.
For a detailed walk-through of the temple experience and more temple prep resources, consider “House of Light: Your Guide to the Temple.” “House of Light” helps you learn more about the covenants made inside the temple and why they matter to you and your Heavenly Parents.
While this study guide is for all who wish to feel more connected to their temple covenants, it can be especially helpful for first-time temple-goers. It will answer questions and provide as much guidance as possible so you can feel emotionally and spiritually prepared to enter the temple and return throughout your life.
Looking for advice and guidance from various sources can be an informative part of preparing to enter the temple, but ultimately, it is a personal process. Take time to seek revelation from your Heavenly Parents on what would be most helpful to you personally. And remember: temple prep isn’t really something you can check off a list—it’s a lifelong commitment to covenant keeping and trying to become more Christlike.