Being Worthy to Enter the Temple

Temples are literally houses of the Lord. In the temple we make sacred covenants, or promises, with God that are necessary for us to be with Him in the highest degree of heavenly glory (see D&C 131:1–4). These temple covenants lead to the great blessings available through Jesus Christ.

We are not expected to be perfect to enter the temple. Rather, the purpose of the things we learn and the covenants we make in the temple is to help perfect us. We must, however, be worthy to enter.

A temple recommend signifies that we have been found worthy through an interview with a member of our bishopric or our branch president and also an interview with a member of our stake presidency or mission presidency. Temple recommend interviews are opportunities for us to examine our worthiness. In each of the interviews, our priesthood leaders will ask us about our personal conduct and faith. Our priesthood leaders keep these interviews private and confidential.

If our priesthood leaders find that we are worthy to enter the temple, we will receive a temple recommend. We sign our recommend to confirm our worthiness to enter the temple. Our priesthood leaders also sign our recommend as additional witnesses of our worthiness. This recommend allows us to enter the temple for the next two years, provided we remain worthy.

The following are some of the topics your priesthood leaders will ask you about:

  1. 1.

    Your testimony of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

  2. 2.

    Whether you sustain the President of the Church.

  3. 3.

    Whether you live the law of chastity, pay tithing, are honest with others, and keep the Word of Wisdom.

  4. 4.

    Whether you strive to attend church, keep the covenants you have made, and keep your life in harmony with the commandments of the gospel.

See Gospel Principles (2009), 222–23; and True to the Faith (2004), “Temples,” 170–72.

The Lord has set the standards of worthiness to enter the temple, as expressed by the Psalmist:

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3–4).

The First Presidency has established the questions asked in the temple recommend interview. The questions are the same for everyone.

After you turn 12, you can attend the temple to do baptisms for the dead. (Young men need to hold the priesthood.) To get a recommend, schedule an interview with your bishop or branch president.


Your Temple Recommend

Recommends for youth are called limited-use recommends, and there are two kinds: group and individual. Your name can be added to a group recommend if you visit the temple with your ward or branch. This recommend is valid for only one visit. If you live near a temple and can regularly participate in baptisms for the dead, you can ask your bishop or branch president for an individual recommend, which is good for one year, provided you remain worthy.

Photograph of Bountiful Utah Temple by Steve Tregeagle; photo illustrations by Christina Smith, John Luke, Steve Bunderson, and Matthew Reier; photograph of Vernal Utah Temple baptistry by Tamra Hamblin