The temple is the most sacred place on earth—a place where earth and heaven meet and where we feel close to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Although you are preparing to receive your temple ordinances in the future, the temple can have a profound influence on your life right now. Here are some things you can do to make the temple a part of your life while you are young.
Worthy young men and young women ages 12 and older can visit the temple to be baptized for their ancestors who have died without being baptized. President Thomas S. Monson spoke of the joy this service brings:
“One morning as I walked to the temple, I saw a group of young women who, early that morning, had participated in baptisms for those who had passed beyond. Their hair was wet. Their smiles were radiant. Their hearts were filled with joy. One girl turned back to face the temple and expressed her feelings. ‘This has been the happiest day of my life,’ she said.”1
Thirteen-year-old Jessica Hahn of Daphne, Alabama, was baptized for some of her ancestors in the Atlanta Georgia Temple. Though it took five hours to travel to the temple, she says the experience was wonderful. “Being able to put on pure white clothes and be baptized for my ancestors gave me a great feeling,” she said. “I feel like I know them now.”
Go to the temple as often as you can. There you can experience the joy of helping others receive the blessings of baptism.
There are many ways to support temple work, even if you can’t go to the temple often yourself. You can learn about your ancestors and see that temple ordinances are performed for them. You can offer to take care of young children so their parents can attend the temple. Because temple service focuses so much on families, you can work to strengthen your own family. And you can share with others your testimony that the temple truly is the house of the Lord.
Because the temple is such a sacred place, the Lord has set high standards for us to live by before we can go inside. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained that “the standards set by the Lord in the temple recommend questions are very similar to the standards found in For the Strength of Youth. In times of calmness but also in times of greatest temptation, these standards and the guidance of the Holy Ghost will help you make the right choices. … How you apply these standards will say much about who you are and what you seek to become.”2
Live the Lord’s standards, and you’ll be worthy to enter the temple. Having the desire to enter the temple in the future can help you turn away from temptation today. “It gives you a reason to stay worthy,” said Marlon Ruiz, age 16, of Sunrise, Florida. “As long as you have that goal, you always think about what you do because you can’t go into the temple when you’re not worthy.”
“I see the temple and think of being married there someday,” said Annika Reithmeier, age 16, of Oslo, Norway. “I know that the promises you make in the temple are promises with the Lord. The things you learn there won’t just change or disappear.”
Keep a picture of the temple someplace where you will see it often, and look forward to the day when you can receive your own temple ordinances.
When she was 14 years old, Jody Hazelbaker of American Fork, Utah, visited the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple during the open house. “When I was walking through the bride’s room, I paused for a moment and gazed into the mirror,” she recalled. “As I looked, I could see myself in the future, wearing a beautiful wedding gown and a big smile. I knew this was the place where I was going to be married, in the temple, close to my Father in Heaven.”