Lesson 44: Preparing Now for Temple Marriage

Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2, (1993), 168–71


Objective

Each young man will understand that being worthy and prepared for the blessings of temple marriage takes thoughtful planning throughout youth.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      Scriptures for each young man.

    2. b.

      Pencils for marking scriptures.

  2. 2.

    Obtain a copy of the questions asked during the temple recommend interview from your bishop or branch president.

  3. 3.

    Review the counsel about dating on page 7 of For the Strength of Youth.

Suggested Lesson Development

Temple Marriage Is a Blessing

Story

Ask the young men to think silently about what the greatest blessings of their life have been to this point as you tell the following story by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“My wife and I were having a serious discussion … in which we were counting our many blessings. We named a host of things that have come to us, because of the Church, because of our family, because of the glorious restoration of eternal truth that has taken place in this day; and then she climaxed the discussion by asking this question: ‘What’s the greatest blessing that has ever come into your life?’

“Without a moment’s hesitation I said, ‘The greatest blessing that has ever come to me was on the thirteenth day of October in 1937 at 11:20 A.M. when I … ’”

Stop the story at this point, and ask the following question:

  • What do you think Elder McConkie’s greatest blessing was?

Allow the young men to respond; then finish the story as follows.

“‘… when I was privileged to kneel in the Salt Lake Temple at the Lord’s altar and receive you as an eternal companion.’

“She said, ‘Well, you passed that test.’

“I believe that the most important single thing that any Latter-day Saint ever does in this world is to marry the right person, in the right place, by the right authority; and that … the most important remaining thing that any Latter-day Saint can ever do is so to live that the terms and conditions of the covenant … will be binding … now and forever” (Bruce R. McConkie, “Agency or Inspiration?” New Era, Jan. 1975, p. 38).

Chalkboard, scripture, and discussion

  • Why does Heavenly Father want his sons and daughters to be married in the temple?

List the young men’s responses on the chalkboard.

To help answer this question, ask the young men to read and mark Doctrine and Covenants 131:1–4. Point out that temple marriage is necessary to enter into the highest kingdom of heaven. Thus, temple marriage is a choice blessing from our Heavenly Father.

Quotation

President Spencer W. Kimball said:

“The Lord brought together Adam and Eve … and performed a holy marriage ceremony to make them husband and wife. …

“It is normal to marry and normal and proper to bear children. …

“Every person should want to be married and every person should plan to be married. …

“Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with the immediate happiness, but eternal joys” (address given at Salt Lake Institute of Religion, 22 Oct. 1976).

We Must Be Worthy to Receive the Blessings of Temple Marriage

Adviser presentation

Explain that in order to partake of the immediate happiness and eternal joys of temple marriage, we must be worthy to enter the temple and receive these blessings.

When members of the Church desire to go to the temple, they must have an interview with the bishop or branch president and a member of the stake or mission presidency. Each year thereafter, members desiring to continue attending the temple have interviews with these priesthood leaders to determine personal worthiness. If these brethren find the member worthy, he or she is given a temple recommend.

  • What questions are asked during the temple recommend interview?

Allow the young men to respond, and then tell the young men that you are going to read all of the basic questions that are asked during the temple recommend interview. Each young man should honestly answer the questions to himself. Make it clear that these questions are not to be answered aloud. At the conclusion of the questions, the young men should know the things they need to continue doing or those areas that need improvement.

Read the temple recommend questions to the young men.

Remind the young men that these are the standards the Lord has set for us to enter his house. Meeting these requirements will bring us joy and happiness.

Quotation

  • When should you start preparing for temple marriage?

To help answer this question, share the following statement by Elder Harold B. Lee:

“Youth should begin today to so order their lives that they will be found worthy at the proper time to go to the House of the Lord and be uplifted and sanctified by the temple ceremony” (“Enter a Holy Temple,” Improvement Era, June 1967, p. 144).

Emphasize that now is the time to prepare to be worthy to enter the temple. We know what the Lord requires of us, and we must do it.

Preparation for Celestial Marriage Requires Personal Effort

Discussion

Point out that Satan tries very hard to get us to sin so we cannot meet the Lord’s requirements for entering the temple. Because of this, preparation for celestial marriage takes personal effort.

  • What are some things you can do now to prepare for celestial marriage?

Answers may include the following: love God and our neighbor as the Lord commanded, be honest, be chaste, pray regularly, respect and support the priesthood, pay a full tithing, practice the law of the fast, obey the Word of Wisdom, set a good example, maintain clean speech, honor our parents.

Reassure the young men that the Lord will help them keep their commitment to be married in the temple if they will obey his commandments.

Depending on the ages and circumstances of the young men, you may want to discuss the counsel about dating given on page 7 of For the Strength of Youth.

Chalkboard, quotation, and discussion

Draw the following diagram on the chalkboard, and point out that President Spencer W. Kimball offered the following advice as a help in personal preparation for temple marriage. Draw the diagram as illustrated, and have the young men label each part as you read the quotation.

eternal marriage

“I use the blackboard as I go into the stakes of Zion to dramatize some of the things that seem to me to be very, very important. … I draw on the blackboard a series of circles, and in the top one I write ‘Eternal Life or Exaltation.’ …

“As we follow down the line—the strait and narrow way which leads to life eternal which few find—the second circle has in it ‘Eternal Marriage.’ That is the gateway to exaltation. …

“Then I generally draw a third circle on the blackboard and ask … which of all the agencies in the Church [will] make the most immediate and important contribution to eternal marriage as an intermediate goal to eternal life—our final goal—[and] best fill this third circle. … They suggest almost everything you can think of. … Finally, we settle on the one agency that brings us to what they all agree has the most important impact upon eternal marriage. That, of course, is a mission. …

“Anywhere from 80 percent to 90 percent of all the young men and women who fill honorable missions and return in honor are eventually married in the temple. …

“We make another circle down this strait and narrow way that leads to life eternal. The question then arises, What would you put in the next circle? …

“Well, there is only one thing to put there … and that is the seminary and institute program” (“Circles of Exaltation,” summer school devotional address, Department of Seminaries and Institutes of Religion, Brigham Young University, 28 June 1968).

  • How can serving a mission help you prepare for marriage?

  • What do you expect to learn on a mission that will help you in your marriage?

  • How can seminary and institute help you prepare for temple marriage?

  • How has attending seminary helped you?

Point out that each young man has the ability to walk the strait and narrow way and that he has loving parents and Church leaders to help him along this path.

Conclusion

Quotation

In conclusion, share the following thought from President Spencer W. Kimball:

“This is the theme of Mormonism. … Marriage, family, home, children, grandchildren, and all that is beautiful and glorious. … It is natural for a girl to look toward the boys and for the boys to look toward the girls and to ask for marriage at the right time—being married and sealed for eternity. That is natural. That is the way the Lord has done it” (address at Young Women Seminar Banquet, Salt Lake City, 28 Apr. 1977).

Testimony

Remind the young men that they should be grateful for the great blessing of temple marriage. The Lord has established his standards for worthiness to enter his house, and now is the time to start diligently preparing for celestial marriage and the joy and happiness it can bring.

Challenge

Ask the young men to think of one thing they can do during the coming week to prepare themselves for temple marriage, and challenge them to make temple preparation a part of their daily lives.