Each young woman will understand that temple attendance brings great blessings.
Prepare four wordstrips:
The temple is a haven of peace.
The temple is a sanctuary of service.
The temple is a house of covenants.
The temple is a place of revelation.
Display several pictures of temples.
If it is available in your area, show “Temples Are for Eternal Covenants,” on Family Home Evening Video Supplement 2 (53277).
Prepare to talk about the feelings you have when you are inside the temple. Or ask a ward member to tell the young women about his or her feelings.
Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
Write the following on the chalkboard seven or eight times:
Ask the young women to describe the temple and its purposes by finishing the sentence in as many ways as they can—for example, a beautiful building, a place of worship, the house of the Lord, a place I love to go, a place to learn, a place where we perform ordinances for the dead, a place where we make covenants.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said that the temple is “a symbol of strength, a haven of peace, a sanctuary of service, a school of instruction, a place of revelation, … a house of covenants” (“The Salt Lake Temple,” Ensign, Mar. 1993, p. 4). Place the four wordstrips on the chalkboard as you read this statement. Explain that this lesson will discuss these four ideas.
The Temple Is a Haven of Peace
Read the following experience of Elder Dean L. Larsen of the Seventy:
“Not long ago I filled a stake conference assignment in an area outside the United States where one of the temples is located. My travel itinerary allowed me to arrive at the conference location an hour or two before the conference meetings began. I had spent several hours at airports and on airplanes, caught up in the tension and frustrations that so often accompany international travel.
“Since there was adequate time following my arrival and before the conference meetings were to begin, I asked the local priesthood leaders if we could make a brief visit to the temple.
“The weather was deteriorating, and before we reached the temple, a cold, drizzling rain had begun to fall. The conditions failed to lift from me the mood that had been set in the bustling, worldly atmosphere of the airport and the clearances through customs and immigration.
“We hurried from the parking lot at the temple to avoid becoming drenched by the rain. Immediately upon our entering the doors of the temple, the atmosphere changed. I sensed a spirit of warmth and peace. The countenances of the temple patrons were a marked contrast to those of the harried travelers whom I had left a short time before at the airport. In a very real sense, it seemed as though we had walked through the temple doors into a different world. I found myself smiling at the people in the foyer area. My spirits were lifted, and the concerns of the outside world melted away” (“The Importance of the Temple for Living Members,” Ensign, Apr. 1993, p. 10).
Explain that in the temple, there is a feeling of peace and love. Those who enter the temple speak quietly and dress in white clothing. They are encouraged to leave the cares of the world outside the temple so that they can concentrate on understanding the things of eternity.
If you have been to the temple, tell the young women about the feelings you have when you are inside the temple. If you have not been to the temple, you may want to ask a ward or branch member to tell the young women about his or her feelings.
The Temple Is a Sanctuary of Service
What kinds of service can Church members perform for others in the temple?
Explain that many people did not have the opportunity to accept the gospel and become members of the true Church while they were on earth. The Lord has provided a way for them to receive the same blessings that we have. In the spirit world, these people are able to hear the true gospel and decide whether to accept it. If they accept it, the saving ordinances of the gospel must be performed for them here on earth. So Church members go to the temples and receive the ordinances in behalf of those who have died.
Have any of you had the opportunity to perform baptisms for the dead in a temple? How did you feel about this opportunity to serve?
Explain that after the young women receive their own endowments in the temple, they will be able to receive the endowment in behalf of those who have died. They will also be able to receive sealing ordinances for the dead.
Ask the young women to imagine that they had lived on earth before the gospel was restored. After they died, they were taught the truths of the gospel in the spirit world. They learned that they could be forgiven of their sins through Christ’s atonement, that they could be baptized into the true Church, that they could be sealed eternally to their families, and that someday they could live eternally with our Father in Heaven. But they had to wait for someone on earth to perform the necessary ordinances for them.
How do you think you would feel about someone on earth who went to the temple, performed the ordinances for you, and made all of these blessings possible for you?
Explain that we can perform a great service for those who have died by providing the blessings of the gospel to them.
The Temple Is a House of Covenants
Explain that in the temple we make covenants with the Lord that are necessary for our eternal progression.
What covenants have you made with the Lord?
How do these covenants affect your behavior?
What are you doing now to prepare for the additional covenants in the temple?
Explain that living the covenants we have already made will prepare us to make temple covenants. Sister Janette C. Hales, Young Women General President, said:
“If we really take our baptismal covenants seriously, we would be prepared at any time, if the circumstances were right, to go to the temple. I like to think that a temple recommend, whether or not we have one in our possession, is something we would want to be worthy for each day no matter what age we are or what we are doing. …
“Because of the nature of temple covenants and the importance of the promises of eternal families and eternal blessings, it’s very important that people understand at an early age that this preparation most often covers a long period of time. If the habits and the discipline and the characteristics that help us to be worthy of that blessing can be an ongoing part of our lives, we are much better equipped to sustain the kind of behavior that will allow us to honor those very important covenants” (“Keeping Covenants Brings Blessings,” LDS Church News, 13 Feb. 1993, p. 10).
President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote the following about how temple covenants can bless us throughout our lives:
“If we go into the temple we raise our hands and covenant that we will serve the Lord and observe his commandments and keep ourselves unspotted from the world. If we realize what we are doing then the endowment will be a protection to us all our lives—a protection which a man [or woman] who does not go to the temple does not have.
“I have heard my father say that in the hour of trial, in the hour of temptation, he would think of the promises, the covenants that he made in the House of the Lord, and they were a protection to him. … This protection is what these ceremonies are for, in part. … I know that this protection is given for I, too, have realized it, as have thousands of others who have remembered their obligations” (Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, July 1930, p. 103).
The Temple Is a Place of Revelation
Explain that most people ask themselves these questions:
Where did I come from?
Why am I here?
Where am I going after I die?
Will I see my family again?
Read the following statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley: “The answers to these questions are not found in the wisdom of men. They are found only in the revealed word of God. Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are sacred structures in which these and other eternal questions are answered” (“Why These Temples?” in Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Ensign, 1988], p. 2).
Explain that the endowment teaches us the eternal truths that allow us to understand our purposes and responsibilities here on earth. Also in the temple, we can receive personal inspiration to guide us through our lives.
President Ezra Taft Benson said: “In the peace of these lovely temples, sometimes we find solutions to the serious problems of life. Under the influence of the Spirit, sometimes pure knowledge flows to us there. Temples are places of personal revelation. When I have been weighed down by a problem or a difficulty, I have gone to the House of the Lord with a prayer in my heart for answers. These answers have come in clear and unmistakable ways” (“What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children about the Temple,” Ensign, Aug. 1985, p. 8).
If the video presentation “Temples Are for Eternal Covenants” is available, show it to the class members.
Explain to the young women that in the near future they will have the opportunity to be interviewed by their bishop and stake president. If they are worthy, they and their priesthood leaders will sign a small piece of paper—their temple recommend. This recommend will be a symbol of their worthiness to enter the house of the Lord to receive the endowment and participate in other holy ordinances.
Explain that the young women should plan to participate regularly in temple ordinances. They will receive blessings and insights that will guide them in troubled times.
President Harold B. Lee said: “When you enter a holy temple, you are by that course gaining fellowship with the Saints in God’s eternal kingdom, where time is no more. In the temples of your God you are endowed not with a rich legacy of worldly treasure, but with a wealth of eternal riches that are above price” (“Enter a Holy Temple,” Improvement Era, June 1967, p. 144).
Suggest that the young women choose one of the following activities to perform:
With other young women in your ward or branch, participate in baptisms for the dead at the temple nearest to you.
As a service to ward members, offer to care for young children while their parents attend the temple.
As a class or with your family, try to learn as much as you can about the temple nearest to you. When was it dedicated? Could you talk with someone who attended the dedication, or could you read about the dedication? Do you know any of the blessings that were pronounced during the dedicatory prayer?