Each young woman will better understand the purposes of the temple and the temple endowment.
Picture 11, The Interior of a Temple, located at the back of the manual. Provide other pictures of temples if you desire.
Obtain an unusual tool or implement.
Optional: Write the seven statements about the purposes of temples on slips of paper to hand out to class members.
Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
Show the young women an unusual tool or implement. Choose one that they are not familiar with. Let them guess what it may be used for. Then briefly explain its use and value.
Explain that the young women probably had not realized how valuable this tool was until they learned of its use. The temple endowment could be likened to a tool. We cannot realize its great importance and use in our lives until we learn its purpose.
Temples Have Sacred Purposes
What do you know about the purposes of temples?
To help the young women discover the purposes of temples, you may wish to write the following statements on pieces of paper and give them to class members to read aloud.
“The temple is a house or home of the Lord. Should the Lord visit the earth, he would come to his temple. …
“The temple is a place of instruction. Here the principles of the gospel are reviewed and profound truths of the kingdom of God are unfolded.
“The temple is a place of peace. Here we may lay aside the cares and worries of the outside, turbulent world. …
“The temple is a place of covenants, which will help us live the laws of God. …
“The temple is a place of blessing. Promises are made to us, conditioned only upon our faithfulness. …
“The temple is a place where ceremonies pertaining to Godliness are presented. The great mysteries of life, with man’s unanswered questions, are here made clear: (1) Where did I come from? (2) Why am I here? (3) Where do I go when life is over? …
“The temple is a place of revelation. The Lord may here give revelation, and every person may receive revelation to assist him in life” (John A. Widtsoe, “Looking toward the Temple,” Ensign, Jan. 1972, pp. 56–57).
Display the picture of an interior of a temple, found at the end of this manual or in recent Church publications.
Explain that inside the temple, worthy Church members perform ordinances, including—
Baptisms for the dead.
Priesthood ordinations for the dead.
Other sealing ordinances.
Have the young women read Doctrine and Covenants 124:40–41.
What does this scripture teach about the importance of the temple?
The Endowment Is Vital to Each Young Woman’s Exaltation
Explain that the temple endowment is one of the most important ordinances we will receive on earth. The word endowment means a gift of spiritual blessings. Use the following information to help the young women understand this ordinance.
In the endowment, Church members receive instructions and make covenants. They receive instructions about our first parents, Adam and Eve; their fall; and the great plan of redemption that allowed them to repent and progress. The endowment teaches about the great Apostasy, the restoration of the gospel with all its powers and privileges, and the necessity of keeping all the commandments of God.
In the endowment, members covenant to “observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King,—the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions” (James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1968], p. 84).
President Brigham Young gave this definition of the endowment: “Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941], p. 416).
Write Doctrine and Covenants 124:40–41 on the chalkboard. Draw the sample illustration below to show how important the temple endowment is in achieving exaltation, or prepare wordstrips to post on the board in the following way:
Explain that the temple endowment is essential to each young woman’s exaltation. It is a step she must take in order to return to the presence of her Father in Heaven.
The Endowment Provides Great Blessings
Explain that some former temple presidents were asked to describe some of the blessings that come to those who attend the temple. Review their ideas with the young women.
“You can’t help but leave the temple feeling uplifted. You learn charity and love and compassion. You leave the cares of the day outside the doors of the temple, and when you go out, your feet are led to the paths you’ve been searching for to help you with some problem you might have.
“After you make covenants, you’re not pulled to and fro by the world so easily. It’s a strength to your life and helps you to keep righteous goals.”
“As you come to the sacredness of the temple, you take yourself out of the world. You can forget yourself in the work you’re doing.”
“You get a perspective of your life that puts it in order for you. And the experience in the temple is supportive of the LDS way of life. It gives you a backup, a reassurance that what you’re doing is righteous” (quoted in Kathleen Lubeck, “Preparing for the Temple Endowment,” New Era, Feb. 1987, p. 11).
Tell the following story about a young woman who recognized the great blessings of the temple:
In 1846 the early members of the Church dedicated the temple in Nauvoo. Many of the Saints had already crossed the Mississippi River and left Nauvoo by this time to begin their journey to Winter Quarters. “Few of those already on the trail to Winter Quarters returned for the dedication, but one who did was fourteen-year-old Elvira Stevens. Orphaned in Nauvoo and traveling west with her sister and brother-in-law, Elvira crossed the Mississippi three times to attend the [dedicatory] services, the only member of her wagon company to do so. ‘The heavenly power was so great,’ she wrote, ‘I then crossed and recrossed to be benefitted by it, as young as I was.’ Elvira had not yet received the temple ordinances, but the spiritual power of the edifice itself and the circumstances of its dedication remained prominent memories of her … life in Nauvoo” (Carol Cornwall Madsen, In Their Own Words: Women and the Story of Nauvoo [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], p. 23).
Tell the young women that Heavenly Father wants each of them to receive the blessings of the temple endowment. The instruction and covenants received in the temple will greatly strengthen them in righteous living and help them prepare for eternal life. Express your desire that each young woman will live worthy to receive this ordinance.