Each young woman will desire to prepare herself to attend the temple.
Optional: Ask the bishop or branch president to present all or part of this lesson to the young women.
Write the nine questions for young women to ask you or the bishop on slips of paper.
If it is available in your area, you may want to show “Temples Are for Eternal Covenants,” on Family Home Evening Video Supplement 2 (53277).
Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
Each Young Woman Must Be Worthy to Receive a Temple Recommend
Teacher or bishop presentation
Explain that each person who goes to the temple must first receive a temple recommend. To receive a recommend, a member of the Church must have an interview with the bishop and a member of the stake presidency.
If the bishop is visiting the class, he could explain the requirements to receive a temple recommend.
Ask the young women to privately examine their own lives to see if they qualify for a recommend now. If not, they should begin to make themselves worthy.
Explain that in a real interview, each young woman will be interviewed individually. She must sign her recommend to show she has answered all questions correctly and honestly. Then the bishop witnesses that signature. Later a member of the stake presidency also signs the recommend.
Ask the young women to suggest ways they can prepare for their temple recommend interviews and for entering the temple.
After their discussion, you may want to suggest ideas like the following:
Seriously study the scriptures. As one former temple president said, “Find out for yourself who Jesus Christ really is. You can know him, and as you make the temple covenants with God, you are putting your hand in his, and receiving blessings from his hand all the time” (quoted in Kathleen Lubeck, “Preparing for the Temple Endowment,” New Era, Feb. 1987, p. 11).
Keep the commandments so you can be worthy at all times. Have the young women read Doctrine and Covenants 97:15–17. Discuss what this scripture means to the young women as they prepare for the temple.
Talk to parents or others who have been through the temple. Ask them to explain what the temple means to them and how it has blessed their lives.
Bear testimony of the joy that comes to those who live worthy to enter the temple for their endowments and who remain worthy of these blessings throughout their lives.
Questions about the Temple
Discussion with teacher or bishop
This is a good opportunity to answer any appropriate questions the young women have about the endowment. Included here are nine questions often asked by young people as they prepare to go through the temple for the first time. You may wish to distribute nine numbered slips of paper containing the following questions to the young women. Use the information below as necessary to answer the questions.
What can a young woman expect when she goes to the temple for the first time?
Ordinance workers will provide love and assistance. Sisters will be at the side of a young woman every minute if she needs help.
“[You] should also know that when you go to the temple for the first time, you will not be left unattended. Temple officiators, receptionists, and others assigned to labor therein will assist you to make your temple experience a beautiful and meaningful one” (ElRay L. Christiansen, “Some Things You Need to Know about the Temple,” New Era, June 1971, p. 27).
Can my family, fiancé, or friends go through the ceremony with me?
A young woman going to the temple for the first time may be accompanied by her mother, sister, teacher, or friend if the person has a valid temple recommend.
What will I need to take to the temple?
Only two things are essential. One is a current temple recommend (a new one is needed each year) signed by the bishop and a member of the stake presidency. The other is a set of temple garments. Young women can check with the ward Relief Society president to learn where to buy the garments.
What clothing should be worn to the temple?
A young woman should wear modest clothing to the temple. A dress with sleeves is suitable. After receiving the endowment, a young woman’s wardrobe should be modest, whether worn in the temple or not. Pants are not appropriate for a young woman to wear to the temple.
Will I need special temple clothing?
In the temple, those receiving endowments wear special white clothing. All necessary clothing is available to rent at the temple, or the clothing can be purchased. A young woman should discuss this matter with her bishop before going to the temple.
Elder Hugh B. Brown suggested the reason for the special clothing:
“Here we will not only lay aside the clothing of the street, but the thoughts of the street, and will try not only to clothe our bodies in clean white linen but our minds in purity of thought. May we profit by the spoken word and what is more lasting and more impressive, receive instruction from the Spirit” (as quoted by ElRay L. Christiansen, “Some Things You Need to Know about the Temple,” p. 26).
Why does everyone wear the same kind of clothing in the temple?
“In the temples all are dressed alike in white. White is the symbol of purity. No unclean person has the right to enter God’s house. Besides, the uniform dress symbolizes that before God our Father in heaven, all men are equal. The beggar and the banker, the learned and the unlearned, the prince and the pauper sit side by side in the temple and are of equal importance if they live righteously before the Lord God, the Father of their spirits. It is spiritual fitness and understanding that one receives in the temple. All such have an equal place before the Lord” (John A. Widtsoe, “Looking toward the Temple,” Ensign, Jan. 1972, p. 58).
After a person is endowed, should she wear the temple garment throughout her life?
Members receive the temple garment in the endowment and wear it afterward all through their lives. They should not alter or lay aside the garment so they can wear immodest fashions. President Joseph F. Smith said:
“The Lord has given unto us garments of the holy priesthood. … And yet there are those of us who mutilate them, in order that we may follow the foolish, vain and (permit me to say) indecent practices of the world. In order that such people may imitate the fashions, they will not hesitate to mutilate that which should be held … sacred. … They should hold these things that God has given unto them sacred, unchanged and unaltered from the very pattern in which God gave them. Let us have the moral courage to stand against the opinions of fashion, and especially where fashion compels us to break a covenant and so commit a grievous sin” (“Editor’s Table,” Improvement Era, Aug. 1906, p. 813).
Can a married female member go to the temple for her own endowment without her husband? Can a single female member receive her own endowment?
A wife whose husband is not endowed may be given a recommend to receive her own endowment if she is worthy and the bishop receives the written consent of the husband. The bishop and stake president should be satisfied that the responsibility the woman assumes with the endowment will not impair the harmony of her marriage.
An unmarried member may receive her own endowment if she is worthy and sufficiently mature to understand and keep the covenants made in the temple. Single members who desire to receive the endowment should counsel with their bishop and stake president.
Single women may go to the temple for their own endowments if they are preparing for a mission.
Why is the temple endowment so secret?
“The ordinances of the temple are so sacred that they are not open to the view of the public. They are available only to those who qualify through righteous living. They are performed in places dedicated especially for this purpose. Their sacred nature is such that discussion in detail outside the temple is inappropriate.
“Many blessings come to those who receive and respect these sacred ordinances, which are so necessary for exaltation. Participation in temple work provides dynamic, vivid, useful instruction in gospel principles, and the temple is a place for contemplation and prayer.
“The temple is a sanctuary from the world, a bit of heaven on earth, and one should continue to live worthily so that he can go to the temple often and renew his covenants” (ElRay L. Christiansen, “Some Things You Need to Know about the Temple,” p. 27).
After the young women have had enough time to ask questions about the temple and the temple endowment, have them read Doctrine and Covenants 105:18. Bear testimony to the truth of this scripture, as well as to the importance of the endowment.
Ask the young women to commit themselves to live worthy of a temple recommend each day and to practice daily modesty in their dress so they will be prepared for wearing the temple garment.
Possible Class Activities
One or more of the following activities would provide excellent follow-up for this lesson.
Hold a fireside with the bishop to further cover this kind of material and answer questions.
Visit a temple that is open to the public before dedication.
Visit a temple to perform baptisms for the dead.