My nonmember friends have talked to me about things that go on in the temple. How do they know about them, and what should I say about them?

First of all, don’t let your friends’ questions bother you. Temple symbols and ordinances have reached the public in various ways over the years, primarily by people who have left the Church. But just because these things are known to people outside the Church does not mean that they are any less sacred. What’s important is that we continue to hold them sacred and show our commitment to the Lord.

Secondly, if people ask you about temple ceremonies, you can truthfully say that you don’t know much about them because you haven’t experienced them yet. However, to clear up misunderstandings, you could explain that we go to the temple to make covenants with Heavenly Father and that it “helps us focus on the Savior, His role in our Heavenly Father’s plan, and our commitment to follow Him” (True to the Faith [2004], 171). Temple symbols and ceremonies are sacred and should not be discussed publicly, nor can they be properly understood or appreciated outside the context of the temple.

To learn more, you can read the following resources, both of which are available in the Gospel Library on

  • The booklet Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple (2004).

  • The entry on “Temples” in True to the Faith, pages 170–74.

I am being told to prepare to be a mother and wife instead of going on a mission. Which is more important?

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) said, “We need some young women [on missions]. They perform a remarkable work. … [But] young sisters are not under obligation to go on missions. … Missionary work is essentially a priesthood responsibility. … We do not ask the young women to consider a mission as an essential part of their life’s program. … To the sisters I say that you will be as highly respected, you will be considered as being as much in the line of duty, your efforts will be as acceptable to the Lord and to the Church whether you go on a mission or do not go on a mission” (“Some Thoughts on Temples, Retention of Converts, and Missionary Service,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 52).

Serving a mission can be a rewarding and life-altering experience. If you feel the desire to go on a mission, pray about it. If that desire persists, talk to your parents and bishop about serving.

In terms of preparation, marriage and a mission are not mutually exclusive. Preparing for the one can help you prepare for the other. And, of course, you should prepare to enter the temple no matter what you decide. Ultimately, you should never feel pressured to go on a mission. The decision is between you and the Lord.

Whenever my dad and I talk about music, we get into a fight. How can I persuade him that it’s sometimes not a question of good or evil but of personal taste?

It’s common for teens and their parents to disagree about music. One important thing, however, is that you not let it become a source of ill feelings between you. On that score, it may help for you to give your dad a fair hearing so that he knows you’re really listening. This simple act can go a long way toward preventing contention. Don’t immediately challenge or argue against his point of view, but ask him to explain it so that you can better understand it. Who knows? You may even find that he makes some good points.

When explaining your thoughts about music, focus on areas you know you and your dad can agree on—for instance, the counsel about music in For the Strength of Youth, which says: “Pay attention to how you feel when you are listening. Don’t listen to music that drives away the Spirit, encourages immorality, glorifies violence, uses foul or offensive language, or promotes Satanism or other evil practices” ([2001], 20). If you build on common ground, it’s easier to discuss the areas where you disagree.

In the end, remember that he is your father, and you should do your best to honor him, even if it is just a matter of taste.

Photo illustrations by David Stoker