Your Personal Gift from God
Receiving your temple endowment should be one of the most sacred and powerful experiences of your life. It is deeply personal and meaningful for those who are prepared. Many members of the Church receive their endowment before a mission or marriage, while others simply have a strong desire to move forward along the gospel path. Regardless of the circumstances, it's important to realize that your endowment is more than just another step; it’s an essential and glorious part of your eternal journey.
Elder Russell M. Nelson reminded us that “every activity, every lesson, all we do in the Church, point to the Lord and His holy house. Our efforts to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead all lead to the temple. Each holy temple stands as a symbol of our membership in the Church, as a sign of our faith in life after death, and as a sacred step toward eternal glory for us and our families” (Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings, Ensign or Liahona, May 2001).
Only in the temple can we receive the ordinances necessary for us to be exalted in the celestial kingdom. Temple ordinances, including the endowment, lead to the greatest blessings available through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and help us focus on the Savior, His role in our Heavenly Father’s plan, and our commitment to follow Him.
The word endowment means “a gift.” In this context, the temple endowment is literally a gift from God whereby He bestows sacred blessings upon you. The endowment can only be received in His way and in His holy temple. Some of the gifts we receive through the temple endowment include:
Greater knowledge of the Lord’s purposes and teachings.
Power to do all that God wants us to do.
Divine direction and protection as we serve the Lord, our families, and others.
Increased hope, comfort, and peace.
Promised blessings in this life and the next.
Members of the Church who are at least 18 years old may receive their temple endowment if they are faithful and prepared. Because temple ordinances and covenants are sacred and have eternal significance, members must be morally worthy and sufficiently able to understand the solemn responsibilities they will assume as they make covenants with God. Members who have received their mission call or are engaged to be married in the temple may receive the endowment. The bishop can also counsel other adult members who wish to receive the endowment.
Your preparation to receive your endowment will include following the teachings of Jesus Christ and honoring the covenants you made at baptism. As you prepare, you will have the opportunity to meet with your bishop and then a member of your stake presidency for a temple recommend interview. They will ask you questions that allow you to affirm that you have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, His living prophets, and His restored Church. Your answers will also affirm that you are diligently striving to keep God’s commandments.
When you joined the Church, you received two ordinances—baptism and confirmation. Likewise, the temple endowment is also received in two parts:
In the first part, you will privately and individually receive a preliminary ordinance called the initiatory ordinance. The initiatory ordinance includes special blessings regarding your divine heritage and potential.
In the second part, you will receive the remainder of your endowment in a group setting along with others who are attending the temple. During this part, the plan of salvation is presented, including the Creation of the world, the Fall of Adam and Eve, the Atonement, the Apostasy, and the Restoration, as well as instruction on how all people can return to the presence of the Lord. Some of the endowment is presented through video and some by temple officiators.
In conjunction with these ordinances, you will be invited to make specific covenants with the Lord. These covenants include obeying God and keeping His commandments, living the gospel of Jesus Christ, keeping yourself morally pure and virtuous, and dedicating your time and talents to the Lord’s service. In return, God promises wonderful blessings in this life and the opportunity to return to live with Him forever.
At the conclusion of the endowment, participants symbolically enter the Lord's presence as they enter the celestial room. There you can spend time to ponder, pray, rest, read the scriptures, or quietly discuss your experiences with family and friends. It is a place of peace, where you can also find comfort and divine direction.
Everyone participating in an endowment session is encouraged to carefully pay attention to what is being taught, but you are not expected to remember everything you hear. Temple workers will always be there to help and assist you. Your experience will be more personal and meaningful when you go with the intent to be taught by the Holy Ghost. Don’t worry about getting everything the first time. It isn’t a test, but an opportunity to feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Focus on what you feel and the spiritual impressions you receive.
Draw Closer to the Lord
The temple endowment is a necessary step toward salvation and returning to Heavenly Father, but it’s also an opportunity to come closer to Jesus Christ—to know Him better and follow His example. Of course, all of the promised blessings of the endowment are dependent on our faithfulness.
After you’ve received your own endowment, you can return to the temple and participate in both initiatories and endowments for people who have passed away. As with all other ordinances performed in the temple, those who have died are aware of the service you have provided and can choose whether or not to accept what you have done on their behalf.
Your participation also allows you the chance to hear the blessings, instructions, and covenants again. Each time you go, you will notice more ways the endowment relates to the plan of salvation and blesses your life. What you learn and feel will become clearer and more precious to you over time. With every visit, you will feel God’s love and be reminded of what matters most.