What you need to know before going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.
Who can be baptized for the dead?
Any baptized member of the Church who is at least 12 years old may qualify to be baptized for the dead. Young men must hold the Aaronic Priesthood. Most important, everyone who enters the house of the Lord must be worthy. You and your bishop or one of his counselors will determine your worthiness in an interview.
How do I get a recommend to do baptisms?
Everyone who enters the house of the Lord must be worthy. You and your bishop or one of his counselors will determine your worthiness in an interview.
If the youth in your ward or branch are going to the temple together, everyone may be included on a “limited-use recommend” to do baptisms for the dead for just that one visit as a group. Or you may get an individual recommend, which allows you to return to the temple with adult supervision whenever you like. These recommends are obtained from the bishop or one of his counselors after you complete a worthiness interview, and they expire one year from the date they are issued.
Can I go to the temple on my own to do baptisms for the dead?
Anyone with an individual temple recommend and adult supervision can participate in baptisms for the dead. However, most temples prefer that you make an appointment. Before you go, call the temple you are planning to attend, and ask for the baptistry. Someone there can tell you whether or not you need to make an appointment.
What should I take with me when I go to the temple?
All temples provide the baptismal clothing and a towel; you do not have to bring these items with you. If you have an individual temple recommend, be sure to bring it with you. You can ask your parents or leaders or call the temple to ask what else you should bring to the temple.
What should I wear to the temple?
If the Lord invited you to His home, what would you wear? Would you go with messy hair or a casual shirt? Going to the temple is an invitation into the Lord’s house. You should dress in modest, clean, conservative clothing, like you’re going to sacrament meeting.
Is wearing jewelry or nail polish OK?
It is a good idea to wear as little jewelry as possible, since most of it needs to be taken off when you are baptized. You should not wear anything that would detract from the spirit of the temple by drawing attention to you.
There is no official policy on wearing nail polish, but if your nail polish might detract from the Spirit, then consider going without it.
Do I have to bring my own family names to the temple?
You will often see others at the temple with pink- or blue-colored cards with names on them. These are the names of those who have died and need temple work done for them. You are not required to bring your own names, but it is wonderful when you do. (Learn how to prepare names for the temple.) Sometimes the temple will have family name cards for people you may be baptized for that others have submitted.
How should I prepare while on my way to the temple?
It’s wise to treat the time you are going to the temple as if it were the Sabbath. Listen to uplifting music, read scriptures alone or with your group, sing hymns, pray, or think uplifting thoughts. Do whatever will help you feel the Spirit.
While you are waiting in the temple, you can observe the baptisms and think about those you are going to be baptized for. Pray and think. Enjoy the peace of the temple.
The baptistry may provide scriptures and Church magazines for you to read.
How will I know where to go and what to do?
Don’t worry. There are plenty of temple workers to help you. They are there to help make your experience at the temple one of peace and enjoyment.
Leave Your Cares Behind
“Upon entering the temple, you exchange your street clothing for the white clothing of the temple. This change of clothing takes place in the dressing room, where each individual is provided with a locker and a dressing space that is completely private. In the temple the ideal of modesty is carefully maintained. As you put your clothing in the locker, you leave your cares and concerns and distractions there with them. You step out of this private little dressing area dressed in white, and you feel a oneness and a sense of equality, for all around you are similarly dressed” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Holy Temple,” Ensign, Oct. 2010, 32).