Get ready for your visit to the House of the Lord.
Create a more meaningful and individualized experience for yourself. Get ready for your visit to the House of the Lord!
The Ordinances of the Temple and the Way of the Covenant
“Because the Savior and His doctrine are at the very heart of the temple, going to the temple is one of the most important things we can do to strengthen both our faith and our spiritual fortitude. Everything that is taught in the temple, both directly and indirectly through the Spirit, contributes to a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ on our part. The sacred covenants of the priesthood unite us to God through the essential ordinances that He has given us. Then, as we remain faithful to our covenants, He bestows upon us the power to heal and strengthen ourselves.” (Taken from “The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation,” presented by President Russell M. Nelson at the General Conference in October 2021)
Your commitment to follow Jesus Christ requires you to receive temple ordinances and keep temple covenants as an essential part of that commitment. Additionally, it assists you in preparing to someday return and live with Him and our Heavenly Father after you have completed your preparations. There are many things you can do to ensure that you are prepared. Included in this should be the study of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the implementation of those teachings in your daily life. Your readiness for the temple is directly proportional to your ability to keep the covenants you have already made.
According to the teachings of Jesus, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). Baptism is the door through which we enter, and the gospel of Christ is the path we follow once inside. The first of the gospel’s ordinances, baptism is a necessary stepping stone on the path that leads back to God after breaking the covenant.
You will also be directed in the right direction by other ordinances. These include being endowed with the temple covenants, receiving the Holy Ghost, being ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), and being sealed in the temple. These holy ordinances of the priesthood lead to the greatest blessing that our Heavenly Father can give to His children, which is the joy of living with Him and our families after this life on earth is over.
As you get ready for the temple, you might experience feelings of uncertainty or even of being overwhelmed. It is natural, before making your first trip to the temple, to be curious about the rituals that will take place there. You will learn some things for the first time, but the majority of what takes place in the temple should feel very normal to you because it is all based on the gospel that Jesus Christ brought.
When you visit the temple, you do not need to have all of the answers or remember everything. Temple employees are always available to lend a helping hand. These volunteers are extremely compassionate and loving. They are there to make sure that you have a pleasant experience and that you are made to feel at home in the house of the Lord.
You are already familiar with certain aspects of the ordinances and covenants of the church because you have been baptized. You are aware that each of those things carries a different symbolic and spiritual meaning. For instance, you discovered that baptism represents a washing away of sins and a new beginning. You got into the water while dressed entirely in white. The words of the ordinance were spoken by a man who held the priesthood as he raised his arm. After that, you were submerged in the water and emerged as a different person on the other side. You were spotless and unadulterated, and you were prepared to live your life as a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. You were given the gift of the Holy Ghost as a result of being baptized, and this was symbolized by the laying of hands on your head.
A covenant was established between you and God at the time of your baptism. You made a promise that you were willing to take the name of Jesus Christ upon yourself, to remember Him at all times, to keep His commandments, and to serve Him until the very end. When you take the sacrament as a member of His Church, you are symbolically renewing all of the covenants that you have previously made, including the one you made when you were baptized.
The ordinances of the temple all follow the same format. You will take part in ceremonies that are both sacred and symbolic, and you will be instructed on the plan that God has laid out for the world. As you make a pact with God to follow the instructions and example set by Jesus Christ, you will also be given the promise of blessings.
Keep in mind that every single thing in the temple points us in the direction of the Redeemer and our Heavenly Father. Everything is created with the intention of uplifting and inspiring others.
Having Honest Hands and a Good Heart
A question like this can be found in the book of Psalms: “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who will take his rightful place in his holy place? Psalm 24:3–4 says, “Blessed is the man who has clean hands and a pure heart.” The hill of the Lord serves as the location of His temple. It is required that applicants possess two qualities: clean hands and a pure heart.
Elder David A. Bednar made the following comment about this passage: “Let me suggest that hands are made clean through the process of putting off the natural man and by overcoming sin and the evil influences in our lives through the Atonement of the Savior. When we receive His empowering power to do good and improve ourselves, our hearts are cleansed in the process. Even if we accomplish all of our worthy goals and do all of the good works that are required of us, we will never have clean hands and a pure heart.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is what provides both a cleansing and redeeming power that helps us to overcome sin, as well as a sanctifying and strengthening power that helps us to become better than we could ever be if we relied only on our strength. These two powers work in tandem to help us become better than we could ever be if we relied only on our strengths. The infinite Atonement is for both the sinner and the saint that resides within each of us (see “Clean Hands and a Pure Heart,” Ensign or Liahona, November 2007, p. 82 for more on this topic).
You will meet with your bishop as part of your preparations to enter the temple. If you are receiving your endowment or are being sealed, you will also meet with the president of the stake where you are a member. They will each interview the temple recommendation. You will be able to communicate with them about your ideas and emotions, and they will provide you with wise guidance in response. You will affirm that you have “clean hands and a pure heart” as you move through the process of answering their questions. In other words, you will make a public declaration that you are deserving and willing to enter the temple, take part in sacred ordinances, and uphold the covenants that you have made.
Sacred covenants are extremely intimate and potent.
You will start to appreciate the blessings that sacred covenants have bestowed upon your life even more as you make your way closer and closer to the temple along the covenant path. The following are some considerations to make regarding the significance of covenants:
1. Covenants Develop a closer connection with the Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
A common definition of a covenant is a holy promise made between God and the people who are His offspring. This definition is correct, but it is missing some important details. A covenant goes beyond the scope of a simple contract. It is a matter of deciding on an individual level that both defines and deepens our connection with God. The holy bond that exists between God and his children is manifested in the form of covenants. They help us become more united with Him while also refreshing our spirits and changing our hearts. Your love and devotion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will grow in direct proportion to the degree to which you keep the covenants that you have made. Your sense of gratitude will grow stronger over time. Your capacity to love and care for other people will increase. Your life will be filled with the blessings that were promised to you in the temple.
2. Making a covenant can assist you in concentrating on the most important things.
You will have to make decisions throughout your life that will require a commitment of your time, your energy, and your resources. There will be a lot of quality options competing with each other for your attention. How do you make your decision?
A doctrine that was taught by President Dallin H. Oaks was as follows: “Just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it… Some things are even better than good, and we should give our highest priority to focusing on improving these aspects of our lives… Some activities are better suited for individual and family time, while others are best suited for this time. We must forego some good things to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families (see “Good, Better, Best,” Ensign or Liahona, November 2007, 104, 107).
God teaches us the principles, behaviors, and promises that He thinks are best for us using the covenants that he has made with us. When we put our attention first on the holy covenants we have made with God, we are better able to gain perspective on our priorities and make decisions that are in line with our best interests.
3. You and those around you will be blessed by the ordinances and covenants of the temple.
When you leave the temple having received your endowment or having been sealed to your spouse or family, you will have promises that have been given to you directly from the Lord. Not just promises made to some ancient prophet or people but promises made to you. You need to make an effort to comprehend them and the role they play in your life.
You can return to the temple to receive ordinances on behalf of those who have passed away after you have first received ordinances for yourself. You have the unique obligation to track down your ancestors and see to it that they are properly buried by temple ordinances. Their lives will be blessed as a result of your service, and it will remind you of the promises and blessings that have been bestowed upon you.
Make an effort to remember and come back.
Keep in mind that God is your Eternal Father and that Jesus Christ is your Redeemer, as you get ready to take part in the ordinances of the temple. They are familiar with your person. They love you in every way possible. You will be blessed both in this life and the next if you keep the covenants that you have made.
Do you have a specific moment that comes to mind in which you felt especially connected to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? The temple will cultivate those feelings further. The temple is located in a separate location, shielding its visitors from the disruptions, stresses, and negative influences of everyday life. When you visit this sacred site, you are reminded that you and the people you care about have been placed on this planet for a significant and worthwhile reason. You will discover a deeper sense of peace, as well as comfort, direction, and hope.
You will also discover that the blessings of the temple will make their way into your heart and bring you a sense of spiritual elevation. You must visit the temple as frequently as you can. As you progress, you will gain a deeper comprehension of the love that both God and Jesus Christ have for you and all other individuals. The Holy Ghost will continue to instruct you even after you have left the temple where it was performed. He will bring to mind what you went through, how you felt, and how you can live your life by the will of God.
Keep in mind that God desires for you to be near Him as you prepare for the temple. He has made His temple available to us as a unique location in which we can get closer to Him. Your joy will never end, and neither will His. To help us find our way back to him, he bestowed upon us the blessings of the temple. As you get ready for your journey, ask for His assistance, and be sure to share it with him. He will direct your steps. You will be motivated by him. And He will be with you every step of the way.
Reference: churchofjesuschrist.org, wikipedia.org, jw.org