Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Temple - Part 1 (The ticket to get in)

I am currently looking at the Temple and what is taught there so I thought I would start by posting the questions you are asked twice (first by the bishop and then the stake president) before you are allowed to have a temple recommend which is what you need to get past the geriatric guards at the front desk.

These won’t be new to most members but to those who are not LDS, these are the requirements to get into the temple. If you do not answer one correctly, then the Bishop can choose to not give one and thus not allow you to go to the temple.

Keep in mind that in order to live in the highest kingdom with God, you must go to the temple and participate in the ordinances that are done there. If you do not, you can not be with your family forever.

1 Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost?

2 Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer?

3 Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days?

4 Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?

5 Do you live the law of chastity?

6 Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?

7 Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

8 Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?

9 Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?

10 Are you a full-tithe payer?

11 Do your keep the Word of Wisdom?

12 Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?

13 If you have previously received your temple endowment:

Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple?
Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?

14 Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been?

15 Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord's house and participate in temple ordinances?

Now, I don’t have a problem with numbers 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, and 12. I think these are things most Christians would say are important. Let me comment briefly on the others if I may.

#3 – Should I have a testimony of the restoration as told by the church today or of the restoration as told by the early church history books, which differs on many accounts?

#4 – That depends on if they can answer number 9 in the affirmative and if they can reasonably answer the many questions I have about church doctrine. If they cannot or will not, then I cannot consider then men of God and therefore they would not be prophets.

#6 – I have no problem with this one until it says “the teachings of the church”. I would like to propose that we change that to read “The teachings of Jesus according to the Bible”.

#7 – Is this meant to discourage members from associating with those who have left the church? If so, what do they think would happen if they did? If you take this questions literally, it actually mean anyone who is not LDS because if you do not believe in Mormonism, then your practices and teachings are going to be contrary to those accepted by the church.

#10 – I know that the Bible talks about tithing, but is it really a commandment? I don’t remember it being taught by Jesus in the New Testament. Members today are told to pay 10% of their gross income but when the law was instituted in the Doctrine and Covenants 119:5 it says they should be tithed of their “surplus properties”. My surplus is much different then my gross income. If you can only live with God if you attend the temple, but cannot get in unless you pay tithing, is this not a way of paying for your salvation?

#11 – This is an interesting one. The focus of the WoW is not the do’s but in the do not’s. Generally, when this question is asked, they are referring to the typical teaching of don’t smoke, drink, do drugs, etc. The WoW is considered an overall guide to healthy living. It tells you to eat wholesome and good foods and only in moderation. When they ask this question to someone who is over weight or who uses food as their drug, is that taken into consideration?

#13 – This one is only relevant if you have been through the temple but even then I take exception to it. The covenants you make in the temple are done under false pretenses. You do not know before you go what they are going to ask of you so once you get to that point in the ceremony; it is too late to turn back. Covenants are defined as a two-way promise. In order for a covenant to have meaning, both parties must hold up their end of the bargain. I consider truth and honesty to be part of the bargain so since the church has not been honest with me by telling me the truth about the church, I consider the covenant, null and void.

#14 – I think confession of sin should be between man and God. It is taught that Jesus was the mediator between us and God, not my bishop.

#15 – No, because those I know that live better, more Christ-like lives then me are not considered worthy because they belong to another church so why should I? If you look at the list of questions, I’m not sure Joseph Smith and others would be worthy to be there either. Joseph drank wine and smoked up until the night before he died and if you read the accounts of the women the polygamist men left behind, they certainly were not taking care of the needs of their families.

The worst thing about this is that numerous members feel as if they have to lie about some of these in order to keep their status as a recommend holder and to be able to witness things like the marriages of loved ones. I know because I have talked to many who, like me, did just that. I admit that I had no desire to go to the temple before my mission but it was required so I did it. I even married my wife in the temple because it was the “right thing to do”, not because it was what we wanted to do. Back then, I did not have the strength to think for myself and just went through the motions. When I “woke-up”, I no longer felt the need to be what others wanted me to be so I did not go back because I knew I could not be honest and answer the questions the way they wanted/expected me to.


  1. Great post. I admire your honesty and can hardly wait for Part II.

  2. If you can only live with God if you attend the temple, but cannot get in unless you pay tithing, is this not a way of paying for your salvation?

    Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

  3. What are you thoughts about your own temple visits? Will you be sharing those on your blog? I would imagine that you weren't always so opinonated about the ceremonial rites of the LDS temples. RIGHT? What was the first thing from the temple that made your skin crawl? Did you ever want to run out, but couldn't for fear of what others would think? That was my experience in a nutshell. I remember being told that my diamond earrings and ring had to be taken off because of godiness and yet when I went into the sealing rooms, they were decked out with chandelers covered in bling. What is up with that double standard? Enough of the rant. Just some things I am wondering about.

  4. I will be doing a blog about my first experience in the temple and also about the day I got married there. There were many times where I wanted to get out but doing so would have caused a lot of problems and I was not at the point where I could take those on like I am now.

    Thanks for reading!

  5. You are sure hitting on a subject I hold near and dear to my heart!


  6. According to Paul, the law of tithing was done away with as a result of the atonement of Christ. Donations (similar to mainstream Christians) were accepted but not required.

    Sounds like another post topic.

  7. soy, why do you have comment moderation enabled? Are you getting comments that you refuse to post?

  8. I only moderate because I was beginning to get comments that were personal attacks that had nothing to do with the topics of my posts. Up to this point I have only NOT allowed 2 comments. And I hope people will have enough respect for me as well as others so I won't have to do it again. At some point I might take it off of moderation but I feel I need it for now. If you keep your comment on topic then there won't be a problem.

    thanks for reading