Temple Ready

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My wife Mary had to wait until she was 23 (read sufficiently ready or prepared) before she could go to the temple to receive her endowments. Someone else I know received her endowments when she was still a teenager; not because she was ready, but because she was getting married two hours later. In fact, I would venture to say she was not at all prepared for the endowment experience. While it would only be guessing, the endowment experience may be the very reason she hasn’t been back for several years and still does not have a recommend.

Anyhow, the point is: why is spiritual preparation important for some, but not important for others? Why is spiritual preparation not a requirement of new brides?

80 thoughts on “Temple Ready

  1. Bishops are called BY men, sometimes OF God. The fact that we are run by human beings leads to many errors.

    What about the bishops who have affairs while they are bishops, or molest they daughters and sons? We recently had a patriarch who was into child porn. Called of God? He ignored something God said, then. A friend was just released after a few months of bishop, by a general authority, I think because of a prior sex abuse problem. What was God thinking?

    The problem with the called of God thing is that if we accept everything a bishop does as gospel, then we leave no room for error and then the fault must lie/lay with us, and we get discouraged. Of course they screw up. We all do.

    It’s continuing faithful despite the humanness of my peers that’s hard for me, not the truthfulness of the doctrine itself. There are a lot of morons out there, and sometimes they are me.

  2. Yes, but then I have been to the Temple :)


    Yep you are right, that has happened, I know of more than one experience. They aren’t perfect, and when we start assuming they are we run into problems.

  3. Blog admin, this a tangent, and I request your indulgence to allow me to defend myself against this slander:

    “………I didn’t ask Steve EM to tell me what goes on in his temple interviews. He came out on a public web site and told everyone about it, on his own initiative, explaining which questions he lies about and how he justifies doing so……..”

    I’ve had enough of your smear campaign against me and kindly ask you to stop. You know damn well I don’t feel I’m lying when answering the recommend question regarding wearing Gs. I’ve acknowledged that perhaps I should be more forthright on the matter and let the chips fall were they may, but I don’t lie to church leaders, and greatly resent your continually rehashing that allegation. I short, my answers are truthful, just not as complete as one might argue they should be. I’ve even acknowledged that you may have a point. That doesn’t make me a liar.

    I sense you feel members should be nothing less than completely open books to their church leaders. I politely disagree. Before marriage, I didn’t always live the LofC. Post mission, I was once invited to meet with my Bishop and confronted with unattributed allegations that I was sleeping with my gf and a condom was found in the trash, or some such dirt. I told the Bishop there was nothing to discuss and the topic of conversation moved elsewhere. While I wasn’t going to be bullied into a confession by some turd a rat dropped on the Bishop’s desk, in no way was I untruthful in the matter.

    Please, let’s just agree to disagree on this topic and move on. And please stop slandering me.

  4. Ann,
    That is the age old question isn’t it…why does God let bad things happen? Well, I don’t believe he does. I believe that when people use their free agency to do something “bad”, bad things may befall good people as a result. After all this is a basic concept children learn when they are young. Consequences to actions, and those consequences might hurt other people. God is bound by our decisions, he gave us free agency, we use it…let the chips fall where they may. Perhaps if we all stopped criticizing everyone else and focused on ourselves and the actual CONSEQUENCES of our OWN choices before doing something STUPID, then there might be fewer bad choices made and fewe good people hurt.

    As for Bishops/Stake Presidents/Patriarchs/normal everyday members of the church failing, I think it is EXACTLY the same thing. Being called (through man) by God, does not mean that the person is perfect, but certainly being held to a higher standard. I have known more excellent Bishops in my time than those that molest children or are addicted to porn, or are alcoholics, or abuse their wives, or excommunicate people with no resaon…the list goes on. BUT you know what, your neighbour could be a child molester…people of the LDS faith are human beings too…who sometimes make REALLY BAD choices, and where sometimes those choices hurt other people.

    I guess we could ask God to usher in the Second Coming as an alternative. Then we could go straight to the Lord with our problems and for our temple recommend interviews and to confess our sins. Do you think that everyone would be happy with the results…that some may be excommunicated and others not…even if it was the LORD directly making the decisions…probably not. YOu know why? Because no one in ever satisfied it seems in the church. I’ll tell you what, why don’t we just give people the option to leave if they are so unhappy in the church. An invitation to be on their way. Of course that wouldn’t be a good solution either because NO ONE IS EVER SATISFIED. It makes me want to slit my wrists, these conversations.


  5. …another thing if Itbugaf is doing what Steve says he is doing I wish he would stop too. There is no reason for that. Just my two cents (but they are Canadian cents so only worth 1 cent…Hehe.)


  6. ? slit your wrist? wow, that’s a bit extreme.

    I don’t see much wrong with the conversations. I do see a lot of misunderstanding though.

    Why do we have to think everyone is perfect? What is wrong with people being more prepared to enter the Temple? What is wrong with wishing there was more understanding of the endowment and more emphasis put on that in Young Women rather than just getting married?

  7. My response was more about the whole ‘Bishops I have known have been child molesters and pornographers’ line of commentary that Ann made, not so much about the temple. The slitting of the wrists comment was a way to express how deeply the above topic annoys me. If you have no faith in your Bishop(Leaders) why are you even in this church?


  8. Oh Ok.

    Well, I certainly have faith in my Bishop. And each one I have had. I suppose I have been fortunate that all the Bishops I have known have been very good, righteous and humble men.

  9. I am the same Mary. Although I do concede that Bishops (leaders etc.) are simply humans with potential, I have always found myself having faith in my Church leaders despite the circumstances that may befall them in their lives.


  10. Steve, I can’t agree that I’ve conducted a “smear campaign” against you. I’ve just restated what you say in terms that are more honest and accurate than the ones you choose to use. But I didn’t make my comments to Mary for the purpose of provoking you to use vulgar language. I was answering Mary, not you.

    What you’ve said isn’t true: I DON’T “know d@!* well” that you don’t feel you’re lying. Rather, I see from your own descriptions of these events that you fully realize what you’ve said and done isn’t fully honest. I hope you’ll decide to be more forthright, and I believe your life will be much happier if you do make that choice.

  11. I now hope the discussion will migrate away from Steve’s personal conduct with his bishop and back to the topic of the post.

  12. I don’t think God wants us to exercise blind faith. That’s the thing that gets us in trouble. That’s stupid faith. There’s a huge difference between having no faith and having mature faith which says there are no absolutes in life.

    The discussion was being temple ready and the lack of consistency through the church regarding worthiness, which is a very good topic for discussion. Bishops arbitrarily, and often mistakenly, apply their own rules, which results in unfairness.

    Does one say “this unfairness results from a person called by God, so it must not be unfair” or does one say “this unfairness results from a human being making a mistake, God and I are okay?” How many fingers am I holding up?

    We must use our judgement, because as the church grows larger and larger, mistakes will also multiply and we must decide for ourselves what is right or wrong. God doesn’t need or want clones without brains.

    Slit away if that annoys you.

  13. I think you have a good point, annegb. The handbook doesn’t come with a list of criteria to determine someone’s state of preparation.

  14. Kris: You said, “if Itbugaf is doing what Steve says he is doing I wish he would stop too.”

    Would you mind translating that statement into something comprehensible? What is it that YOU believe I’m doing? Do you or do you not wish for me to stop whatever it is?

  15. Ann,

    I don’t believe you and I have the same definition of faith. Furthermore, it is important to use your brain at all times.


  16. Itbugaf and Kris, I find your easily insulted manner and emphasis on petty arguments detrimental to discussion. How do people grow and learn from one another this way?

    You both come off like the pouty girl on the school yard who won’t play if the other kids don’t play her way.

    And I see it every time you enter a discussion, every damn time. Can you stick to the subject without being insulted if I don’t agree with you? That is called, uh, maturity. Come, let us reason together. Kim and Mary have a good blog, but it won’t do well with all this playground wrangling.

    Intelligent bloggers (leaves me out :) will just avoid this blog like the plague. Articulate, thinking people will just take their “business” elsewhere because blogs are multiplying everywhere. And I think that’s a shame.

    The topic was Temple Ready. The fact is the rules are not fast and sure. Each bishop decides and sometimes they make mistakes, as in perhaps Mary’s case.

    Another thing, Kim, that occurs to me is that it is not possible for there to be one rule because each case is individual. That’s the beauty of the way our church operates and also the rub.

    I find Ed and Cheiko Okazaki’s approach in these circumstances to be admirable. They didn’t incur a problem with a bishop, but had difficulty fitting in after the war, as Japanese Americans. They simply and humbly went about doing good until hearts were softened.

    This couple I’ve talked about in our ward did that, although the husband was not as easily swayed as his wife. They served in scouting, they served in PTA, they worked hard and taught their children about honesty and giving back.

    Sister “Jones” is today my hero in her kind and nonjudgemental demeanor. An injustice was done to them, but she has never said a word about it. I myself would have kicked and screamed and bitched and moaned.

    That thread somewhere on growth has gotten me to thinking about injustice and inequity because surely that will also be a side product to this massive growth we’re experiencing. Perhaps that will weed us out as well.

    Again, good topic, you guys.

  17. Annegb, I’m not offended by Kris’s request. I just have to understand it. If she wants me to stop doing something I have to know what it is. Or maybe she doesn’t want me to stop doing something. I can’t tell.

  18. I’m also not insulted by Kris, or by you. I don’t see any sign that Kris is insulted, either. I don’t think I can agree with you when you say you see us being insulted/offended, “every d*&@ time.”

  19. Ann,

    I am neither insulted nor immature. I have my own blog, and consider myself intelligent, and do not employ name calling like yourself. I do though find your actions incredibly immature. I find your attitude in some of your posts a little ignorant (your “slit away” comment was by far the most disgusting).

    I enjoy this site and I know Kim and Mary recognize this as I continue to come back. I have not been asked to leave.

    The interesting thing about discussions like these in that inevitable an ‘Ann’ shows up and when everyone doesn’t agree and act like sheep following the shepherd, s/he becomes offended. I am no sheep…and when I don’t agree I know it is my right to disagree.

    So if you have such a problem me then maybe you should “take (your) their “business” elsewhere” because I plan on sticking around. Oh, and grow up.


  20. Just one more thought for annegb: I think I’m doing the opposite of the pouty little girl who won’t play. I’m sticking around and playing.

  21. Actually, I have no idea what that “work” is, so I can’t tell if it’s done or not.

  22. Why is the main subject about women that are not ready? Even though I was a return missionary I was not ready. I took it very lightly. I was very immature because of being molsted as a child.

    There really is no way of test a persons spirituality. A bishop can feel inspired one way or another,but it is still a matter of choice for the person being endowed, and they are the ones who will have to account for it. All we can do is help the person, and be there to answer the questions they may have.

  23. It has been a while since this thread was active, I am not a blogger so if my late response and etiquette are off, please forgive me.

    I am a convert to the church, joined in my mid 20’s and then spent the first year and a half as a member getting ready to go to the temple. The decision to receive my endowment was a very serious one and I tried to prepare myself as much as possible for it. I remember being shocked and offended when I was first told to wait to attend the temple because my bishop wasn’t sure that I was ready. Then, when I was told by other members, including a former bishop and stake presidency member that single women, especially converts if I recall correctly, were discouraged from receiving their endowment until marriage I was even more shocked. The reasoning was that because I was not as likely, I guess given my age and status as an “older” woman convert, to marry in the temple my potentially non-member husband may have issues with my temple covenants and the temple clothing I would wear throughout my life.

    I can tell you that all of this deeply wounded and offended me and almost derailed me spiritually. I prayed a lot though, read a lot and took the temple prep class to overcome these feelings.

    Later, in a singles ward, my bishop and stake president were committed to ensuring that every single member was not only temple worthy, but where possible also holders of current temple recommends. My bishop worked with me kindly and diligently to get me ready spiritually. Even my temple recommend interviews did much to prepare me. I gained my testimony then of righteous church leaders and how important it is to follow their counsel.

    If I had gone to the temple when I first wanted to go, as my bishop in the family ward called it, I would not have been ready. I think I still would have attended the temple as regularly as I do now and I still would have been sealed, but I don’t think the temple would have become such a source of spiritual strength for me as quickly if I had gone so soon.

    Also, my first experience was amazing. Yes, I did fall asleep, and yes it was very different than what I expected. I was not, however, freaked out by it and I think if I had gone for the first time when I was married, I would have seen it as the two hours waiting to be sealed. A sad, in my opinion, way to go through one’s own endowment.

    I am concerned that young women are mostly taught how to be homemakers and baby caretakers in the YW program. I think that these are important attributes of parents, not just mothers, but that the best preparation for parenthood and marriage is to be spiritually endowed with power and to have a good secular education. Of course we can’t always get these things before marriage, but I think we can encourage and support each other in trying to obtain these and certainly instill this notion in young church members.

    From what I can tell, it seems that in the church many leaders look at girls who get married early and start their families as fulfilling their womanly roles and duties to our Father in Heaven. This desire to be a traditional mother and wife is used as the litmus test of their spirituality. In my opinion, that really discounts what it means to learn of faith, charity and the Atonement and sets a girl up for a lifetime of spiritual underachieving.

    Of course, many young girls want to get married, just as many young RMs want to have sex when they get home. Does this mean that either of these groups are ready for much more of anything than a few more years of learning to grow up and bridle their passions? No! I think that youthful passions are no substitute for spiritual maturity and we shouldn’t, bishops shouldn’t, mistake the two.

    Yes, many people, including some who commented on this blog, were prepared for marriage as young as 17 or 20. I think though that the majority of people are not. I certainly wasn’t. And we can’t substitute the serious endowment covenants for life experience, spiritual growth through life experience study in the scriptures, and communion with our Father in Heaven over a period of years. That is to say, I think we should be prepared for those covenants we make in the temple, not hope that by making them they prepare us for keeping them. Just like raising the bar for missionaries, I think we should raise the bar for receiving an endowment while allowing the largest number of members to hold current recommends…more on this later.

    Personally, I don’t want my children to go the temple until they are prepared, until they can honestly look at a bishop and work WITH him to determine their spiritual preparation. Marriage and the sealing ordinance are the highest levels of the covenants that we make in this tabernacle of clay, we should be as prepared for them as possible. The endowment with its crowning ordinance of the sealing and its preparatory ordinances of the washing and anointing are essential to our exaltation. We all know this, and yet, so many of these young girls run like lemmings off a cliff to get married in the temple, not as Pres. Canon lamented, to receive the most amazing blessing that we can get in this lifetime.

    I don’t think however, that we should set the bar so high, or talk of the temple in such lofty terms to young women that they feel they can never attain the spiritual preparation needed for a recommend. But we should set their course and their sights on the highest level of spiritual preparation possible.

    Sadly, I know a guy who once thought that I had to give back my temple recommend and stop wearing my temple clothes because I forgot to fast one fast Sunday. How sad! This guy was raised in the church, yet he knew so little about the temple and being worthy to go there. He is inactive and given his comment, I can see how such inadequate preparation may have contributed to the fact that he lost out on this amazing blessing.

    Another person was married in the temple and then divorced. When I asked her why she stopped wearing her temple clothes and attending church regularly, she said that she just didn’t get it, she just didn’t understand the temple. Her parents attend the temple regularly and are strong active members. I suspect though, that her parents and young women leaders had only taught her of the importance of temple marriage in terms of preparing to be a mother and wife in the very narrow terms of keeping a house clean and bearing children, but they never actually prepared her for what happens in the temple and why. Most importantly, they seemed not to focus as much attention on helping her to develop her own solid relationship with our Father in Heaven and for receiving revelation through the Holy Ghost. Given this lack of preparation, of course she stopped attending the temple, of course she struggled in her temple marriage!!!

    I love my temple recommend and I want to live worthily to keep it and to go to the temple regularly. I make mistakes daily, but the temple strengthens me the more I attend. I had to go to the temple when I did and I was told that in no uncertain terms when I was prepared sufficiently to go. Also, when I was prepared spiritually to go, not perfected, the Lord knew it, my bishop knew it, and my stake president knew it. Moreover, I knew and it was the best decision I made. I can’t say that I know very many 17 year-old or 20 year-old girls who seem to have that sense of knowing. It is possible to find them, but I just think there’s something that age and life experience brings to spiritual preparation for most of us–not all of us, but most of us.

    Anyway, that was my response to this intense blog thread. It’s something I think about a lot, and I hope that more emphasis will be made on preparing our young women for more than just keeping the house clean and getting their wedding colors picked out when it comes to talking about the temple. I don’t know if I will ever be called as a young women leader, but if any of you are reading this, please think about ways that you can help the youth be all that they can be spiritually. Part of their preparation is up to you!


  24. I don’t understand why the focus is only on young brides. What about young men at age 19 going into the mission field. Just because they are going on a mission doesn’t give ALL of them sufficient preparation to go through the temple. My argument is that going through the temple is a protective messure for missionaries and for a young bride. The coventant in a temple marriage is made between the man the woman and God and if the girl is ready to make a covenant between a man and herself, and is worthy to enter the temple, none of you should be judging whether or not she is prepared enough. . . you have no idea. You really need to be more focused on your own worthiness instead of gossiping about some girl who did what she was taught, she lived worthy and then she followed the prophet’s council and got married in the temple. If she doesn’t continue to go back, or she falls away that doesn’t mean that she wasn’t ready, there are many reasons people loose faith, fall away or don’t continue in basic church practices (i.e. going to church, having family home evening, daily scripture study, etc). Again I state in this day and age it is hard to merely be worthy to enter the temple, let alone be prepared for something that is so sacred that we don’t talk about it outside the temple walls. So I say again worry about your own worthiness, and try to be supportive of these young girls who are trying to follow what they’ve been taught the best they can.

  25. So Anon,

    You’re arguing for the use of the temple ceremony as a prophylactic? Don’t worry about if you understand it. You need it. You should have it. Don’t sweat the small stuff – just get it so you’re prepared?

    This is dangerous thinking in my opinion.

  26. Anonymous,

    My point in the post wasn’t that young brides aren’t prepared. My point is that if an 18-year-old single woman not issued a recommend because her bishop does not consider her spiritually ready for the temple, then how can a 18-year-old bride be ready? Or conversely, if an 18-year-old bride is ready, why isn’t a single 8-year-old woman ready?

    My argument is that going through the temple is a protective [measure] for missionaries and for a young bride.

    If that is true, shouldn’t all adults receive the same protection?

    try to be supportive of these young girls who are trying to follow what they’ve been taught the best they can.

    My issue isn’t with the girls. The issue is with the policy/practise.

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