I went through the temple about two weeks ago to receive my own endowments. I went with my parents and grandparents, and the love of my life who I was going to be sealed to 10 days later. It was an incredible and wonderful experience.
However, I don’t think my experience would have been as wonderful if I hadn’t been prepared.
I talked to lots of people about what to expect, and the answers I got varied. Some people told me it was amazing and wonderful and I would love it, others told me it was weird, would freak me out, and I wouldn’t get things right.
I was very nervous going to the temple. But the moment I walked in, I felt at peace. I was in the right place, it’s the Lord’s house. You have no reason to be nervous.
My goal with this post is to explain the best I can, how I prepared, and how I would recommend others prepare.
My second goal is to put your mind at ease if you haven’t yet been through the temple. It’s wonderful. It’s not what you expect, but it’s wonderful and you have nothing to worry about.
1. Go through temple prep. While this doesn’t necessarily tell you any big secret or let you know what’s coming, it will help put your mind at ease.
2. Read scriptures. There are a few sections of scripture in Moses and Genesis that have to do with the temple, but honestly they didn’t really make sense until after I went through. I’m saying, study the scriptures regularly so you’ll be close to the Spirit when you go through.
3. Go with an open heart and mind. If you’re in the mindset that this is weird, awkward, uncomfortable, etc. then that very well may be the experience you have. If you go thinking you’re going to learn and be close to Heavenly Father, that’s the experience you’ll have.
4. Dress modestly. This one is so, so, so huge. Ever since I was a little girl, my mom had us dress modestly, to the point where everything we bought was judged by whether we could wear garments with it, even though we were years away from the temple. I’m so, so thankful for this. I will tell you right now, that dressing modestly before you go through the temple will help you appreciate the temple. I did not want to be one of those people who find garments restrictive, or annoying. Too often I hear people complain about having to wear garments, or saying they’re waiting to go through the temple so they can wear their short shorts for a little longer. This makes me so incredibly sad. Garments are one of Heavenly Father’s greatest gifts to us. Just start dressing modestly now so you can appreciate it. Seriously, I can promise it will make your temple experience better.
5. Understand the covenants you are making are very important. I will never forget reading a blog where the woman talked about her temple covenants, and said she didn’t believe they were covenants she made with God. Understand that these are saving ordinances, and the promises you make there can impact you forever.
I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it was to be in the temple with the love of my life, promising forever. Lots of people will say that I’m naive, sappy, in the “honeymoon phase,” but there are some things that were very clear to me in the House of God. That His church is true, that my family will be together forever because of the choices that Randy and I made, and that even though life isn’t perfect, God has a plan for us.
If you’re still nervous, here are a few of the sites I went to and found some answers, and comfort! Don’t just search “what happens in an LDS temple,” you’ll find things that people are just posting, basically explaining very sacred parts of the temple that shouldn’t be shared. You don’t want to read about them in that angry, hateful context.
http://www.mormonmonastery.org/what-to-expect-at-the-temple/ (This guy uses lots of quotes from general authorities and prophets – I loved it!)
Get to the temple. Make it your everything.