748 views | Akanimo Sampson | December 27, 2019
President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson, has initiated fresh measures aimed at improving the faith’s temple worship. He has accordingly rolled out questions church members will be asked when receiving a temple recommend. The new questions are below.
Temple recommend questions have been periodically clarified or adjusted to meet the needs and circumstances of God’s children. However, these current updates do not change the worthiness requirements to enter a temple.
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles while traveling with the prophet in Brazil last September said, “nobody has had as much association with temples in my lifetime as President Nelson. He has a deep, deep understanding and is willing to do whatever the Lord is guiding him to do. And he is getting that guidance from the Lord.”
Nelson’s actions in 24 months as leader of the church back that up. Since becoming church president in January 2018, Nelson has announced 35 new temples, has authorised the immediate temple marriage (what the Church formally calls a “sealing”) of couples first married civilly, has implemented changes to temple instruction sessions and has modified the ordinance witness policy to enable all members of the church (including youth and women) more ways to participate in temple worship.
This adjustment to the temple recommend questions highlights some of the things that matter most as Latter-day Saints carefully prepare to enter a temple.
Temples differ from the church’s chapels, where all are welcome to attend Sunday services and other weekday activities. It is in temples that faithful Latter-day Saints participate in sacred rites such as marriages that unite families forever and proxy baptisms in behalf of deceased ancestors who did not have that opportunity.
The church’s 166 dedicated temples scattered throughout the world are considered the most sacred spaces on earth. It is in these sacred structures—each with the words “house of the Lord” etched onto its exterior—that Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed as members strive to follow His example. Temple worship is therefore a sacred privilege.
The temple recommend permits Latter-day Saints to enter one of the faith’s temples. An adult member of the church receives two interviews to receive a temple recommend—once by a member of their local bishopric, then by a member of their stake presidency (a regional leader).
This recommend is valid for two years. A limited-use recommend for those 11 years of age and older is obtained through an interview with a local bishop. This allows Latter-day Saints, mostly young men and young women, to participate in temple baptisms. This recommend is valid for one year.
“The crowning jewel of the Restoration [the process of fully establishing the Church of Jesus Christ on earth] is the holy temple”, President Nelson said, adding, “individual worthiness to enter the Lord’s house requires much individual spiritual preparation. But with the Lord’s help, nothing is impossible. In some respects, it is easier to build a temple than it is to build a people prepared for a temple. Individual worthiness requires a total conversion of mind and heart to be more like the Lord, to be an honest citizen, to be a better example and to be a holier person.”
The interview questions are made public so members of all ages can better understand the requirements for temple worship and prepare to enter the temple.
The interview questions for temple recommends are below. Verbiage in 11 questions has been modified. Questions 12 and 13 are omitted when youth are interviewed for a limited-use recommend.
Do you have faith in and a testimony of God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost? Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and of His role as your Savior and Redeemer? Do you have a testimony of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ? 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 authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?
Do you sustain the 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 leaders of the Church? The Lord has said that all things are to be “done in cleanliness” before Him (Doctrine and Covenants 42:41). Do you strive for moral cleanliness in your thoughts and behavior? Do you obey the law of chastity?
Do you follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ in your private and public behavior with members of your family and others? Do you support or promote any teachings, practices, or doctrine contrary to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Do you strive to keep the Sabbath day holy, both at home and at church; attend your meetings; prepare for and worthily partake of the sacrament; and live your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel? Do you strive to be honest in all that you do? Are you a full-tithe payer?For new members seeking a limited-use recommend: Are you willing to obey the commandment to pay tithing? Do you understand and obey the Word of Wisdom? Do you have any financial or other obligations to a former spouse or to children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations? Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple, including wearing the temple garment as instructed in the endowment? Are there serious sins in your life that need to be resolved with priesthood authorities as part of your repentance? Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord’s house and participate in temple ordinances?
Already, church leaders have started using these questions. A letter from the First Presidency with further instruction has been sent to church leaders worldwide.
According to President Nelson, “many friends not of our faith will participate in tours of temples and will learn something about temple blessings. And some of those visitors will be moved upon to know more. Some will sincerely ask how they might qualify for the blessings of the temple. As members of the church, we will need to be prepared to answer their questions. We can explain that the blessings of the temple are available to any and all people who will prepare themselves.”
“Preparatory work brings innumerable blessings in this life and inconceivable blessings for the life to come, including the perpetuation of your family unit throughout all eternity”, he added.