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3 hours ago, Grunt said:

Still, the introduction almost seems to suggest it's not imperative to get it done.

Quote

Regardless of the circumstances, it's important to realize that your endowment is more than just another step; it’s an essential and glorious part of your eternal journey.

It is necessary, but the Church will not require it of you to remain a member.  Some members may never, in mortality, have the chance to go to a temple (though that is decreasing as more are built).  Some members, for whatever reason, may never feel prepared to go in this life (e.g. it used to be that unless you were getting married or going on a mission, you didn't receive your endowment, but that's different now).

Regardless, sooner or later, the work will be done - if not by the mortal, then by proxy.

Edited by zil

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PS: The Holy Temple, by Boyd K. Packer is highly recommended for this purpose (the book, not just the pamphlet).

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0884944115/

https://deseretbook.com/p/holy-temple-boyd-k-packer-4212?ref=Grid | Search-1&variant_id=106475-hardcover

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4 hours ago, Grunt said:

I'm trying to learn about Temple Ordinances, specifically the Endowment.  This link is probably the most information I've found thus far as I've been avoiding "bad" sites.  Still, the introduction almost seems to suggest it's not imperative to get it done.

https://www.lds.org/temples/what-is-temple-endowment?lang=eng

@Grunt your ward should have Temple Preparedness teachers, talk with your Bishop and tell him that you want the class. You will then be given the manuals, pamphlets, etc. Once you finish all of the classes with your Ward TP teachers, it should take 6 weeks, give or take. You will then have an interview with the Stake TP person. THEN you will have your recommend interview with your Bishop, and follow it up with your Stake President.

You will be taught from the manual: Endowed From on High: TemplePrep. . . .  https://deseretbook.com/p/endowed-high-temple-preparation-seminar-teachers-manual-lds-distribution-center-72702?ref=recommend-product&variant_id=26356-paperback

Which is available through the church for 3.00 w/free shipping, or you should get it for free from your TemplePrep teacher.

Edited by Iggy

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6 hours ago, Iggy said:

@Grunt your ward should have Temple Preparedness teachers, talk with your Bishop and tell him that you want the class. You will then be given the manuals, pamphlets, etc. Once you finish all of the classes with your Ward TP teachers, it should take 6 weeks, give or take. You will then have an interview with the Stake TP person. THEN you will have your recommend interview with your Bishop, and follow it up with your Stake President.

You will be taught from the manual: Endowed From on High: TemplePrep. . . .  https://deseretbook.com/p/endowed-high-temple-preparation-seminar-teachers-manual-lds-distribution-center-72702?ref=recommend-product&variant_id=26356-paperback

Which is available through the church for 3.00 w/free shipping, or you should get it for free from your TemplePrep teacher.

Another link that is even cheaper and instantly available to supplement Iggy's excellent post;

https://www.lds.org/manual/endowed-from-on-high-temple-preparation-seminar-teachers-manual?lang=eng

Edited by JohnsonJones

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5 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Another link that is even cheaper and instantly available to supplement Iggy's excellent post;

https://www.lds.org/manual/endowed-from-on-high-temple-preparation-seminar-teachers-manual?lang=eng

To add to my Okay is Thanks Bro Jones for catching that. At the online store, it can also be downloaded as a PDF which is free also!!

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My Temple Prep instructors went above and beyond their calling, they handed out three to four scriptures for us to read AND ponder during the week (there were four of us taking the class), but they also called twice during the week to see how our reading was going, did we have any questions, and then gave us two more scriptures to read.

Every time I entered that class I got shivers-n-goosebumps. That was one of my responses to the testimony from the Holy Ghost. Oh, how I love me my shivers-n-goosebumps!

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Gooday @Grunt, I can't think of anything more to say on this topic, because I completely agree with what has already been said - the resources that have been referred to, especially the temple prep class manuals, are absolutely the best resources that I can think of for this topic.

Here is something from what I think of as a second best resource - still very helpful, but not as good as President Packer's book or the class manuals. It's from the entry under "Endowment" from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, which claims to be The History, Scripture, Doctrine, and Procedure of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and which can be found on the BYU website at https://eom.byu.edu/. For background reading, you might also want to read the entry under Temples at  https://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Temples. Just a helpful reminder of something I'm sure you know already - there's a lot you won't know about the Endowment and other temple ordinances until you participate in them for yourself. That's when acting on faith, without knowledge, and just trusting in the Lord, becomes more important than usual. 

Endowment

 
 

See this page in the original 1992 publication.

Author: Burton, Alma P.

An Endowment generally is a gift, but in a specialized sense it is a course of instruction, ordinances, and covenants given only in dedicated temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The words "to endow" (from the Greek enduein ), as used in the New Testament, mean to dress, clothe, put on garments, put on attributes, or receive virtue. Christ instructed his apostles to tarry at Jerusalem "until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49), a promise fulfilled, at least in part, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). In modern times, a similar revelation was given: "I gave unto you a commandment that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power on high; for this is the promise of the Father unto you; therefore I command you to tarry, even as mine apostles at Jerusalem" (D&C 95:8-9).

Though there had been preliminary and preparatory spiritual outpourings upon Latter-day Saints in Ohio and Missouri, the Endowment in its full sense was not received until the Nauvoo Temple era. As he introduced temple ordinances in 1842 at Nauvoo, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that these were "of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded" (TPJS, p. 237). The Endowment was necessary, he said, to organize the Church fully, that the Saints might be organized according to the laws of God, and, as the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple petitioned, that they would "be prepared to obtain every needful thing" (D&C 109:15). The Endowment was designed to give "a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God" (TPJS, p. 324), "to prepare the disciples for their missions in the world" (p. 274), to prevent being "overcome by evils" (p. 259), to enable them to "secure the fulness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn" (p. 237).

The Endowment of "power from on high" in modern temples has four main aspects. First is the preparatory ordinance, a ceremonial washing and anointing, after which the temple patron dons the sacred clothing of the temple.

Second is a course of instruction by lectures and representations. These include a recital of the most prominent events of the Creation, a figurative depiction of the advent of Adam and Eve and of every man and every woman, the entry of Adam and Eve into the Garden of Eden, the consequent expulsion from the garden, their condition in the world, and their receiving of the Plan of Salvation leading to the return to the presence of God (Talmage, pp. 83-84). The Endowment instructions utilize every human faculty so that the meaning of the gospel may be clarified through art, drama, and symbols. All participants wear white temple robes symbolizing purity and the equality of all persons before God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. The temple becomes a house of revelation whereby one is instructed more perfectly "in theory, in principle, and in doctrine" (D&C 97:14). "This completeness of survey and expounding of the gospel plan makes temple worship one of the most effective methods of refreshing the memory concerning the entire structure of the gospel" (Widtsoe, 1986, p. 5).

Third is making covenants. The temple Endowment is seen as the unfolding or culmination of the covenants made at baptism. Temple covenants give "tests by which one's willingness and fitness for righteousness may be known" (Widtsoe, p. 335). They include the "covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the [human] race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive…Jesus Christ" (Talmage, p. 84). One also promises to keep these covenants sacred and to "trifle not with sacred things" (D&C 6:12).

Fourth is a sense of divine presence. In the dedicatory prayer of the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, the Prophet Joseph Smith pleaded "that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord's house may feel thy power, and feel constrained to acknowledge that thou hast sanctified it, and that it is thy house, a place of thy holiness" (D&C 109:13). Of temples built by sacrifice to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, dedicated by his authority, and reverenced in his Spirit, the promise is given, "My name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this holy house" (D&C 110:8). In the temples there is an "aura of deity" manifest to the worthy (Kimball, pp. 534-35). Through the temple Endowment, one may seek "a fulness of the Holy Ghost" (D&C 109:15). Temple ordinances are seen as a means for receiving inspiration and instruction through the Holy Spirit, and for preparing to return to the presence of God.

In Nauvoo, the Prophet Joseph taught for the first time that it is the privilege of Latter-day Saints to act as agents in behalf of their kindred dead. After receiving their own temple Endowment, Latter-day Saints return to the temple frequently to participate in the Endowment ceremony as proxies for, and in behalf of, deceased persons. Consistent with the law of agency, it is believed that those so served have complete freedom in the spirit world to accept or reject the spiritual blessing thus proffered them (HC 5:350). [See also Baptism for the Dead; Salvation of the Dead; Temple Ordinances.]

 

Bibliography

Kimball, Spencer W. Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball. Salt Lake City, 1982.

Packer, Boyd K. The Holy Temple. Salt Lake City, 1980.

Talmage, James E. House of the Lord. Salt Lake City, 1968.

Widtsoe, John A. Priesthood and Church Government. Salt Lake City, 1939.

Widtsoe, John A. Temple Worship. Salt Lake City, 1986.

ALMA P. BURTON

 

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I've been endowed for 26 years (wow, that is a loonnnggg time). I still feel like such a baby when it comes to understanding temple ordinances. There are 3 things that have helped me: scriptures (primarily PoPG); pondering/prayer; reading about temples of the early days. Even then, I don't really understand the Endowment. I get the obvious (even then, what is obvious to me might not be obvious to others), but I'm clueless on nuances. My goal when attending the temple is to feel the Spirit and find one thing that stood out to me to ponder/study later. It helps when I attend with a friend so we can discuss our impressions while in the Celestial Room. 

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11 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

How so? Where?

Just my impression from this:  "Many members of the Church receive their endowment before a mission or marriage, while others simply have a strong desire to move forward along the covenant path."

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23 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Just my impression from this:  "Many members of the Church receive their endowment before a mission or marriage, while others simply have a strong desire to move forward along the covenant path."

This is an issue of timing, not the importance of eventually making promises with God.  It is common for a person to get endowed before mission or a sealing (as it is required for both).  Other people this isn't the case and they simply time things as to when it feels right.

I myself was one of those "other people".  I was raised LDS, but didn't serve a mission and haven't been sealed to my husband yet.  So the timing was completely up to me.  I know some people that get endowed when they are (early 20's ish).  But for me, that wasn't right.  I was nearly 30 when I finally felt that it was right.  And I that decision was entirely confirmed then and in the years since.

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30 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Just my impression from this:  "Many members of the Church receive their endowment before a mission or marriage, while others simply have a strong desire to move forward along the covenant path."

Cool. So that's simply talking about when. One might say, likewise: "Many people get baptized at age eight."

The endowment is part of "the covenant path" (as stated above) that Pres. Nelson talks so often about. The covenant path is the path to exaltation. It includes "saving" ordinances: Ordinances required for exaltation. Baptism. Confirmation (laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost). Priesthood for men. Washing and Anointings. Endowment. And sealing. (Hmm. basically what it says here: https://www.lds.org/topics/ordinances?lang=eng. I could have just provided the link).

Edit (technically the washing and anointing is part of the endowment I think, which is why it's' not listed in the link).

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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I was just thinking about you and this topic the other day! 

Another resource not yet mentioned is the special "Temples" issue of the Ensign.  (Oct 2010)  The article by then-apostle-now President Nelson has some specific scriptures to read, study, and ponder.  It's a large excerpt of this article he wrote in March 2002.

Someone mentioned talking to your stake or ward's temple prep teacher, and if you don't know who that is (or your ward/stake doesn't have one assigned), contact your bishop.  I was very blessed to prepare for mine when I did.  I was the first person in my YSA ward to prepare/receive them not in conjunction with a mission or sealing.  At the time, we did not have any temple prep classes or teachers, and my bishop decided to assign my RS President and one of her counselors to teach me the lessons.  (I was the RS Secretary at the time, and they were/are good friends of mine.)  Because I was the only one taking the class, they/we received permission to do the lessons in the RSP's home, which was about 6 blocks from my apartment.  We met Sunday evenings, and I always chose to walk because it gave me time to ponder the lessons. 

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Thanks!  I appreciate any and all resources given already or will be given in the future.  Maybe it's just a convert thing that's causing the issues I'm having.  Who knows.  I'll do more studying and praying, but I'm kinda at the point where I'm sure it's expected from Heavenly Father so I don't have a choice, really.

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35 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Thanks!  I appreciate any and all resources given already or will be given in the future.  Maybe it's just a convert thing that's causing the issues I'm having.  Who knows.  I'll do more studying and praying, but I'm kinda at the point where I'm sure it's expected from Heavenly Father so I don't have a choice, really.

It's not just a convert thing.  I was raised LDS.  My dad's side is blue-blood pioneers.  And I spent 10 years studying and worrying and chasing questions before getting endowed.  

Edited by Jane_Doe

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On 12/8/2018 at 6:52 PM, beefche said:

I've been endowed for 26 years (wow, that is a loonnnggg time). I still feel like such a baby when it comes to understanding temple ordinances. There are 3 things that have helped me: scriptures (primarily PoPG); pondering/prayer; reading about temples of the early days. Even then, I don't really understand the Endowment. I get the obvious (even then, what is obvious to me might not be obvious to others), but I'm clueless on nuances. My goal when attending the temple is to feel the Spirit and find one thing that stood out to me to ponder/study later. It helps when I attend with a friend so we can discuss our impressions while in the Celestial Room. 

A BEEFCHE RARE SIGHTING!  Today is a red letter day!

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Found another great talk last night.  It has a lot of focus on how to regard the temple and the ordinances performed therein.  It originally addressed the endowed brethren, but much of the application here is universal.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1990/04/keeping-the-temple-holy?lang=eng

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Honestly, the ceremony is so symbolic and spirit driven, no real amount of secular study on the subject will prepare you.  In fact, the more matter-of-fact your study is, the less you will understand.  just go in with a pure heart, a faith in Christ, and an eye to the Glory of God.  This is learning beyond books and factoids.  It's pure spiritual learning, and cannot be understood from the outside.  I almost think of it as if you are learning the story of the three witnesses or the visitation of Christ at the alter of the temple, vs actually being there, as a witness yourself.   Words cannot do justice, and the unprepared will simply be confused.

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When we are first learning things, the answers we receive are very straight forward and the teacher just gives them to you.  

However, as learners and disciples of Christ, we each need to eventually move beyond this basic given-to-me learning and learn to seek answers ourselves.  In the temple, the answers each of us receive are for each of us.  It's no longer about the teacher handing you an answer, or even there being one singular answer because we each have individual understanding.

In my experience, that's the biggest transition with the temple that some people struggle with-- that they want there to be one singular answer and they are irritated that it's just not given to them.  Because it's not about a human teacher giving you a singular answer.  It's about you individually approaching Christ and having a conversation with Him.

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On 12/7/2018 at 9:28 PM, zil said:

It is necessary, but the Church will not require it of you to remain a member.  Some members may never, in mortality, have the chance to go to a temple (though that is decreasing as more are built).  Some members, for whatever reason, may never feel prepared to go in this life (e.g. it used to be that unless you were getting married or going on a mission, you didn't receive your endowment, but that's different now).

Regardless, sooner or later, the work will be done - if not by the mortal, then by proxy.

Does the church do proxy endowments now?

Gale

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48 minutes ago, GaleG said:

Does the church do proxy endowments now?

Gale

Yes.  This is one of the major works in the temple - doing required ordinances (baptism, confirmation, endowment, sealings) by proxy for those who did not have the opportunity to do it for themselves during mortality.

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