As the discussion says, only the most worthy members of the church may
enter the temple. Whether or not you quality as worthy to attend is a
decision made by you, your bishop and your stake president. The bishop and
stake president each give you an interview where they ask a series of
questions. If they feel you are worthy they will sign a "temple recommend",
a credit card sized card that gives you permission to enter the temple for
one year, at which point the card expires. After the recommend expires you
must return to the bishop and stake president for another set of interviews
to get the recommend renewed. Here are the questions you can expect to be
- 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 Christ and of His role as
Savior and Redeemer?
- Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the
- 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?
- Do you live the law of chastity?
- Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family
that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?
- 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?
- 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?
- Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?
- Are you a full-tithe payer? Do your keep the Word of Wisdom?
- Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or
children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
- 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?
- Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have
been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been?
- Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord's house and
participate in temple ordinances?
I'd like to add a brief editorial regarding temple recommends. The
process of temple recommend interviews do not serve the ideal of allowing
only the righteous to enter the temple. Some people who are far, far from
righteous lie through their teeth in the interviews and attend the temple.
Others who are in fact righteous are occasionally denied recommends because
of the bad judgment of some bishops and stake presidents.
I had a friend who caught her husband committing adultery. He asked her
to forgive him, but she couldn't find it in her heart to do so. At least not
on his time table. Her bishop counseled her to forgive him. She said she
needed more time. She was bleeding spiritually and wanted to go to the
temple. Her bishop would not renew her temple recommend because she was
guilty of not forgiving her husband. She felt she was being ostracized from
her spiritual home in the time of her life when she needed it the most.
While she was being denied a recommend, somebody else who was in an
adulterous relationship and hadn't yet been caught was in the temple.
When presented with this true scenario, I would guess that defenders of
the church would respond by saying that the temple-attending adulterer would
be punished for going to the temple unrighteously and the victim of adultery
would receive mercy and would be blessed. That response doesn't address the
issue that the temple recommend process failed to keep the unrighteous out
of the temple.
The temple recommend process divides families into the righteous and the
unrighteous factions for temple marriages. The non-member mother is denied
the opportunity to see her child get married because even if she is as
virtuous as Mother Theresa, her status as a non-Mormon automatically makes
her unworthy to enter the temple and witness the marriage ceremony.