On several occasions Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has shared with members of the Church the two things that he always carries in his pocket: his temple recommend and his copy of the “For the Strength of Youth pamphlet (“2 Items President Uchtdorf Always Carries With Him,” LDS Living, Dec 16, 2007). As members of the Church, do we also have a temple recommend in our pocket, wallet, handbag, or somewhere we can see it easily?
Why is it so critical that we should have a valid temple recommend? President Howard W. Hunter explained, “It is the deepest desire of my heart to have every member of the Church worthy to enter the temple. It would please the Lord if every adult member would be worthy of—and carry—a current temple recommend (Howard W. Hunter, “Exceeding Great and Precious Promises,” Ensign, Nov 1994, 8). We can show the Lord we love Him by qualifying for and carrying a temple recommend.
In addition, the Lord expects us to reflect His purity and holiness in our righteous living. He is pure, holy and so is His temple, and being worthy of a temple recommend shows the Lord we are trying to live holy lives. Elder Ronald A. Rasband taught that “Your temple recommend reflects a deep, spiritual intent that you are striving to live the laws of the Lord and love what He loves: humility, meekness, steadfastness, charity, courage, compassion, forgiveness, and obedience. And you commit yourself to those standards when you sign your name to that sacred document. Your temple recommend opens the gates of heaven for you and others with rites and ordinances of eternal significance” (Ronald A. Rasband, “Recommended to the Lord,” Liahona, Nov. 2020, 23).
“Your temple recommend reflects a deep, spiritual intent that you are striving to live the laws of the Lord and love what He loves: humility, meekness, steadfastness, charity, courage, compassion, forgiveness, and obedience. And you commit yourself to those standards when you sign your name to that sacred document. Your temple recommend opens the gates of heaven for you and others with rites and ordinances of eternal significance”Ronald A. Rasband
Since becoming the President of the Church, President Russell M. Nelson has stressed the importance of temple building, temple worthiness, and temple worship in every general conference. He speaks the mind and will of our Master Jesus Christ. Let us not perpetuate an attitude of casualness in ignoring the Lord’s constant plea to us to be temple worthy.
President Nelson has counseled us that, “The temple lies at the center of strengthening our faith and spiritual fortitude because the Savior and His doctrine are the very heart of the temple. Everything taught in the temple, through instruction and through the Spirit, increases our understanding of Jesus Christ. His essential ordinances bind us to Him through sacred priesthood covenants. Then, as we keep our covenants, He endows us with His healing, strengthening power. And oh, how we will need His power in the days ahead” (Russell M. Nelson, “The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation,” Liahona, Oct. 2021, 93-93).
What if you do not feel worthy of a temple recommend? See your bishop or branch president without delay. What if you do not feel an urgency to obtain a temple recommend? Pray fervently to your Heavenly Father to enlighten your heart and mind to have a desire to go to a temple and see your bishop or branch president without delay. Even if you do not qualify for a temple recommend after seeing your priesthood leader, do not feel despair. Rejoice that you have embarked on a new beginning as you work toward your repentance, guided towards walking on the covenant path again.
President Nelson further counsels that, “Individual worthiness to enter the Lord’s house requires much individual spiritual preparation. But with the Lord’s help, nothing is impossible. …such 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 ‘in a state of never-ending happiness”” (Mosiah 2:41; Russell M. Nelson, “Closing Remarks,” Liahona, Nov. 2019, 121-22).
Without a temple recommend, one can only admire the beautiful temple structure from the outside but can never comprehend the divine plan of happiness of our Heavenly Father. When we are inside the Lord’s temple, we can feel His glory, love, peace, power, and presence. In the temple we can claim the promises He made to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Such blessings are for us to experience and are beyond the reach of any earthly wealth.
The Savior beckons each of us to His holy house. His plea to us has always been today, straightway, immediately, and now. Be worthy of and hold a temple recommend, then come to His holy temple and claim your eternal blessings. May we accept His invitation to run toward Him with haste and gladness.