It comprises instruction relating to the significance and sequence of past dispensations, the importance of the present as the greatest and grandest era of human history. This course of instruction includes a recital of the most prominent events of the creative period, the condition of our first parents in the Garden of Eden, their disobedience and consequent expulsion from that blissful abode, their condition in the lone and dreary world when doomed to live by labor and sweat, the plan of redemption by which the great transgression may be atoned, the period of the great apostasy, the restoration of the gospel with all its ancient powers and privileges, the absolute and indispensable condition of personal purity and devotion to the right in present life, and a strict compliance with gospel requirements.
The ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual, such as 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 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 her King,—the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation, a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observation of the conditions.
The House of the Lord [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1968], pp. 83, 84
Let me give you a definition in brief. Your endowment is to receive all those ordinances in the house of the lord which are necessary for you after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens pertaining to the holy priesthood and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth or hell.
[Discourses of Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941), p. 416]
Recent horrifying events in the United States have underscored the fact that we live in a world of uncertainty. Never has there been a greater need for righteous mothers—mothers who bless their children with a sense of safety, security, and confidence about the future, mothers who teach their children where to find peace and truth and that the power of Jesus Christ is always stronger than the power of the adversary. Every time we build the faith or reinforce the nobility of a young woman or man, every time we love or lead anyone even one small step along the path, we are true to our endowment and calling as mothers and in the process we build the kingdom of God. No woman who understands the gospel would ever think that any other work is more important or would ever say, “I am just a mother,” for mothers heal the souls of men.
It was never intended that knowledge of these temple ceremonies would be limited to a select few who would be obliged to ensure that others never learn of them. It is quite the opposite, in fact. With great effort we urge every soul to qualify and prepare for the temple experience.
The knowledge of the truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the most valuable knowledge you will ever possess.
Go to the temple. The endowment is the eternal curriculum. In it we are taught where we came from and why we are here on earth, and we are given the promise of achieving life eternal in the celestial kingdom if we obey the commandments and covenants.
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