Teaching the importance of temple marriage

The young women in our ward discussed the topic of teaching young people the importance of temple marriage. Their comments are the following:

Give young people opportunities to hear personal testimonies of individuals who have chosen to be married in a temple. Lectures on the subject do not have the same impact as a personal example from someone they know.- Provide opportunities to attend the temple as a ward or with family to do baptisms for those who have died. This can be a great opportunity for young people to become familiar with the temple.

Take youth to visit an open house for a temple before dedication. To actually see the sealing rooms gives one a better comprehension of what happens there. If this is not possible, there are Church films which show the purpose and beauty of the rooms in the temple.

Teach the advantages and blessings that come from having a temple marriage. It also is helpful to clearly teach the disadvantages that come from not being married in the temple.

Give youth opportunities to attend wedding receptions for those who have just been sealed in the temple.

Teach that becoming "temple ready" is a long process, and it's important to teach that getting to that point involves maturity, purity and a personal commitment to the Lord. It's much more than having the perfect wedding dress or matching decorations at the reception.

Realize that when young people make mistakes, they often feel unworthy to go to the temple. It is critical for them to understand repentance and the atonement. - Young Women, Corvallis (Ore.) 4th Ward

How we did it:

Prayed for help

After I was baptized Sept. 6, 1992, my lifestyle changed, but I felt alone. Then, searching for wisdom and guidance, I received my patriarchal blessing. In my blessing, several characteristics of my future spouse were revealed. On my first young adults activity, I noticed a very humble and loving girl. I asked if I could write to her, and she accepted. Later, we were sealed for time and eternity in the Stockholm Temple. Now, about six months later, my wife is pregnant and we know the Lord will help us.

I testify that keeping the covenants of celestial marriage means living with God and that this is eternal life. Through your prayers, He will help you to find and select your future spouse. - Rasmus Fougt, Risskov, Denmark

Be right person

Look for and create teaching moments. Teach your children that marriage is the most important choice they will ever make. To succeed they should do the following:

Be the right person, the kind who has personal prayers, studies the scripture, is active in Church, is morally clean, has prepared for a career, has given missionary service, etc.

Fast and pray to find the right person.

Marry the right person at the right time in the right place. - Clarence and Jan Dickson, Hawthorne, Calif.

Encourage goals

The world teaches our youth that marriage outside the temple can be so easy to obtain. As a stake Young Women president, I and those with whom I serve prayerfully look for programs and events where we can encourage our youth to set goals and strive for nothing less than a temple marriage. For example, having a special stake Young Women program on preparing for temple marriage will help these young women gain stronger testimonies and have greater determination that they don't want anything less than a temple marriage.

We as parents and leaders can set a positive example for our youth about temple marriage by the way we live our lives. Regular temple attendance speaks louder than just talking about it. We also need to remember that temple marriage may not come until later in life for some of our youth. When that happens, we can help our youth by encouraging them not to give up - to live by the standards so that when that special day does come, they will be prepared to enter the temple and enjoy the blessings that await them. - Vicki Allgaier, Brunswick, Md.

Begins in home

I feel that a proper education must begin in the home. Our children look to us for guidance, whether we realize this or not. It becomes extremely important as to how we present our own marriages to our children. Parents who have been married in the temple should treat each other, and their families, with love and respect. Children reared in a loving environment will desire that same type of relationship when they are married. Therefore, a temple marriage will become a necessity, not an option. Young people whose parents have been married in the temple but treat their families poorly and without respect will not consider their parents' relationship desirable. Therefore, a temple marriage will not be very important to them. - Jon and Teresa Christensen, Park City, Kan.

Perspectives will change

Young people should realize that their perspective will change when they become parents. The arrival of our first child opened my mind and heart to things I hadn't seen, or felt before. My desire to have her sealed for eternity suddenly became very important to me. Because she came by adoption, she could not be sealed until after the adoption was legally finalized. The four months it took for our adoption papers to be processed was the most anxious period of my life, but, oh, what peace came to my longing soul when we went to the temple and she became ours for eternity. - Dallin Slaugh, Renton, Wash.

Share testimonies

Have pictures of the temple at home to remind us of the goal of temple marriage.

Share testimonies, personal experiences.

Give us opportunities to attend the temple for baptisms for the dead.

Take us to temples and visitors centers during vacations.

Teach the importance of temple marriage during family home evenings.

Help us meet with couples after they have been to the temple for their marriage.

Teach us to dress modestly in preparation to go to the temple.

Encourage us to set goals. Give us little reminders of temple marriage, such as a white handkerchief.

Remind us that families are forever. - Mia Maid class, Claresholm Ward, Fort Macleod Alberta Stake

A happy place

Communicate with children by talking to them without making judgmental comments.

Set a good example of righteous living.

Read the scriptures with children without long lectures.

Respect children as people who have a right to their own opinions and to privacy.

Give children trust along with responsibility.

Make home a happy place to be. - Youth of Laurelglen Ward, Bakersfield California South Stake

How to checklist:

1 Have temple marriage yourself; create a happy home.

2 Urge youth to prepare spiritually; help them live gospel.

3 Help them set goals, to receive patriarchal blessings.

4 Familiarize them with temple; take them to visitors centers.

Write to us:

May 14 "How to overcome the challenges and find joy in a difficult Church calling."

May 21 "How to help your children stay active in the Church when you have a less-active spouse."

May 28 "How to avoid contention in daily life."

June 4 "How to make family scripture study fun, interesting."

June 11 "How to help children learn to properly bear testimonies."

June 18 "How to cope when a loved one is suffering from dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, or send fax to (801) 237-2121. Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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