The Lord has given His children His standards of worthiness. Those standards were not designed to keep His children away but to draw them to Him, said Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve.
"The Lord sets His standards so that He can bless us," he said. "Think about those blessings: He promises those who meet the standards the help of the Holy Ghost. He promises personal peace. He promises the chance to receive holy ordinances in His house. And He promises those who endure in living His standards that they will have eternal life."
The Lord has set standards of worthiness for baptism. He promises those who meet the standards the help of the Holy Ghost. These same standards apply to those who receive the Melchizedek priesthood and the blessings that come from visiting the temple, Elder Eyring said. Such standards are high and unchangeable. They include commandments that cannot be broken such as chastity, the law of tithing, the Word of Wisdom and honesty.
"Those commandments must be kept with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and with a humble and repentant heart," he said. "Because we love the people we serve, all of us want to do better in lifting our Heavenly Father's children to the faithfulness and purity they need to have all the blessings of the Lord."
For bishops and branch presidents, lifting people to the standard needed to receive a temple recommend is the great test of leadership. "The standard is very high. It has to be. Those who meet it are worthy to enter the House of the Lord. They have to be pure enough to go where the Lord Himself can go," he added.
Elder Eyring said bishops and branch presidents need to prepare themselves before interviewing those they serve for temple recommends, and they are to start by praying for inspiration. "Only with revelation from God can you succeed."
Members seeking their first temple recommend should attend a temple preparation seminar.
"Participants in this course should desire to go to the temple and be worthy of a temple recommend," Elder Eyring said. "If they have not yet received a temple recommend they should be preparing to receive one."
Bishops and branch presidents are heavily burdened and can't prepare every candidate alone. They need help teaching temple recommend candidates the standards. Then those candidates need to develop a testimony of those standards.
Bishops and branch presidents should gather with their respective councils to seek revelation to know what is keeping families from rising to their solemn charge to teach children the Lord's standards, he said.
Not all members have faithful parents and families around them. They must be taught by quorum and class leaders or by young men or young women leaders. Bishops should ensure that there is someone in each unit to watch over those identified as needing help.
"The people being prepared for the temple need more than someone to serve them; they need to be called to serve others," Elder Eyring said. When properly given, he said, all calls to serve in God's kingdom are calls to rise to the Lord's standards of worthiness and to help others rise to them.