Worthiness to Enter the Temple Includes Spiritual Preparation and Obedience to the Lord and His Servants

Doctrine and Covenants 124:45–48

45 And if my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place.
46 But if they will not hearken to my voice, nor unto the voice of these men whom I have appointed, they shall not be blest, because they pollute mine holy grounds, and mine holy ordinances, and charters, and my holy words which I give unto them.
47 And it shall come to pass that if you build a house unto my name, and do not do the things that I say, I will not perform the oath which I make unto you, neither fulfil the promises which ye expect at my hands, saith the Lord.
48 For instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practice before me, saith the Lord.

Elder Theodore M. Burton said:

“When the saints of God had gathered at Nauvoo, Illinois, the Lord gave them a revelation telling them to build a temple to Him. . . . This temple was constructed . . . and dedicated to the Lord. It was used by the Saints, therein to receive . . . sacred ordinances . . . The Church of Jesus Christ has built many houses to the Lord since that time, but are we doing all that the Lord desires of us? I know there are thousands of faithful Saints who go to the temples and there perform saving ordinances in behalf of their kindred dead. Those who do this work and accept their obligations and keep their covenants are blessed of the Lord. There is a gentleness of spirit and a sweet peaceful influence that accompanies them in their daily lives. There is light in their eyes and peace in their souls that reflects the goodness of God. They foster the brotherhood of man as children of God and are good citizens in the lands in which they live. They are slow to quarrel and quick to forgive. They are truly trying to be Saints. The thing that worries me is that not all who go to the temples do so with a proper attitude. Some go to fulfill a duty almost in a spirit of ‘Let’s go and get it over with!’ They make no effort to prepare themselves by prayer and study for such sacred work. They take their problems and worries and secret sins to the temple with them. They are tense and many times selfish. They are in a hurry to be out again and so do not take the peaceful spirit of the temple back into their daily lives. They do not find the happiness and joy within the temple which should be found there. A person can never give what he does not receive. Unless we go to the house of the Lord taking with us the influence and spirit of God, we cannot expect God to fulfill the oath and promise He made to those who really love and serve Him out of the abundance of their hearts.”

(In Conference Report, Oct. 1967, 79–80.)

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