"If this isn't your castle, then you're not my prince"
Temples are dedicated holy houses of God where we make sacred covenants and ordinances, we are promised blessings, and prepare to return to the presence of God.
Castles are just old majestic buildings.
Let's make sure our children don't mistake the two.
This quote above has become very cliche', passed around, and even written about in books. I am not sure who started it or where it came from. I don't mean any offense, because I am sure my own daughters have said it or quoted it as well. I completely understand the thought and idea behind it: young women are making a clear statement to the young men, that they will not not settle for anything less than a temple marriage. This is wonderful, commendable, and what we as parents dream about for our children. In a great generality, yes, the goal and focus of our whole lives and the purpose of our life here on earth, is to go to the temple to be sealed together as families.
But the temple is not a castle.
It is much much more!
Our youth need to understand this, and we need to teach them.
They need to be taught the importance of all the ordinances in the temple and that these are binding eternal covenants that they will work on their our whole lives keeping.
Marriage in one of God's holy temples is not about going to a pretty temple, dressing up as a princess for a day, taking pretty pictures, and living happily ever after.
Temple marriage is not about the ambiance of the temple itself. It is what goes on inside the temple walls that matter. Inside the temple, sacred covenants and ordinances that bind families and couples together forever are made.
The temple is a sacred holy place. We go to the temple for the first time to receive our temple endowment. This usually happens prior to a mission or a marriage.
The endowment is a word which means “gift” or “bestowal.” As part of this ordinance, we are taught about the purpose of life, the mission and Atonement of Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. We gain a glimpse of what it will be like to live in His presence as we feel the peaceful atmosphere of the temple. [lds.org What happens in temples]
After we have received our own endowment, we can be sealed as couples, or as families for time and all eternity, when the time is right in our lives.
Another temple ordinance is the sealing ordinance, in which husbands and wives are sealed to each other and children are sealed to their parents in eternal families. This means that if we are faithful to our covenants, our family relationships will continue for eternity. People sometimes also refer to this ordinance as “temple marriage” or “eternal marriage.” [lds.org What happens in temples]
We return to the temple often to do work for the deceased. In many ways it is comparable to our baptism and the Sacrament we take each Sunday as a reminder of the covenants we made at baptism. Each Sunday when we partake of the Sacrament, we remember our baptismal covenant, and covenant once again to keep them.
Likewise, frequent visits to the temple after our endowment or marriage, reminds us of the ordinances and covenants we made with the Lord and our spouses.
Sheri Dew in her book, God Wants a Powerful People, she said, "the Lord doesn't just want people who have gone, to the temple. He wants people who GO to the temple" I love that!
We also go to the temple to worship the Savior. It is a place of deep reverence, quiet, inspiration, revelation. It is one of those sacred and holy places and occasions mentioned in a previous post .
Those who attend the temple go to a dressing room to change from their street clothes into white clothing. This change of clothing serves as a reminder that visitors are temporarily leaving the world behind and entering a holy place. White clothing symbolizes purity, and the fact that all are dressed alike in the temple creates a sense of unity and equality.[lds.org Inside the temple]
On our temple schedule card for our local temple, Doctrine and Covenants section 109: 23, 24 is quoted. Section 109 is the dedicatory prayer given at the Kirtland Temple. Verses 23 and 24 are good ones to memorize.
D and C 109:
21 And when thy people transgress, any of them, they may speedily repent and return unto thee, and find favor in thy sight, and be restored to the blessings which thou hast ordained to be poured out upon those who shall reverence thee in thy house.
22 And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;
I also love the promises given in the following verses to those who attend the temple:
24 We ask thee, Holy Father, to establish the people that shall worship, and honorably hold a name and standing in this thy house, to all generations and for eternity;
- That no weapon formed against them shall prosper [think of all the different kinds of "weapons that can form against us in life]
- That no combination of wickedness shall have power to rise up and prevail over thy people
- thou wilt fight for thy people as thou didst in the day of battle, that they may be delivered from the hands of all their enemies.
Going to the temple is about our personal worship and personal conversion. It is part of the process of putting oil in our lamps, so that when the Savior does return, we may be ready.