I’ve been reading a book, Your Endowment by Mark A. Shields.  The book claims to be from “an experienced gospel teacher, casts new light on the symbolism inherent in the temple ordinances and provides a wealth of insights that well change the way your worship.”  I was intrigued by a story early in the book.

When the Los Angeles Temple building program was commenced, President McKay called a meeting of the stake presidents of the temple district.  During this meeting, President McKay took occasion to express his feelings about the holy endowment.  He indicated how some years before, a niece of his had received her ordinances in the house of the Lord.  He had learned that shortly before that experience she had been initiated into a sorority at the local university.  She had the crassness to say that she found the sorority initiation superior in effect and meaning to her than the endowment.

President McKay was open and frank with his audience about the experience of one of his own family with the endowment.  He wasn’t worried about audible gasps.  With characteristic aplomb, he paused and then said, “Brothers and sisters, she was disappointed in the temple.  Brothers and sisters, I was disappointed in the temple.  And so were you.”  Then he said something incredibly important that should be engraven on all our souls.  “There are few, even temple workers, who comprehend the full meaning and power of the temple endowment.  Seen for what it is, it is the step-by-step ascent into the Eternal Presence.”  Then he added, “If our young people could but glimpse it, it would be the most powerful spiritual motivation of their lives!”

If the prophet of God is not ashamed to admit that his family was not properly prepared to enter the temple, none of us should be either.

What are your thoughts about temple preparation?  How could we better prepare people to enter the temple and understand the symbolism?