(I am not the prophet or an apostle. None of this is doctrine. It’s just my own feelings about the matter.)
The topic of when to take out one’s endowment may be controversial, but it’s something I strongly believe in. I have found that most people don’t even consider taking out their endowments unless they’re getting married or going on a mission. And while those are wonderful reasons to get your endowment, they’re not the end-all-be-all.
Let’s break it down first; it might make more sense if we look at why we take out the endowment.
The endowment is our opportunity to receive more knowledge about Heavenly Father, Heaven, Earth, Adam and Eve, Eternal Families, and our Purpose here. This is important for missionaries because they will need to know the answers to investigator’s questions. It’s also a step you take before getting sealed to a spouse because you really need to understand the purpose of family and marriage before you can seal yourself to another person.
I get that. I totally understand why the Church requires us to take out our endowments before doing either of those things.
But what about the people who haven’t gone on a mission and aren’t married? What about them? Does this mean they don’t get to take out their endowments EVER?
Of course not.
There is a stigma, however, about people (especially girls) who take our their endowments when they aren’t preparing for a mission or marriage–especially if they’re under 25.
I know that in the past Bishops and Stake Presidents would want us to have a reason for taking out our endowments. But what if I don’t have a tangible reason? What if spiritual progression is my reason?
Let me tell you a story. In February of 2015 I was sitting in Sacrament meeting one Sunday listening to a talk when I had the thought,
“Why don’t you get your endowment?”
I sat in silence for several moments trying to digest this. I thought, Is this a sign I should go on a mission? But the longer I thought about it, the more a mission still didn’t seem like the right answer. And I wasn’t dating anybody at the time, so marriage wasn’t on the horizon or anything.So I figured, why not go for it? It wouldn’t hurt to take the Temple Prep class or talk to my bishop about it.
So that’s what I did. I made an appointment to talk to my bishop first. My bishop happened to be an old family friend who had known me my whole life, and when I told him what I was considering his face lit up in delight. He expressed how this was a great idea, that I was mature enough (even though I was 22) and had obviously considered what this would mean for my life. He gave me the go ahead to take temple prep and talk to the stake president about it.
I took Temple Prep. Even when my trip to Ireland with my parents overlapped, my mom and dad went over one of the lessons with me. I was taking this as seriously as possible. I had never made a decision this big in my life. I didn’t want to get it wrong. I didn’t want to make a covenant and then realize I wasn’t ready for the commitment. I did a lot of introspection for the 3 months before my endowment and made sure I was making the right decision about me and that the timing was right.
Taking out my endowment was really special. My brother had just gotten home from a mission and my other brother was preparing to go on his, so the three of us along with my parents made our way to the San Antonio Temple in June of 2015.
It’s the best decision I’ve ever made, hands down. It’s been such a light in my life. It’s helped me find clarity in my decisions. It’s a place I can feel piece from the anxieties of my life. Ironically, it’s not really a place for me to receive revelation, at least not yet anyway; I still get more revelation in Sacrament meeting!!
So make the decision that’s right for you. If you feel like it’s the right time then talk to your bishop about it. And try not to be discouraged if your bishop says it’s not the right time. That can be a let down to hear, especially if you feel ready. But Heavenly Father might be saving it for you to do at a later time when it will be more significant.
Either way, it’s between you and Heavenly Father. Let me know if any of you have cool stories about when you went through the temple. I’d love to hear them!