(Image from Barnes & Noble)
Although members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints consider what happens inside LDS temples sacred, not secret, there's still a whole lot of confusion surrounding temple worship—not just from non-members, but also from active, LDS temple-goers. In his new book, Understanding Your Endowment, Cory Jensen seeks to bring some enlightenment to the latter group. Although the volume is available to the general public, it's intended for—and will be most helpful to—endowed members of the church. Jensen's readers will, therefore, already be familiar with the general topics he discusses. Still, he hopes even the most seasoned temple worker will be able to find something new within its pages. He stresses repeatedly that the Spirit will teach readers what of the information presented is most truthful and valuable for them.
Without revealing the details of the various ceremonies, Jensen explores the ordinances and covenants associated with temple worship. He uses ancient scripture, religious history, and quotes from modern prophets to further the reader's understanding of temple symbolism, coming unto Christ, how to apply what you learn in these holy edifices to your daily life, etc.
At a mere 130 pages, the book is a quick read, but it still manages to offer a thorough, thought-provoking overview of a complex, multi-layered topic. Jensen's approach is both down-to-earth and respectful. You don't need to be a theologian or a scholar to understand the information he's presenting; likewise, you don't need to be a newbie to gain additional insights into temple worship from this well-researched guide. Personally, I learned all kinds of new things that I intend to ponder next time I attend the temple. Because Understanding Your Endowment is such an easy read, I can definitely see myself turning to it again to increase my understanding of and appreciation for my own temple blessings. If you're looking for an intriguing, easy-to-understand way to enhance your own experience, this is an excellent resource to add to your LDS library.
(Readalikes: The Holy Temple by Boyd K. Packer)
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
for discussions of sexual intimacy (although it is addressed in a respectful, non-graphic way)
To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of Understanding Your Endowment from the generous folks at Cedar Fort in exchange for my participation in its virtual book tour. Thank you!