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on August 18, 2010
I stumbled upon this book at an LDS bookstore and thought it may be able to provide me with more insight into my temple experience so I purchased it. I began to read Mr. Shields work and I was distinctly impressed by the simplistic presentation of what are often considered difficult topics to comprehend. Prior to my initial temple experience I was provided with a copy of "The Holy Temple" by Pres. Boyd K. Packer and found this work to be helpful at introducing me to the temple. However, I certainly wish that prior to embarking upon my initial temple experience I would have also read Mark A. Shields work as a companion to Pres. Packer's volume. I particularly enjoyed the definitions section after each chapter in Mr. Shields work, which provided me with an easy reference point.

I recommend Mark A. Shields work without hesitation. It is quite simply a work which will place the temple in greater perspective and light a fire in your heart to place yourself within its walls more often. It should definitely be a must read for all those about to enter into the temple for the first time as well as those individuals who have regularly attended. This work provides the plain language needed to truly begin to comprehend the glorious realities of the temple.
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on May 19, 2013
The book is simple to understand yet does not lack in depth. It is very well organized and documented. I give a copy of it to people I know and love who are preparing to enter the temple. I learned so much and continue to glean more insight and understanding as I reread and refer to it in my study. There may be "Scriptorians" out there who already understand the concepts presented here, but after years of faithful temple attendance I was oblivious and struggled to find a resource to help me understand. This book has been a giant leap in my progression and I thank Mark Shields for sharing his knowledge with me.

When my son was preparing for a mission I ordered every book I could find trying to pick just the right one to give him. This was by far my top pick. It isn't very long, and is written in an easy to read and understand style. It is deep enough to be thought provoking without speaking over the head of even the newest temple attendees. I always try to have a few copies on hand to share since I won't part with mine.
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on November 24, 2009
This is an easy read; as it should be. Mark Shields turns something that is a bit challenging for many into a more manageable task. The symbolism and instruction of the LDS temple -- although sacred -- should not be intimidating, and Shields' book helps greatly to reduce the stress. Shields also describes the service that is rendered in the temple as consistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His writing is fluid and concise. The book can be read through the first time in one or a few sittings; then is useful as a reference beyond the first reading. One could refer back to it frequently, perhaps even to take notes of one's personal experiences and enlightenment in the margins. Of particular interest is Shields' abundant reference to scripture and scholarly writings, as he defines terms and concepts in the context of prophetic revelation.

I would recommend this book to all LDS audiences, and to those not of the LDS faith who may feel the LDS temple is mysterious. As asserted by Shields: the service and learning associated with the LDS temple should be central to the lives of those who follow Christ, and therefore should be better understood. It nicely complements books such as "The Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount" by John W. Welch.
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on April 11, 2014
Reading this book has taken much of timidity I felt on contemplation of entering the Temple for worship the first time. I read through it once and then went back over it again. I did this so I would feel more secure, not because it wasn't clear. This is my way of learning.

Mark Shields explains the experience, the ideas, and some of the symbolism. I learned much more than I expected.
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on April 4, 2014
I loved this book, it is a great book to learn about temple worship. Knowledge for anyone who attends the temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and anyone who wants to know more. I hope you all have love for all worshipers of the savior of the world.
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on November 16, 2014
This is overall an excellent, well researched and well written book on the LDS temple endowment.
In my opinion the weakest part is the introduction, where the author uses the metaphor of a puzzle, then subsequently references back to puzzle pieces. I peronally don't see the endowment that way, but this perspective may be useful for some. However, it rapidly became more interesting after the first chapter.
The vocabulary chapter (2) is a very good, although perhaps too brief, summary of pertinent words. The next two chapters on Adam and Eve are insightful, showing how they are 'stand-ins' (my phrase) in the drama for all of humanity.
Throughout the book the author correctly makes much of the fact that mountains are symbolic of temples in the scriptures (also works the other way around) and draws many useful parallels between mountain encounters with diety and the current temple structure and experience.
I have a few minor quibbles, such as the author's interpretation of Psalm 24:4 that "sworn deceitfully" refers simply to swearing, and the need to have "a clean mouth" (page 68). The meaning is actually deeper than that: The Quest Study Bible translates the phrase as "swear by what is false." The Jewish Study Bible has "taken a false oath." It means to have borne false witness, lied, or taken an oath by something which is not true (such as if the president took his oath of office with his hand on a work of fiction instead of the bible). More could have been made of this as a disqualifier for entering the temple, and a condemnation of those who have gone unworthily, made the covenants, then broken them by publishing sacred parts of the endowment for the profane world to mock. There are a few other places where the author gets things a little wrong, or at least incomplete, but none are fatal to his main points.
In sum; while not totally comprehensive, and is a little off on a few points, this is overall an excellent, sensitive introduction to and overview of the LDS temple experience. It is brief and easy to read. The concepts are explained clearly in easy to understand language. Its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses.
I highly recomment it for anyone preparing for their own endowment or to those wishing to gain interesting insights as they return to the temple. I have given a copy of this book to my daughter who is preparing for her own endowment, and am purchasing additional copies to give for Christmas to my children who have been to the temple.
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on March 10, 2016
This is for the LDS community. I actually haven't finished reading the book because I have gone back and reread many of the chapters--even starting from the first chapter once! There is so much in it to ponder and consider--and my brain doesn't work like it used to so I have to reread if I want to remember. Everything is covered by using scriptures, general authorities talks/writings, and other published books about the temple. Done in good taste, it sparks contemplations that add to understanding. I would recommend this to anyone who is seeking further light and knowledge concerning the temple experience.

Since I purchased this as an ebook, I don't know anything about the author. I would like to know more about him. I wish that Amazon would include the materials that are on hard book covers--both front and back--so we get the synopsis of the book as well as a short bio on the author.
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on May 27, 2014
"Your Endowment" covers the basics of LDS temple ordinances in light of Old Testament traditions and modern revelation. The author aims both to introduce prospective templegoers to the temple ordinance and enhance the understanding of those who have already been. Given the reverent manner required to approach these subjects, the author does an admirable job and largely succeeds. The first several chapters are strong and tightly written. They will not likely present the Latter-day Saint reader with any new information, but the information is organized in such a way to help the reader apply them to understanding the temple ordinance. The content is well-sourced and light on speculation. These first chapters are lucid and insightful.

Unfortunately, chapters 6 and 7 tend to lack the focus of the earlier chapters. These chapters include extended personal anecdotes, mini-sermons on tithing and the Word of Wisdom - valuable topics, to be sure, but distracting to the stated purpose of the book. The section on worthiness particularly reads like an EFY talk, complete with sports analogies. In any other context these anecdotes may be entertaining, and the author is clearly a talented communicator, but the change in tone is unexpected and inappropriate.

Fortunately, the author rights his course in the final chapters, discussing symbols and additional Old Testament parallels with the same tight prose and focus as the earlier chapters. The book ends with a worthy summary of the key principles taught.

All in all, this book is a straightforward and concise introduction to the principles of the temple. It is less involved than other, longer works such as Boyd K. Packer's Holy Temple but provides more detail than one can reasonably piece together from conference talks and lesson manuals. Unfortunately, some weak material in the middle chapters disrupts the flow of the book. These chapters need to be revised, reworked, or removed altogether. An improved and more focused edition would easily garner four stars.
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on February 23, 2016
This is a carefullly written book that does not go too far in helping us understnd the temple. If you are looking for the mystical this is not for you. but if you are seeking to understand the temple using teh basic building block this is a very good book. It is not very long nor does it include lots of extra information. The author is careful to delve into what can be said outside the temple.
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on March 16, 2016
Combining this with the "Understanding Your Endowment" it covers the subject very nicely. Would be very helpful for a person who is just beginning temple attendance to gain an understanding of what they are seeing and hearing.
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