In my mind, there are three great goals in life: parenthood, temple worthiness, and exaltation.
On this website, I have written extensively on the first and the last. It is about time I spend more typing on the subject of temple worthiness.
For those who do not already know, I am Jason Nemrow ("jewish" name - Yason Bardavid Hakohen), a descendant of the Biblical Aaron, and I and my fathers are priests of Jehovah by lineage. For many centuries, The Lord commanded the service of my fore-fathers, first in the Tabernacle that housed the Ark of the Covenant, then in the Temple at Jerusalem, the very House of God. Although much of Judaism finds only novelty in the priestly line, I do not. My duty and heritage remains to call the children of Israel to temple worship and preparation for the covenant promises of glory that God provides therein.
God is the Father of all of us. He wants the best for us. The best we can become is like God ourselves. He has created the way that this "exaltation" to Godhood can be done. He ordained one of his children to be the Messiah who would mark the path for all to follow and remove the barriers that prevent our forward movement to the ultimate prize of standing beside our Father and being as he is. Christians know the Messiah as Jesus the Christ and eventually all will also know this without any doubt.
First, be baptized by one authorized by God.
In the temple at Jerusalem, only the children of Israel could enter its more sacred areas. This is still true today in the many temples spaced throughout world, and all can begin to qualify to enter them via dedicating themselves to God and adoption into the family of Abraham through baptism (or a re-dedication through baptism for those already in Abraham's family). Baptism also serves a vital function in an initial repenting of sins and cleansing through a public commitment to the Messiah and his commandments. It is the first qualification for temple service.
An important person in this journey to the temple is a bishop, who leads God's priests in a geographical area and is housed in a congregational meetinghouse. He is tasked to determine if someone meets the qualifications for baptism and future entry into the temple. The bishop also identifies priests who are authorized to baptize. God will only recognize baptisms performed by such priests.
Second, receive priesthood authority to lead your family and participate in temple rites (for men).
God commands men to lead their families in righteousness and organizes a priesthood to teach fathers their duties in relation to their families. Through this organization, men are ordained and assigned priestly duties which may include a turn as a congregational bishop. Bishops are instrumental in determining if men meet qualifications for priesthood ordination, just as in baptism. Priesthood ordination is one qualification that men must meet to enter the temple.
God does not obligate women to priesthood duties and fatherhood, though some have critical assignments within the priesthood organization. Motherhood is the ultimate godly creative and nurturing role and bears equal weight with any priestly stature. Baptized women need no ordination to qualify for temple entry.
Third, enter the temple and make specific covenants with God.
A bishop (again) determines if a person is sufficiently qualified and prepared to enter the temple. In ancient times, this preparation was done through elaborate rituals and it involves the same sort of intense dedication to God's commandments today. Entry into the House of God has never been an act taken on lightly, casually, or quickly. The Lord places all who enter the temple under sacred covenants which involve commandments and dire consequences if they are violated.
Within the holier rooms of the temple, just as in space near the "holy of holies" in the ancient tabernacle, we can draw very near to God himself. We can ask him questions and anticipate his answers. We can bring him our concerns and he will hear them. This closeness to God is one of the primary purposes of temples. Our personal commitment to qualify and prepare to come into his presence and covenant with him shows him that we are willing to obey him and he rewards such, often in very personal and sacred experiences that we don't share with others.
Fourth, keep the covenants you have made with God and do temple service in behalf of others, especially your family.
In exchange for personal obedience to covenants made in the temple, God provides additional special blessings and gifts, the greatest of which is the opportunity to become exalted, as God is. These covenants and gifts are things that God wants all of his children to seek out and to qualify to receive.
For those living today, an outline to follow is given above. People who have already made temple covenants themselves and remain qualified can make those covenants on behalf of others who died without entering a temple, especially family members and ancestors. The increasing number of temples throughout the world are needed to provide opportunity to all to receive these gifts of God, no matter their living circumstances or the time in which they lived.
Priests staff the many temples spread around the world and administer God's covenants to every man and woman who qualify themselves to enter. As a priest of Jehovah myself, I call out to you to make any needed changes in the direction of your life, find your nearest bishop, and prepare yourself to come into the presence of the Messiah and our God and help your kindred dead enjoy the same in his temple. For the great majority of humanity in these times, the opportunity to enter the temple is an increasingly attainable goal!
Even if your temple journey is made difficult by your personal choices, I assure that God awaits you in his holy house and no distance is so great that you cannot alter your course and draw near to him, with the help of Jesus the Christ, his mighty Messiah!
I leave you with the priestly blessing of myself and my forefathers: The LORD bless you and protect you! The LORD deal kindly and graciously with you! The LORD bestow His favor upon you and grant you peace!