Quotes on Endowment

Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, . . and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.  (Journal of Discourses, 2:31) — Elder David B. Haight, Ensign, May 1992, p. 15

The endowment which was given by revelation can best be understood by revelation; and to those who seek most vigorously, with pure hearts, will the revelation be greatest.  (Journal of Discourses, 2:31) — Elder David B. Haight, Ensign, May 1992, p. 16

In the temple we receive an endowment, which is, literally speaking, a gift.  We need to understand the spiritual significance of it and the importance of keeping the sacred covenants and obligations we make in receiving this gift.  Each “temple ordinance is not just a ritual to go through, it is an act of solemn promising.”  (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 635) 

The temple endowment was given by revelation.  Thus, it is best understood by revelation, vigorously sought with a pure heart.  President Brigham Young (1801-77) explained that “your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels,…and gain your eternal exaltation.”  (Discourses of Brigham Young, 416) — Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Prepare for Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign, March 2002, p. 18

Endowment:  What is the meaning of the word endued or endowed?  In Luke 24:49, shortly after his resurrection, Jesus told his Apostles, “I send the promise of my Father upon you,” but they were to remain in Jerusalem, “until ye be endued with power from on high.”  (See also Acts 1:4–5, 8.)  The Greek word in the text is enduo.

Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language  (published in 1828) noted that the English word endue (or indue) “coincides nearly in signification with endow, that is, to put on, to furnish, . . . to put on something; to invest; to clothe.”  The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary notes that endue means “to put on as a garment; to clothe or cover.”  (“Endue”. The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. 2 Vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971. 1:863)  Indeed, Joseph Smith’s diary uses the spellings endument and endowment interchangeably, as when he prayed in December 1835 that all the elders might “receive an endument, in thy house.”  (Jessee, Dean C. Ed. The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1984, 105)

The Greek word enduo has two main meanings. The first is “to dress, to clothe someone,” or “to clothe oneself in, to put on.” Second, the word can also be used figuratively, meaning to take on “characteristics, virtues, intentions.”  (Bauer et al.  Greek-English Lexicon. 263)

Thus, the endowment is a dressing not in ordinary clothes, but “with power from on high” (Luke 24:49) and in the virtues and intentions of God.  It involves the opportunity to “put on (enedusasthe) Christ” (Galatians 3:27), so that “this mortal [can] put on (endusasthai) immortality.”   It is possible to see both literal and figurative significance in the word enduo in connection with the desire of the pure in heart to be encircled in the robes of God’s righteousness. John W. Welch, “New Testament Word Studies,” April 1993, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 17 December 2008