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Book review: 'Understanding the Symbols, Covenants and Ordinances of the Temple' is for both new and experienced temple patrons

UNDERSTANDING THE SYMBOLS, COVENANTS AND ORDINANCES OF THE TEMPLE,” by Amy Hardison, Covenant Communications, $15.99, 247 pages (nf)

When Amy Hardison's daughter was about go to a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to receive her endowment, the Hardisons realized their daughter wasn't as ready as she could be for the experience and the knowledge she would receive.

Hardison researched, studied and put together materials to help supplement her daughter's preparation. With the encouragement of her husband, Hardison adapted the study material into a book titled "Understanding the Symbols, Covenants and Ordinances of the Temple."

Although this book is helpful for Latter-day Saint members who are entering the temple for the first time, it is also useful for members who have attended the temple for years.

Using ancient scripture, academic research and revelation from modern-day prophets, Hardison explains the symbolism behind the sacred ordinances performed and the covenants made inside Latter-day Saint temples.

From the physical aspects of the temple and how they have remained the same over thousands of years, to the scriptures adding witness to the ordinances and covenants, Hardison includes hundreds of references to deepen the reader's understanding.

Although "Understanding the Symbols, Covenants and Ordinances of the Temple" is dense, Hardison's conversational writing style and use of short anecdotes and tidbits of information make it infinitely easier to read.

The glossary of symbols at the end of the book is especially applicable due to its basic layout.

The content of "Understanding the Symbols, Covenants and Ordinances of the Temple" is not exclusive to members of the LDS faith. Those curious about this aspect of the LDS religion will find this academic approach to temples and their history to be an informative guide.

Tara Creel is a Logan-native-turned-California-girl and mother of four boys. Her email is, and she blogs at