To enter an LDS temple, a person must be a worthy, tithe-paying member of the LDS Church and they must present a "recommend" (a piece of paper indicating that the bearer is a worthy member) at the door of the temple. To determine worthiness and thereby receive a recommend, a member must sit through two interviews. The first interview is with a member of the bishopric of the ward to which their membership is assigned. (The bishopric is the presiding body of the ward, consisting of a bishop, who is the head, and his two counselors—there are also clerks and secretaries, but they are not allowed to conduct temple recommend interviews.) The second interview is with a member of the stake presidency. (Much like a bishopric, a stake presidency consists of three men.)
From Handbook 1 of the General Handbook of Instructions
3.3.3 General Guidelines for Issuing Recommends
Authorized Church officers conduct worthiness interviews for temple recommends as outlined in the temple recommend book. Church officers make every effort to see that no unworthy person enters the house of the Lord. Temple recommend interviews must be private. They should not be rushed. Interviewers should not add any requirements to those that are outlined in the temple recommend book. [Emphasis added.]
Although it specifically states that interviewers should not ask any questions not found in the recommend book (see below for the questions), many members report that they have been asked personal and probing questions, especially regarding sexual behavior.
Exercise great care when interviewing applicants for recommends to enter a temple. Make it clear that you represent the Lord in determining worthiness to enter his holy house. No unworthy applicant should receive a recommend. Be certain that each applicant is worthy as a result of living up to Church standards and principles. Acceptable answers to the recommend interview questions ordinarily will establish worthiness to receive a recommend. Do not assume that worthiness to enter the temple at one time is reason for a casual interview later. Discuss the interview questions with each applicant, and keep each interview private.
Require an applicant who is not living up to Church standards and principles to demonstrate true repentence before receiving a recommend to enter a temple.
When interviewing an applicant for a recommend, do not inquire into personal, intimate matters about marital relations between a husband and his wife. Generally, do not deviate from the recommend interview questions. If, during an interview, an applicant asks about the propriety of specific conduct, do not pursue the matter. Merely suggest that if the applicant has enough anxiety about the propriety of the conduct to ask about it, the best course would be to discontinue it. If you are sensitive and wise, you usually can prevent those being interviewed from asking such explicit questions.
Interview Questions for Recommends to Enter a Temple:
1 Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost?
2 Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer?
3 Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days?
4 Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?
5 Do you live the law of chastity?
6 Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?
7 Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
8 Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
9 Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?
10 Are you a full-tithe payer?
11 Do your keep the Word of Wisdom?
12 Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
13 If you have previously received your temple endowment:
Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple?
Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?
14 Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been?
15 Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord's house and participate in temple ordinances?