Latter-day Saint president holds special devotional on temples
The importance of temples to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was brought closer to home Sunday when church President Russell M. Nelson held an hybrid devotional meeting from Salt Lake City.
Nelson urged members of the church in Nevada and some parts of California and Arizona to increase their preparation for worship in a house of the Lord — known as temples.
“The covenants and eternal truths of the temple are at the heart of the gospel,” the prophet said in a live broadcast from the auditorium of the Church Office Building on Temple Square. “Every time a temple is dedicated, more light comes into the world. Every time we go to the temple, our lives are reinforced by that light and by the covenants we make with God. In the temple, we are endowed with the Lord’s power and blessed to have his angels round about us. In this day of intensifying evil, there is nothing that will protect us more than regular time in the temple.”
Other devotional speakers were the prophet’s wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, and President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy conducted the devotional and was joined by his wife, Melissa.
The church currently has 300 temples around the world in operation or some stage of development. Latter-day Saints consider each temple the most sacred space on earth. Two temples in the broadcast area still to be built will be in Elko and Lone Mountain, Nevada.
Locally, the Saratoga Springs, Orem and Lindon temples are in construction phases. Those will be added to the Provo Utah, Provo City Center, Mount Timpanogos and Payson temples already in operation.
The ceremonies within each temple teach the purpose of life and unite families, past and present. The presence of temples in communities around the globe reminds Latter-day Saints of the importance of faith in God, the need for constant improvement of the soul, the possibility of family relationships that reach beyond the grave and the salvation that comes only through the grace of Jesus Christ, according to church information.
Nelson shared what he called his ABCs of personal preparation for worship in a temple:
- A is for ancestors.
- B is for being prepared for worship in a house of the Lord.
- C is for children and the need to teach them truth.
Nelson urged Saints to research their genealogy and engage in the temple’s vicarious service of salvation for ancestors. To better prepare for worship in a temple, Nelson encouraged church members to study the new “For the Strength of Youth” guide. And he taught parents to fill their children’s minds with truth.
“Children are instinctively receptive to truth,” he said. “So, parents and teachers, please take advantage of every opportunity to teach them correct principles. … Tell stories from the scriptures. Teach your children how to pray. Teach them that God is their Heavenly Father and he will help them. Let them see you going to the temple. And when a loved one dies, teach your children … that because of Jesus Christ, we can be with each other again as we keep our sacred covenants.”
President Nelson admonished these Latter-day Saints to live wisely each day.
“The Lord is hastening his work and urging us to prepare for his second coming,” the prophet said. “I cannot overstate how vital you and your choices are. As you look like, act like and speak like a true follower of Jesus Christ, your positive influence on others will astound you. Further, many of you live in locations that attract visitors from all over the world. Pray to cross paths with those who are ready to hear the gospel and embrace its truths.”
President M. Russell Ballard
Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke of the importance of having and maintaining a pure heart. Living a pure life, he said, is a critical way to prepare for worship in a temple.
“Brothers and sisters, we need to become and then remain pure in heart,” President Ballard said. “I invite you to prepare for and receive a temple recommend. And then be sure that your temple recommends are renewed regularly. Temple recommend interviews with God’s servants help keep our attention focused on our savior, Jesus Christ, and allow for course corrections if necessary.”
A temple recommend permits Latter-day Saints to enter one of the faith’s houses of the Lord.
“I invite all listening to this devotional to talk of Christ, to rejoice in Christ and to preach of Christ,” Ballard said. “We have the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and sharing his gospel is a joy and a blessing for each of us.”
Sister Wendy Nelson
Sister Nelson’s remarks focused on making the best use of our time. For her, she said, that means worship in the temple.
She said, “When I am up against an impossible deadline and entirely out of time, energy and ideas, or when I am overwhelmed with far too many things to do, every time I make a sacrifice to the Lord by going to the temple or by doing family history research, I am blessed with the time and energy and ideas — which I was previously completely out of — and with some left over. Miraculously, there is always enough and to spare.”