I am very excited because I was asked to speak on Temples. I could not be more excited to speak about temples because they definitely hold a very special place in my heart.
We live in a time of turmoil and confusion and heartache. This world can be a very tiring and hard place. Everything that we face on an everyday basis can be very hard to deal with. The faith and love you feel in the temple is what helps us to overcome all of the other things in our lives. They provide a safe guard and give us a comfort we cannot find anywhere else.
“ The world can be a challenging and difficult place in which to live. We are often surrounded by that which would drag us down. As you and I go to the holy Houses of god, as we remember the covenants we make within, we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation. In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace; we will be renewed and fortified.” Thomas S. Monson
So much of why the temple gives us so much peace and allows us to bear every trial is because of our Heavenly Father. He is the key to our eternal exaltation. That is why it is so important that we strengthen our relationship with him. No matter who we are or where we come from in the church we can always improve our relationship with the savior and strengthen ourselves to become more like him. One of my favorite places to draw closer to heavenly father and strengthen my testimony is in his Holy House. Rosemary Thackeray of BYU stated, “ Being strengthened by the lord is an individual experience. We qualify for it individually, and individually we receive strength.” One of the reasons I love the temple so much is because of how personal it is. Even though the ordinances and covenants we make there are the same, the revelation and the answers we receive in that holy place are so different. Each of us go through the temple and have our own personal experiences that we take with us.
President Thomas S. Monson said it so perfectly when he quoted, “I think there is no place in the world where I feel closer to the Lord than in one of His holy temples.”
The temple is such an amazing place. We are so lucky to live in a time and place where we have so many temples so readily accessible to us. The temple is such an amazing place where we are safe guarded from the everyday trials we face as individuals. And even when we are not faced with trials, temples provide us with a way to be strengthened by the hand of the lord. As we find in D& C it reads, “ thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them.” I have felt this same blessing from the temple numerous times throughout my life.
I am very lucky because I have had many opportunities and trials in my life that most people will never have to dream about going through however, I could not consider myself luckier. I am so blessed to be able to have gone through all of the things that I have in my lifetime. And because of those trials I was able to choose to turn to the lord throughout my life. This has blessed me with the opportunity to use the power of the temple so many times throughout my life.
However, it all started when I was just 3 months old and my parents had just got in an argument. My dad put me in the car and drove him and me to the bountiful temple. When we got there my father picked me up in his arms and in front of the temple gave me a fathers blessing. I obviously do not remember that or any of the words that were shared in that blessing; however, I can tell you that ever since that moment I have shared a special relationship with both my earthly father and my heavenly father. I love this gospel more than anything and I am so grateful for those two wonderful fathers I have in my life who are there for me each and every single day. As I grew up and turned 12 my dad and me made it a goal to attend the temple at least once a month. Those monthly trips to the temple were amazing and hold a special place in my heart. And because of all those months of attending the temple I found it to be a habit as I grew up and am attending college. I try to attend at least once a month. It is in that house that I am able to feel the love from my heavenly father more than ever. I love everything about the temple and the special opportunities it provides to us to strengthen ourselves and draw ourselves closer to god. We are never lost when we can see the temple.
In the October 1976 general conference it was stated, “ Is not the greatest need in all of the world for every person to have a personal, ongoing, daily, continuing relationship with the savior? Nothing can make a greater difference in our lives as we come to know and understand our divine relationship with god.” When attending the temple we are allowing ourselves to come unto Christ and we are giving ourselves the opportunity to find knowledge, understanding, and joy. The first presidency quoted” The ordinances of the temple help us place the savior at the center of our lives. That eternal perspective gives us greater peace of mind, more purpose for life, and a powerful motivation to live the commandments.”
However, that closeness and peace we feel inside the temple will carry through with us even outside the temple. That is why the more often we can attend the more permanent that closeness and relationship will become outside the temple. Every time we attend the temple we take new experiences with us when we leave.
A great example of this in my life was June 11th 2011. It was one year after we had adopted my little brother and sister Carter and Kyree. They were only 3 and 1 at the time. I remember entering the temple and being taken to the children’s room with my brother and sister. I was 13 at the time. I remember playing and watching my brother and sister while waiting for what felt like forever. Eventually my siblings and I got all dressed up in our temple outfits and were escorted to one of the sealing rooms. There in front of me were my parents and so many familiar faces including extended family and friends. There I was able to watch my sibling be sealed to my parents for time and all eternity. However, what happened next was truly unique and special. After they had been sealed to my parents and everyone was seated the sealer took me by the hand and led me to where I sat with him on the alter. He talked with me as if no one else was in the room and it was only us for probably a solid 10 minutes. While we were talking he asked me what my favorite temple was the Draper Utah temple. He then proceeded to ask me if I wanted to be married in the temple someday. He then told to find a picture of that temple and place it somewhere in my room where I would see it every single day to remind me to always live each day in a way that I would always be worthy to enter its sacred doors when the day came for me to be sealed with my eternal husband. That moment for me will always be very near and dear to my heart. I truly could feel the love from the savior and his desire for me to remain worthy to enter the temple just from speaking with this man I had never met before. I could not be more grateful for that cherished moment in my life and several times I have been told that it was such a rare opportunity because people have never seen that happen in all there years of service in the temple. That is why it makes it that much more amazing when I tell you how he was asked to be our sealer that day. My parents had originally asked a longtime family friend to do the sealing. However, on the morning of the sealing as we were all in the temple my parents started worrying because the sealer had not shown up yet. My grandparents at the time were working at the temple. My grandma told my dad that she would call the sealer to see where he was. While on the phone the sealer he told my grandma that he had wrote down that it was the following week and that he was out of town and could not do the sealing. So at that moment my grandparents had to rush and try to find someone who would be able to do the sealing. At that exact moment a sealer who was not scheduled to work at the temple that day walked in and said that he had gotten a very strong prompting to come to the temple to do a sealing. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and I am so thankful that he was worthy and willing to not only receive that prompting but to act on it and drive to temple so that he could seal my parents to my siblings and so that I could have the opportunity that I had.
In April general conference of 2011 it was stated, “Temples are more than stone and mortar. They are filled with faith and fasting. They are built of trials and testimonies. They are sanctified by sacrifice and service.” If we attend the temple often and with a sincere and worthy heart we will be able to build our testimonies with the faith that surrounds those holy houses of the lord. We will be able to strengthen ourselves and draw ourselves closer to our loving heavenly father. May you make it your own personal goal to make yourself worthy to enter the temple as often as you can to gain the blessings the lord has waiting within those temple doors.
I just want to end with a section from a letter I was given when I was a little girl that is written as if from our heavenly father, “ You my faithful child are my hope. It is through you that my work must proceed. You haven’t much time there is so much to be done. I beg you to get started. Accomplish the mission I gave you before you left me. I’ll help you. I’m never too busy or too far away to come to you. I’m nearer to you always than you might suspect. I’d love to take you in my arms, but I too, must wait patiently, that time will come. Till then, I leave you with my peace, my blessing, my love, and never forget I am nearby If you need me. I love you and miss you very much, and oh, how I am looking forward to your joyous return again to me. All my Love, your Heavenly Father.”May we all strive to attend the temple often to become the very best versions of ourselves and so that we will be able to become more like our savior. So that when that joyous reunion occurs we will be able to wrap our arms around our heavenly father and know that we have done all that we could. I know that the savior loves us. I know that as we draw closer to him and become perfected in him we will be able to draw closer to exaltation, which is our destiny. I know that he died for each and every one of us and that we have a prophet here on this earth today to lead us back to him. May we be diligent in keeping the commandments and serve the lord with all our heart, might, and minds. I know that the plan of salvation is real and everlasting. I am so thankful that I will be able to be reunited with 3 perfect brothers again. I love my heavenly father and these things I leave with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.