As New Temple Rises, Apostles Encourage Box Elder Saints to Prepare
Richard M. Romney, Prophets and Apostles Speak Today
As a new temple is constructed nearby, leaders and members from 13 stakes in the Box Elder area surrounding Brigham City, Utah, were counseled by two apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ to prepare themselves to be worthy to enter the House of the Lord.
President Boyd K. Packer and Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gathered with priesthood leaders from Brigham City and surrounding communities on Saturday, August 20, 2011, in the Tremonton West Stake Center, and Elder Scott spoke with all members on Sunday, August 21, in the Garland Tabernacle, with closed-circuit television carrying the service to overflow gatherings in additional meetinghouses nearby.
These were the first meetings in the area conducted by apostles since the 1985 visit of Elder Marvin J. Ashton. Leaders filled the pews shoulder to shoulder on Saturday, and so many members gathered on Sunday that parking lots were filled and cars were parked on streets for blocks surrounding the historic tabernacle.
Follow the Spirit
President Packer addressed the priesthood leadership conference, encouraging stake presidents and bishops to follow the Spirit, promising that the Holy Ghost would help them to know what to say. He said that Joseph Smith, asked to explain the difference between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other churches, replied with just five words: “We have the Holy Ghost.” President Packer encouraged leaders to remind members that they were not only baptized but that they also received the gift of the Holy Ghost. “We need to teach [them] how the Spirit works,” he said,
Search the Scriptures
President Packer and Elder Scott also encouraged the leaders and members to find answers to life’s challenges by studying the scriptures. “I love the scriptures,” Elder Scott said. “They are the foundation of a worthy and perfected life. They provide inspiration and guidance. Father in Heaven knew we’d be tried on earth, and we would need Him and His Son. He gave us the power and support of the scriptures to help us.”
“Often,” Elder Scott said, “challenges that people face are resolved by reference to the scriptures. No one would have any question about how important the scriptures are to President Packer. If you see him with them as he’s teaching, often he just embraces them, holds them close to himself as he speaks. . . . He’s memorized [many of] them and that’s a great strength.”
He encouraged leaders to “concentrate on the doctrine and you’ll find you have discussions that are more meaningful, more productive, and more helpful to those that you serve. The same is true for the home.”
Elder Scott encouraged Primary children to smile and to help others to smile. “We need to be happy,” he said. He called upon a teenager and a recently returned missionary to talk about temple preparation, modesty, scripture study, and to share their testimonies.
Prepare for the Temple
Saying that he had been thinking about the devotion and faith of early pioneers in the Box Elder region, Elder Scott said, “Now there will be a temple in this area, where you can receive the saving ordinances of the gospel and be sealed together as families for eternity.”
He encouraged those old enough to qualify to have a temple recommend to make a goal to have one when the temple dedication comes. “To be in the temple when it’s dedicated is a singular and wonderful experience. You need to make the effort . . . so that you can enjoy the blessings [of being] present at the dedication of a temple by a prophet of the Lord.”
President Packer, who grew up in Brigham City, said, “Many of you, I know your names, and I could tell you stories about your fathers and grandfathers, who have worn their lives out preaching the gospel and administering in the Church.”
He said, “I feel wonderful about being here today. It’s almost like being home. But there’s something better. We recently saw two children in the family married in the temple, and we sent two more on missions.” He said those are great blessings in life—going to the temple and giving service to others by sharing the gospel with them.