The Calgary Alberta Temple: A House of the Lord
Contributed by Elder Richard K. Melchin, North America Central Area Seventy
The Calgary Alberta Temple was dedicated by President Thomas S. Monson on October 29, 2012. Over 33,000 people participated in the three dedicatory sessions of the 140th temple in His church. This occasion brought to fruition years of prayers and hope that a temple in Calgary would become a reality. It is a beautiful building on a hill in northwest Calgary which enjoys a panoramic view of the city and of the mountains to the west. One hundred thousand people attended the Open House where the Spirit of the Lord welcomed all guests--member and non-member alike. The spiritual experiences had by many testifying of the truths of the restored gospel helped all of us realize that the Lord had welcomed to His home all who entered therein.
The members in the city had the opportunity to help with the final completion of the building where some 16,000 man-hours of volunteer labour assisted with the landscaping, cleaning and construction details. A staff of 4,500 volunteers helped with all of the details of the Open House which had the effect of making the Calgary Temple OURS.
The magnificence of the building is surpassed only by the majesty and power of the ordinances presented there. As we contemplate the doctrine presented in the ordinances, the reality of the eternal nature of life is witnessed in the great mirrors of the sealing rooms where eternity seems to meet at the altar. The promises of a loving Father are brought in focus as we realize that in His House we are taught of the promises ordained upon us by Father before the world was (D&C 132:11). These promises are renewed upon us not for our sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world (D&C 84:48). In this House prepared for man, we receive a more excellent hope (Ether 12:32). This hope is centred in the atonement of Jesus Christ that as in Adam all die even so in Christ shall all be made alive. We baptize for the remission of sins, we covenant to obey the Lord’s commands that we may be taught His ways, we kneel at His altars so that our families may be sealed together forever. We become saviours on Mount Zion for the family of Adam. As Joseph Smith wrote, “Shall we not go on in so great a cause?”
In the temple, the sealing powers of the Holy Priesthood are administered. Without the authority of the priesthood and the ordinances thereof, no man can see the face of God (D&C 84: 21-22). The concluding step in the restoration of the Priesthood was completed on April 3, 1836, when Elijah, the Prophet of ancient times, conferred upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery the authority to bind on earth such that it will be binding in the Heavens. With this authority, the Prophet Joseph prepared and administered the ordinances of the temple, putting in order the promises made to the fathers and turning the hearts of men to their fathers that the earth might fulfill the measure of its creation.
The explanation of the sealing powers found in the Doctrine and Covenants 128:8 teaches that binding or sealing could be stated in a simpler way. Joseph explained that this sealing is accomplished by the recording of the ordinances preformed in the House of the Lord. As these ordinances are performed with authority, properly completed and recorded, they become a Law in Heaven and on Earth and cannot be annulled saith the Lord Jehovah (D&C 128:9).
Thus the great plan of happiness is brought to bear for the children of men. A work that began before the world was is completed in the temples of our God. His promises and covenants granted in His presence and by His hand are made sure in His temples for the living and the dead. As we each endure the chastising hand of God, we are taught to be like Him. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we shall be made holy and without spot--trained to be like Him, taught in all His ways, refined as silver and gold. We shall stand in His presence, lifted from a fallen state to a state of righteousness, to dwell with Him and our loved ones throughout eternity.
We have built His House with the best of materials and workmanship. It is beautiful, a light on a hill which cannot be hidden. However, the majesty of the temple is not in the physical beauty, but in the service rendered there in the Name of Jesus Christ for the redemption of all men.