Blessings Await in the Temple
Contributed By Edward J. Brandt, Church News contributor
- The temple provides the ordinances necessary for salvation and exaltation.
- There are over 144 temples on the earth, each blessing those who attend and those who have passed on.
“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.” —President Thomas S. Monson
Come to the temple is an invitation to receive great promises, protection, and blessings from a loving Heavenly Father who desires you to eventually return to your heavenly home. The restoration of all things necessary for the fulfillment of those blessings was the result of the faithful labors of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Beginning with the divine commission given in the First Vision, followed by the conferring of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods (see D&C 13; 27:12-13), and in time, the sealing power restored by Elijah (D&C 10:13-15), the way was opened for the gifts of the temple to be restored.
The Prophet Joseph taught: “It was the design of the councils of heaven before the world was that the principles and laws of the priesthood should be predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world. … Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles. … If a man gets a fulness of the priesthood of God, he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 419).
As the Saints completed and dedicated the Kirtland Temple, the way was opened for the restoring of those ordinances. President Brigham Young said that, “the preparatory ordinances … administered [in the Kirtland Temple], though accompanied by the ministrations of angels, and the presence of the Lord Jesus, were but a faint similitude of the ordinances of the house of the Lord in their fulness [yet to be revealed]” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 302).
On May 2, 1842, the temple endowment was first administered by the Prophet Joseph Smith in council with seven brethren. He wrote of the revelatory meeting: “I spent the day … attending to washings, anointing, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and to all those plans and principles by which anyone is enabled to secure the fulness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. And the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritually minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 414).
The revelations continued with the sealing ordinances for husband and wife and their family. As well then as the principles and order of vicarious or proxy work for the dead. “Every man that has been baptized and belongs to the kingdom has a right to be baptized for those who have gone before; and as soon as the law of the Gospel is obeyed here by their friends who act as proxy for them, the Lord has administrators there to set them free. A man may act as proxy for his own relatives; the ordinances of the Gospel which were laid out before the foundations of the world have thus been fulfilled by them, and we may be baptized for those whom we have much friendship for” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 474).
“For every man who wishes to save his father, mother, brothers, sisters and friends, must go through all the ordinances for each one of them separately, the same as for himself, from baptism to ordination, washing and anointing, and receive the keys and powers of the Priesthood, the same as for himself” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 418).
We are witnesses today of ongoing manifestation of the fruits of these restored truths. The gathering of Saints in stakes throughout the world provides the mortal resources for the temple work to be accomplished. We now have 144 temples throughout the world to enable our heavenly parents’ children to assist in bringing great blessings to themselves and those who have gone before. In time, all of God’s children will have the opportunity to accept or reject the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gives us a summary of the temple ordinances for each individual: “The primary purpose of the temple is to provide the ordinances necessary for our exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Temple ordinances guide us to our Savior and give us the blessings that come to us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The meaning of the endowment is “gift.” The ordinance consists of a series of instructions on how we should live and covenants we make to live righteously by following our Savior. Another important ordinance is being sealed for eternity in celestial marriage. This covenant allows children to be sealed to their parents and children born in the covenant to become part of an eternal family (“Temple Blessings,” BYU Speeches, Nov. 15, 2005, 4).
The Lord has declared, “Behold, I will hasten my work in its time” (D&C 88:73). The Lord is hastening the work through missionary work, finding those who are lost, temple work, and personal invitations to follow the Savior. We should hasten our efforts so as to be not left behind.
President Thomas S. Monson has given us this inspired challenge and promise: “Until you have entered the house of the Lord and have received all the blessings which await you there, you have not obtained everything the Church has to offer. The all-important and crowning blessings of membership in the Church are those blessings which we receive in the temples of God. … 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” (“The Holy Temple—A Beacon to the World,” April 2011 general conference).
Let us therefore come to the temple—come and claim your blessings through this sacred temple work. Come and find peace, revelation, joy, and spiritual safety.
Edward J. Brandt is a temple sealer in the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple and served as president of the Columbus Ohio Temple.