If you had a serious question about something sacred, where would you want to go to think and pray about it? You’d probably want to go to a private, peaceful place. You might choose to be alone in your bedroom, or outside in a quiet spot.
When the President of the Church has a serious question about something sacred, he also wants to be in a peaceful place to ponder and to pray. Where do you think he might go?
If you thought of the temple, you are right! The temple is a holy, peaceful place where the Church President and other worthy people may go to receive special guidance from Heavenly Father. It is a place of revelation—a place where Heavenly Father reveals, or answers questions about, sacred matters.
President Ezra Taft Benson has said, “When I have been weighed down by a problem or a difficulty, I have gone to the house of the Lord with a prayer in my heart for answers. These answers have come in clear and unmistakable ways.” (Ensign, August 1985, page 8.)
Because the President of the Church is a prophet and revelator, he receives revelation for all people and tells us what Heavenly Father wants us to know.
For many years, President Spencer W. Kimball had been praying to Heavenly Father to know if the time had come when all faithful men could receive the priesthood. The answer was revealed to him on June 1, 1978, in the Salt Lake Temple. Called Official Declaration—2 [OD 2], it is recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants. In part, it says: “[Heavenly Father] has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color.”
How grateful we are for revelations from Heavenly Father and for prophets who are worthy to receive these messages!
As you read these stories about persons who received revelations in the temple, look up the scripture references to learn what special messages they received, then fill in the blanks.
Samuel When he heard his name spoken one evening in the temple, the child Samuel thought that he was being called by Eli, the High Priest. But Eli understood that it was the Lord speaking to Samuel. Eli told Samuel that the next time he heard the voice, to say, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth” (1 Sam. 3:9). Samuel did so, and the Lord had a sad message for Samuel: “I will perform _______ _______ all things which I _______ _______ concerning his _______ : …
“For I have _______ _______ that I will _______ _______ _______ for ever.” (See 1 Sam. 3:12–13.)
Zacharias One day as Zacharias, a righteous priest, was serving in the temple, an angel appeared to him. At first Zacharias was frightened, but the angel told him not to be afraid, that his prayers had been heard: “Thy _______ _______ shall _______ thee a _______, and thou shalt _______ _______ _______ _______.” (See Luke 1:13.)
Joseph Smith On January 21, 1836, while Joseph Smith was in the Kirtland Temple, he had a vision. He saw the celestial kingdom and recognized several people there. His brother Alvin, who had died before being baptized, was among them. Joseph asked how that could be. The voice of the Lord said, “All who have _______ without a _______ of this _______, who would have _______ it if they had been _______ _______ _______, shall be _______ of the _______ _______ _______ _______.” (See D&C 137:7.)
Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836, when the Lord appeared to them with this joyful message about the temple: “For behold, I have _______ this _______, and my name _______ _______ _______; and I will _______ myself to _______ _______ in mercy _______ _______ _______.” (See D&C 110:7.)
Enlarge the pictures on page 12, and have the children make a roller box presentation. (See Primary Sharing Time Resource Manual, page 29, for directions in constructing roller boxes.)
When the revelation known as Official Declaration—2 [OD 2] was received by President Kimball, a confirmation that the revelation was true came to Gordon B. Hinckley, who was in the temple with President Kimball on that sacred occasion. Read President Hinckley’s written testimony and discuss it with the children. (See Ensign, October 1988, pages 69–70.) Invite a faithful adult to share with the children the feelings he or she experienced upon learning of the revelation.
“In the Lord’s Church the First Presidency [and] the Council of the Twelve … are prophets, seers, and revelators to the Church and to the world.” (See Bible Dictionary—Revelation.) Have the children identify these men from current pictures and share information concerning them. (See Ensign, May 1992, page 56, and Friend, August 1990, page 12.)
Help children understand that revelations may come through the Holy Ghost, visions, dreams, and visitations (see Bible Dictionary—Revelation) and that prophets and other worthy people have received revelations in places other than the temple—for example, Moses on Mount Sinai (see Ex. 24:12, 16–18), Lehi in his house (see 1 Ne. 1:5–8), Enos in the forest (see Enos 1:1–5), Saul (Paul) on a road (see Acts 9:3–6), Joseph Smith in a jail (see D&C 122), Joseph F. Smith in his room (see D&C 138:heading, D&C 138:1, 11). After hearing these stories, children could draw pictures of them.
Sing or repeat “The Ninth Article of Faith” (Children’s Songbook, page 128), then read and talk about the two scriptures listed with the song—Doctrine and Covenants 121:26–27 [D&C 121:26–27] and Amos 3:7.
“[Revelation] also consists of individual guidance for every person who seeks for it and follows the prescribed course of faith, repentance, and obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (See Bible Dictionary—Revelation.) Invite the bishop or branch president to talk with the children about personal revelation.