If you had a serious question about something important, where would you want to go to think and pray about it? 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. 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 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” (Tambulilit, June 1992, page 2).
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 1 June 1978 in the Salt Lake Temple. This answer is called Official Declaration—2, and it is now part of 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.”
We are grateful for revelations from Heavenly Father and for prophets who are worthy to receive these messages!
As you read these stories about people who received revelations in the temple, look up the scripture references to learn what special messages they received; then fill in the blanks.
When he heard his name spoken one evening in the temple, the child Samuel thought he was being called by Eli, the high priest. But Eli knew that it was the Lord speaking to Samuel. Eli told Samuel the next time he heard the voice, to say, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth” (1 Sam. 3:9). Samuel did as Eli suggested, 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” (1 Sam. 3:12–13).
In the days of King Herod there was a righteous priest named Zacharias. He and his wife, Elisabeth, had no children.
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, because his prayers had been heard: “Thy _______ _______ shall _______ thee a _______, and thou shalt _______ _______ _______ _______” (Luke 1:13).
On 21 January 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 _______ _______ _______ _______” (D&C 137:7).
Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery
Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were in the Kirtland Temple on 3 April 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 _______ _______ _______” (D&C 110:7).
The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve are prophets, seers, and revelators to the Church and to the world. Have the children identify these men from current pictures and share information about them. (See latest general conference issue of the magazine.)
Help children understand that revelations may come through the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, visions, dreams, and visitations 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.