I love the temple. When I was a child, my Primary teacher took my class to the Salt Lake Temple grounds. It was wonderful to walk through the grounds, admire the beautiful flowers, and feel Heavenly Father’s Spirit near the house of the Lord.
My teacher pointed out that the temple is made from granite stones. She talked about the sacrifice the pioneers made for those precious stones—how it took five days for them to bring one stone to the temple site. “Can you see all these stones?” she asked. “Think of how many days it would have taken the pioneers to bring them to build this beautiful temple.” I remember realizing the sacrifice that was made by our ancestors.
It was a memorable experience. It’s also an example of how you children can enjoy the blessings of the temple now. If you live near a temple, you can partake of the spiritual atmosphere at the temple grounds. After you are baptized and confirmed, you can participate in temple dedications. And there will be many more dedications; 11 are being planned right now! When you turn 12, you can perform baptisms for the dead. No matter how far you live from a temple, it is important for you to prepare now for that sacred opportunity.
Children have a powerful influence for good on both adults and other children. Some of the Primary children of the Houston Texas Temple district wrote to the contractors who were building the temple there. The letter said: “We want you to know the temple is very important to us. Because the land was dedicated by an Apostle of the Lord, the building and land are sacred to us. The temple is where we will come to be married. We will come here to learn what we need to know to return to our Heavenly Father. May the Lord bless you for the work you are doing for us.”
The contractors then took this lovely letter and placed it in their office. They read it every day. When the temple was finished, the contractors brought their own children to tour the temple and to feel the spirit expressed by the Primary children in their letter.
Another blessing in my life has been working so closely with President Gordon B. Hinckley. Over the past nine years the Church has gone from having 51 temples to 124 temples. This miracle has strengthened my faith and helped me understand the importance of temples.
In 1998 we had 51 temples operating and 17 being built. Then in general conference, President Hinckley said that we needed to have 100 temples by the end of the year 2000.1 It meant 32 new temples would be built in addition to the 17 already in process. We thought it was an impossible task. But nothing is impossible when blessed by the Lord. It took many miracles to make it happen in that short time. Time and time again, things came together at just the right moment—miracles such as finding enough sod to lay on a temple property just hours before the dedication took place.
In the year 2000 there were 34 temples dedicated. That’s the most that have ever been dedicated in one year in the history of this world. President Hinckley was inspired to build more temples. Then the Lord magnificently blessed us and helped that happen because He honors His prophets. I hope you honor the prophets too. And I hope you will always value and prepare for temple blessings.