I can still remember when my parents took our family to the newly erected Swiss Temple, the first in Europe, to become a forever family. I was 16 then and the youngest of four children. We knelt together at the altar to be sealed on earth by the power of the priesthood, with a wonderful promise that we could be sealed for eternity. I will never forget this magnificent moment.
As a boy I was quite impressed that we crossed country borders to be sealed as a family. To me it symbolizes the way temple work crosses worldly boundaries to bring eternal blessings to all the inhabitants of the earth. The temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are truly built for the benefit of all the world, irrespective of nationality, culture, or political orientation.
Temples are an unyielding witness that goodness will prevail. President George Q. Cannon (1827–1901), First Counselor in the First Presidency, once said, “Every foundation stone that is laid for a Temple, and every Temple completed … lessens the power of Satan on the earth, and increases the power of God and Godliness.” 1
While each temple increases the influence of righteousness in the earth, the greatest blessings, of course, come to those who actually attend the temple. There we receive further light and knowledge and make solemn covenants that, if followed, help us walk in the path of discipleship. In short, the temple teaches us about the sacred purpose of life and helps us get our true physical and spiritual bearings.
We do not attend the temple for ourselves only, however. Each time we enter these sacred edifices, we play a role in the hallowed, redemptive work of salvation made available to all of God’s children as a result of the Atonement of the Only Begotten of the Father. This is a selfless and holy service and one that allows us as mortals to participate in the glorious work of becoming saviors on Mount Zion.
For those who cannot attend the temple now for whatever reason, I encourage you to do everything in your power to hold a current temple recommend. The temple recommend is a symbol of our faithfulness and determination to serve the Lord. It is a symbol of our love for the Lord, for as Jesus taught, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21).
As the landscape of the world continues to become beautified with these sacred buildings consecrated to the Lord, it is my prayer that we will do our part in bringing heaven closer to earth by being worthy to hold a temple recommend and using it. As we do so, righteousness will surely increase not only in our lives and homes but in our communities and throughout the world.
Teaching from This Message
Most people learn better and remember longer when you present ideas using visual aids rather than merely speaking (see Teaching, No Greater Call ,
Teaching, No Greater Call states, “Encourage those you teach to set one or more goals that can help them live the principle you have taught” (159). Consider reading President Uchtdorf’s message with the family and inviting family members to write down a personal goal that will help them remain worthy to hold and use a temple recommend.
A View from Higher Ground
As a youth I had many opportunities to perform baptisms for the dead in the San Diego California Temple. Though I always had a good experience, one trip in particular stands out in my mind.
I was 16, and my little sister had just turned 12 and was making her first trip to do baptisms for the dead. Since it was her first time, we decided to walk around the outside of the temple after we finished.
The temple grounds have a couple of lookout points on one side, so we walked over there. Because the San Diego Temple is situated next to a busy highway, when you stand at a lookout point, you actually look down at the freeway.
Standing on the temple’s higher ground that day gave me a new perspective on life. I was looking down at the world with its whizzing cars, crowded shopping centers, and graffiti-covered road signs.
It was then that the thought came to my mind: “You don’t want to be a part of that; it’s not what life is about.” I had always been taught that the purpose of life is to return to live with our Heavenly Father and become like Him. I knew I didn’t need the things of the world to accomplish that purpose.
I turned around and looked at the beautiful temple, and I was grateful for the knowledge of the gospel and the perspective it gave me. I knew that in the midst of the chaotic and treacherous world, I had found higher ground to stand on.
That day at the temple I promised my Heavenly Father that I would always stand on His side and not the world’s. No matter what the world throws at us, we can overcome it by keeping the covenants we have made and by standing in holy places (see D&C 87:8).
Left: illustration by Scott Greer
Making the World More Beautiful
President Uchtdorf said that when a temple is built, it increases God’s power on the earth and makes the world a more beautiful place. Color the picture below. The foundation stones under the temple describe some of the beautiful blessings the temple gives people. As you live worthy to go to the temple someday, each of these blessings can be yours!
Left: photographs of Bern Switzerland Temple by Chris Mills, Hong Kong China Temple by Craig Dimond, Copenhagen Denmark Temple by Craig Dimond, and Accra Ghana Temple by Matthew Reier; right: photo illustration by J. Scott Knudsen, a composite of photographs by Craig Dimond and Charles W. Carter
George Q. Cannon, in “The Logan Temple,” Millennial Star, Nov. 12, 1877, 743.