Sisters, we are most blessed. The Savior stands at the head of this Church. We are led by living prophets. We have the holy scriptures. And we have many holy temples throughout the world where we can obtain the ordinances necessary to help us return to our Heavenly Father.
We go first to the temple for ourselves. “The primary purpose of the temple,” explained Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “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. Temples are the greatest university of learning known to man, giving us knowledge and wisdom about the Creation of the world. Endowment instructions give guidance as to how we should conduct our lives here in mortality. … The ordinance consists of a series of instructions on how we should live and covenants we make to live righteously by following our Savior.”1
But our temple service does not end there. President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught: “Acting as proxy for someone who has gone beyond the veil, you will have reviewed before you the covenants that you have made. You will have reinforced in your mind the great spiritual blessings that are associated with the house of the Lord. … In the covenants and ordinances center the blessings that you may claim in the holy temple.”2
Come to the temple and then come again. Making and keeping temple covenants will keep us on course to the greatest of all blessings—eternal life.
Barbara Thompson, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.
The Prophet Joseph often spoke to Relief Society sisters at their meetings. With the Nauvoo Temple under construction, the Prophet instructed the sisters in doctrine, preparing them to receive more knowledge through temple ordinances. In 1842 he said to Mercy Fielding Thompson that the endowment “will bring you out of darkness into marvelous light.”3
An estimated 6,000 Latter-day Saints received temple ordinances before the exodus from Nauvoo. President Brigham Young (1801–77) said, “Such has been the anxiety manifested by the saints to receive the ordinances [of the temple], and such the anxiety on our part to administer to them, that I have given myself up entirely to the work of the Lord in the Temple night and day, not taking more than four hours sleep, upon an average, per day, and going home but once a week.”4 The strength and power of temple covenants fortified the Saints as they left their city and temple for a journey into the unknown.