Haggai 1: Finish the Temple

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 190

Elder Claudio R. M. Costa told the following story about a man he knew of in Brazil:“After being baptized with his family, he could hardly wait to complete a year’s membership in the Church so he could take his wife and children to the temple. The São Paulo Brazil Temple is very far from the Amazon. It usually takes four days by boat and four days by bus to get to the temple—about a week’s travel. This man was a cabinetmaker. How could he save enough money to pay for himself, his wife, and his children? Although he worked hard for many months, he made very little money.“When the time came to go to the temple, he sold all his furniture and appliances, even his electric saw and his only means of transportation, a motorcycle—everything he had—and went to the temple with his wife and children. It required eight days of travel to reach São Paulo. After spending four glorious days in the temple doing the work of the Lord, this family then had to travel seven more days to return to their home. But they went back home happy, feeling that their difficulties and struggles were nothing compared to the great happiness and blessings they had experienced in the house of the Lord” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 34; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 27).The story of this Brazilian family represents the spirit of Haggai’s message in chapter 1. As you read, look for what Haggai said about the importance of the temple and what the people were doing to show they did not value the temple as they should.

Understanding the Scriptures

Haggai 1

Waste (vv. 4, 9)Not built, still destroyed 
Sown (v. 6)Planted 
Stayed from dew (v. 10)Does not produce dew (the moisture on the ground in the morning) 
Remnant (v. 14)A small number remaining from a larger group 

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study Haggai 1.

Activity A iconThe Importance of the Temple

  1. 1.

    What did Haggai say were the consequences of delaying building the temple? (see Haggai 1:6, 9–11). Consider the effect of the temple covenants, ordinances, and blessings on every part of our lives. What do you think it means to put your wages “into a bag with holes”?

  2. 2.

    What does Haggai 1:4–6 tell about the priority of the temple in the lives of the people?

Activity B iconThe People’s Response

  1. 1.

    What did the people do because of Haggai’s message? (see Haggai 1:12–15).

  2. 2.

    Like Haggai, President Howard W. Hunter told Church members to “look to the temple of the Lord as the great symbol of your membership” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 8; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 8). Explain how you are making the temple the symbol of your membership and how the temple affects the way you live today.