Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Temple Blessings

            I had the opportunity to do a sealing session in the Anchorage Alaska Temple this week, and I took some family names with me. They were not names of ancestors but from parallel lines. I was particularly touched when three sisters were sealed to their parents in the same ordinance. For some reason, that ordinance made me think of all the people being sealed to spouses or children or parents in that session. However, I particularly thought of the three sisters and how they might be feeling and how I feel when I am with my sisters.

            A few months ago I spoke with a friend who is the only member of her family who is also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the time of our visit, her parents had both graduated from this life more than a year previous, and she had completed their temple work and was sealed to them. I asked her if she felt anything different between when her family was not sealed and after they were sealed. She shared that she had felt a difference – like a more secure feeling.

            I come from a long line of members of the Church, and I am sealed to generations of ancestors. I have known all my life that my family was sealed together because my parents went to the Salt Lake Temple to be married and sealed for time and eternity. My husband and I went to the same temple to be married for eternity, and five of my six children were also married in a temple. I am sealed to both ancestors and posterity and will have the blessing of being a family forever if I live worthily. This knowledge brings a great deal of comfort and security to me.

            There are many blessings that come from temple attendance with sealing of families being an essential one. I have been impressed that President Russell M. Nelson emphasizes the temple often since he was sustained as the Prophet and President of the Church. A few days ago I read his closing remarks from the last general conference of the Church in which he spoke about temple blessing again. 

Now let’s turn to the topic of temples. We know that our time in the temple is crucial to our salvation and exaltation and to that of our families.

After we receive our own temple ordinances and make sacred covenants with God, each one of us needs the ongoing spiritual strengthening and tutoring that is possible only in the house of the Lord. And our ancestors need us to serve as proxy for them.

Consider the great mercy and fairness of God, who, before the foundation of the world, provided a way to give temple blessings to those who died without a knowledge of the gospel. These sacred temple rites are ancient. To me that antiquity is thrilling and another evidence of their authenticity.

My dear brothers and sisters, the assaults of the adversary are increasing exponentially, in intensity and in variety. Our need to be in the temple on a regular basis has never been greater. I plead with you to take a prayerful look at how you spend your time. Invest time in your future and in that of your family. If you have reasonable access to a temple, I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord – to be in His holy house – then keep that appointment with exactness and joy. I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples.

            President Nelson continued by announcing plans to construct twelve more temples, but he brought his remarks right back to the need to spend time in the temple.

Building and maintaining temples may not change your life, but spending your time in the temple surely will. To those who have long been absent from the temple, I encourage you to prepare and return as soon as possible. Then I invite you to worship in the temple and pray to feel deeply the Savior’s infinite love for you, that each of you may gain your own testimony that He directs this sacred and ageless work.

             The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ newest temple is in Rome, Italy. Whenever a new temple is built, it is open to the public. Then it is closed to everyone except those members of the Church who have current temple recommends. The recommends show that they are living according to the commandments of Jesus Christ and the covenants they have made. The temple in Rome is about to be dedicated and closed to the public, but this video shows the beauty of the temple with two Apostles sharing the purposes for temples and temple work. 

           I am grateful for the temple blessings that so richly bless my life. I am grateful for parents who taught me the importance of temples and temple sealings. I am grateful to have a temple close to my home and the right combination of time and health where I can attend often. I am grateful that my children recognize the importance of temple attendance and are teaching it to their children. My greatest desire is for the blessings of the temple sealing to be upon each member of my family throughout eternity.

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