General Conference Review: Temple Edition

By Hollie Wells

Maybe I was looking for it, but the recent General Conference seemed to be so loaded with temple-centered insights, language, and invitations. I know I wasn’t imagining it because the word temple was said 181 times and the phrase House of the Lord was said 28 times. I wanted to give a review of a few talks that were focused on the temple in various ways: 


Saturday Morning 

Sister Dennis— She talked about how God teaches through symbols. Jesus Himself is a symbol of God’s love and the lives we live become a symbol of our covenant. She discussed the symbol of the garment, and how it can become part of us like a second layer of skin. Our willingness to wear the garment becomes a direct symbol of our commitment to living the covenant. 

Elder Soares– Something he said made me reflect on what would happen if the Saints got as excited about talking about temple covenants and ordinances as we did about new temple announcements. Do we sometimes get caught up in the logistics and the physical buildings and forget what they are there for? 

President Eyring– Just the title of this talk is a sacred and reassuring promise from an apostle of God: “All Will Be Well Because of Temple Covenants.” I believe his promise. His heartwarming stories bring the Spirit so strong. He extends an invitation for regular temple attendance and an invitation to be worthy to attend. 

Saturday Afternoon 

Elder Gong– His talk’s theme is how things work together for good for those who love God. Temple blessings are a serious force behind that promise. He shares a story about a women being healed in her heart and mind by seeing her mother baptized by proxy in the temple. He also gives another encouragement to attend the temple regularly. 

Saturday Evening 

Elder Carpenter– He got my attention by talking about peaches… I mean… the fruits of the gospel. The sweetest fruits being eternal marriage, sealing, and other blessings associated with our covenants. I sometimes forget that there are more blessings on God’s end that come with covenant living than obligations/work on my end. 

Sunday Morning 

President Oaks– Nothing sums up President Oaks’ talk better than “Because covenants do not “take a day off,” to remove one’s garments can be understood as a disclaimer of the covenant responsibilities and blessings to which they relate.” The garment is like a uniform- it reminds us whose we are and we need to wear it the way the Lord instructs.

Sunday Afternoon 

Elder Andersen– He invited all to attend the temple more regularly (seeing a pattern?) and gave a meaningful list of reasons why perhaps the Lord is dotting the earth with more and more temples. 

President Nelson— I adore the introspective questions President Nelson has posed in the talks he’s given throughout his ministry. He often asks questions such as “What would your life be like without… ?” and as a lifelong member, I find that I take the glorious teachings and truths for granted sometimes. It has been very meaningful to examine my life and think how it would be different without the priesthood keys that enable temple ordinances. I don’t think I can fully comprehend who or where I would be without these keys.

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