By Lauren Madsen
In the April 2022 General Conference President Russell M. Nelson announced locations for seventeen new temples. In October he announced eighteen more. We are living in a time when temples are found throughout the world and are becoming even more available to members everywhere.
After his October announcement, President Nelson urged, “Let us never lose sight of what the Lord is doing for us now. He is making His temples more accessible. He is accelerating the pace at which we are building temples. He is increasing our ability to gather Israel. He is also making it easier for each of us to become more spiritually refined. I promise that increased time in the temple will bless your life in ways nothing else can.”
President Nelson was one of several leaders in 2022 General Conference sessions to speak on the blessings of the temple and the covenants we make there. Below are some of the highlights.
- President Dallin H. Oaks pointed out, “Some are puzzled at this emphasis [of building temples], not understanding that the covenants and ordinances of the temple guide us toward achieving exaltation.“ Heavenly Father is hastening this work and making available temples and temple ordinances in a way we have never seen before, because temples are essential to our progression.
- Temple worship is where we learn more about ourselves. Elder Dale G. Renlund taught, “We live as perpetual children if we are ignorant of the eternal perspective gained in temples. There we grow up in the Lord, ‘receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost,’ and become more fully committed as disciples of the Savior. As we keep our covenants, we receive God’s power in our lives.”
- We gain the blessing of discernment in the temple, President Jean B. Bingham explained, “You who have already received the blessings of the temple, don’t let distractions pull you away from eternal truths. Study and ask trusted sources for greater understanding of the sacred significance of the covenants you have made. Go to the temple as often as you can and listen to the Spirit.”
- Sister Rebecca L. Craven also talked about covenants and what they enable us to do: “[Our covenant relationship with God] draws us to the temple because keeping temple covenants is how we endure to the end.”
- Elder Neil L. Andersen taught that in the temple we learn about why we are here and what the Savior gives us, “As we enter the temple, we are freed for a time from the worldly influences crowding against us as we learn of our purpose in life and the eternal gifts offered us through our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
- We learned about what happens after our temple worship from Elder Jonathan S. Schmitt, “Every time we worship in the temple, we leave endowed with greater power to make our homes places of holiness. . . Time in the temple will increase holiness in our lives.”
President Nelson encouraged us to focus on the temple in ways we “never have before” and pled with us to spend more time there. As I sit here compiling this list, I imagine a loving Father inspiring his sons and daughters, who would speak to His other sons and daughters. As these leaders prayed and prepared their words, I can picture Him telling them, “Teach my children about my house, how it will bless them, and why it is important. Invite them to go there as often as they can.” It’s a loving invitation, extended time and time again by our Father and our Savior through their servants. It’s an invitation I hope we never take for granted.