By Hollie Wells
General Conference is such an exciting time for the whole church. One of the highlights for everybody is when new temples or temple renovations are announced. With April’s General Conference just passed, I have been contemplating temple-themed talks given in the past. I wanted to highlight ten talks given in the past 15 years (or so…) that are especially meaningful to me and my understanding of the temple and how to integrate the covenants into my life. They come in no particular order, but I hope you can find one that piques your spiritual interest. Each is worthy of a deeper dive along with the hundreds of other talks and resources that teach about the temple.
The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation
President Russell M. Nelson
This talk is a beautiful metaphor for how the physical structures of the temple represent our lives. President Nelson details the renovations happening to the Salt Lake Temple and how they will make the building up-to-code and seismically sound. The safest place to be in an earthquake is the temple and the safest place to be in spiritual earthquakes is our temple covenants. In this talk, he also gives one of my favorite sentiments concerning temple attendance, “If you don’t yet love to attend the temple, go more often —not less.”
Temple Mirrors of Eternity
Gerrit W. Gong
I love the mirrors in the sealing rooms. This talk is a beautiful elaboration on some of their symbolism. It is best summed up by this paragraph from the talk,
“Temple mirrors of eternity remind us that each human being has ‘divine nature and destiny’; that ‘sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally’; and that, growing together in love and faithfulness, we can give children roots and wings.”
Recommended to the Lord
Ronald A. Rasband
“Your temple recommend reflects a deep, spiritual intent that you are striving to live the laws of the Lord and love what He loves:”
This talk is an invigorating invitation to get a temple recommend, to honor it, to live worthy of it, and to cherish it.
The Finest Homes
Elder Clayton paints a beautiful picture of the exterior and interior designs of the temple and how we can implement that beauty in the interior design of our own hearts and families. He says, “As we become more like [Jesus Christ], we will feel at home in His house, and He will feel at home in ours.”
Gerrit W. Gong
Inside the temple covenant is where we feel most at home because we are spirit children of God. It is where we belong, it unites the human family, the family of Abraham.
A Home Where the Spirit of the Lord Dwells
Henry B. Eyring
I remember hearing this talk as a teenager and putting a mental bookmark on it as a go-to talk for help in parenting and making my house a place where God can be. I come back to it often. He talks sweetly of the importance of bringing images of the temple and the image of our temple covenants into our home. He shares the experience of Ezra Taft Benson learning a love for the temple by watching his mother care for her temple clothing and speaking lovingly of her experiences there.
Prepared in a Manner That Never Had Been Known
Linda K. Burton
This talk is all things temple prep! She talks of the parable of the ten virgins and likens it to preparing our youth and ourselves to go and receive ordinances. She says we must “consistently and diligently add oil, drop by drop, to our spiritual lamps” by living worthily in our daily lives.
New Temples to Provide Crowning Blessings of the Gospel
Gordon B. Hinckley
I was not actually alive when this talk was given, but the announcement of 30 new small temples throughout the world was historic and began the huge momentum that we see roll forth as the stone cut without hands. In 1998 there were only 53 operating temples. To put this in perspective, with 176 operating temples in 2023 now, this would be like Russell M. Nelson announcing 100 new temples in one session of General Conference (which doesn’t feel too far off, he has announced 118 since becoming President of the Church).
Family History and Temple Work: Sealing and Healing
Dale G. Renlund
This talk has one of the most profound and creative lists of blessings that come from participating in temple and family history work. You really cannot afford to miss out on any of these blessings!
See Yourself in the Temple
Quentin L. Cook
This talk is a sweet plea to all members to make their way to the temple despite any personal distance in worthiness or proximity. “Please know how earnestly we desire that everyone make any necessary changes to qualify for the temple,” he says. He also describes many wonderful and needed blessings that come from sacrificing to make those sacred covenants, no matter the cost.