The Temple and The Gathering

By Lauren Madsen

“The Lord is hastening His work to gather Israel. That gathering is the most important thing taking place on earth today. Nothing else compares in magnitude, nothing else compares in importance, nothing else compares in majesty.” --President Russell M. Nelson

I recently rediscovered a blog post titled Sharing the Gospel in Normal and Natural Ways by Elder Uchtdorf, where he shared five ways anyone can help to gather Israel. I began to make connections between Elder Uchtdorf’s list and what other Church leaders have taught and promised about serving and worshiping in the temple. The temple and the way it connects us to our Father and Jesus Christ truly is vital to the gathering!

  1. Draw close to God

We can draw close to God in the temple. President Gordon B. Hinckley’s promise is a powerful one: “Is life filled with cares for you? Do you have problems and concerns and worries? Do you want for peace in your heart and an opportunity to commune with the Lord and meditate upon His way? Go to the house of the Lord and there feel of His Spirit and commune with Him and you will know a peace that you will find nowhere else.” Elder David B. Haight also spoke of the temple and our personal relationships with the Lord: “You will come to know our Lord there. As your relationship with Him grows and deepens, you will grow increasingly confident in His love, in His compassion for your difficulties, in His power to bear you up and bring you back into His presence.”

  1. Fill your heart with love for others

We can fill our hearts with love in the temple. President Hinckley also taught of the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of the Lord found in the temple: “The element of selfishness crowds in upon us constantly. We need to overcome it, and there is no better way than to go to the house of the Lord . . . It will refine your natures. It will peel off the selfish shell in which most of us live.” 

  1. Strive to walk the path of discipleship

We can become better disciples by making covenants in the temple. Sister Jean B. Bingham summarized the covenants we make, and the promises we are given in the temple this way: “We solemnly promise to obey God’s commandments, live the gospel of Jesus Christ, be morally pure, and dedicate our time and talents to the Lord. In return, God promises blessings in this life and the opportunity to return to Him. In that process, we are given, or endowed with, the power to discern between truth and error, between right and wrong, amid the confusing and negative voices that bombard us. What a gift!”

  1. Share what is in your heart

We can share what is in our heart regarding the temple in countless ways. Post a picture of the temple when you attend a session, a sealing, or an open house. Is a new temple being built near you? Share your excitement about its progress. Invite others to tour it during the open house. Do you have kids who are old enough to perform baptisms for the dead? Share about how it felt to take them to the temple for the first time. Did you go to the temple seeking peace and find it there? Tell someone!

An important reminder is that helping gather Israel also includes members of our own families! Elder David B. Haight suggested: “When you return from the temple, share with your children and loved ones at home your feelings about what you experienced. Speak not of the sacred ordinances but of the love and power manifest by them.”

  1. Trust the Lord to work His miracles

We can trust the Lord to work miracles in our lives, and in the lives of those around us as we faithfully make time to be in the temple. President Nelson counseled in his first year as prophet, “I promise you that the Lord will bring miracles He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples.” We can trust that when we share about the temple with those around us, we are opening the door for the Spirit to touch hearts. Even our own.

The ordinances, covenants, and power of the temple through our Savior Jesus Christ hold every reason to rejoice and every reason to share, love, and invite. This can be done in simple ways, from one-on-one conversations with friends and associates to posting on social media to family conversations. Our success lies in whether or not we choose to share our hearts and our experiences. I echo the words of President Henry B. Eyring when he said, “He wants to welcome you [to the temple]. I pray that you will try to build desire in the hearts of Heavenly Father’s children to go there, where they can feel close to Him.”

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