Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Holy Temple—a Beacon to the World

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

The Holy Temple—a Beacon to the World, by Thomas S. Monson
President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

When we moved to Texas for graduate school, we moved from the shadow of the temple in Provo, Utah, to a place where scheduling was required to attend the temple. As a family we decided to faithfully go to the temple each month. In the five years we were in Texas, I think we only missed one month where we didn't go to the temple—keep in mind that we welcomed two additional children to our family during this time. Interestingly, we went to the temple more frequently when it was far than when it was nearby.

We've now moved again. This time the temple is farther away (175 miles away in Orlando), but we maintain our resolve to make temple worship an important part of our lives. We do this because we know that "temples bring joy to our faithful members wherever they are built."

We are part of the 85 percent of Church members who live within 200 miles of a temple. We love being close enough that we can realistically go each month, but we're thrilled that another is being constructed less than an hour drive from our home!

If you have been to the temple for yourselves and if you live within relatively close proximity to a temple, your sacrifice could be setting aside the time in your busy lives to visit the temple regularly.

In his address, President Monson—a prophet of God—pleaded with us to do something. His use of the word "plead" got my attention. He said:

I plead with you to teach your children of the temple’s importance.

I'm happy to report that I think we're doing well with this. When we go to the temple, we always go as a family. This means that my wife and I sacrifice by not getting to attend together every time, but we are there at the temple together as a family. Some time ago, I approached my children telling them that I was going to actually take a vacation (a big thing for me), and asked where they would like to go if they could go or do anything in the world.

Where do you think they wanted to go?

I was happy when they said that they would love to go to our temple (in San Antonio, TX), but instead of driving down in the morning, they wanted to get a hotel room with a view of the temple, if possible. Bear in mind that they were in the habit of going every month, but they wanted to go again as a vacation and see the temple lit up at night before they went to bed.

It sounds like they're well on their way to knowing, as does President Monson, that:

The all-important and crowning blessings of membership in the Church are those blessings which we receive in the temples of God.

I'm grateful for temples and the place they have in my heart, and in the hearts of my family members!

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