Saturday, June 06, 2009

April 2009 General Conference: Temple Worship

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles offered counsel regarding temple worship for the saints. He asserts that faithful temple worship can be the source of strength and power in times of need. When we keep the temple covenants we have made and when we live righteously, we have no reason to worry or to feel despondent.

To gain more benefit from temple attendance:
  • Understand the doctrine related to temple ordinances, especially the significance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
  • While participating in temple ordinances, consider your relationship to Jesus Christ and His relationship to our Heavenly Father. This simple act will lead to greater understanding of the supernal nature of the temple ordinances.
  • Always prayerfully express gratitude for the incomparable blessings that flow from temple ordinances. Live each day so as to give evidence to Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son of how very much those blessings mean to you.
  • Schedule regular visits to the temple.
  • Leave sufficient time to be unhurried within the temple walls.
  • Rotate activities so that you can participate in all of the ordinances of the temple.
  • Remove your watch when you enter a house of the Lord.
  • Listen carefully to the presentation of each element of the ordinance with an open mind and heart.
  • Be mindful of the individual for whom you are performing the vicarious ordinance. At times pray that he or she will recognize the vital importance of the ordinances and be worthy or prepare to be worthy to benefit from them.
  • Recognize that much of the majesty of the sealing ordinance cannot be understood and remembered with one live experience. Substantial subsequent vicarious work permits one to understand much more of what is communicated in the live ordinances.
  • Realize that a sealing ordinance is not enduring until after it is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. Both individuals must be worthy and want the sealing to be eternal.
Those who live far away sometime avail themselves of opportunities more often and more faithfully than those of us who have a temple but a short distance away. Make regular temple attendance a habit.


Sarah Cobabe Thomas said...

After listening to Elder Packer of the 70 in our stake conference on Sunday, I wondered to myself about the importance of understanding the temple ceremony. He related a story about a temple President telling a patron that they should come to their own conclusions through personal study and attending the temple rather than asking others.

I have found it rather frustrating through the years that I have not come to many of my own conclusions by attending the temple. I can’t even relate to those who say they learn something new each time they attend a session. I’m not that interested in coming to my own conclusions, I want to know what it really is all about. Is there an absolute truth we are meant to learn by attending the temple? If so, why can’t we just be told what it is?

I feel good about attending the temple because I believe that is what I am supposed to do, and it is so lovely and quiet and clean (that combination is rarely found in my own home). So I go, and I get that checked off my list, but don’t find myself progressing. Is it because I don’t go often enough?

Jim Cobabe said...


Study Elder Scott's counsel, and try to follow it. He is very well aquainted with the challenges we face with regard to temple worsip. Remember too, that this is general counsel given to all those who would listen. You need to take each principle and adapt it to your particular situation.

You may be discouraged by the burdens of family and home life. These things will not be forever. Enjoy them while you can. If opportunity costs limit your choices, be happy because you've made the correct ones.

As for learning absolutes, I think they're hard to come by. Please be patient. Many things will become evident in time. But it takes time...

Perhaps we should plan a family temple day, just to compare notes.

freddy said...


First, you seem to have to get old, like me. You have a while to go yet. Our cousin, Hugh Nibley (incredibly smart) said he was learning new things up until he died. (and probably afterwards!)

Then it helps to get a good Pearl of Great Price commentary. It turns out that lots of what is in the PGP is also in the temple, and others can talk about the PGP version.

Finally, remember that the temple is all symbolic. Some symbols have layers of meanings. The ceremony is a representation of our eternal progresion. Ask the Lord to help you find and comprehend a new symbol each time you go. Sooner or later yoou start to get it. That may be the first of the symbols you come to understand, that it is not supposed to be easy, just like living.


a little music said...

I find that in general the gospel precepts are so personal and so individually pertinent, the precepts of the temple are the same. There is no blanket answer to any question. There are no absolute answers to the questions of a person's heart, because each person has different questions in their heart. Going to the temple teaches us each individually at different times in our lives, because we each face different issues, questions and struggles at different times in our lives. The message is never the same. It is just like reading the scriptures. I can't think of how many times I've read a passage of scripture and had it mean something completely different to me. That's the way the temple works.

Beth said...

I had an aquaintance once who said he did not look for something new everytime he went to the temple... it is called temple _work_ and thus he felt it was his "job" to go to the temple as commanded. Maybe we just need to go for the "work" of it! The other stuff is a fringe benefit!

a little music said...

I'm also a little puzzled by the idea that we require answers of the Lord. I don't really think we're in any position to demand answers. I just think with all he's blessed us with, we're in such debt to him, we need to first learn to be grateful for the answers and blessings he has placed in front of us, and then the other answers will come naturally.

Jim Cobabe said...


You are entitled to the aegis of age, since you are the eldest. With age comes wisdom that cannot be garnered any other way than by living. I respect you for that, and for the other things you have endured. You have raised up a generation of children that are a credit to your name.

Jim Cobabe said...

Beth, and Music,

I am especially comforted by your comments, because both remind me that God is no respecter of persons. He treats all of us the same. Indeed, who can say which of us is of more importance to Him? I have little basis from which to judge, but have always felt inadequate when it comes to asking the Lord to give me things. Why should He waste His effort on *me*? It is beyond my understanding. Obviously, I am among the least.

I only hope He doesn't notice all my bad points -- then maybe I can squeak by.

Billy Bob Bambino Bombabious Baby the Third said...

I was in the Timpanogos Temple attending a ward temple night when one of the temple presidency paraphrased a quote from Pres. Faust that went something like - only a fool would dare interpret the symbols of God for another. I think that this implies something of both the sacred nature of the symbols and the deeply personal relationship that is engendered by communication between God and ourselves. Just like my dad has different things to say to me by way of advice and counsel, so does our Heavenly Father have different things to teach to each of us. Thus the symbols mean different things for different people at different times. And that's really the point. Don't be too frustrated, but also don't give up. I have found a richness and depth in the ordinances that transcends what is actually being said.

Jim Cobabe said...

I hope no one is angry or disappointed at my saying so, but my personal impression of temple worship is that much of the ceremony is contrived. I think it is so to impress the otherwise difficult to impress. As a result, some of the "showy" parts are overplayed for the more discerning, if you take my meaning.

Not to say the meanings are not there. But I think if you are hoping for some vast eternal truth to leap out from behind the curtain, you will be forever disappointed. Eternal truth comes to me in the quietest of whispers -- I must pay it the most singular mind, or it vanishes in the noise.