Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Temple Service

This month our Bishop has asked our ward to do an exciting service.
There are those within our ward boundary that are striving to become temple worthy.
There are those within our ward boundary that are temple recommend holders who do not partake of the temple blessings by attending the temple on a regular basis. And there are those within our ward boundary that have never been able to attend the temple. I suspect it is the same within all ward boundaries.
Our Bishop has asked each of our ward families to fast for all of these people.

He placed a calendar on his door and families signed up for one day to fast within as families throughout the month of January into the month of February lasting for forty days. It’s in remembrance of the forty day fast our Savior did at the start of His ministry. At the end of the month, we’ll have a ward Temple Day. The youth will attend as youth groups and the adults will attend throughout the day. That evening we have a session and a banquet planned where we’ll have someone in the Temple Presidency speak to us.

We have set a goal as a family to increase our temple attendance and our fast was just this week. It was fun for us to do as a family because this year our son is old enough to attend the Temple and to learn to appreciate the importance of temple work.

This all started with a gift from our Bishop given to each family. It was a beautiful 8x10
picture of the temple to hang in our homes to remind us of the blessings that are ours if we will make the temple an important part of our lives. On the back is a letter from our Bishop with a quote by our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson:

“ Now my brothers and sisters, we have built temples throughout the world and will continue to do so. To you who are worthy and able to attend the temple, I would admonish you to go often. The temple is a place where we can find peace. There we receive a renewed dedication to the gospel and a strengthened resolve to keep the commandments.

What a privilege it is to be able to go to the temple, where we may experience the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of the Lord. Great service is given when we perform vicarious ordinances for those who have gone beyond the veil. In many cases we do not know those for whom we perform the work. We expect no thanks, nor do we have the assurance that they will accept that which we offer. However, we serve, and in that process we attain that which comes of no other effort: we literally become saviors on Mount Zion. As our Savior gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for us, so we, in some small measure, do the same when we perform proxy work in the temple for those who have no means of moving forward unless something is done for them by those of us here on the earth.”

Wow. I was really moved by that statement when I read it. I also recognize the tremendous blessings that have been promised as we attend the temple.

D&C 109:22 says: “Thy servant may go forth from this house armed with thy power and that thy name may be upon them and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them.”

And one of my favorite quotes about temple attendance is by Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone:

“I promise you that all who faithfully attend to Temple work will be blessed beyond measure.
Your families will draw closer to the Lord, unseen angels will watch over your loved ones, when Satanic forces tempt them.
The veil will be thin and great Spiritual experiences will distill upon this people.”

We are indeed a blessed people to have so many temples in such close proximity. I love the peace I feel when I attend the temple. No matter what seems to be going on in the world, I can walk within the doors of the temple, and find solace and comfort.

I love that our Bishop has asked us to do this service. I am so excited to strive to make temple attendance an even bigger priority within our family.

1 comment:

Valerie Holladay said...

Thanks for your lovely post, Jeri. It reminds me that I need to have goals to work toward and that I need to work toward them, particularly important, life-changing, perspective-enhancing goals like going to the temple and going often and fasting for others to enjoy the blessings too. Thank you!