Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered this week’s devotional address. He spoke about modern-day miracles and the connection between faith-filled temple work in 1846 and 2020.
Elder Bednar recalled the exodus of pioneers from Nauvoo, the staggering months when Saints fled persecution en masse. The conditions of this trek brought hardship for the exhausted refugees.
“What was it that gave those early Church members such strength and enabled them to press forward in overwhelmingly adverse conditions?” asked Elder Bednar. “It was the fire of the temple covenants and ordinances that burned in their hearts.”
The Saints understood that these covenants can open the channels of heaven and bring blessings.
Elder Bednar shared the story of another time that a group of Saints experienced the significance of temple blessings: November 2020.
On November 10, government officials in a large jurisdiction announced that further restrictions on group gatherings were necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19. This meant that temples, which had previously been allowed to open at a reduced capacity, must close again for at least three weeks starting at midnight on November 13.
Leaders in one temple prayed for direction and received inspiration to leave the sacred building open around the clock for the next three days to allow as many to enter as possible before the closure. A frenzy of work began: confirming additional appointments, rescheduling others, scheduling temple workers for extended hours, making a sanitation plan.
Elder Bednar quoted accounts from those involved in the process.
One person shared, “As I arrived at the temple on Thursday morning around 5 a.m., I saw ordinance workers who had served all night long still smiling as they served. The most common theme I heard from the workers was that it felt like Nauvoo when the Saints needed to leave but kept coming to the temple to receive their temple ordinances.”
Elder Bednar offered this story as evidence that miracles still occur today.
“The identical spirit that drew Latter-day Saints to the temple in Nauvoo clearly was at work in November of last year,” he said. “And it is operating today and will continue into the future. The day of miracles has not ceased.”
Next Forum: David Epstein, investigative reporter and author
Epstein will deliver the forum address at 11:05 a.m. on Tuesday, January 26.
Mr. Epstein's remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM and SiriusXM 143.