“The most important change [in the world] is the increased accessibility of the house of the Lord,” said Elder Allen D. Haynie, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Tuesday morning’s devotional.
“When I began attending Brigham Young University in the fall of 1976, there were only 16 temples in the entire world. There are now 177 operating temples, 59 temples in the process of construction or renovation, and 99 temples announced.”
It is in the temple where covenants with God can be made, Elder Haynie continued. Those covenants will be honored on both sides of the veil by the Lord if His children keep them.
Elder Haynie taught that Heavenly Father always sought to have a sacred space where He could teach and covenant with His children. While His guidance can be found anywhere, there is something special about spaces that are claimed as His own and sanctified.
Citing examples of different places that the Lord has sanctified throughout time, Elder Haynie spoke of the Garden of Eden, the top of mountains and Moses’ Tabernacle. In these holy designated places, the Lord gave disciples garments, to help distinguish them from the world.
“The significance of the giving of a garment by God to His covenant children and the receiving and wearing of that garment by His covenant children should not be considered ordinary,” Elder Haynie said. “It is a most sacred exchange.”
There are many accounts of the Lord manifesting Himself to accept temples after their completion, Elder Haynie pointed out, including His appearance at the Kirtland Ohio Temple after its dedication, when He declared, “For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house.”
“Gratefully, even though we are imperfect, we are invited as His guests into His House. He extends this invitation to us again and again, and if we accept it, it will — as promised by President Russell M. Nelson — bless our lives ‘in ways nothing else can.’ We should want to enter His House often because Jesus is anxious to meet with us there.”
Urging those who have not yet entered the house of the Lord to make covenants and receive their endowment, Elder Haynie invited them to pray and ask God if their time to do so is now. There is no need to wait for a mission call or a sealing, and while some opposition may arise, a multitude of blessings will flow from this decision.
Addressing those who have gone through the temple, Elder Haynie added that sometimes just attending the temple is not enough.
“Something needs to happen to us because of our spending time in the house of the Lord. We need to leave His house different than when we entered, but that result is not always easy to achieve.”
Addressing this concern, Elder Haynie shared several ideas for making temple attendance more meaningful.
Over the years, Elder Haynie has learned that the best source of insight and understanding about the temple comes from a careful, temple-focused study of the scriptures.
“For those who are seeking to understand and connect with temple ordinances in a more meaningful way, spend more time reading the scriptures that talk about the temple and temple ordinances. If you do, you will be amazed at what the Lord will reveal to you. After all, He is a God who has promised to reveal ‘all things pertaining to my kingdom’ to His covenant children.”
Partaking of the sacrament
As repentance is essential to being able to receive temple revelation, weekly participation in the ordinance of the sacrament also can help us become and remain clean and worthy, said Elder Haynie.
“When we partake of the sacrament worthily … the Lord renews the cleansing that occurred when we were born of the water and of the Spirit. I believe that approaching the sacrament with greater reverence is essential if we desire to become more worthy of temple revelation.”
Seeking Christ in ordinances
Elder Haynie has found that many of the challenges people have with not feeling what they want to feel in the temple stem from their “failure to seek Jesus while participating in temple ordinances.”
“He [Jesus Christ] is why we come to the temple. He is who our Father in Heaven desires us to meet in the temple. He is at the center of every symbol, every ordinance, every covenant, every hoped-for blessing in the temple. Seeking Jesus in the temple enables us to understand why we are in the temple and why we should return.”
Read or watch the full address on speeches.byu.edu.