"Temple mirrors of eternity remind us that each human being has “divine nature and destiny”; that “sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally”; and that, growing together in love and faithfulness, we can give children roots and wings."
All faithful members of the Lord's Church are equally blessed by priesthood ordinances. The first ordinance in a child's life usually takes place when he or she is a baby and is given a name and a blessing. When children reach the age of accountability, they are baptized. There is not a separate baptism for boys and girls. The same baptismal ordinance is performed for a young girl and a young boy, who are baptized in the same font. When those children are confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost, the same power is given to each of them. They qualify for the help of that holy power through their faithfulness and not in any other way.
As members of the Church, we are equal before the Lord as we partake of the sacrament. Through our faith in Jesus Christ and the power of His Atonement made possible because of that ordinance, we can all repent and become better.
Through the blessings of the priesthood, the Lord shows us that He is "no respecter of persons." In my travels, I usually have the chance to visit members in their homes. Some of those homes are very basic dwellings. At first I would say to myself: "Why am I blessed with a house that has electricity and plumbing when this family does not even have water near their home? Does the Lord love them less than He loves me?"
Then one day I sat in a temple next to a sister who lives in a humble house. I spent two hours at her side. I looked often into her beautiful eyes and saw the love of the Lord in them. As we finished our work in the temple, I had a powerful realization. In all of the eternal blessings, in all of our most important privileges and opportunities, we were equals. I had been "baptized unto repentance," and so had she. I had spiritual gifts, and so did she. I had the opportunity to repent, and so did she. I had received the Holy Ghost, and so had she. I had received temple ordinances, and so had she. If both of us had left this world together at that moment, we would have arrived equal before the Lord in our blessings and potential.
Priesthood blessings are the great equalizer. Those blessings are the same for men and women, for boys and girls; they are the same for married and single, rich and poor, for the intellectual and the illiterate, for the well-known and the obscure.
What was the object of gathering … the people of God in any age of the world? … The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation. … It is for the same purpose that God gathers together His people in the last days, to build unto the Lord a house to prepare them for the ordinances and endowments, washings and anointings.
The sacramental prayer can remind us every week of how the gift of unity will come through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we keep our covenants to take His name upon us, to remember Him always, and to keep all His commandments, we will receive the companionship of His Spirit. That will soften our hearts and unite us. But there are two warnings which must come with that promise.
First, the Holy Ghost remains with us only if we stay clean and free from the love of the things of the world...
The other warning is to beware of pride. Unity which comes to a family or to a people softened by the Spirit will bring great power. With that power will come recognition from the world. Whether that recognition brings praise or envy, it could lead us to pride. That would offend the Spirit. But there is a protection against pride, that sure source of disunity. It is to see the bounties which God pours upon us not only as a mark of His favor but an opportunity to join with those around us in greater service. A husband and his wife learn to be one by using their similarities to understand each other and their differences to complement each other in serving one another and those around them. In the same way, we can unite with those who do not accept our doctrine but share our desire to bless the children of our Heavenly Father.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5–6).
This priesthood makes eternal families possible. It allows me, a son, to turn my heart to my father, who passed away last year, and to be calm in my hope through the Savior that I will see him again. This priesthood allows me, as a father, to turn my heart to our two children who died as infants and to be calm in my hope through the Savior that I will know them, and they will know I was their earthly father as I look into their eyes and tell them I love them. It is this priesthood which has allowed me to see, in the holiness of the temple, how the power of godliness is manifested to all people who—after exercising faith in Christ, repenting of their sins, and searching fervently for happiness—come to make sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father and receive His holy ordinances that bind on earth as well as bind in heaven.
I love temple work. I know that God lives, that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and that President Gordon B. Hinckley is a true prophet.
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