Elder David A. Bednar: Returning to the Temple – powered by Happy Scribe

My dear brothers and sisters. Our fundamental responsibility as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is to assist in the gathering of Israel by inviting all of God’s children on both sides of the veil to come unto their savior, receive the blessings of the holy temple, have enduring joy and qualify for eternal life. The essence of the Lord’s work is changing, turning and purifying hearts through gospel covenants and priesthood ordinances. As we become anxiously engaged in this sacred work, we are obeying the commandments to love and serve God and our neighbors.

And such selfless service helps us truly to hear him and come unto the savior. Please remember President Russell M. Nelson’s prophetic teaching in the October general conference of twenty eighteen quote. I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord to be in his holy house, then keep that appointment with exactness and joy, I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracles he knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in his temples, close quote.

A global pandemic has changed many aspects of our world, and as a result, for many months, our ability to attend the temple and participate in the sacred work performed in the House of the Lord has been limited. Returning to the temples is something we have prayed for and looked forward to with great anticipation. We rejoice in the opportunity to again serve and worship in holy temples, even if our experience will be different because of constraining circumstances and additional sacrifices we are asked to make.

President Thomas S. Monson taught, quote, Some degree of sacrifice has ever been associated with temple building and with temple attendance, why are so many willing to give so much in order to receive the blessings of the temple?

Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings.

There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, or too much discomfort to endure. They understand that the saving ordinances received in the temple that permit us to someday return to our Heavenly Father in an eternal family relationship and to be endowed with blessings and power from on high are worth every sacrifice and every effort, close quote. Because of our desire to follow the savior, we are learning to do things in new and sometimes better ways.

We are now preparing to enter phase three of temple reopening. We are committed to reopen each temple in a careful and cautious way to avoid the spread of disease and protect both patrons and temple workers. This phase will be a return to the performance of proxy ordinances for our deceased ancestors, but with smaller numbers of both patrons and temple workers and attendance will be by appointment only. An appointment will be limited to a specific ordinance because of restrictions on the number of people who safely can be accommodated in the various ordinance rooms of the temples.

I invite every youth and adult member of the church to obtain and hold a current temple recommend. Even if we live a great distance from a temple or cannot attend frequently because of present limitations. Our participation in temple worship is a sacred privilege, not an entitlement or simply part of our established routine. We do not come to the temple to hide from or escape the evils of the world. Rather, we come to the temple to receive the power of godliness through priesthood ordinances that enable us to confront and conquer the world of evil.

For a while, we may not be able to attend the temple, as we did in the past on a weekly or monthly basis, however, we will be blessed in remarkable ways as we honor and cherish the covenant relationship we have with our Heavenly Father and his beloved son, Jesus Christ.

And as we apply in our homes, the principles we have learned and the patterns we have observed in the Lord’s holy House. We do not know how long adjustments to temple worship will be necessary, but no power or influence can stop this glorious work from progressing and achieving its eternal purposes.

I promise the truth and righteousness always have prevailed and always will prevail in our individual lives, in our families and in the savior’s true and living and restored church. I joyfully declare my witness of the living reality of the Lord Jesus Christ and rejoice with you in the reopening of his holy house in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Most temples have moved to Phase 1 or 2 of operations, but the First Presidency announced today that four temples will move to Phase 3 as early as December 21, 2020, with others to follow over time, based on guidance by Area and temple leadership.
Proxy work for ancestors will resume in Phase 3 but will feature smaller numbers of both patrons and temple workers, a limited temple schedule, and attendance by appointment only.