Relief Society: Finding joy in temple worship
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Each month, the Church News publishes a message to complement the Relief Society visiting teaching message found in the Ensign magazine.
For this month's message, sisters can choose a topic from the talks given by Church leaders at the April 2011 general conference.
The article on this page is based on the May 2011 "Call to Action" found on the Relief Society website — www.lds.org/service/serving-in-the-church/relief-society/visiting-teaching-messages — that focuses on the theme of President Monson's conference talk titled, "The Holy Temple — a Beacon to the World."
In his address, President Monson encourages members to "make whatever sacrifices are necessary to attend the temple and to have the spirit of the temple in our hearts and in our homes."
The Church depends upon the leadership of righteous women and continues to need faithful, virtuous, capable women to use their divine gifts and leadership skills to influence and bless others for good.
With eyes set on the temple, and goals set to get there, women can strengthen homes, families and all they associate with because of their desires to make and keep temple covenants.
One woman living in Logan, Utah, is a great example of finding the joy and blessings that come from living the gospel and attending the temple.
After living in Logan for almost 30 years, Cindy Roberts had many associates and friends who were members of the Church.
Although she was not a member of the Church and was a faithful member of another local congregation, she had always been open to discussion about religion and enjoyed talking about her faith with her LDS friends.
"I would have these ongoing discussions," she said. "I was genuinely interested in others' beliefs. We would take certain subjects that were common and talk."
Despite the fact that she had many interactions with Church members over the years, (and two of her four children eventually joined the Church) it wasn't until three-and-a-half-years ago that she was talking with her friend and decided she wanted to learn more of what Mormons really believe.
"I never had any desire to change my faith," Sister Roberts said. "But, I decided that if I wanted to know what an LDS person believes, I needed to ask an LDS person."
She said it was after she studied and listened to the Spirit that she had the confirmation that joining the Church was what she should do, even though it could bring difficult consequences to relationships with her family and other associates.
On Nov. 17, 2007, Sister Roberts was baptized and a little over a year later — the day after Christmas — she attended the Logan Utah Temple.
"I love going, especially when I can do it when I am not rushed," she said. "I always come away feeling like I had somebody's arms wrapped around me."
It is her temple worship, Sister Roberts says, that has strengthened her faith and brings a calmness into her life.
"Each time means more to me when I go," Sister Roberts said. "I think because I can go and get a calm feeling there when things were so crazy. I go through the session and every time I go I hear something that I haven't heard before and it invites me to go and study more. Time is totally wiped away and it is a really peaceful time."
Sister Roberts' husband, Dan, was recently baptized, and together they have already discussed plans to attend the temple as soon as they are able.
"I love that I can go individually, but am anxious to go there as a couple," she said. "I can hardly wait to go with Dan."
Make the temple a top priority
"If you have not yet been to the temple, or if you have been but currently do not qualify for a recommend, there is no more important goal for you to work toward than being worthy to go to the temple. ...
"Do nothing which will keep you from entering its doors and partaking of the sacred and eternal blessings there. ...
"Make whatever sacrifices are necessary to attend the temple and to have the spirit of the temple in our hearts and in our homes."
— President Thomas S. Monson, "The Holy Temple — a Beacon to the World," April 2011 general conference
"The temple is the house of the Lord. The basis for every temple ordinance and covenant — the heart of the plan of salvation — is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Every activity, every lesson, all we do in the Church, point to the Lord and His holy house. Our efforts to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead all lead to the temple. Each holy temple stands as a symbol of our membership in the Church, as a sign of our faith in life after death, and as a sacred step toward eternal glory for us and our families."
— Elder Russell M. Nelson, "Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings," April 2001 general conference
"I would suggest that each of us go to the temple and pay attention. Pay attention in the temple to what is happening, how things happen, the blessings that are given, who are they given by, and the powers that come to you. Listen to the words of the temple ordinances and learn the blessings that the Lord has given you through His priesthood."
— Sister Julie B. Beck, Brigham Young University Women's Conference 2011
"The temple is a house of learning. Much of the instruction imparted in the temple is symbolic and learned by the Spirit. This means we are taught from on high. Temple covenants and ordinances are a powerful symbol of Christ and His Atonement. We all receive the same instruction, but our understanding of the meaning of the ordinances and covenants will increase as we return to the temple often with the attitude of learning and contemplating the eternal truths taught."
— Sister Silvia H. Allred, "Holy Temple, Sacred Covenants," October 2008 general conference