"Now, my brothers and sisters, we have built temples throughout the world and will continue to do so. To you who are worthy and able to attend the temple, I would admonish you to go often. The temple is a place where we can find peace. There we receive a renewed dedication to the gospel and a strengthened resolve to keep the commandments.
"What a privilege it is to be able to go to the temple, where we may experience the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of the Lord. Great service is given when we perform vicarious ordinances for those who have gone beyond the veil. In many cases we do not know those for whom we perform the work. We expect no thanks, nor do we have the assurance that they will accept that which we offer. However, we serve, and in that process we attain that which comes of no other effort: we literally become saviors on Mount Zion. As our Savior gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for us, so we, in some small measure, do the same when we perform proxy work in the temple for those who have no means of moving forward unless something is done for them by those of us here on the earth."
- Thomas S. Monson, "Until We Meet Again," Ensign, May 2009, pp. 112-114
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I believe the emphasis on temple attendance and service in recent decades has changed the church in significant ways. President Monson joins many others in encouraging all members to qualify for, and then take advantage, of this privilege; and he promises blessings that will accompany the effort including "renewed dedication to the gospel" and "the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of the Lord":
The concept of becoming "saviors on Mount Zion" through proxy ordinances in the temples dates back to Joseph Smith, who taught:
“But how are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples, erecting their baptismal fonts, and going forth and receiving all the ordinances, baptisms, confirmations, washings, anointings, ordinations and sealing powers upon their heads, in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead, and redeem them that they may come forth in the first resurrection and be exalted to thrones of glory with them; and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfills the mission of Elijah." (Joseph Smith, discourse given Jan. 21, 1844 in Nauvoo; see History of the Church, 6:183–84)What a beautiful concept, that through our temple service we join with the Savior in His eternal work of making salvation available to all of God's children!