Monday, July 13, 2015

Joseph B. Wirthlin on the blessings of temple service

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917-2008) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1986, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1986 until his passing in 2008 at age 91.  This excerpt is from one of his most memorable talks.
"We can seek to enter holy temples frequently to perform essential ordinances regularly for others who have preceded us. Temple work enables us to do for others what they cannot do for themselves. It is a labor of love that permits our forefathers to continue their progress toward eternal life. As valuable and beneficial as temple work is to them, it is equally valuable to us. The House of the Lord is a place where we can escape from the mundane and see our lives in an eternal perspective. We can ponder instructions and covenants that help us understand more clearly the plan of salvation and the infinite love of our Heavenly Father for his children. We can ponder our relationship to God, the Eternal Father, and his Son, Jesus Christ. We learn from the Doctrine and Covenants that a temple is a place of thanksgiving, 'a place of instruction for all those who are called to the work of the ministry in all their several callings and offices;
"'That they may be perfected in the understanding of their ministry, in theory, in principle, and in doctrine, in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God on the earth.' (D&C 97:13-14.)
"Regular temple work can provide spiritual strength. It can be an anchor in daily life, a source of guidance, protection, security, peace, and revelation."
- Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Seeking the Good," Ensign, May 1992, pp. 86-88
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Wirthlin describes the dual blessing of temple service:

  • The "labor of love" wherein we provide essential ordinances to allow those who have gone before to "continue their progress toward eternal life"
  • The blessings that come to us as we serve, including an eternal perspective of our lives and a better understanding of God's plan for us
The chance to ponder as we "escape from the mundane and see our lives in an eternal perspective" is more valuable than we often realize; the promised blessings are many.

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