Sunday, March 20, 2016

Boyd K. Packer on the sacredness of the holy temple

President Boyd K. Packer (1924-2015) served as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve (a position that no longer exists) from 1961 to 1970, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He served as president of that Quorum from 1994 until his death on July 3, 2015 at age 90.
"May we each dedicate ourselves anew to the service of the Lord.
"Say the word temple. Say it quietly and reverently. Say it over and over again. Temple. Temple. Temple. Add the word holy. Holy Temple. Say it as though it were capitalized, no matter where it appears in the sentence.
"Temple. One other word is equal in importance to a Latter-day Saint. Home. Put the words holy temple and home together, and you have described the house of the Lord!
"May God grant that we may be worthy to enter there and receive the fulness of the blessings of His priesthood."
- Boyd K. Packer, "The Temple, the Priesthood," Ensign, May 1993, pp. 18-21
Click here to read the full talk

President Packer shared these thoughts in a conference talk in 1993, as he commemorated the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Salt Lake temple. He reviewed the general history of temples in our dispensation, and then particularly the details of the construction of the Salt Lake temple and its dedication service. It is a very interesting talk, worth a review.

Towards the end of his remarks, President Packer shared these tender words about the sacredness of the holy temple. It was a theme he felt strongly about, having taught and written extensively about temples throughout his ministry. Even the word "temple" should convey a spirit of reverence and gratitude to us, and evoke a feeling of the sacred.

On the day I share this thought (Sunday March 20, 2016) another temple dedication will occur, of the refurbished Provo Tabernacle—the 150th temple functioning today. It will be a good opportunity for members who are able to participate to follow President Packer's advice, and "dedicate ourselves anew to the service of the Lord." This brings to mind another classic comment about temple dedications:
"May I remind you that when we dedicate a house to the Lord, what we really do is dedicate ourselves to the Lord's service, with a covenant that we shall use the house in the way he intends that it shall be used."
- Joseph Fielding Smith, comments before dedicating the Ogden temple; see "Ogden Temple Dedicatory Prayer," Ensign, Mar. 1972, 6

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