Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Robert D. Hales on the blessings of temples

Elder Robert D. Hales (1932- ) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1985, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
"Despite many tribulations in the Prophet Joseph's life, great things were brought to pass for the Restoration of the gospel in these latter days. Joseph came to understand and has taught us that when he was struggling with a challenge, the Lord did not let him perish. Similarly, tests of our faith are priceless opportunities to discover how deeply the Master cares about the welfare of our souls to help us endure to the end.
"In our day, the steadying arm of the Lord reaches us through the ordinances of His holy temples. Said the Prophet Joseph to the early Saints in Nauvoo, 'You need an endowment, brethren, in order that you may be prepared and able to overcome all things' (History of the Church, 2:309). How right he was! Being blessed with the temple covenants and endowed with power made it possible for the Latter-day Saints to endure tribulation with faith. At the end of her own pioneer journey, Sarah Rich recorded, 'If it had not been for the faith and knowledge that was bestowed upon us in that temple... our journey would have been like... taking a leap in the dark' (Sarah DeArmon Pea Rich, Autobiography, 1885-1893, p. 66)."
- Robert D. Hales, "Faith through Tribulation Brings Peace and Joy," Ensign, May 2003, pp. 15-18
Click here to read the full talk
It's always wonderful to ponder what is accomplished despite tribulations. Elder Hales suggests the example of Joseph Smith, who (in spite of great trials) was an instrument in the restoration of many gifts in these latter days.  Elder Hales points out that these times can help us "to discover how deeply the Master cares about the welfare of our souls" as we confront, and survive, the challenges.

I happen to be in Nauvoo as I am preparing this thought. I can look out my hotel window at the marvelous reconstructed temple, that so profoundly represents the faith and sacrifice of a previous generation of Saints. I loved this final thought about the role of the temple and the endowment, and the power that can come to those whose hearts are ready. The testimony of Sarah Rich was especially touching; it is the temple, its ordinances and teachings, that gives power to endure whatever may come.

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