Friday, October 20, 2017

President Howard W. Hunter on the blessings of temple attendance

President Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1959.  He served as Church President for only nine months, from June 5, 1994 to his death on March 3, 1995.
"Truly, the Lord desires that His people be a temple-motivated people. It would be the deepest desire of my heart to have every member of the Church be temple worthy. I would hope that every adult member would be worthy of—and carry—a current temple recommend, even if proximity to a temple does not allow immediate or frequent use of it.
"Let us be a temple-attending and a temple-loving people. Let us hasten to the temple as frequently as time and means and personal circumstances allow. Let us go not only for our kindred dead, but let us also go for the personal blessing of temple worship, for the sanctity and safety which is provided within those hallowed and consecrated walls. The temple is a place of beauty, it is a place of revelation, it is a place of peace. It is the house of the Lord. It is holy unto the Lord. It should be holy unto us."
- Howard W. Hunter, "The Great Symbol of our Membership," Ensign, October 1994, pp. 2-5
Click here to read the full article

President Hunter felt deeply the blessing and importance of temple worship, and taught about it frequently during his service as an apostle and particularly when he became president of the Church. This article was written as one of the monthly "First Presidency Messages" during his tenure as the President, and the excerpt gives a sense of the importance and urgency President Hunter felt.

It's insightful to ponder the description "a temple-motivated people." In what ways does the temple motivate us? When we understand its blessings and all it has to offer, it surely does influence our decisions and our actions.

Having a temple recommend, and being worthy of it, is a symbol, according to President Hunter, of our understanding and willingness to follow the Lord's plan for us.

I love his brief summary of temple blessings:

Truly, there are many blessings in the Lord's temples. As we learn about worship and service, we will confirm President Hunter's descriptions in our own lives: "a place of beauty, a place of revelation, a place of peace."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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