Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Elder Gerrit W. Gong on the temple's vision of eternity

Elder Gerrit W. Gong (born December 23, 1953) was called as a Seventy in April 2010, then to the Presidency of the Seventy in October 2015. He was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in April 2018.
"I recently stood in a house of the Lord with a worthy couple there to receive blessings by covenant. I invited them to make their first honeymoon last 50 years, then after 50 years to begin their second honeymoon.
"I found myself looking with this beautiful couple into the temple mirrors—one mirror on this side, one mirror on that side. Together the temple mirrors reflect back and forth images that stretch seemingly into eternity.
"Temple mirrors of eternity remind us that each human being has 'divine nature and destiny”; that “sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally' (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102); and that, growing together in love and faithfulness, we can give children roots and wings."
- Gerrit W. Gong, "Temple Mirrors of Eternity: A Testimony of Family," General Conference, October 2010
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The example of reflective facing mirrors is a classic one, giving a visual perspective of something that can be perceived as stretching into the infinite future and the infinite past. Elder Gong uses this example to remind us of the sacred, eternal nature of families::

The perspective of "roots and wings" is another useful image, indicating that we have a heritage from the past that keeps us well-grounded in the things that will give us strength and consistency; but also that we have the ability to move freely into a future where we can choose and define our course.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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