Thursday, March 24, 2022

President James E. Faust on the value of temple attendance

President James E. Faust (1920 - 2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley from 1995 until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"I owe my text to Elder Marion G. Romney, who, at a Brigham Young University devotional in 1955, stated: 'Now there are those among us who are trying to serve the Lord without offending the devil.' This is a contradiction of terms....
"Today many of us are trying to serve two masters—the Lord and our own selfish interests—without offending the devil. The influence of God, our Eternal Father, urges us, pleads us, and inspires us to follow him. In contrast the power of Satan urges us to disbelieve and disregard God's commandments....
"I now come to some even milder forms of trying to serve the Lord without offending the devil. Having a temple recommend and not using it seems mild enough. However, if we live close to a temple, perhaps having a temple recommend but not using it may not offend the devil. Satan is offended when we use that recommend, going to the temple to partake of the spiritual protection it affords. How often do we plan to go to the temple, only to have all kinds of hindrances arise to stop us from going? The devil always has been offended by our temple worship. As President Brigham Young once said about the building of temples, there are Saints who say, '"I do not like to do it, for we never began to build a temple without the bells of hell beginning to ring."' His answer was, 'I want to hear them ring again. All the tribes of hell will be on the move, if we uncover the walls of this temple' (DBY 410)."
- James E Faust, "Serving the Lord and Resisting the Devil," Ensign, September 1995, p. 5
Click here to read the full article

The premise of President Faust's message was that you can't serve God without offending the adversary. Their plans and programs are in direct opposition, and there's no way to straddle the border and be a little on both sides!

One of the key areas President Faust chose to illustrate this point related to temple service and attendance. He believed that having a temple recommend, and using it, would always be offending Satan; but he would be pleased if we weren't using the recommend we possess. And if we're not actively offending the devil, we're probably not doing things right! And even more, we're denying ourselves "the spiritual protection it affords" when we do attend.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
October 27, 2015

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