A Gift and Exaltation in the Highest Heaven
In the temple we receive an endowment, which is, literally speaking, a gift. In receiving this gift, we should understand its significance and the importance of keeping sacred covenants. Each temple ordinance “is not just a ritual to go through, it is an act of solemn promising” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley , 638).
The temple endowment was given by revelation. Thus, it is best understood by revelation, prayerfully sought with a sincere heart. . . .
In preparing to receive the endowment and other ordinances of the temple, we should understand the sealing authority of the priesthood. Jesus referred to this authority long ago when He taught His Apostles, “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). That same authority has been restored in these latter days. Just as priesthood is eternal—without beginning or end—so is the effect of priesthood ordinances that bind families together forever.
Temple ordinances, covenants, endowments, and sealings enable individuals to be reconciled with the Lord and families to be sealed beyond the veil of death. Obedience to temple covenants qualifies us for eternal life, the greatest gift of God to man. Eternal life is more than immortality. Eternal life is exaltation in the highest heaven—the kind of life that God lives (“Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings,” Ensign, May 2001).
Everything in the Church Points to the Temple
The Gilbert Arizona Temple at sunset, Newsroom
There will be some in each congregation who have been or are now the victims of horrible abuse, or who may have suffered the devastating betrayal and infidelity of a spouse, or who labor with a wayward child. These good, faithful people need the truth that is in the temple, the house of the Lord.
The temple is literally full of truth. Truths of the Father’s plan are laid open to us with clarity and power. Words of truth about our Father, His Son, and Their relationship to us are spoken in the covenants and ordinances of the temple. The temple is a house of revelation where truth distills upon our souls and enlightens our understanding (see Doctrine and Covenants 109:15). We learn of our eternal identity and purpose and the marvelous promises of the Lord. Those promises are true, for our God is a God of truth and cannot lie (see Ether 3:12). . . . If our brothers and sisters go to the temple seeking strength and understanding, they will be taught by the Lord Himself about truths that matter most to them in their time of need (“Divine Law—Absolute Truth,” General Conference Leadership Meeting, September 27, 2017).
At the root of every temple ordinance and covenant—at the heart of the plan of salvation—is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Every activity, lesson, and advancement in the Church points to the Lord and His temple. Efforts to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead all lead to the temple. Each temple stands as a symbol of our membership in the Church, as a sign of our faith in life after death, and as a sacred step toward eternal glory for us and our families (“Personal Preparation for Blessings of the Temple,” Accra Ghana Temple Dedication, session two, January 11, 2004).
Lead image from lds.org
Read more profound insights from our prophet in Teachings of Russell M. Nelson.
Internationally renowned as a surgeon, teacher, and man of great faith, President Russell M. Nelson has dedicated his life to healing hearts and ministering throughout his medical career and his Church service. This definitive volume of his teachings presents excerpts from his speeches and writings spanning more than three decades as an Apostle of the Lord, including many from his recent world tour and other unpublished addresses. Alphabetically arranged by topic, these teachings on more than 100 subjects provide a perfect, easy-to-use resource for talks, lessons, and more.