Bishop Gérald Caussé: The temple should be the central goal of new converts


Missionaries are bringing people to the waters of baptism. But that essential ordinance does not complete conversion — lifelong service in the temple remains the ultimate goal of new members.

That was the message shared by Bishop Gérald Caussé, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, in his June 27 instruction at the 2015 Seminar for New Mission Presidents.

As Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said: “Clearly, when we baptize, our eyes should gaze beyond the baptismal font to the holy temple. The great garner into which the sheaves should be gathered is the holy temple.”

Bishop Caussé said temples are edified garners — places of gathering and a safe refuge for the Lord’s disciples. Statistics show that new converts who go to the temple soon after baptism to do baptisms for their dead, and then one year later return to receive their own endowment and be sealed to their family, are much more likely to remain faithful lifelong members.

“We may claim the choicest blessings pertaining to our Church membership only after receiving temple ordinances,” he said, “President Thomas S. Monson declared: ‘Until you have entered the house of the Lord and have received all the blessings which await you there, you have not obtained everything the Church has to offer’.”

So what does that mean for the missionaries who are teaching and baptizing?

“It means that our missionary efforts do not end at the waters of baptism — they should continue relentlessly right up to the doors of the temple and beyond,” he answered. “I urge you to consider and include as part of your labors this important truth. Missionary work includes four essential steps: finding, teaching, baptizing, and helping members endure to the end including preparing new converts for the sacred ordinances of the temple.”

Bishop Caussé offered three suggestions to help lead new converts to the temple:

1 - Well before baptism, start preparing investigators to go to the temple.

2 – Give investigators a vision of the eternal family.

3 – Whenever possible, ensure new converts have an opportunity to perform baptisms for their dead soon after their own baptism.

In closing, Bishop Caussé shared his own family experience of being sealed together decades ago in the Swiss Temple. As they prepared to enter the temple, the Caussé family enjoyed the constant support of the missionaries who taught them the gospel.

“I invite you to make the blessings of the holy temple the beginning and the end of each missionary’s experience, including your own,” he said. “By and through you, the temple will become a place of gathering for all those who join the fold of Christ.” @JNSwensen

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