Elder Kent F. Richards: ‘The Power of Godliness’

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“Come to the temple. Come often. Come with and for your family. Come, and help others to come too.”

That was the plea of Elder Kent F. Richards, General Authority Seventy and Executive Director of the Temple Department, during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference on April 3.

“Surely, today, in these trying times, each of us and our families need the temple more than anything else,” he said.

Sharing the experience he had at a recent temple dedication, Elder Richards spoke of the excitement that accompanied the events leading up to and during the sacred experience. The next morning after the dedicatory service, Elder Richards and his wife entered the baptismal font to participate in baptisms for some of their own ancestors.

“As I raised my arm to begin the ordinance, I was nearly overcome by the power of the Spirit,” he said. “I realized, again, that the real power of the temple is in the ordinances.”

The fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood — as the Lord has revealed — is found in the temple and its ordinances, he taught. It is in the ordinances that the power of godliness is manifest. It is the responsibility of each person to “receive that which our Father offers.”

Sharing a personal experience he had in a temple open house with President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his family, Elder Richards spoke of the important truths the senior apostle shared with his family.

“[H]e gathered them around the sealing altar and explained to them that everything we do in the Church — every meeting, activity, lesson and service — is to prepare each of us to come to the temple and kneel at the altar to receive all the Father’s promised blessings for eternity,” Elder Richards said. “As we feel the blessings of the temple in our own lives, our hearts turn to our families, both living and dead.”

Elder Richards spoke of the great work — both as patrons and as workers — that goes on in temples by members young and old.

“There are more than 120,000 ordinance workers in the 150 operating temples around the world,” he said. “Yet, there is opportunity for even more to have this sweet experience. … Serving in the temple is a rich and powerful experience for people of all ages.”

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